When I first arrived in Auckland I was overwhelmed with the feeling of needing to sort my life out.
As this was the city I would eventually be living and working in, I thought there was no time like the present to start looking for jobs, searching for somewhere to live and exploring my new home.
Like anywhere else in the world, there are certain steps you must take to be able to work (and be paid!) as well as, little practical extras, which will help you along the way and make you feel like a fully fledged Kiwi.
When struggling to figure out what I needed to get done in my first week in Auckland, I thought it would have been very handy if I’d had a ‘to do’ list of things I needed to tick off.
Therefore, being the wonderful person I am, I’ve taken it upon myself to create one for any other travellers who are also thinking of moving (or already have moved) to this remarkable city. I hope it helps!
Buy an AT Hop card
Auckland’s equivalent to the Oyster card, the AT Hop card is an essential buy for if you’re planning on travelling around the city on a regular basis.
Costing only $10 (you don’t get this back like you do with the Oyster card) and cutting down your travel expenses on bus, train and certain ferries by at least 20%, it is an investment definitely worth making.
You can purchase your AT Hop card at most major train station.
Download the AT Hop app
Once you have your Hop card you’re going to want to know how/where to use it.
The AT Hop app enables you to plan your journey from A to B. Enter your start and end location and the app will tell you your nearest bus/train station, what time to leave your current location, where to hop on/off throughout the journey and your final arrival time.
The app only works with Internet so make sure you screenshot your route if you’re yet to sort out your SIM card…
Purchase a SIM card
An essential when it comes to new friends/employers getting hold of you, buying a New Zealand SIM card is a must in your first few days in Auckland.
Head to one of the big supermarkets who offer SIM cards on multiple different networks. I went with Skinny mobile as that’s who my friend is with. They also offer great monthly combo deals. I pay $16 (£8), which includes unlimited calls to the same network, unlimited texts, 100 minutes to other networks and 100MB of Internet (perfect for when you’re lost).
If you don’t plan on buying a new phone in New Zealand, remember to unlock your phone before leaving home.
Open a bank account
Probably the most important step of all, opening a bank account will enable you to be paid and consequently fund more travelling (wooo). It is a fairly easy process although, you do need proof of address, which if you’re staying at a hostel isn’t ideal.
I was lucky enough to have a letter from HM Revenue sent to my friend’s house, which I then used as my proof as address. I’ve also heard that if the person you are staying with writes the bank a letter confirming you’re staying with them this is accepted however, I would check this first as I haven’t put it into practice.
Once you’ve opened an account, make sure you also get a letter from the bank confirming that anti money laundering checks have been completed as you will need this to apply for your IRD number…
Send off for an IRD number
Your IRD number is a code, which enables you to be paid in New Zealand.
Once you’ve opened a bank account download, print and fill out this form and send it off with the relevant documents (copy of passport, proof of bank account/address etc). It took 2 weeks for me to receive my code so the sooner you get this sent off the better!
Sign up to Trade Me
Trade Me is New Zealand’s version of eBay. Selling everything from bedroom furniture to houses, it is a great place to start when looking for a room to rent.
Have a browse on Seek.com/recruitment agencies
If you are going to be looking for a job, Seek.com is a brilliant place to have a browse at current job vacancies. Advertising full and part time jobs as well as, both temp and perm, it has all job types covered.
I also signed up to a few recruitment agencies however, they were near useless – I didn’t hear back from any of them so instead, I’d recommend handing out CVs and sending off applications via Seek.com.
And finally, explore your incredible new home!!