Pinoy Overseas - Overseas Filipino Worldwide (OFW)
Working in New Zealand


New Zealand
May 19, 2004

New Zealand has long been rumored a new ”land of milk and honey” for some Filipinos. Although, yes, there are lots of milk here with healthy cows grazing their meadows but to some OFWs, New Zealand is more than the milk. This is a country that is slowly opening up to the Filipinos who want to try their luck and possibly, make it big. There have been documented success stories of Filipinos who worked hard in this picturesque mass of land south of the Pacific.

Home to the cast and crew of Lord of the Rings Trilogy, the serene environment became a perfect landscape for the Hobbit’s amazing journey written by J.R.R. Tolkien. No surprise that the acclaimed director, Peter Jackson, was born at the shores of Pukerua Bay. Maybe he knew all along that New Zealand was bound to be the world of LOTR. New Zealand has now adopted the title, “ Home of the Middle Earth” to boost tourism in the country.

For those interested to work here, take a look at this country’s profile and see whether you might fancy living like a character in Tolkien’s novel.

Geography and Climate

There are two primary seasons summer and winter. Summer lasts from December- February and winter starts in June and ends in August. Slight difference in climate is resulted fro the combination of the mountainous geography and prevailing westerly winds.

New Zealand has a total land area of 270,534 sq. kms comprising of two main islands (the North and South Islands) and several smaller islands. New Zealand is located in the southern Pacific Ocean, approximately 1,600 kilometres (995 miles) south-east of Australia. It is similar in size to Colorado and somewhere in between the size of Japan and the United Kingdom.

New Zealand’s geography includes spectacular landscapes incorporating the vast mountain chain of the Southern Alps the volcano region of the North Island, fiords, glaciers, lakes, rainforests and extensive grassy plains.


New Zealand is an independent state of the Commonwealth. The Governor General, Her Excellency Right Honorable Dame Silvia Cartwright, is the Queen’s representative in New Zealand. The democratic government operates under the Mixed Member Proportional (MMP) Parliamentary system of 120 seats (of which 67 Members of Parliament are from geographic areas and 53 from political parties). The coalition partners, Labour Party and United Future leads the Government. The Prime Minister of New Zealand is the Right Honorable Helen Clark.


Overseas trade has become a major factor in the economy. Back then, their main importer was United Kingdom, selling mainly agricultural products. After 25 years their trading partners have widened and included dominant Asia.

New Zealand has developed its agriculture and manufacturing industries to suit the needs of niche markets. Dairy and meat exports still make a large contribution to New Zealand's economy. However, industries such as forestry, horticulture, fishing, manufacturing and tourism have become increasingly significant.

Australia is now the number one merchandise export market, accounting for 18% of the value of New Zealand's exports in 2001. The United States has increased its share to become our second largest export market (15%), followed by Japan (13%) and in fourth place the United Kingdom (5%).


The New Zealand currency is the New Zealand dollar. One dollar is equal to 100 cents (50c, 20c, 10c, 5c). New Zealand banknotes are issued in the following denominations: 5, 10, 20, 50, and 100 Dollars.

As of now the current exchange rate is as follows
1 New Zealand Dollar (NZD) = P 35.1385.

1 NZD = 0.5198 Euro

1 NZD = $ 0.5198


Christianity is the religion widely professed in New Zealand. The main denominations are Anglican, Presbytrian, Roman Catholic and Methodist.


English is widely spoken in New Zealand although Maori is used as the official language. The use of the two languages resulted to a remarkable New Zealand accent and the emergence of an English local

Working in New Zealand

Visas and Permits

Foreigners entering New Zealand must have a visa except for citizens of visa-waiver countries. The possession of visa does not automatically permit the holder to enter New Zealand or be granted entry permit. A foreigner must avail of an entry permit upon arrival in New Zealand. Entry permit entitles the holder to remain in New Zealand.

Working visa/work permit: Foreign workers under the work permit policy of New Zealand must satisfy particular skill needs that cannot be met by workers from within New Zealand. All foreigners including the citizens of visa-waiver countries must apply for a working visa. Applicant must have a written job offer from an employer in New Zealand to get a working visa. The visa specifies the kind of work, the place of work and the organization the visa holder will work for. Working visa can be issued in single entry or multiple entry.

