Getting Here

What to bring and what not to bring

This is a key dilemma for all of you looking at coming to NZ and in all probability the outcome will rest on your finances , but there will be a whole heap of emotion tied into this area as well……… be prepared.

Ultimately, the key questions are:
•    If I don't take it will I need to buy it over there?
•    If I need to buy it in NZ what is the cost likely to be, what are the exchange rates doing at the moment and will I sell it for sufficient money here in the UK?

Naturally, there will be a cost for shipping all your belongings to NZ!

You will need to take a really good look around the house and be hyper-critical of all your stuff and perhaps ask the following questions:

•    Do I really want this object?
•    When did I last use it?
•    How sentimental is it to me?
•    Why do I want to keep it?
We suggest you do this as a couple and question each other about your belongings………..but do try NOT to fall out over things.

Important Information
The following are some crucial points to follow when shipping your things across to NZ:
•    Make sure ALL your belongings are thoroughly cleaned of all mud and dirt and any rust is sanded down and painted over. If you can, get a professional steam cleaner in and get them to create you a receipt showing each item they have cleaned. Take any such list with you to show MAF [Ministry of Agriculture & Fisheries] here in NZ.
•    You should be able to bring over all your garden furniture, including wooden tables etc but again make sure they are clean and be ready to accept that MAF may want to fumigate some things, which will be at your expense!
•    Know what ship your container will be going on.
•    Keep a copy of the manifests of what is in the container with you when you travel to NZ.
•    Know the date of departure and the date and port of arrival.
•    Make sure you take appropriate insurance cover.

For more crucial points please contact us to find out more.

The big things:

The house:
If you are emigrating (and you really are committed to that course) sell the house! Ideally try and do this so it is all done and dusted before you leave as it is really difficult and frustrating trying to sort any problems from NZ - remember asking a family member to act as Power of Attorney is a poisoned challis as it is not theirs but they feel the burden of sorting the problems for you.

We would suggest that if it means having to go into rented accommodation or stay with family for a number of weeks/months then so be it!


This is a time when you need to be very careful what you say to your Estate Agent and to anyone who is apparently going to buy the house. Being extremely economical with the truth is the very best course. We have too many anecdotal stories of people about to leave (2 couples were actually on their way to the airport) when they have received phone calls from purchasers threatening to pull out of the deal unless a large sum is taken off the price. Believe me you do NOT need this added pressure so best thing is to not let on to anyone (other than your solicitor - and tell him not to tell anyone) exactly where and when you are going.

This may run contrary to your belief system but it is critical to your sanity, your financial well-being and you immediate future here in NZ.

Get prepared – assume the worst and that someone will try and ramp down the price. Decide what amount, if any, you would drop at that last moment. Deciding beforehand and therefore having a plan means that you will be better prepared to react and deal with the situation without too much added stress and ‘yes’ you need to be prepared to lose that buyer if they want to play silly games!

The car:
Unless you have a concourse status classic car, you have an emotional attachment to the car or the depreciation is more than the cost of shipping, don't even think about taking it to NZ.

It can be fraught with problems in shipping and getting it through Customs and MAF in NZ and meeting NZ safety and emission standards.
If your UK car is new and under UK warranties do make sure they are worldwide warranties and acknowledge up front that a European car will probably cost more to maintain in NZ because of the cost of spares – this will not be the same with Japanese models.

If you take our advice and look to buy here in NZ then jump on to various websites [see “motorcars” under our “helpful sites” page], see what is available and then go and have some fun in the UK test driving various models – it passes the time whilst waiting for Visas!

The furniture:
The key here is that it will usually take between 8 & 10 weeks to get here. In the interim you might either choose to stay in a motel or might be fortunate to find some furnished accommodation but most Kiwi rentals are unfurnished. There are companies in NZ who will rent you everything you need whilst you wait.

It does help you, and particularly any children, to settle more easily having familiar things around them when everything else is foreign!!!!

The simple truth is that you are not likely to get sufficient money for your possessions on the second hand market and certainly prices are lower in NZ to make up the shortfall between new and old and certainly the quality is not as you will find in the UK - even with a helpful exchange rate.

If you have white goods or furniture that needs replacing we very strongly suggest you replace them in the UK where the size of the market makes the pricing keener and where you will have access to better quality…….simply make sure that you unwrap from the manufacturers wrapping so your removals people can re-wrap.

For more information on furniture, please contact us.

Electrical stuff:
Bearing in mind the size of your container, bring all your electrical stuff. Fridges, freezers, washing machines, hoovers etc will ALL work here - just take the plugs off before you leave and put new one's on once here.

These should work but age may be a factor here. My TV was about 18 months old and contrary to popular belief and advice sought both in UK, Japan and NZ it did work. The TV pictures were being fed via the video and not directly from the wall to the TV……….and the video was purchased in the UK and seemed happy to run Kiwi videos (again contrary to comments made) and the DVD also seems to work although supposedly not a multi-regional one. Suggest you bring them and try them! At worst they won't work but could be used for play consoles and/or running UK videos through.

For the TV and smaller items suggest you leave the plugs ON but bring with you a number of multi-plug adaptors. By doing this you will only need to change one plug and all the others can plug in to the 4/5 gang sockets and work perfectly – there is no difference in power output here in NZ!

Landlines (digital) are not worth bringing as they will NOT work here although there is a way to make them work there are legalities around this and perhaps best avoided!

Some advice
Try and sort out what you don't want to take as early as possible and set yourself up to sell as much as possible. Larger stuff take to car boot sales and go to school table top sales and put ads in the local free papers.

Unless you really do not want items of clothing we suggest you bring all clothing and probably stock up on the basics - whilst in some cases it may appear cheaper here in NZ the quality is not always what you would get in the UK.....and remember once here you will be on Kiwi wages!

For more information and tips on what to bring, i.e. pets, please contact us.