Shifting Belongings to New Zealand
Whether you are returning home or immigrating to New Zealand for the first time, Overseas Packers & Shippers have you covered with seamless services that meet all your moving needs.
We use assorted shipping methods that cater to various needs and we coordinate the packing and international shipping of your possessions. We can also move your vehicle overseas too. We will handle your move door-to-door using our network of FIDI FAIM accredited partners throughout New Zealand. Our partners will handle all the customs and quarantine requirements on your behalf and will be in regular contact during the customs clearance process.
Like moving to Australia, New Zealand has very strict Quarantine and Customs regulations. If you plan on moving to New Zealand from Australia, Overseas Packers & Shippers will supply you with all the Customs and Quarantine information and forms ensuring these are correctly completed prior to your goods departing Australia.
Move your belongings from Australia to New Zealand with Overseas Packers & Shippers.
Check out our customer testimonials
We moved from Brisbane to Palmerston North New Zealand with Overseas Packers & Shippers and had a partial container.
The communication with Jo was clear and easy to understand with no unexpected fees and she was very professional.
The two person team Peter and Jackie who packed everything for us were very fast and made sure all of our items were packed sufficiently. Greatly appreciated the care that was taken with our property.
Everything went smoothly for a very easy transition to New Zealand and would highly recommend this company if you are making a move like we did.
Job well done, thank you so much for your fantastic service.
Helen & Nat
Thanks to Jo and her awesome team of packers who made my transition to NZ so much easier. The guys did a fantastic job packing my household items up and were so careful with all my fragile items. Made the day so much less stress for me. I Highly recommend Overseas Packers and Shippers for International Moving.
Penni and Rae helped me get my belongings to NZ, as did the many men on site. The staff were knowledgable, helpful & approachable.
The company had affordable, realistic prices and far outshone any other competitors & believe me I did my thorough research before settling on them! My goods arrived when expected & only a small damage from glass picture frames which is to be expected with all of the shifting done. My goods all arrived safely & I would go with their services again for sure.
Thank you OP&S for being the best freight company for international goods in Brisbane, and the Gold Coast!
Preparing for Your Move
When you’re about to embark on a huge adventure — like moving from Australia to New Zealand — it goes without saying that there will be a lot to consider. The good news is that there is so much for you and your family to gain from a life-changing move, and with the right planning and preparation, you can stay in control by always being one step ahead.
Wherever in New Zealand you’re moving to and however you decide to get there, there are a few universal things to consider. To help out, we’ve put together a checklist to get you started and keep you on track.
Your Guide to
Living and Working
in New Zealand
New Zealand is world renowned for its natural beauty, relaxing atmosphere, and friendly locals.
Australians love moving across the Tasman to this country, where there is a wealth of great employment, education, and living opportunities spread throughout both the North and South Island.
Here are some important details to keep in when mind when living or working in New Zealand:
- You will need an IRD number before you begin your employment in New Zealand. This will grant you a number of crucial benefits, including earning income, opening a bank account, and growing your superannuation.
- Exploring New Zealand’s great outdoors is a must while you are living in the country. With towering mountains, ancient forests, and volcanic beaches, there is so much beauty to take in throughout New Zealand.
- New Zealand has a strong education system across primary, secondary, and tertiary institutions.
New Zealand Visa
A visa is not just a condition of entry into your new country; it will affect all aspects of your new life. You need to be well informed about what you will be entitled to when it comes to the important things in life, such as healthcare, taxes, employment, and education.
We will highlight the more important aspects of these topics in this guide, but it is imperative that you consider your particular situation by doing further research with your chosen country’s immigration department. To help you out, we have included links to sections of some of the most popular and informative sections of immigration websites.
You do not need a visa or permit to visit New Zealand if you are:
- A New Zealand/Australia citizen or Resident Permit holder
- An Australian citizen travelling on an Australian passport
- British citizen and or British passport holder who can produce evidence of the right to reside permanently in the UK (you can stay up to six months)
- A citizen of a country which has a visa waiver agreement with New Zealand (you can stay up to three months).
If you come from Visa-waiver countries, you don’t need a visa to enter New Zealand, but are still required to provide Travel tickets or evidence of onward travel arrangements evidence that you can support yourself in New Zealand (approximately NZ$1000 per month per person).
