Working in New Zealand

Whether you are coming straight to a job in New Zealand, starting your own business or planning to look for work when you arrive, this section aims to give you all the information you need to find a job and work in New Zealand – and to find out how much you’re likely to earn.

Finding Work in New Zealand

You may need a job offer as part of your visa requirements, or perhaps you or your partner will be looking for employment shortly after you arrive in New Zealand. While there are plenty of employment agencies and job websites in New Zealand, it can be very hard to get a job offer when you haven’t moved over here yet. Added to this, as in the UK, many job vacancies are filled without being advertised.

On the plus side, many New Zealand employers are struggling to find quality candidates, and are very open to employing migrants from the UK. A lot really depends on which industry you are in – and the rest depends on making yourself known to the right people.

So how do you find the right people to help you to find a job in New Zealand? Our advice would be to find out what you can online or at one of the migration expos that are held around the UK a couple of times a year. You will have the opportunity to meet New Zealand employers, New Zealand employment agencies and even representatives from regions in New Zealand. Talk to people, find out what you can, and collect contact details.

Once you have a few leads, phone around likely agencies and employers to get advice and cultivate contacts. If you can, come over to New Zealand for a short time and meet as many of these contacts as you can. Even if an employer or employment agency does not have a current job opening for you, you may be able to tap into an industry grapevine that will make you aware of a vacancy elsewhere. Keep in touch with people over time and you will build up some very useful relationships, as well as getting a good overview of your industry in New Zealand.

And, if you secure a wonderful job offer with a great employer, don’t waste any time getting over to New Zealand to get started! A New Zealand company will be reasonable accommodating if they understand that you are emigrating, but no company can hold a job open indefinitely if it needs to be filled.

Two of the larger New Zealand job web sites are Trademe Jobs and Seek.

Working in New Zealand

New Zealanders generally have a very good work ethic. Many businesses are quite small, so individual efforts stand out, and you may find you have quite a wide-ranging job description – New Zealand employers value generalists. You may find that you need to take a few steps back in the career ladder on emigrating, either to “prove yourself” to a new employer, or indeed until a position at your current level becomes available. This may be less disheartening if your goals for moving to New Zealand are lifestyle based.

New Zealand Salary Information

To find out how much the average New Zealand salary is, how much an income you will need to live comfortably in New Zealand, and how to find out how much your New Zealand salary is likely to be in your profession, check our separate article on New Zealand Salary Information.

Updating your CV

You may be updating your CV (curriculum vitae) or resume for the first time in a number of years as you prepare to emigrate to New Zealand. New Zealand CVs are generally more comprehensive than you may be used to in the UK – up to 3-4 pages long, though this does vary both by industry and by seniority.

When you are updating your CV, concentrate on:

  • setting information out clearly – concentrate on making an employer aware of your strengths and achievements rather than just presenting a chronological history of where you have worked.
  • making a good first impression – an employer needs to be able to get a good idea of what you can offer them within a few seconds of picking up your CV. Spelling and grammar mistakes can be very off-putting.
  • showing the depth and range of your professional experience.

A good employment agency will be happy to give you advice on the current fashions in CV content and layout.

To find out more, request a free copy of our Financial and Pension guides for New Zealand.