Successful International Moves

Relocating to a new country is not a small decision whether it is for a short 6 month sabbatical or a more long-term permanent move REGENT PERSONNEL; aims to provide you with the most up-to-date and reliable information on important aspects of life in the country you’re interested in moving to.

Those with a sense of adventure and wish to travel and work in another country will acclimatize successfully to New Zealand – as a country it offers exceptional opportunities to clinicians who wish to work in a first class clinical environment with modern facilities. It is a country where your contribution is valued and your work and home life will balance perfectly. New Zealanders are a warm and welcoming people who will do all they can to welcome visitors to their country and help you to feel at home whether your visiting for a few months or plan to make New Zealand your home.

History

Polynesian settlers arrived in New Zealand/Aotearoa around AD900 – AD990, and by the twelfth century settlements were formed over the majority of the country under the new Maori culture. Although Dutch navigator Abel Tasman spotted the islands in 1642, it was not until 127 years later in 1769 that the first European mapped and travelled to the New Zealand Island.
Throughout the 18th century New Zealand was visited by many explorers and traders. It was inevitable for the Maori chiefs to not enter an agreement with the new European power and eventually signed a treaty of Waitangi with the British Crown. The treaty allowed New Zealand to become a part of the British Empire and the Maori culture was nonetheless erased due to the British influence, although the Maori were by law seen as equal to the British citizens, many eventually became impoverished.

Climate

The climate in New Zealand is complex and somewhat varies from the area you live in; the northern islands may provide warm temperatures such as 20-30 degrees Celsius in the summer periods with the highest being noted as 42 degrees Celsius in Canterbury, whilst you would be given much cooler temperatures within the south islands.

The variety of temperatures found in New Zealand has consequently resulted to the diverse range of plant life flourishing within the region. The many national parks formed across the country allow you the opportunity to see much of the flora and plants. The world’s most beautiful plants are said to flourish within the New Zealand climate expressing its exotic nature.

The seasons in the Southern Hemisphere are in reverse from the Northern Hemisphere:

Spring: September – November
Summer: December – February
Autumn: March – May
Winter: June – August

New Zealand is arguably blessed with relatively short winters. Temperatures tend to average 8-15 degrees Celsius in the North Islands but may even drop to minus 20 overnight in the southern region. However signs of spring tend to often show well before the official start date of the new season.

The mean average rainfall varies widely. Central Otago received less than 400mm of rain in comparison to the Southern Alps who collected over 12,000mm. Nonetheless within the summer periods, both the North and South Islands will see the driest seasons whilst the Western coast of New Zealand see their driest season in winter.

It must be noted that as New Zealand is located in the southern hemisphere, the seasons are always in direct reverse with those in the north. As an example June to September in the United Kingdom is considered as summer, whilst in New Zealand Summer is considered to take place over the months of December to February.

Geography

New Zealand is located in the southern Pacific Ocean, approximately 1600 km east of Australia. New Zealand is arranged with two landmasses known as the North and South Islands as well as a number of smaller islands, with a total land area of 270,500 sq km.

The island possesses a large coastline resulting to extensive marine resources being available in New Zealand. Such resources have enabled the introduction of the Exclusive Economic Zone which provides special rights to explore and use the acquired resources around the specific areas.

New Zealand is dominated by mountains which empower over the landscapes such as the physical presence of the Southern Alps which extends over much of the South Island. Not only are there mountains for those who love hiking, but the South Island scenery is decorated with beautiful sights such as the fjords, glaciers, lakes and even the coastal plains. Moreover the North Island is also dominated by empowering views such as the volcanoes of New Zealand, Lake Taupo which is the largest lake in New Zealand, hot springs and even mud pools for you to use and visit.

Highest mountain Mt Cook (2754 m)
Deepest Lake Lake Hauroko (462 m)
Longest river Waikato River (425 km)
Largest glacier Tasman Glacier (29 km long)

Geographic diversity is evidently present within New Zealand, whilst exotic animals and plants that you may not see anywhere else in the world inhabit and continue to develop within the native forests, fertile farmlands, lakes and sea.

Demography

Recent estimates (2006) give the total population of New Zealand as 4,131,775 (*source Statistics New Zealand).

Main Regions of population are: Auckland Region …………. 1,158,891
(* source 2001 NZ Census) Wellington Region ………… 423,765
Canterbury Region ……….. 481,431
Otago Region ……………… 181,539
Southland Region …………. 91,002

See also the Statistics New Zealand website:

www.stats.govt.nz

Polynesian people who emigrated from near the Cook Islands in open double-hulled canoes first settled upon the Island around 700 years ago who then developed the Maori culture. They named their new home Aotearoa (Ao-tea roa) – Land of the Long White Cloud.

Since the treaty of Waitangi in 1840, the majority of settlers into New Zealand were people from Britain. However since the Second World War immigrants have somewhat formed a cosmopolitan society in New Zealand as migrants from many different ethnic groups have been accepted and have therefore migrated successfully into the Islands.

Religion/Places of Worship

There is complete freedom of worship as New Zealand is considered as being one of the world’s most secular society. However the two principal religions are Anglican (Church of England) and Roman Catholic as Christianity is seen as the predominant religion. The other religions represented are Baptist, Presbyterian, New Life, Church of Scientology, Korean Presbyterian, Elim, Latter Day Saints, Lutheran Jewish, Quakers Religious Society of Friends, Jehovah’s Witness and Mormons.

Customs and Ceremonies

Social Customs

New Zealanders tend towards informality and first names (often shortened) are used from the start of the acquaintance. This informality extends to the social sphere with a casual, drop-in approach. The most common greeting is “How are you?” to which the reply should be “Good, thanks”.

One common custom frequently causes much confusion for new migrants – a request to attend a social gathering and for ladies to “bring a plate” and gents “a bottle”. This means bring some food on a plate to share and some beverage (your preference) to drink.

New Zealanders can be offended by body odour and often avoid people rather than tell them they find the body odour offensive. It is therefore suggested that migrants use deodorant products which are readily available for purchase from supermarkets or pharmacies.

Multiculturalism is being encouraged by the Government; the idea being migration is good for the country as it may lead to new ideas and future development. Immigrants are not required to assimilate, but rather to keep their own cultural identity. Radio is broadcasted in European and Maori. There are minority radio programmes for other language groups and ethnic publications are available for purchase or through the public libraries.

New Zealanders are very social people, barbecues and spectator sports occupy a large part of their leisure time, along with (for the younger set) pub-going and clubbing.

Tipping

Employed persons in New Zealand do not depend upon tips and gratuities for their income. Service charges are not normally added to hotel and restaurant bills. It is, of course, perfectly in order to tip for services of outstanding quality or in circumstances you think are important.

Language

English and Maori are the official spoken languages in New Zealand with English being over 90% whilst Maori would average 4 %. Many common words and expressions have acquired different meanings and “idiomatic New Zealand English” may need some interpretation for English speakers from other parts of the world. Minorities of foreign-born citizens speak their own language at home.

