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New Zealand

Frequently asked questions about relocating to New Zealand

How is the New Zealand job market placed now?

New Zealand has had some of the lowest unemployment rates in the OECD for a
sustained number of years – 3% – the current recession has taken a toll on the economy
but we appear to have escaped relatively unscathed compared to many economy’s – the
recession now appears to have “finished” with the first increase in GDP reported in 5
quarters, unemployment is expected to top out at around 6.8% - down from earlier
predictions’ of 12% - the dollar is continuing to rise due to our interest rates being
attractive to foreign investors, commodity prices have moving upward particularly in Dairy
produce – timber has remained strong as have other agricultural sectors, the housing
market is improving, the banking system is solid and consumer confidence is high. It
appears the IT market place bottomed out around July – there are several hundred million
dollars of major IT projects about to be awarded and started and this will soak up excess
capacity. Overall it has been a very unbalanced IT market place – with some of our
clients areas extremely busy and continuing to grow – also paying out maximum bonuses
to their employees, whilst other sectors have been quiet, with retrenchments and
unemployment in some IT occupational areas. We have lost several IT recruitment
competitors and most have retrenched staff – we are pleased to announce that Adrienne
Hay has joined Sabre – she has over 15 years IT recruitment experience in the New
Zealand market place and will assist our growth and service levels to clients. Signs that
the IT market has bottomed and is now growing again are; increases in job vacancy
numbers, some candidates are now receiving multiple job offers, candidates are not
renewing contracts as they have more attractive offers elsewhere and candidates are not
staying on the market for so long - in summary - a return of general candidate shortages
is not far away – and really the major question is when will this happen – by November
2009 given that several major projects are about to start, or after this Christmas and the
restart of business in Feb 2010. A normal IT market place has an IT workforce of some
55000 people with traditionally around 5000 permanent vacancies.

Which is in more demand…Permanent or contract employees?

Again an unbalanced market - a growth of contractors in the recession whilst traditionally
there is a bigger shortage of people existing for permanent vacancies than contracts, we
are now in a transition period where candidates and employers attitudes will be
misaligned as shortages again start to appear, market rates will start to move upward as
employers struggle to obtain and retain staff. It is also easier to gain permanent residence
with a permanent role

How comparable are the rates of pay?

Like most other countries, the salary for professionals are quite variable at the moment for
both permanent and contract staff. This is caused by those clients who realise there is a
skills shortfall and the “hopefully” decreasing number of clients who do not. Generally
professional are still in the top 8% of income earners in NZ earning over $70,000 per
annum, with 3.7% of people earn over $100k pa. Rates are on the way up, although

See the scanned article – “The wage war - 8 June 2008”

Sabre Systems Limited, New Zealand

Phone 64 6 364 2176 / 0800 722 739, Fax 64 6 364 2178, email, website http:\\
How do I get a work permit or visa?
Visa/Work permit regulations are not as complicated as they first seem and you need to
be aware of the rules administered by the Immigration Department.

• We recommend gaining a work permit whilst still overseas if possible, this means
you will need a job offer from a NZ employer if a permanent position and from the
agency if a contract. Some agencies are not terribly co-operative and make this
quite difficult to achieve. Get the multiple entry endorsement.

• But job seeking rules are still the same country to country. If you are in New
Zealand and available to be interviewed by the client then you enhance your
chances of a job. A good way to test the water is to do an Overseas Experience
trip. You can then visit NZ on a tourist visa and look for a job whilst here. You will
still need a job offer to obtain the required work visa.

• A work permit may be obtained for between 1 and 5 years. There is a medical
requirement (over 6 months) and police clearance required (over 2 years) for the
longer permits.

• Most hic-ups in work permits are generally administrative in nature. Amongst

others, two items of paperwork that are important are two original job references
and more problematic are police clearances which can now take some time to gain
in most countries and it is worthwhile applying for this earlier rather than later.

• There is a differing set of requirements and paperwork for permanent residence. If

you are thinking of applying for Permanent Residence then obtain the papers whilst
you are still in your home country and make yourself aware of the documentary
requirements, it is easier to obtain copies of papers etc. when you are at home than
6 months later, 12,000 miles away (and the papers are stored in a brown box in
someone’s garage!) – eg copies of tertiary qualifications, for South Africans you will
need unabridged birth certificates which do take a long time to gain

Which city is best?

