A PARLIAMENTARY DEMOCRACY 01
ELECTING A GOVERNMENT 02
THE LAW IN NEW ZEALAND 03
THE NEW ZEALAND POLICE 07
YOU AND THE POLICE 09
PROTECTION AGAINST FAMILY/
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE 11
PAYING TAX 11
INCOME TAX 14
WEBSITES AND NEW ZEALAND FREEPHONES 19
EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW
ABOUT THE NEW ZEALAND GOVERNMENT,
JUDICIAL SYSTEM, VOTING, LAWS AND TAXES
A PARLIAMENTARY DEMOCRACY
New Zealand is a modern parliamentary democracy.
Although its style of government still follows the
Westminster cabinet model, there are important
distinctions. The national government comprises
a single legislature, the House of Representatives,
which is elected every three years rather than the
five-year cycle customary in the Westminster system.
In 1993, New Zealand also adopted a new electoral
system based on proportional representation. The
“THE COMMONWEALTH 01
traditional Westminster system requires that all
Members of Parliament (MPs) represent a geographical CONNECTION MADE
electorate and are elected solely on the basis of the NEW ZEALAND A LOGICAL
vote within that electorate. This is known as the “first
past the post” system and means that to be elected, PLACE TO STUDY LAW.”
an MP must obtain the highest number of votes in the H O N G K O N G M I G R A N T A N D L AW Y E R ,
electorate. Under New Zealand’s MMP system (Mixed
Member Proportional), the 120 MPs are elected either
as electorate MPs or as list MPs. The electoral process
for electorate MPs follows the Westminster system.
However, the process for electing list MPs is quite
different. List MPs do not contest a particular electorate.
Future List MPs are first selected as candidates by their
political party and then appointed on the basis of their
party’s proportion of the national vote.
After an election, the new Government may be formed ELECTING A GOVERNMENT
in several ways. If one party wins over 50% of the
national vote, it can form a Majority Government. Your eligibility to vote
When no single party commands a majority, the largest Voting is not compulsory in New Zealand but, if you
party may either form a Minority Government, with are eligible to vote, you are required to enrol as an
support from parties outside the Government, or form elector. To enrol to vote you must be a permanent
a Majority Coalition Government, with the support of resident and at least 18 years old. You also need to
one or more other parties. The Prime Minister leads have lived here on a continuous basis for a year and
the party or coalition which has majority support in have resided in your electorate for at least one month.
the House of Representatives. Cabinet is the decision- Electoral records are maintained by the Registrar of
making hub of Government. It is headed by the Prime Electors and are updated twice every three years.
Minister, comprises Ministers chosen from the However, if you change your address it is advisable to
Members of Parliament and is supported by junior advise the Registrar directly. Both enrolment and
ministers outside of Cabinet. address changes can be arranged through New Zealand
Queen Elizabeth II remains constitutional head Post Shops. If there are special reasons why your name
of state but plays no active part in Government. The and address should not be published in the Electoral
02 Roll, they can be registered on the unpublished roll.
public responsibilities of the Crown are carried out by
a New Zealand appointed and politically neutral The electoral process
Governor-General. Under the MMP system, the House of Representatives
comprises 120 MPs. Of these, 51 are list MPs
(candidates nominated by registered political parties
prior to the general election), 62 represent General
Electorates and seven Maori Electorates. Only Maori
who are registered on the Maori Roll can vote in a
Maori Electorate. All others are registered on the
Registered electors cast two votes:
• a vote for a political party – this is known as the
• a vote for a candidate seeking to represent a local
electorate – this is known as the Electorate Vote.
Each party’s total number of Party Votes determines THE LAW IN NEW ZEALAND
its share of the 120 seats in Parliament.
