Driven bonkers by the current state of Australian politics and want to start over in New Zealand where things look a bit saner? Here’s what you need to know about emigrating to our neighbours on the other side of the Tasman.
If the seemingly endless citizenship scandal has taught us nothing else, it’s that there’s a good chance anyone is a New Zealand citizen. Don’t worry if you’re not, Australian citizens and permanent residents don’t need a visa to live and work in New Zealand.
There are a few key cultural differences between the two countries that you’ll have to keep in mind.
First of all, thongs are called jandals and eskis are called chilly bins. Don’t worry, you’ll pick it up quickly.
Secondly, the sporting landscape is quite different in New Zealand. While we enjoy Australian Rules football, multiple forms of Rugby and all manner of other sports, the Kiwis are mostly keen on Rugby Union. Worse still, they’re better than us at it. You have two options to deal with this situation: convert or keep your head down.
New Zealand enjoys a comparable cost of living to Australia. You can use this handy calculator to calculate your own costs to see how they stack up against your current situation.
Finding a place to live is relatively simple as well. A recent ban on foreign home ownership doesn’t impact Australians, who may rent or purchase property under the same conditions as a New Zealand citizen as long as they are living there.
Healthcare isn’t a concern either. Australians that are planning to stay in New Zealand for two years or more can make full use of New Zealand’s public health system. Although you will need to enrol with a primary health organisation.
Planning for retirement is just a matter of transferring your super funds into the equivalent KiwiSaver scheme.
Already retired? There’s a social security agreement between Australia and New Zealand that allows Australian aged-pensioners claim their benefits while living in New Zealand. It even allows people to combine their periods of working age residence in the two countries to claim eligibility.
Moving to New Zealand is a relatively simple process for an Australian citizen. You still have to pack up your life and settle yourself in a new country but the New Zealand government has done quite a lot to make that easy for us.