Moving to New Zealand
If you are a Kiwi returning home, or if you are immigrating to New Zealand, The Moving Company can take care of all your moving needs, co-ordinating the packing and shipping of your valued possessions or cars from anywhere in the world to New Zealand.
Through our global network of accredited partners we ensure a competitive move by arranging a minimum of two quotations, avoiding the time consuming process of you selecting and meeting numerous companies and potentially choosing a company that does not deliver its promises. We offer you the benefit of one point of contact for your entire move, one invoice in New Zealand dollars covering your move and insurance, payable in New Zealand. If you are still living overseas or you are in New Zealand already, simply complete our quotation request form and we can do the rest.
The Moving Company is equipped to handle all your importation requirements with our own branch network throughout New Zealand, which are managed by a team of highly respected professionals within the moving industry.
The Moving Company recognises that our strength is our people, we understand the need for good communication and will be pleased to respond to any queries you may have prior to relocating to New Zealand. We look forward to being of service to you.
On arrival in New Zealand you will be contacted by our import team to co-ordinate the completion of customs and quarantine documentation.
You will be required to provide us with your passport(s) or a certified legible photocopy so that NZ Customs can verify that residency has been granted, or the length of time a returning New Zealander has been away from New Zealand.
After clearing your shipment through Customs and Agriculture, our staff will arrange a mutually suitable time to deliver your shipment. Your household and personal effects will be unloaded, unwrapped and unpacked to hard-stand surfaces, by our experienced, trained staff. Following the completion of the unpacking to your satisfaction, we will return the container that was used to ship your belongings to New Zealand.
If your shipment is in a shared container you should allow 10-12 working days for clearance and delivery to your new home, pending the confirmation of the final delivery address.
We are proud of what our company has to offer new immigrants and returning New Zealanders. We trust the following information is of assistance. If you're moving to New Zealand, make sure you request a moving quote from The Moving Company.
Duty Free Importation & Customs Regulations
Your household or other related effects (including motor vehicles, boats, and aircraft) will qualify for concessionary entry, i.e. free of duty and GST into New Zealand, provided you can meet all the following requirements:
- you have arrived in New Zealand, and on the date your effects and/or motor vehicle is imported, hold a document authorising residence in New Zealand (see below); and
- you have resided outside of New Zealand for 21 whole months before the date of arrival in New Zealand; and
- you have owned and used the household goods before the date of departure for New Zealand/have personally owned and used the vehicle for at least 12 months before the date of departure to New Zealand or the date on which the vehicle is surrendered for shipping, whichever is earlier; and
- the goods/vehicle are being imported for your own personal use and not for sale, gift, disposal or exchange.
Documents authorising residence in New Zealand are defined as any of the following:
- a New Zealand passport;
- an Australian passport;
- a current New Zealand residence visa or permit or a current New Zealand returning resident's visa or permit;
- a current permanent residence visa (including a resident return visa) issued by the Government of the Commonwealth of Australia;
- a current New Zealand work visa or a work permit that was issued for a minimum of 12 months;
- a current New Zealand work visa or work permit issued under the Work to Residency (Skilled Migrant Category) policy or the long-term business visa/permit category;
- a current New Zealand visitor’s visa or permit that was issued for a minimum of three years.
The following goods will not qualify for duty free entry, unless you can establish that the items have had personal use prior to their arrival in New Zealand:
- goods shipped directly after purchase to avoid local taxes in the country of export;
- replacement electrical equipment operating to New Zealand standards;
- goods of a commercial nature (such as factory plant and office equipment) do not qualify as household effects.
These conditions are strictly applied and the New Zealand Customs Service has no discretionary licence to adapt them to suit particular circumstances. If the above criteria cannot be met, Customs Charges will be payable.
To protect New Zealand’s clean and green environment and agricultural industry, MAF Biosecurity has strict regulations on the importation of high-risk items into New Zealand. As part of the clearance process is we must submit a full, descriptive inventory showing the contents of your packages to the Biosecurity Officer. Depending on the contents or origins of your shipment it will be subject to inspection by Quarantine Officers, and if subsequently ordered, fumigation. All charges for these services will be payable by you, in New Zealand, to The Moving Company unless prepaid as part of your move cost.
Please note – booking inspection slots can take up to five days and fumigation a further seven days.
