- Download our Moving to New Zealand Guide (PDF)
Expats have a wide selection of shipping companies to choose from when shipping to New Zealand. We recommend obtaining quotes from multiple companies before making a final decision.
Furnished accommodation rentals in New Zealand are rare, although if an expat plans to return home after a short stay, it may be worth keeping their belongings there instead of shipping them.
Shipping personal belongings to New Zealand
Shipping times vary depending on the origin location, but most companies can provide estimated arrival times. Expats can confirm this information on forums and online testimonials.
Air freight is a popular and fast way to ship smaller cargo, but it costs more than shipping by sea (air freight is typically billed by weight, while sea freight is billed according to the size of container). That said, some expats still prefer to spend more on the cost of excess baggage to have their belongings arrive faster.
It is also advisable for expats to insure any belongings before shipping them to New Zealand.
Shipping pets to New Zealand
Shipping pets to New Zealand is likely to be a large expense in terms of vet bills, permits, quarantine and air transport costs. Pets will need to be vaccinated for rabies at least six months before leaving for New Zealand, and proof of the vaccine duration will need to be acquired in the form of a certificate. All pets must also be fitted with a microchip.
The pet will then need a medical check-up in their home country from an accredited vet, as they have to comply with New Zealand's biosecurity regulations, which are stricter than in many other countries. The exact regulations that apply to an expat’s pet depend on the type of animal and the country of origin.
All cats and dogs, except those arriving from Australia, have to be placed in a quarantine facility for at least 10 days after they arrive in New Zealand. The facility has to be approved by the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) and supervised by official government veterinarians.
Expats should also be aware that there are restrictions on different types of animals. Certain breeds of dogs, such as American Pit Bull Terriers, Dogo Argentinos and Brazilian Filas are not allowed to be brought into the country at all. Guinea pigs, snakes, birds and rats are also not allowed. The New Zealand Customs Service page has a full list of the animals and items that are prohibited from entering the country.
More information can be found on the Biosecurity New Zealand website. Expats should be aware that importing animals is a complicated process, and it is therefore recommended to use a reputable pet relocation agency.
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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