09 SETTLING IN
A GUIDE TO DAY-TO-DAY LIFE
IN NEW ZEALAND
THINGS TO DO BEFORE YOU LEAVE FOR
NEW ZEALAND 01
WHEN YOU FIRST ARRIVE 03
GETTING AROUND NEW ZEALAND 06
HIGHLIGHTS FOR NEW MIGRANTS 08
BECOMING A NEW ZEALANDER 09
GETTING TO KNOW US 11
LIFE AND LEISURE 13
PRACTICAL MATTERS 17
LEGAL MATTERS 20
APPENDIX: TYPICAL COSTS AND PRICES 21
WEBSITES AND NEW ZEALAND FREEPHONES 22
THINGS TO DO BEFORE YOU LEAVE
FOR NEW ZEALAND
Bank accounts and credit cards
Your present bank should be able to help you set up
a bank account in New Zealand before you leave, so
that you can make credit card and other withdrawals
when you arrive.
Documents, credit references and driver licences
Your first few days in New Zealand are more likely to
“THERE IS A UNIQUE TOLERANCE
be easy and problem-free if you arrive with the IN NEW ZEALAND SOCIETY – 01
A GENUINE LACK OF PREJUDICE
• birth certificates
AND A WILLINGNESS TO JUDGE
• marriage certificates
• academic qualifications PEOPLE ON THEIR MERIT.”
• references from previous employers
B U L G A R I A N M I G R A N T, P O E T A N D N O V E L I S T,
• curriculum vitae
• credit references K A P K A K A S S A B O VA .
• an international driver licence or permit.
All documents should be originals (not copies).
If documents are not in English they should be
accompanied by a certified translation.
Plan what to wear
The weather is changeable, so bring a range of clothes
and do not forget to include a raincoat. Remember,
seasons are the reverse of those in the northern
Money requirements when you first arrive Bringing your belongings
If possible, arrive with some New Zealand money The New Zealand Customs Service pamphlet, Advice
in mixed denominations ($5, $10 and $20 notes; on Importing Goods into New Zealand, provides full
$50 and $100 notes are unusual), as traveller’s cheques information about importing goods into New Zealand.
may not be accepted for small purchases. The pamphlet is available from New Zealand immi-
gration, diplomatic and trade offices or directly from:
If you are expecting mail to arrive for you in New
Zealand, but you do not have a permanent address,
then New Zealand Post can set up a ‘private box’ or Televisions, computers and other electrical goods
‘private bag’ at a post office in the city or town in which Most people do not bring items such as televisions,
you plan to stay. Many organisations, such as banks, telephones, computers and other electrical goods,
will accept a post office box or private bag as your since most foreign electrical appliances do not work
official address. here. New Zealand’s power system is 240 volts and
50 cycles per second, and plugs have two or three
narrow pins. (For prices of electrical goods see
New Zealand has a high rate of Internet use, with
02 Appendix page 21.)
nearly 50% of households having access to the Internet.
Internet cafes and other Internet services are also Pets
common. You may need to plan six months ahead if you wish
to bring your domestic pets into the country. For full
information, contact the Import Management Office
of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF).
Telephone: +64 4 498 9264, Fax: +64 4 474 4132, or
The Automobile Association
The New Zealand Automobile Association has
reciprocal benefits, but you will need to produce your
membership card. Membership can also be trans-
ferred before you leave for New Zealand or after you
arrive. For New Zealand membership, Freephone: 0800
WHEN YOU FIRST ARRIVE The airport and the city
Customs declarations Most New Zealand banks have branches at international
Plant and animal materials airports with comprehensive foreign exchange facilities.
New Zealand has strict laws to protect its agricultural Maps, city guides, accommodation
industries from imported pests and diseases. If you Free accommodation brochures, maps and city guides
bring in items such as food and plants, these must are available from self-service information booths.
be declared to Customs officials. Fines for illegally Hotel and motel bookings can also be made by
importing plants, animal materials and foodstuffs are freephone from the airport.
up to $500,000 and/or 12 months in prison. Items that Transport
need to be declared include: You can get to the central city by taxi, airport bus or
• food, and the products and ingredients used for a fixed-price ‘shuttle’ van that will drop you off at your
preparing food destination. Taxis have reliable meters that calculate
• plants and parts of plants (alive or dead), including the fares – bargaining and tipping are not practised.
cane, straw and rattan The taxi driver can estimate the likely cost for you.
• animals (alive or dead), or products from animals Airport buses and shuttle vans are significantly cheaper,
• equipment used with animals but just as reliable.
• camping gear, golf clubs, hiking boots, shoes, All cities have bus and taxi services. Only Wellington
equestrian equipment and used bicycles has an extensive commuter train system; there are no
• biological specimens. underground rail networks.
If you are in doubt about any items, declare them. Free information on accommodation, transport, food,
There is no penalty for declaring items that cannot be tourist attractions and entertainment is available
brought into New Zealand. from Information Centres. These are identified by a
Like other countries, New Zealand has strict security prominent ‘i ’ logo.
concerning drugs, firearms and other dangerous goods. Food
A good range of fresh food is available from local
supermarkets, and moderately priced cafes and
restaurants are plentiful. Motels also have cooking
facilities where you can make your own meals.
(For food prices, see Appendix page 21.)
