Moving to New Zealand Checklist- Pre-Move

moving to New Zealand checklist

A checklist? Yes, a moving to New Zealand checklist might seem like something that is not needed, but our Moving to New Zealand Checklist goes over several things that you should think about before your moving day.

Insurance– New Zealand’s Universal Healthcare covers not all people that move to New Zealand.  If your working visa is for less than two years, there is a good chance you will need supplemental insurance.  Our New Zealand health insurance guide goes over the in and outs of health insurance in New Zealand.

Bank account appointmentOpening a bank account in New Zealand requires you to go to the branch in person.  Some branches have a multiple day wait to get an appointment. Making your appointment ahead of time will allow you to open your bank account on your schedule.

Book rental car or transportation from airport– The last thing that you want to be dealing with on your move day is not having all of our luggage fit in your vehicle.  Hertz operates onsite car rentals at Auckland, Wellington, and Christchurch and has many sizes of vehicles from trucks with cabs to large vans. Our day of arrival guide goes over getting through the airport with all your luggage.

Lodging– Book your accommodation for your first bit of time in New Zealand.  A lot of houses in New Zealand are not built well, and I caution you on renting a place unseen. Our guide on renting a property goes over what to look out for in a New Zealand rental.

Copy of your visa– Your visa is probably an electronic visa, and you do not need a copy of it to gain entry to New Zealand.  Since the visa waiver program requires a return plane ticket, many airlines will request to see a copy of your visa if you do not have a plane ticket leaving New Zealand

electronic visa in your passport

Work documents– Depending on your field and if you have a professional license, you may need to submit documents when you get to New Zealand.  Some shops can make photocopies in most major cities, but having everything already printed can make the first few days less stressful.

NZ work documents

Figure out what cell phone plan you want– Just like everywhere else there are a variety of cell phone providers in New Zealand and most of them have booths at the airport.  Figuring out what provider and plan you want to use ahead of time can take the stress off your first couple of days in New Zealand.  Our guide to cellphone plans goes over different networks and plans.

Unlock Cellphone: Most cell phones now come unlocked, but some are still locked.  Make sure that your carrier unlocks yours.  If your phone was locked and the carrier unlocked is, and you received a warranty or replacement device, the new device will also need to be unlocked.

Old drivers license– If your driver’s license is less than two years old and if you apply for a New Zealand drivers license you will either need to show your previous license or proof from the issuing country that you have had your license for longer than two years.

Downgrade/cancel your car insurance– Most car insurance is prepaid so you are eligible for a refund if you cancel in the middle of your policy.  Many companies allow you to downgrade to a liability only policy without a vehicle on it. This is useful if you plan on visiting the states and driving.  Companies allow you to call ahead of time and set a day that the changes to your policy go into effect.

Travel alert on credit/debit card– Many companies allow you to do this online or via the mobile app. Amex does not require it.  I would set the travel period for a couple of months.

travel alerts NZ

Figure out initial money– Often the first week that you are in New Zealand has a lot of expenses, including a car.  Figuring out how you are going to transfer or withdraw money ahead of time will reduce one potential hiccup in your moving phase. The four most common ways are to open a migrant banking account before you move and transfer money ahead of time, transfer money once you have opened a bank account in person, withdraw cash from ATMs, and putting charges on credit cards (car dealerships often charge 2%).

Figure out shipping household– There are many options to ship your belongings to New Zealand.  Some like shipping with sea freight involves advanced planning.  Other options like bringing items on the plane require minimal preplanning.  Our guide on shipping your household to New Zealand goes over your options.

shipping household

How did your move to New Zealand go?

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