New Zealand, the island nation with a population of approximately 4.5 million people, is best known for its international rugby team, indigenous Māori culture, beautiful rolling hills, amazing hiking trails, picturesque landscape, and breathtaking national parks.
The landscape and scenery of this island nation are so beautiful that many feature films have been shot at this location, including The Lord of The Rings, Wolverine, The Hobbit Trilogy, The Last Samurai, and The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe – The Chronicles of Narnia, to mention a few.
If you have been mulling over the idea of moving to this island nation, you may want to preview some of the advantages and disadvantages of living in New Zealand.
- Pros of Living in New Zealand
- Cons of Living in New Zealand
- Pros and Cons of Living in New Zealand – Summary Table
- New Zealand Safety Overview
- Frequently Asked Questions
Pros of Living in New Zealand
In this article, we will review some of the biggest advantages of making the move to New Zealand.
1. Good economy and great job market
Possibly one of the biggest attractions to this island nation is the stable job market.
The NZ job market promises steady growth over the next few years.
According to the Ministry of Business, Innovation, and Employment (MBIE), there is a predicted growth in the economy over the 2023 to 2028 period of 2.5%.
The government, in particular, has been trying to lure foreign skilled labor to migrate to New Zealand as there are a number of shortages in key industry sectors.
This is primarily due to the fact that the country has an aging population and there will be a substantial number of job openings in the future.
These positions will need to be filled by skilled foreign labor.
Some of the industries that are currently most in demand for skilled labor include:
- Food, culinary, and hospitality
2. A great place to raise a family
New Zealand is one of the safer countries in the world.
In fact, the country ranks 77 out of 137 countries rated from most dangerous to least dangerous.
The country has a strong economy, a great education system, a relatively low cost of living, great healthcare, low crime rates, and beautiful scenery, including national parks and hiking trails.
This puts New Zealand at the top of the list of safe countries to raise children in.
3. English is the official language
One of the biggest challenges facing ex-pats in foreign countries is mastering at least one of the official languages.
Luckily, in New Zealand, that language is English.
Apart from the language, the culture is very similar to Western culture, which makes adapting quite easy with little to no culture shock when first moving to New Zealand.
In fact, the country is most similar to the UK and Ireland in terms of having plenty of rain and lush greenery.
The cultural influences in New Zealand are predominately European and Māori, which makes adaptation for Europeans much easier.
But, more importantly, the culture in New Zealand is very warm and welcoming to immigrants and foreigners.
Furthermore, the country boasts a very open-minded culture that values freedom of religion as it is very tolerant of all religions.
The people are kind, friendly, and the outdoors and nature.
Most ex-pats find it very easy to acclimate to the new culture.
4. Great quality of life
According to the Better Life Index, New Zealand fares rather well in all areas of life in relation to other countries.
The site goes on to explain that the people of New Zealand generally outperform other countries in areas such as:
- Social connections
- Civic engagement
- Environmental quality
- Life satisfaction
The quality of life is directly related to things like cost of living, availability of jobs, good education and healthcare, advanced infrastructure, and civic engagement.
It is well known across the globe that New Zealand residents live a high quality of life.
It’s no secret that New Zealanders have a very strong work ethic.
In addition, the residents of this country strongly believe in a good work-life balance.
Most cities and towns are strategically located close to either a beach, national park, a hiking trail, or a biking trail.
5. A beautiful country
New Zealand has been the backdrop for some major feature films, such as The Hobbit Trilogy, The Lord of the Rings, and The Chronicles of Narnia, to mention a few.
And, watching these movies, it is easy to understand why this island nation was chosen.
New Zealand has some of the most beautiful natural scenery in the world, including glaciers, landscapes, mountain ranges, and lakes.
In fact, New Zealand has been rated as the third most beautiful country in the world.
What makes this country so beautiful is that it is largely unspoiled due to a low population density.
Most of the population and development in New Zealand is in the north of the island, while the south offers the most majestic scenery.
6. The climate
If you have ever traveled to South Africa, you will have an idea of what a perfect climate is.
Warm summers, cool autumns, and springs, and not too chilly winters.
The climate in New Zealand is very similar to the South African climate.
That is why so many South Africans and Brits opt to make the move to the island nation.
But, it has to be stated that the climate does vary quite a bit in this country.
The far north experiences a sub-tropical climate during the summer, while the inland may experience winters as cold as -10°C (14°F).
