Work In NZ


There is a major shortage of skilled workers in New Zealand.  There are opportunities in almost all areas of the workforce from the trades to the professions in New Zealand and spread over most regions and cities of New Zealand.

Salaries and Rates do vary from city to city but for the same reason as the cost of living, it may not be for the reasons you think.


There is a good level of employee protection in the permanent job area and with good planning, usually a path to permanent residence, perhaps not so much for contracts and temporary work. Contract work usually pays better than permanent work and there is an employment status half way in between called fixed term employment.  In some of the lower skilled temporary areas people have been taken advantage of by a small number of unscrupulous employers and the government is both increasing temporary worker protection and penalising those whom take advantage of them.


For those coming from overseas then temp or contract roles are acceptable. If you are intending more than a short stay, immigration have reasonably tight rules around this. If your goal is to stay in New Zealand long term then a permanent role that offers a path to permanent residence is better.

In New Zealand there is a standard 20 working day annual holiday allowance for all, on top of this are another 10-13 statutory holidays, and strong provisions for paying overtime. There are good sick and special leave provisions and contributions to KiwiSaver, a long term savings scheme, is mainly compulsory. A standard working week is 8.30 to 5pm 5 days a week, this is subject to change dependent of industry and role - eg, mechanics may have a standard Monday to Friday, plus Saturday morning, or maybe rostered for on call, Saturdays or even Sundays.





Only an estimated 5% of employers actively recruit from overseas, so if you are applying for jobs, the lack of response can be deafening. NZ Opportunities specialises in this area with employers who will recruit from overseas, or we will guide them if it's their first time. The ideal situation is that you gain a job and complete all the work permit requirements whilst in your home country, get on the plane and start work upon arrival. This reduces risk to yourselves and makes the transition easier.


New Zealand work permits and permanent residence are generally both quicker and cheaper to achieve compared to other countries. Work permit processing can be anything from 6 days to 6 weeks or longer and accurate and full paperwork is required, otherwise delays will occur. Plan and be prepared by having some documentation in hand or organised, eg police clearances, unabridged birth certificates, evidence of work and qualifications.  If your occupation requires registration - eg medical, education, many professionals, trades such as electrical, plumbing etc then research the relevant NZ Association and gain registration or or discover the process whilst you are overseas. The work permit process is usually straightforward with most applicants being able to do this themselves. Permanent residence requires more process and evidentiary documentation and Licenced Immigration Advisors are able to do the whole job or assist with problem areas with permits or residence.  We have one Licenced Immigration whom we trust implicitly - Katy Armstrong at INTONZ - go to our candidate services page to check on state of immigration due to Covid and INTONZ services.


Above all for overseas people wanting to stay in New Zealand – plan early on whilst you have the time to alter your approach. Don’t be one of the unfortunates that leave this too late, to the extent of lacking options to gain permanent residence.

If you qualify for Permanent Residence we suggest you apply at the first opportunity as there are major advantages to having Permanent Residence in accessing New Zealand benefits after qualifying periods, eg higher education, housing schemes, pensions, whilst at the same time usually preventing you from failing Permanent Residence because of a later change of health and being made to return from whence you came.


NZ Opportunities has a unique approach to recruitment – we do not employ the standard volume based order taker model with large number of vacancies and large numbers of candidates – as recruiter's we are more proactively oriented to both the candidate and client vacancies we work with – we have high percentage of success with both placing candidates and filling roles – But note our business model is oriented to high touch and success for a limited number of both candidates and client vacancies - for candidates we headhunt vacancies or fill our client vacancies, and for clients we advertise and head hunt candidates both in New Zealand and overseas.

Candidates - We do not advertise a lot of roles, but we do create a lot of vacancies when hunting down a home for our candidates.  So being in the system by lodging your CV will mean you are considered for those roles as they arise. 
The same applies to Client vacancies – Employers should register their vacancies as we review hundreds of candidates when headhunting and some could be better suited to your role, we also have databases of candidates and applicants that maybe waiting for your role. When we have a vacancy we wish to place we actively headhunt until it is filled.



Candidate Portal: Lodge CV or Apply For A Role