Coming from overseas?

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. 

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

We've put together some useful information about NZ and the great Kiwi lifestyle! 

Living in Northland (Bream Bay) 

Living in Auckland 

Living in Hamilton 

Living in Wellington 

Living in Nelson 

Living in Christchurch 

Living in Central Otago (Lauder) 

Each of locations above is home to a NIWA Regional or Field Office. 

See NIWA regional office locations and contact details

See NIWA field 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 NZ, 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.

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.

Inland Revenue Department Website 

If you would like to calculate your after tax income, the Inland Revenue Department can help you do this. 

Inland Revenue Department - 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. 

Inland Revenue - Double Tax Agreements 

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.

Inland Revenue Department - IRD Numbers 


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.

Inland Revenue Department - GST 


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.

Turners Auctions 


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

Argo 12 Deployment 2011. Credit Simon Wadsworth.
Tawhai Falls. Photo: Dave Allen
A Graneledone taniwha taniwha octopus collected from around 900 metres on the Chatham Rise. It’s only about 5cm tall. The common name is ‘deepwater warty octopus’ and this is one of two species endemic to New Zealand found between around 450-1500m. Credit: Owen Anderson, NIWA
Deploying the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution 'Sentry' from the RV Tangaroa. Credit: Kareen Schnabel/NIWA
NIWA vehicle in wintery conditions. Credit: Dave Allen