Working in Wellington?

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Working in Wellington

With a robust economy, rated as more affordable than Auckland and regularly topping the average salary rankings, expats will see that working in Wellington can be very rewarding. So make sure you are properly prepared for your job search, get to know the local economy, and read up on taxes in this guide.

Local Economy

Wellington is the third most populous area of New Zealand and over one third of its population hold a bachelor’s degree, so it’s no surprise that the income in Wellington is well above the average for New Zealand.

As of December 2009, the average hourly wage was 31.9 NZD, the highest in the country. The strengthening employment market has seen over 100,000 employed residents as of 2006, with over 25,000 Wellington-based businesses.

Property and business services provide the greatest number of jobs, and as the capital there are more government administrative jobs than any other city in New Zealand. 

Job Hunting in Wellington

Whether you are transferring to a job from your previous work at home, or will be looking for employment once you relocate to Wellington, you should consider the New Zealand work life as it may be different to what you’re used to. The work place in Wellington is relaxed but professional, with a strong emphasis on equal treatment for all. 

To search for a new job in Wellington, you can find current online listings at Trade Me or SEEK. You can also use one of the many local recruitment agencies for assistance in finding a job.

Wellington has many high-performing sectors for career opportunities, including creative and digital, information and communications technology, and financial services.

Income Taxation in Wellington

You will need to apply for a tax number, known here as an IRD, as soon as possible upon arrival, before you begin working in Wellington,. If you don’t have one, tax will be deducted at the highest rate. To obtain this fill out an IR595 form, available to download on the Inland Revenue website. 

The New Zealand tax system is said to be one of the easiest to navigate because of its simplicity and fairness. It’s built to be predictable and with a minimum amount of loopholes.

Some of the main features include: no inheritance tax; no general capital gains tax (although this is not true for everyone); no local or state taxes (apart from property rates); no payroll tax; no social security tax; and no healthcare tax (in most cases).

New Zealand’s top personal tax rate is 33% for income over 70,000 NZD. For lower incomes, up to 14,000 NZD, the tax rate is 10.5%. Income from overseas investments or pensions can be exempt from New Zealand tax for your first four years of living here, if you’re eligible for ‘transitional tax resident’ status.

Serhat Ahmed

"With all of the information that InterNations provided on Wellington, it made my move from Turkey easier than I could have imagined."

Melanie Rasbery

"Since I knew about the active expat network in New Zealand, InterNations made moving to Wellington more exciting than it had seemed before."

Global Expat Guide