Emigrating to Auckland
Located in the northern region of New Zealand’s North Island, Auckland is the country’s largest city and home to around 1.3 million people. With its relaxed style and multicultural population Auckland is a wonderful, cosmopolitan city.
Sprawling over an area of almost 60 kilometres, Auckland is larger in size than Greater London and is home to more than a third of New Zealand’s population. Nicknamed the ‘City of Sails’, the city boasts the largest number of boats per capita in the world and residents make the most of the beautiful surrounding harbours to take off and explore the seas during weekends.
Living in Auckland
You’ll probably want to rent a home initially and when looking for one there are a number of factors to consider - commuting time to work, schooling zones, access to motorway systems and safety and security. Some of the more popular areas people consider when they move to Auckland are:
- Remuera / Epsom – As they’re in the zone for two of Auckland’s top schools, these areas are highly sought after and therefore property prices are also more expensive. Homes are mainly single-storey or newer townhouse-style.
- Eastern Bays – Howick, Botany Downs, Pakuranga – there has been considerable expansion into this area of Auckland in recent years and as such the majority of homes are new, modern in design and largely maintenance-free. Traffic into and out of the Central Business District (CBD) can be heavy from here during peak times.
- Brown’s Bay and surrounding northern bays – particularly popular in recent years with English expats, these areas are located on the coast and are surrounded by great beaches. Access to the CBD is via the Auckland Harbour Bridge which is very heavily congested during peak traffic hours.
- Milford / Takapuna / Devonport – these areas are very popular due to their proximity to beaches, cafes and shopping areas. Housing is expensive here but there is a variety of different styles, many of which are beach-front. Devonport is linked to downtown Auckland and the CBD by ferry, giving you the option of a 15 minute ferry crossing to work each day.
If you choose to rent a property when you live in Auckland, you will need to pay a ‘bond’ of two to three weeks’ rent. Rent is paid in advance and if sourcing a property through a letting agent you will need to pay a fee of one week’s rent plus GST (Goods and Services Tax – 12.5%). So in total it is likely you will need to pay the equivalent of five to six weeks’ rent up front before you can move in.
Getting around the city
You’ll quickly find that most households in Auckland own at least one car, making traffic in the city a little congested. There is a good public transport system and as the local council is committed to constantly improving it commuters are encouraged to use the buses, trains and ferries wherever possible. However, you’ll probably find that you’ll want to purchase a car soon after you arrive, so you’ll be glad to know that driving is on the left-hand side, giving you one less thing to worry about.
It is possible to drive on an International Driving Permit (IDP) for up to a year after moving to Auckland, however during this time you’ll need to apply for a New Zealand licence. If you’re not planning to apply for a New Zealand licence straight away you would be wise to familiarise yourself with the road rules as there are several which will be different from those you’re used to.
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