For a light hearted insight into some common expressions, have a look at the below website.

http://www.nz.com/new-zealand/guide-book/language/dictionary.aspx#t

Clothing

Clothing tends to be practical, comfortable and casual. Gentlemen usually wear a jacket and/or tie if attending a restaurant or theatre. Blue jeans are not generally worn in the workplace.

Time

New Zealand is the first country to see each new day. New Zealand is exactly twelve hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time. In summer early October to late March, New Zealanders enjoy an extra hour of daylight saving.

The Economy

New Zealand mainly depends on overseas trade for the success of its economy. Large proportion of their exports consisted of agricultural products and traditionally, a large sum of exports was in fact travelling towards the United Kingdom.

However New Zealand has since broken from its traditional ties and has in fact been ranked fifth in the world’s most prosperous countries. Diary and meat exports continue to dominate the agricultural oversea markets, as New Zealand arguably has adapted to the world economy whilst further ensuring the dominance of the Pacific Rim.

In addition Tourism is another advantageous aspect towards the economy. The many beautiful sights and landscapes which empower New Zealand invite many old and young travelers from across the world.

The majority of the electricity supplied in New Zealand is water-generated, by hydro power stations, with a smaller percentage being supplied by coal, gas, and to a lesser extent, oil. The country has a non-nuclear policy and hence is not planning to generate power by nuclear means.

Standard of Living

Housing in New Zealand is offered at very affordable prices in comparison to many different countries which have resulted to the New Zealand figures of a country that has the highest home ownership in the world. Housing is the most important decision if you plan to relocate to New Zealand. Costs for a property in New Zealand are not fixed and are varied from the area the property is located in. Nonetheless the average price for a residential property is NZ $134,000.

Not only is there geographic diversity in New Zealand, the housing lifestyle further introduces such diversity as properties range from urban traditional villa homes to new town houses. With the continuous development of the New Zealand prosperity within the past twenty years, increasing trends of owning inner city apartments are also evident.

Nevertheless with all essentials being available such as the internet, television, signal for telephones and so forth, as well as the New Zealand landscapes viewable from certain houses, the standard of living is arguably one of the best in the world.

Money

Currency Units

New Zealand operates a decimal currency system based on dollar and cent denominations as follows:

Notes ($) Coins (¢)
5 dollars 5 cents
10 dollars 10 cents
20 dollars 20 cents
50 dollars 50 cents
100 dollars 1 dollar
2 dollars

The New Zealand dollar (NZD) is known as the “Kiwi dollar” and is listed on all currency exchanges.

Credit Cards

Master Card, Visa, American Express, and Diners Club are widely accepted in New Zealand; migrants are advised to join the New Zealand “Bankcard” system which is widely accepted throughout the country. New Zealanders are the highest users of EFTPOS (Electronic Funds Transfer at Point of Sale) in the world. It is common for New Zealanders to carry little cash and use debit or credit cards for the majority of purchases.

Exchange Rates

Banks should be able to tell you what the current exchange rate is with the New Zealand dollar. You are able to view a monthly online summary of the exchange rate between the New Zealand Dollar’s against other currency such as US Dollar and the pound.

(www.rbnz.govt.nz)

Government

New Zealand employs the Westminster system of Government whereby Members are elected to a House of Representatives referred as Parliament. There is just one House. New Zealand does not have a written constitution although there is a Human Rights Act. There is a General Election every three years with two dominant political parties (Labour and National). In 1996 the electoral system changed to MMP (Mixed Member Proportional Representation). MMP allows each voter one vote for a party and one vote for a Member of Parliament.

Each region or province within New Zealand has its own local body government.

Law, Order and Security

Security and Insurance

Security is not really a problem in New Zealand as crime has significantly dropped, however precautions such as locking one’s car and house should always be followed. As in most major cities, there are some areas best avoided at night and migrants should try gain local knowledge of these after they arrive at their destination.

Most of the major Insurance companies will insure migrants and their household overseas against all risks, there are many insurance companies located within the country so migrants should try search for the best available prices.

NZ Police recommend that valuables are not left within sight in vehicles when the vehicle is left parked.

Your Status as a Foreign Visitor

Passport

All travellers require a valid passport or other valid documents. If a passport is due to expire within three months it is advisable to obtain a new one before departure.

A person seeking entry to New Zealand who cannot satisfactorily identify himself will be refused entry.

Applications should be made in the nearest New Zealand diplomatic mission or to British Consulates acting for New Zealand in those countries where New Zealand has no representation of its own.

Immigration

New Zealand’s Immigration Policy controls entitlement to be in New Zealand on either a temporary or permanent basis. For further information see the NZ Immigration Service website:

http://www.immigration.govt.nz/work/

Certain aspects of the policy are briefly outlined as follows:

Short-Stay (visitor) Visas

A visitor’s visa is valid for periods of less than six months. Applications should be made to the nearest New Zealand consulate. Persons travelling on business should provide copies of correspondence regarding the nature of their visit.

Long Stay Visas

Visas for longer term stays, including employment contain special requirements and cannot be applied for without proof of the purpose of the visit/sponsorship by the employer.

Regulations for obtaining visas are becoming increasingly complex and a number of specialised agencies now undertake the task. Thomas Cook offers this service through its Business Travel Division and American Express also has a similar facility. Both organisations will waive fees for corporate clients. Most large travel agents offer a visa service.

Temporary Residence for working visitors

Foreign nationals (excluding Australian citizens or residents) who wish to undertake employment in New Zealand must have both a work visa and a work permit.

General Work Policy

You may be eligible for a work visa or permit under the General Work Policy if you offered a position which you have the suitable qualification and experience for. In addition certain employment under the Occupational Shortages List (OSL) would increase the opportunity for those who wish to relocate be eligible for a work permit.

Occupational Shortage List (OSL)

The Occupational Shortage List is a complied list continuously updated and reviewed by the NZIS. A variety of information is complied into appropriate data in order to approach and identify certain occupational shortages in New Zealand. The OSL aims to address the shortages and therefore if their research suggests that no New Zealand resident are available, then foreign applicants who apply through positions in the OSL will be prioritized and a work permit will be permitted.
Most health professional occupations are included on this list.

The standard maximum period for a work visa is three years but an application for an extension beyond the three years may be made in certain cases.

Spouses and children of working visitors must also apply for the relevant visas (visitor, student or work).

Dependants of people on work permits, attending state schools (for the duration of the work permits) are exempt from course fees. This exemption is however not applicable to those attending universities or polytechnics.

Those in New Zealand with temporary visas (i.e. non-residents) who wish to leave temporarily should obtain multiple entry or re-entry visas before departure. Advice about visas is available from the Department of Immigration, or if time does not permit, from an overseas visa issuing authority, e.g. Consulate or High Commission).

