Moving to Wellington

Nicknamed “windy-Wellington”,  Wellington is a populous city with over 418,500 residents and serves as the capital city of New Zealand. Located at the southwestern tip of the North Island, snuggled up between lush forests and blue bays, the wonders of nature are limitless here. Well known for its funky cafe culture, hidden bars and award winning restaurants, foodies would definitely love it here.  

For those of you who are relocating to Wellington from the other side of the world, not only would you experience a change in the timing of the seasons, building a new life in a new city can be unnerving as well. With that said, here’s a short guide on certain things we found that would be of helpful to you, stay tuned and read on!  

Employment Opportunities

As a growing economy, Wellington boasts having various job opportunities. It is one of the few countries that were least affected by the global financial crisis and according to research, employment rate has been steadily increasing over the last five years.

In Wellington, getting a job isn’t difficult, especially if your skills match the ones that are in demand in the labour market. Currently, talents in these sectors are the most sought after for:

  • Engineering
  • Oil and Gas
  • Forestry
  • Education
  • Construction
  • Tourism
  • ICT and Communications
  • Health and Social services

All of these skills are in demand, with some of them being on a skills shortage list which can be found on the New Zealand immigration website. This list contains information with regards to jobs that have a shortage of workers. You would require a work or residence visa before you start working but you can certainly begin on your job search before you obtain the visa.

Websites like Workhere and CareersNZ are useful tools that you can use to begin your job search. You can also reach out to recruitment agencies like NewKiwis which would notify you immediately when a job matching your skill set is available.


Wellington is a hilly area, leaving it susceptible to earthquakes. Nonetheless, most houses and buildings have been earthquake-proofed, and thus it’s not a big issue to worry about. Majority of the apartments and town houses are located in the CBD (Central Business District) area, whereas villas, bungalows and cottages are usually found in the suburbs. A few common neighbourhoods include Miramar, Brooklyn, Oriental Bay and Mount Victoria. Sites such as Manage My Property, RedCoats and Homes could help you kickstart your search to finding the perfect home.

Educational System

New Zealand has one of the best schooling and education systems in the world. It’s education system was ranked the first by the Economist Intelligence Unit for providing future skills education for the youths. The New Zealand education system is world class, modern, and holistic. With most schools being government-funded, Wellington has a lot to offer students from early childhood until adulthood.

International schools are also available for your children if you would prefer for them to undergo an education system that is more similar to your home country, although the fees would definitely be steeper as compared to sending them to state-funded schools.

At the university level, Wellington is home to over three world ranked universities, inclusive of the Victoria University of Wellington.

Healthcare Systems

Wellington has a wide range of healthcare and medical services available for its citizens. After hours services are also provided at hospitals and pharmacies if you happen to be feeling under the weather at night. In addition, phone lines are also another option around to provide healthcare advice to you. For example, Plunket supplies medical advice to parents with children of ages 1-5 through all hours of the night, which is definitely something that can come in handy when you are panicky and can’t find a clinic nearby that is open in the wee hours of the morning.


Similar to the other cities in New Zealand such as Christchurch and Auckland, if you hold a driving license from your home country and it is in English, you are entitled to drive in Wellington for twelve months. In the event that it is not in English, you would need to have an official translation of your license with you or obtain an International Driver’s Permit. For those who are relocating for the long term, you would need to apply for a New Zealand driver’s license.

Note that cars in Wellington operate on a left-hand drive which might take some adjusting to before driving becomes almost second nature to you again!

Culture and Food

Wellington is a city composed of a vibrant culture of European, Pacific, and Maori influences. For the art lovers, you will be pleased to know that there are many museums situated in Wellington, such as the famous Te Papa Tongarewa museum. This museum highlights the cultural growth of New Zealand and is the number one attraction you must visit.

Wellington is also home to various beautiful beaches, monuments, as well as amazing food restaurants. The botanical gardens is definitely not a sight to miss as well!

For the beer lovers out there, you’re in for a treat as Wellington is labelled the craft beer capital of New Zealand. Don’t forget to visit Hannah’s laneway as well, which showcases the local flavours and a great variety of treats, and the weekend markets that allow you to enjoy scrumptious food while strolling through shops selling exotic goods and designer loots.

Wellington is definitely a great place to live in and there’s so much more to it than we know. ‘Cause afterall, when we think about Wellington, who admits to thinking about a pair of Wellington boots first before the country?

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