January and February are considered to be the warmest months in New Zealand, and July is the coldest month in this country.
If you plan on traveling to the country, you may want to consider doing that during the summer months in December, January, and February.
This is also the time that the country sees the most tourists.
Cons of Living in New Zealand
As with any country in the world, there are some disadvantages to making the move to the island nation.
1. You are somewhat isolated from the world
While there are many wonderful things to love about New Zealand, one of the major downsides is that it does feel somewhat isolated from the rest of the world.
If you are an ex-pat that has moved here, you will truly understand.
Expats rarely move with their extended family when they migrate.
This means that your family is more than likely still in your birth country.
If you are planning a trip home, plan to spend hours in airports and days on the plane.
And, if you like to travel internationally on vacation, you may find that living in New Zealand can be a drag, for the same reason.
Not only will you have to spend additional hours flying and traveling to get to your destination, but you will also need to spend more money on the cost of traveling.
Furthermore, imported goods have a heftier price tag due to the distance of shipping.
2. A bit too quiet
As of 2020, the population of New Zealand was 5.084 million people.
The population is seeing a slow down in growth.
The country has largely depended on international migration for its population growth.
The slowest growth rate over the past few years has been in the year 2021 and can largely be attributed to the Covid-19 pandemic.
But a smaller population also means another thing.
While New Zealand does enjoy buzzing nightlife, it is nowhere near as busy as other bigger cities.
This means that New Zealand may not be as appealing to younger generations who may prefer the business of more populated cities.
It may, however, be more appealing to those looking for a slightly slower, more laid-back pace in life.
3. Tall poppy syndrome
New Zealand has an egalitarian culture.
This means that it is almost frowned upon to boast about personal achievement and those that do boast are quickly brought back down to size.
This is no secret and New Zealand is known across the globe for this the tall poppy syndrome in New Zealand seems to be having a negative effect on entrepreneurs and their well-being.
4. Housing prices
While New Zealand does present a high standard of living, housing prices in some of the more well-known cities are pretty steep in relation to the international housing market.
Auckland is one of the biggest cities in New Zealand and home to many immigrants, as many of the higher-paying jobs are in Auckland.
This has led to a housing crisis and the prices of properties for both buying and renting are going up substantially.
Many immigrants have pointed out that nearly half of their salaries go towards rent in this city.
5. Skin cancer
Sadly, there is a thinning of the ozone layer over the south pole which directly affects New Zealanders.
You would often see television advertisements featuring a talking bird imploring New Zealanders to wear a t-shirt, put on sunscreen, and wear a sun hat as protection against damaging UV rays during the 80s and 90s for exactly this reason.
The hole is not increasing and there seems to be evidence to support this, but it does pose a very real threat of skin cancer which affects all New Zealanders.
Pros and Cons of Living in New Zealand – Summary Table
|Pros of Living in New Zealand
|Cons of Living in New Zealand
|1. Good economy and great job market
|1. You are somewhat isolated from the world
|2. A great place to raise a family
|2. A bit too quiet
|3. English is the official language
|3. Tall poppy syndrome
|4. Great quality of life
|4. Housing prices
|5. A beautiful country
|5. Skin cancer
|6. The climate
New Zealand Safety Overview
READ THE FULL REPORT: New Zealand Safety ReviewSafety Index:
- OVERALL RISK: LOW
- TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK: LOW
- PICKPOCKETS RISK: LOW
- NATURAL DISASTERS RISK: LOW
- MUGGING RISK: LOW
- TERRORISM RISK: LOW
- SCAMS RISK: LOW
- WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK: LOW
Frequently Asked Questions
Does New Zealand have high crime rates?
New Zealand does not have a substantially high crime rate.
However, after the pandemic, there does seem to be a rise in violent crime.
It is not clear yet whether this is simply a trend or something more permanent.
What is the most common crime in NZ?
Burglary, harassment, and fraud are the most common crimes in NZ.
What is the most popular tourist attraction in New Zealand?
Of all the things that you can do and see in New Zealand, the two most popular tourist attractions include Fiordland National Park and Milford Sound, South Island.
What food should I try in New Zealand?
There are a host of delicacies that you should try in New Zealand, including NZ lamb, fish and chips, and Kiwi BBQ.
What is the official language of New Zealand?
There are three official languages in New Zealand; Māori, New Zealand sign language, and English.