Things to Know About New Zealand Before Moving


The Kiwi Nation is a fantastic place to live and work. With plenty of opportunities and an attractive work-life balance, it’s no wonder you’re thinking of moving there! Known as Aotearoa in the Māori language, or “The Land of the Long White Cloud”, it lives up to the name with its expansive, beautiful landscapes. There are a few things a UK expat should know before moving to New Zealand, so keep on reading to learn more.

New Zealand Is Bigger Than You Think!

Although they have a population of just 4.85 million, over 60million less than the UK, New Zealand is about 10% bigger! There is plenty to see and do here, but you will need to factor in more time for travelling around the country. You’ll also be happy to know New Zealanders are extremely friendly so you will be welcomed wherever you go.

What may be even more surprising to learn is that there are around 30 million sheep on the island. That’s six sheep for every one New Zealander. So, even though the countryside may be empty of people, you are sure to see plenty of fluffy animals roaming around after moving to New Zealand!

The Kiwis Have Their Own Unique Slang

English may be the predominant language of New Zealand but the locals certainly have put their own stamp on it. The accent can be hard to grasp for expats so it is important to recognise the different inflections as well as learn some of their native slang. A holiday home is known as a bach or crib, thank you or thanks is now a chur, a bottle of beer is called a stubbie while a pair of short shorts is called stubbies and if you are in the wop wop’s, you’re in the middle of nowhere!

New Zealand also has its own native language called Māori. Some popular phrases to know are:

        ·        Kia Ora – Hello

        ·        Haere Mai – Welcome

        ·        Haere Ra – Goodbye

        ·        Ka Kite Ano – See you later

        ·        Ka Pai – Good work

The Weather is Unpredictable

You might be happy to know that the weather in New Zealand is very different to their Aussie neighbour. The temperatures are less extreme and more diverse. So, there could be days where it’s sunny one minute and raining the next – something every Brit will be used to!

The type of weather your experience depends on where in New Zealand you are moving to. The South Island has a greater mix of landscapes, with fjords, beaches and glaciers making the weather more volatile while the North Island is more tropical and often warmer. Winter can get quite cold also so be prepared for all seasons.

It Has a Beautiful Landscape

When moving to New Zealand, no matter where you are, you are sure to find amazing scenery everywhere you roam. One third of the landscape is made up of protected national parks with spectacular sites throughout the country. New Zealand’s Blue Lake is the clearest lake in the world and is considered sacred by the Māori. You are also only ever a one hour drive away from the nearest beach, regardless of your location!

Its beautiful landscape has also made New Zealand a hub for film production. Films such as Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, The Chronicles of Narnia, King Kong and Avatar have used the incredible Kiwi scenery as their films backdrop.

Rugby is Very Popular

Rugby is almost a religion for the New Zealand nation as their national team, the All Blacks, have dominated the sport globally for many years. They are renowned for performing the Haka before every game, an ancient war dance that is intended to intimidate their opponents – it clearly works as New Zealand is almost unbeatable on the rugby pitch! You should definitely experience a game or two after moving to New Zealand.

Ready for Your Move to New Zealand?

We think so! Check out the official New Zealand government tool to help you start your plan for moving to New Zealand.

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