However, before a party is entitled to this share, The judicial system
it must receive at least 5% of all Party Votes cast at the New Zealand has an independent judiciary. The Chief
election, or win at least one General or Maori Electorate. Justice is appointed by the Governor-General
The system works like this. A Party that wins 30% on the advice of the Prime Minister. Judges are
of the Party Vote is entitled to 36 MPs in total. If it appointed by the Governor-General – generally, on the
already has 15 Electorate MPs, a further 21 List MPs recommendation of the Attorney-General.
will be appointed to bring its total to 36. This ensures Court of Appeal and High Court judges can only be
that final representation fairly reflects a party’s share removed from office by the Queen or the Governor-
of the national vote. List MPs are appointed on the General, acting on a recommendation from the House
basis of a candidate’s ranking on the party list. of Representatives. District Court judges can be
removed from office by the Governor-General.
Local Government Lawyers who have held a practising certificate for
Local government (often referred to as ‘local’ or at least seven years are eligible for appointment
‘territorial authorities’) operates on two levels: regional as judges.
councils, and district and city councils. 03
There are 12 regional councils. These are respons- Courts of general jurisdiction
ible for such matters as water supply, parks and The courts of general jurisdiction deal with criminal
reserves, land transport planning and resource and civil matters.
management. Criminal matters are offences against the law that
The role of the regional councils is complemented result in imprisonment or other penalties. Civil matters
by the work of district and city councils. There are usually involve disputes, such as a breach of contract,
59 district councils and 15 city councils. Their areas of defamation or claims for damages.
responsibility are similar to those of regional councils The Judicial Committee of the Privy Council
and include water supply, land use, building controls, The Privy Council is still New Zealand’s final court of
roading and transport, as well as community appeal and highest court. It sits in London with eminent
development. British and New Zealand judges presiding and deals
Local government elections are held every three mainly with appeals against judgements in civil cases.
years. Regional council electorates are known as However, the Government is currently considering
‘constituencies’; district and city council electorates as alternatives and it is expected that New Zealand will
‘wards’. If you are registered as a parliamentary elector, establish its own Supreme Court by 2004.
you can also vote in local government elections. Voting
is usually by postal ballot.
“IT’S GREAT TO HAVE
A CHANCE TO WORK WITH
NEW MIGRANTS AND SHARE
SOME OF MY EXPERIENCE.
HERE THE GOVERNMENT
REALLY HELPS PEOPLE.”
ETHIOPIAN MIGRANT AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT
E T H N I C L I A I S O N O F F I C E R , G E TAW C H E R I N E T.
Court of Appeal There are more than 100 tribunals, authorities, boards
The Court of Appeal is the highest appeal court in New or committees. These deal with a wide range of disputes
Zealand. It consists of the Chief Justice, the President involving issues such as censorship, taxation, tenancy
of the Court of Appeal and six other judges of the and employment. Some of the better known ones are
Court of Appeal. Its role is to determine the law of New the Employment, Disputes, Tenancy and Treaty of
Zealand and to reconcile conflicting court decisions. Waitangi Tribunals.
The High Court Justices of the Peace
The High Court is made up of the Chief Justice and Justices of the Peace (JPs) are appointed by the
36 other judges. The judges are based in Auckland, Governor-General on the recommendation of the
Hamilton, Wellington and Christchurch, but travel Minister of Justice following nomination by
on circuit to 13 other centres from Whangarei to Members of Parliament. There are about 10,000 JPs
Invercargill. The High Court deals with major in New Zealand.
crimes and the more significant civil claims. It also JPs principally serve as witnesses for documents,
hears appeals from lower courts and tribunals. such as statutory declarations, wills and insurance
claims, although they can also grant search warrants
The District Courts
and sometimes assist District Courts in adjudicating 05
New Zealand presently has 64 District Courts located
minor criminal and traffic charges. JPs are listed under
throughout the country. They have extensive civil and
‘Justices of the Peace’ in the Yellow Pages.
criminal jurisdiction. Serious crimes, such as rape and
armed robbery, can be transferred from the High Court Jury service
to the District Courts for trial. Juries in New Zealand are selected at random from
the Electoral Roll. If you are enrolled as an elector and
aged between 20 and 65, you may be selected to
New Zealand has a number of specialist courts.
perform this important service. On most occasions,
• The Employment Court deals with labour relations. you will be asked to hear a criminal case.