You should have original copies of any of the relevant documents for you and your family members. You should also leave copies with a trusted person in your home country. Make sure you carry your original copies with you and, if necessary, have them verified by a court approved J.P.
Tip – if you don’t have a cloud storage account to save your documents to, simply send an email with verified copies of all these documents to yourself.
Citizens and permanent residents of Australia (who do not have certain criminal convictions) may visit, live and work in New Zealand indefinitely. Upon arrival, Australian citizens are exempted from the requirement to hold a permit and Australian permanent residents are granted a residence permit.
Use the following as a checklist for docs which may be required:
- Medical and dental
- Birth and Marriage and/or divorce
- School / academic
- Real estate
- Current and updated CV/resume (include character references)
- Proof of professional memberships / qualifications / licenses
- Police certificate
- A New Zealand immigrant VISA (if applicable) and Confirmation of Permanent Residence for each family member travelling
- A valid passport or other travel documents
Moving Your Belongings to New Zealand
There is a lot to keep in mind when moving your belongings to your new home in New Zealand. Thankfully, we have covered this topic in detail across a number of our previous blogs, so you have all the information you need right at your fingertips.
Moving to New Zealand on a Budget
If you are planning on moving to New Zealand on a budget, then follow these tips to ensure you are saving every cent.
- The earlier you can plan ahead, the less you will have to pay for expenses such as plane tickets. Purchasing your passport well in advance also negates the need to pay the extra cost for priority processing.
- Sea freight is significantly cheaper than air freight, even if it means you have to wait a bit longer for your belongings to arrive.
- Only pack what is absolutely necessary, as the lighter your belongings are, the less you will have to pay to transport them overseas.
To discover more about this topic, read 3 Tips to Moving to New Zealand on a Budget.
Car Shipping Options for Moving to New Zealand
There are multiple reasons why you may want to bring your car over with you when moving from Australia to New Zealand.
- Cars are generally cheaper in Australia than they are in New Zealand, meaning it may be more cost-effective to ship your current vehicle over than buy a new one.
- A specialist overseas removalist will be able to take care of transporting your vehicle between the two countries.
- You will be able to hold onto your car if it carries any sentimental value to you or your family.
Find out more – read The Pros and Cons of Shipping a Car to New Zealand.
Move your belongings from Australia to New Zealand with Overseas Packers & Shippers.
Customs & Duty-Free Importation
When moving to New Zealand, your household or related effects such as motor vehicles, boats and caravans must meet the following requirements to qualify for concessionary entry (duty and GST free):
- You have entered New Zealand and have a document authorising residence in New Zealand on the day your possessions are imported.
- You have lived outside New Zealand the entire 21 months before you arrive in the country.
- Your household goods were owned and used by you before your departure date.
- Your vehicle has been personally owned and used by you at least 12 months before you depart for New Zealand or the day the vehicle is sent for shipping (whichever comes first).
- The goods and/or vehicle you are importing are for your personal use and not for exchange, sale or gifts.
Some goods will not qualify for duty-free entry unless you can prove that you have made personal use of the items prior to your move to New Zealand. These goods include:
- Goods that have been purchased and shipped directly to escape local taxes in the country of export.
- Replacement electrical equipment with New Zealand standards of operation
- Commercial goods that do not qualify as household effects if they have a commercial nature, for example, factory plant and office equipment.
The New Zealand Customs Service strictly enforces these conditions and hold no licence to change these rules depending on particular circumstances. If an item does not meet the above criteria, you will have to pay Customs Charges.
As you might expect, quarantine when moving from Australia to New Zealand, quarantine is taken very seriously. MAF Biosecurity are in charge of protecting New Zealand’s environment and agricultural industry. They have strict regulations when it comes to shipping items to New Zealand that have a high risk associated with them. To ensure your possessions arrive hassle free, we take a detailed inventory while packing. Our partners will then submit a complete list to the Biosecurity Officer as part of the clearance process. Your shipment may be subject to inspection by a quarantine officer if it holds particular contents, and may undergo fumigation if ordered. As you will be required to pay these charges, our partner companies will inform you if your contents are likely to undergo charged procedures.
Items subject to inspection generally include:
- Outdoor furniture, spiked shoes, bicycles, garden tools, bicycles, golf clubs, horse riding gear and camping equipment. Before shipping, you should thoroughly steam or pressure wash any of the items listed above.
- Vacuum cleaner: Empty and clean your vacuum cleaner prior to shipping.