Tipping Getting help with speaking English
New Zealanders do not generally follow the custom For contact details, see Appendix page 22. For further
of giving a tip to waiters, porters and other service information, see Education.
people. However, tipping is appropriate in the more
expensive restaurants and hotels – particularly if you
Public telephone booths are usually located in town
have received unusually good service. A tip of between
centres and suburban shopping areas. Very few are
five and ten percent of the total bill is appropriate.
coin-operated and most require pre-purchased phone
cards. These are available in a range of values from
All New Zealand tap water is safe to drink and most
$5 to $100 and can be purchased from most super-
is of very high quality.
markets, newsagents, dairies and other shops. If you
cannot find a number, the Directory Service (dial 018)
Shops and supermarkets are similar to those in most
Western countries. New Zealanders use the word ‘dairy’
to refer to small local shops that sell ice creams, sweets, Time
newspapers, magazines and some basic grocery All parts of New Zealand operate in the same
items, and the word ‘superette’ to refer to small local time zone.
Opening a bank account
Most shops are open during working hours, usually
Opening a bank account is easy – you do not need to
9:00am to 5:30pm from Monday to Saturday. Late
be a resident of New Zealand, or to provide references.
Thursday and Friday night and Sunday shopping is
Most banks will have an account operating for you
also common. Many supermarkets are open until
within ten days, and often much sooner. To find
9:00pm, and some stay open for 24 hours, seven days
a bank, look under ‘Banks’ in the Yellow Pages. You
a week. Some shops, such as takeaway food outlets
will need to give the bank a permanent address,
and those attached to petrol stations, are also open
either residential or a post office box or private bag
for extended hours.
(see page 2). A hotel or motel address is not acceptable.
If you want to open a cheque account, the bank
will need identification, such as your passport or driver
licence, and a deposit – usually about $200. When
paying by cheque, it is normal to show identification
such as a driver licence, credit card or passport.
If you earn income, you will need to give the bank
a ‘tax number’. To get a tax number, contact the Inland
Revenue Department (IRD), Freephone: 0800 227 774.
(For further information, see Government.)
Banks are normally open from 9:00am to 4:30pm,
Monday to Friday. ATMs (Automatic Teller Machines)
operate 24 hours a day.
In addition to cheque and savings accounts and foreign
exchange services, New Zealand banks offer a range
of services that include personal loans, home loans,
insurance, investment, credit cards, and property and
business finance. Foreign exchange services are
Most banks charge a fee for every transaction made,
including ATM transactions, cheques and savings
withdrawals. Fees for ATM and EFTPOS (Electronic “ATTITUDE IS IMPORTANT.
Funds Transfer at Point of Sale) transactions are 95% OF KIWIS ARE HARD-
normally 15 to 50 cents; 50 cents to $1.25 can be
charged for cheque transactions or when dealing with
a bank teller in person. PEOPLE. YOU HAVE TO LEARN TO
Migrant services DO THINGS YOURSELF HERE.”
Some major banks offer special services for new
INDIAN MIGRANT AND BUSINESS PROFESSOR,
migrants, and have multilingual staff who can help
with advice and information. KAMAL GHOSE.
Deposit boxes for the secure storage of personal
valuables, such as jewellery and financial and legal
papers, are available at most banks for a modest fee.
GETTING AROUND NEW ZEALAND Driving rules
The road code in New Zealand is similar to that
Public transport in most Western countries, but there are a few
New Zealand has good air, train and bus links, and all important features that need to be noted in advance
services are listed in the Yellow Pages. Schedules are of your arrival.
available at most Information Centres.
Driving New Zealanders drive on the left side of the road. This
Driving in New Zealand is usually easy. Roads are is easy to forget when you first arrive, as old habits
good, congestion is rare, speeding is not common, die hard, but such lapses can be fatal.
and drunk driving incurs heavy penalties. However, Keep left at all times.
city traffic can be heavy, especially in ‘rush hours’
on the Auckland and Wellington motorways. Most Speed limits
‘State Highways’ throughout the country are not large Towns and cities: 50 kilometres per hour
by overseas standards – many have only two lanes. Open road: 100 kilometres per hour
Rural roads require special care, because many are Limited Speed Zone (LSZ): 50 kilometres per hour
winding and some have a gravel or ‘metalled’ surface. in bad conditions; 100 kilometres per hour in good
All drivers need a driver licence. You can be fined if Give way rules
you do not have your licence when stopped by the Give way to all traffic crossing or approaching from
Police. Always carry your licence with you when you your right. If you are:
drive. If you have a driver licence in your home country, • at a ‘Give Way’ sign, be ready to stop and give way
or an international driving permit or driver licence, to all traffic
you can drive in New Zealand. (If you have an • at a ‘Stop’ sign, stop completely and then give way
international driving permit, it will help clarify the types to all traffic
of vehicles you are entitled to drive in New Zealand.) • going straight ahead, give way to all vehicles coming
However, you will need to apply for a New Zealand straight through from your right
driver licence and pass an eyesight examinaton, • turning, give way to all vehicles not turning
as well as a driving theory and practical test, within • turning left, give way to vehicles coming towards
12 months of arrival. you that are turning right
• turning right, give way to vehicles on your right that
are turning right.
Parking Drink driving rules
You are not allowed to park on or beside a yellow line, If you drink, don’t drive. Drinking more than the legal
or within six metres of an intersection or a pedestrian limit and then driving is a very serious offence.
crossing. The Police can test any driver for alcohol at any time.