Permanent Residence

You are able to work study and live in New Zealand permanently if you possess a residential status.

Residence Visa

A Residence Visa is normally valid for one year and is for a single entry. It is recommended and advised that you use your Residence Visa before its expiry date in order to activate your resident status. The visa would allow you to travel to New Zealand and be granted a Residence Permit on arrival.

Residence Permit

A Residence Permit allows you to reside in New Zealand for an indefinite period. However, it must be noted that the permit expires once you exit New Zealand. You should make sure that you possess an “Authority to Return” endorsement in your passport unless exempt from visa requirements. This will allow you to return to New Zealand within three years of your last departure without further documentation.

Those in New Zealand with temporary visas (i.e. non-residents) who wish to leave temporarily should obtain multiple entry or re-entry visas before departure. Advice about visas is available from the Department of Immigration or even from an overseas visa issuing authority, e.g. Consulate or High Commission).
The following is a brief outline of the categories under foreign nationals (excluding Australian citizens or permanent residents) which you can apply for residence in New Zealand. For more detailed information see the NZ Immigration Service website:

http://www.immigration.govt.nz/work/

General Skills Category

There is a “Points” system for qualifications, work experience, age and settlement factors. English language skill is a requirement and there is an age bar of 55 years.

Business Category

The business immigration policy was designed to appeal to potential migrants who are able to positively contribute to the economic development of New Zealand.

• Increasing New Zealand’s understanding towards economic growth
• Encouraging businesses and innovative ideas
• Forming new business partnerships through external links

Family Category

In order to strength both families and the community, the New Zealand government had introduced the Family Category Policy. Not only does this reinforce the current community it also strengths the Governments immigration policy.

This category is available to you if you:

• In a heterosexual or same sex relationship (must be stable for example marriage) with a New Zealand resident who is able to support and be used as a reference for the application
• Have family members who are a resident and are permanently based in New Zealand
• Are the dependent children of New Zealand citizens or residents
• Talent policy – employment with accredited employers
• Talent policy – for people with exceptional talent in a field of art, culture, or sport
• Priority Occupation List policy – employment in an occupation on the Priority Occupations List
• Business policy – Long-term business visa/permit category

If you are applicable for the Family Category Policy it is advised for you to apply as the policy may help the process of applying for a residential permit.

Utilities

Post

Post Offices are open between the hours of 9.00am to 5.00pm Monday to Friday. Postage stamps can be bought at the reception desks of hotels and motels and at some supermarkets, bookshops and service stations.

Electricity

Electricity is supplied throughout New Zealand at 230/240 volts (50 hertz). However for electric razors, it is possible that many places provide the 110 volt (20 Watts) AC sockets instead. Electrical converters could be quite expensive although one would note that the current power outlets do accept both the three or two pin plugs.

Other Fuels

In the South Island and lower part of the North Island, most houses have a fireplace in addition to electrical heating. However in the more temperate climates such as the upper areas of the North Islands, electrical heating is rather used with some fireplaces being accessible.

In the larger cities and most country areas, electricity and gas are used for heating and cooking. In addition gas is mainly transported in containers in the South Islands which range from 5-100 Kg, whilst in the North Islands gas is piped.

Few houses are centrally heated or air-conditioned but newer dwellings have increasingly erected over the last five years. Double-glazed windows, heat pumps or even floor heating are becoming more noticeable and available in newer housing.

Television/Video/DVD

New Zealand uses the VHS Pal format. Modern Television sets come multi-standard in New Zealand and so both NTSC and PAL formats are able to be viewed on the television sets. It is recommended that you purchase your television and DVD player in New Zealand if you are coming from the United States as video or DVD’s from America may not have the compatible PAL format.

Local Communications

Internet/Email

New Zealanders have vigorously embraced both the internet and email. This link gives you an interactive price guide for services provided.

http://www.consumer.org.nz/ispsearch.asp?Category=Internet%20providers

Facsimile

Fax facilities are very widely used in business and by individuals, in addition to commercial fax bureaux, fax equipment is installed in most hotels. This is usually available for the use of guests.

Telephone

In New Zealand, both national and international calls are automatic. A full IDD service is available and the country code for New Zealand is +64. Telecom New Zealand and Telstra Clear are the two telecommunication service providers. There are public telephone boxes (green and black) in streets and stores. Telephone boxes accept either coins or credit cards. Some overseas cell phones can be used in New Zealand, most notably Iridium and Vodafone (formerly Bell).

Most New Zealand homes use the option of paying a flat monthly line rental fee and have unlimited free calling within the local calling area. Calls from businesses within the local area are charged for each minute (or part minute) at a peak and off peak rate.

Broadcasting

The TV network is operated by the NZ Broadcasting Corporation (TVNZ) and one privately owned company. Most large cities have six channels, with four channels running 24 hours a day. Sport features largely on all the networks and news and current affairs programmes are also popular, although international coverage tends to be limited. There are few ethnic or multicultural broadcasts. There are dozens of radio stations run by the NZ Broadcasting Corporation, commercial companies as well as community and university based stations. Subscriber UHF and Satellite TV is available through the Sky TV Network. It is not a cabled service but based on a decoder which is provided by Sky TV in conjunction with a magnetic card.

Newspapers

Newspapers are very accessible in New Zealand providing both local and world news. In most cities a variety of local newspapers are released daily, both morning and evening. Moreover newspapers published in other parts of the world are also accessible in New Zealand through available subscriptions services. However the problematic issue of purchasing different regional papers is the delivery time, therefore reading such papers would indefinitely be well past their publication date.

Four major national daily newspapers circulate in different parts of New Zealand and the New Zealand Business Review is widely read in business circles. There are daily morning and evening newspapers in most cities, with a wide range of local newspapers.
The Sunday Star times is also published every Sunday whilst the given link would offer New Zealand news online.

www.stuff.co.nz

Getting Settled

Temporary Accommodation

www.wotif.co.nz

Hotels

The leading modern hotels in the major cities offer a high standard of comfort.

Motels

In the main cities and throughout the regions, there are numerous modern motel units. In cities there are centrally situated but slightly cheaper than hotels. All have private shower or bath facilities included in the charge for the room. Many have restaurant facilities and some can also provide facilities for meetings and receptions.

Choosing your New Home

Those intending to buy a house or land should not make any arrangements before arrival in New Zealand. The majority of NZ property is purchased/sold through real estate agents who work for the vendor (person who is selling property). The agent charges the vendor a fee based on a proportion of the selling price of the property. It is customary for the Real Estate Agent to prepare the contract, which is either executed by the parties immediately or referred to a solicitor or legal advice bureau.

Most people who buy or build their own home borrow some money from their bank – this is referred to as a mortgage. Some New Zealand banks may let you borrow up to 95% of the valuation price of a property, however this depends on the individual banks’ criteria, your credit history, amount you can afford for mortgage repayments and how much deposit you have.

