Moving to New Zealand From the UK – An Expat Guide

November 03 2020

As a nation with a rich cultural heritage and a large expat community, New Zealand is a fantastic place to move to from the UK whether you are moving to NZ for work or moving as a family. We’ve put together our expat guide to moving to New Zealand from the UK to prepare you from your new life in Aotearoa, the Land of the Long White Cloud.

Visa & Residency Requirements When Moving to New Zealand

When moving to New Zealand as a UK citizen, you will not need a visa to visit as long as you will be leaving within 6 months, you will just need to get a New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority (NZeTA) before you travel. If you are moving to New Zealand to work or moving there permanently for another reason, however, you will be required to apply for a residence visa in order to live in New Zealand.

Weather in New Zealand

When moving to New Zealand, one thing you should consider is where you will be moving to and the climate of that particular area. New Zealand’s climate varies wildly between areas from the sub-tropical summer temperatures of the far north to the minus figures of the alpine areas in the South Island. However, most residential areas of New Zealand lie close to the coast meaning overall you can expect quite a mild climate when living in NZ. Typically, January and February tend to be the warmest months in New Zealand compared to the UK’s icy winter months with July dipping to the lowest yearly temperatures.

Cost of Living When Moving to New Zealand from the UK

If you are thinking about relocating to New Zealand, it is important to ensure you have the proper budget available to you to cover moving expenses and living costs. If you are moving to New Zealand to work then you should look at living costs in New Zealand and compare this to how much you will be earning to ensure you will be earning enough to cover this. If you are moving to New Zealand with family, you will also need to make sure you have enough money to cover their expenses too if they will be dependent on you for financial support. On average, those moving to New Zealand from the UK may find that the cost of living in New Zealand is slightly higher than in the UK. Expenses such as rent or property may cost more than you are used to paying in the UK however many wages reflect this when working in New Zealand so it is important to do your maths.

Where is Best to Live in New Zealand?

When decided on where to live in New Zealand as a British expat there are a number of factors to consider. If you will be moving to NZ to work then of course you will need to find somewhere within commuting distance of your place of work. If you are moving to NZ with family you will also need to consider things such as local schools and family-activities in the area. Some of the top areas for British expats in New Zealand to live include Auckland, Christchurch, Wellington, Dunedin and Tauranaga. These are popular spots to live in New Zealand due to a thriving local community of expats and locals with plenty of employment opportunities and amenities from hiking to festivals to keep you and your family occupied.

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Driving in New Zealand as a UK Citizen

If you will be wanting to drive in New Zealand as a British citizen, it is important that you observe all local laws surrounding this. If you are planning on moving to New Zealand for less than a year you will be able to use your own UK driving licence in order to drive in New Zealand. If you are planning on moving to NZ permanently however, you will need to apply for a New Zealand driving licence. One of the easiest ways to do this is to apply to convert your UK driving licence to a New Zealand driving licence. To do this, you will need to prove certain things such as that your eyesight reaches a certain standard and provide proof of your identity among other things. In some cases you may be required to retake your theory or practical driving test in New Zealand, however usually UK citizens are exempt from this.

Fast Facts About Moving to NZ

  • The weather is very unpredictable when living in New Zealand
  • The natural landscapes are mesmerising. From hot springs to mountainous landscapes, be prepared to be wowed
  • New Zealand is the home of hobbits as the filming spot for the Lord of the Rings films. You can even visit Hobbiton
  • New Zealand has a very low population for its size. With only around 4.8 million people living in the country compared to the UK’s 66.6 million
  • The New Zealand accent is definitely unique. With some likening it to Australian and South African in the same sentence, the Kiwi accent is definitely one of a kind, add in some New Zealand slang and some migrating to New Zealand can be completely confused

Moving Your Belongings to New Zealand from the UK

When moving to New Zealand from the UK one of the biggest things to organise is how to ship your belongings to New Zealand from the UK. Thankfully there are a range of options out there to choose from. It is important that you choose a trusted international shipping company to move your household goods to NZ, this is because of the many shipping regulations that are in place when importing goods into New Zealand from overseas. Here at Anglo Pacific World Movers, we have been moving happy customers to New Zealand for years and know all of the finer details of moving from the UK to New Zealand. We can help with whatever paperwork you may need and provide a range of international shipping options to help make your move to New Zealand a breeze.


If you are looking for a quality removals to New Zealand company to help you move from the UK to New Zealand, get in touch with the team at Anglo Pacific to find out more. Request a call back here or find out more ways to get in touch here.

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