New Zealand

-- LAST UPDATE NOV 2016 --
-- THIS PAGE WAS BUILT FOR ITALIANS WHO WANT TO EXPAT TO NZ, IN THIS ENGLISH VERSION I KEPT ONLY THE INFORMATION THAT COULD BE USEFUL TO NON-ITALIAN PEOPLE --

I arrived to New Zealand in 2013, the first day of October when the crisp wind(gale!) combine with the growing glow of the sun. Sun rays in New Zeland are powerful as they are dangerous, you get bad sunburnt here, keep in mind to protect yourself.
I came during my last possible year to request a WHV(working holiday visa), I was working as a pizza chef in London at that time. I found that the years spent in Australia helped me lot to understand New Zealand bureaucracy, they are quite similar in matter of documents you need for the various applications.
Down below some more information about this beautiful country which is known for All Blacks rugby team,their Haka and Maori people, you might know they shot the movie Lord of the Ring, there are kiwi fruit, kiwi birds and kiwi people(new zelanders).
Less than 5 milions people for a country big as Italy which instead has more than 60 milions. Imagine all the wildness, forests, gorgeous beaches, send dunes, wild animals, blue and green waters, high peaks, mountains vulcanos to hike and sky!
New Zealand is also renowned for extreme sports, skydiving, bunjee jumping and countless activities from the sky to the deep of the oceans and those seas(Tasman sea and Pacific ocean) meet at Cape Reinga which is a spiritual site for Maori people.
by Berta NOV-2014

Go to: 
1 - WHV(working holiday visa)
2 - Tourist Visa
3 - Getting to NZ
4 - Money Transfers, your currency to NZD and other way around
5 - IRD Number (tax number)
6 - Opening a bank account
7 - Driver licence / buy a car / change of ownership
8 - Hostels, where to sleep, couchsurfing, wwoofing, 2ndWHV
9 - Work Visa
10 - Insurance and GP(general practitioner)
11 - Shipping
12 - Trademe, the most used website to find a job,sell and buy anything etc..
13 - Getting around NZ, rental cars
14 - Work and get tax back at end of financial year
15 - Residency, application and waiting time

WHV(working holiday visa): If you press to the link you will be directed to the NZ immigration website, choose visa type: "work" and visa based on "Nationality", click your own country WHV and check all the datas you need to apply online.
Usually if you were granted for a WHV but you couldn't make it to get into NZ in a year, you can reapply, paying again the fee and they should grant you one more. Check frequently questions for more information. back to Menu
 TOURIST VISA
Are you planning to visit New Zeland? check on the website your Tourist Visa options. Usually Turists visa are granted for up to 3 months and can be extended once you are in the country. Indeed some conditions apply, but are well written on the website linked above.
In the case you where in WHV and like to stay longer in tourist, I think you can get a tourist but paying the Tourist Visa fee 165$(last update NOV-2015) link updated fees, they might even ask for raggi X rays(80-100$) or/and medical visit(80100$). In the other case around, you want to apply for a WHV after you tourist, will not be a problem, you will find your answer in the frequently asked question: link back to Menu

GET TO NEW ZEALAND
I've never booked my travels with the help of an agency, I always found my tickets online probably saving couple of bucks. I' ve never got a direct flight to New Zealand, I'm from Italy and I always stop in Malaysia where you can get great prices from Kuala Lumpur to Australia or New Zealand usually with AirAsia. With Airasia you don't have the comfort of a company such Emirates, sometimes not even the screen to watch a movie, but if you are short of money is a perfect company, on time, you can get cheap asian food and sits arent that bad. Probably the most common and famous website to compare prices is Skyscanner.net and anyways my suggestion if you are flying from Europe to Oceania is to stop couple of days, or weeks in South East Asia and enjoy some amazing and cheap country before your time in Oceania. Flying from Australia to New Zealand is quite cheap with Airasia and Jetstar, bit more expensive but  ore comfortable with AirNewZealand which is a great company.

In case you arrive at Auckland Airport and heading to the city, there is a public bus 24x7  https://www.skybus.co.nz/timetable back to Menu

HOW TO GET YOUR MONEY TO NEW ZEALAND or GET THEM BACK
Don't waste money with bank to bank transfer when there are new technologies which save you lot of commissions. You can get heaps of information about P2P overseas transfers or money exchange and again Transferwise all linked on my website.
If you are not NZ resident don't worry much about taxes on transferred money, you only pay taxes on money you earn in NZ. More info.