• Family Courts deal with matters such as custody, You can be excused from jury service only if there
parental access, divorce, adoption, protection orders is a good reason, such as hardship, personal beliefs,
and the care and protection of children. childcare responsibilities or permanent disability. You
• Youth Courts deal with offences committed by young may be exempted from service if you have served on
people (older than 14 but less than 17). a jury within the last two years.
• The Maori Land Court and Maori Appellate Court
deal with matters relating to Maori land.
• The Environment Court deals with resource
management, planning and development matters.
Getting legal help Fees
Lawyers are listed in the Yellow Pages under both Legal fees vary widely. To avoid unpleasant surprises,
‘Lawyers’ and ‘Barristers & Solicitors’. The distinction it is always advisable to enquire about fees before
reflects the type of legal work lawyers specialise in: commissioning any legal work.
barristers deal with court work; solicitors with other
Free legal help
legal work that does not require them to represent
Legal aid is available only for matters that you cannot
their clients in court. Most lawyers are qualified both
resolve without a lawyer acting for you in court, or to
as barristers and solicitors, but tend not to act in both
help you settle a matter out of court. You cannot get
legal aid for divorce, or if you only want to talk to a
Lawyers are required to treat all business as
lawyer. The aid is subject to numerous restrictions and
confidential, provide independent advice and use their
may have to be paid back at a later date. Information
skill for their client’s benefit. As a profession, lawyers
on legal aid is available from Citizens Advice Bureaux
undertake a vast range of legal work. However, as far
and Community Law Centres, District Courts and other
as most private citizens are concerned, they are
agencies. Most lawyers will also provide guidance.
generally employed to:
06 • provide advice on legal rights
New Zealand is a modern democratic country in
• check legal documents
which human rights are protected. The Human Rights
• assist with immigration applications
Commission is responsible for investigating complaints
• provide conveyance services for properties and
about discrimination and other human rights issues.
It is an independent agency charged with protecting
• prepare rental and lease agreements
individual rights, resolving disputes and eliminating
• draft wills
unfair and illegal practices. The commission also
• undertake divorce proceedings
has the power to prosecute individuals and/or
• arrange redress in cases of fraud or
agencies contravening the Human Rights Act 1993.
• provide representation in cases involving the Police. Office of the Ombudsmen
In New Zealand, the Office of the Ombudsmen is an
independent agency. Its main function is to assist
private citizens with requests for official information,
and complaints about local and central government
agencies.There is no fee for making a complaint or an
application to the Ombudsmen.
THE NEW ZEALAND POLICE Neighbourhood Support
Neighbourhood Support is a community-based
By international standards, New Zealand is a programme actively promoted by the Police. It
remarkably safe and law-abiding society. The New encourages citizens to take standard precautions and
Zealand Police do not carry firearms. They have an co-operate with their neighbours in crime prevention.
excellent reputation and are generally considered These include common-sense procedures, such as
helpful and friendly. Cases of police corruption are keeping properties secure, depositing large amounts
exceedingly rare. The Police enforce both criminal and of cash at a bank and not holding money at home,
traffic laws and undertake search and rescue missions. safely depositing and/or insuring jewellery and other
They also operate a range of community programmes, valuables, keeping an eye on neighbouring properties
including Youth Education and Youth Aid services. and reporting anything suspicious. It is advisable
Contacting the Police always to lock windows and doors when you leave
In emergencies dial 111. This is the general emergency home, and let your neighbours know if you plan to be
number and operates free of charge from all private away for any length of time. It is also a good idea to
and public phones. install deadlocks and leave your home looking ‘lived
In non-urgent situations, contact the nearest Police in’ when you go away. Most communities have
Station listed under P in the Blue Pages at the front of Neighbourhood Support groups and it is best to ask
The Telephone Book. about these when moving into a new home.
For traffic incidents, *555 can also be dialled from
a mobile phone.
For all emergencies dial 111 from anywhere
in New Zealand.
