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Thread: Considering holiday/move to NZ, some questions

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    Singapore
    Posts
    3

    Default Considering holiday/move to NZ, some questions

    Hello all! I am thinking of visiting New Zealand for a short holiday
    (maybe 1 or 2 months) and then perhaps considering a
    longer stay (1 to 2 years) if I find it to my liking.
    I don't particularly like where I come from (Singapore)
    and apartment/house rentals are incredibly expensive here as
    well, making New Zealand an attractive destination for me.

    However, I'd like to know more about the country before I do anything,
    considering that I have never visited it before and
    do not know anyone from NZ either. Hence my post!
    I do hope you can help me out here.

    1) Will being a foreigner pose any problems in renting a property?
    So far I have been using this site (http://www.realestate.co.nz) to
    source for possible rentals and I have a few promising choices lined up.
    Can all the necessary paperwork can be done outside the country?

    2) Is it possible to live in NZ without being able to drive? I think
    this might be my number one concern. From research on the Net it seems
    that most major cities are well-served with public transport,
    but given my budget I may not be able to
    rent a room in a central city.
    (I've put aside 400 a month for rental, 500-600 maximum)

    As I work from home and am able to cook I do not really need to be able to
    move around on short notice, but it would be nice to not have to walk
    10-15 minutes to get to the nearest bus station! It would also be a
    hindrance to meeting people, buying groceries etc if
    public transport was not readily accessible.

    If having a car is an absolute necessity, would it be
    possible for a foreigner to learn how to drive in NZ? I know that the
    license will only be valid in NZ, which is not a problem for me.

    3) Are goods and services very expensive? According to what
    I've learned from Google searches and the like, it shouldn't
    be that much more expensive that Australia or any
    other first-world country, right?

    4) Anything else I should look out for? The above are my
    primary concerns (especially transport!) but I welcome any and all
    advice and suggestions.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Scotland to Wellington
    Posts
    1,454

    Default

    Hello and welcome.
    The most important thing is to find out whether you are legally entitled to live and work in New Zealand for an extended length of time. So you need to find out about visas and immigration.

    You wouldn't need a car to live in Wellington, you could use the bus system.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    Singapore
    Posts
    3

    Default

    Thanks for the reply!

    According to the NZ immigration website I am from a visa-waiver country (Singapore) so I can stay up to 3 months. After that I could always return to Singapore for a short while to renew my visa.

    As work goes I will be working from home (I work as a freelance translator) so I wouldn't actually need to find work in NZ per se.

    Wellington is quite a big city in NZ terms - are there equivalent bus/train services in smaller areas? (say, for instance, Whangarei?)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    36,408

    Default

    1. Being a foreigner is not a problem when you want to rent or buy most properties in NZ.

    2. Depending on where you live, it can be desirable to have a car and to be able to drive. And yes, you can learn to drive in NZ. If you are interested in the public transport of any particular area, use Google and enter, for instance, 'Whangarei public transport.' https://www.google.co.uk/#q=whangarei+public+transport

    3. Anyone's perception of how expensive things are depends on their disposable income, and what they find it important to buy. There are many old threads on this subject on the forum. https://www.google.co.uk/#q=site:enz.org+cost+of+living

    4. Being a freelance is going to make it quite hard to get a visa. Both Residence under SMC and the various forms of temporary work visa presuppose that the applicant is going to be employed. If you are intending to be self-employed, you will need to look at the options for entrepreneurs and investors. http://www.immigration.govt.nz/migrant/stream/invest/

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Scotland to Wellington
    Posts
    1,454

    Default

    You sound as if you are planning to come for 3 months and rent a flat and work free-lance, then when your visitor visa runs out, leave the country and come back in again on another 3 month visitor visa, is that right?

    I am not sure NZ immigration will like that if you keep popping in and out.
    What about tax? Where would you pay that?
    And health care?
    Maybe I misunderstood what you are wanting to do.
    Re translating work, these people may be able to help in Wellington: http://www.nztcinternational.com/

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    S'pore-2-AKL again
    Posts
    877

    Default

    You should instead look into various work visas. Some are temporary and short term like WHV, or for longer like the Silver Fern or in some cases work-to-resident visa if you are looking for a future in NZ. I think on the whole, leaving every 3 months back and forth into NZ is not only expensive but highly impractical.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    3

    Default

    Learning to drive in New Zealand is no problem. The first thing you'll need to do is get your learner licence which means passing a theory test. You can practise that for free here: www.drivingtests.co.nz.

    Once you've got your learner licence then you'll have to take some driving lessons unless you can find someone to practise with. When you've got some practise under your belt you take a practical test and get your restricted licence. You must drive on your restricted licence for 6 months and then you can take another practical test. Assuming you pass that you'll get a full licence.

    More details are available on NZTA's website here: http://www.nzta.govt.nz/licence/

    Auckland probably isn't the best place to start driving as the traffic is challenging at times.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    Singapore
    Posts
    3

    Default

    Thanks for the replies! It's given me a lot to think about. Yes, now that you mention it I might have to rethink what I want to do there and how, but it's good to have information with which to make that decision.

    It's good to know that it's easy to learn to drive there, that is a definite plus point.

    Is it possible to initially go there on a tourist visa and scout for possible employment, and then return later on a work visa if things work out?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Kaipara, New Zealand
    Posts
    257

    Default

    I'd also take a look at your budget. I don't think $400 - $600 a month will cover accommodation in Auckland, even if you're just renting a room in a shared house I think it will be tough to find anything in that range.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    36,408

    Default

    Yes, it's perfectly legal to look for work while on a visitor's visa, then apply for a work visa in order to start.

    Here is the instruction issued to INZ staff about this issue. http://www.immigration.govt.nz/NR/rd...20June2014.pdf

    What is illegal is any kind of work while on a visitor's visa.

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