- Download our Moving to New Zealand Guide (PDF)
New Zealand is an English-speaking country with reliable media, both local and international mobile phone providers and an efficient postal service. As a result, expats shouldn’t have any problems keeping in touch in New Zealand. There have been improvements in recent years, although expats who want fast internet may find it 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 or 5G broadband.
Phone and fibre in New Zealand are mostly owned by Chorus Limited, which provides wholesale services to ISPs. There are over 80 ISPs, but the two biggest players are Spark and Vodafone. With the completion of the Ultra-Fast Broadband programme in December 2022, internet in New Zealand is now available at globally competitive speeds.
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 cafés 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 widely 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 driving 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.
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.
Expat Health Insurance
Cigna Global Health Insurance
With Cigna, you won't have to rely on foreign public health care systems, which may not meet your needs. Cigna allows you to speak to a doctor on demand, for consultations or instant advice, wherever you are in the world. They also offer full cancer care across all levels of cover, and settle the cost of treatments directly with the provider. Cigna is currently offering a 10% discount for seniors (over 60) on their Silver package.
Sirelo has a network of more than 500 international removal companies that can move your furniture and possessions to your new home. By filling in a form, you’ll get up to 5 quotes from recommended movers. This service is free of charge and will help you select an international moving company that suits your needs and budget.