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Considering holiday/move to Nz, some questions

Posted in New Zealand forum

Hello all! I am thinking of visiting New Zealand for a short holiday
(maybe 1 or 2 months) and then perhaps considering a
longer stay (1 to 2 years) if I find it to my liking.
I don't particularly like where I come from (Singapore)
and apartment/house rentals are incredibly expensive here as
well, making New Zealand an attractive destination for me.

However, I'd like to know more about the country before I do anything,
considering that I have never visited it before and
do not know anyone from NZ either. :) Hence my post!
I do hope you can help me out here.

1) Will being a foreigner pose any problems in renting a property?
So far I have been using this site ( to
source for possible rentals and I have a few promising choices lined up.
Can all the necessary paperwork can be done outside the country?

2) Is it possible to live in NZ without being able to drive? I think
this might be my number one concern. From research on the Net it seems
that most major cities are well-served with public transport,
but given my budget I may not be able to
rent a room in a central city.
(I've put aside 400 a month for rental, 500-600 maximum)

As I work from home and am able to cook I do not really need to be able to
move around on short notice, but it would be nice to not have to walk
10-15 minutes to get to the nearest bus station! It would also be a
hindrance to meeting people, buying groceries etc if
public transport was not readily accessible.

If having a car is an absolute necessity, would it be
possible for a foreigner to learn how to drive in NZ? I know that the
license will only be valid in NZ, which is not a problem for me.

3) Are goods and services very expensive? According to what
I've learned from Google searches and the like, it shouldn't
be that much more expensive that Australia or any
other first-world country, right?

4) Anything else I should look out for? The above are my
primary concerns (especially transport!) but I welcome any and all
advice and suggestions.

  • Go to Ingrid S's profile

    posted by  in New Zealand forum 

    What about use HelpX and stay with a family and have your food and accommodation costs covered.
    It is difficult without a car but it is possible. Lots of students, young people, unemployed people and elderly people do not have cars, and rely on buses. I think your statement that you wouldn't want to walk 10-15 mins to a bus station sounds a little lazy ! However of course you can look for accommodation closer to a bus stop. In any event, what is the point of renting a property if at first you only want to come for a holiday ? You are much better to have your holiday, travel over the North and South Island for 2 months and then make your decision about where you might want to live.

  • Go to Darren C's profile

    posted by  in New Zealand forum 

    Hi Elias
    It's best to use Trade Me ( to find flatmate situations and houses to rent, rather than

    You shouldn't have any problem renting if you are foreigner, especially not if you have references. It's harder to rent if you have pets. You will have a tenancy agreement with your landlord and you should check out for the laws as you have right as well as the landlord.

    Re driving: if you live in the middle of the city (e.g. Auckland, Wellington, etc) then you don't need a car, but you won't get much for $600/month here unless you are sharing with someone else. However, you can live in one of the smaller cities, e.g. Hamilton or Napier and pay around $100-150/wk in rent, but again it's likely to be shared accommodation or pretty grotty.

    If you do want to learn how to drive you will first need to learn the Road Code using, then apply for your learner licence and take a theory test. Once you have your learner licence you can drive with another experienced driver. In your case you will probably need to hire an instructor until you know people in NZ.

    Goods and services: some are expensive, some aren't. Check any online supermarket website here to get an idea of what your weekly shop will be. If you use the Asian markets it will be cheaper.

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