Like a work visa, this is a temporary visa and applicable only for the course and duration to which it relates. Before applying for a student visa you must have an offer of a place from a New Zealand educational institution confirmed in writing.
You must also have paid the course fees or have proof that you’re able to do so, and have evidence of sufficient funds to support yourself during your course of study. Sufficient funds usually means at least $1,000 per month (or $400 if your accommodation is already paid for) for short courses and a minimum of $10,000 per year for longer courses. This doesn’t mean that you will be able to live on this sum and you will almost certainly require more.
If you don’t have the money yourself, it’s acceptable to be sponsored by someone (either in New Zealand or abroad), but you need to provide evidence of sponsorship. A student visa allows you to work to supplement your funds only if you’re on a long-term study course and work for no more than 15 hours per week or during the Christmas period. However, if you can find a suitable job, you can apply for a work permit on the same terms as any other non-resident. If a period of work experience is part of your course, then the NZIS will usually grant you a work permit for that purpose.