New Zealand is one of the world’s best places to live and study.
Find out more about life in New Zealand and studying at ATMC-NZ.
Our people and culture
Auckland is an exciting and welcoming place to live with a wide variety of cultures from around the world.
We’re the fourth most culturally diverse city in the world – our city is home to more than 200 different ethnic groups – and over a third of Aucklanders were born overseas. Our Māori heritage gives us a unique place in the world. Auckland is also the world’s largest Polynesian community and nearly a quarter of people living here are of Asian descent.
Kiwis (as New Zealanders are often called) love travelling, so we understand the importance of welcoming new people to our own land. In the 2015 Expat Insider survey, 94% of respondents said they found New Zealanders ‘friendly’ or ‘very friendly’. Auckland has a real sense of community, with people coming together at different events and places and we often socialise with colleagues outside of work.
New Zealand has three official languages – English, Māori and New Zealand Sign Language. To improve your English or learn Te Reo Māori, see our support services information below.
Healthcare in Auckland is first-rate and it’s free or low cost for citizens, residents and some work visa holders. Non-residents can also use healthcare services at a cost. If you have children aged 17 years or under they may also be eligible for publicly funded healthcare. You can check whether you qualify for free or subsidised healthcare with the Ministry of Health.
For private healthcare, non-residents should get medical insurance from their home country. Most costs of injuries from accidents are covered through New Zealand’s no-fault Accident Compensation Corporation scheme.
Whether you’re buying or renting, you’ll be able to choose from different types of Auckland housing to suit your lifestyle, from city apartments to family homes with gardens.
If you’re buying a home, what you can buy here will compare well with other cities. Be prepared to look hard and act quickly. Search for houses at trademe.co.nz and realestate.co.nz and search and compare average house prices.
You might prefer to rent a home, flat or apartment in Auckland, whether on your own or with others. Find homes to rent and flatmates (roommates) at trademe.co.nz, easyroommate.co.nz and nzflatmates.co.nz, and browse information on rental types, costs and agreements.
The suburb you live in will affect the cost of buying or renting a house, and lifestyle factors such as commuting, public transport and access to work, schools and shops. Find information on Auckland suburbs at Hometopia.
If you’re studying in Auckland, find out about student accommodation options.
Support after you arrive
Settling into a new place can feel overwhelming, but there are plenty of support services and networks to help make it easier.
We provide academic support, first language support, counselling support, 24/7 on call support, and disabilities support.
Living costs are at a level you would expect from a rapidly-growing cosmopolitan hub that’s one of the world’s most liveable cities.
You’ll find some items and services cheaper and some more expensive than at home. In general, Auckland ranks very well against other major cities, with a cost of living significantly lower than London, Sydney, Melbourne, Hong Kong, Singapore, Guangzhou and New York. (Source: Mercer Cost of Living Survey 2015).
Read our blog on living costs
The US-based Tax Foundation ranked New Zealand’s overall tax system as second in the developed world for its competitiveness (2014) and top for its individual/personal taxes.
Wages or salaries are usually paid directly into employees’ bank accounts and taxed at set rates depending on your income.
Find out more about taxes in New Zealand.
A 15% tax is added to most goods and services (GST), including most imported goods and certain imported services.
Find out more about GST in New Zealand.
Getting around Auckland
Travelling in and around Auckland is unchallenging and economic at the same time. The city centre is just a few minutes’ drive from some of the best spots of the city. There are various commuting options like buses, trains, taxi, etc. The ferries are an important part of this harbour city, for the daily commuters as well as tourists. Ferries help you get to different parts of the city in a quick, economic, and less stressful manner. The train service connects 41 stations across 4 lines.
If you’re planning to drive, check which driver’s licence you’ll need and organise it before you arrive. You can legally drive in Auckland and New Zealand for up to 12 months per visit, with either a current driver’s licence from your home country or an International Driving Permit (IDP). You will need to convert to a New Zealand licence after 12 months. Find out more about driving in New Zealand, including safety regulations.
The Education (Pastoral Care of International Students) Code of Practice 2016
When students come to study in New Zealand, education providers have an important responsibility to ensure that those students are well informed, safe and properly cared for.
To support this, the New Zealand government has developed the Education (Pastoral Care of International Students) Code of Practice 2016, which replaced the 2010 Code of Practice.
The new Code of Practice was released in March 2016, and applied from 1 July 2016.