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Salaries and taxes

Wellington is the place to be if you want to work in an exciting and creative environment, and gain a decent pay packet too!

Getting paid

While working in New Zealand, you’ll either be paid an hourly wage or a salary. Minimum wage in New Zealand is $15.25 an hour before tax for adults over 16 years old.

Wellington is the place to be if you’re after a bigger pay packet. The median yearly earnings in Wellington is $49,000, compared to the national median of $44,700.

You’ll need to open a bank account so you can get paid. The main banks are ANZ, BNZ, ASB, Westpac and Kiwibank.

Take a look at Career New Zealand’s salary comparisons to see how much you can expect to get paid in your industry.

Superannuation

Superannuation isn't compulsory in New Zealand.

KiwiSaver is New Zealand's principal retirement savings scheme is and voluntary for employees. If an employee chooses to ‘opt-in’, then they can either contribute 3%, 4% or 8% of their individual gross income to their KiwiSaver account, and their employer is required to contribute 3%.

The Government also pays a $1,000 kick-start to your Kiwisaver account and an annual member tax credit.

Taxes

If you plan on working in New Zealand, make sure you get an IRD number. This is issued by the Inland Revenue Department (IRD) so banks and employers can recognise you for tax purposes.

Once you've got your IRD number and bank account, you can start getting paid. This means you’ll also start paying income tax, although it varies depending on your salary.

In New Zealand, you pay a certain amount of tax per dollar of income, depending on your salary. New Zealand personal income tax rates are:

  • 10.5 cents in every dollar for income up to $14,000
  • 17.5 cents in every dollar for income from $14,001 to $48,000
  • 30 cents in every dollar for income from $48,001 to $70,000
  • 33 cents in every dollar for income of $70,001 or above

For example:

  • If you earn $40,000 a year, the first $14,000 of income is taxed at 10.5%, and the rest is taxed at 17.5%.
  • If you earn $50,000 a year, the first $14,000 of income is taxed at 10.5%, $14,001 to $48,000 is taxed at 17.5%, and the remaining $2,000 is taxed at 30%. 
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