First Steps after Moving to New Zealand with Working Holiday Visa

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I guess I have written similar article when I moved to Canada with Working Holiday visa in 2018, however, New Zealand is a bit different. Different bank options, different phone operators, different rules. So let me shortly help you by writing about my beginnings, how I managed to get everything done within the first few days and thus it could make your life easier before moving to New Zealand.

KIWI PHONE OPERATORS

In New Zealand you will have numerous options in choosing your phone operator. One of the most common (but also more expensive) is popular Vodafone. However, the first day of my arrival I got a Skinny sim card for only 2 dollars, downloaded the application and bought a month plan for 36 dollars with unlimited data (although the speed would get reduce after 4.5GB). However, as a new user I got a voucher code which I shared with two other friends and that got me extra 40 dollars bonus and extra 4 GB of unlimited data. Pretty good deal, I think. Moreover, Skinny has great weekend deals, always extra 2GB of unlimited data. And of course you are able to cancel this plan any time you want.

OPENING A KIWI BANK ACCOUNT

There are different options for kiwi banks as well. Many people chose Kiwi bank, BNZ bank, Westpac bank, etc. Me personally I went for ANZ bank because this bank gave me an option to open my bank account online weeks before getting to New Zealand and then gave me an appointment for the exact date and time and place so I didn´t have to wait anywhere after arriving to New Zealand. I recommend to open the bank account at last a month before coming to NZ as it takes some time for them to reply to you and arrange all the details. Click HERE if you want to open your ANZ bank account online.

The documents I needed to present at the appointment were my passport, valid Working Holiday visa and a proof of my permanent residency from my country, thus Slovakia. I decided to bring official statement from my bank with my address on it. Besides that, I had an option to insert my kiwi address if I had one (I did as my friends live in Auckland). They gave me a bank card (without my name on it) immediately and everything was solved pretty fast and without any complications.

PS: You might need to change your Google App store into NZ store in order to download the application for online banking.

WHAT IS IRD NUMBER AND HOW TO GET IT

IRD number is a number which is obligatory to have if you want to work in New Zealand. It´s an identification number necessary for tax purposes and fortunately it is pretty easy to get one (of course with valid Working Holiday or any other type of working visa for New Zealand).

In order to get an IRD number, you need to have your kiwi phone number and an open active bank account. Then you apply for your IRD number at THIS WEBSITE where you will have to fill in addresses (Slovak and/or kiwi), bank account number and also a proof of active bank account (it was a little PDF file in my bank app).

I received my IRD number the following day, thus, I was officially allowed to start working in New Zealand.

BUYING A CAMPERVAN

After getting my phone number, opening my bank account and receiving my IRD number, I decided that my further steps should be devoted to buying a campervan. You can read more detailed article about “Everything you need to know before buying a campervan.”

But in short, I managed to buy a Mazda Bongo 2009, automatic, self-contained with freshly changed tyres and oil for 9 850 kiwi dollars (around 5820 euro).

GETTING A JOB

Last but not least on my agenda was getting a job. And I guess that will be also your aim once you come to New Zealand with working holiday visa. Our very first job was cherry picking (not packing) in a God-forgotten cherry orchard near Tarras (South Island, 40km from Wanaka). We worked for the company called HortInvest, our working time was from 6am till 3pm with 30 min unpaid break included. Our salary was 21,20 dollars per hour + 8% vacation pay. Not the best but it was the first job. OR you could make a loot of money if you were able to pick more than 37 buckets per day (which was impossible for me).

We found the job easily, at the website called PICKNZ. After emailing them, we managed to get a personal appointment where we agreed on terms, signed an online agreement and the day after we started working (middle of January 2023). Other options of finding a job are via FB groups or word-of-mouth.

The most typical seasonal jobs are jobs at farms and orchards. Work with various types of fruits and veggie, picking or packing. The contract usually allows you to start and end whenever you want (perfect for me!) and the companies will usually offer you the option of accommodation or option to park your campervan and use hot showers and toilets for little fee. For instance, we paid 5 dollars per day.

Let this article be helpful to as many of you as possible. If you are only about to leave your country for New Zealand, then you might also be interested in this article – How to prepare yourself before leaving to New Zealand with Working Holiday visa. Happy travels my MiliMundo readers.

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