It is recommended that you rent a home until you decide exactly where you would like to settle. Where you choose to buy a home may depend on factors such as schooling, locality, what type of neighbourhood environment you enjoy and also the varying cost of houses for sale in different suburbs. Currently the average purchase price of a house is NZ$134,000.

New residents should be prepared to dedicate their time in looking for a house to rent in New Zealand as prices and quality can vary dramatically. In addition most rental houses are not furnished although furnished houses are available if you desire so. To recognize the better socio-economic areas, look at the schools in the area to find out their decile rating (see under Education).

Renting a Property

Most that arrive and relocate to New Zealand come with little knowledge of the best areas to reside to. Educational opportunities, the price of the standard of living, whether the area is busy or quiet and so forth should all be factors towards where you wish to permanently move. Therefore temporary rental homes are recommended for new migrants as renting short term homes would enable you the opportunity to move to the many different locations in New Zealand without the commitment of mortgages.

Ultimately the benefits of rental homes significantly outweigh the immediate purchase of a new property, financially and as well as your own personal requirements.

Most rental homes are not furnished with only the essentials such as ovens are found within the property. However furnished rental homes are available for you if you desire so, although prices are greatly different and are arguably very expensive.

Nevertheless any type of property can be found in New Zealand. Stylish city apartments or small buildings in the country next to mountains are all available for you to purchase or even rent. Whatever you want, you can find.

Rental Costs

If an advertisement for a rental property states it includes whiteware this normally refers to such items as a fridge, freezer, washing machine, dryer or a dishwasher.

Rental prices vary from the area you are in, but for the average price for standard unfurnished houses with three bedrooms prices can range from $150-250. It should be noted that the tenant is responsible for organizing their own bills (electricity, telephone, gas, water, home insurance).

When searching for rental properties in New Zealand, the ‘To Let’ in real estate agents is where you will find your ideal temporary home. Although by going through a real estate agent, once you find the property you wish to rent you will also be charged a service fee which is often the same amount as the rent for one week at the property.

For example if the rent was $200 per week, then the real estate agent may charge you a one off fee of $200 + GST (12.5%).

Landlords do tend to ask for an early payment of up to four week which is refunded if you decide to in fact leave the property. This payment is called a bond which is then retained at the Bond Centre; the centre will obtain your money which will act as a deposit. If you ever wish to leave the property both the tenant and the landlord must sign a document in order to do so. Any missed payments or damaged items caused by the tenant would enable the landlord to apply for the Tenancy Tribunal which would see money withdrawn from the original bond payment to cover the cost.

For further information see the Ministry of Housing website:

www.minhousing.govt.nz

Landlords usually request the new tenant to pay the required rent two weeks in advance when they first move in. Therefore the first initial payments made by new tenants would include the first month rent as a bond as well as the first two week rent for your land lord (e.g if your rent is agreed to be $200 you will pay $800 as a bond which you will later retain, whilst $400 will be paid directly to your landlord).

Rent tends to be paid fortnightly and automatically through the organization of your bank.

The following link gives rental properties currently available within the Southland region (be sure to select “Residential Rentals” in the Search Type).

www.realenz.co.nz

Furniture and Household Equipment

As most accommodation is let unfurnished, migrants have the choice of importing their own, buying, or renting furniture. One migrant calculated that it would cost approx. NZ$20,000 to furnish an average home modestly. Secondhand furniture in good condition is also available. Renting furniture is likely to cost around NZ$600 per month for average quality items, up to NZ$1,000 for better quality. The most expensive items to hire are sofas and whiteware, such as refrigerators, freezers, microwaves, etc.

Domestic Help

Located through domestic agencies or via the local newspaper, cleaners and gardeners are readily available and can be contracted on an hourly basis.

Food and Marketing

For the approximate costing of what you may pay for various items see:

http://www.nz-immigration.co.nz/cost-of-living/living-expenses.html

Weights and Measures

The metric system is in operation in New Zealand, using the International system of Units (SI), although some non-SI units will be maintained for measuring time and angles, and for navigation.

Transportation within New Zealand

By Air

The main domestic airlines are Air New Zealand or Qantas, both of which operate regular scheduled services between major cities and regional centres.

In view of the distances involved, it is advisable unless you have a generous time schedule, to travel by air between main cities. Regular flights connect Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin as well as other regional towns/cities, e.g. Hamilton, Invercargill, Palmerston North and Queenstown.

To see flight schedules and routes within New Zealand, please look at the following website:

www.airnewzealand.co.nz

The free baggage allowance for overseas visitors is 30 kilos first class and 20 kilos economy class. Both involve no more than two pieces of luggage with restrictions on dimensions.

By Sea

Except between Wellington and Picton across the Cook Strait between the North and South Islands or between Bluff and Stewart Island, there are no local passenger ships serving the New Zealand coast.

By Rail

Air-conditioned diesel-electric trains operate between the main cities. There are very few suburban rail services in New Zealand and no underground system operates.

By Road

With New Zealand’s relatively low population and wide open spaces, cars are the most popular form of transport. Some road rules for you to note include:

• NZ$1.50 per litre is the average price for petrol
• Both front and back seat passengers must always wear their seatbelts, it is compulsory to do so
• All children under the age of five present within a moving car or van must be restrained in a approved child restraint and done so properly
• Motorcyclists must always wear a crash helmets whilst cyclists must wear a cycle helmet
• 100 km/hour or 61 mi/hour is by law the maximum speed you are able to reach on the highway/motorway. 50 km/hour or 30 mi/hour is the usual maximum speed in cities and towns.

One of the most important road laws in New Zealand is the Left Turn Rule.

When turning Left you must always allow traffic coming from your right AND you must always allow traffic opposite you who intend to turn right to go past first. The only exception is when a traffic light indicates that you are allowed to turn Left first.

You should also note that a traffic light showing red means you should physically come to a full stop and you cannot continue until the light turns green.

New Zealand Road Rules

The NZ Road Code is available on the web:

www.ltsa.govt.nz

Driving Distances

New Zealand has an excellent network of roads covering most of the islands. The only way to cross the Cook Strait separating the North and South Islands is by car/passenger ferry, or air.

New Zealand may appear as a small country, but looks can be deceiving. In the South Island particularly, it may take longer than you would expect to travel between certain areas This website has maps of the North and South Islands as well as an accurate “Driving Times and Distances Chart & Calculator”.

http://www.newzealandvacations.co.nz/maps.asp

Motoring Organisations

The Automobile Association which has offices in all towns/centres and Information Centres on main highways aim to assist drivers with their emergency assistance. Information can also be acquired through the organization.

See their website:

www.aaguides.co.nz

Taxis

Taxi services are very good and reasonably priced. Generally taxi drivers have excellent local knowledge, speak good English and can be relied upon. The charge is normally calculated at a “flag fall” rate plus a rate per kilometre. Rates vary slightly from city to city. Additional charges are made for phone bookings, and you may be charged a small fee for any luggage carried outside the passenger compartment.

