There is a fairly wide selection of companies that can help with shipping to New Zealand. Expats should get quotes from several companies before making a final decision.

Although unfurnished accommodation is more common, it is possible to rent furnished accommodation in New Zealand. Depending on how long an expat intends to stay in New Zealand, it may be worth leaving household belongings in storage in their home country if they plan to return.

Shipping personal belongings to New Zealand

Shipping times vary depending on where a person ships from. Most companies will be able to provide an accurate estimated arrival time. Forums and online testimonials are a good way to confirm this kind of estimate if an expat is unsure about information given to them by their shipping company.

Air freight is a popular and often faster way to ship smaller cargo. However, it costs more than shipping by sea (air freight is typically billed by weight while sea freight is billed according to the size of container). Still, some expats prefer to spend more on the cost of excess baggage to have their belongings arrive immediately.

It is advisable for expats to insure any belongings prior to shipping to New Zealand.

Shipping pets to New Zealand

Shipping pets to New Zealand is likely to be a large expense in terms of vet bills, permits, quarantine, as well as air transport costs.

Pets will need to be fitted with a microchip and must have a medical check-up in their home country from an accredited vet. They'll need to meet bio-security regulations for New Zealand, which are stricter than many other countries. The exact regulations that apply to an expat’s pet depend on the type of animal and the country of origin.

All cats and dogs, except those arriving from Australia, have to be placed in a quarantine facility for at least 10 days after they arrive in New Zealand. The facility has to be approved by the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) and supervised by official government veterinarians.

Expats should also be aware that there are restrictions on different types of animals. Certain breeds of dogs, such as American pit bull terriers, are not allowed to be brought into the country at all, and neither are guinea pigs, snakes, birds, and rats. New Zealand's Customs page has a full list of the animals and items that are prohibited from entering the country.  

More information can be found on the Biosecurity New Zealand website. Expats should be aware that importing animals is a complicated process. Therefore, the Ministry for Primary Industries recommends that travellers use a reputable pet relocation agency.

Expat Health Insurance

Cigna Health Insurance

Cigna Global

With 86 million customer relationships in over 200 countries, Cigna Global has unrivalled experience in dealing with varied and unique medical situations and delivering high standards of service wherever you live in the world.

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GeoBlue International Health Insurance


GeoBlue is one of the best international health insurance plans for US expats abroad or internationals residing in the USA. The GeoBlue Xplorer plan includes worldwide coverage and great customer service with access to a premium international network of hospitals and doctors including the Blue Cross Blue Shield network in the USA.

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Aetna International, offering comprehensive global medical coverage, has a network of 1.3 million medical providers worldwide. You will have the flexibility to choose from six areas of coverage, including worldwide, multiple levels of benefits to choose from, plus various optional benefits to meet your needs.

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