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Moving to New Zealand

A Complete Guide

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Moving to New Zealand from the UK doesn’t take a stroke of good luck but careful planning. If that’s not your forte or you just want help to ensure your removal goes as smoothly as possible, then you’re in the right place. With free removal quotes, you can find a professional removal company to help make the process simple. Furthermore, our essential checklist makes removals to New Zealand a walk in the park. What are you waiting for? Keep reading and find out what you need to know for a great removal to Aotearoa!

How Much Does It Cost to Move to New Zealand from the UK?

Now for something as exciting as it can be terrifying for your wallet: the cost of international removals from the UK to New Zealand. It’s an inevitable part of any move, so let’s just cut to the chase, an average 3-bedroom house removal to New Zealand can range between £7,000 – £9,400.

Before that figure gives you chills, we just want to remind you that it’s just an estimate and there are crucial factors that will affect the cost of removals to New Zealand. Therefore, we recommend that you become acquainted with the variables that affect the cost of moving overseas.

One big factor that you can control is volume, which you can easily calculate with our volume calculator. As it affects the price, it might even inspire you to declutter. We all need a little less junk in our lives.

To help put it into perspective, we have a table below that shows how volume affects the costs of removals to New Zealand from the UK by sea based on average household sizes, and if encourages you to declutter, that’s great. We all need a little less junk in our lives.

Household SizeTimeCost
1 bedroom apartment9 – 12 weeks£2,900 – £4,000
2 bedroom house6 – 9 weeks£3,900 – £5,300
3 bedroom house6 – 9 weeks£7,000 – £9,400
4 bedroom house6 – 9 weeks£7,400 – £10,000
5 bedroom house6 – 9 weeks£10,600 – £14,200

Disclaimer: The rates shown above are just estimates. Costs will vary depending on your exact point of departure and the service rates of the company.

You might be wondering if there is a faster method of shipping furniture to New Zealand than by sea. Well, there is! A plane will be much faster and only takes 8-10 days but will dramatically increase the cost of container shipping. Furthermore, it’s only an option for small moves, like a 1-bedroom flat.

International Removals UK to New Zealand

Looking for removal to New Zealand? Finding the best movers with a proven track history of successful moves is essential. Check out the 3 best international movers from the UK to New Zealand down below!

1. Mercia Movers & Storers

2. PSS International Removals

3. Doree Bonner International

4. ASD Harrison

5. John Mason International Movers

Free and Time-saving Removal Quotes: Request Now!

One thing we hate is scouring the internet to find maybe one company to help us, and we can imagine that planning for your removal is no different. If you want to cut out the hassle of searching for removal companies yourself, then fill in the form below! We’ll find up to 5 companies that can help you with your removal to New Zealand. Talk about easy.

Need Help When Moving to New Zealand?

A Checklist for Moving to New Zealand

The hard work has yet to start! However, don’t lose hope, we’re here to help. Once you work your way through our moving to New Zealand checklist, those dreams of life in the Land of the Long White Cloud will be one step closer to reality.

Before You Move:

✔️ Important documents 

Before your removal to New Zealand from the UK, you’ll need to prepare all the necessary documents, otherwise, you could run into some difficulties:

  • Passport
  • Work visa
  • Birth certificate(s)
  • Marriage certificate
  • Academic qualifications
  • Medical records (including dental records and vaccination certificates)
  • References from previous landlords
  • Credit references.

You’ll need some of these for the visa application process, but also for tasks like finding a house or opening a bank. Once everything is organised, consider duplicating them and keeping them in a safe and accessible place for them.

Ensure you have the right visa for your UK to New Zealand move. Plan ahead!

✔️ Finding a moving company to New Zealand

Let’s be honest: international removals from the UK to New Zealand are no small feat. Therefore, it’s essential that you find a removal company and a good one at that. If you are not sure of the best way to go about doing this, start with our list of top international removal services. Or just cut to the chase and request free moving quotes to start comparison shopping now!

✔️ Pack

The golden rule of packing is that you can never start too early! We recommend starting at least a month before your move, of course, if you declutter before that it’s even better. Embrace your inner Marie Kondo and only keep what really need or sparks joy! If you are feeling overwhelmed, take a look at our expert packing tips.

However, there are two things to be done in preparation for your removal to New Zealand from the UK:

Create an inventory

While packing, create an inventory of all the items that you’ll be shipping to New Zealand, as it’s necessary for customs. Otherwise, your items could face a prolonged clearance period, adding to an already length removal.

Clean Your Goods

Clean everything as thoroughly as possible! New Zealand has a unique ecosystem and is adamant about protecting it. Thus, any outdoor equipment (such as shoes, shovels, and gazebos) must be completely free of dirt and your indoor items need to be free of dust. So, crack out the sponge and get cleaning!