“MY MOTHER’S STILL IN
THE COOK ISLANDS AND
MY BACKGROUND REALLY
HELPS WHEN WORKING WITH
T H E L O C A L C O M M U N I T Y. ”
SAM BRACKEN –
C O M M U N I T Y C O N S TA B L E / Y O U T H A I D O F F I C E R .
YOU AND THE POLICE If the Police want to search you or your home, vehicle
Dealing with the Police The Police cannot conduct a search without your
In New Zealand, relations with the Police are good. In consent.
part, this is because the public has clear rights and
obligations when dealing with the Police. The Police If the Police have a search warrant, or specific statutory
may not act arbitrarily; the public is expected to act authority...
responsibly. The following provides a brief outline of They must, first, tell you what this specific authority
some of the rights and obligations that apply to the is – there is a range of search powers. Common cases
Police and private citizens. include specific powers to:
• stop a vehicle if someone in it is subject to an arrest
If the Police ask you to stop... warrant or has committed an offence punishable by
The rule is simple – you must stop. If you are driving, imprisonment
you must stop and give your name, address and any • search the vehicle for an offender or for criminal
other details needed for identification. You are required evidence
to carry your driver licence at all times and will be • search premises or a vehicle for controlled drugs.
asked to present it. You must also give the name and 09
details of the vehicle’s owner or hirer. If you are the If the Police want to take your fingerprints...
owner or hirer, you must give the names and details They can do so only if you agree.
of your passengers and the driver if other than yourself. If you are questioned by the Police, make sure that...
However, once you have provided this information, • The person is a Police officer – a Police officer in
it is your decision whether you answer any more plain clothes must show their identification card
questions – you do not have to. You are entitled to which includes their photograph and name.
talk to a lawyer before you answer, or make a written • What you say to, or write for, the Police is exactly
or spoken statement. what you mean. If you have difficulties, ask for
If the Police ask you to go with them... assistance and/or an interpreter.
You do not have to unless you agree to do so. If you are suspected of having committed a crime, but
If the Police suspect you have been driving under the have not been arrested, you can...
influence of alcohol or drugs... • Choose whether or not to answer any questions, or
There can be no dispute here. You must accompany make a written or verbal statement.
the Police as requested. • Generally, leave the Police Station when you wish.
However, if you have been detained for a blood/
alcohol test, you cannot leave until this has been
If you are suspected of having committed a crime, and
“LIFE IS SAFE AND SECURE
have been arrested, you...
HERE. WE CAN ENJOY THE • Have the right to consult a lawyer immediately –
SIMPLE THINGS AGAIN.” there should be a list of lawyers at the Police Station.
If you request advice from a lawyer included on the
SOUTH AFRICAN MIGRANTS, Police Station’s list, this initial legal counsel is
J A M E S A N D M A R I E FA R R E L L . provided free of charge.
• Must give your name, address, occupation, and date
and place of birth.
• Must allow the Police to take fingerprints and photo-
graphs and, in certain circumstances, conduct
a search. The Police can, for example, search for
criminal evidence or for weapons or objects that
might facilitate an escape. However, it is generally
illegal for the Police to search a person (or their
car or house) for no other reason than the fact of
• Can contact a friend or relative and request permission
for them to visit you at the Police Station. Such
requests are usually granted, but can be declined
on the advice of the Police officer dealing with the
• May ask to be ‘released on bail’. This means you
are allowed to go home until you have to appear in
court on a set date to ‘face charges’. Bail is not an
automatic right. There are also usually conditions
attached – such as not being allowed to leave the
country. There are special rights for children and
young people aged under 17 years. The Police officer
must explain their rights in a way that they can
clearly understand and ensure that another adult or
a lawyer is present when they make a statement.
FIREARMS PAYING TAX
In New Zealand it is illegal to have a gun for self- Inland Revenue is the government department that
defence. All firearms and guns must be licensed and collects taxes – it is popularly referred to as the IRD.
can be used only for lawful purposes. The New Zealand tax year is from 01 April to 31 March.
Most people pay their taxes as they earn their income.