As a general rule, items subject to inspection can be:
- garden tools, bicycles, camping equipment, golf clubs or spiked shoes, horse riding gear, outdoor furniture – we recommend that you thoroughly steam or pressure wash these items prior to shipping;
- vacuum cleaner – we recommend you empty and clean this item prior to shipping;
- cane-ware – do not ship cane-ware items unless they have been commercially manufactured. Items bought at local markets are likely to require fumigation;
- food – provided this has been commercially manufactured, it is acceptable to include in your shipment (i.e. sealed). We do recommend this is kept to a small quantity and it is subject to regulations around prohibited items;
- goods packed by yourself.
Do not ship the following items:
- canned or dried meats, spices (unless commercially prepared), honey, dairy and egg products;
- beekeeping equipment;
- ivory, tortoise or turtle shell (in any form);
- plants of any kind;
- items made of, or including derivatives from endangered species, for example: rhinoceros, tigers, whales, dolphins, and wild cats – including sporting trophies, unless a CITES certificate is available for each item;
- pine cones, berries and vine – particularly in Christmas decorations.
If you have any doubts regarding items that you may wish to include in your shipment, we recommend you discuss these with us, or for additional information visit www.biosecurity.govt.nz.
If you are thinking about bringing your car, all motor vehicles should be steam cleaned prior to shipping to assist with minimising the possibility of MAF Biosecurity ordering it to be cleaned and vacuumed on arrival in New Zealand. Do not include household and personal effects inside your vehicle as these items cannot be cleared under your Motor Vehicle Clearance and require a separate clearance process.
The following documents will be required for clearance of motor vehicles:
- original registration certificate and/or original deregistration certificate as applicable; and
- original purchase invoice; and
- original compliance certificate issued by the manufacturer of the car if applicable/required; and
- original passport.
Read more about importing your car to New Zealand on our Car & Boat Transport page where you can also request a quote.
Motor Vehicle Compliance and Registration
A manufacturer's certificate of compliance for frontal impact and emission standards may be required for vehicles to be registered for use on New Zealand roads. Detailed information is available on the following website www.nzta.govt.nz. No motor vehicle should be shipped until a written confirmation from the entry certifiers has been obtained that confirms the vehicle complies with, or meets, exemption criteria.
The organisations listed below are appointed by the NZTA to advise on the suitability of vehicles for import and carry out entry certification:
- Automobile Association (AA) www.aa.co.nz
- Vehicle Inspection New Zealand (VINZ) www.vinz.co.nz
- Vehicle Testing New Zealand (VTNZ) www.vtnz.co.nz
Once the motor vehicle has been unloaded and biosecurity checked, you will need to arrange a compliance inspection and the registration of your vehicle to verify that it complies with all New Zealand regulations and safety laws before being driven on the road. Our move managers can assist you with these arrangements.
Bringing Liquor/Alcohol into New Zealand
Wine and spirits can be imported into New Zealand duty free provided it is not for resale in New Zealand. If you have large quantities to include in your shipment, we would recommend they be of varied labels and you bring with you a cellar book, showing the cost and date of purchase. New Zealand Customs generally treat the importation of wines and spirits with leniency, provided they have proof the alcohol will not be sold on arrival and is for personal consumption or forms a private collection.
Bringing Firearms/Weapons into New Zealand
Some firearms may be imported into New Zealand provided a permit is obtained from the New Zealand Police. Automatic military-type weapons and guns may not be permitted entry. Firearms must be loaded last for easy access, as they will be retained by the Customs office on arrival until the required Permit/Firearms Licence is obtained by you. For further information please see http://www.police.govt.nz/service/firearms.
The importation of other types of weapons, including flick knives, daggers, swordsticks, knuckle dusters or replica weapons are prohibited.
Bringing Pets into New Zealand
Many families in New Zealand have domestic pets. To see if your cat or dog can come to New Zealand, prior to entry into New Zealand, a Permit to Import pets must be obtained from Biosecurity New Zealand.
Most pet arrivals will require a quarantine period in either a post-arrival quarantine facility or via an approved transit country (e.g. the United Kingdom, Norway, Sweden or Hawaii) for a period of up to six months prior to finally flying to New Zealand.
Dogs and cats can be imported if they are members of the species Canis familiaris (domestic dog) and Felis catis (domestic cat). Dogs of the following breeds (including crosses of these breeds) cannot be imported: American Pit Bull Terrier, Dog Argentino, Japanese Tosa, Brazilian.
