Home » How much money do you need to emigrate to New Zealand?

How much money do you need to emigrate to New Zealand?

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Moving to New Zealand is an exciting but often scary process! To ensure you’re happy about your decision when you get here you need to prepare. The biggest thing you need to figure out is how much money you need to emigrate to New Zealand comfortably. Being financially prepared will make the whole move easier so you can focus on settling into your new home rather than stressing about money.

In this article we discuss:

  • How much money your visa might cost;
  • How much money you need to move to New Zealand;
  • How much money you need for your first month in NZ;
  • Cost of a car, flights and removal firms;
  • Our total recommended amount of funds you need for your first 3 months living in New Zealand.

How much does it cost to get a visa to live in New Zealand?

First things first, if you want to move to New Zealand you need to get a visa other than the standard tourist visa. You have a few options when it comes to choosing the visa that is right for you.

Check out the official immigration website for a guide on the costs involved for the visa of your choice

Additional Costs Related to Visa

You may have to pay additional costs related to qualification assessment, police clearance, medical reports copy certification and translation of documents if applicable. Prices can vary country to country but in the UK a police certificate these days cost 45 GBP and our medical and X rays cost os 300 GBP per person in 2015.

How much money?

How much money do you need to move to New Zealand?

Ideally, you need to have about 3 months of savings behind you for your move to New Zealand. Your biggest costs are going to include housing, food, and transportation. We saved 10,000 GBP before we moved to New Zealand and this lasted us a little longer than 3 months with no jobs.

We were also fortunate enough to be able to live with Isaac’s (my partners) grandmother for three months, which allowed us to settle in and take a little more time to find a place to live.

Of course, everyone is not going to have family or friends to stay with when moving here so having enough money saved for your first few months is key. The average cost of living for two people per month in New Zealand is 2000 GBP.

That number will be higher if you are living in a city center. Additionally, that number does not include things like rental deposit, new furniture, car rental and all the other things you must deal with when moving to a new place.

If you save 4000 GBP for the first month of your move and 2000 GBP for the months after, you will be in good shape.

What are the costs of the first month in New Zealand

Housing and Furniture

The average cost of a small apartment with one or two bedrooms is around 800 GBP. This number can increase and decrease depending on where the property is. Major city centers are more expensive than rural areas. Your first-month housing cost is also going to require the payment of a deposit which is usually the same amount as the monthly cost.

Additionally, you will need essential furnishings.  What those are is up to you so the costs can vary. You have the option of buying new furniture, second-hand furniture or renting furniture. You can also have furniture from your country shipped to New Zealand (this can be quite pricey). 


Public transportation can be found in larger centers but is limited. You can rent a small vehicle for a daily cost of around 60 GBP. You can also purchase a good quality used car for around 3,500 GBP. Anything lower and it can just be a pile of crap! Read our story here about how we found our car – it took us two weeks


Due to New Zealand’s location on the globe, we pay a little more for food due to the cost of transporting it here. However, remember that you do have that exchange rate factor, which could work for you or against you, depending on where you’re coming from.

Your food budget will also be affected by whether you’re eating out or at home. Whether you eat out or at home will be affected by how quickly you can find housing and furnishings. So take your average monthly food budget and add 20 percent to account for potential differences in cost and eating out.

How to save on flight costs to New Zealand

Of course, you’ve got to take flight costs into account and that figure will vary depending on where you’re coming from. But, since you’re likely planning your move well in advance, you have the opportunity of snagging some cheap tickets by spending a little time on flight search engines.

My two favorite flight search engines are Sky Scanner and Google Flights. Both of these tools are fast and give you a lot of options. You can also sign up for alerts so that you are sent information when prices for your selected locations drop…or increase (boo!).

Shipping to New Zealand – Moving your furniture & pets abroad.

Again this is quite a subjective matter as it all depends on how much stuff you move to New Zealand. Some people decide to ship their whole houses, cars, and pets to NZ with them. For us, we shipped half a container load of belongings which at the time cost us just under 1,000 GBP. Some people choose to sell everything before they come and buy it out here – we figured we had enough to buy once we arrived in NZ so why add to the stress when we had everything anyway?

Check out our article on moving pets to New Zealand here and also our tips and tricks of moving your belongings to NZ based on our first-hand experience here.

What will be the ongoing costs of living in New Zealand

We’ve got a ton of information you can check out on our site. Click here to follow this link to an article on what your ongoing cost of living in New Zealand will be.

In the article, we discuss our cost of living in Auckland & our cost of living in Wellington compared to our cost of living in the UK.

The more money you save the more comfortable your first few months in NZ will be.

So, exactly how much money do you need to emigrate to New Zealand? Let’s Summarise:

To summarise the ballpark figures you should be looking at are as follows;

But first please note: We haven’t included the cost of visas in this summary as each visa application is so different, plus this is something you would not necessarily save for but more of an essential, got no choice cost!

Removal Firm: 1,000 GBP (but again subjective as it depends on the size of your belongings, but as a ballpark figure, keep this in mind, but triple it if you have a pet)

First Month in NZ: 4,000 GBP

For the months you are not working: 2,000 GBP per month.

Car: 3,500 GBP

Flights: 1000 GBP per person

Total: 14,500 GBP (including 3 months not working & based on two peoples flights)

And like we said this figure is just an indicative but realistic guide that we have put together.

Our guide on moving to New Zealand can help you figure out your exact cost’s based on your individual circumstances. We discuss in the guide how it is possible to move to NZ with less, especially if you are planning on staying with family and friends (like we did) or if you are planning on working sooner.

But at the end of the day the more money you have the better offer you will be!

As after all moving to a new country can be stressful, but it can be done and done fairly easily if you plan well and we can’t stress enough that one of the biggest things you need to plan for is how much money you need to live in New Zealand in the first three months.

You will want to be prepared for any changes that could pop up in your well-laid plans. If you have money saved to get through that first period, you will find the transition so much easier. This will help you get into the business of exploring and living the New Zealand lifestyle quickly all with a smile on your face!

Want to check out our other moving to New Zealand articles? Check them out here!