Balanced lifestyle

New Zealand has the work-life balance just right. It's why we consistently lead international quality-of-life surveys.

Get a career. And a life.

Working hard and getting ahead is important to us. We’re a well-developed, well connected country with all sorts of opportunities to advance your career.

But New Zealanders also believe life is for living. It’s about balancing a good day’s work with time for family and friends plus all the recreation and wide open spaces our country offers.

For the record, New Zealand was rated sixth in the world for work-life balance in HSBC's 2017 Expat Explorer survey. 

Expat Explorer Survey | HSBC

Balanced lifestyle (01:47)

Adrian Matthews - I think the key thing is to do your research and to have a good look around. Try and form some networks.

Bob Stimson - The more homework you can do, the smoother the transition will be.

George Manjooran - If you study the market well, it’s easy to get a job in New Zealand.

Adrian Matthews - The outdoors life is great out here. There’s a lot more space and the national parks are really accessible.

Rita Csako - The work-life balance here, I think, is much better.

John and Tina Evangelista - John: The kiwis have their own way of doing things and I think they’re more fun loving and more relaxed.

Diego & Gisele Abrianos - Giselle: Kiwis are so friendly as well. So we’re thinking about growing our family here.

John and Tina Evangelista - Tina: There’s lots of cultural diversity so wherever you come from you’re bound to bump into someone else who comes from the same country you came from.

Nicholina Adjei -The highlight of moving to New Zealand was the openness and the friendliness of the people.

Simon Shaw - People think it’s a long commute if you drive more than 15 or 20 minutes here.

George Manjooran - Apartments are all really close by so everything is easily accessible.

Lindsey Crummet  - New Zealand has become a second home to me.  I’d have to say it’s a small country with really big personality.

Diego & Gisele Abrianos – Diego: I’m saying to myself, man what a good choice to make for a life. What a good choice. (Giselle: Exactly).


100% Pure

Imagine a land the size of the UK or Japan with all the facilities of an advanced Western economy but a fraction of the number of people.

Less pressure on space and natural resources means we don’t have the pollution, congestion and health issues that you often find elsewhere.

It's one of the reasons New Zealand is one of the top three countries expats hoping to improve their wellbeing are most likely to relocate to, according to results from HSBC's 2015 Expat Explorer survey. 

Best place in the world to be an expat | BBC

Work-life balance

Here I think it is much better. When I finish, I finish and I can dedicate my time to my family."

Survey after survey proves New Zealand’s enviable work-life balance.

HSBC's 2017 Expat Explorer survey ranked us sixth in the world for work-life balance (and first for 'Quality of Life'). Overall, they voted New Zealand the third most popular place on earth for expats to live and work. 

The latest (2017) survey by global HR consultants Mercer again ranked Auckland as the third best city in the world for ‘Quality of Living’, after Vienna and Zurich, and first in Asia Pacific and Australasia. Wellington scored well too, coming in at 12th.

The UN ranks New Zealand 13th out of 187 countries on its 2017 Human Development Index. 

One of the largest global surveys voted New Zealand the 6th best place in the world for expatriates. HSBC’s Expat Explorer index reflects the opinions of almost 9,300 expats based in over 100 countries.

Relaxed pace of life

Our easy-going ways, uncrowded communities, relatively low crime rates and compact workplaces all mean life’s generally less stressed here.

Most migrants find the reality actually exceeds expectations in this regard. For example, according to HSBC’s 2015 Expat Explorer survey, more than three-quarters (77%) of migrants to New Zealand say their overall quality of life is better than at home. “Expats take advantage of this to stay for the long-term and 71% have lived in New Zealand for five years or more.”

New Zealanders find time for life’s finer things. For example, CNN rates Wellington one of the world’s eight great coffee cities. 

Leave entitlement

With the +20 days leave employers offer annually you’ll have plenty of time to enjoy the things New Zealand is justly famous for, soak up the scenery, experience an outdoor adventure or two, or to just kick back from work and relax.

On top of your annual leave, there are public holidays that can add up to another 11 days off work.

Learn more

Lifestyle choices

New Zealand doesn’t have the endless sprawls of high-density housing or rows of towering high-rises you find elsewhere. There's room to breathe and a wide variety of lifestyle options.

You can choose upbeat urban apartment living or a suburban backyard with room for children and a vegetable patch (we call this a ‘quarter acre paradise’). Alternatively you can go a little further afield and live by the sea or get close to nature in rural open spaces, perhaps with some farmland and animals (we call these lifestyle blocks).

Just be aware that New Zealand homes can lack features you’re used to. Many migrants notice a relative lack of double glazing, central heating or air conditioning - or install those features themselves.

Less commuting

Smaller, less crowded cities and towns make getting to and from work much easier. Expect to leave home at a decent hour, and arrive back with time to achieve something in the evening.

Auckland is the exception. Like any million-plus city it has noticeable peak hour traffic congestion.


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Page last updated: 22/06/2020

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