With more sheep than people and more pine trees than sheep, expats working in New Zealand can certainly count on employment opportunities in the agricultural sector.

Most businesses in New Zealand have a standard five-day, 40-hour work week. Businesses are generally open from 8am to 5pm with a lunch break of between 30 minutes to an hour. That said, businesses often determine their hours according to the needs of their industry, employees and customers. For instance, it is common for employees at hospitals and factories to work outside of regular work hours.

The job market in New Zealand

New Zealand has become a very popular country for expats to immigrate to. This means there may be high competition for the limited jobs that are available. The biggest issue foreigners may face will be meeting the stringent immigration requirements. Foreigners with specialised qualifications and who are proficient in English will be most successful.

While the country is known for its agricultural output, other large industries in New Zealand include tourism, finance, and construction.

Occasionally, the government announces qualified personnel deficiencies in a specific job field. They will then actively recruits expats in that field. This is especially true for towns other than Auckland.

Skills deficiency announcements are published in the Essential Skills in Demand List published by Immigration New Zealand, which is part of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment. The list outlines the job fields and skill sets that are needed in the country. It's a good guide for expats looking for work in New Zealand.

Obtaining or qualifying for a job on this list allows employers to streamline the visa application process, as employers will not have to prove that there are no New Zealanders able to take the position that is applied for. The Essential Skills in Demand List is reviewed and updated annually.

Other industries in New Zealand that continuously provide employment to expat workers include IT, new media, medicine, construction and engineering.

New Zealanders are also known for being great entrepreneurs. There are many small businesses in the country. This bodes well for expats wanting to move to New Zealand to start up a business, as the government is open to entrepreneurs with a focus on job creation.

Finding a job in New Zealand

The official Immigration New Zealand website is a valuable resource for the most up-to-date information on industries that have a short- or long-term shortage of skilled workers.

Expats can also try searching for jobs through recruitment agencies, in the classified sections of major newspapers or on online job boards. One example is CareersNZ. This website is government supported. It provides helpful advice on finding a job in New Zealand as well as information on job postings for locals and foreigners.

Expats wishing to take up employment in New Zealand must ensure that they have a valid visa.

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