Coming from overseas?

If you're moving to join us here at NIWA, we want to say thanks for choosing us by helping you with your big move.

We realise that moving internationally is a significant project in itself, and that there are many practical implications beyond just your new job. If you're moving to join us here at NIWA, we want to say thanks for choosing us by helping you with your big move. 

On this page we've put together some useful information about Aotearoa New Zealand and the great Kiwi lifestyle!

Provided you're joining us permanently, NIWA will be pleased to pay for economy airfares to NZ for you and your significant other. We'll also be happy to contribute towards the cost of moving your household and personal effects. When you arrive here, we can assist with your transition into Kiwi life by providing you with up to two weeks motel accommodation if needed. 

What you can expect in NZ

Immigration New Zealand has a wealth of information for new migrants on their dedicated website—New Zealand Now. They also publish LINKZ magazine, containing stories from recent migrants about their experiences settling into New Zealand and practical information about living in New Zealand.

See NIWA regional office locations and contact details.


Finding somewhere to live will be one of your highest priorities when you first arrive in New Zealand. Lots of people choose to rent a house first and then buy later as it gives them a chance to become familiar with the city or region they'll be living in, before they buy.

You may find the following links useful:

If you're considering buying a house in New Zealand, you may also be interested in the home loan information from NZ's major banks. Remember, as a NIWA staff member you'll be eligible for a special staff banking package with ANZ.

Transport options

Depending on which NIWA office you will be based at and where it is located within NZ, there are multiple transport options. All NIWA offices supply staff with the option of a car park however, there are different modes of transport such as trains, buses, and cycleways.

You may find the following links useful:

Health Care System

Compared with many countries, New Zealand has a very good public health system. You'll have to pay for routine visits to the doctor or dentist, but there are subsidies for children and for people on lower incomes. The public health system provides for more expensive services such as hospital treatment. You are not required to have health insurance but some people choose to.

You may find the following information helpful:


The Ministry of Education has published a guide to schooling in NZ which looks at the school system, what schools teach and how schools are run.

More from the Ministry of Education about schooling.

Tax Rates & Inland Revenue Department (IRD) Number

You can find a list of current tax rates on the Inland Revenue Department (IRD) website.

If you would like to calculate your after tax income, the Inland Revenue Department can help you do this with their online Tax Calculator

There may be tax implications for working in multiple countries in one year. The IRD has published a list of countries with double tax agreements, and more information on the subject

To enable us to tax you at the correct rate when you start with us, you will need an IRD number. You can apply for one on the IRD website.

Relevant community groups

It is also important to reach out to and make new connections with people upon your arrival in New Zealand. Meeting people is an important part of settling in to a new country. There is also the Welcoming Communities initiative that help bring communities together to welcome newcomers.

If English is a second language for you or your family members, they may be interested in learning options such as English Language Classes. Find an ESOL course near you.


Goods and services tax (GST) is a tax on the supply of most goods and services in New Zealand. It is generally charged at a rate of 15% and most retail prices are inclusive of GST. See Inland Revenue Department - GST for more information.


Chances are you'll be looking to buy a car when you arrive. You'll need a valid licence to drive in NZ and the NZ Transport Agency has information about driving in NZ.

Auction company Turners Auctions has some great information about car prices.


Is your partner looking for a job too? These are some of the most popular job seeker websites here in NZ:

Entitlement to Work in New Zealand

In order to work in New Zealand, you must either be a NZ or Australian citizen or have an appropriate temporary or permanent visa that entitles you to work. The Immigration New Zealand website is the best place to start finding out about what you and your family will need.


In New Zealand there is no compulsory age for retiring from employment. Currently you may be able to get New Zealand Superannuation (NZ Super) payments if you’re aged 65 or older, are a NZ citizen or permanent resident and meet certain eligibility criteria. For information on eligibility, applications, rates etc see Work and Income.

Sorted is a NZ website that provides independent advice and resources about all sorts of money matters, including NZ Super and KiwiSaver:


KiwiSaver is a voluntary, work-based savings Government initiative to help staff working in New Zealand with their long-term saving for retirement. NZ Super provides for a basic standard of living in retirement, but it may not be enough for the kind of retirement you want. Having a KiwiSaver account doesn’t affect your eligibility for NZ Super or reduce the amount of NZ Super you would be eligible for.

KiwiSaver savings will complement NZ Super to provide you with a better standard of living for your retirement.

There are a range of membership benefits to encourage Kiwis and permanent residents to get saving. They include regular contributions from your employer and an annual member tax credit paid by the Government.

To make it even easier, when employment commences with a new employer, if the new staff member is eligible to join KiwiSaver and is not already a member, the new employer will automatically enrol them in KiwiSaver. The employer must start deductions from the staff member’s pay and commence employer contributions. Within the first 8 weeks the new employee can decide whether to stay in KiwiSaver or opt out.

It is important to note that if you are from overseas and are the holder of a temporary work visa at the time you commence employment you will not be entitled to join KiwiSaver at that time. However, if you should later become a New Zealand citizen or permanent resident, then you will become eligible to join KiwiSaver.

NIWA asks new staff to notify People & Capability of any change in their visa status (temporary or permanent) during their employment and if your visa status changes and you wish to join Kiwisaver we will be happy to provide you with further information at that time.

See more information about KiwiSaver.

Citizens Advice Bureau

The Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) provides free and confidential advice for anyone in New Zealand. If you are looking for information about your rights, responsibilities and what services are available to you, the CAB can help. With locations across the country, you can easily seek independent and accessible support on topics such as consumer rights, health and community services, legal services and more.

The CAB also offers a free support service for migrants new to the country to help with settling in, building connections and finding community groups.

For further information about the CAB and their services, visit their website.

Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC)

Accident compensation has a long history in New Zealand. The Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) began in 1974 and has continued to evolve ever since. ACC helps prevent injuries and get New Zealanders and visitors back to everyday life if they’ve had an accident.

Everyone in New Zealand is covered by ACC’s no-fault scheme if they’re injured in an accident. This includes children, beneficiaries and students. It doesn’t matter if they’re working, unemployed or retired. It also includes visitors to New Zealand.

The cover provided helps pay for the cost of recovery, treatment, help at home and work and help with income for the injured person.

To find out more, visit the ACC website.

Statistics About New Zealand

For information on statistics such as population, business, labour market, society, economy and environment, visit the Statistics New Zealand website.

Cost of Living

It is important to be aware of New Zealand’s cost of living, as cost of goods and services can differ compared to other countries. There are tools to help calculate the cost of living such as the: Cost of living Calculator and also the New Zealand government has services to help advise on Budgeting Services.

Health and safety

At NIWA, we take health and safety seriously for all our staff. Watch a video on Healthy and Safety at NIWA.