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IRD Number (tax code)
If you don't want to be overtaxed, you need an IRD number. You can start your application from this link: http://www.ird.govt.nz/forms-guides/number/forms-700-799/ir742-nonres-offshore-individual.html. Since Oct 1st 2015, you need a New Zealand bank account to apply for the IRD(http://www.ird.govt.nz/news-updates/ird-number-application-changes.html), get a "proof of address" from the house/flat/hostel where you stay, go to a bank, open a bank account and request the IRD. You can directly access from this link http://www.ird.govt.nz/resources/9/f/9f89c76d-f047-4bac-a153-83454206dd54/ir742.pdf to fill up the pdf, print it scan it, and send it to offshore@ird.govt.nz.
No problem if you already found a job but not received IRD yet, you can work and give the number to your employer afterward. But get one otherwise you will be paying 45% tax instead of the right amount.
You can get more info from this link too: http://www.workingin-newzealand.com/money-and-costs/finance-and-tax/ird-number#.WDiJGIVOKP8.
BANK ACCOUNT
WESTPAC,ASB,KIWIBANK,BNZ etc...there loads of banks, but not much differences.You pay a 10$ annual fee for the debit card. In case they ask for proof of address, ask to your host one. Sometimes banks city brunches they don't accept you to live in a hostel and don't let you open a bank account, moreover they will ask you to wait for a week or so because they are always busy. In this case better if you try to another branch just out of the CBD.

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NZ DRIVER LICENCE link NZ transport
People who don't have international driver licence or an English driver licence can't drive in New Zealand(lot of people drive with their country driver licence anyways but they are exposed to fine in case the police officer stops you). My advice is to convert your driver licence in a NZ driver licence.
Having a NZ document is useful not just for driving, when you go to clubs, shops to buy alcoolic drinks they ask you a document, which can be only a passport if you are a foreign.
At the AA offices(it's an automobile association and insurance) you can convert your driver licence. In case you have an international driver licence the fee is 52$, you fill up a form, the take a pic of you, eyes check and they send the Driver licence to your address in 10days. In case you don't have an international but just your country driver licence in a different language than English, you need to make a certificated translation(40-50$) and again converting to a NZ driver licence. WARNING, since AUG-2016 some rules have changed, have a read of this link too https://www.nzta.govt.nz/driver-licences/new-residents-and-visitors/converting-to-nz-driver-licence/ and this is the link for having your driver licence converted https://www.nzta.govt.nz/driver-licences/new-residents-and-visitors/converting-to-nz-driver-licence/overseas-conversion-driver-licensing-agents/ .
BUYING A CAR? and CHANGE OF OWNERSHIP
This is a useful post where to get answers to your questions: http://www.traveltobealive.com/destinations/new-zealand/the-ultimate-guide-to-buying-a-car-in-new-zealand/
IF you bought or you sold a car, go to this website to change the ownership, it's easy and it's just 9$
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link ostelli/backpakers/couchserfing/airbnb
www.hostelbookers.com/Hostels 
www.hostelworld.com
www.booking.com
They have all the same hostels but sometimes with different prices.
Airbnb if you like to stay in a house or flat at a reasonable price.
https://www.couchsurfing.com/ it's an online community where people gives you a bed, a couch at their place for free. You can't stay forever but you agree with the host the period to stay and maybe you get back making a dinner, buying some food or just being friendly! I've lot of friends the do it.
airbnb.com it's a solution in between an hostel and a hotel
FREE ENGLISH COURSES (Auckland)
Some friends attended to this: Free English Lessons

SECOND WHVISA
Not much to say about a second WHV, you can get 3 more months in NZ in case you complete 3 months in some job categories(seasonal works); this is the link with information. back to Menu

WORK VISA
New Zealand comparing to Australia has still an easy access to this Visa. A Work Visa allows you to stay in NZ and work for the employer you applied with. For the application you need a job offer or being already employed and the lack of kiwi people who is looking for your occupation(or you need to be skilled in your job). From this link:http://skillshortages.immigration.govt.nz/ you can check if you are in certain skilled jobs and the application will be easier. Your employer will have to proof(with documents) he could not find any kiwi people who could work in your position,here all the information needed link. (cost  vary between 700-900$).
Since immigration was changed in 2016, this application can be done online https://www.immigration.govt.nz/new-zealand-visas/apply-for-a-visa/about-visa/long-term-skill-shortage-list-work-visa?_ga=1.233340638.1751845925.1478678205 check on the website all the requirement.
WORK VISA CHANGE OF CONDITION
In case you are in Work Visa and you want to change employer, you need to apply for the change of condition, it's quite easy and you need to pay a fee, this is the link.