Employers deduct tax on salary and wages. Banks and
PROTECTION AGAINST FAMILY/
other financial institutions deduct tax on interest as it
is derived. People who do not pay tax on all of their
The New Zealand Police take family/domestic violence income as it is earned are required to file tax returns
very seriously. Do not be afraid to ask for help. Violence at the end of the tax year (31 March) to work out their
is unacceptable wherever it happens and no matter tax liability. In most cases, Inland Revenue will send
who is the victim. The Domestic Violence Act 1995 you all the material you need to file tax returns and
provides protection against physical, sexual and make payment.
psychological violence. Psychological violence includes If you are thinking of going into business, see
the use of intimidation, harassment, damage to Business booklet.
property, threats of harm, and allowing a child to see 11
Personal and Company tax rates in New Zealand
or hear abuse.
New Zealand tax rates for the year April 2002 to
‘Protection orders’ are provided under the Domestic
March 2003 are:
Violence Act for people in ‘close personal relation-
ships’. These include married and unmarried couples,
Income Tax rate for Tax rate for
children and relatives, and homosexual partners.
A protection order can be obtained whether or not
the Police take criminal action. Help is available from
and partners in
a number of agencies including the Police, Community
Law Centres and Citizens Advice Bureaux. High School
0-$38,000 19.5% 33%
counsellors are also available to assist and the
$38,001-$60,000 33% 33%
Women’s Refuge provides sanctuary for mothers and
$60,001 and over 39% 33%
There are rebates available to individuals that reduce the tax rates
if their income is under $38,000
“THE TAXATION AND
ACCOUNTING SYSTEMS HERE ARE
VERY EASY TO WORK WITH –
I’VE HAD NO PROBLEMS SINCE
ARRIVING SEVEN YEARS AGO.”
AMERICAN MIGRANT AND OFFICE MANAGER,
Tax Residency Note: you can keep similar ties, or even a home, in other countries, but
New Zealand residents are liable for income tax on still be a New Zealand resident for tax purposes. If you have an enduring
their worldwide income. If you are a New Zealand tax relationship with New Zealand, you will always be a tax resident.
resident, you will need to pay income tax on all income
You may be a tax resident in New Zealand and another
you receive from both New Zealand and overseas.
country. This means you are resident in two countries
If you have a taxable activity in New Zealand, you will
under the tax laws of each of those countries. If both
need to pay Goods and Services Tax (GST).
countries tax their residents on worldwide income,
You are a New Zealand resident for tax purposes if: you could be taxed twice on the same income. New
Zealand has double tax agreements with many other
• you are in New Zealand for more than 183 days in
countries. These agreements establish which country
any 12-month period. You are considered to be
has the first or sole right to tax certain types of income.
resident from the day you arrive in New Zealand.
Inland Revenue provides expert advice on these issues.
The 183 days need not be consecutive
• you are overseas in the service of the New Zealand
• you have an ‘enduring relationship’ with New
Zealand. To decide whether you have an enduring
relationship with New Zealand, Inland Revenue
considers things such as:
– whether you are here for continuous periods from
time to time
– whether you own, lease or have access to property
in New Zealand
– your social ties (where your immediate family
lives, if you have children being educated here, if
you belong to any New Zealand associations)
– your economic ties (if you have bank accounts,
credit cards, life insurance, investments or
superannuation funds here)
– your employment (if you work here)
– your personal property (if you own or keep
– whether you intend to live in New Zealand
– whether you receive welfare benefits, pensions
and other payments.
IRD numbers INCOME TAX
An IRD number is a unique identifying number that
you use for all your contacts with Inland Revenue PAYE
(similar to a bank account number). You will need an If you earn income from salary, wages or a social security
IRD number before you start a job or open a bank benefit, your tax will be deducted under the pay-as-
account. Otherwise, your employer or bank will you-earn (PAYE) system. This means that the pay you
deduct the ‘no declaration’ rate of tax from your salary. get from your employer has already had tax deducted.
