Are you considering working in New Zealand?

If you are considering moving to New Zealand there are a few pointers I can give to get you started!

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Are you considering working in New Zealand?

I moved to New Zealand in 2008.  It was one of those decisions that crept up on me over time, without me even realising it was growing inside. Then in a moment we made a decision that changed our lives forever.

I had been working as an adjunct professor for a few years, visiting New Zealand to do work associated with that and each time I came I was asked if I wanted a job.  On return home we would talk about it, but the decision was always no. In fact, I worked to help recruit someone else to head up the Master Programme that I had been developing with local staff.

Then things changed:

  • My husband’s employment situation changed
  • We lost our last ‘parent’ and became the oldest generation in the family
  • The world was changing around us
  • And our kids were growing up spending too long in childcare facilities.

So, when I next visited and was asked about working in NZ, we sat and seriously considered the possibility.

We elicited our values for relationship, health, family, and work – and NZ stacked up pretty well on all fronts.

We had conversations with the children about images they held and meanings they resonated with – about moving to another country.

We future paced and imagined what if …

We listened in to our inner voices and wisdom, learning to hear and trust our heart and gut. Little did I know that in coming to New Zealand I would add mBraining to my tools box, weaving my medical imaging background around new neuroscience-based knowledge – opening up a whole new world of tools and techniques which I am so grateful to have.

So in 2008, armed with my new NLP Trainers certificate, I moved, with my family to Auckland New Zealand and have never looked back.

I worked as an Associate Professor in Health for nearly a decade and in 2015 moved full time into running my own business. I now offer Neuroscience Based Coaching and Counselling, using a range of modalities, and specialise in stress and anxiety.  I also offer training to equip others to handle life in a complex, fast changing world.

If you are considering moving to New Zealand there are a few pointers I can give to get you started:

1. Visas

There are a range of visas available, and it is worth seeking advice as to which is the one most suited to the sort of work you are going to be doing – as well as how long you wish to work here for.

2. Cost of Living


Like the world over New Zealand is facing some economic challenges. It is difficult to say whether it is going to cost more or less here – as it so depends on where you move from, so ask around about the major costs (and income) such as: comparative salary; housing; cars and transport; utilities; food; healthcare.


It is not cheap living in New Zealand – but also weigh up other benefits and wider quality of life in making your decision.

3. Safety

Like anywhere we have issues with criminal activity, gangs, drugs, racism, bullying (indeed we have a poor reputation regarding bullying in the workplace). We also have environmental safety issues to consider (e.g. volcanoes, earthquakes, Tsunamis; Cyclones).

What I can say as an individual living here is I feel safe walking the streets. And in a crisis community steps up – big time.

4. Wildlife

New Zealand boasts some amazing wildlife.  Our national bird the kiwi, 6 species of penguins, the heaviest insect in the world. Our relative isolation gives us a high proportion of New Zealand specific species and with 30% of the landmass in Natural Reserves, we work hard to protect our wildlife on land and in the sea.

And compared with our Australian neighbours we don’t have wildlife trying to kill us!  We have no snakes and only 3 spiders who can cause uncomfortable bites (not deadly).

5. Nature

The two Islands of New Zealand have quite different landscapes, from Fjords and glaciers to tropical beaches. Of course, we are the home of The Lord of the Rings, so you may be familiar with some of the countryside. And yes, we have powerful reminders of nature – in Auckland alone we have 50 volcanic cones and craters to explore (and only 13 significant eruptions in the last 1800 years).

We enjoy adventures and adrenaline rushes through many sports and activities from surfing, hiking, zip lining’ luge, skiing and heli skiing; canyoning; jet boats; zorb, caving, off road driving, sky diving and of course Bunjy jumping (to name a few).

It is impossible to do justice to what New Zealand has to offer in a short article. A multicultural society, that has a reputation of being friendly and welcoming. A natural environment with space and variety. Wildlife and natural wonders that let you know you are in a new and exciting place.

One ‘Study in NZ’ advert says:

The New Zealand culture is open-minded and welcoming to people of all countries and cultures. As a country we value kindness, tolerance and friendship. We’re open-minded and welcoming toward all religions and uphold the right to freedom of religion, worship and belief for all.  Kiwis expect everyone to be treated fairly and they enjoy feeling safe in their homes and in public places.,Kiwis

We may not have it perfect yet – but the aspiration alone hopefully is inviting and welcoming and who knows, before long you may be stood at customs hearing:  “nau mai haere mai” – Welcome. 

If you are considering coming to New Zealand – come and visit – check it out and ask around. Rub noses in greeting (Hongi), share stories, spend some time here and see what your heart, gut and soul say to you.

Suzanne Henwood
Suzanne Henwood (member article)

mBIT Master Coach and Trainer with a passion for healthy workplaces