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New Zealand has a modern, efficient and well capitalised banking sector. Management of personal bank accounts is increasingly online and the majority of payments for goods and services are cashless.
Wellington was recently rated the most affordable international city in Australasia by the Mercer Quality of Living Survey (2016).
To compare daily household expenses between Wellington and other international cities try the Numbeo Cost of Living Guide. This useful expenses calculator will help you estimate your weekly take-home income and expenses.
Setting up a bank account is easy and can be done before you arrive. Most of our banks offer language assistance and special packages for migrants.
A full list of NZ banks and their credit ratings can be found through the Reserve Bank of New Zealand's website. All of the main banks have several branches in Wellington and ATM's located all around the city.
If you plan on working in Wellington, you will need an IRD number which is used for taxation purposes.
We use a marginal tax system for income and a Goods and Services Tax (GST) of 15% on personal purchases. If you know how much you will be earning you can use a tax calculator to estimate how much tax you will pay each year.
New Zealand's principal retirement savings scheme is called KiwiSaver and is voluntary for employees.
Kiwisaver is available to New Zealand citizens, or those entitled to live in New Zealand indefinitely. It is not available to those on limited Work Visas.
If you join Kiwisaver, then you can contribute 3%, 4% or 8% of your individual gross income to a KiwiSaver account, and your employer is required to contribute at least another 3%.
The Government also pays an annual member tax credit for people enroled in the Kiwisaver scheme.