Top Tips to Help International Students Settling in New Zealand 1

16 Aug Top Tips to Help International Students Settling in New Zealand 1

Check out our tips on how you can get yourself settling easily for your new life in Christchurch and make the most of your time here.

SIM Cards

There are three main mobile operators in New Zealand: Vodafone, Spark and 2 degrees. Monthly plan is based on single days rather than from the first day till the last day of the month. For instance, if you arrive New Zealand on the 23rd of September and want to buy a monthly plan. You do not need to worry about wasting money for the first month plan because the end date of your plan will be on the 22nd of October not the 30th of September.

The mobile operator provides monthly plan with $19NZD, $29NZD or $39NZD etc and different contract plans. Taking Vodafone’s $19NZD monthly plan as an example, it give you 500MB data, 100mins phone call and unlimited text. User can choose suitable plan based on individual situation. Furthermore, the rest of data and mins also can be carried over to the next month. For more information, please view this website

Bank Account

There are quiet a few banks in New Zealand: ANZ, BNZ, ASB, Westpac, Kiwibank and etc. They all have branches and provide some ATM at different suburbs in Christchurch and across different district around the wider Canterbury region, there will also be branches around schools and universities.

There are different types of cards for students to use. Some of them offer free annual card fee to students. The ATM machines are also located at different suburbs and around universities, most of them would accept foreign cards for you to withdrawn cash.

Efpose cards, direct debit cards and credit cards are very commonly used in New Zealand, people do not tend to carry cash everyday. For more information about getting these cards sorted, it is best to check your bank for the best deal, some cards do give credits or points, some cards to offer cashback services too.  

IRD Number

According to the relevant regulation, students who hold New Zealand student visa can work up to 20 hours per week. However, each income will occur a tax, the percentage range is from 10.5% to 33% which depends on your income. For tax rate details, please view this website.

The employer will help you to get your tax payment sorted when you sign a contract with them. At present (2017), the minimum hourly pay (before tax) is 15.75NZD/per hour (The government adjusts the minimum wage every year, increasing by 25-50c each time). However, you will need to apply for an  IRD Number to get your tax payment sorted. You can complete your application in the Post Office, Work and Income, and IRD website. It requires at least one of A types or B types document. For A type, you can bring your passport or official translation of your drive license  for B type. Generally, it needs 10 working days to process. For further information please view IRD official website.