How to Get a Job in New Zealand

People are moving to New Zealand for the employment and different lifestyle. Life down under is never the same again for the people who make the move to this tranquil and beautiful Land of the Long White Cloud. It is not all days of wine and roses, however. Learn about the plus and minuses, before you set sail!


1. Check with New Zealand Immigration first of all to see whether you could get a work visa/permit or working holiday in New Zealand before you come. The employers in New Zealand will most likely only hire someone who has had a work visa for at least 2 years if you’re looking for a professional job.

2. Try registering with a few recruitment agencies once you are qualified to work. NZ employers and corporates are dependent on recruitment agencies for their hiring as a whole.

  • Get your resume spruced up and get help doing this if needed.
  • Be prepared to undertake psychometric testing. It’s rampant in New Zealand.

3. Log on to or These sites offer advertisements for the latest jobs. New Zealand jobs are available to people who are willing to work as the country is on the lookout for good talent.

  • The local auction site Trademe is also a good site for jobs.
4. Seek more information on the Government’s website, which offers insight into the demand there is right now and information on getting work in New Zealand
5. Check out Edgazette. If you teach, look at It has a wonderful list of all current teaching vacancies (they run between 500-1800 at any one time). Teacher aide jobs do not require formal teaching qualifications, also, when schools (usually rural) are unable to find qualified teachers, they are authorized to hire those without them.

  • New Zealand is unusually flexible, in terms of hiring without proper visas and teacher registration. You could well be hired, with the understanding that, you commence the paperwork process, and get it cleared up in a reasonable time frame.
6. Expect to put in a normal day’s work. Hours tend be very early starts but you get to go home at a decent hour too.


  • New Zealand makes it easy for professionals from all walks of life to start a new life there. Fancy a change? Now is the time to try it out.
  • Consider taking a short course or hiring on part time, to get some Kiwi experience: employers look to see how you are going to fit into their culture.
  • The country is as drop-dead gorgeous as you might expect and traffic congestion and road rage (outside of Auckland, anyhow) is minimal, especially by US standards. Citizens are (usually) law-abiding. Traffic rules are closely obeyed by most. The air is clear, the countryside is green. It’s an agrarian country, and food is plentiful and reasonably cheap (although the best lamb is exported, which drives meat prices up).


  • There are problems in some NZ schools with children being extremely aggressive, poorly prepared, unmotivated, bullying and assaulting other children or teachers.
  • Workplace bullying or intimidation is commonplace. Be prepared to stand up to it or be pushed about by senior staff in some organizations and government departments.
  • Twenty percent of all educated Kiwis work and live outside NZ. There is a reason for this; the pay in New Zealand is not as good as many other places, the weather can be a pain, and “crossing the ditch” (to Australia) is a well-known way to better wealth.
  • If you are going through the points system and need to have your qualifications compared with New Zealand standards etc. be prepared that this may take sometime, may require verification that you actually have the degree and it isn’t fake, will probably require all the original documentation including certificates and mark-sheets, and as with other countries, can be quite expensive. Although it may be quicker allow at least six months for the entire immigration process
  • New Zealand is not Australia, take warm clothes. The climate is closer to that of the U.K. but slightly milder in the winter and not always as hot in the summer depending on what part of New Zealand you will move to.
  • Unless you have a very technical skill, or work in an area where there is a skill shortage,then speaking English with excellent grammar will greatly improve your job prospects. Aim for a 7 or better on all parts of IELTs. While New Zealanders are generally very friendly and understanding of different English levels the job market is very competitive and higher level jobs do tend to go to those who speak English very well regardless of country of origin
  • Don’t try and bring in fresh food from overseas, customs won’t be too happy and you can be fined thousands of dollars (see signs at airport). It may be possible to bring in some types of packaged dried food but make sure you declare it.
  • Depending on where you are coming from your pet is likely to require quarantine for some time.

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This entry was posted on Monday, January 23rd, 2012 at 10:30 pm and is filed under Immigration. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.