15 Pros and Cons of Living in New Zealand: An Ultimate Guide!

Are you thinking about making the big move to New Zealand? With its breathtaking natural beauty, high quality of life, and reputation as one of the safest countries in the world, it’s no wonder so many people are choosing to call it home.

But is New Zealand the right fit for you? Moving abroad is a big decision, and it’s important to weigh the pros and cons before making the leap.

From endless adventure opportunities and rich Maori culture to a world-class rugby team and awe-inspiring natural phenomena, New Zealand has a lot to offer.

So, what are the drawbacks? What are the benefits? To help you make an informed decision, we’ve put together a comprehensive list of the pros and cons of living in New Zealand.

Whether you’re looking for adventure, a change of pace, or just a little slice of paradise, New Zealand has it all. Get ready to explore a truly wonderful place with us and find out if it is the right fit for you.

Embracing the Perks: Exploring the Pros of Living in New Zealand

Imagine you’re on the verge of making a life-changing decision: moving to the captivating land of New Zealand. But wait, why should you choose this small but mighty country?

Well, let me tell you, New Zealand is bursting with reasons to pack your bags and embark on an extraordinary adventure.

From jaw-dropping natural wonders to mouthwatering cuisine and unique opportunities that will leave you awestruck, this place has it all.

So, what exactly makes New Zealand a dream destination? Get ready, because I’m about to unveil some of the incredible benefits of calling New Zealand home. Brace yourself for an exciting journey!

1. Meet Kiwis – some of the friendliest people!

New Zealanders, or “Kiwis” as they’re affectionately known, are often praised for their hospitality and friendly nature.

This welcoming spirit is rooted in the Maori custom of Manaakitanga, which emphasizes the importance of extending love and compassion to others, even strangers. When you visit New Zealand, you’ll quickly find that Kiwis are eager to help and make you feel at home.

Apart from their warm hospitality, Kiwis are known for their laid-back and relaxed attitude towards life. This is a stark contrast to the fast-paced lifestyle found in many other developed countries.

Visitors and expats alike will appreciate the slower pace of life, which allows for a greater focus on relationships, community, and the natural world.

But what really sets Kiwis apart is their sense of humor. New Zealanders have a unique brand of humor that is often described as quirky and irreverent.

They don’t take themselves too seriously and are always up for a good laugh. Whether you’re chatting with a local at a pub or joining in on a game of backyard cricket, you’ll find that Kiwis are a lot of fun to be around.

Kiwis are some of the friendliest people you’ll ever meet. Their welcoming nature, laidback attitude, and sense of humor make New Zealand an inviting destination for travelers and expats from all over the world.

2. New Zealand is One of the Safest Countries in the World

Safety is a top priority for anyone considering a move to a new country, and in that regard, New Zealand is an excellent choice. The country ranks second on the Global Peace Index, thanks to its low crime rates and high religious tolerance.

In addition to that, it is tied with Denmark for the top spot on the list of least corrupt places worldwide. New Zealand is renowned for its clean and safe roads, and the country has a strict zero-tolerance policy for guns.

Unlike neighboring Australia, there is no deadly wildlife to worry about, making it an ideal destination for nature lovers who don’t want to compromise their safety.

If you’re looking for a safe and secure place to call home, New Zealand is an excellent choice. You can explore the country with peace of mind, knowing that you’re living in one of the safest and most peaceful places in the world.

3. The food is really, really good

New Zealand’s food culture is a melting pot of British and South Pacific Island influences, offering a diverse range of flavors and dishes beyond the traditional fish and chips and pub food.

Seafood lovers will be spoilt for choice with fresh abalone, oysters, and scallops on most menus, reflecting the country’s coastal location.

The food scene in New Zealand is also very much in sync with the latest trends. The country has a booming coffee culture, a thriving craft beer scene, and a variety of vegetarian and vegan restaurants that cater to all tastes.

And for wine enthusiasts, New Zealand has some of the best wineries in the world, spanning across both islands. Perhaps the most significant aspect of New Zealand’s food culture is the focus on eating local, fresh, and in season.

The country’s isolation from the rest of the world and high importation costs have led people to embrace farm-to-table practices, promoting sustainability and reducing the carbon footprint. This not only benefits the environment but also supports local farmers and producers.

Whether you’re a foodie looking to explore new flavors or a health-conscious traveler seeking nutritious meals, New Zealand’s food culture has something for everyone. So, be sure to indulge in the local cuisine and savor the unique tastes of this beautiful country.

4. A Slower Pace and Amazing Work/Life Balance

One of the biggest pros of living and working in New Zealand is the belief that work is not your entire life.