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INSURANCE NZ
In case you are not covered by New Zealand helthcare, better you think about an insurance(for Working holiday Visa is compulsory). Example my french friend had to go to the hospital for a little surgery and she had to pay 4000$. She had her own insurance.
If you don't know any good in your country, i give you 2 New Zeland companies. orbit (the cheapest, 280NZD yearly, 320NZD yearly with value covers too) or southerncross. In case you get 2 or more years with your Work Visa you are automatically covered.This is a good link with more info. back to Menu

FAMILY DOCTOR, GENERAL PRACTITIONER (GP)
In case you are in a visitors Visa or WHV is not possible to enroll with a GP(General Practitioner), more info , you can be visited but there is an higher fee(which vary district by district, mine is 90$ visit without extra and not over 15mins).
If you have been granted a WV for 2 years or you are studing for more than 2 years, you can enroll(for free) one of the GP close by your home. Following visits will be with a lower fee. You can find more info in this link and here

SHIPPING
I've never sent home anything, but you can try to get a quote from NZPOST https://www.nzpost.co.nz/tools/rate-finder/sending-internationally/parcels prices vary between 100-150$ per 5kg and proportionally increase by weight (10kg 250NZ$ , 20kg 400NZ$ etc.. max 30Kg). back to Menu

CERTIFICATED TRANSLATIONS
In case your documents are not in English language, at some point you might need to have a certificated translation. I've done couple of documents with http://www.transnational-ltd.co.nz/, they charge 49$ sheet.
You send them an email with the document to translate, they send you the quote, you pay by card on their website and they take 2-3 days to have the translation done. Add 2$ if you want they send the translation to your address.

TRADEME
It's the most hitten website to buy online in NZ, you also find jobs, houses, cars and many other things you might need. trademe.  
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GETTING AROUND NZ
- by plane
   air New Zealand,comfortable and it has good prices, check on  www.skyscanner.net for more quotes and companies
- by train
   It's useful if you have a nearby station and you go to the city center. Check this website railnewzealand to see NZ rail connection.
- by bus
  manabus the cheapest, but they cover only north island
  nakedbus it's the most common in NZ, it takes you to all the main destinations. 
  kiwiexperience start your adventure in NZ, they have good deals and you will be travelling with lot of young people
  intercity.co.nz it's the public company and sometimes has good deals.
- by car
  All cars in NZ are imported, there are many chep cars but with high km. Insurance is not yet compulsory(anyways better you get one State and AA are 2 cheap ones), you need to pay the registration(about 140$ 6months) and a WOF(worrent of fitness) which is due every 6months for cars made before 2000. WoF cost is about 25-40$.
Petrol is stuck since I arrived around 1,8-2$ per litre, diesel cars are few and you need to pay a surplus to own it.
Change of ownership is really cheap (around 10$), you can do it here.

- by ferry
I had only one experience: Wellington <--> Picton. If you need to go during summer (DEC-FEB), book it in large advance! You can choose interislander and bluebridge and it's really difficult get a spot for your car.
AT HOP CARD
If you live in Auckland and you want to get around the city without buying 1000 tickets, just get an AT HOP CARD, you can get one at Britomart station. You save 50-80 cent a ride. Better you get one.

HITCHHIKING
It's common to find hitchhikers in NZ, if you brave enough do it, always the cheapest way to travel.

Car Rental
There are thousands websites, Jucy is probably one of the cheapest and biggest, OmegaRentalCar is really cheap and reliable too( about 40$ a day comprensive of insurance) I used it once.
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WORK
NZ minimum wage is 15,25$(last update in 2016) gross, it's 12.50$ - 13$ net.
  - to find a job in NZ go door to door, hand your curriculum and cover letter to the place interested.
  - Trademe, go on the website, and send your detail CV and CL(cover letter)
  - Seek o Neuvoo (job seekers)
If you are looking for a job in hospitality field, send a CV to www.bestaff.co.nz or www.craftbros.co.nz they are always looking for someone.
N.B.: best having a short curriculum and a well written Cover Letter where you explain why you could be their man!
TAX BACK
If you are a regular worker, your employer is paying tax to the government, at the end of the financial year(30th of March) you can make a request of TAX BACK.
It's all well explained on this website http://www.ird.govt.nz/ .
If you are too lazy or it's too complicated filling out the form on the website to get your tax back, you can be helped by tax agents, I give you 3 websites, MYTAXBACK (they get lot of commissions, almost 20%), maybe these are better MYTAXREFUND, WHATREFUND