Car Hire

Every city has a private care hire service which is generally more expensive than taxis. Drivers must be over 21 years. A collision damage waiver applies to drivers under 25.

There are also firms which operate a self-drive system including:

NZ Rent A Car …………………… www.nzrentacar.co.nz

Rent-a-Dent ……………………… www.rentadent.co.nz

Budget Car Rental ………………. www.budget.co.nz

Pegasus Rental Cars …………… www.carrentalsinvercargill.co.nz

Riverside Rentals ……………….. www.riversiderentals.co.nz

Avis ……………………………….. www.avis.co.nz

Thrifty ……………………………… www.thrifty.co.nz

Hertz ………………………………. www.hertz.co.nz

Driving in New Zealand

In order to legally drive in New Zealand you must possess a driver’s license or an International Driving Permit. A license gained from your home country is permitted in New Zealand which enables you to drive for up to 12 months, but by law the license must be carried with the driver (this includes visitors from other countries) at all times.

The type of vehicles you were licensed to drive when gaining your driving licence is by law the only vehicles you are warranted to use. If the licence you possess is not in English, it is advised that an English translation or an IDP is obtained. This would be done through contact with your local automobile club.

If you do not wish to purchase a car in New Zealand, the legal age to rent a car is 25 years old.

Nevertheless if you do intend to migrate to New Zealand, upon your permanent residence a New Zealand licence is required to be obtained.

Note that the drink/driving limits for those over 20 are 80mg alcohol per 100ml blood or 400mcg of alcohol per litre of breath. As a very rough guide, and taking into consideration body weight and whether a meal is eaten at the same time, for men this would mean no more than four standard drinks in the first hour and thereafter one drink at hourly intervals, whilst for women no more than three standard drinks per hour and thereafter one drink at hourly intervals. A standard drink is a half-pint of beer at 4% alcohol content, one nip of spirits, or one small glass of table wine.

Car Insurance

There are a number of insurance companies who provide both third party (where the other party’s in the accident is covered but your car is not) or comprehensive cover. You will be required to make certain disclosures about anything likely to affect the amount of risk the insurer carries on your behalf. This may include the names of the drivers, how long they have held a Driver’s licence, if there has been any recent claim for motor vehicle accidents. It is important that any disclosure is accurate as it is possible that your insurance could be cancelled or a claim refused if these “material facts” have been omitted or are not completely true.

Most policies have an “excess” which is usually around $200-$300. This is the amount paid by the insured person towards the cost of repairs to his or the other person’s vehicle resulting from the accident caused by him/her. The excess is usually waived if the accident was not caused by you.

Insurance cover is available directly with an insurance company, e.g. State Insurance, AMI Insurance, SIMU, NZ Insurance, or you can arrange insurance cover through most banks.

Taking out home and contents insurance along with the car cover may provide you with a package discount of 10 or 20 percent from many companies and up to 30 percent with The National Bank of New Zealand. Not all companies offer these discounts, but it is worth asking if you are able to receive certain discounts such as for keeping your car locked in a garage or for using a professionally installed alarm.

Finally, making one annual premium payment could save you around 10 percent as only a handful of insurers allow monthly payments at no extra cost.

For further information see:

http://au.pfinance.yahoo.com/insurance/car/glossary.html
http://money.nzoom.com/money_detail/0,2108,83263-172-178,00.html

Business and Legal Matters

Business Practices

Professional staff or business executives wear mainly business suits or a jacket and tie in the work environment. Appointments should be made in advance and New Zealanders favour a straight-forward say-what-you-mean approach. First names are normally used immediately and should be given over the telephone when answering.

Hours of Business

The most common business hours are 40 hours per week, Monday to Friday, between the hours of 8.00am and 5.00pm with some also being open on Saturday mornings between 9.00am and 1.00pm. Many service organisations also provide after hours service.

Government/Public Service

9.00am to 4.30pm Monday to Friday.

Banks

Mainly 9.00am to 4.30pm Monday to Friday. Main branches of banks are located on Kelvin Street, in Invercargill. Most banks operate from 9.00am to 5:00pm. ATM machines are available at most shopping mall complexes, some service stations or at bank branches out of hours. EFTPOS facilities are extensively available.

The central bank is the Reserve Bank of New Zealand. Leading commercial banks are:

Bank of New Zealand (BNZ) …………………………. http://www.bnz.co.nz

National Bank of New Zealand …………………………. http://www.nationalbank.co.nz

Westpac Trust ………………………………………….. http://www.westpactrust.co.nz

Australia & New Zealand Bank (ANZ) ………………. http://www.anz.com

Auckland Savings Bank (ASB) ……………………….. http://www.asbbank.co.nz

All these banks have overseas branches in major cities. In addition, many of the world’s international banks have branches or representative offices in New Zealand’s major cities.

It should be noted that personal cheques are not used a great deal and it can be difficult to get credit without references or identification, so migrants should approach their companies for assistance.

Shops and Retail Facilities

9.00am to 5.30pm Monday to Friday. Most shopping centres have late night shopping (often a Thursday and/or Friday) when they will be open from 9.00am to 9.00pm and on Saturdays/Sundays from 10.00am to 5.00pm. Supermarkets are open for extended hours and all weekend. At most holiday resorts, trading hours are extended during the holiday seasons.

Shops in New Zealand cater for every taste and those in the cities have a wide range of goods. There are numerous supermarkets with the widest possible range of goods. There are many large department stores and shopping malls where specialty foods are available.

If you’re looking for shoes or clothes, sizing in New Zealand is based on the major European/American trends. Most women’s shops cater for sizes 8 to 16 and mens shops from 85cm waist to 120cm waist. There are specialty stores for larger size clothing.

Employment in New Zealand

Unless you hold NZ or Australian Citizenship, or have been granted permanent resident status you must have a Work Permit from the NZ Immigration Service to work in New Zealand. Employment in New Zealand is covered by the Employment Relations Act 2000.

Any offer of employment should be in writing and should specify the hours/days of work, salary and any other terms and conditions of employment and contact details of any Union which has negotiated with the employer a Collective Agreement covering the work you will be doing.

If there is a Collective Agreement negotiated between the employer and a Union covering the work you will be doing you will be employed on the first 30 days on an individual employment agreement based upon the terms and conditions contained in that Collective Agreement. If you join the Union, you will automatically fall under coverage of the Collective. If you do not join the Union you will remain on an Individual Employment Agreement and can choose to vary the terms and conditions of employment by mutual agreement with the employer. During the term of a Collective Agreement strike action is generally not able to be taken by employees, however strike action can be taken during the bargaining period for a new Collective Agreement.

Holiday entitlements are specified in the Holidays Act and its amendments. The Holidays Act gives all employees rights to paid annual leave, whether they are full-time, part-time, fixed-term, temporary or casual employees, adults or young employees. Employers, unions or even an employee has the right to agree on a better annual leave than those provided in the Holidays Act. The SDHB Employment Agreements may improve these terms as it often introduces more generous entitlements.

