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Removal Firms

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When making the big move to New Zealand it’s understandable that you’ll want to take many of your belongings with you, whether big or small, practical or sentimental. While this is completely achievable, and there are several commendable removal companies that will take care of this process for you, it’s important that you do your research in order to save as much money as possible.

Firstly, it’s worthwhile getting a quote from several, short listed, removal companies. Although this could become a timely task with these quotes in mind you will be well equipped to negotiate the prices as they compete against one another.

While they all largely offer the same door to door service, here’s our top 6 selection of removal companies.

Things to consider when shipping your belongings

What to ship – Shipping bulky furniture items such as a sofa, bed, cabinets etc, can make the cost of the shipment considerably higher. therefore it often works out much more financially friendly to sell these items before leaving, and buy alternatives when you get to NZ. We did two quotes with the above companies one including all the bulky items (Bed, Sofa, Wardrobes) and one with out and the difference in price was over a £1000! Remember as well most NZ properties have built in Wardrobes so you may find you don’t need to bring them with you!

Selling such items is made all the more easier with the likes of Facebook, and local buy/sell/trade groups, such as Gumtree.

Disinfectant Spray – All outdoor items such as wellies, tents, bikes and tools will need to be cleaned thoroughly with a special disinfectant solution called Virkon S. Removal companies charge for this, however there’s nothing to stop you purchasing the solution (on sites such as Amazon) and doing this yourself. You can even save approx £100 by doing so! We did!

Own or Shared container – Sharing a container has its pros and cons. While it can save you some money, you might have to wait longer for the shipment as they must wait for the container to be filled before it leaves the UK. Having your own container may cost more, but it will give you more control and reliable timings to work with.

Timings by sea – From the UK it will take approximately 3 months for your belongings to be shipped to New Zealand. Therefore you will need to take this into consideration and plan somewhere else to stay during that time. Many people see this as a good opportunity for an intervening spot of travelling! Everybody loves a holiday don’t they?!

Free storage – Companies such as PSS Removals can offer storage before and/or after delivery, meaning that if you need your items to be stored for a period before departure, or longer upon arrival (say your accommodation isn’t ready) then they will keep hold of your things, free of charge, for up to 4 weeks. This is an added benefit that’s worth looking out for or negotiating when choosing a company to go with.

Removal insurance – Naturally shipping your worldly possessions across the globe has its risks, which is why insurance is a very necessary addition that could save you a lot of money and heartache, should anything go wrong. Many removal companies offer this insurance as an add-on, but you should also explore what third parties, or the use of a broker, can offer you.

The cost of this type of insurance depends on a number of factors, including the type of items, transport and route, and whether these items have been professionally or personally packed. Household and personal items should be insured for the cost of replacement, and antiques or art for the current market value. Costs will typically be between 1% and 5% of the insurable value.

Other costs

New Zealand Quarantine Charges – All belongings in your shipment or luggage are subject to inspection and any item that could contain insects or disease may have to go through quarantine. Owners should be prepared to pay examination, treatment and/or handling fees if this occurs.

Certain foods, plants and endangered species should not be taken, to name a few. You can read more about other high risk items here.

As mentioned earlier, all outdoor items must be thoroughly cleaned using the disinfectant solution, but must also be declared. This goes for any items that can be associated with outdoor matter, including animal products, garden tools, sports equipment, wooden goods and footwear.

Goods and GST Tax – All items entering NZ are subject to Duty Tax and GST, however there are certain criteria that will allow a personal or household shipment to qualify for free entry of Duty Tax and GST. To qualify, the following must be so:

  • Goods that have been owned and used for 12 months or more by you.
  • You must be a first time migrant who is taking up permanent residency for the first time
  • You are returning New Zealand Citizen’s who have been living outside of New Zealand for 12 months or more.

Read more about this on the PSS Removals website here.

While this can seem like a lot to take in and consider in the event of shipping your belongings, these removal companies often supply helpful check lists and documents to help you plan everything accordingly.

To outline, the check list should include:

  • Packing List and list of prohibited items
  • The necessary preparation of your items
  • Inspection fees
  • Documentation that must accompany your shipment. (Passport, visa, inventory of goods)

Most of the said companies will also come and visit your home free of charge and inform you of how much space your items will take up in a container as well as talk you through the whole process. This way they can give you a accurate quote and in there view secure you as a new client! However when we told a few of these companies that we only had enough for a shared container we were told they would not come out and see us. Only Doree Bonner and PSS Removals would offer this service to us as our shipment was considered “small”. So if you are concerned that you don’t have a whole container don’t disclose this over the phone as we recommend getting as many of these companies in your home to get you a accurate quote. So then you can get negotiating!

Good Luck!


Our shipment arrived safely at the other end with only two broken lamps and a poorly packaged picture frame!

Our shipment arrived safely at the other end with only two broken lamps and a poorly packaged picture frame!