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New Zealand facts
•    What is a kiwi?
The kiwi, New Zealand’s national bird, is a flightless bird with hair-like feathers and a long, slender beak that it uses to pull worms and insects out of the ground.

Found only in New Zealand, kiwi are active at night in the wilderness areas of the country. Be sure to visit one of the kiwihouses at many zoos where you can watch them under special ‘nocturnal’ lighting.

New Zealanders often refer to themselves as Kiwis, and the term is also used as a short form for the famous kiwifruit. On the stock exchange, the New Zealand Dollar is referred to as “The Kiwi”.

•    Wildlife
There are no snakes or dangerous wild animals in New Zealand, making it safe for visitors to enjoy outdoor activities.

New Zealand has a wealth of native birdlife and some interesting marine life, including fur seals, dolphins and whales.

Learn about our wildlife on the Department of Conservation website

•    Climate
The north of New Zealand is subtropical, while the south is more temperate. The warmest months are January, February and March; the coldest are July, August and September.

In summer, the average maximum temperature ranges between 20 and 30ºC; in winter between 10 and 15ºC.

Average daily temperature (High/Low)

The weather in Auckland is generally pleasant, however it can be unpredictable. You’ll need to be prepared for whatever the day may bring. In summer, have a light jacket with you just in case. In winter the wind can be very cold, so include a warm, waterproof jacket in your wardrobe. If you walk a lot, it’s always a good idea to have a raincoat or umbrella handy.

The sun is surprisingly intense in New Zealand, so protect exposed skin with an effective sunscreen when you’re outside. Look for an SPF rating of 15 or above. Sunscreen probably isn’t necessary in June, July and August, unless you’re outside for the entire day.

•    Time difference
New Zealand is one of the first places in the world to see the new day, 12 hours ahead of GMT (Greenwich Mean Time).

In summer New Zealand uses ‘daylight saving’ – clocks are put forward one hour to GMT+13. Daylight saving begins on the first Sunday in October and ends around the last Saturday in March.

•    Drinking water
New Zealand cities and towns have excellent water supplies and in all cases tap water is fresh and safe to drink. Water taken directly from rivers and lakes should be boiled, chemically treated or filtered before drinking to avoid stomach upsets.
•    GST(Goods and services Tax)
Goods and services tax (GST) is New Zealand’s main type of tax apart from income tax. All goods and services are subject to a 15% goods and services tax (GST), which is usually included in the displayed price. If the GST is not included in the advertised price, then the vendor is obliged to advise you of this fact before you buy.

GST is charged on virtually all goods and services supplied in New Zealand, except for the rental of residential property, financial services such as mortgages, loans and investments, and the sale of a complete business as a ‘going concern’ to a new owner.

When a business buys goods or services from its suppliers, it can claim a credit for the GST that the suppliers charge on these purchases. However, end-user consumers can’t claim a deduction for GST in this way. The effect of this is that the final consumer of any product or service pays 15% GST on its cost. Visitors can’t claim this tax back, however when a supplier ships a major purchase to a visitor’s home address outside New Zealand, the GST will not be charged.

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Cost of living
In general, while some things may seem more expensive and others cheaper, overall the cost of living in New Zealand is comparable to what you’ll find in any OECD country.

You’ll find we offer the same sort of consumer goods you’re used to, at competitive prices. Costs for imported items like cars, electrical and computer equipment and petrol are similar to what you’d find in Australia or other similar countries.

To give you more of an idea – one independent international survey ranked Auckland 61st in the world in terms of its cost of living, and Wellington 83rd, far better than other major cities.

More expensive cities included Hong Kong (2), Singapore (4), Shanghai (6), London (12), New York (16), Guangzhou (15), Sydney (31) and Melbourne (47) – showing that comparatively, New Zealand’s major metropolitan areas are more affordable than those in other countries.

Read more about Mercer’s 2015 Cost of Living survey.

2015 Cost of Living Survey | Mercer

•    The average family budget
Every three years or so our government Statistics Department surveys what households are actually spending. Here’s where the average New Zealand weekly household budget went last time they looked, in 2013.

Expenditure type NZ$ per cent
Food 192.50 17.3
Alcoholic beverages, tobacco etc. 29.50 2.7
Clothing and footwear 31.60 2.8
Housing and household utilities 272.90 24.6
Household contents and services 48.80 4.48
Health 27.10 2.4
Transport 158.30 14.2
Communication 35.80 3.2
Recreation and culture 107.20 9.6
Education 18.40 1.7
Miscellaneous goods and services 101.70 9.2
Other expenditure 116.30 10.5
Sales, trade-ins, and refunds -28.80 -2.6
Total net expenditure 1,111.40 100

For more details, please check New Zealand Now.

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Transport in Auckland
Auckland has numerous transport options. Investigate the cost and convenience of each option to find the most effective transport for your needs.
•    Buses
Buses are cheap, frequent and convenient. There are bus routes from almost every suburb to the central city. Bus lanes mean that catching a bus is often a quicker option than driving, especially during peak traffic hours.

For information about bus services, pricing, passes, and timetables visit the Auckland Transport website.

Discounts AT Tertiary ID Stickers allow you to get up to 40% off travel. If you’re enrolled fulltime, bring your Student ID card to get your AT Tertiary ID Sticker from the Go! Ticket Office in the City Campus quad. To find out more, visit the Auckland Transport website.

City Campus Go! Ticket Office The Go! Ticket Office in the City Campus Quad sells tickets and passes for most of the major bus companies.To see a list of bus ticket agents, visit the Auckland Transport website.

Tāmaki bus service The University offers intercampus bus services for both students and staff of the University that run between the City and Tāmaki campuses.See Tāmaki bus service.

