Before You Go | New Zealand Checklist

Whether visiting New Zealand on a work visa or tourist visa here a few bits and bobs to get you on your way:

For more details about work visas, tax numbers and bank accounts make sure you check There are also lot's of jobs for backpackers.

  1. Tax Number - IRD
    You will need a Tax Number (IRD) to work legally in New Zealand.
    Visit to apply. It should take around 2-3 weeks to be posted to you.
  2. Medicare
    There’s no free health care for overseas visitors in New Zealand, so you need to sort out travel insurance before you go. A 15 minute doctors appointment will cost around $75.  Make sure you’re covered for ‘dangerous activities’ if you plan to unleash your wild side.
  3. Bank Accounts
    When you start working, your wages will be paid into a New Zealand bank account which you need to set up. The main banks are Westpac, ANZ Banking Group and ASB bank limited. Just take your passport, proof of address (just ask reception at your hostel) and some money to get started.
  4. Your Mail
    New Zealand post office stores are open 9am till 5pm on weekdays, many hostels provide mail-holding or mail forwarding services.
  5. SIM Card
    Pre-paid SIM cards for your mobile phone are available from Vodafone, Telecom and 2degrees and can be found all over any city. SIM cards can cost as little as $2, all you need to do is ensure your phone is unlocked and top-up.
  6. Tax Returns customers get an average New Zealand tax refund of NZ$550. The New Zealand Tax year starts on the 1st July and runs until the 30th June each year. After the 1st July you will need to lodge your Tax Return. For more info check out
  7. Training
    Regardless of your previous experience, some jobs in NZ require you to be certified before you can even start work:
    • Duty Manager Certificate - Many bars require you to have a Duty Manages certificate before they'll consider you to work. If you are the sole worker in a licensed premises a Duty Managers certificate is a must.
  8. Embassy and Consulates
    The embassies and commissions are based in Wellington. The contact number for your embassy can be located at:
  9. Looking for work
    Try asking at your hostel, the staff live there so will have a good idea about what is available at that time. Also get online and check out:
  10. Enjoy Yourself
    With so much to see and do in this awesome country, make the most of your time and enjoy everything New Zealand would like to show you.

Heading to Australia? Read this checklist before you go!


Get 10 nights or more to spend at any of our hostels with the Bed Hopper Accommodation Pass