Parking signs with red writing on a white background If you are convicted of driving while over the legal
apply at all times. limit, you will automatically lose your licence and be
Parking signs with white writing on a blue back- fined or imprisoned.
ground apply Monday to Saturday, 8:00am to 6:00pm.
For more information contact:
Safety belts The Land Transport Safety Authority, Freephone: 0800
All people in a car (in the front and rear seats) must 822 422 or visit: www.ltsa.govt.nz
wear safety belts at all times.
Copies of the New Zealand Road Code can also be
Children in cars purchased from most bookshops and stationery outlets.
If you are driving a car, you are responsible for ensuring
that all children under five years old are restrained in
an approved child seat. The only exception is when
you are travelling in a taxi. If the taxi has no restraint
available, the child must sit in the back seat.
Safety helmets are compulsory for all cyclists and
motorcyclists. This includes passengers and children
being carried on bicycles. The helmets must conform
to the New Zealand Standard and be securely fastened.
Approved safety helmets can be bought from cycle
shops. A fine of $55 is imposed if a cyclist is caught
cycling without a helmet.
HIGHLIGHTS FOR NEW MIGRANTS Arts, culture, festivals and entertainment
New Zealand has a thriving cultural life, with a unique
Natural beauty and National Parks mix of European, Maori, Polynesian and, increasingly,
New Zealand has many wilderness areas, including other traditions.
National Parks in Fiordland, Mt Cook, Tongariro and Some of its orchestras and dance companies
elsewhere, that attract tourists from around the world. are internationally regarded – of particular note
Exploring these wilderness reserves is a great way to are the New Zealand Symphony and Auckland Phil-
get a feel for the dramatic scenic contrasts and unique harmonic Orchestras, Royal New Zealand Ballet and
outdoor opportunities New Zealand offers. More Black Grace Dance Company. There are also numerous
information is available from: lesser-known professional theatre, dance and opera
www.doc.govt.nz/explore companies. Theatre is strong in the main centres –
The Department of Conservation website. The Depart- particularly Wellington and Christchurch – and offers
ment is responsible for maintaining the walking tracks a stimulating mix of local and overseas productions.
and huts in the National Parks. The local film industry is vibrant – its famous
exports include the Lord of the Rings trilogy,
www.newzealandnz.co.nz Once Were Warriors and The Piano. Overseas artists
08 A general tourism website. National Parks are listed and exhibitions also tour regularly.
under ‘Top Resources’ in the left hand menu bar. Several centres hold International Arts Festivals
www.purenz.com featuring a wide range of local and international artists.
Tourism New Zealand’s promotional website, with The most well-known is probably the International
many of the country’s famous natural attractions and Festival of the Arts which is held in Wellington every
activities. two years and attracts a stellar cast of international
artists. Similarly, Opera in the Park concerts have
www.visitorinfo.co.nz become hugely popular, with many centres lending
Provides a national directory of Visitor Information their own interpretation to these events.
Centres. These centres usually provide information on Maori cultural traditions receive strong support from
a strictly regional basis. both the Maori community and the general public.
There has in recent years been a dramatic revival in
all Maori art forms, from carving and weaving to
traditional dance. Kapa Haka – a range of performing
arts that includes haka, waiata, and poi dancing –
enjoys enormous cross-cultural support. Regional and
national competitions in these performing arts are a
dominant feature of contemporary cultural life.
Wine and food In 1840, New Zealand was established as a colony
New Zealand has world-class wines, and a distinctive under the British Crown, when the chiefs of most Maori
Pacific Rim cuisine that combines Asian and European tribes and representatives of the Crown signed the
influences, using the best local produce. High quality Treaty of Waitangi on 6 February 1840. This agreement
wine and food are not just the preserve of the wealthy is recognised as the founding document of the nation.
but are available to everyone. This is partly a reflection The British connection remained an important part of
of New Zealand’s lack of a formal class system, and New Zealand culture, and Britain was often referred
the fact that the cost of eating out is low by international to as ‘home’. Just over 100,000 New Zealanders fought
standards. Most New Zealanders eat out regularly and on Britain’s behalf in World War I. New Zealand also
the restaurant trade has boomed in recent years. There made a significant contribution during World War II,
are, for example, over 300 restaurants and cafes in with nearly 10% of the population serving overseas.
central Wellington, which now has more restaurants After the war, New Zealand’s agricultural products
per capita than any city in the world. were in demand and the 1950s saw prosperity, full
employment and considerable industrial growth.
BECOMING A NEW ZEALANDER
The first Polynesian settlers, the Maori, arrived in New
Zealand in the 10th century and named it Aotearoa –
Land of the Long White Cloud. By the 12th century,
there were scattered settlements in favoured parts of
the country. In 1840, the Maori population was
estimated at 100,000.
In 1642, the Dutch navigator Abel Tasman sighted
Aotearoa. He mapped parts of the West Coast but did
not land. In 1769, the British naval captain James Cook
and his crew became the first Europeans to set foot
on New Zealand soil. Eventually, sealers and whalers
began to arrive, followed by Christian missionaries,
and the first European settlements were established.
