Sending money to and from New Zealand
The exchange rate that you secure when you want to transfer a significant amount of money overseas, for example the amount you need to purchase your new property in New Zealand, will affect the amount you can spend while in the country. We recommend considering your currency exchange as soon as you decide you want to move to New Zealand and research the best ways to send your money to New Zealand for your move. It pays to find a specialist currency exchange company to make your international payments. They will be able to offer you competitive exchange rates, as well as offering specific currency tools such as a ‘forward trade’, which allows you to secure the right exchange rate in advance, or automated orders, which let you make your international payments only when the exchange rate reaches the exchange rate that best suits you. This will allow you to move forward with price certainty, no matter what happens with the exchange rates in the future. Your specialist currency consultant will be able to monitor the markets for you constantly so that you can ensure you are making the most from your money and minimising the risks of exchange rate fluctuations.
Removals for your move to New Zealand
Arranging for removals firms to visit your home and offer you quotes for shipping your belongings should not be left to the last minute. By taking this step early you can be sure of a competitive deal and ensure you select the firm you feel most confident entrusting your treasured belongings with. When making your selection it is important to check your preferred removal company holds the international movers’ quality standards marque – FAIM (FIDI Accredited International Mover). New Zealand has specific rules on what you can and can’t take with you (or what will incur hefty custom costs). A good removal company will be able to advise you on what’s worth shipping and what isn’t.
Moving your pets to New Zealand
If you want to take your furry, feathered or even scaled family members with you, then you will need to find out the rules to move them to New Zealand. There is a significant yet vulnerable agricultural industry here, and as such there are strict rules on moving animals there. Dogs, cats and horses are generally the only pets allowed into both countries – and even then some breeds may be forbidden. It’s therefore incredibly important to make sure that you speak to a pet transportation specialist in advance, to ensure you are up to date with all rules and regulations.
Schools and colleges in New Zealand
Generally, children in New Zealand begin school on their fifth birthday – or on the nearest school day after it. However, school does not become compulsory until the age of six.
The majority of children here stay in education until they are 18, but your child can choose to leave school when they are 16 and with parental and/or school permission may even be allowed to finish their education at 15 if they have a full-time job lined up. Usually only children who are deemed to have found school a struggle throughout will be awarded permission to finish a year early.
The main qualification is called the National Educational Achievement Certificate (NEAC). There are three levels of NEAC: Level 1 (which is studied for in Year 11 – when your child is 16); Level 2 (Year 12); and Level 3 (Year 13). The award of any NEAC is dependent on your child earning enough credits in that particular academic year. Credits are awarded for completing courses and the standard of work they produce.
According to the most recent data released by the New Zealand Ministry of Education, 74 per cent of school leavers hold a NEAC Level 2 or above.
New Zealand Healthcare Services
Publicly funded healthcare is available for all permanent residents of New Zealand – or for holders of work permits lasting more than two years. To gain access to public healthcare you simply need to register with a local GP.
Publicly funded healthcare, however, does not necessarily mean ‘free’. While a number of healthcare service procedures in NZ do come without cost – including most hospital treatment, children’s immunisations and healthcare during pregnancy and labour – things like prescription drugs, ambulance services and even visits to your GP incur costs (although fees for children under 6 are often waived).
You can save money on these procedures by joining a Primary Health Organisation – a government-funded body which is operated by the District Health Boards. These are free for all NZ residents to join.
If you are only a temporary resident of the country (i.e. your permit only allows you to live in the country for less than two years) then you will need to take out private health insurance.
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