Moving to Auckland, New Zealand


Moving to Auckland, New Zealand

By John Marcarian, Founder, Expatland Global Network

Being the largest city in New Zealand, Auckland’s population is one-third of the country’s population, with a current count of over 1.3 million. Formed of over 50 islands, it is one of the few cities in the world with harbours on two separate bodies of water, namely Manukau Harbour on the Tasman Sea in the central part of the urban area, and Waitemata Harbour on the Pacific Ocean. Its central area is settled on a narrow isthmus. Having a mixture of cultures and demographics, its diversity is flourishing, and offers the best of urban life as well as plenty of adventure — for those brave enough to seize it.

Are you considering a move to Auckland? The Expatland Global Network is a resource that supports the vast, dynamic community of people all over the world who are embarking on an expat journey. Its passion? To make expat’s lives easier at home and abroad, with a network that will assist in every step of the way. 

What attracts so many expats to this island in the Southern Hemisphere? A high quality of life, breath-taking scenery, good healthcare, minimal crime and tranquil cities are just a few of the reasons many of us dream of living in New Zealand.

We have a number of useful articles that will help assist with your move on our website, www.expatland.com/auckland-new-zealand, but here are my top five tips on what you’ll need to know about before moving to Auckland.

What visas and paperwork do I need?

How do you get residency in New Zealand? With an economy that’s doing well and young people moving abroad, it is more manageable than some other countries. The New Zealand immigration web page is also extremely helpful in giving details about what you can expect if you move, and even has a useful visa comparison service.

The cost of living

The general cost of living in Auckland remains higher than in other parts of the country but is relatively low on a worldwide scale. Expats relocating to Auckland will find that they are able to live comfortably while enjoying a variety of leisure activities. It has a good public healthcare system that’s also very extensive. Do keep in mind though that if you have arrived on a work visa, it needs to cover you for at least two years to enable access to free and subsidised healthcare. If you opt for private healthcare, as many expats do, the fees can generally be quite low.

Finding somewhere to live

Auckland is widely considered as the most expensive place to live in New Zealand, but house prices do vary considerably between different areas. You should also be aware that the rules for buying or building residential properties have changed. In general terms, only residents and citizens can buy properties to live in. This tool will help to determine what is possible from a property point of view: www.newzealandnow.govt.nz/living-in-nz/housing/buying-building. However, like most places, rental properties are available and are advertised through agencies, local shops and newspapers.

Education and schools

Education is largely split into three levels; early education, primary and secondary education, and higher and vocational education. If you have children, you can decide between many state and private schools. There is also the option of international schools if you would prefer your children to undergo a school system that is more like your home country. The city is also home to the University of Auckland, which is the largest university in New Zealand.


Auckland has excellent transport links, with rail, bus, and ferries all readily available. If you do want to drive, it’s worth noting that in Auckland, cars operate on the left-hand side. If you are aged 18 and above and hold a license from your home country, you’ll be able to apply for an international driving permit, which lasts a year.

[Image courtesy of: www.expatland.com/auckland-new-zealand]

About Expatlandwww.expatland.com

The Expatland Global Network is a resource that supports people all over the globe who are embarking on an expat journey, joining a vast, dynamic community.

In fact, if you were to group expats together to form a country, it would be the 5th largest country in the world, inhabited by more than 244 million people, and growing fast.

This ‘country’ is thriving, attracting global executives, business people, educators, medical professionals, students and other professionals who are highly driven, socially aware and ‘global’ in their outlook.

Expatland began as a book, written in 2015 by John Marcarian, as a result of John’s personal expat journey. Its focus was to help expats plan their move overseas.

The Expatland book was just the start.

To solve the problem of lack of support for would-be expats, John has launched the Expatland Global Network.

The network is made up of Expatland Teams (‘E -Teams).

The concept was developed based on research using data from the World Bank, the OECD and the International Labour Organisation, is to provide a proactive solution to the problems faced by ‘unsupported expats’ on the move. Through one point of contact, expats can access help anywhere.

E-Teams bring together vetted professionals on the ground in a wide range of international locations, who can deliver the types of services needed by expats. Operating at a city level, they have essential local knowledge and insight. They cut through complexity and drill down to the issues that are relevant to specific locations.

E-Teams are lending their specialist knowledge to help create special Expatland books for major cities around the world. The E-Teams are now writing free-to-download chapters packed with locally-focused advice, tips and case studies.


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