This rate is much higher than the standard deduction ACC levies
rates and will significantly reduce the net income Inland Revenue is the agent for collection of the
you receive. employees’ Earner Levy as part of your PAYE
You can apply for a number by filling in the approp- deductions. These levies provide insurance cover when
riate application form (IR 595). This form needs to be people suffer an accident outside of their work.
completed and returned to Inland Revenue with
identification, such as a copy of your birth certificate Provisional Tax
or passport. People who operate a business as a sole trader, limited
If you need to apply for IRD numbers for your liability company or other business entity have to
14 account for their own tax progressively during the
children, fill in the appropriate form, which is either:
year. This is referred to as provisional tax.
Provisional tax is payable in three instalments during
• an IRD number application -- children (IR594) if a the year, based on what you expect your tax bill to be.
parent/caregiver is applying on behalf of the child The amount of Provisional Tax you pay is then
• an IRD number application -- individual (IR595) if deducted from your tax bill at the end of the year.
the child is applying for himself or herself. For more information, see the IRD’s Provisional Tax
Send the application form to Inland Revenue, along booklet (IR 289).
with a copy of the child’s birth certificate, passport or Goods and Services Tax (GST)
certificate of New Zealand citizenship. GST is charged on almost all goods and services in
To request these forms: Freephone: 0800 257 773 New Zealand. It is a consumer tax. The GST rate is
(INFOexpress) or visit: www.ird.govt.nz 12.5% of the price of goods or services. For more
information see Business.
Resident Withholding Tax (RWT) If you and your children are in New Zealand unlawfully
You pay Resident Withholding Tax on interest you earn or hold only a temporary permit or visa, then for Family
from bank accounts or other investments. The bank Assistance purposes, you are not considered a New
or investing organisation deducts this when they credit Zealand resident.
interest to your account. If you recently arrived in New Zealand and meet the
You need to provide your IRD number and choose residence conditions, you will need to attach a copy
the correct rate of tax for your income level. of your residence permit to your application for Family
Companies may also deduct withholding tax from Assistance.
dividends paid to shareholders.
How much you can get depends on:
Family Assistance • how many children 18 years or younger you have
Family Assistance is financial help for low- to middle- living with you
income families with children who are 18 years or • how much you and your partner earn (your total
younger who are living at home and are not financially family income)
independent. It is not a benefit but recognition that • where you get your income from.
not everyone can comfortably afford all the costs of
Inland Revenue pays Family Assistance to families
bringing up a family. 15
whose main income is from working. It can be paid
To be able to receive Family Assistance you must either fortnightly or as a lump sum after the end of
either: the tax year (31 March).
• be a New Zealand resident and have been in If your only income is from an income-tested benefit,
New Zealand continuously for at least 12 months then Work and Income pay any entitlement to you as
at any time. You need to be a tax resident and be part of your benefit.
resident in New Zealand when you apply for your
• be caring for a child who is both resident and living
in New Zealand.
“STUDENT LOANS ARE
INTEREST FREE UNTIL YOU
START WORK AND THAT’S A HELP
FOR MOST STUDENTS.”
TA I W A N E S E M I G R A N T A N D G R A D U AT E ,
Student loans A student loan is a debt and you must:
The Student Loan Scheme is available to students • pay back any money you borrow, including interest,
studying at tertiary level (after secondary school). This which is currently 7%. If you decide to take
helps towards the cost of studies and books. out a student loan, it is wise to borrow only the
amount you need for your studies
The three organisations involved in the Student Loan
• start repaying your loan at the rate of 10 cents per
dollar earned over $15,496. If you think you will earn
• the Ministry of Education, which advises the Govern-
more than this from your main job between 1 April
ment about student loan policies
2002 and 31 March 2003, you must tell your employer
• Work and Income (a service of the Ministry of Social you have a student loan and use the M SL tax code.
Development), which processes loan applications
and manages student loan accounts in the year the You can save money by making voluntary payments
money is borrowed at any time and for any amount. You can do this even
• Inland Revenue, which collects student loan repay- if you are earning under the repayment threshold, or
ments from the year after the money is borrowed. you can simply make additional repayments above
the amount you are required to pay.
