Employment New Zealand - Employment in New Zealand

The New Zealand workplace is generally a very casual atmosphere.

In most industries, business attire is a lot more casual than many other countries and co-workers, even bosses, are rarely referred to by title.  New Zealanders place a great importance on achieving a work-life balance and sometimes offer flexible working arrangements such as job sharing and home based work.

Employers typically advertise for employees in local newspapers and online. You may even be able to seek work before you enter the country through a job search website. Once you are in New Zealand, you can sign up with a recruitment agency, who will find you a job based on your skills and work experience. You might also find employment through friends, or by handing your resume out to appropriate businesses.

If you are a student with a variation of conditions on your visa, you may work for up to twenty hours during the academic year and full time (thirty eight hours per week) during the end of year break.  Universities generally have organisations that help students find work.  You should also check the noticeboards on campus.  Student Job Search is a recruitment agency run for students by students, that can help you find work that fits around your study.

We offer information on New Zealand employment services. 

Get in contact with an immigration agents.

New Zealand Labour Laws

New Zealand has in place a set of labour laws intended to prevent employers from treating their employees unfairly.  Each industry has a set award rate, which is the bare minimum an employer is allowed to pay you.  This rate is the same for men and women.

Employers must ensure that your safety is not compromised when you are working for them, and are not allowed to discriminate based on your gender, age, race or sexual orientation.  Additionally, your employer should provide you with easy access to information about these labour laws.

Some employers offer cash in hand work. This sort of work is illegal, as the employer can easily take advantage of their employee. Cash in hand work means that you will not receive the benefits to which you are legally entitled under New Zealand law, such as superannuation, and can lead to employees being underpaid.  Finally, the consequences can be severe if the Inland Revenue Department finds out.  As a general rule, if your employer uses your IRD number, you are legally employed.

New Zealand Employment Opportunities

Opportunities in New Zealand to Boost Influx of Students, Travelers, and Specialists to New Zealand

After the major quake, many parts of Canterbury have been the center for growth and development. Key initiatives have been taken to invite specialists and students to work in projects based in this region and elsewhere in New Zealand.

International students studying in well-known colleges or universities in New Zealand will be given an opportunity to study and work in various sectors in New Zealand. One such initiative is in Canterbury and Christchurch. The opportunity is a part of the initiative taken by the New Zealand government to boost influx of quality specialists and international students into the country.

English Teaching
According to the initiative which would be carried on for 18 months, international English language students would be allowed to work 20 hours per week where they would work at  different job profiles in Christchurch and Canterbury. These students must however, furnish the basic criterion – they must study English language for 14 weeks at a quality education provider or participate in a Level 4 Foundation Certificate that has a minimum duration of 1 academic year.

The work opportunity could be at various industries or education hubs. Though this prospect for international students would give a part-time job facility to the students, it would nevertheless help more and more students to come forward to study abroad and simultaneously work in New Zealand.

Quality Education Provider
An education provider where the student must study to get a viable job in Canterbury must have a Category One status under the New Zealand Qualification Authority (NZQA)’s External Evaluation Review (EER) quality assurance system. Alternatively, it must have a 3-year or more audit cycle. If the quality education provider is a university, it would also suffice.

Some top eligible education providers are:
•    University of Canterbury
•    Lincoln University
•    Selected non-university quality education providers in Canterbury

Canterbury initiative is one such many initiatives taken by the New Zealand administration to attract quality immigrants into the country. Students or travelers getting work opportunities would be able to stay in the country without any economic hassles.

More Initiatives 
The opportunity at Canterbury is a win-win situation for both the students as well as the administration. While students get the part-time work facility, the administration gets eligible workers to boost the economy of the quake-hit region. Till now, working status was only provided to the English students who stayed on in the country on a long-term basis.

There are similar projects to provide work for immigrants in the country. As a part of promoting tourism from Asian countries, the tourism department has set up short term jobs for travelers to help them earn their traveling expenses while holidaying in New Zealand.

The Working Holiday Scheme arranged between various administrative offices have ensured an exchange of visitors from different foreign lands. The visitors would stay in the country for a year where they would learn foreign language, travel around, and learn the Kiwi culture. Education and tourism departments have been greatly involved to initiate the bilateral arrangement between the foreign country and New Zealand. One such successful arrangement has been done with Vietnam.

All in all, more initiatives are in the pipeline to ensure interactions between New Zealand and other nations. The government hopes to boost immigration flux through such initiatives.

Meeting the Demand for Matured Individuals – Corporate Managers and Associate Pros

Need for skilled workers, such as corporate managers, tradesmen, and professionals have increased over the years in New Zealand. If you are middle-aged and fall under the above group, you have a great work opportunity in the country.

The job market in New Zealand is quite upbeat as new recruits are being hired by various industries in Auckland, Christchurch, and Canterbury. And, this trend would keep rising in the next few years, especially in the field of information technology, accounting, healthcare, communication, construction, manufacturing, and technology where skilled workers are required. To add an icing to the cake, professionals with years of experience in their field would have a greater edge in getting lucrative jobs in the country.