Unlike other countries where the hustle and bustle of the office extend far beyond the typical nine-to-five, Kiwis understand the importance of work-life balance.

After a day of work, many New Zealanders head to the beach, relax in their gardens or enjoy happy hour with friends.

This slower pace of life allows for a healthier work-life balance, which has been proven to have a positive impact on mental health and overall happiness.

Employers in New Zealand also prioritize their employees’ well-being by offering flexible working arrangements and encouraging the use of sick days when needed.

This promotes a culture of respect and understanding, making employees feel valued and appreciated.

From part-time options for parents to work-from-home systems, New Zealand provides a wide range of options for individuals to achieve their ideal work-life balance.

This commitment to quality of life makes New Zealand an ideal destination for those seeking a healthier and more balanced lifestyle.

5. Exceptionally diverse society

New Zealand is a vibrant melting pot of cultures, with people from all corners of the world calling it home.

From the indigenous Maori to the large population of Pacific Islanders, to immigrants from Africa, the Middle East, Asia, and Europe, New Zealand is a diverse and inclusive country.

The Maori people have lived in New Zealand for thousands of years and have their own unique language, culture, and customs. While European settlement was a difficult time for the Maori, the country has made great strides in acknowledging and honoring their indigenous culture.

In fact, Maori culture is celebrated throughout the country, from the haka dance performed before rugby matches to the use of the Maori language in official settings.

The multicultural society of New Zealand is a testament to the country’s open-mindedness and welcoming attitude towards people from all backgrounds. Racism is rare, and the country has a strong sense of unity and respect for diversity.

As an expat, you’ll have the opportunity to learn from and engage with people from a wide range of cultures, making your experience in New Zealand truly enriching.

6. Progressive Government

New Zealand’s government is making strides towards improving the well-being of its citizens by focusing on five key priorities: reducing child poverty, improving mental health, addressing inequalities experienced by Maori and Pacific Islanders, transitioning to a green economy, and thriving in a digital age.

The government has implemented a range of policies to tackle these issues, including increasing support for low-income families, providing better resources for mental health, increasing funding for Maori and Pacific Islander-led initiatives, investing in renewable energy, and promoting digital inclusion.

These initiatives demonstrate the government’s commitment to improving the lives of all New Zealanders and creating a sustainable and equitable future for the country. By prioritizing these key areas, New Zealand is setting an example for others to follow and is well on its way to achieving its progressive goals.

7. It’s easy to get a work visa

New Zealand is a great choice for young people who want to live and work abroad, thanks to its Working Holiday Visa Program.

As one of only a few countries that offer such a program, it allows you to spend an extended time in New Zealand, working and traveling to your heart’s content.

With a Working Holiday Visa, you have the chance to explore the country’s stunning natural beauty, experience the unique Kiwi lifestyle, and gain valuable work experience along the way.

The program offers flexibility, allowing you to take a break from work and travel as you please, giving you a taste of what life in New Zealand is really like.

One of the biggest advantages of the working holiday visa program is that it allows you to test the waters before making a more permanent move.

You can spend up to a year in New Zealand, experiencing the pros and cons of living in the country while building your resume and making new connections.

So, if you’re under 30 and looking for an adventure, consider the Working Holiday Visa program in New Zealand.

Navigating the Drawbacks: Unveiling the Cons of Living in New Zealand

Imagine you’re daydreaming about living in the stunning country of New Zealand. It sounds like a dream come true, doesn’t it?

But hold on! Before you pack your bags and hop on a plane, let’s dive into the reality of life in New Zealand. Just like any other place, there are pros and cons to consider.

It’s essential to take a closer look at the not-so-great aspects, so you can decide if this beautiful country aligns with your goals and lifestyle.

So, what are the downsides of living in New Zealand? Let’s find out together!

1. The sun and snow come in extremes

New Zealand’s beautiful summer days are perfect for outdoor adventures and soaking up the sunshine, but it’s important to remember the country’s location right under a hole in the ozone layer.

This results in higher UV rays and an increased risk of sunburn and skin cancer, making sunscreen a must-have item for anyone spending time outdoors.

On the other hand, winters in New Zealand offer a different kind of challenge. The sun disappears, and the days become dark and gray. To make matters worse, many older housing structures lack sufficient insulation, leading to very cold days and even colder nights.

This can be a shock to those coming from warmer climates, but with the right clothing and heating, it’s possible to stay warm and comfortable throughout the winter months.

When planning a move to New Zealand, it’s essential to prepare for both the summer and winter extremes. Pack sunscreen and protective clothing for the summer, and warm layers and insulation for the winter.

By doing so, you can enjoy all that New Zealand has to offer, no matter the season. Stay safe and warm while exploring the stunning natural beauty of this incredible country.

