Buying a home in New Zealand
The level of home ownership in New Zealand is amongst the highest in the world, so it’s very normal for people to buy a house here. As a new arrival, you might want to buy immediately, to help you and your family feel more settled. Although that’s understandable, don’t let the urge to settle or any sales pressure push you into a decision too quickly.
Once you’re ready to buy, you’ll probably find buying a property – even a large, lifestyle property in the country – is surprisingly affordable. And the buying process is well organised and regulated to ensure a fair process for both buyers and sellers. It can take as little as three to four weeks to complete the purchase once you’ve found the place you want.
House prices differ by region, and from inner city to suburb, and a large property with perhaps sea views, a swimming pool and a large garden will be upwards of NZ$1 million. But in the middle range, for a three bedroom home in good order, the prices are considerably less.
For more information on Buying a Home in New Zealand, please visit this site:
Driving In New Zealand
We drive on the left hand side of the road, which means some of you should feel right at home. However, there are some vital differences, such as the give way rules. These are:
• If you are going straight ahead at an intersection, give way to all vehicles coming straight through from your right.
• If you are turning at an intersection, give way to all vehicles not turning.
• If you are turning left at an intersection, give way to vehicles coming towards you that are turning right.
• If you are turning right at an intersection, give way to vehicles on your right that are turning right.
• If you are leaving the path of a marked centre line, you are turning. You must give way to vehicles that are following the centre
For more information on Driving in New Zealand, please visit these sites:
Every city and most towns in New Zealand have reliable bus and taxi services, and Wellington and Auckland in the North Island also run train services. People in some places even use ferries to get between work and home, such as from Auckland City to Devonport or Waiheke Island.
For bus services which run throughout New Zealand, click here.
Because New Zealand is a small country, it doesn’t take long to travel by aeroplane between towns and cities.
Three main airlines operate networks around New Zealand. On their sites you’ll find prices and flight times, and regular price specials.
• Air New Zealand
• Pacific Blue
• Jet Star
You can be reassured that your health is in good hands when you come to New Zealand. That’s because New Zealand’s health care system is widely regarded as one of the best in the OECD countries (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development). Under the public system, essential heath care is provided free to all residents. This means that while some routine services, such as visits to doctors and dentists have to be paid for, more costly services, such as hospital treatment are available free to all residents.
For more information on Healthcare in New Zealand, please visit: http://www.newzealandnow.govt.nz/healthcare~279.html
If you're moving to New Zealand with children, you'll want to know they're going to get a good education here. And they will.
New Zealand's education system is world-class, modern and responsive. It combines proven, traditional principles of education with innovation, creativity and fresh thinking to produce leaders and citizens equipped for the 21st century.
From a child's first day at school, our government-funded schooling system provides a comprehensive curriculum of academic, sporting and skills-based learning options in a positive environment.
For more information on Education in New Zealand, please visit: http://www.newzealandnow.govt.nz/education~290.html
• School is compulsory for all children in New Zealand from the age of 6 to 16
• A national curriculum sets out the learning requirements for all state schools
• Children are eligible for free education if they are a New Zealand citizen or resident, or if they qualify as a domestic student.
• There are three types of schools: state-funded, state-integrated and private
• The average number of students to teacher is 18 to 1 in primary schooling and 15 to 1at secondary state schools
• There are four terms in the school year.
Law and Order
New Zealand is recognised as a relaxed, tolerant and reasonably safe country, where people are free to live the lifestyle they choose.
As a modern, secular and democratic country, New Zealand has laws protecting human rights and freedom of speech. It is illegal to discriminate on the grounds of gender, race, religion or ethnicity; and everyone living here has the same rights and freedoms.
You’ll find that New Zealanders share similar values as other Western countries, and the informal, egalitarian nature of the country means there is no ingrained class system. Everyone has the same opportunities to achieve and succeed.
For more information on Law and Order in New Zealand, please visit: http://www.newzealandnow.govt.nz/law-and-order~103.html
Generally life in New Zealand is safe and healthy. As in any country, there are incidents of crime here. Thankfully, serious crime rates in New Zealand are lower than in many other countries. When a serious crime does occur, it is considered so important that it will feature on the front pages of newspapers and lead media news bulletins for days. New Zealand Police are generally trusted, and solve a comparatively high number of all crimes.
Importantly, the great majority of New Zealanders are law abiding and honest to deal with. While New Zealand laws are similar to other democratic, Western countries, there are some differences you’ll want to know.