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...BlogsUltimate guide to living and working in New Zealand: part one
Ultimate guide to living and working in New Zealand: part one

 

An overview of New Zealand 

 

Located in the Southern Pacific Ocean, New Zealand is renowned for its breathtaking natural landscapes, vibrant Māori culture, and progressive society. The country comprises two main islands, the North Island and the South Island, along with hundreds of smaller islands, offering diverse geographical features, from pristine beaches and lush rainforests to towering mountains, vibrant lakes and fjords.  

  

New Zealand’s economy is driven by agriculture, tourism, technology, and innovation. It boasts a high standard of living, a strong education system, and a universal healthcare system. Due to a reliance on tourism and adventure tourism, environmental conservation and sustainability are important commitments, and the country’s unique biodiversity is just one of the many reasons New Zealanders are proud of their home. 

  

Quick Facts 

 

Official language:  Māori, English, and New Zealand Sign Language 

Capital: Wellington 

Largest city: Auckland 

Population: over 5 million 

Currency: New Zealand dollar (NZD) 

  

Why move to New Zealand? 

 

Weather 

New Zealand’s weather is generally mild but given the geography of the nation there is some variety depending on where you are situated. The north of the North Island can have warm subtropical weather in summer, whereas alpine areas of the South Island receive heavy snow and subzero temperatures in winter.  

  

Lifestyle 

The Kiwi way of life is laidback and relaxed, reflective of excellent work-life balance. New Zealand’s major cities are near beaches and national parks, making an active lifestyle attractive, particularly for those interested in adventure activities. Due to legislation protecting time off, achieving balance in life is easy in New Zealand, making it an attractive destination for families.  

  

Culture 

New Zealand’s cultural influences are mainly Māori and European. Traditional cultural ceremonies and customs are greatly protected and influence formal and informal settings.  A tradition that is famous around the world is the Māori haka, an ancient chant and dance performed to welcome visitors and build confidence before battle. Today, it is used before commencement of events as a way of acknowledging Māori heritage and respect for the proceedings and participants. New Zealand also has a history of multiculturalism due to immigration to large cities.  

  

Healthcare 

New Zealand has a universal healthcare system that is viewed as one of the finest in the world, funded by general taxation, and available free or at low cost to all citizens and permanent residents, as well as some work visa holders. Approximately one-third of New Zealand’s population have private health insurance to pay for noncovered services and copayments.  

  

Did you know? 

 

New Zealand was the first country in the world to allow universal suffrage, allowing women to vote in 1893. 

 

Popular destinations and landmarks 

 

Bay of Islands 

This group of 144 islands north of Auckland is famous for its cultural significance and natural beauty. The Waitangi Treaty Grounds mark the place where a foundational document was signed between Māori chiefs and British representatives, marking the formation of modern-day New Zealand.   

 

Queenstown 

The adventure capital of New Zealand, Queenstown is surrounded by snow-capped mountains and nestled along the shore of Lake Wakatipu, making it a stunning destination. There are high octane activities like bungee jumping and zip lines, and tamer options for the everyday adventurer like cycling and hiking.  

 

Milford Sound 

Located inside the famous Fiordland National Park, Milford Sound is a stunning landmark that is legendary for its superb scenery and is an important conservation site for birds and mammals. Visitors explore Milford Sound by boat to best see the dramatic cliffs and waterfalls.  

 

Tāne Mahuta 

Also known as the ‘God of the Forest; this is a giant kauri tree found in the Waipoua Forest of Northland Region. Estimated to be 2,500 years old, it's a remnant of the ancient subtropical rainforest that once grew in this region. As  the largest tree of this type to be found in New Zealand, it is also a deeply sacred site in Māori culture.  

 

Fun fact 

 

New Zealand has a multicultural medical workforce. Over 40% of the 17,000 doctors registered with the MCNZ in 2019 were international medical graduates, and amongst practising nurses, 27% were internationally qualified.