- Cane products: Our suggestion is that you should avoid shipping items made from cane unless you know they are commercially manufactured. If you have bought cane products from markets they will probably require fumigation.
- Food: Commercially manufactured and sealed food is acceptable for you to include in your shipment. You should keep the amount of food you import to a minimum and be aware that prohibited items are subject to regulations.
- Goods you have packed yourself.
You must not ship the following items:
- Meats (canned or dried), spices (unless commercially prepared), honey, dairy and egg products.
- Any kind of plants.
- Beekeeping equipment.
- Any form of ivory, tortoise or turtle shell.
- Any items made from endangered species (or any derivatives). These include tigers, wild cats, dolphins, rhinoceros, whales. This includes sporting trophies, unless you have a CITES certificate for each item.
- Pine cones (make sure your Christmas decorations don’t include pine cones).
Call us to discuss any doubts you have about possessions you want to include in your shipment. You can also find additional information at the Ministry for Primary Industries (NZ).
Opening a bank account when you arrive in New Zealand
Requirements for identification and official documentation can vary depending on the bank or institution, and typically, you will need two forms of identification: your Inland Revenue Department (IRD) number and recent statements from your current or previous bank. If you do not have an IRD number at the time of opening the account, you will be charged the resident withholding tax (RWT) at 39%.
Opening a bank account before you arrive in New Zealand
You may not need to visit a branch in person, as many accounts can be opened by telephone or by post, subject to proof of identity, with a typical initial opening balance of between $200-$500 NZD being required. Accounts can be opened through major New Zealand banks, many of which have international branches. Whilst each of the five major banks offer the opportunity to open an account from overseas and have similar terms and conditions, it’s worth reading into each one further to see which one is best for you.
Your Options in New Zealand
Whilst there are a number of options for banking and financial institutions in New Zealand, the market is mainly dominated by five banks.
Kiwibank is a wholly owned subsidiary of New Zealand Post. Through Kiwibank, New Zealand Post provides banking services through PostShops and joint venture Books & More and Papermate outlets.
The second largest bank in New Zealand, with over 1.2 million customers, 3,000 shareholders, 200 branches and over 500 ATMs nationwide.
One of New Zealand’s leading financial services companies serving over 1 million customers. It finances more than 30% of all home loans in New Zealand.
Bank of NZ
One of New Zealand’s largest banks. The first branch was opened in Dunedin in 1861. BNZ is now owned by National Australia Bank. BNZ operates a variety of financial services covering retail, business and institutional banking and employs over 5000 people in New Zealand.
New Zealand’s first savings bank–established in 1847. With over 135 branches nationwide, the company offers various personal and business banking products. In 1989, Commonwealth bought 75% of ASB’s shares.
If you are a resident of New Zealand for tax purposes, you will be taxed in New Zealand on all of your “worldwide income”. If you have derived overseas income that has also been taxed in the overseas country, you may be entitled to a credit for the tax already paid.
New Zealand will also tax income derived by a non-resident if it has a New Zealand source. This is known as source-based taxation. Some examples of incomes with a New Zealand source include income derived from employment performed in New Zealand even if the employer is a non-resident, pensions paid by the New Zealand government, and dividends paid by New Zealand companies.
The standard New Zealand tax year runs from 1 April to 31 March. The IRD is explicit in terms of how much tax income earners will owe. For every $1 earned, you will pay:
- 10.5 cents of every dollar for income up to $14,000
- 17.5 cents of every dollar for income from $14,001 and $48,000
- 30 cents of every dollar for income from $48,001 to $70,000
- 33 cents of every dollar for income of $70,001 and over
New Zealand has a pay as you earn system (“PAYE”) for people on salary and wages. This means that tax is deducted by your employer before the payments are made to you. Your employer then pays the tax deducted to Inland Revenue on your behalf. This requires you to give your employer your IRD number.
If you receive rental or business income, you need to keep records and fill in an Individual tax return (IR3) every year. As a New Zealand tax resident, there are tax implications on your income from offshore sources such as shares in a foreign company, rental property overseas, bank accounts, and foreign pension scheme
New Zealand has a quality public healthcare system, funded largely through general taxation. Most treatment in public hospitals is free, and many other health services and medicines are significantly subsidised.
New Zealand residents and people with a work visa valid for a minimum of two years at time of issue benefit from this public health system, however non-residents can also use health care services at a cost. Eligibility entitles your partner and any children aged 19 years and under to public healthcare services.