Maori culture Languages
Maori people have a distinctive culture, much of which English
is based around the marae – the meeting place of an All New Zealanders speak English and many speak no
iwi (tribe) or hapu (subtribe). The word marae refers other language, so it is essential that you can speak
to the open ground in front of a wharenui (meeting English well if you are to settle easily. It may take time
house), although the word is sometimes used to refer to get used to the New Zealand accent, so you may
simultaneously to the wharenui, the open space and have to ask people to talk more slowly, and to
other communal facilities. repeat what they have said. Do not be shy about this,
The marae is a spiritual place where the dead are most people will be intrigued by your interest and
mourned, guests are housed, weddings are held, happy to help.
reunions are celebrated, and matters of importance to Maori
the community are discussed. Each iwi has a number New Zealand Maori, the indigenous language of New
of marae in its rohe (tribal area). In addition, there are Zealand, is spoken by about 50,000 Maori people and
also urban marae – set up as increasing numbers of a small number of Europeans. Interest in promoting
Maori people migrate to urban areas. Urban marae Maori language (te reo) has increased dramatically
typically serve as community centres for people from over the last 20 years. It is commonly heard on the
a number of iwi, and they have modern as well as marae and in rural areas where Maori people
traditional carvings and decorations. If you visit a predominate. Maori language is also taught in schools
marae with a group on a formal occasion, you will and universities.
receive a ceremonial welcome. The ceremony will For more information, see The Treaty of Waitangi.
differ according to the kawa (protocol) of the iwi.
Becoming a citizen
For more information, see The Treaty of Waitangi
New Zealand citizenship gives you the same rights as
people born in New Zealand, including the right to
have a New Zealand passport. Contact the Department
of Internal Affairs for more information, Freephone:
0800 22 51 51.
GETTING TO KNOW US Informality and friendliness
Forms of address
Social values New Zealanders dislike formality and people tend
New Zealanders have a very similar way of life and to see each other as ‘equals’. Neighbours and people
share values common to most Western countries, but in the workplace are normally on first-name terms.
there are some special features. We are passionate However, it is still quite common to speak more
about sport, and have a firm belief in social equality. formally to people in authority. For example, a doctor
The social welfare system prevents extreme poverty, might be called ‘Doctor Smith’ rather than ‘Mary’ or
and the nation has neither a strong class system ‘Bill’. It is also, of course, standard to address police
nor major social tensions. Differences between high as ‘Constable’ or ‘Officer’. However, this title is normally
and low-income people are not pronounced. Some used only when addressing a doctor or policeman in
minor ethnic tensions exist, but are low by international his or her professional capacity. Also, children and
standards, and goodwill between races is usually teenagers usually speak to adults as ‘Mrs. Smith’ or
evident. ‘Mr. Smith’, unless invited to do otherwise.
It is also standard to address all correspondence,
and particularly job applications, formally to Mr. or Ms.
or Mrs. Smith. However, old-fashioned greetings such
as ‘Honourable Sir’, ‘Esteemed Editor’ and closing
phrases such ‘I remain your humble servant’ will be
“WHAT WE REALLY LIKE IS THAT regarded with derision.
EVERYTHING IS REASONABLY
CLOSE TO WHERE WE LIVE AND
WORK. IT’S EASY TO GET ABOUT
THE CITY AND SUBURBS, UNLIKE
M U M B A I . WE L O V E WE L L I N G T O N ,
IT’S JUST RIGHT FOR US.”
V E N A A N D M A H E N D E R PA L I W A L .
Social relations at work Everyday behaviour
New Zealanders dislike stuffiness and needless Many New Zealanders praise new migrants for their
formality, and this attitude is evident in the workplace. good manners and politeness, and you will probably
Most companies are small, with between five and ten find that New Zealanders are mostly similar to people
employees. In this context, formality is unworkable everywhere when it comes to the types of behaviour
and managers and business owners usually treat their they like and dislike. For example, they like people to
staff as they would friends. Although relations are wait their turn in queues, to ask if it is acceptable to
inevitably more structured in large organisations, smoke, and not to make uninvited sexual advances.
informality and friendliness is still generally the rule. When walking down pavements, it is normal to keep
Relations between the sexes are egalitarian. Requests left so that people do not have to dodge each other –
from male staff for their female colleagues to ‘get a it is considered rude for groups of people to take up
cup of tea’ or ‘wash the dishes’, and patronising or most of the pavement width when walking together.
sexually motivated remarks about women or girls, are It is not considered polite to spit in the street, or to
not acceptable. However, old-fashioned courtesies blow your nose on to the pavement. All types of
such as opening doors for female colleagues, although personal violence are frowned upon. For example,
no longer standard, are still generally appreciated. it is increasingly considered unacceptable to smack or
Informality and friendliness also extend to social otherwise physically discipline children, and more
occasions, and it is common for management to serious instances of family violence are criminal
socialise with their staff on equal terms. Particularly offences.
in small firms, this often extends to entertainment at
the manager’s or owner’s home – often barbeque get-
togethers held in the summer months. A standard and
rather charming feature of working life in New Zealand
is ‘Friday Fives’, which generally involves management
and staff sharing drinks together in the office after
close of work on Friday.
LIFE AND LEISURE Fishing
Fishing is New Zealand’s most popular sport, with 23%
Sports of New Zealanders fishing regularly. New Zealand
New Zealand’s national sport is rugby. However, is reputed to have the best trout fishing in the world.