The minimum entitlement to annual leave under the Holidays Act is at least three weeks but only after the employee has worked for the same employer for 12 months. Regarding sick or bereavement leave, a required minimum five days per annum after the employee has worked continuously for six months. As mentioned these terms have the possibility of improvement if an agreement is met by both the employer and the employee.

For further information on Employment related issues see the Department of Labour Employment Relations Service website:

www.ers.dol.govt.nz

Public Holidays

By law, every employee is entitled to not less than 11 public holidays each year. These holidays should be paid for by the employer.

New Year’s Day …………………………… 1 January
Day after New Year’s Day ……………….. 2 January
Waitangi (New Zealand) Day ……………. 6 February
Good Friday ……………………………….. March/April
Easter Sunday …………………………….. March/April
Easter Monday ……………………………. March/April
Southland Anniversary Day ……………… March/April
Anzac Day …………………………………. 25 April
Queen’s Birthday …………………………. Monday of the 1st weekend in June
Labour Day ………………………………… Last Monday of October
Christmas Day …………………………….. 25 December
Boxing Day ………………………………… 26 December

An employee does not have to work on public holidays unless the employment agreement provides for this or they agree to do so.

If an employee works on a public holiday (except Anzac Day and Waitangi Day), they are entitled to another paid day off in lieu, as well as to whatever pay has been agreed for working on the public holiday.

There are special rules for Waitangi Day and Anzac Day. Employers have to provide a day off in lieu only if an employee works for ordinary pay on these days. If an employee works for more than ordinary pay, the employer does not have to give a day off in lieu.

If Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Years Day or the Day after New Year fall on a Saturday or Sunday; the Monday/Tuesday is normally observed as the holiday.

The main holiday periods occur over the school holidays. Many businesses close over the Christmas Holiday period and will not reopen until the second week of January.

Work Related Accident Compensation

An employee who is injured doing his or her work which would result to the inability to continue their job, is entitled to paid compensation by his or her employer for the loss of earnings in the first week following the injury. This is 80% of the earnings lost as a result of not being able to work. After the first week, ACC pays the compensation and will provide other assistance to get an employee back to work as soon as possible such as physiotherapy.

An employee who is injured outside work is not entitled to loss-of-earnings compensation from his or her employer for the first week, but is paid 80% of the earnings lost until they are able to continue their work.

Ask the nearest ACC Office (see their website www.acc.co.nz) for more information about what you are eligible for after an injury.

Taxation

Good & Services Tax

This is a consumer or retail tax on the sale of all goods and services supplied within New Zealand. The current rate is 12.5%. The only significant exemptions are the purchase of a home, long term residential accommodation and provision of financial services. GST is usually included in the ticketed price of the item.

Income Tax

Permanent residents are liable for New Zealand tax on their world-wide income, with credit being given for taxes paid in overseas countries (with some limits). Persons earning income in New Zealand, but not resident here may be subject to special taxation regimes, e.g. entertainers, visiting experts, etc.

Expenses incurred in producing taxable income are deductible from the income in determining the taxpayer’s liability, but salary and wage earners are specifically excluded from this allowance.

Salary and wage earners have an amount of tax (PAYE – Pay as you earn) deducted from their wage and salary by their employer. The employer is required to forward this to the Inland Revenue Department on a regular basis. A similar system exists for those organisations paying interest to depositers, i.e. the bank deducts Resident Withholding Tax (RWT) from any interest earned. The tax year ends as at 31st March each year.

If you are going to work in New Zealand, you will need to organise an IRD Tax Individual Identification Number. This can take up to two weeks and requires a New Zealand address.

See the Inland Revenue Department website for further information on taxation and downloading the forms to get a tax code number:

http://www.ird.govt.nz/individuals/receivingtaxableincome/taxobligations.html

Immigration

Re-entry to New Zealand

To ensure that no further complications as well as further documentations are required, residents of New Zealand must possess an ‘’Authority to Return’’ endorsement in their passports. This greatly simplifies the process of departing from New Zealand and to then return within three years. Unless you are exempt from visa requirements, it is highly recommended for you to obtain this endorsement.

To non – residents or those with temporary visas should acquire multiple entry or re-entry visas if they wish to leave New Zealand temporarily.

Please visit a department of immigration or if your time is limited please visit an overseas visa issuing authority for further advice about visas.

See the NZ Immigration Service website for further information:

http://www.immigration.govt.nz/work/

Health Regulations

All persons must be of sound health – free from contagious and infectious diseases and having no illness or disability likely to interfere with the person’s capacity to work and to maintain themselves and their family.

All persons arriving within six days from infected areas or a place in the former yellow fever endemic zones (Central and South America) between 10 N and 15S and Africa between 15 N and 16 S) must provide a valid international certificate of vaccination against yellow fever, as New Zealand considers the countries and territories which are in the former endemic zones to be infected areas.

Passengers arriving without medical inoculation certificate, if required are subject to isolation in the quarantine station. Intending visitors to New Zealand are advised to check on current health requirements with their airline, travel agents or nearest New Zealand Government office.

Applicants for permanent residence aged over 15 and children under the age of 15 who have undergone a blood transfusion, shown symptoms of HIV infection or who are to be adopted by New Zealand residents are required to have an HIV antibody test.

SARS

See the Ministry of Health website: http://www.moh.govt.nz

People travelling to New Zealand need to be aware that they may be screened at the airport of origin. They will be asked if they have had any Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome symptoms or been in contact with SARS cases on check-in at the point of departure. This is in line with World Health Organization recommendations.

Further information on SARS is being provided to all visitors to New Zealand during flights and further questions may be asked. On arrival at a New Zealand airport, any in-coming passenger exhibiting SARS-like symptoms or having had contact with a person with SARS should also be prepared for a possible medical examination and for possible restrictions on their onward travel.

Those people who do develop the symptoms of SARS are asked to seek medical advice. Those people will receive appropriate treatment and may not be able to travel until they have fully recovered.

The Ministry of Health is advising that all hospital workers who have come from a Level 1 or Level 2 SARS-affected country should stand down from work in hospital settings for the 10 days after leaving the affected country. This advice specifically applies to hospital workers given the specific problems associated with the spread of SARS in hospital settings (eg, in Toronto, Canada and Hong Kong). It does not apply to any other health care workers.

Health Matters/Medical Facilities

General Standards of Health

No special health precautions are necessary except from the regulations which must be observed upon entry to New Zealand.

It is essential and highly recommended that you are covered from the sun especially during the middle of the day. Sun hats, sun block cream and also sunglasses will protect you from the sun as it is known to burn individuals in less than 15 minutes. There is an increasing concern towards the rate of skin cancer so such precautions must always be taken.