You can also choose to take out medical insurance for private healthcare, although most New Zealanders do not opt for this additional cover.
Important roles in providing services and ensuring efficiency and quality are undertaken by public health units, primary health organisations, non-government organisations, crown entities, health professionals, and professional and regulatory bodies for all health professionals – including all medical and surgical specialist areas, nurses, and allied health groups.
New Zealand history dates back 700 years when Polynesians discovered and settled on the land. The Polynesians developed a distinct Māori culture centred on kinship and links to the land. Māori culture is still very much alive and active in New Zealand today. By the 18th century, New Zealand had regular European visitors, including explorers, missionaries, traders and adventurers. New Zealand has a rich culture of influences from Europe interwoven with Māori and Polynesian traditions. The country has a vibrant arts and music scene as well as breathtaking scenery.
Sport in New Zealand largely reflects its British colonial heritage, with some of the most popular sports being rugby union, cricket, and netball. Extreme sports are also popular in New Zealand, both with residents and tourists. Bungee jumping and Zorbing were both invented in New Zealand. New Zealand has some great locations for skiing and snowboarding, including Mount Hutt, Mount Cook Mackenzie and Queenstown.
New Zealand was once home to the Moa, one of the largest birds in history, which stood up to 3.6m and could weigh up to 300kg. These huge birds were hunted to extinction by the Māori by the end of the 16th Century.
Today Māori people live throughout New Zealand, and many are actively involved with keeping their culture and language alive. About 15% of the country’s population of 5.1 million is of Māori descent. Māori are a tribal people and their tribes are known as iwi. A couple of Māori words you may hear:
Mana: Power, prestige or authority.
Tapu: Sacred, untouchable or under spiritual or religious protection.
Haere mai: Welcome
Manuhiri: guests, visitors
Haka: chant with dance for the purpose of challenge
Whare nui: meeting house; in writing this is sometimes run together as one word–wharenui.
If you do decide you want to buy property in New Zealand, make sure you get a LIM – Land Information Memorandum. It’s a document produced by the local Council that includes all sorts of important information about the property you’re considering.
Once you have decided on the home you would like to buy, the process of purchasing your own house is quite simple. You don’t even have to be a resident to buy property. Once you have agreed on the conditions of the sale with the seller (such as a price and a time frame), this is drawn up in a contract. Once any conditions are met (typically within five-ten working days), the contract goes unconditional. A deposit is then payable (generally 10% of the purchase price) and both parties are committed to the sale.
Housing in New Zealand is varied. Your options include suburban homes, rural living and lifestyle blocks, apartments, flats and townhouses. As with most countries, the further the property is out from larger cities, the cheaper the rental rate. In Wellington and Auckland, for example, you would pay significantly more to rent a property than in smaller cities or rural townships.
Typical rental costs for a two-bedroom unfurnished apartment range from $150 per week in cheaper areas, such as Dunedin and Rotorua, to between $350 and $500 per week in central Auckland and Wellington. The weekly rent for a three-bedroom unfurnished apartment ranges from $200 in Dunedin to between $450 and $650 in central Auckland.
For those with young families, the best regions are Wellington, Queenstown Lake District, Selwyn District, North Shore City and Auckland. This is due to factors including house price affordability in relation to income levels, the number of school leavers with qualifications, rates of tertiary education, unemployment, crime rates, health statistics, the number of young people living in the area.
New Zealand is a very beautiful country that is typified by wide-open spaces and vast areas of natural beauty. It has an extremely low population density and thus offers retirees a pleasant environment in which to retire.
In addition to the picturesque surroundings, New Zealand also has a low crime rate, modern facilities, and high levels of health care. Some of the best places to retire in New Zealand include Hamilton, Napier/Hastings, New Plymouth, the Bay of Plenty and in particular Tauranga, Waikato and Otago. These areas are cheaper than the city centres, are surrounded by beautiful scenery, and are located in a warmer climate than most places in the country.
For newcomers moving from a warm climate, the North Island is probably the best place for you to ease into the New Zealand climate. Some popular destinations in the North Island include Tauranga / Mount Maunganui, Whakatane, Hamilton and Wellington. If you don’t mind a colder climate some popular places for newcomers in the South Island include Nelson / Marlborough, Christchurch and Canterbury, Queenstown and Central Otago.