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Comparable living costs


The cost of living in New Zealand is comparable to all OECD countries.

Consumer goods are of a similar style and standard to those found overseas and are competitively-priced. Imported items such as cars, electrical and computer equipment and petrol cost are on a par with what you'd find in Australia or other similar countries.

Mercer’s 2012 Cost of Living Survey ranks cities worldwide – 1st place being the most expensive place to live. The survey lists Auckland (56) and Wellington (74) far better than many other major cities. Such cities included Sydney (11), London (25) and New York (33) – showing that comparatively, New Zealand’s major metropolitan areas are more affordable than those in other countries.

In New Zealand a Goods and Service Tax (GST) of 15% applies to everything except income and financial transactions.

Cost of consumer items

Washing machine

Movie ticket

Round of golf

Ford Focus (2.0L, 5 door)

Cup of coffee (flat white)

91 octane petrol (per litre)
NZ$2.00 - $2.25

42” LED-LCD flat screen TV

Milk (2 litres)

Pair of jeans

Big Mac

All prices at June 2013 and include New Zealand’s GST (Goods and Services Tax), currently 15%.

Planning your finances

New migrants sometimes find that the cost of living in New Zealand is more than they expected. Salaries for some professionals may be below equivalent roles in Europe and the USA, and our physical location and small population means some imported goods are more expensive.

Before you book your plane ticket it's a good idea to research the type of lifestyle you'll be able to afford if you were to move here. Doing so will mean you're better placed to enjoy our great country and settle into kiwi life without any financial surprises.

There are a number of pages on this site that will help you gauge the cost of living in New Zealand, including:

Settlement Support has additional information about day-to-day living costs.

To see what you may be paid in New Zealand visit the salary guides at Careers NZ, Trade Me and Seek.

It may also be useful to try Sorted's Money Planner to ensure the numbers stack up.


moving to New Zealand

Register your interest

Take the first step to a new life by registering your interest with Immigration New Zealand. We’ll send you personalised emails about job opportunities in your profession, life in New Zealand and choosing the right visa.


Day to day items: Milk, coffee and a burger

The survey lists Auckland (56) and Wellington (74) far better than many other major cities

2012 Cost of Living Survey