Experience Counts

It is estimated that in 2012, there will about 25 percent increase of skilled and experienced workers. The idea is to boost growth and prosperity in the country. Skilled professionals with experience can enforce new ideas that are practically feasible. No wonder, such people are taking up top executive roles in major corporate firms today. Many turn into self-employed professionals or consultants after few years of service.

In areas where there is a significant growth and development, such as upcoming cities, the employment of skilled people with years of working knowledge has increased. West Coast, Marlborough, and Tasman are some of the growing areas where older people with experience have taken up coveted posts.

Traditional Jobs
New trendy jobs, such as those in hospitality sector, tourism, and computing have youngsters working in majority of the jobs. Middle-aged professionals still vie for traditional jobs, such as engineering, accounting, trade, fishery, and agriculture. Experienced people who are tech-savvy, eager to hone their skills even further, or take up enterprising jobs are in even greater demand today.

Projects at Hand
After the devastation in Christchurch due to a massive earthquake, the New Zealand administration has taken up a mega project “Rebuild” to construct the city once again. From Civil engineers to architects, designers, and general builders, professionals from various streams have been in great demand in Christchurch.

In mines, there is a constant need for learned skilled men, such as Geoscientist, Health and Safety Officer, Engineers with an eye for details, Surveyor, and Metallurgist. Special licenses must be earned to ensure the skilled forces know the intricate knowledge of dealing with risky endeavors such as mining.

Those having intuitive knowledge in handling project management, strategic marketing, and data modeling have lucrative openings at East Tamaki, Hamilton, Auckland, Wellington, and Airport Oaks.

Problems to Tackle

Recruiting only experienced skilled people can have its own set of issues. Although, many key projects in New Zealand would gain immensely by hiring the services of these professionals, the solution is only a short term one. In the next few years, these skilled people would retire and create a vacuum which would be difficult to fill in a short span of time.

Many industrial critics have pointed out that New Zealand should hire the best people at all ages continuously. Special focus is a must for skilled people with suitable work experience, but care must be taken to bring in youngsters as well.

Employment NZ

Travellers on a student visa who have a ‘variation of conditions’ clause may work for up to twenty hours during the academic calendar and full time (38 hours a week) during university holidays. You may have to pay a fee to apply for the variation of conditions clause, but you are not permitted to work without one. This does not include postgraduate students, or any work experience you do as part of your course requirement.

New Zealand’s labour laws are strict guidelines that prevent employers from taking advantage of their employees. Employers must pay you at or above the award rate (which is NZ$10 – 15, depending on the industry) and are not allowed to gender discriminate, i.e. you cannot be refused employment because of your sex, and men and women must be paid the same amount.

Everyone who works in New Zealand legally must have an Inland Revenue Department number. Depending on how much you earn, you may have to pay taxes (and depending on how much tax you pay, you may be able to claim a rebate.) Contact the Inland Revenue Department to apply for an IRD number. Your employer will need your IRD number before you commence work and will withhold any necessary tax from you salary.

New Zealand has many recruitment agencies that can help you find Jobs. Student Job Search is an agency run by students for students. Your university may provide job seeking services, or you can check the classifieds in the local paper.
Some people will try to take advantage of backpackers by offering them ‘cash work’. They will employ you (most frequently at farms and orchids as a fruit picker) and pay you cash, without informing the IRD. This sort of work is often poorly paid and susceptible to corruption.

If there is no formal record of your employment or the hours you work, you have no course of action if you are paid incorrectly, or not at all. You can also be fined if the IRD find out.

For more information, contact Immigration New Zealand on free call 0508 558 855, or visit their website. Your AA Education Representative can also assist with visa queries and assistance with finding work.

New Zealand Business Etiquette & Protocol

Relationships & Communication

  1. New Zealanders can be somewhat reserved, especially with people they do not know.
  2. Once they develop a personal relationship, they are friendly, outgoing and social.
  3. Do not appear too forward or overly friendly.
  4. They respect people who are honest, direct, and demonstrate a sense of humour.
  5. They trust people until they are given a reason not to.
  6. If this happens in business the breach will be difficult to repair and business dealings may cease or become more difficult.

Business Meeting Etiquette

  1. Appointments are usually necessary and should be made at least one week in advance by telephone, fax or email.
  2. It is generally easy to schedule meetings with senior level managers if you are coming from another country if the meeting is planned well in advance.
.  It can be difficult to schedule meetings in December and January since these are the prime months for summer vacation.
  3. Arrive at meetings on time or even a few minutes early.
  4. If you do not arrive on time, your behaviour may be interpreted as indicating that you are unreliable or that you think your time is more important than the person with whom you are meeting.
  5. Meetings are generally relaxed; however, they are serious events.
  6. Expect a brief amount of small talk before getting down to the matter at hand.
  7. If you make a presentation, avoid hype, exaggerated claims, hyperbole, and bells and whistles. New Zealanders are interested in what people 'can do' not what they say they can do.
  8. Present your business case with facts and figures. Emotions and feelings are not important in the New Zealand business climate.
  9. Maintain eye contact and a few feet of personal space.