2. The cost of living is high

One of the biggest issues facing expats is the high cost of living. Due to the country’s remote location, many goods have to be imported, and this drives up prices. Even everyday items like food, electronics, and clothing can be more expensive than you’re used to.

Housing costs have also soared in recent years, particularly in the major cities. If you’re planning to rent, be prepared to pay a significant chunk of your income on housing expenses.

This can make it difficult to save money, especially if you’re also dealing with the high cost of dental care, which isn’t covered by the government-subsidized healthcare system.

Despite the higher cost of living, many expats still find New Zealand to be a great place to call home. The country’s natural beauty, welcoming culture, and excellent quality of life make it a top destination for those seeking a new adventure.

3. There are limited career options

If you’re considering moving to New Zealand, it’s important to be aware that the country may not offer as many job opportunities as other popular destinations around the world.

This can be a significant factor in deciding whether to make the move or not, especially if you’re seeking a specific career path.

While some entrepreneurs might find it relatively easier to establish themselves in their chosen industry due to less competition and more room for innovation, other lines of work may be limited.

Nevertheless, as remote work is gaining popularity, you can potentially work for a company based in another country while residing in New Zealand.

It’s also worth noting that the cost of living in New Zealand can be high, especially in major cities where housing costs can take up a significant portion of your income.

However, the country’s laid-back lifestyle, stunning natural scenery, and friendly locals may make up for these drawbacks for some expats.

4. It’s isolated from the rest of the world

Living in New Zealand can be a dream come true, but the distance from the rest of the world is one of the downsides that ex-pats often encounter.

The beautiful, but isolated country in the South Pacific can make it difficult to visit your family and friends back home, and it can be equally tricky to plan a vacation outside the country.

While you can enjoy stunning natural landscapes and a laidback lifestyle, the distance from other parts of the world can make traveling a hassle. If you are planning a trip back home, be prepared to spend hours in airports and days on a plane. Plus, the cost of traveling internationally can be quite expensive due to the distance.

Imported goods can also be pricier since they have to travel a long way to reach the country. However, the country is actively working on this issue, and the government has initiated measures to reduce the cost of shipping to make things more affordable for locals and expats alike.

Despite these challenges, living in New Zealand offers a unique opportunity to experience a tranquil and idyllic lifestyle that many can only dream of. So, if you are willing to embrace the distance, you can find yourself living in one of the most beautiful places on earth.

5. Life in New Zealand can be rather quiet

New Zealand’s serene, laid-back lifestyle is one of its main attractions for people looking for a peaceful way of life, but if you’re looking for the hustle and bustle of city life, this may not be the place for you.

Nightlife is quite limited, especially in smaller towns, so if you’re seeking a vibrant party scene, you may be disappointed. However, there are still plenty of opportunities for socializing.

Bars and clubs do exist, especially in major cities like Auckland and Wellington, but the choices are limited outside of popular tourist destinations like Queenstown. Nonetheless, you can still enjoy live music, cultural festivals, and other events throughout the country.

If you love the outdoors and prefer a quieter lifestyle, you’ll find New Zealand to be a paradise. The natural beauty and peacefulness of the countryside are unparalleled, and it’s an excellent place to recharge and relax.

On the other hand, if you’re a fan of big-city entertainment, live music, and clubbing, New Zealand may not be the right destination for you.

Whether you’re a thrill-seeker or prefer a leisurely pace of life, New Zealand has plenty to offer. Keep in mind that living in a small town or rural area may be very different from what you’re used to, but it can be a refreshing change of pace.

6. Dental care is expensive

New Zealand is known for its government-subsidized healthcare system that provides free or heavily discounted medical care to its citizens. However, one aspect that is not included in this system is dental care.

Dental costs in New Zealand can be extremely high, making it difficult for people, especially those with lower and middle-class incomes, to afford necessary treatments.

While the cost of a dental appointment alone can be expensive, the actual treatments can add up quickly, leading many to neglect their oral health altogether. Unfortunately, this is a common issue in New Zealand, where most of the population never goes to the dentist.

While children can receive free dental care, adults must pay out of pocket, and the costs can be exorbitant. Unlike general medical bills, dental bills are not discounted by the government, leaving many people struggling to afford necessary treatments.

It’s important to prioritize your oral health and consider the cost of dental care before moving to New Zealand. It may be wise to invest in dental insurance or set aside money for potential dental expenses to avoid being caught off guard by the high costs.

7. Public transport is unreliable

One major drawback of living in New Zealand is the lack of a properly organized public transport system. Without your own car, getting around the islands can be extremely difficult and inconvenient.

