- Purchase the complete Expat Arrivals New Zealand Guide (PDF)
Expats have a wide selection of shipping companies to choose from when shipping to New Zealand. We recommend obtaining quotes from multiple companies before making a final decision.
Furnished accommodation rentals in New Zealand are rare, although if an expat plans to return home after a short stay, it may be worth keeping their belongings there instead of shipping them.
Shipping personal belongings to New Zealand
Shipping times vary depending on the origin location, but most companies can provide estimated arrival times. Expats can confirm this information on forums and online testimonials.
Air freight is a popular and fast way to ship smaller cargo, but 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). That said, some expats still prefer to spend more on the cost of excess baggage in order to have their belongings arrive immediately.
It is also advisable for expats to insure any belongings prior to shipping them 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 and air transport costs.
Pets will need to be vaccinated for rabies six months before leaving for New Zealand, and proof of the vaccine duration will need to be acquired, in the form of a certificate. All pets must also be fitted with a microchip. The pet will then need a medical check-up in their home country from an accredited vet, as they'll need to meet biosecurity regulations for New Zealand, which are stricter than in 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. The New Zealand Customs Service 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, and it is therefore recommended that a reputable pet relocation agency be used.
- New Zealand Customs Service: www.customs.govt.nz
- Biosecurity New Zealand import health standards: www.mpi.govt.nz
►Read more about Travelling with Your Pets.
►See our list of recommended Relocation Companies in New Zealand.
Are you an expat living in New Zealand?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to New Zealand. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
Expat Health Insurance
If you’re thinking about taking out private health insurance, our trusted partner Cigna Global is very aware of all the difficulties that expats can face when it comes to healthcare in a new location, so they have created a range of international health insurance plans specifically designed for expats, which you can tailor exactly to the needs and ensure access to quality care for you and your family.
Sirelo has a network of more than 500 international removal companies that can move your furniture and possessions to your new home. By filling in a form, you’ll get up to 5 quotes from recommended movers. This service is free of charge and will help you select an international moving company that suits your needs and budget.