✔️ Taxes

Unless you want your new life to be taxed in the UK, you must inform HMRC when you move abroad.

✔️ Transporting your vehicle

Given that New Zealand’s car ownership rate is one of the highest in the world (2.5 mil cars for 4 mil people including kids!) it is unsurprising if you too want to import your car when moving to New Zealand from the UK.

If this is the case, you are in luck! Unlike some countries, importing your car to New Zealand is, in fact, possible, provided you have the financial means to do so. Transporting a car can cost around £1,500-£2,000, with an additional £400 to clear customs. Alternatively, why not sell your car in the UK and check out New Zealand’s thriving second-hand car market?

✔️ Moving to New Zealand with pets?

If you’re moving to New Zealand with a dog or a cat, you can either; have the pet on the same journey as you or find an airline that specializes in moving pets. However, your pet needs to meet certain requirements. The most common way to transport your pet is via air transport. Therefore, be sure to consider the following list of costs and requirements before your pet boards the plane:

  • Make sure that all of your pet’s vaccinations are up to date. This includes a rabies vaccination 6 – 12 months before moving. This is likely to cost around £400.
  • An import permit costs NZ$220.74 (around £125).
  • Transport. As discussed above air transport is the most efficient and most common way. We recommend a budget of around £2,000 (however this depends on the size and weight of the animal).
  • All pets imported from the UK must be quarantined for a minimum of 10 days. This is likely to cost between NZ$1,400 and NZ$2,000 (£800 – £1,200) including transportation and government inspection fees.

Got an exotic pet, or even a hamster or rabbit? We will get the bad news out of the way first – unfortunately, apart from cats and dogs, it is forbidden to import a pet to New Zealand. Therefore, it might be a good idea to rehome your pets with a new loving family, we understand it is hard to let a member of the family go.

For more information on this, visit the New Zealand government’s pet import policy.

Did you know? There are no, yes absolutely no, snakes in New Zealand! So, you will really be in trouble if pet snakes are your thing…

Move to New Zealand

Once You Arrive:

✔️ Register

The first crucial step to complete when moving to New Zealand is registering and receiving an IRD number, which is essential to work. It’s also used for tax calculation, so you really can’t work without one. Read more about it here!

✔️ Healthcare

Feeling like a removal to New Zealand could break the bank? If so, you will be pleased to know that healthcare in The Antipodean country is often free or heavily subsidised, one less thing to pay for. Under a mutual agreement, all Brits, even those on temporary visas, have access to free urgent medical care.

That being said, 35% of New Zealanders opt for private health insurance to cover non-urgent treatment, so this might be something you want to consider as well. If you’re curious, you can check out our page on healthcare in New Zealand.

✔️ Driving licence

Do you intend to live in New Zealand from the UK for less than a year? Then hurrah! You can use your UK driving licence, no trouble. However, if you intend to stay longer than a year, you will have to switch to a local licence.

✔️ Bank account

Opening a local bank account is essential to settling in New Zealand. You’ll find it difficult to use your bank in the UK and conversion fees will be a notable drain on your funds. Consider opening a local bank account with some of the following banks if you are not clued up on the topic:

Ticking off everything on this checklist will ensure that you are well on your way to a smooth move to New Zealand from the UK. However, if you are a lover of checklists and want even more to cross off, check out our moving abroad checklist. Soon you will become a real moving boffin!

Living in New Zealand

While moving to New Zealand might seem like the main task to focus on. Don’t forget to organise your life in New Zealand, you’ll need somewhere to live! Once you’re set up and living in New Zealand, you can then finally enjoy the country of Aotearoa for its natural beauty and the New Zealand culture.

Culture in New Zealand

As New Zealand was colonized by the British there are several cultural similarities to the UK however there are several fundamental differences. The outlook of work life balance is something unique in New Zealand, Kiwi’s love to spend time outdoors and pursuing hobbies and interest, thus have an attitude of ‘work to live’ as opposed to ‘live to work’ which tends to be common in cities in the UK.

Living in new zealand

The country also has a strong Maori influence due to the Maoris being the indigenous race, it is common for children to be taught the Haka (traditional warrior dances) in schools in addition to formal ceremonies (especially common in the work in the public sector).

Plan to live in New Zealand? Learn about visa requirements on our NZ visa page.

New Zealand is home to some of the most stunning scenery in the world with places such as Milford Sound, and the many striking landscapes home to the magical world of Middle Earth. The quality of life is very high in the country, being in the top 10 globally, this attitude is one of the reasons why New Zealand is known as the extreme sports capital of the world.