For further information about bringing pets into New Zealand, including an import application, please contact:
Biosecurity New Zealand - Animal Imports/Exports
Pastoral House, 25 The Terrace
PO Box 2526, Wellington 6140, New Zealand
Telephone +64 4 894 0100
Facsimile +64 4 894 0733
More Useful Information About New Zealand
If you are a new immigrant to New Zealand, you will probably have a lot of questions about our country. Here we have provided answers to some frequently asked questions – from banking to national holidays.
New Zealand has decimal currency (dollars and cents). Coins come in denominations of 10c, 20c, 50c, $1 and $2, and notes in denominations of $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100.
The Moving Company can provide you with Foreign Currency Exchange with zero fees and preferential rates.
Trading banks are open Monday to Friday, 9 am to 4.30 pm. Most international banks have branches or representatives in New Zealand.
Payment by credit card is universally accepted throughout New Zealand. Those in common use include American Express, Diners Club, Mastercard and Visa. New regulations introduced in September 2009 allow recovery of costs associated with accepting payment via credit card by the merchant.
Shopping is available not only in the city centres, but also at suburban shopping malls. The normal shopping hours are 9am to 6pm on Monday to Friday, and 9am to 5pm at weekends. There is usually one late shopping night, until 9pm on Thursday or Friday. Petrol stations are generally open 24-hours a day.
Goods and services in New Zealand are subject to a 15% Goods and Services Tax referred to as GST.
Medical and Emergency Services
All emergency services can be contacted throughout New Zealand by dialling 111. New Zealand has both public and private medical and hospital services. Private health insurance is strongly recommended.
Newspapers and TV
All cities have at least one daily newspaper and several radio stations. There are numerous national television channels and several cable pay-for-view operators. There are a growing number of local television channels in the larger cities. New Zealand uses the PAL system for televisions and set-top boxes. This is the same system as most European countries. American sets will not work in New Zealand. Equipment using the PAL system may still require conversion to receive the correct signals. TV operates on UHF, VHF and VL channels with a sound frequency of 5.5 megahertz. The regional coding or DVDs in New Zealand is Zone 4.
New Zealand Post offices generally open from 8.30 am to 5 pm. A full national and international mail service is available.
There are no snakes or dangerous animals in New Zealand apart from the poisonous, but rare, Katipo spider.
Employees in New Zealand do not depend on tips or gratuities as part of their income, however tipping is an acceptable practice if you feel you've received good service.
Electricity throughout New Zealand is supplied at 240 volts, 30 hertz (the same as Australia). Power sockets in New Zealand accept 3-pin plugs. It is recommended to check that your appliance will operate in New Zealand before shipping to avoid potential costly conversions.
Any equipment requiring the use of New Zealand’s plug-in telecommunications network (including telephones, faxes, answerphones, modems) must have a Tele Permit. This is generally only available on products sold within New Zealand. Items brought into New Zealand can be given a Tele Permit, but in most cases the cost to do so will far outweigh the cost of purchasing a new one.
New Zealand Public Holidays
- New Year’s Day January 1
- New Year Holiday January 2
- Waitangi (NZ) Day February 6
- Good Friday April 18
- Easter Monday April 21
- Anzac Day April 25
- Queen’s Birthday Observed June 2
- Labour Day October 27
- Christmas Day December 25
- Boxing Day December 26
New Zealand is close to the international date line and is 12 hours ahead of GMT (Greenwich Mean Time).
Daylight saving time is observed from early October to late March. Clocks advance one hour during this time.
New Zealand has a population of circa 4.3 million people.
Auckland, the country’s largest city, has well over one million people. Other cities include the capital city Wellington at the southern tip of the North Island and Christchurch, the largest city in the South Island.
Seasons and Climate
New Zealand’s climate ranges from subtropical in the North Island to temperate in the South Island. The summer months stretch from December through to March with temperatures ranging from 20°C to 30°C (celsius).
Winter experiences temperatures between 3°C to 15°C and runs from June through to August. Both islands of New Zealand receive snow in winter making New Zealand a popular destination for those who enjoy winter sports such as skiing and snowboarding.
English and Maori are the official languages. English is the most common language of New Zealand.
New Zealand is well served with public and private schools. Children commence schooling at the age of five years, moving from primary and intermediate schools to high school/college.
All major New Zealand cities have their own universities covering a wide range of courses – medical, law, commerce, agriculture, veterinary, business and many more. New Zealand university degrees are recognised worldwide.
Moving Quotes for Relocating to New Zealand
If you're moving to New Zealand, make sure you request a moving quote from The Moving Company.