Job hunting

How to look for a job in New Zealand

Job hunting

When looking for a job in New Zealand it’s best to leave no stone unturned – the more applications you make the better your chance of finding something suitable.

The way you market yourself is also important and depends on the type of job you’re seeking. For example, the recruitment of executives and senior managers is handled almost exclusively by recruitment consultants. At the other end of the scale, manual jobs requiring no previous experience may be advertised at Work and Income offices, in local newspapers and on notice boards, or may simply be passed around by word of mouth (i.e. networking). When job hunting you may find the following resources useful:


The internet is a useful option, particularly if you aren’t in New Zealand – not only can you get a good idea of the jobs available but you can also apply for jobs online. Useful New Zealand websites include the following:

 General Sites  (also has vacancies for Australia)



 Farming  (Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry) 


 Medical (Doctors & Nurses)  (Ministry of Health) 


 Skiing Industry 


New Zealand Newspapers

Obtain copies of as many New Zealand newspapers as possible, most of which contain job sections. Vacancies are advertised most days, the most popular days being Wednesdays and Saturdays.

New Zealand’s main newspapers are regional rather than national and include The Dominion (Wellington, employment sections in the Wednesday and Saturday editions, ), The Evening Post (Wellington, includes employment vacancies on Wednesdays and Saturdays, ), The New Zealand Herald (mainly Auckland news and vacancies with some national coverage, ), The Otago Daily Times (Dunedin) and The Press (Christchurch, ). It’s worth checking city libraries abroad, as they sometimes have New Zealand newspapers.

Employment Offices

Visit Work and Income offices in New Zealand. Jobs on offer are mainly non-professional, skilled, semi-skilled and unskilled.

Recruitment Consultancies & Employment Agencies

If you’re looking for an executive or professional position, you can apply to recruitment consultancies in New Zealand and abroad specialising in the kind of position you’re seeking. They will usually be pleased to help and advise you, whether or not you have applied for permission to live in New Zealand. On the other hand, employment agencies can usually help you only if you’re already in New Zealand and have been granted permanent residence (or, exceptionally, a working holiday visa).

Professional Organisations

If you’re a professional it may be worthwhile contacting professional organisations in New Zealand. Although they cannot find you a job, they can often help with advice and provide the names of prospective employers.

Government Departments

If you’re considering a position or career with a government department or another public body, it’s worth contacting the relevant organisation directly. It isn’t necessary to be a New Zealand citizen to apply for many official positions, particularly in areas where there’s a shortage of skills. The government periodically holds exhibitions abroad, particularly in London, mainly to attract young New Zealand professionals back to their country but also to attract professionals of other nationalities.

For many years the New Zealand Ministry of Education has welcomed (in fact, lured and enticed) teachers to fill vacancies in schools in order to combat a serious shortage. Vacancies are advertised through its own recruitment agency, Teach NZ, which operates in English-speaking countries worldwide.

The New Zealand police is also suffering a shortage of experienced officers, as several Australian forces (particularly Queensland) have a habit of poaching experienced New Zealand officers with the lure of a 20 to 30 per cent pay rise. Your local New Zealand Consulate or High Commission will put you in touch with the relevant government department.

Unsolicited Job Applications

Apply to companies directly in New Zealand, whether or not they’re advertising vacancies. Needless to say, it’s a hit and miss affair, but the advantage is that you aren’t competing directly with dozens of other applicants as with an advertised job vacancy. This approach can be particularly successful if you have skills, experience and qualifications that are in short supply in New Zealand.

When writing from abroad, enclosing an international reply coupon may help to elicit a response. Useful addresses can be obtained from trade directories (such as Kompass New Zealand), which are available at major libraries and New Zealand Chambers of Commerce abroad or from the New Zealand Chamber of Commerce and Industry ( ).


Networking (the term originated in the USA, although the practice is universal) is making and using business and professional contacts. You should make use of contacts in New Zealand and with any New Zealanders you come into contact with abroad, including friends, relatives, colleagues and business contacts.

If you’re already in New Zealand, seek out expatriate links such as clubs, pubs and churches. Generally people who have moved to another country are interested to get to know others in a similar position and are happy to pass on job tips or leads.

Further reading

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