Requirements for a Work Visa or Work Permit

• a completed, signed application form
• the application fee
• your passport (which must be valid for at least 3 months past the date you plan to leave New Zealand)
• a recent passport size photograph

If the policy relevant to your application requires you to have an offer of employment, but does not specify what information that offer of employment must contain, any offer of employment you submit to the New Zealand Immigration Service ( NZIS) with your application must contain the following information:

• name, address, telephone and/or fax number of your employer, and
• confirmation of the job that is being offered to you, and
• a full job description of the job you have been offered including:
• the job title or designation,
• the address of the place of employment if different from that in
bullet point 1 above,
• the type of work, duties and responsibilities involved,
• details of pay and conditions of employment,
• any qualifications, experience or training required,
• confirmation of whether or not registration in New Zealand is required,
• the duration of the job, and
• how long the offer of employment is open.

You must also provide evidence that you are suitably qualified by training and experience to do the job you have been offered.

You must provide evidence that you meet immigration health and character requirements when you submit your application if:

• you intend to stay in New Zealand for longer than 24 months, or
• a specific Work Permit or Work Visa Policy requires you to provide evidence of your health and character, or
• a visa or immigration officer requires you to provide evidence of your health and character.
If you are required to provide evidence of your health and character you must provide the following:


• a fully completed Medical and X-Ray Certificate form (NZIS 1007) Medical Certificate for New Zealand. (Pregnant women and children under the age of 12 are not required to provide an x-ray certificate unless a special report is required), and
• any associated medical or laboratory reports required by the Medical and X-ray Certificate Form

All medical and X-ray certificates and associated reports must be less than 3 months old at the time you make your application.


• police certificates from your country of citizenship (unless you can provide satisfactory evidence that you have never lived there) and from any country in which you have lived for 5 or more years since attaining the age of 17 years.

At the time of your employment, you have to make sure that your police form is less than 6 months.


Foreigners intending to work in New Zealand must apply for a working visa or residence visa under the General Skills category. If there are no job offers from New Zealand, it poses quite a problem for the person even if the foreigner has skills and qualifications. The following are taken into consideration in an employment:

  • The New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) assesses overseas qualification and recognizes a foreigner’s skills and qualifications
  • A good and concise curriculum vitae
  • For doctors and dentists, registration is a must
  • A good level of spoken and written English

    Whether a new migrant decides to look for a job or start a business, it is always advantageous to register with the New Zealand Employment Service (NZES). The NZES can assist in the preparation of CVs, preparation for job interviews and in providing updates on existing job situations through its
    job boards. The following are some job programs and services provided by NZES:
  • Job Plus - help job seekers into permanent full-time employment
  • Job Plus Training Option - provide employment-related training linked to a job to arise;
  • Enterprise Allowance - help job seekers by providing an income during the initial stage of establishing their business;
  • Wahine Ahuru/Turning Point - assists women who are returning to paid work and teaches confidence, motivation and new skills;
  • Modification Grants - help employers to recruit disabled persons

    New migrants interested in self-employment and setting up their own businesses may approach the Inland Revenue Department (IRD), the various City Councils' Enterprise Centres, the Citizens Advise Bureau (CAB), small business enterprise centers and banks' Migrants Service units.

    The minimum wage rate for 20 years old and above is NZ$7.00 per hour The minimum wage for 16-19 years old is NZ$4.20 per hour.

    Social Security System

    New Zealand has a well-developed social welfare system to ensure the delivery of three major service functions: income support, social services to children, young persons and their families and funding of welfare organizations.

    As a new migrant with an initial job that does not pay enough to cover daily expenses, one can get in touch with the Inland Revenue Department (IRD) and New Zealand Income Support Service (NZISS) for assistance. The IRD could provide a Guaranteed Minimum Family Income (GMFI) to cover for the daily expenses or one could discuss options with the NZISS for services like accommodation and housing assistance, disability allowance, childcare subsidy, family support, among others.

    This is merely an overview of how to work in New Zealand, how to live there and what actually is in New Zealand. Do a more indepth research that can help you make it big and be successful in immigrating and working in New Zealand.

    You can download the Official Guide to working in New Zealand here

    Data gathered from:

  • - Source: OFW Guide


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