All travellers are recommended to have TB and tetanus vaccinations and to ensure that their protection against poliomyelitis is adequate. In addition, children should have received the usual protection against diphtheria, measles etc. and BCG vaccination is also advisable.

Medical Facilities

The medical services in New Zealand provide good medical service, but public hospital waiting lists for elective surgery are known to be quite long. It is estimated that almost 50% of the population is now covered by private health insurance to some extent which ensures quick treatment.

Generally, non-residents of New Zealand are not eligible for free Public Health treatment and are thus billed for health services they receive. There are several exceptions to this rule including NZ citizens living abroad. Australian residents, Royal Navy Personnel, and Cook, Nuie and Tokelau Islanders, people with official refugee status and residents of Great Britain and Northern Ireland are all eligible for free public health treatment.

The hospital is responsible for finding out a customer’s residential status before admission and there are specific policies and procedures for charging non-New Zealand residents.

Medical Insurance

A number of Medical Insurance companies operate in New Zealand. Non-resident migrants are advised to take out private medical insurance to cover them for their outward and return journey and for their stay in New Zealand.

It is advised that you ensure the insurance company is accepted by the New Zealand authorities.

Customs Formalities

Importing your Vehicle

It is a complex and very costly exercise to import a vehicle into New Zealand. The majority of migrants purchase a car locally. The most popular makes of car driven by New Zealanders are Subaru’s or Toyotas. Other makes of vehicle, Japanese, Korean, and Australian are easily available.

Concessionary Entry

Your vehicle will be admitted free of duty and GST providing you are able to satisfy the NZ Customs Service that:

a. You have the intention of immediately taking up a permanent residence in New Zealand
b. You have personally owned and used the vehicle overseas for one year prior to your departure for New Zealand
c. You do not aim to use the vehicle for anything other than your own personal use (e.g. Sale, gift).

A legal agreement called the Deed of Covenant must be completed in order for the vehicle to be imported free of duty. The agreement simply agrees that if the vehicle is disposed or sold within the limit of two years you are required to pay the duty which you would have been charged if not for the Deed of Covenant.

Left Hand Drive Vehicles

Prior to importing this type of vehicle, which is normally prohibited under the Customs Import Regulations, you must obtain an Import Permit from the:

Ministry of Transport
Land Transport Division
P O Box 27549
Wellington
Phone (04) 382 8300

It is advisable to have any vehicle steam-cleaned prior to exportation to remove all traces of soil, etc. Quarantine officials will examine all vehicles in order to prevent the entry of diseases, noxious weeds and insect pests into the country.

For further information see the Land Transport website:
www.ltsa.govt.nz

Importing Your Pet

Wildlife may be present in New Zealand but no poisonous creatures inhabit the island which ensures a safe outdoor experience for all New Zealand residents. In addition due to the importance and economic dependence of agricultural and fruit exports, the Government has acknowledged the dangers of animal importation and has addressed such potential issues.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries (MAF) aim to keep New Zealand free from foreign pests and diseases which could be carried from animals. Birds are completely illegal to be imported and the process to import your pet is incredibly complex and expensive. Moreover to import your pet an import permit is also required.
Any other questions can be directed to:

Import Management
Ministry of Agriculture & Fisheries
P O Box 2526
Wellington
New Zealand
Telephone +64 4 498 9624

The MAF website is:

www.maf.govt.nz

Quarantine requirements differ depending on which country the pet is being imported from e.g. from South Africa requires 120 days quarantine in NZ, from Europe/USA requires 30 days quarantine. There is no quarantine period in NZ for pets from the UK but they need to be quarantined in the UK for 30 days prior to their shipment.

A recommended agent (who also be able to give advice on blood testing, import requirements and import licence) close to Heathrow Airport, U.K. is

Airpets Oceanic
Spout Lane North
Stanwell Moor
Staines
Middlesex
TW19 6BW
Telephone (01753) 685571
Fax (01753) 681655
E-mail Airpets@compuserve.com

Regardless of any circumstance, no pet will be issued the approval for release before the end of its quarantine period. Furthermore no pet will not be authorized to leave until a written approval is provided by an MAF officer, once the approval is accepted, authorization for the pet to leave the quarantine zone is finally permitted.

The minimum MAF charge is NZ$36.15 which include airport inspection whilst a further NZ$25 is required per visit (max visit per pet is 5). Additional blood tests and other veterinary procedures are required during this process and must also be paid for.

Quarantine and MAF charges will be compulsory.

All imported dogs require a compulsory blood test when arriving New Zealand or rather be provided a course of antibiotics. During the blood test if Leptospira canicola is tested positive in the dog, then a course of antibiotics will immediately be administered.

Charges for each service such as the quarantine and MAF charges are all compulsory and must be paid for.

Duty Free Allowances

Each passenger aged 18 and over is entitled to bring into New Zealand the following items duty free:

200 cigarettes or 50 cigars or 250gm of tobacco products
1125 ml of spirits (usually 3 bottles)
Non-commercial quantities of duty-free perfume for personal use
Gifts, which are dutiable, must not exceed $700. These items must be brought in by the passenger on the same aircraft.

Personal effects/Household Goods

Certain owned items which are brought for your own personal use (Laptop, CD player, watch etc) are admitted free of duty. In addition certain household furniture which has been used for the minimum of 12 months prior from moving to New Zealand is also eligible for being admitted free of duty.

Weapons as well as medicinal drugs must immediately be declared to customs once arriving in New Zealand. A firearm licence which can be obtained through the New Zealand police is required in order to possess a gun in New Zealand. Weapons must always be locked and stored in gun lockers if it is not being used, whilst the New Zealand Police will only license the owner of the gun once the individual’s suitability for a firearm ownership is checked.

To avoid costly bonded storage charges, owners of the household goods should be in the country for Customs clearance of the goods.

A friend, relative or your agent must apply to customs if you are not able to be within the country before your goods arrive. A few documents are required from representative if they wish to pick up the items on your behalf:

a. Evidence directly from the owner allowing the representative to pick up their goods on their behalf
b. Documentary evidence that the owner will be arriving in NZ to take up permanent residence for the first time
c. Confirmation from the owner that the goods were owned by them prior to the shipment
d. A complete list and description of the goods.

The representative will then be required to:

e. Complete a Customs “Sight Entry” and lodge with the Collector of Customs
f. Pay the Collector of Customs a cash deposit equal to the full amount of duty and GST. This will be determined by Customs.

If all conditions above can be fulfilled, once you arrive in New Zealand your deposit will be refunded.

