Moving to/from NZ



  • Well after years and years of talking about it my wife, daughter and I are moving to NZ after growing up in OZ.
    Looking at Feb/March to make the move so Im trying to plan what i can in advance and at least get an idea of things that will need to be done closer to the time.

    We run an online business together which is/will be our main source of income for the short/medium term until we can build up our other business which is a Landscape architecture/Arboriculture consultancy. Although the way the online business is going the consultancy may remain a side gig which i don't mind at all.
    Business stuff i mainly have my head around and am putting things in place so that the move over will be pretty seamless and should actually be of benefit moving forward.

    The main thing I wanted to ask on here is about the general/practical aspects of moving overseas.
    We don't plan on taking any furniture or anything big because we aren't that attached to that many things we have and can definitely deal with living in a house full of second hand furniture from trademe etc and gradually get better stuff.

    Another advantage is that we can pretty much leave everything at my mums place where we have been living so don't need to fork out for storage or get rid of everything.
    There are some things like tools, decorations and some nicer kitchen things that were wedding presents that I would like to ship over eventually but can go without for a while.

    Does anyone have advice for shipping household items? is it a case of packing it all in boxes and using a logistics company to ship over? Is it worth the cost? I still remember when i was young and we moved back to OZ from the UK where Dad had been working, all our stuff was shipped back in those wooden tea chests, complete with the dregs of tea. Not sure if that sort of thing is still done or not.

    We are waiting on confirmation but the plan is to move into a friends house for a few months while they are down south working on a project so that takes one major hassle out of the equation. Trying to think of other things I need to think about like Bank accounts, IRD numbers, Drivers licence, mobile plans but i guess some of that can wait til we are there.

    Am I missing anything obvious?

    Does anyone have any advice on a good cheap way to transfer money from Australia to NZ? Not a huge amount. $30-50K?

    For a car I will sell one of the two we have in Aust to buy a second hand car in NZ. The second one I will probably keep in Aust short term because we will be coming back and forth a bit at first. I would then either sell it or consider shipping it over.
    Has anyone had any experience with importing cars? Its an older Hilux 4x4 and from the quick research i have done would be about the same cost to sell here and replace in NZ as it would be to keep and ship over. Does the hassle of selling it (and getting screwed down on price) and buying another one (and getting screwed on price and potentially buying a lemon) outweigh the hassle of cleaning, shipping and registering it in NZ?

    Not exactly a coherent post but any advice is greatly appreciated.



  • @pukunui

    Regarding money transfer, I tend to use Orbit Remit who work out better than the banks but I don't do as big a transaction as that (more in the $2k at a time).

    I find second hand cars to be very expensive in Oz in comparison to NZ and I'd assume it would be much easier to buy in NZ than go to the cost and hassle of importing a car into NZ.



  • Regarding moving stuff it may be worth calling a moving company for a quote. You may be amazed at the sheer amount of stuff they can ship over in a half container. They work by volume but are really good at maximising that volume.
    As an example when we moved back to NZ from Oz we had a smaller size container allowance. We thought that would be taken up with our household stuff and asked them to quote on taking our offroad camper trailer back. They laughed and said 'don't worry we'll fit that in as well. And they did!
    The obvious calc is to compare shipping cost with purchase cost then look at the hassle factor of getting new stuff.
    Take it from someone that has had to do a few country moves where you have to leave things behind. No matter how well you think you have worked out what you need, be prepared for lots of frustration on little things you have accumulated not being at hand. Having to go down the road to buy a packet of screws, get a cake tin etc etc all makes you think life may have been easier if you let someone scoop the whole lot up and ship it over. You'll be surprised at the amount of little things that only become important when you don't have them.
    If you have an online business I strongly suggest you check the broadband maps at chorus.co.nz regarding anywhere you plan to live. Even better pick a place that isn't only fibre capable but is fibre installed to premise already. If you have to have the connection done be aware of the complications that can arise if your property is either a multi dwelling unit (eg an apartment) or has a right of way shared access (eg a subdivided property with shared driveway). These require consents from all parties and drag the install out even longer.
    If looking at living rural be prepared for rubbish internet. Check carefully on what is available. There are a few tricks with rural properties as well that if researched right could have you at blistering internet speed while your neighbour across the road is stuck with crappy ADSL at the edge of the cabinet distance. (PM me if you want to know more)
    Don't bother with taking your cars at all. Have a look on trademe if you want to get an idea of replacement cost but remember that most cars listed on there privately with a set price are aiming very high and don't sell fast.



