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’s happening in your new community.

You’ll need to get your mobile phone working and get connected to Internet. You’ll also want to get access to TV, radio and news.

Mobile phones

Since you’re planning to be in New Zealand a while, you’ll need a local SIM card. So if you’re bringing your phone with you, make sure it’s unlocked before you leave!

There are a number of network providers to choose from, 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’s 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 you can use to access the internet - but not all. Make sure you check before you make a booking.

Alternatively, while you’re out and about exploring and job hunting, there are a number of ways you can access internet on the go. You can often find free Wi-Fi in city centres, or at coffee houses. Free internet and computer equipment is also available in public libraries, through the Aotearoa People’s Network Kaharoa (APNK), a partnership of our National Library of New Zealand with local libraries.

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

When you find somewhere to live longer term, you’ll 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’ you can use to find radio stations in your area.

Frequency Finder | RBA


As you settle into New Zealand, you’ll want to re-connect with what’s 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 NZ has news on the hour and also has a news website. Its midday news features a section called WorldWatch which features overseas news in more depth, while its International programmes have 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

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Page last updated: 19/09/2017

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