Employment in New Zealand

There are different types of employment opportunities that are available for expats in New Zealand. Some people however do secure jobs before arriving into the country, but for those who don’t will have other routes to find work.

Majority of the expats moving to New Zealand find work in the larger industries in IT, finance, insurance, construction and business services.

When there is a shortage of qualified workers in specific job fields the government prefers to recruit expats in that field and this can be found in the Essential skills in demand list published by the immigration New Zealand which is part of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment. This will show skills and job fields that the government needs to fill up and it is recommended that expats look for work on this.

Expats must be registered with the tax offices and the employer is responsible to ensure that they have correct documentation from the employee so they are working legally in the country.

Finding a Job

There are different ways of finding a job in New Zealand including websites, recruitment agencies and newspaper advertisements.

Some websites are useful for individuals who are looking for work before arriving into the country and can provide guidance on the type of jobs that are available.

As well as this the government provides a free jobs website for those who want to find work in the public sector and if looking for temporary work. They will also provide assistant in finding a job and filling in application forms. Website: CareersNZ

Other websites for specific types of careers in IT, Accountancy and the medical sector are available where professionals may look for vacancies.

Expats who are looking for jobs via recruitment agencies and require more assistance can go to the employment offices of the department of work and income which will give advice on jobs and advertise a mix of unskilled and skilled work. The employment offices website can also be used to hunt for work, as well as registering a CV to match vacancies.

Facts about working in New Zealand

  • Business hours: Working hours in New Zealand is between 8-9am – 5pm Monday to Friday. Some employees work Saturdays from 9am-12.30pm.
  • Business language: The main language spoken is English
  • Dress Code: The dress code for where you work can depend on the job location. You will be required to dress smartly and in some work places have a relaxed dress code
  • Greeting: A handshake is the usual greeting in business with a smile and direct eye contact.
  • Meetings:

The country has many agencies which can provide help and guide individuals find jobs in the country once they have a visa and have moved into the country.

To apply for a job in New Zealand, you will simply need to fill out an application form detailing your work history and maybe attaching a CV and cover letter.  Job hunters should have a good level of English as this is the language spoken in the country and for those whose English level is not fluent may find it hard to find a job.

Popular websites used to look for jobs

Opening your own business

There is a big amount of entrepreneurs in New Zealand with many small companies being opened around the country. Expats find that there is a friendly and professional nature with great assistance being provided with encouragement from the government.

Usually business owners only employ five people and there is a chamber of commerce which offers advice to members by attending network meetings allowing them to develop their own business.

Expats can set up a business as a sole trader, partnership or a company. Majority of the people who open up their own business do start as a sole trader before moving into a partnership or a company.

It is important to inform the Inland Revenue offices if you are self employed as this will ensure that the correct taxation forms are sent and business expenses can be claimed.

When opening up your own business it is recommended that you open up another bank account and to do this you will be required to have a business number obtained from Inland Revenue.

To register your business as a company, an accountant and a lawyer will need to be consulted who will also provide assistance.