New Zealanders also participate in a full range of other There are no private waters and the licence fee is
sporting activities – often with considerable success modest. Fishing regulations are strictly observed and
at international level. Sports hold a high profile in our trout fishermen are noted for their sporting ethic.
education system and patterns established in early life There is no licence fee for sea fishing, but strict
tend to continue well into adulthood. Most adults regulations apply to fishing methods, maximum
actively participate in at least one team or individual catches, fishing seasons and prohibited areas. Specific
sport, and veterans teams catering for players forty rules also apply to gathering shellfish. It is forbidden
years and older are a standard feature of the sporting to sell or trade your catch. Breaking the fishing
scene. As with all aspects of New Zealand’s social life, regulations, including those governing the collection
a key feature of this and other sporting activities is of wild shellfish, is totally unacceptable and can result
their accessibility. Almost 15% of New Zealand families in heavy fines and even imprisonment.
own their own boat, and the number of golf courses
per capita is the highest in the world. By international For more information about fresh water fishing, contact 13
standards, club costs are very low and membership the local office of Fish and Game New Zealand, or a
is generally open. sporting goods shop, or visit: www.fishandgame.org.nz
Outdoor activities: the wilderness and the sea For information on sea fishing rules, contact the
Getting away from the crowds is never a problem, and Ministry of Fisheries, on Freephone: 0800 478 5370
the freedom and safety New Zealanders enjoy in their (0800 FOR RULES) or visit: www.fish.govt.nz
outdoor pursuits is one of the distinct advantages of
life here. Even those living in the major centres are
often within less than a twenty-minute drive of open
and unspoilt countryside. As a result, many New
Zealanders spend their weekends and holidays in the
outdoors. Even on weekdays, a walk on a lonely beach
alone with the sea and surf is an option available
to most urban residents.
Dinner parties and social events Parties and the ‘do’
At dinner parties, it is customary for guests to bring If someone says “We’re having a ‘do’, and hope you
a bottle of wine. It is also quite common, but not can come”, this means you are invited to a party. If it
obligatory, to ask “Is there anything I can bring?” is a ‘do’ for your workplace, then it is customary for
Often, the hosts will decline the offer, but sometimes the management to supply food and drink. If it is a
they will suggest that you bring pre-dinner snacks, party organised by a club or a group of friends,
a salad, a dessert or perhaps after-dinner mints. then it is likely that everyone will bring a share of the
Sometimes guests will be asked to ‘bring a plate’. This food and drink, or will ‘chip in’ (contribute their share
is a local phrase that means ‘bring some food’. It does to pay for it). If you are unsure what is expected, do
not mean that you give a plate to the hosts. ask – New Zealand customs are very flexible, so ‘the
If you are asked to ‘bring a plate’, it is best to ask what locals’ often have to ask questions as well.
sort of food is expected, since this will vary depending
on the event.
New Zealand weddings are generally less formal than
in other Western countries, but this is not always the
case. If you are unsure what to expect, do not be afraid
14 to ask.
New migrants are often startled by the informality of
some New Zealand funerals. Personalised funerals
designed in line with family wishes, and which follow
no particular liturgy, have become increasingly popular.
Solemnity and grieving is often combined with
‘celebrating the life’ of the deceased, and lighter
moments are now a feature of most funerals. Formal
dress is not obligatory and semi-formal dress
increasingly common. An important exception to this
pattern is the tangi, the traditional Maori funeral. These
are solemn rituals, at which marae protocol
is strictly observed.
Holidays The National Anthem
New Zealand celebrates 11 public holidays a year, New Zealand’s National Anthem is sung at many formal
on days of national, religious or cultural significance. and sporting occasions. Normally, only the first two
The public holidays are: verses are sung.
1. Christmas Day 25 December English
2. Boxing Day 26 December God of Nations! At thy feet
3. New Year’s Day 1 January In the bonds of love we meet.
4. 2 January 2 January Hear our voices we entreat,
5. Waitangi Day 6 February God defend our free land.
marking the signing of the Guard Pacific’s triple star
Treaty of Waitangi From the shafts of strife and war.
6. Good Friday the Friday before Easter, which usually Make her praises heard afar,
falls in late March or early April God defend New Zealand.
7. Easter Monday the Monday after Easter
Men of every creed and race
8. Anzac Day 25 April
Gather here before Thy face,
a national day of remembrance that
Asking Thee to bless this place,
honours the nation’s war dead
God defend our free land.
9. Queen’s Birthday the Monday after the first weekend
From dissension, envy, hate
And corruption guard our State. 15
10. Labour Day the last Monday in October
Make our country good and great,
celebrating the introduction of the
God defend New Zealand.
eight-hour working day
11. Anniversary Day The Anniversary Day of each province –
dates vary from province to province.
E Ihoa, Atua
O nga Iwi Matou ra.
Ata whakarongo na,
Every person is entitled to these 11 days’ holiday. Me aroha noa.
Kia hua ko te pai
If any of the first four days happens to fall on a weekend Kia tau to atawhai.
when most people do not work, the holiday itself still Manaakitia mai,
occurs on that day, but the legal entitlement to a day
Ona mano tangata
off work is transferred to the next Monday or Tuesday.
Kiri whero, kiri ma,
Iwi Maori Pakeha,
Nei ka tono ko nga he
Mau e whakaahu ke.
Kia ora marire,
Media There are also some national and regional cable
New Zealand has five free-to-air television channels: channels:
TV1: A mix of British and local drama, documentaries Sky Television: A pay channel that shows movies,
and sporting events. Also features favourites such as sports, documentaries, news, magazine programmes
Coronation Street. and teenage dramas.