To get a student loan you need to be studying at a
By paying your loan off faster you can save yourself 17
tertiary institution, and be in a programme approved
a lot of money in interest.
by the Minister of Education. You must also be 18
years or older (if you are under 18 years, you need a You may be eligible to have your student loan interest
parent’s consent). You need to be a New Zealand for the year cancelled/written-off if:
citizen, a permanent resident, or a refugee entitled to • you are a New Zealand tax resident, and
live in New Zealand indefinitely. – a full-time, full-year student (that is, studying
for a minimum of 32 weeks and your course is
The amount you get depends on: equivalent to at least 80% of full-time study)
• the type of tertiary institution you are studying at – a part-time or part-year student earning $25,378 or
• how much your fees are less in the tax year 1 April 2002 to 31 March 2003.
• whether you are studying full or part-time • you are going overseas for more than three months
• the duration of your study programme and will not be:
• whether you receive a student allowance – having repayment deductions made from any of
(for living costs) your income in New Zealand, and/or
• whether you or your partner get a benefit. – making any interim repayments
A student loan has four parts: You must let Inland Revenue know before you
compulsory fees; course-related costs; living costs; leave. The IRD will need a contact address, either
and a $50 administration fee. overseas or in New Zealand, so it can send you notices
Salary and wage earners IR3 Tax Returns
Over the last few years, Inland Revenue has been You would be sent an IR3 if you:
simplifying income tax for salary and wage earners
• are self-employed
so it is now more accurate, less time-consuming and
• had income from a business or rental property
simpler for everyone involved.
• received income that is not taxed at source
IRD wants to ensure taxpayers pay the correct tax
• received overseas income.
during the year so there is no need for additional
payments at the end of the tax year. Child Support
A Personal Tax Summary (PTS) is available for salary Child Support is money paid to support children when
and wage earners if you need to pay additional tax at couples with children are not living together or have
the end of the year, or believe you are entitled to a tax separated. The money is paid by the parent who is not
refund. living with the children to the person whom the children
The Personal Tax Summary uses information live with.
provided to us by your employer(s) to preprint a PTS Inland Revenue works out the amount of child
with your income and deduction details for the year. support the paying parent must pay. The amount is
If you receive a PTS you must check it for any missing worked out each year using a formula, which takes
or incorrect details. into account the number of children to be supported
Personal Tax Summaries are issued from June and the paying parent’s income and living expenses.
onwards and anyone can request one. Inland Revenue usually administers Child
Support payments. For further information, Freephone:
0800 221 221 or visit: www.ird.govt.nz/childsupport
Contacting Inland Revenue
Complete listings of Inland Revenue’s Freephone
numbers and office locations are included in the Blue
Pages of The Telephone Book.
If you have an IRD number please have it ready
when you call.
WEBSITES AND NEW ZEALAND FREEPHONES Family Court of New Zealand
Deals with custody and other family issues.
N E W Z E A L A N D I M M I G R AT I O N S E R V I C E S I T E S www.elections.org.nz
Information on registering to vote.
www.movetonz.govt.nz Freephone: 0800 367 656 (0800 ENROLNOW)
Move To New Zealand.
Information and links on doing business, working and living in www.hrc.govt.nz
New Zealand. Human Rights Commission
An independent agency responsible for investigating and
Migrant Helpline resolving complaints about discrimination and other human rights issues.
A freephone referral service that helps new migrants find Freephone: 0800 4 496 877 (0800 4 YOUR RIGHTS)
the answers to questions about life in New Zealand.
The service is free and aims to put migrants in touch with the
right organisations and people who are ready and waiting
to help. Issues covered include: housing, health, schooling, www.ird.govt.nz
ESOL courses, employment and many other everyday topics. Detailed information about tax and social policy, and online access
Operates from 9:00am – 5:00pm, Monday to Friday. to booklets, returns, forms, newsletters and public rulings,
Does not deal with business inquiries. and the many other services offered.
Freephone: 0508 55 88 55 (for calls outside Auckland) Calls within New Zealand
09 914 4100 (for Auckland and all mobile phone calls).
Personal tax enquiries: 0800 227 774
Official site of the New Zealand Immigration Service.
