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
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
BACKGROUND 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
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
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
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
• 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
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
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;
- help job seekers by providing an income during the initial stage of
establishing their business;
Point - assists women who are returning to paid work and teaches
confidence, motivation and new skills;
- 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
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
You can download the Official Guide to working in New Zealand