How To Move To New Zealand From The UK And Europe

How To Move To New Zealand From The UK And Europe

Taking a long-haul flight to visit New Zealand can be infrequent at the best of times. But some of us might get the opportunity to emigrate and live there permanently, whether for a fantastic job opportunity, to be near family or friends, or a desire to experience a healthier quality of life.

No matter how much you know about the other land down under, moving to New Zealand from the UK or Europe is a big deal. So if this long-term, one-way trip is on the horizon for you, this guide will give you all the information you need to know about the place, the life, and moving there with the help of UPakWeShip EU.

New Zealand

Across its two islands in the South Pacific ocean, 1,300 miles from the east coast of Australia, New Zealand has a rich and diverse culture with sweeping landscapes of forests, mountains, lakes, and fjords. And, being home to just over 5 million people in a country only a little larger than the UK, there’s certainly no shortage of space. Besides this big difference, New Zealand shares many similarities with the UK and the EU.

New Zealand offers a fantastic, progressive way of life, focusing on a good work/life balance. It has plenty of housing choices, comprehensive healthcare, enviable school and education systems, incredible job opportunities, an excellent environmental policy, a booming economy, and a low crime rate. And while there are things you cannot ship and take with you, New Zealand will have everything you need to start a new life for you and your family.

The essentials you need to know

What about the crucial, practical things you need upfront before moving? Let’s look at some essential documents necessary for you to move to and enter New Zealand in the first place – your visa.

Visa requirements for British or European citizens

While British or EU citizens will not need a visa to visit New Zealand for up to six months, if you intend to live and work there any longer, there are different immigration rules. A range of different visa options is open to you depending on your circumstances, each with its terms and conditions.

Visa options

Until your new life is more settled, you’ll need to be granted a visa to live and work in New Zealand for up to 12 months – and beyond. Here are just a few visa options:

Skilled Migrant Category Resident Visa

If you’re 55 or under, this visa allows you to live, work, and study in New Zealand indefinitely, and you can include your partner and any dependent children (aged 24 and under) in your application.

Parent Retirement Residence Visa

If you have adult children who are New Zealand citizens, this visa allows you to live in New Zealand indefinitely if you meet certain financial conditions. But you can include your partner in your application.

Working Holiday Visa

Available to anyone aged 18-30, this visa allows you to study or train for up to 6 months in total or to work for up to 12 months.

For more information on different visa options, visit the New Zealand Immigration website.

Life in New Zealand

So when you’re ready to make the 11,500-mile leap from the UK to New Zealand, what’s it like when you get there? For any UK or EU citizen, life in New Zealand can be a culture shock while having a certain degree of familiarity. Let’s look at some of the things you’ll encounter in day-to-day life and what you can expect.

The Māori culture

With a history going back around 700 years and almost 20% of the population being of Māori descent, Māori cultures are evident everywhere. Because Māori history influences everything from language and place names to food, sport, and lifestyle, once you’re in New Zealand, it’s a good idea to learn more about Māori culture and history by visiting a local museum or marae (a Māori meeting ground).

The weather

Despite a mild, temperate climate, weather in New Zealand can be unpredictable and different depending on where you live. While the North island will maintain its warmth, the South island can see temperatures drop. But generally, the country has warm, dry summers (December to February) and wet though moderate winters (June to August).

Cost of living

The larger cities in New Zealand can be more expensive than smaller towns and cities around the islands, but generally, costs are similar to the UK or EU. If you’re moving from a large city such as Paris, Madrid, or Berlin, you could even see your living costs decrease.

Best places to live

Where you choose to live may depend on your job or where your family are based, but it’s usual for many immigrants to be attracted to larger cities. The country’s capital, Wellington, is renowned for being safe and friendly and has plenty of bars, cafés, restaurants, and its famous red cable car.

The two-harbour waterfront city of Auckland on the North Island is the most densely populated but offers an excellent mix of food, culture, beaches, and watersports. And Christchurch on the South Island is known for its English heritage and beautiful mountainous surroundings.

But New Zealand is home to many UK and EU nationals, so wherever you choose to live, you shouldn’t be far from a thriving community willing to show you around.


New Zealand has an excellent universal public healthcare system. Funded by taxes and the government, it allows free or low-cost healthcare at the point of access. Although there are options to take private healthcare, many find public healthcare more than adequate.


New Zealand takes great pride in delivering a high-ranking, world-class education system available to everyone. Primary and secondary schools are state-funded, but the school can ask for donations while parents usually pay for uniforms, exam fees, and course-related materials.

Activities in New Zealand

New Zealand doesn’t disappoint on activities and things to do either, with something for every age and ability. Given the natural beauty and idyllic surroundings, New Zealand is an exceptional place for water sports, including kayaking, white water rafting, scuba diving, and canoeing, plus on-land activities like hiking and cycling with trails to suit everyone.

For more information on the practicalities of life in New Zealand, visit the InterNations website.

Let UPakWeShip EU help your relocation

When you’re moving to New Zealand from the UK, there’s plenty to think about beforehand. But, as your world turns upside down, UPakWeShip EU is here to make the journey to your new life as smooth and easy as possible.

Our shipping knowledge and experience go hand in hand with our competitive rates for your chosen shipping options. So whether you’re moving pallets to New Zealand or in need of a large container for full, family house moves, we’ll find the best option for your needs with guaranteed, affordable prices. And for extra peace of mind, we even have your back on shipping insurance cover for New Zealand.

Contact us today on +31(0)6 21 61 76 19, email, or book now to start your UPakWeShip process – and don’t forget to get your free quote.

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