Overseas applications - New Zealand

New Zealand's spectacularly beautiful landscape includes vast mountain chains, steaming volcanoes, sweeping coastlines, deeply indented fiords and lush rainforests.

Comparable in size and/or shape to Great Britain, Colorado or Japan, New Zealand has a population of only 4 million - making it one of the world's least crowded countries. It is a haven for those seeking peace, rejuvenation and relaxation as well as a playground for thrill seekers and adventurers. A temperate climate with relatively small seasonal variation makes it an ideal year-round holiday destination.



The north of New Zealand is subtropical and the south temperate. The warmest months are December, January and February, and the coldest June, July and August.

In summer, the average maximum temperature ranges between 20-30ºC and in winter between 10-15ºC.

Time zone

New Zealand is one of the first places in the world to see the new day, 12 hours ahead of GMT (Greenwich Mean Time). In summer, New Zealand uses ‘daylight saving’, with clocks put forward one hour to GMT+13. Daylight saving begins on the last Sunday in September and ends on the first Sunday of the following April, when clocks are put back to GMT+12.


New Zealand's unit of currency is the New Zealand dollar (NZ$). Coins have values of 10, 20 and 50 cents, $1 and $2; notes have values of $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100.

There is no restriction on the amount of foreign currency that can be brought in or taken out of New Zealand. However, every person who carries more than NZ$10,000 in cash in or out of New Zealand is required to complete a Border Cash Report.

Foreign currency can easily be exchanged at banks, some hotels and Bureau de Change kiosks, which are found at international airports and most city centres.

All major credit cards can be used in New Zealand. Travellers Cheques are accepted at hotels, banks and some stores.

Banks are open from 9.30am to 4.30pm Monday to Friday


Here is a general guide of what you can expect to pay in New Zealand for a few common items:

  • A hotel breakfast - NZ$1-$25
  • Dinner (3-course, no wine) - NZ$20 - $50
  • Lunch snack/sandwichNZ$5 - $10
  • Cafe lunch NZ$10 - $1
  • A postcard stamp to anywhere abroad NZ$1.50
  • Big Mac Hamburger - NZ$3.95
  • Cappuccino NZ$3 - $3.50
  • Kodak Film, 36 exposures - NZ$7.95

The Country

The Maori were New Zealand's first settlers. They made a journey from the legendary Hawaiki, probably in Polynesia to the north of New Zealand, about 1000 years ago. The great explorer Kupe, who legend says first discovered New Zealand, named the new land Aotearoa - Land of the Long White Cloud.

The Treaty of Waitangi

The Treaty of Waitangi, seen as New Zealand's founding document, established the country as a nation. It was signed in 1840 between leading Maori chiefs and representatives of the British Crown at Waitangi, in the Bay of Islands, now one of the country's most historic sites. The signing of the treaty began on 6 February, which has become New Zealand's national day, known as 'Waitangi Day'.

Economy and Government

New Zealand is a modern country with a well-developed economy and a government structure based on the British parliamentary system. New Zealand has long been a sovereign nation in its own right with only tenuous ties to Britain through New Zealand's membership of the British Commonwealth.

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