How to get a job in New Zealand

If you’re thinking of coming to New Zealand to work for a few years, or maybe even to settle, you’ll need a work or resident visa. To get that, you’re likely to need a job.

New Zealand is a popular place for foreigners. Expats all over the world come to New Zealand to bask in the beauty of this country.

This page has practical information to help you find a job in New Zealand. As you’ll see, even if you’re not yet in the country, there’s lots you can do to get started.

Below is a selection of resources for searching for employment opportunities as a foreigner in New Zealand.

General Job Search Engines and Classifieds

With the sites below, you can expect to get a 0.5 to 1.0% response rate (people who will respond back to you to whom you sent your application/CV.) Nevertheless, I encourage you to give these sites a try as you never know what you will come up with or what connections you can make from a simple e-mail or application.

  • Swipetechie: Swipetechie is one of the best platform to get jobs update worldwide
  • Seek: Seek is one of the two largest job search engines in the country.
  • TradeMe: This site is the other large New Zealand job search engine.
  • CareerJet: CareerJet.co.nz is the New Zealand arm of CareerJet.com
  • Indeed: The New Zealand version of the big U.S. job search site Indeed.com
  • Backpacker Board: This site has job listings for travelers and backpackers.

Types of jobs

Farm work

There are thousands of farms of all sizes throughout New Zealand requiring temporary labour, particularly during busy periods such as harvest times or sheep-shearing. There are a number of organisations in New Zealand that assist you in finding work on farms in return for free food and board. You usually work a few hours a day and get to see New Zealand farm life first hand. Help Exchange is a free online listing of host organic farms, non-organic farms, farm stays, homestays, ranches, lodges, B&B, inns, backpackers’ hostels and others who invite volunteer helpers to stay with them short-term in exchange for food and accommodation.

Fruit picking and packing

Fruit picking is hard work and low pay, but it’s a good way to see another side of New Zealand life.

Hostel work

Many travellers work in a hostel, cleaning or on reception in return for free board and some spending money. The Budget Backpacker Hostel Chain (BBH Hostels) has listings on its website for people wanting to work in hostels in return for free board and/or pocket money.

Hotels and catering

Hotels, motels, lodges, restaurants and bars normally require barmen and barmaids, chambermaids, handymen, receptionists, and waiters and waitresses throughout the year.

Industry

Casual jobs such as cleaning, driving, labouring, portering and security work are often available in factories and warehouses.

Internships and work experience

New Zealand offers a Student and Trainee Work Permit which allows students to do work experience and internships in Zealand as part of their studies. This visa is specifically designed for students fulfilling a course requirement, medical and dentist trainees and jockeys. There are many work experience opportunities in agriculture, hospitality, tourism and services. Visit these websites to search for internships:

Apply directly to a company

You can apply to companies directly in New Zealand. This approach can be particularly successful if you have skills, experience and qualifications that are in short supply in New Zealand. Useful addresses can be obtained from trade directories such as Kompass New Zealand or from the New Zealand Chambers of Commerce and Industry.