  • Thanks for the advice.
    I will look into the shipping thing more. Thinking of replacing everything does get a bit daunting when you actually look around and think of every little thing you have picked up over years.

    I will probably just forget about the car thing. By then im sure it will be a hell of a lot simpler to just sell and replace.

    Internet is definitely a good point. The Coromandel is the area we will be moving to long term with a short stay in Mangawhai initially (due to lack of rentals in the Tairua area) so not exactly large cities.
    This will probably be more relevant when we look to buy a house but crap internet is painful when you need it to work. Unfortunately i know what thats like living in a spot where all the adjacent streets have newly installed nbn but not my street. Have been hotspotting off my phone for two days because adsl has dropped out.

    Looking forward to xmas being over so we can just get on with it haha.



  • What's the situation with paying GST if you bring your hilux in from overseas ?



  • @jegga Don't quote me on this but I think if you have owned the car for over a year there is no cost of transfer apart from Liscensing, On Road and Registration costs



  • @Hooroo said in Moving to/from NZ:

    @jegga Don't quote me on this but I think if you have owned the car for over a year there is no cost of transfer apart from Liscensing, On Road and Registration costs

    Pretty goo @Hooroo
    http://www.customs.govt.nz/features/charges/dutyfree/Pages/default.aspx?s=11

    For the whole of the period of 21 months preceding your arrival, you have resided or been domiciled outside New Zealand. Brief holidays or exploratory visits do not exclude a person from qualifying for this concession.

    You have personally owned and used the vehicle for at least one year before the date of your departure for New Zealand, or the date on which the vehicle is surrendered for shipping – whichever is earlier.

    The vehicle is being imported for your own personal use and not for sale, gift or disposal in any other way.

    You give a concession reference 80 undertaking. This means you give a written undertaking that if the motor vehicle is sold or otherwise disposed of within two years from the date of importation, you will make payment of the Customs charges that would normally have been payable.



  • @nzzp and Hooroo, well done . Fernopedia to the fore once again .



  • How does car rego etc work in nz?
    Over here, in nsw at least, you pay registration once every year or six months. About $500/year for a standard car. Then you need a green slip which is compulsary third party insurance which is another $500-$600. Then every year you also need a pink slip which is a road worthy certificate. Only $30-$40. Then you pay any sort of insurance on top of all of that. Is it a similar set up in NZ?



  • In NZ you can get a rego from 1 to 12 months. More you get the slightly cheaper it is. You can't get a rego without a current Warrant of Fitness.

    If you ahve Deisal you need to buy Road user chargers in blocks of 5000kms or more I think.



  • @pukunui One word of advice - be careful with personal tax as well. You should be fine moving from Aus as there is a DTA and your Aus taxes will be more than NZ but it is worth checking your status with an accountant. Personal experience speaking there.

    Cars. It is against the rules of the universe to sell or otherwise dispose of a hilux (especially an old one) and the guys are correct above about owning for a year, etc. It may well be worth keeping. I shipped 2 cars back from HKG and still have them. Got stung for GST on one because it was in company name not mine but still worked out alright compared to buying here (I did get it cheap in HKG). Basically if you like the vehicle and have owned it for a while might be worth keeping.Ask the shippers as below.

    Shipping. I would definitely look at sending your stuff home. It's expensive starting again. Call a company, get a price and fill a container or they will get space for you in one. Throw out what doesn't fit if too much. Someone mentioned above how good those guys are. We would have been lucky to fit a box of matches in our one when they finished.

    I've done a lot of moving and shipping is better than disposing IMO.



  • @Snowy said in Moving to/from NZ:

    @pukunui One word of advice - be careful with personal tax as well. You should be fine moving from Aus as there is a DTA and your Aus taxes will be more than NZ but it is worth checking your status with an accountant. Personal experience speaking there.