TV2: Sporting events and popular New Zealand TelstraClear: Runs a cable TV channel, screening sports,
programmes, such as the soap opera Shortland Street music channels, news, cartoons and family programmes.
and well-known American shows such as Friends.
The two main state-owned radio stations are National
TV3: Sports and high-rating American programmes, Radio, which has many current affairs programmes,
such as Oprah Winfrey and The Practice. and Concert FM, which specialises in classical music.
There are several Maori language radio stations, and
TV4: The old, I Dream of Jeannie, the famous, South
about 120 private radio stations that mostly specialise
Park, and the popular, Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Targets
in various types of popular music.
15-55 age group. Also game shows, dramas and
New Zealand’s larger cities and towns have daily
16 newspapers, and there are two national Sunday papers
PrimeTV: Documentaries, nature programmes and – these are, however, modest in size when compared
comedies, such as Seinfeld. with American or British Sunday papers. There is no
national daily, but there are many national magazines,
both weekly and monthly.
New Zealand news can be found on the Internet at:
www.stuff.co.nz and www.nzherald.co.nz
PRACTICAL MATTERS Consumer rights
New Zealand has laws to protect you from misleading
Your rights advertising, faulty goods, poor workmanship, unfair
New Zealand is a modern democratic country in which trading and other problems you might meet as a
human rights are protected. It is illegal to discriminate consumer. Help is available from the Citizens Advice
on grounds such as race, religion or ethnicity. Bureau. Always keep receipts, quotations and
Complaints about discrimination should be made to estimates, copies of agreements and other such
the Human Rights Commission office listed in the Blue documents, since these can help if a dispute arises.
Pages of The Telephone Book. For contact details, see (See Business.)
Appendix, page 23.
Daylight saving time
Free help and advice During summer, ‘daylight saving time’ applies –
Citizens Advice Bureau all clocks are put forward one hour on the first Sunday
All major towns in New Zealand have a Citizens Advice in October, and put back one hour on the third
Bureau (CAB). These provide free information and Sunday in March.
assistance on matters such as the law, translation
services, social welfare, health, education, housing,
budgeting, employment rights, consumer rights and
personal and family issues. The service is confidential
and anyone can use it – you do not need to be a New
Freephone: 0800 367 222 (0800 FOR CAB).
Community Law Centres
Community Law Centres offer free legal advice and
information (but usually not on business problems or
buying or selling houses). Your local Citizens Advice
Bureau can provide details.
Electricity Earthquakes and other emergencies
The power system in New Zealand is 240 volts, New Zealand is not a dangerous country, but it is prone
50 cycles. to earthquakes and you are likely to feel a few minor
In New Zealand, you are allowed to do minor tremors each year. Although this is generally nothing
electrical repair work, such as changing fuses, replacing to worry about, it is advisable to take a few simple
light bulbs, rewiring plugs and installing new oven precautions. For information on how to prepare
elements. However, for safety and insurance reasons, for earthquakes and other emergencies, look in the
registered electricians are required to do any other inside front, or back cover of the Yellow Pages or visit:
electrical work. Look in the Yellow Pages , under www.civildefence.govt.nz
Rubbish collection and recycling
Telephone connections When and how rubbish is collected from your home
The main telephone companies in New Zealand are will depend on where you live, so talk to your
Telecom, TelstraClear and Vodafone (which only deals neighbours or contact your local council for details.
with mobile phones). Pricing plans vary widely. Most city councils provide rubbish bags that can be
Most houses will have a telephone already installed. bought from supermarkets. These must be left on the
18 If not, one can be purchased from an electronic goods footpath outside the home for collection on a specific
retailer or telephone company. Your telephone should day each week. A small number of councils operate
be connected within two or three days of contacting a bin system.
a telephone company. Most councils will not collect garden rubbish or
Telephone books are supplied free. Each major large items. These should be taken to the local tip –
city has its own telephone book, and other areas are a council-run refuse collection centre. Call your local
covered by provincial telephone books. The White council for information. Freight-container-sized rubbish
Pages version lists residential numbers and the Yellow skips can also be hired. Look under ‘Rubbish Bin Hire’
Pages version lists business numbers. Both are in the Yellow Pages.
available on the Internet (www.whitepages.co.nz and Many councils operate Recycling Centres where
www.yellowpages.co.nz). paper, glass and plastic can be placed in special
bins. These are usually located near schools or
If you live in a rural area, you are responsible for
the disposal of your own rubbish.
Maintenance and home help Buying a car
New Zealand families do not have full-time servants, Protection against mechanical faults
gardeners or cooks, but a small number hire ‘home The AA (Automobile Association) can do a vehicle
help’ – usually an individual who does their house inspection to find any mechanical problems. Freephone:
cleaning for a few hours each week. More common is 0800 500 333. The fee is $95 for AA members and $120
the hiring of ‘handymen’ or small ‘odd job’ contractors for non-members.
to mow lawns, maintain gardens and/or complete Protection against dishonesty
minor repairs. However, electrical, gasfitting and Car sales companies with LMVD after the name are
plumbing work must be done by registered tradesmen. Licensed Motor Vehicle Dealers. These firms are bound
When you want someone to do some work for you, by a code of ethics. LMVD firms must also display the
it is best to ascertain costs first. There are two ways model name, year of manufacture, number of previous
of doing this: owners, warranty category and full price.
