Housing, Health, Education and More

Buying a home in New Zealand

In New Zealand house prices are set by negotiation between buyer and seller, or by auction or tender (where buyers must make written offers by a certain date.) An indication of the price the seller wants is sometimes given. For example, BBO $320,000 means Buyer’s Budget Over $320,000. Another indication of price is the government valuation (GV) or rateable value (RV). You can pay for a valuation report from a registered valuer, or get online property information from the government agency Quotable Value.

Remember to be realistic – houses in New Zealand are more expensive now than ever before. This is especially true in growth areas such as Auckland and places with housing shortages such as Christchurch. It is possible that you will not be able to afford your dream home right away. Think about renting or buying something cheaper at first and moving on to a more expensive home later. Apartments and townhouses can be a less expensive way to start. They also help to build your New Zealand credit rating.

For more information on Buying a Home in New Zealand, click here:

Renting a home in New Zealand

Fixed term residential rental contracts are often short to medium term and long term fixed contracts are relatively rare. Prices vary throughout the country, with higher prices in the main centres.

Tenancy Services within the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) gives advice and guidance about all aspects of rental tenancies in New Zealand. This includes a guide to the law. MBIE also offers a mediation service if you have a dispute over a rental agreement.

 Ready to Rent Guide | Tenancy Services

You can find rental properties through letting agents such as real estate agents, or by contacting landlords directly. A popular privately operated website where you’ll find lots of rental properties advertised is TradeMe Property. Browsing around this website will give you an excellent overview of rents and the types of property available in the area you’re considering.

There’s high demand for good places, so it pays to make contact quickly.

Crockers Property also issue a monthly report which gives a good indication on what you can expect to pay in rent in various suburbs around Auckland - Crockers Property

Rent a Property

Driving in New Zealand

We drive on the left hand side of the road, which means some of you should feel right at home. However, there are some vital differences, such as the give way rules. These are:

  • If you are going straight ahead at an intersection, give way to all vehicles coming straight through from your right.
  •  If you are turning, give way to all traffic that is not turning. This includes giving way to cyclists using cycle and bus lanes, and vehicles using bus lanes. It also applies when both vehicles are facing the same control, such as Stop signs, Give Ways and green traffic signals.
  • If you are leaving the path marked centre line at an uncontrolled intersection, you must give way to vehicles following the centre line. This is because vehicles leaving the path of the centre line are legally turning (even though sometimes they might actually be going in a straight line) and the Give Way rules apply.

Public Transportation

Every city and most towns in New Zealand have reliable bus and taxi services, and Wellington and Auckland in the North Island also run train services. People in some places even use ferries to get between work and home, such as from Auckland City to Devonport or Waiheke Island.

Find timetables using these regional transport authorities:

Auckland: Auckland Transport

Hamilton: Hamilton Street Railway and Go Bus

Wellington:  NZ Bus, Mana Coachlines, MetLink NZ Bus, Mana Coachlines, MetLinkTranz Scenic

Christchurch:  Metro

Dunedin:  Dunedin Buses

Invercargill: Invercargill City Council Bus Services

For bus services which run throughout New Zealand, click here.

Because New Zealand is a small country, it doesn’t take long to travel by aeroplane between towns and cities.
Three main airlines operate networks around New Zealand. On their sites you’ll find prices and flight times, and regular price specials.


You can be reassured that your health is in good hands when you come to New Zealand. That’s because New Zealand’s health care system is widely regarded as one of the best in the OECD countries (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development). Under the public system, essential heath care is provided free to all NZ residents. This means that while some routine services, such as visits to doctors and dentists have to be paid for, more costly services, such as hospital treatment are available free or low cost to all NZ residents and some work visa holders

For more information on Healthcare in New Zealand, click here:

Also, for further information on eligibility for Healthcare in NZ, please visit: The Guide to eligibility for publicly funded health Services – Ministry of Health


If you're moving to New Zealand with children, finding a good school and getting them settled in will be a priority. Fortunately, you can feel confident about New Zealand’s education system. New Zealand is comfortably in the world’s top 20 nations for the quality of our schools according to the OECD in 2016.

From a child's first day at school, our government-funded schooling system provides a comprehensive curriculum of academic, sporting and skills-based learning options in a positive environment.

Quick Facts:

  • School is compulsory for all children in New Zealand from the age of 6 to 16
  • A national curriculum sets out the learning requirements for all state schools 
  • Children are eligible for free education if they are a New Zealand citizen or resident, or if they qualify as a domestic student.
  • There are three types of schools: state-funded, state-integrated and private
  • The average number of students to teacher is 18 to 1 in primary schooling and 15 to 1at secondary state schools
  • There are four terms in the school year.

For more information on Education in New Zealand, click here:

Law and Order

New Zealand is recognised as a relaxed, tolerant and reasonably safe country, where people are free to live the lifestyle they choose.

As a modern, secular and democratic country, New Zealand has laws protecting human rights and freedom of speech. It is illegal to discriminate on the grounds of gender, race, religion or ethnicity; and everyone living here has the same rights and freedoms.

Generally life in New Zealand is safe and healthy. As in any country, there are incidents of crime here. Thankfully, serious crime rates in New Zealand are lower than in many other countries. New Zealand Police are generally trusted, and solve a comparatively high number of all crimes.

Importantly, the great majority of New Zealanders are law abiding and honest to deal with. While New Zealand laws are similar to other democratic, Western countries, there are some differences you’ll want to know.

For more information on Law and Order in New Zealand, click here