Living In New Zealand: Pros And Cons

The number of immigrants in New Zealand is among the highest in the world. This may be attributed to the breathtaking scenery, excellent climate, numerous adventure opportunities, national parks, rolling hills, and more.

It is such a beautiful place that you will find its pictures on greeting cards, in movies, and on calendars. If you are a first-time expat, transitioning and adjusting may be a bit more difficult for you than for others.

However, before you make a decision, consider the pros and cons of living in New Zealand.

New Zealand Pros:

Here are some advantages to living in New Zealand:

1. Great Place To Raise A Family

New Zealand is a safe country. While crimes do take place, they are not as frequent or severe as in some other countries like South Africa and Brazil.

Also, the 2020 corruption perception index declared Denmark and New Zealand the least corrupt countries. New Zealand also has a strong economy, a government working towards betterment, great education and healthcare, and parks and other public spaces. All these factors make New Zealand a great place to raise a family.

2. Beautiful Scenery And Great Weather

If you fell in love with New Zealand by looking at pictures of it, wait until you actually see it. Its diverse landscape makes it seem like a place from another planet. You will find snow-capped mountains, dense rainforest, epic fjords, a rugged coastline, and icy glaciers here. The sights are untouched and ready to be explored.

The weather here is good as well. The sun shines brightly, and the winters are not as cold, with a maximum of around 10 degrees Celsius. The north side is not that chilly, but the south may experience some snow.

3. Great Food

New Zealand has its own cuisine as well as cuisine influenced by its multicultural population. Apart from lamb, seafood, cheeses, and wines, you will find English breakfast, Mauri delicacies, and Asian foods.

You will find cafés, great restaurants, and world-famous wineries here. However, because New Zealand is so remote and imported food is so expensive, most people eat fresh, local, and in-season produce.

4. Free Healthcare

New Zealand offers free healthcare to both citizens and residents. This means you do not have to shell out money from your pocket for a doctor’s visit. Also, New Zealand has one of the best free healthcare systems.

5. Great Quality Of Life

People in New Zealand have a great quality of life. They outperform people from other countries in areas like health, education, life satisfaction, civic engagement, social connections, and environmental quality. The cost of living, a first-rate healthcare and educational system, civic involvement, and state-of-the-art infrastructure all play a role in this.

New Zealand Cons:

Here are some drawbacks or challenges to staying in New Zealand:

1. Job Opportunities

New Zealand has limited career options due to the relatively small market. It is the biggest reason why Kiwis have to leave their homeland. Once they complete their education, Kiwis travel abroad to find better career options.

But if you are an entrepreneur, you may have an upper hand as there is not much competition. But if you work remotely, this is irrelevant to you.

2. Skin Cancer

Having sunny weather is great. But New Zealand is right under a hole in the ozone layer, so it has lost its protection against harmful UV rays. The rays are so strong that anything placed near a window will lose color very quickly. This increases the likelihood of skin cancer and sunburn. If you are genetically predisposed to cancer, it is better to avoid this place.

3. Isolated From The Rest Of The World

New Zealand is an island far away from most countries. This means that if you want to travel to your native country, you will have to spend days on flights and hours at the airport. Naturally, this increases your cost of travel as well. Expats find they cannot visit their families as often as they would like to. This is a major setback for some, especially someone who is moving away from home for the first time.

4. Dental Treatment Is Expensive

While healthcare is free, dental treatment is not. Dental treatment is free only for people under 18 years of age. Both appointments and treatments are very expensive for adults. Most low- and middle-income people avoid dental care at all costs because the costs are so high.

Cost Of Living

cost of living in new zealandOne of the most important factors to consider when choosing a new country to live in is the cost of living in that country. If you earn less and spend more, or spend all your earnings without saving, living in such a country does not make sense.

So is the cost of living in New Zealand high or low? The answer is it is high. So, if you are a single expat, expect to spend around $931.3 monthly without rent, and if you are a family of four, it would cost about $3,362.6 monthly without rent. But it is still 1% lower than the cost of living in the United States.

The high cost of living is partly due to New Zealand’s geographic isolation from the rest of the world. Imported goods are extremely expensive due to the high cost of travel. So, most things like electronics, clothes, and even food are very costly.

The cost of housing has also significantly increased as a result of the large influx of immigrants. However, if you avoid major cities, you may be able to find a good home at a reasonable price.

Living expenses become a concern when you earn money in New Zealand dollars. But if you are working remotely and earning in a higher-valued currency, the cost of living might not be an issue for you—you might even save a lot.

Top 3 Cities To Live In New Zealand


Auckland, the largest city with the highest immigrant population, is undoubtedly a favorite among expats. The abundance of job opportunities is one of the reasons why it is so heavily populated compared to other parts of the country.

It is a beautiful city with a great climate and scenery, amazing dining options, beaches, shopping, fitness, and more. Auckland is also very expensive, but if you secure a good job, it is worth staying.


Many government jobs are available in Wellington, the capital of New Zealand, and foreigners are welcome to work there alongside locals. It has a laid-back vibe but not the best weather. However, it has beautiful scenery to make up for it.

The cost of living is quite affordable, especially when compared to Auckland, but property and rent can be quite expensive.


Christchurch, the largest city on the South Island, is an ideal location to live in and explore the island. It has the vibe of an English city and is very famous among expats from the United Kingdom, Japan, and Europe. Also, it has a lower living cost than most major cities in New Zealand.


While living in New Zealand has its ups and downs, living here is still a great experience you wouldn’t want to miss. You must give New Zealand a shot if you love nature, scenery, adventure, and seafood.

And if you decide to take the leap and move to Australia, be sure to check the best money transfer companies with offices in NZ and Australia to work with for all your financial-related needs. Companies like Send, OFX or TorFX will save you a lot of money everytime you need to transfer money from NZ to Australia or any other location.


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