Employment In New Zealand

Here we share some general information about New Zealand Employment.


Gaining meaningful employment is key to into a new community. As well as the obvious need for most of us to earn an income, employment helps avoid isolation, leads to new friendships and better integration into New Zealand society.

For many migrants gaining a job or an appropriate job offer is also a critical part of the immigration application.

  • New Zealand employers are not, on the whole, prejudiced against migrants. Still, they will sometimes be cautious about whether your skills will be matched by an easy ability to settle down and apply those skills readily in their particular workplace.
  • It helps if you make sure your “Curriculum Vitae” (resume) meets the format employers are used to.
  • Of course, you should emphasise your skills and experience and make sure you show a willingness to be flexible and fit in with the Kiwi way of doing things.
  • Trying to “oversell” yourself will often not work. Your employer will want to employ someone with the required skills but could be unsure of someone “overqualified”. They may think an overqualified person will take the job but keep looking for better job opportunities once the visa is issued.
  • Be patient. The job market is crowded. Web-based recruitment can lead to employers receiving huge numbers of applications, many from people who are not properly suited for the job. In an effort to clear their inbox, employers will often reject the majority, usually with mass-mailed standard letters (or may not reply at all!). Don’t take it personally; it is a reflection of today’s recruitment practices.
  • Often, the real purpose of the application is not to get a job; it is to secure an interview! Present yourself in a way that encourages the employer to say quickly, “let's talk to this one”.

Useful Information

The Internet has revolutionised recruitment. It has become a vast information base and clearing house for employment issues. Here are just a few New Zealand sites that you might find helpful:

Job Sites


Trade Me Jobs

My Job Space

CV Links

Write a Winning CV

NZ Careers

Paying tax

All workers in New Zealand pay tax on income received from their employer. The tax is deducted by the employer and paid direct to Inland Revenue. A worker receives their pay "after" tax. This is know as "Pay as you earn" or "PAYE".

Before starting work you need a New Zealand tax number that your employer will ask for. When you open a bank account in New Zealand the bank will ask for your tax number. Apply early for a tax number from Inland Revenue using the link below.


Employment Standards in NZ

Learn about the responsibilities of workers and employers before starting work in New Zealand. Most workplaces are great places to work but if something goes wrong Employment NZ is the first place to look for advice. Use the link below to connect.

Employment New Zealand

The Truth About Employment In NZ

Most employers are most likely to give preference to applicants who are already in New Zealand and available for a quick start.

Other migrants you are competing against will have taken the initiative to either come to New Zealand to explore opportunities in person or will have made arrangements to move straight to a Work Visa as soon as they have the job offer. Being available immediately or at short notice is a big incentive for the employer to take your application seriously. Getting a job offer while you are overseas is close to impossible unless your skills are in high demand locally.

General Comments

Getting help with a job search can be fraught with pitfalls and traps that catch the unwary. When facing a strange country and with the need to solve problems at a distance, it can be tempting to pay someone who offers to help you “get a job”.

Be very careful. Such offers may be legitimate and sometimes lead to good outcomes, but this is also famous for scams and exploitation.

Job offers could be “for immigration purposes only” or at below-market pay rates. Take independent advice and avoid becoming a victim.

When you want help with immigration, don’t forget to come back to us!

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