    Cars. It is against the rules of the universe to sell or otherwise dispose of a hilux (especially an old one) and the guys are correct above about owning for a year, etc. It may well be worth keeping. I shipped 2 cars back from HKG and still have them. Got stung for GST on one because it was in company name not mine but still worked out alright compared to buying here (I did get it cheap in HKG). Basically if you like the vehicle and have owned it for a while might be worth keeping.Ask the shippers as below.

    Shipping. I would definitely look at sending your stuff home. It's expensive starting again. Call a company, get a price and fill a container or they will get space for you in one. Throw out what doesn't fit if too much. Someone mentioned above how good those guys are. We would have been lucky to fit a box of matches in our one when they finished.

    I've done a lot of moving and shipping is better than disposing IMO.

    Thanks for the advice. The tax/business stuff is what i have done most of my research on. Will also be talking to accountants both sides shortly.

    No problems with the ownership of the hilux. Have had it 5 years or so. Has never had anything wrong with it, thats one reason i would consider shipping it. I got a quote a year or so ago to ship it and it was only $2k which i would almost pay to avoid having to deal with tyre kickers and people offering stupid money and then having to find another car. Already going to have to do that with the other car and ny boat. I have a low tolerance for shit like that haha.
    Got some time to think about that anyway.



  • @pukunui said in Moving to/from NZ:

    Thanks for the advice.
    I will look into the shipping thing more. Thinking of replacing everything does get a bit daunting when you actually look around and think of every little thing you have picked up over years.

    I will probably just forget about the car thing. By then im sure it will be a hell of a lot simpler to just sell and replace.

    Internet is definitely a good point. The Coromandel is the area we will be moving to long term with a short stay in Mangawhai initially (due to lack of rentals in the Tairua area) so not exactly large cities.
    This will probably be more relevant when we look to buy a house but crap internet is painful when you need it to work. Unfortunately i know what thats like living in a spot where all the adjacent streets have newly installed nbn but not my street. Have been hotspotting off my phone for two days because adsl has dropped out.

    Looking forward to xmas being over so we can just get on with it haha.

    Ok, a further complication regarding Coromandel and broadband.
    When the NZ Govt tendered out the fibre rollout they did so on the basis of population density to reach as many people at the least cost. Sadly you won't be seeing fibre in the Coromandel unless you are lucky enough to be right alongside a branch line put in place to service a school, hospital or cell tower and are willing to pay to tap into it.

    The good news is that Tairua is fairly well covered by VDSL. I strongly suggest you check this map https://broadbandmap.nz/ before deciding on a property to check whether it is ADSL or VDSL. With the current technology in place you can easily be getting speeds of 40/10 under VDSL as opposed to 10/2 on ADSL



  • @Crucial said in Moving to/from NZ:

    @pukunui said in Moving to/from NZ:

    Thanks for the advice.
    I will look into the shipping thing more. Thinking of replacing everything does get a bit daunting when you actually look around and think of every little thing you have picked up over years.

    I will probably just forget about the car thing. By then im sure it will be a hell of a lot simpler to just sell and replace.

    Internet is definitely a good point. The Coromandel is the area we will be moving to long term with a short stay in Mangawhai initially (due to lack of rentals in the Tairua area) so not exactly large cities.
    This will probably be more relevant when we look to buy a house but crap internet is painful when you need it to work. Unfortunately i know what thats like living in a spot where all the adjacent streets have newly installed nbn but not my street. Have been hotspotting off my phone for two days because adsl has dropped out.

    Looking forward to xmas being over so we can just get on with it haha.

    Ok, a further complication regarding Coromandel and broadband.
    When the NZ Govt tendered out the fibre rollout they did so on the basis of population density to reach as many people at the least cost. Sadly you won't be seeing fibre in the Coromandel unless you are lucky enough to be right alongside a branch line put in place to service a school, hospital or cell tower and are willing to pay to tap into it.

    The good news is that Tairua is fairly well covered by VDSL. I strongly suggest you check this map https://broadbandmap.nz/ before deciding on a property to check whether it is ADSL or VDSL. With the current technology in place you can easily be getting speeds of 40/10 under VDSL as opposed to 10/2 on ADSL

    That is cracking piece of advice and reference!



  • Moving companies charge seasonally so you should get a much better price in March than February - unless through ill luck you happen to pick dates that are busy.