•    Trains
Trains are a cheap and quick way to get into the city from the southern or western suburbs of Auckland. Trains run from Britomart to Glen Innes station (within walking distance of the Tamaki campus) on a regular basis.

For full details of train services, visit the Auckland Transport website.

•    Ferries
Auckland ferry services connect the central city to the North Shore and Eastern Bays. Ferries also travel to the islands of the Hauraki Gulf, such as Waiheke and Rangitoto.

It takes about 15 minutes to walk up the hill from the downtown ferry terminal in Quay Street to the City Campus. You can also catch a bus from Britomart or the bottom of Queen Street to the City Campus.

Fullers ferry service Fullers is the main operator of passenger ferry services in Auckland harbour. Fullers also runs ferry cruises and tourist trips, which are a great way to see Auckland from the sea.To find out more, visit the Fullers website.

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Banking in New Zealand
How to get a New Zealand bank account, plus some money management tips.

Why put your money in the bank?

It’s not a good idea to carry large amounts of cash around with you or hide your money at home. Instead, keep it safe in a bank account.

Advantages of a bank account:

  • Your money is safe, but still easily accessible.
  • You can earn interest on credit balances.
  • You can purchase items with an EFTPOS card, so there’s no need to carry a lot of cash around.
  • You can transfer and receive money from within New Zealand or overseas easily, quickly and safely.
  • You can use bank statements to track spending, which helps you to live within your budget.
Types of bank accounts
  • Current account: Ideal for everyday use, such as buying food and paying bills. This type of account, also known as a cheque account, may pay interest on credit balances.
  • Savings account: Ideal for any spare money that you don’t need to use for day-to-day living. Earns a higher rate of interest.

Some banks, such as ANZ, offer an ‘International Student Package’ with special benefits for international students. It’s also possible to open more specialised accounts, such as foreign currency accounts.

Opening a bank account

To open a bank account, you will need:

  • Your passport
  • A residential address in Auckland
  • An opening deposit
  • Proof that you are a student (such as a fees receipt or a letter of offer) if you want to take advantage of a special international or tertiary student package.
Accessing your money

When your account is opened, you will be given an account number. With this account number you are able to make deposits (including international payments) and withdrawals immediately. You will also receive an ATM (Automatic Teller Machine) card in the mail.

ATMs (also known as cashpoint or money machines) allow you to withdraw money 24 hours a day, seven days a week. They are widely available throughout New Zealand and on campus. ATMs also allow you to check your account balance and transfer money between accounts.

You can also use your ATM card at most shops, cafés, bars, restaurants, hotels and service stations to pay for goods and services electronically via EFTPOS. When you make a purchase with EFTPOS, the amount is immediately debited from your account. Because EFTPOS is widely available in New Zealand, you don’t need to carry a lot of cash around.

You can also check your account balance, transfer money or pay bills with telephone and internet banking. Ask your bank for details on how to use these services.

If you need to go into the bank, branches are usually open Monday to Friday from 9.30am-4.30pm.

You will be sent regular statements with details of all your transactions. You can choose to receive statements every week, fortnight or month, in the mail or electronically.

Which bank should you choose?

New Zealand’s major banks are Kiwibank, ASB Bank, Bank of New Zealand, ANZ, Westpac and TSB Bank.

ANZ has a special package for international students and has a branch at City Campus, located on Level 1, Student Commons, 2 Alfred Street. ASB Bank has a branch in the Owen G Glenn Business School building and there are a number of ATMs located in the AUSA Quad.

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Personal safety and emergency contact
Information to help you if you find yourself in an emergency and other advice about safety.

What to do in an emergency?

In an emergency (fire, crime or accident), phone the NZ emergency services free number 111 (including mobile phones). The emergency operator will ask for your name, address and the type of emergency. The operator will then send the appropriate service – ambulance, police or fire brigade.

Only use the 111 number to call the police when a crime is actually being committed or if life is at risk.

Essential safety advice
  • If you are walking home at night, go in a group and keep to well-lit streets or take a taxi instead.
  • Do not carry large amounts of cash.
  • If you must carry valuables, keep them hidden from view.
  • Protect your mobile phone. Register your phone with the operator and if it is stolen ask them to bar the SIM card immediately.
  • Take care when using ATM machines late at night. Do not walk away from the machine with your cash in full view.
  • Never keep your PIN number with your EFTPOS or ATM card.
  • Keep your home secure by locking all windows and doors. Leave some lights on while you are out.
  • Take out property insurance so that you can replace your property in case of theft.
  • Backup work on your computer regularly. Keep the backup disk in a special place, so that you don’t lose vital work if your computer is stolen.
  • If your credit and cash cards are stolen, inform the card provider immediately. Do not wait until you get home.
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Discover New Zealand
Things to do in Auckland

From nature walks to free outdoor movies, eating at a cafe by the waterfront, or attending a cultural festival like the Chinese Lantern Festival or Pasifika, there is always something to do in Auckland. For ideas on what to do in Auckland and information about nature walks, beaches, events, eateries and activities, visit the Auckland NZ Official Tourism and Travel Guide.

Weekends away

Get out of Auckland for the weekend and experience the many delights that the North Island has to offer. The following regions are a two to four hour drive from the city; visit their tourism websites for more information.

South Island
Baches, rental cars and campervans

Get a group together and rent a bach (holiday home) – it can be a very affordable way to get to know New Zealand. Check out these great websites:

If you want to explore New Zealand by car or campervan, check out the cheap rates on these websites:

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STUDENT ENQUIRIES
Phone: +64 9 3566688
Email us your query
Emergency Contact
Phone: +64 21 688365
Level 5&6&12,155 Queen street,
Auckland city, New Zealand