Food is also something unique in New Zealand, as expected for a nation made up of islands there is an abundance of seafood. In addition to this there are some more European influenced dishes such as roast lamb (a speciality). Furthermore there are the Maori influences in cooking, a traditional Maori dish is known as Māori Hāngī, which is meat and vegetables wrapped in foil and cooked in an ‘earth oven’ (a fire pit in the ground covered with soil).

Housing in New Zealand

When it comes to living in New Zealand the first choice is whether to find a place in the city, suburbs or out of town. The city is a great option for those working centrally or wanting to enjoy the vibrant and bustling nightlife of the islands, suburbs are much more family friendly whereas a place outside of town is a great way to enjoy the nature of the country.

Buying a house in New Zealand is a relatively simple process and can be done as quickly is 3 or 4 weeks. Most sales are done through real estate agents, but sales can be done privately too. Renting isn’t much more complicated or difficult than the UK and can therefore be done without too much hassle. Asking prices can be negotiated and it is very easy to find websites to help find the quotable values.

As you would expect the median price of a 3/4 bedroom house through the whole of the country is around significantly cheaper (by around 20%) than in big cities such as Auckland.

Living in New Zealand

Daily Cost of Living

The cost of living in New Zealand is generally higher than the UK. Three of New Zealand’s major cities rank higher on the Cost of Living index than London. Wages tend to be higher to reflect this. Public transport in Auckland for example is the most expensive in Oceania and the 5th most expensive in the world. In addition the price of utilities is the 4th most expensive in the world. The price of groceries tends to be more slightly more expensive than in Britain, not by a significant amount but this will add up over time.

Work in New Zealand

If you are moving to New Zealand from the UK for only leisure or travel purposes, feel free to skip past this section. However, we imagine that for most of you finding work is not something to brush over.

The work culture in New Zealand is generally considered pleasant and friendly. While there is an expectation to work hard, this is balanced with an emphasis on spending quality time with friends and family outside of work. Sounds like moving to New Zealand can’t come soon enough!

On the flip side, finding employment in New Zealand does not always come easy, so get thinking and check out the following online portals to get you started:

Furthermore, the New Zealand government has great advice for finding a job. It’s a great resource for adapting to the local job market with advice on preparing your CV and interview techniques. It’s a must when looking for a job as you plan your move to New Zealand.

Of course, your ability to find work will be dependent on the exact terms of your visa, so make sure you check this. Although this may all seem a little overwhelming, we trust that your move to New Zealand from the UK is going to be a blast!

Did you know? New Zealand has won more Olympic gold medals per capita than any other country! So, brush up on your sporting endeavors before you arrive 😉

Education in New Zealand

New Zealand is generally ranked worldwide as one of the countries with high- quality education. Expats and people moving to New Zealand can, therefore, be confident that their children will receive a high-quality education there.

Education Types & State-run education system

There are 3 types of schools in New Zealand state-run, state-integrated and private schools. State-integrated schools are schools that used to be private and have become part of the state education system. They are funded by the government and teach the national curriculum. However, you will pay compulsory attendance dues. Private schools get some government funding but are mostly funded through school fees charged to parents or guardians. They develop their learning programmes and do not have to follow the national curriculum. New Zealand has a vast majority of quality primary and secondary schools that are state-run and free.

State-run schools are free for citizens and permanent residents of New Zealand however, parents or guardians are still expected to meet some minor costs. The table below illustrates the state-run educational system of New Zealand.

New Zealand education system

Children can start primary school on the day they turn 5 years old. They do not have to wait until the start of a new school year. Expats and people moving to New Zealand have to keep in mind that the area they choose to live in has a big influence on the school their children will attend. Many schools in New Zealand have an enrolment scheme called zoning. Zoning entails that if you live in the school’s zone or area, your child is guaranteed to get a place at that school. If you want your child to go to a school outside the area where you live, you may have to apply to the school in question. A place is not guaranteed at a school that is not in your zone. Furthermore, your child will attend either a single-sex or co-educational school depending on the area where you live.

Removals to New Zealand: A Worthwhile Challenge

Phew! That was seriously hardcore, so before we go any further, we want to congratulate you for making it through this article. Rest assured, that although it may feel like you have mountains to organise at the moment when you are happily settled in one of the world’s most beautiful countries, it will all be worth it.

Removals to New Zealand are only the beginning of a great adventure, there’s so much to enjoy about life in Aotearoa! But if your nerves are still making you feel shaky, continue to explore the Sirelo website to find other pages which help you move with a smile 😊In the meantime, good luck and happy moving!