    If you can be flexible on dates you should definitely be able to negotiate a better deal.

    You do get what you pay for though. Any moving company can have a disaster but the chances of that happening increase as you get cheaper.

    Don't pack yourself it invalidates your insurance - and do take insurance



  • yep, get door to door transit cover.



  • Im going to have to start taking notes. Thanks again guys. Will check out there broadband map. I guess its one of those things you need to trade off when you make a lifestyle move.
    Needs to function though.

    In general do the removals companies come to your house and pick everything up or do you need to deliver it to a depot?



  • @pukunui said in Moving to/from NZ:

    Im going to have to start taking notes. Thanks again guys. Will check out there broadband map. I guess its one of those things you need to trade off when you make a lifestyle move.
    Needs to function though.

    In general do the removals companies come to your house and pick everything up or do you need to deliver it to a depot?

    Good removal companies come to your house, pack your gear and then take it away all in one visit.



  • @ACT-Crusader @pukunui depending on how much you have got. Sometimes they will send in a pre-pack team and load out separately (and quickly)

    Worth getting a consultant from a couple of companies in to go through the options with you. You should get a good feel for how good they are by hearing about how they pack - what materials they use etc

    Three other considerations. As mentioned they do charge by volume - make sure that you get a detailed inventory with the quote - not just a quote to move a cubic metreage. Some companies will deliberately under estimate the volume to appear cheaper. Then hit you up for a balance on move day. When you're really not in a position to argue.

    If you have an invent then that's your price to move those items.

    If you haven't got a lot - ask for groupage (part container loads). Often work out cheaper because if they're on to it the company can effectively sell the same space twice.

    Most removals companies operate on an agency basis. This means that when you unpack if there are issues you're dealing with a different company to who you signed up with. This doesn't necessarily mean it will be a hassle but it does depend largely on how important the agency relationship is to both parties i.e. how much reciprocity there is. TBH trans-Tasman this shouldn't cause a problem but just another variable



  • Think seriously about your furniture. If you're bringing your truck in a container you'll want to fill the extra space with stuff anyway and you'll probably find the additional cost of bringing all your stuff in the same container is probably not that much more.

    As Dogmeat says, don't even think about packing it yourselves. When we moved our deal was they packed it at one end and unpacked and reassembled everything over here, no additional cost, just a slab each for the unpackers.

    Photograph everything you're bringing, it makes insurance claims much easier.

    nzforex.co.nz are easy to deal with and have decent rates for AUD-NZD. Get your bank accounts set up before you leave as you'll need a target account to move the money.

    You can driver on your Oz licence for 6 months but get it changed over ASAP. Just go into the AA, no problem really.

    Good luck.



  • @JC should be 12 months on a foreign licence, or has it changed.

    But you will have a higher excess regardless for non-NZ licence anyway.

    If you need any advice on Insurance in NZ, drop me a PM.



  • @taniwharugby You're probably right TR. My point was more don't wait it out, do it as soon as you arrive. You can use it for ID (important in a new country) and as you say it nearly halved my insurance premiums.



  • If you and family are all dual Australian/NZ citizens, then that part's easy - can ignore the rest of this post other than the electoral enrolment stuff at the bottom.

    If you're Australian citizens or residents, but not NZ citizens, that's also easy - you qualify for a resident visa on arrival into NZ unless you have serious criminal or negative immigration history. The arrival card is here:
    http://www.customs.govt.nz/news/resources/forms/Documents/Passenger Arrival Card English language version.pdf

    Question 9 is the relevant collection of potential issues - if you can answer 'no' to that, you're fine there. Note that 'excluded from any country' includes a ban, even one which has since expired. Someone who has been refused entry to a country and also banned, as the Aussies often do (watch Border Patrol for examples...), can't ever come to NZ without applying for a visa and getting a special direction before arrival.

    The card doesn't say it, but you're also not welcome if you have ever been sentenced to 5+ years imprisonment.

    Assuming everyone is good to go on that front, when you arrive, check the stamps in your passports - they should be oval residence visa stamps, not rectangular visitor visa stamps. This is particularly important if you are Australian residents, but not citizens of either Australia or NZ. If there's an issue, try to get it fixed before leaving the border control area - it can be fixed by Immigration NZ branches if necessary, but it's easier to do it at the airport.

