Expat life in New Zealand

On the other side of the world is an expat destination that offers beautiful scenery, plenty of open space, and a sunny climate. Perfect for outdoorsy types, New Zealand provides the perfect backdrop for hiking, cycling, and getting in touch with nature. It’s not just the scenery that makes New Zealand such an expat hotspot though, there’s plenty of other perks too.
Second only to Singapore, New Zealand is one of the top expat destinations in the world according to the HSBC Expat Explorer Survey. As well as ranking well overall, the survey also found New Zealand to be the best country for experience – taking factors like quality of life, safety, and making friends into account. As a former British colony, expats find it easy to integrate and the friendliness of the people is something that crops up time and again in expat reviews. Family life and leisure time is held in higher regard than in many other English-speaking countries, making New Zealand the perfect destination for expats moving from the UK with family. However, there is a slight trade off in terms of career opportunities, with higher salaries and quicker career progression to be found elsewhere in countries with larger economies.
That’s not to say there aren’t opportunities for ambitious expats to expand their skillset and seize new opportunities though. The same survey found that, of anywhere in the world, New Zealand is the best country for entrepreneurship. The lack of red tape makes setting up in business straightforward and foreign investment is welcomed and encouraged. Small businesses make up around a quarter of the country’s workforce and if you want to add yours to the list here you’ll find the corporate environment to be particularly welcoming; New Zealand was a close second in the World Bank’s 2015 Ease of Doing Business Survey.
The visa process is equally welcoming. New Zealand is keen to import skilled workers, offering migrants who qualify a stay of up to five years. Young people are also in demand with Brits under the age of 30 able to qualify for a working visa that lasts for nearly two years. Though retirees are required to make a significant investment into the New Zealand economy, more than 50,000 have chosen to make New Zealand their home to enjoy the open spaces, pleasant climate, and relaxed atmosphere.
For overall experience, New Zealand is the top expat destination. 77% of expats who move here rate their overall quality of life as better than it was back home. The majority – 55% – even believe their health to have improved since moving. Whether it’s the natural landscapes that encourage adventure, the friendly Kiwi and Maori culture, or the favourable work-life balance, expats who move to New Zealand from the UK almost universally find it to be a positive experience.
Information correct at time of publication.