By law, they must offer buyers a warranty for a set
• Ask for a ‘quote’. A quote is an offer to do a job for
period, although this varies with the age of the car.
a certain price. If you accept the quote, the contractor
To check if a dealer is licensed, Freephone: 0800
has to do the work for that price, unless you agree
to change it. 19
Advice on motor registration, car licensing,
• Ask for an ‘estimate’. An estimate is a price the
and change of ownership
contractor thinks the work will cost. It is not a firm
Contact the Land Transport Safety Authority.
offer to do the job for that price. If you decide to use
Freephone: 0800 108 809, or visit: www.ltsa.govt.nz
that particular contractor, make it clear that you want
to be told – before work starts – if the final price is
going to be higher than the estimate.
Ask for quotes and estimates in writing. For advice on
charges, and on ways of making sure you get jobs
done well, contact your local Citizens Advice Bureau,
Freephone: 0800 367 222 . You can also visit:
LEGAL MATTERS Alcohol and the law
Wine and beer are available from most supermarkets
Marriages seven days a week, and wine, beer and spirits at
The legal age of marriage in New Zealand is 16 years. specialist outlets (‘bottle stores’).
If one or both partners are under the age of 20 and Anyone aged 18 years or over can go into ‘licensed
have not been married before, then parental consent premises’ and buy and drink alcohol. Licensed
to marry is required. premises include hotels, pubs, restaurants, clubs, bottle
Divorce stores, supermarkets, cafes, bars and nightclubs.
Divorce in New Zealand is simple. Couples can separate If you are asked to prove you are aged 18 or over, you
immediately and a divorce is granted automatically can use either:
after they have lived apart for two years. Dissolution • a New Zealand photo driver licence
is granted on the basis of irreconcilable differences. • a New Zealand or overseas passport, or
These grounds for divorce cover all reasons for ending • an ‘evidence of age’ document from the Hotel
a marriage. Association of New Zealand (available at any New
All matrimonial property is generally divided equally Zealand Post Shop for $20).
20 between the partners if they are divorcing after three
years of marriage. This also applies to same-sex and People who are under 18 can be supplied with alcohol
de facto relationships. For shorter marriages, by their parent or legal guardian, either at home or at
the equal sharing rules may be modified. a private social gathering. It is illegal for people under
For further information, contact the Registrar 18 to drink in a public place.
of Births, Deaths and Marriages, Freephone: 0800 Drink driving rules
22 52 52, or visit: www.dia.govt.nz If you drink, don’t drive. See page 7.
Making a will
Anyone aged 18 years and over can make a will either
through the Public Trust, which provides a simple and
low cost service, or a private lawyer.
Freephone: 0800 371 471 or visit: www.publictrust.
APPENDIX: TYPICAL COSTS AND PRICES
Sample shopping list
Representative weekly shop for a four person family
Oranges 1kg $0.61 Hand soap (liquid) 500ml $3.79
Apples 2kg $3.99 Cat litter 3L $3.05
Bananas small prepack $2.79 Cat biscuits 1kg $3.50
Carrots 1kg $1.69
Lettuce 1 head $2.99
Cauliflower 1 head $2.99 Source: www.woolworths.co.nz, August 2002.
Flour 1.5kg $1.39
Sugar 1.5kg $2.09
Pasta (spaghetti) 500g $1.99
Prices of electrical goods
Rice 1kg $1.59 Hewlett-Packard
Sliced brown bread 1 pack $2.75 Pavilion Computer Package Deal
Butter 500g $2.19 (includes a good level of software,
Margarine 500g $2.69 40GB hard drive and 256MB RAM) $2,248.87
Eggs 12 eggs $3.70
Honey 250g $2.05 Samsung
Potatoes 10kg $6.95 5kg Electronic Washing Machine $699.99
Milk 2L $3.19 Kambrook 21
Cheese 500g $6.25 Vacuum Cleaner $129.99
Canned spaghetti 300g $1.46
Coco Pops 425g $3.99 Vidal Sassoon
Potato chips (crisps) 190g $2.35 Hair Dryer $39.99
Biscuits 200g $2.69 Simpson
Water crackers 125g $1.49 Manual Dishwasher $899.99
Nescafé coffee 100g $3.99
Robert Harris ground coffee 200g $6.99 Simpson
Tea bags 100 bags $4.19 3.5kg Manual Dryer $399.99
Coca Cola 2.25L $1.79 Doro
Orange juice 3L $3.99 Basic Corded Phone $39.99
Beer 6 pack $7.69
Wine 750ml $9.99 AWA
Premium beef mince 1kg $12.99 14’’ Television $329.99
Steak, scotch fillet 195g $4.40 Source: Noel Leeming, August 2002.
Fresh fish fillets, hoki 480g $6.89
Frozen fish 360g $6.59
Lamb chops 4 pack $7.50
Pork chops 1kg $13.99
Sausages pack of 10 $4.91
Canola oil 500ml $2.49
Toilet paper 4 rolls $3.02
Bleach 1.25L $2.19
Washing machine soap powder 1.5kg $3.50
Detergent 1L $3.69
Paper towels 2 pack $2.99
GETTING HELP WITH SPEAKING ENGLISH
WEBSITES AND NEW ZEALAND FREEPHONES
If you need help in learning English, your local Citizens Advice Bureau
(CAB) is a good place to start. CAB staff are trained in assisting 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
new migrants and will be able to refer you to local ESOL training
organisations, colleges and schools that can provide the type
Move To New Zealand.
of tuition you require. Local CAB offices are listed under CITIZENS
Information and links on doing business, working and living in
ADVICE BUREAUX (INC) in the White Pages of The Telephone Book.
