Please note: New Zealand Now content reflects pre-COVID-19 conditions and outlook. For COVID-19 related updates to visa and border requirements, click here.

Getting connected

One of the top priorities after you land will be setting up your electronic links to the rest of the world so you can check in with home, start chasing job opportunities and find out what is happening in your new community.

You will need to get your mobile phone working and get connected to the internet. You will also want to get access to TV, radio and news.

Mobile phones

As you are planning to be in New Zealand a while, you will need a local SIM card. So if you are bringing your phone with you, make sure it is unlocked before you leave!

There are a number of network providers to choose from in New Zealand, all offering lots of different plans. It can get quite confusing so give yourself some time to shop around.

Many new arrivals say they find calls in New Zealand relatively expensive, but texting very cheap. You can get mobile data in most places, though 3G data can be expensive. In some remote areas, you can only get 2G. The latest 4G networks cover many major population centres and are being rolled out further.

Will your phone work in New Zealand?

It is best to check direct with the mobile phone network providers. There are four main ones - Spark (formerly Telecom), Vodafone, 2degrees and Skinny.

Can I use the mobile I purchased overseas | Spark

Roaming in New Zealand | Vodafone

Check phone compatibility | Skinny


Internet in New Zealand

Most short-term accommodation in New Zealand comes with Wi-Fi that you can use to access the internet - but not all. Make sure you check before you make a booking.

If they do not have Wi-Fi, there are a number of ways you can access internet on the go while you are out exploring and job hunting .

You can often find free Wi-Fi in city centres and cafes. Free internet and computer equipment is also available in public libraries through the Aotearoa People’s Network Kaharoa (APNK), a partnership between our National Library of New Zealand and local libraries.

You may find that New Zealand’s internet may run slower than you are used to. Speeds are improving and planning is underway for ultrafast broadband.


When you find somewhere to live longer term, you will need to set up more permanent internet and phone connections. Our Housing pages have more information.

Where APNK Internet can be accessed | APNK

Compare internet providers | Broadband Compare

Compare internet providers | Glimp

Housing in New Zealand

Radio stations

New Zealand’s radio industry operates a ‘frequency finder’ that you can use to find radio stations in your area.

Frequency Finder | Radio Broadcasters Association


As you settle into New Zealand, you will want to re-connect with what is happening in your home country, around the world and in your new community.

There are major news bulletins on TV at 5:30pm, 6pm and 7pm. Check the Freeview schedule for details.

You can also get BBC news if you subscribe to pay TV.

The state broadcaster Radio New Zealand (RNZ) has news on the hour and also has a news website. Its midday news has a section called WorldWatch, which features overseas news in more depth. RNZ  also has international programmes that give excellent coverage, particularly of news from Pacific Island nations. Other stations here also carry regular news bulletins.

New Zealand’s two main online papers are Stuff and The New Zealand Herald.

Schedule | Freeview TV

Radio NZ

Latest News | Stuff

Latest News | The New Zealand Herald

Interested in coming to New Zealand?

Sign up to receive relevant job opportunities from New Zealand employers and practical advice on how to make your move to New Zealand a reality.