New Zealand Cost of Living

New Zealand Cost of Living

New Zealand had a relatively low cost of living, in comparison to other countries around the world. While there is no way to determine exactly how much you will need to live in New Zealand, the following provides a rough guide. Unless otherwise stated, all currency is in New Zealand dollars.

Public secondary schooling is free and compulsory for students aged six to sixteen. This does not include the cost of uniforms, textbooks, stationary and other personal expenses. A box of ten pens costs around $5.00; a textbook can range between $20.00 and $40.00 and uniforms can cost anything from $300 upwards.

Polytechnics and universities generally charge between $10 000 and $15 000 per year for an undergraduate course. A post graduate degree starts at about $15 000 and MBA degrees are around $22 000. Your university should provide you with an invoice for the full amount.

Accommodation expenses can differ dramatically, depending on the type of accommodation you have chosen. While different universities and halls of residence charge different amounts, on campus accommodation is typically between $8000 and $10 000 for the academic year.
Rent can also differ dependent on the area. The average rent for an unfurnished, three bedroom home is lowest in Invercargill, at $225 per week, while Auckland Central is the most expensive, at $600 per week.

Public transport in New Zealand is inexpensive and easy to use. A train, bus or ferry ticket is usually around $2 for a student. Car ownership is much more expensive and not generally recommended, as New Zealand’s small size makes navigation via public transport fairly easy.

For an indication of general living expenses, this is a list of the average price of some household staples (as of February 2010):

A loaf of bread – $3.79 (1.90 Euros or US$2.60)
100g tin of instant coffee – $4.99 (2.50 Euros or US$3.40)
Packet of spaghetti – $2.18 (1.10 Euros or US$1.50)
4 pack toilet paper – $2.39 (1.20 Euros or US$1.60)
1.5kg (roughly 3 pound) bag of sugar – $2.48 (1.20 Euros or US$1.70)
1 litre milk – $2.33 (1.15 Euros or US$1.60)