Moving to New Zealand

In Moving Guides by Steven Kane

We are pleased to provide you with our guide on moving to New Zealand from Dubai, UAE. Please make note of the special links at the foot of this page.

Capital City: Wellington
Population: 4.7 million
Official Languages: English, Maori
Currency: New Zealand Dollar (NZD)
Time : GMT +12
Internet domain: .nz
International dialing code: +64


The ‘native’ Maoris actually settled originally in New Zealand approximately 1,000 years ago. First sighted in the mid-17th century by a Dutch explorer, it wasn’t until the late 18th century that the first Europeans began arriving and eventually start to inhabit the islands. In 1840 Britain took formal control.

Today New Zealand is a modern, democratic Commonwealth country, located in the south-western Pacific Ocean, comprising primarily of two main islands, separated by the Cook Strait.  Around 3.6 million people inhabit the North Island whereas approximately 1.1 million people live on the larger South Island.

Politically New Zealand comprises 67 territorial authorities regulated by 11 regional councils under legislation from the central government.

Geographically New Zealand is over 1600 km ‘long’ and approximately 400 km at its widest point, with over 15,000 km of coastline including several smaller outlying islands. The climate varies considerably in different regions. The western coast of the Southern Island tends to be very wet, whereas the East coast generally receives more hours of annual sunshine than anywhere in New Zealand. Snowfall between June and October is less likely on the North Island than the South.

Expats in NZ

Expats are generally made to feel very welcome in New Zealand, with its broadly relaxed and friendly atmosphere. After all this is essentially a country of immigrants. Most areas of New Zealand including the major cities have relatively low crime figures and high living standards.

Another major advantage the New Zealand offers is the opportunity for work particularly to skilled workers such as teachers, engineers, IT, and medical professionals. Though the regulations relating to work visas are stringent.

New Zealand is a very popular destination for people who enjoy a healthy, outdoor lifestyle with activities such as hiking, cycling, surfing and a wide selection of extreme sports widely available and very popular.

Most expats are drawn to the largest cities especially Auckland and the capital Wellington however Christchurch, Hamilton and Tauranga are popular. In terms of quality of life New Zealand ranks very high (Auckland ranked the fourth ‘most liveable’ city in a 2010 survey) with a solid economy and high satisfaction ratings among the majority of the populace.

Cost of living

A meal at the standard restaurant is likely to cost roughly NZD 18-20 per person with a beer priced around NZD 8 and soft drinks around NZD 3.20 per can. A reasonable bottle of wine costs approximately NZD 12-14 and a coffee typically sets you back around NZD 4.50

At the local supermarkets a loaf of bread is priced around NZD 2.80, a litre of milk approximately NZD 2.70 and a dozen eggs roughly NZD 5.70.

Public transport is good and reasonably cheap with monthly passes at around NZD 140. Taxis start around is NZD 3 and then around NZD 2.50 per kilometer thereafter. Petrol is around NZD 1.90 per litre.

Accommodation is relatively high. A typical 1-2 bedroom apartment in the city would be approximately NZD 1,500-1,800. Outside of the city rent would reduce to around NZD1,250-1,500

Basic utilities for an average two-bedroom apartment will be around NZD 200-220 per month. Prepaid mobile phone charges are approximately NZD 0.60 per minutes and broadband Internet us roughly NZD 90 per month.


New Zealand routinely ranks in the world top 10 for the quality of education. Between the ages of five to sixteen education is compulsory, with many pupils extending their education to at least eighteen years old.

The public school system is free however often oversubscribed as roughly 8 out of 10 children attend state schools. Some private schools and integrated education facilities are partially funded by the authorities however they will charge students for tuition.

The academic year runs from January to mid-December.  Some colleges and universities run from February to November.

Universities in New Zealand generally provide 3 to 4 year courses offering bachelor’s degree up to masters degree or PhD. Applications and enrollment to most universities is more straightforward than many other Western countries as is the process for student loans provided the Individual meets domestic student criteria.

Useful link(s):
Ministry of Education

Moving Documents

When moving to New Zealand from Dubai, importing Household Goods and Personal Effects, you require

  • Passport copy
  • Cleaning certification for the shipped goods
  • CITES permit (if applicable)
  • List of medication (if prescription)
  • MPI supplementary declaration form (if applicable)
  • Unaccompanied baggage declaration
  • List of Wine (if being imported as a collection)
  • Copy of Visa or E-Visa Approval (non-citizens)
  • Detailed packing list
  • Visa, (if applicable)
  • Bill of lading / AWB (7 days prior to arrival of shipment)

Helpful Websites:

Note: This document is provided as a guide for people moving to New Zealand from Dubai, UAE and for information purposes only. Customs regulations can and do change at any time, usually without notice. Your mover will provide you with more information.