    Resident visas for Aussies don't carry travel conditions which means they expire every time you leave NZ and you get a new one when you arrive in NZ again. That doesn't matter if you don't intend to return to Oz, but assuming you will travel back occasionally, you can apply for travel conditions from Immigration NZ after you get here - one form, one fee for the whole family ($190 from memory). This means your resident visas don't expire on departure, so your residence is continuous - avoids issues if a government department wants proof of when your resident visa is dated from, and you suddenly discover that it's from last week because that's when you last got back from Aussie...

    After 2 years of continuous NZ residency, you can apply for Permanent Resident Visas - again, one form, one fee for the whole family (also $190 from memory).

    We don't deport Aussies as easily as they deport us, but keep your nose clean, especially the first 2 years (drink driving can technically get you deported, even if that is rather unlikely).

    After 5 years in NZ as NZ residents, you can apply for citizenship through Department of Internal Affairs. This has character requirements and you have to been in NZ for at least 1350 days out of those 5 years. You can apply for citizenship as soon as you reach 1350 days, so you might qualify early. If anyone is eligible for citizenship by descent (e.g. your children), you can sort that out before or after arriving. https://www.dia.govt.nz/New-Zealand-citizenship is the relevant website.

    Immigration matters e.g. visas are handled by Immigration NZ, which is part of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment. Citizenship and passports are handled by the Department of Internal Affairs. They aren't the same departments, so don't get them mixed up.

    If you are NZ citizens who might qualify for Australian residency or citizenship, sort that out before you leave. https://www.border.gov.au/Trav/Citi/pathways-processes/application-options/new-zealand-citizen/New-Zealand-citizens-living-in-Australia has some info. http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/297187/fast-track-path-to-citizenship-revealed is an interesting article (and might apply to other Ferners). If you are Australian residents, bear in mind Australian resident visas have travel conditions, so make sure yours haven't expired, or (again) sort that out before you leave.

    As NZ residents/citizens, you are required to enrol as voters if you are 18 or older and have lived in NZ for at least 1 year at some point in your life. http://www.elections.org.nz/voters has info on how to enrol. Unlike Australia, you are not required to vote, although you should anyway.



  • All good on the citizenship front im a dual citizen and my wife is able to claim by decent through her dad. But thanks for bringing that up as we need to get onto doing that.

    Our daughter will have to do the 5 years because i also claimed my citizenship by decent and you can't do that for more than one generation.

    Any suggestions on which bank is best for a standard savings/credit card account? Or are all the major banks pretty similar? Won't any debt to transfer which is a nice thing to say for the first time in a long time.

    Will add registering to vote to my list. Who should i vote for? Haha joking im sure there is a thread on here for that.



  • All of the banks are assholes. I can give you account details for somewhere to put all your money though. It will be safely looked after 😉



  • @Crucial said in Moving to/from NZ:

    All of the banks are assholes. I can give you account details for somewhere to put all your money though. It will be safely looked after 😉

    http://www.canstarblue.co.nz/banking-insurance/banking/

    Looks not too bad. We've been with Westpac, but they appear incompetent. Unable to execute simple written instructions (ie increase this loan limit by X --> transfer X from one account to another).

    When our fixed mortgage is up we plan to shift to TSB or Cooperative (which is a bitmore left field)



  • I personally had never had issues with ANZ and was with them for many years, but moved my mortgage to NZ Home Loans, who put mortgages through both Kiwibank and ASB, who I have been with both via NZHL for about 6 years now for everything bar credit card and both have been very good.



  • Thoughts on our move to Aus 13 years ago.

    1. We moved our houshold stuff. The thought of seling for fuck all return and buying all new, aside from being an extreme hassle, was likely to be significantly more expensive.

    2. Moving company dId all the packing. Think it was Allied Pickfords. Looong time ago. Whoever it was was an international firm. They were good. We got 3 quotes IIRC.

    3. Regarding insurance. Doing an inventory for moving is when you realise you are desparately underestimating your normal contents insurance ...