Skill New Zealand also produces an English for Migrants Course
Directory. You can obtain this by calling free on: 0800 376 569 or A freephone referral service that helps new migrants find
download it from the website. the answers to questions about life in New Zealand.
The service is free and aims to put migrants in touch with the
www.esolht.org.nz right organisations and people who are ready and waiting
National Association of ESOL Home Tutor Schemes. to help. Issues covered include: housing, health, schooling,
Runs one-to-one ESOL teaching at home, social English groups,
ESOL courses, employment and many other everyday topics.
special focus groups for learning skills such as driver licence
Operates from 9:00am – 5:00pm, Monday to Friday.
theory and social events.
Does not deal with business inquiries.
www.correspondence.school.nz Freephone: 0508 55 88 55 (for calls outside Auckland)
New Zealand Correspondence School 09 914 4100 (for Auckland and all mobile phone calls).
Provides ESOL correspondence courses at beginner, intermediate
22 and advanced levels.
Official site of the New Zealand Immigration Service.
Comprehensive information on all aspects of New Zealand
immigration policy and procedures. All policy guidelines and
most application forms can be downloaded.
Citizens Advice Bureau
www.civildefence.govt.nz All major towns in New Zealand have a Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB).
Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management These provide free information and assistance on matters such as
Information on how to prepare for earthquakes and other emergencies. the law, translation services, social welfare, health, education, housing,
www.customs.govt.nz budgeting, employment rights, consumer rights and personal and
New Zealand Customs Service family issues.
Information on all aspects of customs formalities and also what The CAB’s website also provides comprehensive and easily accessible
cannot be brought into New Zealand with you, focusing particularly information on these and other issues. The service is confidential
on illegal items such as drugs and weapons. and anyone can use it – you do not need to be a New Zealand citizen.
www.dia.govt.nz Freephone: 0800 367 222 (0800 FOR CAB)
Department of Internal Affairs Visit: www.cab.org.nz
Processes citizenship applications, as well as many other documents
such as birth, death, and marriage registers, and certificates and passports.
www.fish.govt.nz In an emergency, dial 111 –
Ministry of Fisheries Fire
Information on sea fishing.
Fish and Game New Zealand Police
Information on fresh water fishing and game hunting.
Human Rights Commission GENERAL SITES
An independent agency responsible for investigating and
resolving complaints about discrimination and other human rights issues. www.consumer.org.nz
Freephone: 0800 4 496 877 (0800 4 YOUR RIGHTS). Consumers’ Institute of New Zealand
For complaints about misleading advertising, unfair trading practices
www.ltsa.govt.nz and other consumer advice.
Land Transport Safety Authority
Information on all aspects of transport regulation and www.nzaa.co.nz
driver safety campaigns on New Zealand roads. New Zealand Automobile Association Inc.
Website provides prices of new cars in New Zealand.
General Road Safety enquiries: 0800 699 000 The Association provides services ranging from insurance and loans to
Driver Licensing: 0800 822 422 a 24-hour breakdown service to members and travel guides.
Freephone: 0800 500 444
Road User Charges: 0800 655 644
Motor Vehicle Registration: 0800 108 809 New Zealand Post
www.maf.govt.nz Main operator of postal services in New Zealand.
Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry At Post Shop outlets you can also pay bills, buy rugby tickets
Protects New Zealand’s agricultural, horticultural and and use the services of Kiwibank. Freephone: 0800 501 501
forestry industries. www.watersafety.org.nz
www.quarantine.govt.nz Water Safety New Zealand
Information on imports of plants and animals. Raises awareness of water safety.
Shop online from this major New Zealand supermarket,
or just browse to get a feel for prices.
NEWS SITES www.scenic-circle.co.nz
Scenic Circle Hotels and Resorts
Hotel accommodation in major tourist areas.
Freephone: 0800 69 69 63 (0800 NZ OWNED)
TELEVISION/TV SITES Jasons New Zealand Travel Channel
www.primetv.co.nz Accommodation listings as well as information on transport,
Prime TV activities and events
Freephone: 0800 774 638 (0800 PRIMETV)
www.skytv.co.nz Contacts for Visitor Information Centres
Pay TV channel.
Telstra Clear offers pay TV on cable
Plan your route across town, using either buses, trains, ferries,
www.tvnz.co.nz or a combination.
Television New Zealand
tvone.nzoom.com Timetables and fares of bus services both within Hamilton city
TV One and the Waikato region.
Freephone: 0800 4287 5463 (0800 4BUSLINE)
24 TV Two Wellington: www.wrc.govt.nz/rt/pickroute.cfm
Access bus and train timetables and fares.
TV Three Christchurch: www.metroinfo.org.nz
TV Four Dunedin: www.orc.govt.nz
Bus timetables and fares.
W E B L I S T I N G S F O R A C C O M M O D AT I O N
Golden Chain Motels www.anz.com
Freephone: 0800 80 465 336 www.asbbank.co.nz
Freephone: 0800 62 46 46 (0800 MAIN HOTELS)
AA Host Motel Accommodation
Freephone: 0800 500 543
Please note: Freephone numbers do not accept
AA New Zealand Accommodation Guide international calls.
Internet database comprised of information published
in the AA’s accommodation guides.
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 Southland, Dunedin City Council,
Adrian Heke Photographer.
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.