Tāmaki Makau Rau mahi

Working in Auckland

There are a few things you need to consider before you start working in New Zealand. See below for more information to help with your career journey.

What do I need to start working?

IRD number

An IRD number ensures you comply with New Zealand income tax laws. You do not have to be a New Zealand citizen or resident to have an IRD number. If you are in New Zealand on a visa with work rights and you intend to work, you need to apply for an IRD number. You can apply for one of these using this form:

IRD application form

Knowledge of the Auckland region

Auckland is geographically large and sprawling. Some areas are difficult to get to due to lack of public transport options. It’s a good idea to familiarise yourself with the different suburbs of Auckland and the transport options available so you can apply for jobs in locations you can get to and from, easily.

Map of Auckland

Auckland public transport

Driver license

Some jobs require you to have a current driver license. Some examples include a porter (you may be required to valet park cars) or IT customer support (you may need to visit clients).

If you have an international license, you can convert your license to a New Zealand license if you need to. Information on how to convert your international driver license to a New Zealand driver license can be found here.

Minimum Wages

There are 3 types of minimum wage — adult, starting-out, and training. The adult minimum wage is $20.00 an hour before tax if you're 16 years or older. However, some exceptions may mean that you qualify for the starting-out or training minimum wage of $14.16 an hour.

For more information click here.

Volunteer work

This is an excellent way to learn new skills while sharing the skills you have with the community. Volunteering can take as little as one hour per week. You can volunteer on weekdays or evenings and weekends, and you don’t need to have specific skills or experience. Volunteering helps you to:

Meet new and interesting people
Add work experience to your CV
Develop self confidence
Increase your network of contacts
Become involved in your local community
Help people while doing something worthwhile
Put your study into practice 


What hours can I work on my visa?

Student Visa

If you have a Student Visa, you are allowed to work in paid employment for up to 20 hours each week and full-time during all scheduled vacations and/or during the summer vacation period.

Post-Study Work Visa (Open)

Once you have graduated with a qualification at Level 6 or above, you can apply for a Post-Study Work Visa (Open). This visa allows you to work full-time for 12 months for any employer in any occupation; although if you are considering permanent residency, you will be aiming to find work in a role that is related to your field of study. (This Post-Study Work Visa (Open) used to be known as the Graduate Job Search Visa.)

Future growth areas

Industries in identified future growth areas offer New Zealand considerable opportunity to increase its prosperity. Currently, Immigration New Zealand recognises three broad areas: finance/business, health and social services, information communications technology, and recreation, hospitality and tourism industries.

Essential Skills in Demand Lists
The Essential Skills in Demand (ESID) Lists help to ensure New Zealand’s skills needs are met by facilitating the entry of appropriately skilled migrants to fill identified skill shortages.

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