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Tips for Moving to New Zealand

Moving countries can be a very intimidating (and frighteningly expensive) exercise. I've reached out to the migrant community to ask for their tips for newcomers. The results are below


Angie Wacker (USA). recommended visiting the country before deciding to move here permanently, and learn how to use the metric system. She also noted that petrol is fairly expensive (usually around $2.00 per liter).

Holly Nicole (Canada) mentioned that the food wasn't as good here, and that ketchup tastes different. She also mentioned that Dominoes in NZ is different, and that her friend had lamented a lack of grape jelly and iced tea options. Apparently bra sizes are different too.

Marna Nel (South Africa) wrote about using a lower value currency, and that you don't need to buy everything brand new - there are plenty of second hand shops available, and to look out for reduced-price items at supermarkets and other stores.

Melanie Cloutier (Canada) says that New Zealand houses, in comparison to Canada and generally, are poorly insulated, and not to attempt to heat your house 27/7, due to "astronomical" electricity bills.

Peggy Carlaw (USA) spoke about being able to find most products she likes, but that when she can't, she reminds herself that she's not currently living in the U.S., with its extraordinarily high Covid-19 rate.

My own tips as a Kiwi, and as a former university student/cheap person are as follows:

  • In order of descending average price, our main supermarkets are as follows: Moore Wilsons (the most expensive), Fresh Choice, Four Square, New World, Countdown, and Pak n' Save (the cheapest);

  • If money is tight, and you are worried about running out of food, there are food banks available in most cities. You can always stock up on rice and pasta, which is fairly cheap;

  • Since there are no current community cases of Covid-19, get a bus ticket instead of driving a car;

  • Get some cheap second-hand planter boxes and start growing vegetables;


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