Three Things Fijians Must Consider Before Moving To New Zealand

Every year many Fijians leave Fiji in the hope of finding better opportunities abroad but the reality of migrating from your island paradise comes as a shock to many. New
05 Apr 2017 11:00
Three Things Fijians Must Consider Before Moving To New Zealand
New Zealand, a country with many opportunities for people with different skill sets but also challenges.

Every year many Fijians leave Fiji in the hope of finding better opportunities abroad but the reality of migrating from your island paradise comes as a shock to many.

New Zealand is a popular choice for migration as it is still a relatively small country and is only three hours by flight from Fiji.

But what must you really consider before deciding if New Zealand is right for you? Here are the three key elements that might help you.



The very first thing is the weather. New Zealand is much colder than the islands and it is not only cold outside but also inside. The average house in NZ is not well insulated making winters freezing and power bills high.

Our summer only really lasts from December to February and even during summer if you are out and about in the evenings you will require a jumper or jacket. If you’re thinking of enjoying any of NZ’s lovely beaches then think again.

They are usually never warm enough to go swimming so that’s definitely something to consider if you’re a beach lover.


Cost of Living

One of the main reasons Fijians look to moving to NZ is the higher pay packets. The minimum wage in NZ is currently NZ$15.75 (about F$22.99) per hour which is five times more than the minimum wage in Fiji.

But don’t be disillusioned as this money needs to go a long way.

One of the major differences between the countries is that when in Fiji all expenses such as rental, utility bills, and groceries are generally monthly expenses.

In NZ, expenses are paid or calculated on a weekly basis.

For example, the average rent for a three-bedroom home would start at NZ$450 (F$656.74) per week.

The other costs is travel. Things in NZ are generally much further away from each other and without a vehicle life can be extremely difficult.

Public transport is not great. So where in Fiji you may be using taxis or buses to get to and from work, for NZ you will most likely would need to buy a vehicle at some stage.

If you have children then again there are so many hidden costs that families tend not to consider.

Schooling in NZ is free if you have a valid work permit or permanent residence visa.

However, there is still at $300 annual donation for all public schools which is really expected to be paid to the school.

The culture in NZ means that the average child will be involved in many after school sports, music or cultural activities that hold additional costs.

Although these activities are not compulsory if you do not get your children involved they will find it hard to fit in and assimilate into the Kiwi culture.

In NZ it is illegal to leave children under the age of 14 years home alone.  They must have adult supervision.

This means that if you are working full time before and after school care arrangements for you children come at a high cost.

In Fiji asking your neighbour or family and friends to assist in looking after your children is culturally more acceptable however in NZ it is unlikely you will be given any support from your nearest and dearest without payment.

Surviving on one income in NZ is very difficult and you will find that couples need to both work to sustain a decent standard of living.



NZ has two national languages, English and Te reo Maori. It is imperative if you are planning to move to NZ that your written and spoken English is at a high level.

This is really a basic requirement to be able to work in NZ.

In Fiji, the most commonly spoken languages are English, iTaukei and Fijian-Hindi.

But there is a huge amount of cultural sensitivity for people who can only speak one of the above three languages and you generally find people in Fiji very accommodating.

However, in NZ if your English is not good you will find that people are far less helpful and life can be a real struggle.

Greener Pastures

It’s easy to sit back and think that the grass is always greener on the other side but I urge you all to think carefully before making a life-changing decision to move to NZ.

Don’t get me wrong, NZ is an absolutely stunning country with many opportunities for people with all different skill sets.

But life in any country whether it be Fiji or NZ is not always a bed or roses.

Fijian-born lawyer Farah Khan is a Partner and Notary Public at Khan & Associates Lawyers in Auckland, New Zealand. She is an Immigration lawyer and consultant. Her contacts are and on Facebook page: FARAH




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