(phone this number to get an IRD Number) 19
Comprehensive information on all aspects of New Zealand Family Assistance: 0800 227 773
immigration policy and procedures. All policy guidelines and Business tax enquiries: 0800 377 774
most application forms can be downloaded.
Goods and Services Tax (GST): 0800 377 776
Student loan enquiries: 0800 377 778
GOVERNMENT SITES Child Support: 0800 221 221
www.govt.nz Automated stationery service: 0800 257 773
The official gateway to the New Zealand Government online.
Calling from overseas
Accident Compensation Corporation The numbers below include dialling codes for New Zealand, but not the
Provides information on accident insurance scheme payments. international access prefix, because this varies from country to country.
Freephone: 0800 101 996 All business, student loan and personal customers
www.beehive.govt.nz All enquiries: +64-4-801 9973
Updates on government news and policies. Fax: +64-9-262 9011
www.justice.govt.nz Child Support
Ministry of Justice
(www.justice.govt.nz/pubs/other/pamphlets/2001/legal_system.html All enquiries +64-9-368-5695
has a good outline of the New Zealand legal system.) If you have an IRD number please have it ready when you call.
Department for Courts Legal Services Agency
Comprehensive information on the structure of New Zealand’s courts Government-funded agency providing legal aid.
www.ltsa.govt.nz GENERAL SITES
Land Transport Safety Authority
Driver licensing, road rules and private vehicle imports. www.lgnz.co.nz
Freephone: 0800 822 422 Local Government New Zealand
For information on New Zealand’s local government and links
www.ombudsmen.govt.nz to your council. For local listings refer to the ‘Government Services’
The Office of the Ombudsmen page in The Telephone Book or visit: www.whitepages.co.nz
Reviews requests for official information and adjudicates disputes
with local and central government agencies. Freephone: 0800 802 602 Community Law Centres
Local listings in The Telephone Book or visit: www.whitepages.co.nz
Guide to New Zealand’s parliamentary system. Justices of the Peace
Look in the Yellow Pages or visit: www.yellowpages.co.nz
Work and Income www.consumer.org.nz
Information on Family and Child Support. Freephone: 0800 559 009 Consumers’ Institute of New Zealand
Up-to-date guide on consumer rights and prices of goods in New Zealand.
A comprehensive directory, listing over 156,000 businesses,
www.police.govt.nz 123,000 products and 302,000 trade suppliers.
New Zealand Police Freephone: 0800 823 225
General information, including safety tips, crime statistics and
Specialist site providing comparative cost-of-living data on
20 Free from any phone, including cell phones: 111 in an emergency an international basis.
In non-urgent situations, contact the nearest Police Station listed
under P in the Blue Pages at the front of The Telephone Book.
Telephone listings for New Zealand businesses.
For information on traffic incidents, *555 can also be dialled
from a mobile phone.
Counselling support services. Please note: Freephone numbers do not accept
Freephone: 0800 842 846 (0800 VICTIM)
Community-based crime prevention programmes.
Citizens Advice Bureau
All major towns in New Zealand have a Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB).
These provide free information and assistance on matters such as
the law, translation services, social welfare, health, education, housing,
budgeting, employment rights, consumer rights and personal and
The CAB’s website also provides comprehensive and easily accessible
information on these and other issues. The service is confidential
and anyone can use it – you do not need to be a New Zealand citizen.
Freephone: 0800 367 222 (0800 FOR CAB)
Scenario Communications Limited, www.scenario.co.nz
Earp-Jones Originals, Ivor@ihug.co.nz
Wreford Hann Photography Ltd, www.nzphotos.co.nz
The NZIS acknowledges with thanks the many parties who have
contributed material for this publication. Special thanks to Venture
The information included in this was drawn from a number of sources
and was current at the time of print. Accordingly, NZIS is not able to
guarantee the accuracy of that information.
Text may be reproduced without permission but
acknowledgement of source is required.
Photographs remain copyright of the photographers.
Published by the New Zealand Immigration Service –
a service of the Department of Labour.