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Moving to New Zealand Checklist


As our moving date for moving to New Zealand came closer I realised we needed a moving to New Zealand checklist to keep us organised! Six – nine months before our departure our sleepless nights became more frequent and all we could think about is what needs to be done and when. Whilst I am good at prioritising, I do tend to be quite forgetful and even the most practical of things can be overlooked – hence the need for the moving to New Zealand checklist!

By using a checklist you will instantly feel a greater sense of organisation and direction. You can plan your time effectively, and get a better night’s sleep because of it! The checklist we’ve created was perfect for us and will provide useful when planning your migration to New Zealand.

To download your free copy straight to your inbox, one where you can scribble all over it and add relevant ‘To Do’s’ as and when is needed, just enter your details below. 🙂

Whether you are moving to New Zealand from Australia or the UK, or the US or anywhere else in the world this checklist goes beyond the New Zealand immigration checklist as it not only details all the big things, such as getting the visa granted and collecting the correct documentation, but it will also help you with all the little things that must also be done before you jump on that plane to NZ.

It’s important to take the time to consider everything, right down to selling a car or cancelling a gym membership and subsequently structure your remaining time to be as productive as possible and to ensure stress levels are kept to a minimum.

Here is your moving to New Zealand Checklist:

6- 9 Months – Commit!

The Biggest Commitment:  

  • Put your house on the market! This may have to be done sooner than the 9-month mark.

The Essentials:

  • Start your visa application process – completing any medicals and applying for any police checks can take 1-2 months alone.
  • Ensure your passports and driver’s licenses are valid.
  • Make a folder of all your important documents, make copies and keep them safe.

Research, Research, Research!

  • Read up on job hunting, schools in New Zealand, cost of living, taxes, healthcare, travel and pet relocation.

Get Quotes:

  • Spend this period getting quotes from freight companies, migration insurance, health insurance, pet relocation companies. Decide on which companies to go with and get them booked in!

    3 – 6 Months to go – Things are getting real!

    Give Notice:

  • Cancel/give notice for TV, internet, phone and insurance & other subscriptions etc. 
  • Be fair and give a good amount of formal notice to your current employer (It is not as scary as it seems!).

    The Fun Part:

  • Book your flights to NZ.

2 Months to go – All Systems Go!

Give Notice:

  • Inform the schools that your children attend that you will be moving.
  • Cancel accounts for TV, internet, phone and insurance etc.
  • Give notice to your landlord if required.


  • Open a New Zealand bank account.
  • Request credit references from your bank.

Sell, Sell, Sell:

  • Sell any unwanted furniture or belongings – this is a good opportunity to have a serious declutter!
  • Sell your car – alternatively, your mover could either store or ship this for you.
  • Think about electrical appliances – will you be able to use these? If not just don’t take them and sell them. Whiteware is expensive in NZ though.

4 Weeks to go – The countdown begins!


  • Book temporary accommodation in New Zealand if required.
  • Book your pet’s kennel accommodation in New Zealand.
  • Book a hire a car for your first weeks in New Zealand.


  • Register your children at their new schools in New Zealand.
  • Start packing any non-essential items – collect boxes!
  • Give a forwarding address to all your contacts, including your bank, passport office, DVLA and accountants.
  • Pay off any outstanding debts.

2- 3 Weeks left – Time to start the serious packing!


  • Transfer your funds with a foreign exchange specialist. It will be cheaper than using the bank.
  • Confirm bookings with international removals or freight companies.
  • Ask for a copy of your no claims bonus form from your insurance company.
  • Have you got Travel, Medical & Transit Insurance? – Ensure you are fully covered prior to departure.

1 Week remaining – Keep Calm and Carry on!

Finish packing!

  • Disinfect and wash all outdoor items thoroughly e.g. lawn mowers, garden tools, kids bikes, tents, wellies etc. Virkon S can be purchased from Amazon quite cheaply.

Get Organised:

  • Arrange for your post to be redirected via the post office.
  • Cancel direct debits coming from your account.
  • Organise transport to the airport.
  • Cancel your car insurance and newspaper delivery.
  • Change your cash into New Zealand Dollars.
  • Double-check your hand luggage has everything you need, including your travel documents.

This moving to New Zealand checklist was created in 2015 when we moved from the UK to NZ. The free version has been updated in 2022. You can download this checklist for free on the form below and customise it to your needs as you need to!

2 thoughts on “Moving to New Zealand Checklist”

  1. Luis Gilberto López Mercado


    How hard it is to find work in New Zealand?

    I’m an architect from México, so my native language is not english, as you can see.

    Any advise?

    Regards Luis

  2. Hi Luis, thanks for your comment. If you got the skills you shouldn’t have any problem! You are probably best to contact a local migration expert who can help you obtain a skilled visa for New Zealand. There is lots of work in Auckland – all the best for you move to New Zealand!

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