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RESIDENCY (SKILLED MIGRANT CATEGORY) - FEB 2016
LAST UPDATE in OCTOBER 2016, THE IMMIGRATION RULES FOR RESIDENCY HAVE HAD BIT OF CHANGES, NOWADAYS YOU REQUIRE AT LEAST 160 POINTS TO BE ABLE TO GET NZ RESIDENCY, IT SHOULD BE JUST A TEMPORARY TRIAL, BUT DON'T KNOW YET WHEN THEY WILL CHANGE IT AGAIN.
get started with this useful link: https://www.newzealandnow.govt.nz/move-to-nz/new-zealand-visa/work-visa/skilled-migrant-visas
If you are reading this section there is the possibility you are tired of your work visa and you have finally decided to apply for the residency. Well, I will list you the information I went through to get my kiwi residency.
First of all check if you can apply link.
My job is in the "Long Term Skill Shortage List"(I'm a Chef), you can apply also if you are in the "List of Skilled Occupations"(e.g. restaurant manager), write your occupation in the form in this link http://skillshortages.immigration.govt.nz/  to find out(if you are a bar or restaurant manager, write "restaurant" because if you digit "manager" the work Bar restaurant manager does not appear).
Done? ook, if you are not in the "List of skilled Occupation" the only way to stay in NZ is a Partner visa application, or start to study and apply for a student visa, or a business visa if you have the money. 
In case you are in the "List of Skilled Occupation" you can keep reading following information:
Whereas applying for a Work Visa is quite easy, economical and fast (800-1000$ in case you apply by yourself, 2000-2500$ with an adviser and 3weeks to get your visa), residency application is more onerous, counting EoI(expression of Interest) 530$ + 2470$ plus all the documents and translations needed(indeed withour the cost of an Adviser which charge you at least 3000 more).
Check in the link all the fees: http://onlineservices.immigration.govt.nz/migrant/general/formsandfees/officeandfeescalculator/LinkAdministration/ToolboxLinks/officeandfeescalculator.htm?level=1
This is how I proceeded:
- Check your points with the point indicator on this link, since OCTOBER 2016 check if you need to do a visa apprisal (http://www.immigranz.co.nz/appraisal.html) (about 200$) and gives you some more information if you can proceed with your application. Before October 2016 you needed just the be over 100 points, nowadays, as you can see by this link https://www.immigration.govt.nz/new-zealand-visas/apply-for-a-visa/about-visa/skilled-migrant-category-resident-visa is written "Currently, we are only selecting EOIs with 160 points or above.", it means that you really need to be skilled! Alternatively check if you can be a "residence from work" but they are just some particular work fields, this is a useful link to read https://www.newzealandnow.govt.nz/move-to-nz/new-zealand-visa/work-visa/temporary-work-visa.
- In the case you reach 160 points or over, you can fill up the Expression of Interest(EoI) form, this is the link, just go to the bottom of the page and press the APPLY NOW botton, EoI costs link online 530$ on paper 680$. Once you filled up all the form and you pay the fee, in not even a week I received an email with the ITA(invitation to apply) enclosed, which lists all the documents you need to attach and there is a pdf document EoI to chek and print out.
- from the day you receive the ITA(invitation to apply), they give you a lapse of time to get back to them with all the information they need. In my case it was 4 months. If you can not make it, you will need to reapply the EoI and pay again the fee.

All the documentation you will enclose is essential. Immigration check for the residency is much more severe than for the Work Visa, remember to present only ORIGINAL CERTIGICATES, ORIGINAL DOCUMENTS or certified copies which could be done for free by a JP(justice of peace), you find them everywhere in NZ, this is their website http://justiceofthepeace.org.nz/!
- PASSAPORT - BIRTH CERTIFICATE(both parents names), - POLICE CERTIFICATE as they request for your country.
They will request a police certificate for each countries you lived longer than 12 months. In my case, I lived in Australia and I provided the "Nominal and Fingerprint Australian Police Certificate"(down below I wrote links where to get fingerprints and Australian link where to request your certificate).
- Medical certificate and Xray not older than 36 months.
- ORIGINAL COPIES of work experience, or diplomas or all you wrote on the EoI; 
- Your NZ work contract with a wage at least 45K gross(last update Feb 2016).
- You will fold in the envelope all the datas you needed as request in your ITA, plus your credit/debit card number where they will get your fee, and just post it to the immigration office
- After just a day they sent me an email with the information they received my application, my file will be forwarded to a branch within 3 months and they update my application on the immigration website(pending decision)
- After 2 months I received an email from an immigration officer, she took charge of my file and she will take no longer than 8 weeks for the response.
- After 4 weeks she sent an email with a questionary, questions based on my job and the restaurant where i work.
- After 1 week the officer called me asking me couple of questions about my job and closed the conversation with the promise to let me know the response in less than a week.
- After 3 days my Residency application was finally approved. I only need to send them the passport to get the label/stamp.

In case you lived in Australia longer than a year, NZ immigration will request you a fingerprint police certificate. Follow this link https://www.nzpost.co.nz/personal/realme-id-apply/fingerprinting to book an appointment to get your fingerprint done.
After getting your fingerprint printed out, download the Australian police certificate form
http://www.afp.gov.au/what-we-do/police-checks/national-police-checks#fingerprints and send it via MAIL, not EMAIL. This procedure will take around a month to receive your police certificate. Cost around 100AUD(about 110NZD).

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Contacts: teoberta@gmail.com or Matteo Berta Journey on FB

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