Prohibited/Restricted Imports

General Items

Animal remedies
Animals, live Except with required certification
Artifacts
Biological Cultures and Organisms Unless with approval
Camping equipment
Clam shells and Coral Except with certification
Clothing, equipment and Footwear used on farms or where animals present
Feathers, Bones, Horns, Tusks
Furs, skins and hunting trophies
Ivory Except with certification
Saddles & Riding Equipment including clothing and footwear
Soil and water
Stuffed animals (taxidermy) and Reptiles
Turtle and Tortoise Shells Except with certification
Wool (unprocessed) and Animal Hair

Food

Coconuts
Dairy Products Subject to examination on arrival
Eggs and egg products
Fish (saltwater)
Fish (freshwater) Subject to examination on arrival
Fruit
Herbs and spices
Meat and meat products Subject to examination on arrival
Mushrooms
Noodles and rice Subject to examination on arrival
Nuts
Popcorn (unpopped)
Vegetables Subject to examination on arrival

Plants and Plant Matter

Bamboo, cane, rattan, basketware and mats Subject to treatment upon arrival
Bulbs, corms, rhizomes and tubers
Cut flowers, dried flowers and leaves
Leis and Lei materials
Plants Except with correct certification
Pine cones and Pot Pourri
Seeds
Straw packaging
Straw handcrafts Allowed after examination and treatment

Recreation/Leisure/Entertainment

New Zealanders are a sports-loving people, which is not surprising when they are endowed with such an abundance of sunshine, space and good sports facilities. With the exception of team games, there is no need to join a club to play as there are many public courses and courts available on payment of a fee.

There is no type of sport which is not actively pursued in New Zealand, either as a spectator or as a participant. The most popular sports are rugby, cricket, tennis, netball, soccer, touch rugby, swimming, surfing, riding, bushwalking (called tramping), snow and water ski-ing, and yachting. For water sports enthusiasts, there are fine sandy beaches within easy distance of most major towns. Tennis is played all year around, on asphalt, grass or indoor courts. Snow-ski-ing is very popular and the ski-ing season generally starts towards the end of June.

Cinemas are also a popular form of entertainment.

There are national parks within easy reach and access to the coast and rivers for fishing and to national parks and reserves is the right of all New Zealanders.

Fishing & Hunting

Permits are required for fishing and hunting. They can be purchased from most Sporting Goods shops and are around $90 per annum for an adult. See also

http://www.fishnhunt.co.nz/fishing_nz.htm
http://www.fishandgame.org.nz/

Golf

Numerous courses extend throughout the country and welcome visitors, although it is important that you telephone a few days ahead of your planned round to avoid disappointment.

For details of Golf Clubs see:
http://www.nzga.co.nz/FindAClub/clubs.aspx?StateID=6

Education

The New Zealand School System

Education is compulsory for all New Zealand children regardless of origin, from age six to sixteen years. Almost without exception, most children start school as soon as they are five years old and leave when they reach 17-18 years.

The school year begins in late January each year and is divided into four terms. School finishes late November for Secondary schools and mid December for Primary Schools. The school terms run as follows:

Term 1 Late January to Late March
Term 2 Mid April to End of June
Term 3 Mid July to Mid September
Term 4 Late September to Mid December

For exact dates for each year see the Ministry of Education Website:

http://www.minedu.govt.nz

New Zealand has two systems of schooling. State or Government funded (free education) and Independent or Private (fee paying) schools. Foreign students have to pay school tuition fees whichever type of school they elect. However, if the family has a “Principal Applicant” who has a work visa and paid employment (therefore taxable income) or NZ Permanent Residency status, then they would only pay tuition fees if they elect to send their children to an independent school.

Education consists of four stages:

Early Childhood Education

Early Childhood Education is from two-five years (prior to this children may attend nurseries or child-care centres). This stage is not compulsory, but most New Zealand children begin at this level in preparation for primary school. The main providers of Early Childhood Education are free kindergartens, play centres, child-care centres, home-based networks, correspondence school, Early Childhood Development Unit funded play groups and Te Kohanga Reo (Maori language nests).

Primary School

A child’s education commences at age five (Year One) in the junior classes and progresses to year Seven by age 11. The majority then move to Intermediate level for years Seven/Eight and onto secondary education at age 13 for year

Secondary School or College

Secondary schools in New Zealand may be called either a high school or a college. Students commence at year Nine (13 years) and progress through to year 13, a period of five years. At year 13 level students take the University Bursary examination (UBE) for entry into a University/other Tertiary institution of their choice.

Tertiary

Tertiary education is provided by the Universities, Polytechnic, Colleges of Education (Teachers Training College), Community College and Private Training Establishments (e.g. Language, computer or business schools). Some state secondary schools throughout the country (sometimes referred to as Community Learning Centres) provide a range of courses for adult students. During the day they share classes with adolescent students but in the evening (Night School Classes) the students are all adults.

For more detailed information and Glossary of Terms see the Ministry of Education’s website, http://www.minedu.govt.nz and Under the Schools menu of select School Management and Administration, then School Statistics.

What type of schooling?

In New Zealand parents have a choice as to which type of primary and secondary school they send their children to.

There are Government or State schools where education is provided free whilst independent schools provide tuition fees which parents pay for. The curriculum in both government and independent schools are somewhat the same, however some schools do offer a wider range of subjects than others.

The Ministry of Education has enabled certain schemes such as the enrollment scheme in order to prevent overcrowding in a single school. This is often referred to as zoning which simply means a student who wishes to enroll to that specific school must live within a certain zone.

Uniforms

Year One to Seven students at state schools are generally not required to wear uniforms, however some schools have adopted affordable and practicable shorts, pinafores and sweatshirts. Most secondary and private schools require their uniform to be worn.

Qualifications

The National Certificates of Educational Achievement (NCEA) are the new national secondary schools’ qualifications, An NCEA is a standards-based qualification that will attest to a broad range of New Zealand Curriculum related education outcomes. There will be three National Certificates of Educational Achievement: Level 1 NCEA, Level 2 NCEA, and Level 3 NCEA. A student will be awarded a National Certificate when she/he has accumulated sufficient credits by being successfully assessed against NQF standards.

Level 1 equates to Year 11 (5th form)
Level 2 equates to Year 12 (6th form)
Level 3 equates to Year 13 (7th form)

External examinations will be an important part of the assessment that contributes towards all levels of the NCEA. Examiners will set questions and tasks to test whether students have achieved the requirements for individual standards and markers will need to decide whether students have shown enough evidence for a credit, merit or excellence grade in each standard.

For further information about NCEA see the Ministry of Education’s website under Schools/Curriculum, Teaching and NCEA – select qualifications.

Your Future and Regent Personnel

We hope that you will find this document useful and whilst it contains much of the information you will need to help you with your move it is important to note that this has been produced as a guide only and is not by any means the only document you will need.

Our role is to support you and your family with the help and support of your new employer to ensure that your move goes smoothly. You will be working with one of our senior consultants whom you will know by now is available for you at anytime.

We will need to gain as much information from you as possible not just about your requirements professionally but also your needs personally.

Most moves take 3 to 6 months from offer of a role and in some cases we have worked with people for up to 12 months in advance of their commencement of a new post.

We hope that you will continue to work with us and look forward to a long and successful relationship with you.