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New Zealand - Finding Employment

One of the main challenges faced by people looking for employment in New Zealand is meeting employers’ requirements. Just like other developed countries, New Zealand has been adversely affected by various financial crises that left many people in the country without jobs. By 1992, the unemployment rate was at eleven percent.

As time went on the economy picked up and by 2001, the rate of unemployment had dropped to five percent. The best sectors to find jobs in are information technology and accountancy because of a shortage of skilled professionals. Health workers such as specialists, doctors, and nurses are also in high demand. The New Zealand immigration website has two resources for job seekers: the Long-Term Skill Shortage List and the Immediate Skill Shortage List. They provide details on careers experiencing shortages of skilled workers.

To qualify for a job in the country, you need to be proficient in written and spoken English. Apart from your formal qualifications, it is important for your overseas qualifications to match New Zealand standards. The New Zealand Qualifications Authority is responsible for assessing foreign qualifications and determining if they meet the standards of the country. If they qualify, they can be accepted by local employers. For additional information about professional qualifications and job eligibility visit

If your profession requires you to be registered before you can practice, make sure you contact the professional body in advance since you may be required to undergo training or do an exam first. There are cases where the examination is held once or twice a year and conducted in a different country. Therefore, before you apply for permanent residence it is important to be registered with the relevant body. Occupations that require registration include barristers, architects, electricians, engineers, dentists, nurses, midwives, real estate agents, physiotherapists, medical practitioners, teachers, surveyors, plumbers, chiropractors, and veterinarians. The list gets updated periodically with new occupations being added. Degrees obtained from universities situated in western countries often meet the standards set by New Zealand universities.

There are plenty of employment agencies that match applicants with jobs. The government employment service is run by the Work and Income service, which is a branch of the Ministry of Social Development. The MSD was formed in 2001 to offer social policy advice to the government of New Zealand while delivering employment services and income support for its residents. The agency recommends that applicants should spend about 11 hours weekly looking for employment and that they should touch base with the agency once every two weeks. At times, those who enroll with Work and Income Service are asked to create a Job Seeker Agreement, which highlights their responsibilities and creates a plan for getting them into the job market. Parents and guardians caring for children under the age of 14 are encouraged to seek part time jobs.

The agency runs an online service that job seekers can access from their phones and laptops. The online job seeking service is updated every thirty minutes with new job listings being added. Other services offered by the firm include training and CV writing. For further information, you can visit the Work and Income Service website.

Employment agencies deal with all types of jobs including temporary and unskilled jobs. You can search for the contacts of the firms that you are interested in online. Some job recruitment agencies charge job seekers certain fees to match them with jobs. Others only charge for specific services such as CV writing.

Recruitment Agencies in New Zealand

Debbie Graham & Associates
Phone +64 9 358 0888
Fax +64 9 303 0254


Resource Edge

Phone +64 021 253 9435
General enquiries

Robert Walters
Level 9
22 Fanshawe Street
New Zealand
t: +64 (0) 9 374 7300
f: +64 (0) 9 374 7399

Depending on the season and the job duration, you can get casual, seasonal, or temporary jobs that can last from a few days to a few months. Tourism, hospitality, and agriculture are the best sectors for getting temporary or casual jobs. If you are not a migrant or a citizen, ensure that you are eligible to work on a casual basis first. There are working holiday schemes designed specifically to help young people look for casual or temporary employment.

New Zealand receives millions of tourists throughout the year. This presents a huge opportunity for people, including expats, to get jobs in the tourism sector working on the beaches, tourist attractions, shops, boats, hotels, resorts, lodges, and restaurants as waiters, receptionists, repair people, and barmaids all year round. Farms are always looking for casual laborers, especially during the harvest and shearing seasons. Work ranges from cattle herding to farming to picking fruits. The hours tend to be long and the work hard, but apart from the weekly wages, you are paid a piece rate and might receive free food and accommodation. Those seeking casual jobs need to be prepared to compete with the locals and to be persistent.

Read more about this country

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