The two main centres of the I.T. Industry in New Zealand are Auckland and Wellington.
They are opposite ends of NZ’s North Island and as such, are very different in climate,
lifestyle, cost of living and vibe.

Wellington is located at the bottom of the North Island. It is set between a large harbour
and hills. It is also a compact city where galleries and restaurants and bars are within easy
walking distance. Wellington’s population of 400,000 is the perfect size to give that ‘small
town feel’ to its big city environment and with the regular festivals Wellington is quickly
becoming known by the culturally inclined. It has excellent public transport infrastructure.

The median price for a house in March 2008 was $410,000 (average $436,635 May 08)
and in the last few years Wellington has had more sunshine and less rain than Auckland.

Wellington is also considered the home of middle earth and was the venue for “The Lord
of the Rings” premiere in 2001.


Sabre Systems Limited, New Zealand

Phone 64 6 364 2176 / 0800 722 739, Fax 64 6 364 2178, email, website http:\\
Auckland’s population of 1.2 million people makes it the urban metropolis of NZ. Most
people live within half an hour of beaches, hiking trails and a resort style islands, but still
within a short commute of their place of work. It has a sub tropical climate and a diverse
cross section of cultures.

The median price for a house in March 2008 was $437500. (average $508,631 May 08) It
is a bit warmer on average than Wellington, more sub tropical, with generally higher
rainfall and less sun than Wellington, as it is spread out over a harbour setting and is
closer to the equator.

CITY SNAPSHOTS See the scanned articles

“Provincial Prospects - Jobs and homes across NZ - 8 June 2008”
“Is the grass greener out in the provinces - 8 June 2008”
“Property market dip offers good buying - 8 June 2008”

How does the cost of living compare?

A dinner at a restaurant without a drink ranges from $30-50 per head. A pint of beer is
around $5 and 1 dozen bottles about $17- $20 for local beers. Imported beers generally
range from $20 -$25 per dozen but as some of the local beer is award winning, it’s well
worth a try. A Big Mac combo will set you back $6.50 and a can of coke ranges from $1 –

Accommodation is readily available and reasonably priced with an inner city 2 bedroom
renting for about $270 - $400 per week and outer city options ranging from $200 - $400.
Most apartments are unfurnished but furnished options are available through property
management companies. You can also rent furniture separately. We are happy to offer
advise on accommodation.

Will we fit in and how does the culture differ from mine?
New Zealand is a culturally diverse and interesting nation. We have our own indigenous
people, the Maori but over the years have become home to a huge range of cultures,
ethnicities and religions.

Most candidates will feel extremely welcome but the Europeans and South Africans have
proven to settle well due to the similarities in lifestyle. You will find plenty of accents from
the U.K, surrounding Europe and South Africa in most areas. Auckland for example, now
has a community of South Africans 45,000 strong. In 2007 over 11000 South African
immigrated to NZ.

The New Zealand attitude is one of working hard, showing initiative and accepting
responsibility. “Kiwis” have a work hard, play hard mentality and approach every challenge
with a “can do” attitude.

Why New Zealand over Australia?

The comparison continues, for those of you who are interested, NZ has a more relaxed
immigration policy than Australia so is often seen as easier to enter, work and gain
permanent residence.

There is a separate scanned article illustrating differences for those of you who are
interested – see “Aussie Rules - Yeah Right - Page 1,2,3”
Sabre Systems Limited, New Zealand
Phone 64 6 364 2176 / 0800 722 739, Fax 64 6 364 2178, email, website http:\\
Websites to view

NZ Websites


NZ Tourism site

Virtual New Zealand

On Arrival Relocation Services

NZ Real Estate Institute

Harcourts Real Estate

Toyota Cars NZ

Serviced Apartments

Last minute hotel deals

Regional Websites

Wellington Tourism

Wellington Migration advice

Victoria University in Wellington

Auckland Web Site

Auckland University

Other sites of interest

Medical Insurance

News and weather

NZ Website directory

NZ Travel planner

Sabre Systems Limited, New Zealand

Phone 64 6 364 2176 / 0800 722 739, Fax 64 6 364 2178, email, website http:\\
NZ Rugby

Air New Zealand

Avis Rental Cars

Sabre Systems Limited, New Zealand

Phone 64 6 364 2176 / 0800 722 739, Fax 64 6 364 2178, email, website http:\\