    4. We had no great issue transferring money ANZ in Enzed to ANZ in Aus. Have a vague recollection that tge rates they charged were reasonable and the charges at either end weren't extortionate.

    5. What I found difficult was how similar everything was. I had to keep reminding myself I WAS in a different country. That kind of made things hard as I knew how things worked in NZ and kind of expected the same processes in Aus. Not a big deal at all but I did wonder if there were more significant differences if i would have reset expectations more. (I know what i mean ... ).



  • @Crucial said in Moving to/from NZ:

    All of the banks are assholes. I can give you account details for somewhere to put all your money though. It will be safely looked after 😉

    No worries. Just put your account details on here and i will transfer it all over. Might pay to include you name, date of birth, credit card numbers and any other info just incase its needed for the transfer. Haha.



  • @booboo said in Moving to/from NZ:

    Thoughts on our move to Aus 13 years ago.

    1. We moved our houshold stuff. The thought of seling for fuck all return and buying all new, aside from being an extreme hassle, was likely to be significantly more expensive.

    2. Moving company dId all the packing. Think it was Allied Pickfords. Looong time ago. Whoever it was was an international firm. They were good. We got 3 quotes IIRC.

    3. Regarding insurance. Doing an inventory for moving is when you realise you are desparately underestimating your normal contents insurance ...

    4. We had no great issue transferring money ANZ in Enzed to ANZ in Aus. Have a vague recollection that tge rates they charged were reasonable and the charges at either end weren't extortionate.

    5. What I found difficult was how similar everything was. I had to keep reminding myself I WAS in a different country. That kind of made things hard as I knew how things worked in NZ and kind of expected the same processes in Aus. Not a big deal at all but I did wonder if there were more significant differences if i would have reset expectations more. (I know what i mean ... ).

    Yes since starting this thread i've been looking around at all our stuff and realising what a pain and expense it would be to replace it all. Most of it, while it is nice stuff, you would struggle to get $50 for.

    I think i know what you mean in point 5.
    I guess that can be a good and bad thing. We are looking forward to a change but don't want the change to be that big if you know what i mean.
    The place we are now, Southern highlands, has been a bit of a stepping stone away from where i grew up, Northern beaches in Sydney.
    While its not properly rural it is definitely a step down in pace from Sydney. We haven't missed some things as much as we thought and others we have missed WAY more, mainly the ocean. While its only an hour away from here it used to be a 2 min walk. With a 2 year old we are starting to see just how valueable something like a beach is for burning their energy nit to mention maintaining our mental health haha.



  • If you and your wife both have citizenship by descent, your daughter might be able to get citizenship without waiting as the Minister can waive any of the requirements, and the policy documents on the website suggest this is one of the more common scenarios. Check with their call centre or drop by an office at some point.



  • @Godder said in Moving to/from NZ:

    If you and your wife both have citizenship by descent, your daughter might be able to get citizenship without waiting as the Minister can waive any of the requirements, and the policy documents on the website suggest this is one of the more common scenarios. Check with their call centre or drop by an office at some point.

    Very interesting, thanks for the tip.



  • You may be a "transitional resident" for tax purposes if you have been a non-resident of New Zealand for 10 continuous years prior to becoming a resident again (or never were a resident). Note "resident" and "non-resident" are tax definitions not a standard legal definition or immigration status.

    The benefit of being a "trannie" is that all of your passive income derived from a foreign source (e.g. Australia) is not taxed in NZ for 4 whole tax years after you return. The only foreign sourced income that is taxed in NZ in that period is income from employment or from supplying services.

    Practically, you could leave some or all of your cash in the bank in Australia and tell your bank you are now a non-resident of Australia (after you move). The Aus bank would pay you interest from which it would deduct Australian non-resident withholding tax (probably at 10%) and you pocket the rest. Good for 4 years.

    This obviously works a treat if you are fucking rich and own 10% of the shares in BHP for example. In your circumstances it may be a slight leg up for you.

    Disclaimers, seek tax advice etc.



  • @Tregaskis thanks for the advice. I had read about that tax scheme, if thats what you call it, and will be getting advice about whether that or claiming family tax breaks (if eligible) is best. As far as i know it is one or the other.

    The fact that one of our businesses is a service business and the other is a product business complicates it a bit.


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