Harveys Real Estate Papakura
call us on 09 298 4000
Licensed Agent REAA 2008

Local Information

Information about New Zealand

New Zealand is a modern country with a well-developed economy and a government structure based on the British parliamentary system. New Zealand is governed by a democratically elected parliament while still retaining ties with Britain through New Zealand's membership of the British Commonwealth.

Comparable in size and/or shape to Great Britain, Colorado or Japan, New Zealand has a population estimated at approximately 4.4 million - making it one of the world's least crowded countries. New Zealand has a sizeable rural population and farming is a major export earner.

Part of a unique and vibrant multicultural society, New Zealanders are embracing 21st century technology and culture in record numbers. New Zealanders have a background of quiet, rugged individualism, self-reliance and a genius for invention - qualities still evident in the population today.


The Landscape

You'll find a variety of awesome landscapes in New Zealand, all within easy reach of each other. Spectacular glaciers, picturesque fiords, rugged mountains, vast plains, rolling hillsides, subtropical forest, volcanic plateau, miles of coastline with gorgeous sandy beaches and large metropolitan cities.



English and Maori are the official languages of New Zealand, however English is the most widely spoken by all New Zealanders.



New Zealand has a strong education system with New Zealand students aged 15 years old being ranked in the group of second highest performing countries in reading, maths and science out of 41 nations in the International Student Assessment Programme run by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).  

Early Childhood Education

Playcentres, childcare centres, and kohanga reo take children from birth the school age (5-6 years old). Kohanga reo are Maori early childhood centres which encourage children to use the Maori language. There are also pacific island childhood centres like this. Kindergartens also cater for three and four year olds.

Primary Schools

Primary school education is compulsory for children from six years of age, but most children start at the age of five. Children spend two years in junior school and then progress through Standards 1 to 4 and in some schools, Forms 1 and 2. There are about 2,300 primary schools nation-wide in which children cover English, art, health, mathematics, music, physical education, science and social studies.

Intermediate Schools

In some areas, children aged about 11-13 attend an intermediate school for two years for Forms 1 and 2 (rather than attending these years at Primary School).

Secondary Schools

About the age of 13, children enter secondary school. These are usually co-educational, however in some larger cities they may be single-sex, particularly if they are a private school. Secondary school provides three formal qualifications, School Certificate (sat in the third year), Six form Certificate (sat in the fourth year), and University Bursaries and Entrance Scholarships (sat in fifth year).

Tertiary Education

There are eight universities and 25 Polytechnics in New Zealand that provide a wide range of vocational and academic courses. These cover a large number of subjects at various levels of specialisation.

About education in New Zealand - from the Ministry of Education


While the far north has subtropical weather during summer, inland alpine areas of the South Island can be as cold as -10° C in winter. Most of the country lies close to the coast, which means mild temperatures, moderate rainfall, and abundant sunshine. New Zealand's summer months are December to February, bringing high temperatures and sunshine. In summer, the average maximum temperature ranges between 20-30°C and in winter between 10-15°C.


View the current New Zealand weather conditions

Money and Banking

New Zealand operates a decimal system, with the currency being the New Zealand dollar ($NZ). There are $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100 notes, and 10c, 20c, 50c, $1, and $2 coins. All major credit cards are also accepted in New Zealand.

For public protection, banks are registered and all financial institutions must meet information disclosure standards.


The tax year begins 1 April. Employees have tax deducted from their income on a "pay as you earn" (PAYE) basis.


GST is also in place in New Zealand. This is a tax charged at 15% on the supply of most goods and services.

Driving in New Zealand

You can legally drive in New Zealand for up to 12 months if you have either a current drivers licence from your home country or an International Driving Permit. After 12 months you must gain a New Zealand drivers licence.


Recent law changes mean all drivers must carry their licence or permit at all times when driving. 


We drive on the left-hand side of the road, similar to Great Britain. Make sure that you check out the road rules before taking to the road. The "Road Code" is available from most bookstores.


More information is available from the New Zealand Transport Agency.


Those who wish to become New Zealand citizens must have lived in the country for at least 5 years before filing their application. They must also be entitled to reside permanently in New Zealand, be of good character, have sufficient knowledge of the English language and of the responsibilities and privileges attached to New Zealand citizens.


New Zealand's immigration policy aims to attract people who can contribute their skills and experience to local production and services. When considering an application for citizenship on occupational grounds, the country of origin is not a factor.

Another consideration on immigration matters is the reunification of families and the provision of settlement opportunities for refugees.


More information can be found on the New Zealand Immigration Service website.

About Our Regions:

North Island South Island
Northland Nelson and Bays
Auckland Marlborough
Thames/Coromandel Canterbury
Waikato Ashburton & Methen
Taranaki Mid-Canterbury
Bay of Plenty Timaru
Gisborne West Coast
Wanganui North Otago
Hawke's Bay Otago
Manawatu Mackenzie
Central Otago and Lakes
Hutt City Southland


Harveys Real Estate Papakura call us 09 298 4000 or email myharveys@myharveys.co.nz 319-323 Great South Road Papakura | Auckland

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