Why Move to New Zealand – A Guide for Americans

“Work to Live” rather than “Live to Work” Attitude

In New Zealand, you’ll get four weeks vacation a year, ten statutory holidays, and usually one regional “anniversary day” off.

New Zealanders generally do take their vacations. We work hard but we generally work smart.

No One Pushes Their Religion or Personal Politics in Your Face

Religion and personal politics are considered private issues by most New Zealanders. Religion is not generally a part of politics in New Zealand.

Although most New Zealanders are Christian, Christian Conservative political parties barely manage to win any seats in our elections (usually polling far less than 5% of the vote).

Our National Anthem is “God Defend New Zealand” but that’s about the only public religion.

New Zealand: Pretty but pricey.

Mild Weather

If you like hot weather, don’t come to New Zealand. Many summer days often don’t get out of the 60s in the South Island.

Winters are much less harsh than in many places in the US. If you don’t like hot weather then New Zealand is a great place. For example, if you want to be able to comfortably hike in summer.

Tip: The tops of the North and South Islands are your best bet for sunny weather, however Auckland is very humid.

Great Asian Food

New Zealand has many Asian immigrants. There are lots of Thai, Indian, Vietnamese, Korean and Chinese restaurants.

Outdoor Recreation Culture

There is a very strong outdoor recreation culture. If you’re interested in skiing, cycling, hiking, triathlon etc. you’ll easily make like-minded friends who you can train with, do weekend hikes with, or travel up to the ski fields with.

Smaller Portion Sizes

It’s easier not to be fat in New Zealand than it is in the US. If you move to New Zealand, you’ll notice that portion sizes are smaller and food costs are higher. No more ridiculously cheap specials on a quart of Mayonnaise at Costco to tempt you into over indulging.

New Zealand is Like America But Just a Little Bit Different

New Zealand is different enough from America to be interesting, but similar enough to feel very comfortable to Americans. Since almost all New Zealanders have grown up watching US TV and listening to US music, we’ll understand your cultural references but our’s will be new and (hopefully) interesting to you.

Less Being Defined By What Your Job Is

Part of the work to live attitude in New Zealand is that we don’t tend to care much if you’re a lawyer, a mature student, or between jobs. We’ll still make friends with you.

New Zealanders Generally Like Americans

We don’t understand some things about American politics (e.g., guns), but New Zealanders generally have a very welcoming, positive attitude towards Americans who move to New Zealand. (I’m an Amerophile. Find out Why I Love Americans).

photo credits: The photo used in this post is available for you to use on your website for free via this license.


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    No worries. Even most Americans don’t understand American politics.

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