Trains are not available nationwide, and buses can be unreliable and unpredictable, leaving many residents stranded or forced to spend a lot of time and money on transportation. This lack of reliable public transport can also limit your options for work and leisure, making it challenging to explore all that New Zealand has to offer.

Wrapping Up

As we conclude our exploration of the pros and cons of living in New Zealand, it’s evident that this remarkable country offers a plethora of unique experiences. From breathtaking adventures for the down-to-earth thrill-seekers to tantalizing food that satisfies even the most discerning palates, New Zealand has something for everyone.

While it’s essential to acknowledge the downsides that come with any relocation, ultimately, the decision to move to New Zealand rests solely with you. Only you can determine if the challenges are deal breakers or mere hurdles on the path to an extraordinary life abroad.

If you’re ready to seize the opportunity for an unforgettable adventure and embrace the perks of living in a well-governed nation, New Zealand could very well be the destination of your dreams and the perfect place to call home.

So, are you prepared to take the leap and make New Zealand your new abode? The choice is yours to make, and it may just lead you to a once-in-a-lifetime experience you’ll cherish forever.

Also see – Best places to live in New Zealand!

Pros and Cons of Living in New Zealand – Summary Table

Pros of Living in New Zealand Cons of Living in New Zealand
Meet Kiwis – some of the friendliest people! The sun and snow come in extremes
New Zealand is One of the Safest Countries in the World The cost of living is high
The food is really, really good There are limited career options
A Slower Pace and Amazing Work/Life Balance It’s isolated from the rest of the world
Exceptionally diverse society Life in New Zealand can be rather quiet
Progressive Government Dental care is expensive
It’s easy to get a work visa Public transport is unreliable

FAQs of Living in New Zealand

1. Is New Zealand a good place to live?

Yes, New Zealand is generally considered a good place to live. It offers a high quality of life, breathtaking natural beauty, and a reputation as one of the safest countries in the world.

2. Can I move to New Zealand without a job?

While it is possible to move to New Zealand without a job, it can be more challenging. The country typically prioritizes skilled migrants who can contribute to the local economy. Having a job offer or qualifications in a high-demand occupation can increase your chances of obtaining a visa.

3. Is it better to live in Australia or New Zealand?

Whether it is better to live in Australia or New Zealand depends on individual preferences. Both countries have their unique attractions and advantages. Australia offers a larger population, diverse landscapes, and more employment opportunities, while New Zealand is known for its natural beauty, safety, and quality of life.

4. Does New Zealand have high crime rates?

No, New Zealand has relatively low crime rates compared to many other countries. It is considered one of the safest countries in the world, ranking high on the Global Peace Index.

5. What is the official language of New Zealand?

New Zealand has three recognized official languages: Māori, New Zealand Sign Language, and English.

6. What is it Like to Live in New Zealand?

Living in New Zealand offers a mix of stunning natural landscapes, a laid-back lifestyle, and a welcoming culture. The country is known for its outdoor adventure opportunities, diverse multicultural society, and emphasis on work-life balance.

7. How to Move to New Zealand?

To move to New Zealand, you typically need to apply for a visa that suits your circumstances. The country offers various visa options, including skilled migrant visas, work visas, and study visas. It is advisable to consult the official New Zealand immigration website or seek professional advice to understand the specific requirements and process.

8. Is New Zealand Safe to Live In?

Yes, New Zealand is considered a safe place to live. It ranks high on safety indexes and has low crime rates. The country has strict gun control laws and a generally peaceful and inclusive society.

9. Is New Zealand a Nice Place to Live?

Yes, New Zealand is often described as a nice place to live. It offers a high standard of living, beautiful natural landscapes, friendly people, and welcoming culture.

10. Is New Zealand a Good Country to Live In?

Yes, New Zealand is generally considered a good country to live in. It offers a high quality of life, a safe environment, beautiful scenery, and a range of opportunities for outdoor activities and adventure.

11. Is it expensive to live in New Zealand?

The cost of living in New Zealand can vary depending on factors such as location and lifestyle choices. While some expenses, such as housing, can be relatively high, other aspects, such as healthcare and education, are often more affordable compared to some other countries. It is recommended to research specific costs and consider individual depends on personal preferences and priorities.

12. Why New Zealand is a good place to live?

New Zealand is a good place to live because of its stunning natural beauty, high quality of life, low crime rates, excellent education and healthcare systems, progressive social policies, and a strong emphasis on work-life balance.

Bonjour! I'm Parv, and I'm on a mission to discover the world's most awe-inspiring destinations. With my trusty backpack and my insatiable wanderlust, I've trekked through countless countries and discovered some of the most incredible hidden gems on earth.

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