New Zealand is an English-speaking country with reliable media, both local and international mobile phone providers and an efficient postal service. Expats therefore shouldn’t have any problems keeping in touch in New Zealand. Although there have been improvements in recent years, the internet in New Zealand, is slower and more expensive than in many parts of Europe or the US, particularly in rural areas of New Zealand.
Internet in New Zealand
There are a number of options when it comes to using the internet in New Zealand. These include having an ADSL or fibre line installed, or using prepaid 4G broadband.
Spark New Zealand, the main telephone company in the country, owns much of the communications infrastructure and, along with its subsidiaries, is the largest internet service provider in the country. Many expats report that their internet isn’t nearly as fast as it was back home but, as New Zealand is currently upgrading to ultra-fast broadband (UFB), internet will soon be capable of reaching globally-competitive speeds. Much depends on the connection and line quality. In rural areas, satellite internet is often the only solution to receiving a connection and may be extremely slow.
Some areas of the larger cities in New Zealand, such as the city centre in Wellington, offer free WiFi for those with laptops and handheld devices. There is also free WiFi in most airports, and many cafes and restaurants.
Mobile phones in New Zealand
Mobile phone contracts and services in New Zealand are provided by the likes of Spark New Zealand, as well as Vodafone, Skinny and 2degrees, among others.
SIM cards are freely available in airports and large supermarkets. Expats can apply for phone contracts as long as they legally reside in the country. Applicants need to provide two forms of identification (such as a passport and driver’s licence) as well as proof of address to sign up for a mobile phone contract in New Zealand. There are also a number of affordable prepaid options.
Landline telephones in New Zealand
Some telecommunications providers, such as Spark New Zealand or Vodafone, may offer free landline calls to customers who sign up for an ADSL package. Otherwise, a landline can be expensive, as customers must pay monthly line rental fees in addition to per-minute call rates. Some packages allow customers to make unlimited local and/or overseas calls for a flat monthly fee.
Postal services in New Zealand
The New Zealand postal service is known for being reliable and user friendly.
Overseas post is charged by weight. As New Zealand is quite far from the US and Europe, expats should be aware that shipping heavy items can be expensive.
Are you an expat living in New Zealand?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to New Zealand. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
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