Cost of living in New Zealand

You will enjoy a better standard of living in New Zealand


Comparing the cost of living in New Zealand is pointless, unless you know what your income will be when you arrive here. While NZ housing is generally cheaper than many other countries including the UK, salaries in NZ tend to be lower.

living in New Zealand

NZ currency

The average salary for people living in New Zealand is approx $49k pa while the UK average is £29k pa. If you are in the fortunate position of having a lump sum from the sale of a property in your home country, then you will feel relatively well off living in New Zealand. But be warned, this won’t last long and once you start earning NZ dollars, this feeling of affluence will soon wear off.

When you’re living in New Zealand and you’re ready to transfer money, whatever you do don’t use your bank. It’s your hard earned money and why should they get a slice of it? Much better to use a currency specialist. Not only is this secure but it’s quicker and you’ll save money. We’ve found currencyonline.comto be the most responsive and they offer the best deal.

While we’re talking about saving money, it’s probably best to rent for the first six months or so when you’re living in New Zealand. This way you’ll be able to get a feel of the country and decide which area is for you. All the while your money will sit gaining interest and you’ll be better prepared to negotiate a better deal on the home you eventually buy. So if you’re going to rent your home when you arrive, weekly rents for a 3 bedroom house are on average: Auckland between $600 and $360. In Wellington: Between $500 and $340. Christchurch Between $440 and $340. Bear in mind that most rental properties are unfurnished, with a minimum tenancy of usually six months.

As for food shopping for people living in New Zealand, Statistics NZ say that about $21 of every $100 spent by households on food is spent on eating out or takeaways. Hardly surprising when you consider a takeaway meal is often cheaper than cooking yourself. About $17 of every $100 spent on food is on meat, poultry and fish, and about $14 is on fruit and vegetables. Non-alcoholic beverages such as coffee, soft drinks and fruit juice account for $10, and the remaining $38 is spent on grocery food.

living in New Zealand

Check food prices in NZ at

It’s easy to check food prices as the major supermarkets send out flyers every week with their specials. Countdown or PaknSave are the best to check online.

Cars are another thing that adds to the cost of living in New Zealand. But cars are cheaper than in the UK. For example a 2009 Subaru Legacy Estate 2.0 (one of the most popular cars in NZ) would cost approx $28,995 in NZ, while a search on a used vehicle website in the UK had the same spec car for sale at £22,495.
Running a car is also cheaper with petrol a $1.84 a litre for 98 octane, and diesel $1.14 (diesel does have a mileage tax).

When looking at tax rates a person earning the average wage and living in New Zealand will pay (from Oct 1st 2010) just 16%, compared with 18% for average wage earners in the UK and 20% in Australia. GST (VAT) is currently 12.5% but will soon rise to 15% in NZ.

The point to make here is, if you are managing OK in your home country, then providing you can earn a similar income – you will enjoy a better standard of living in New Zealand.

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