For many years, New Zealand schools and universities have educated foreign students from the countries of Southeast Asia and education has now become a major source of export earnings for the country. In recent years English language schools have been established for students from the region, particularly South Korea and China, but also many other countries.
Education in New Zealand is compulsory from age 6 to 16 years, though almost all children begin attending school at age 5 and often stay at school for 13 years, until 17 or 18 years old. Primary schooling is from Year 1-6 formerly J1-Standard 4, intermediate schooling is Year 7 and 8 formerly forms one and two, while secondary schooling is from Year 9-13 formerly forms 3 to 7. In some primary and secondary schools one or both of the intermediate years may be combined with either the primary or secondary years. There are also Middle Schools which cover the intermediate years and the first two years of secondary, but these are rare.
Secondary schools are also called high schools generally Years 9-13 and colleges generally Years 7-13. A college does not refer to universities in New Zealand unlike in some other countries, though some specialised single-subject tertiary training-centres may also be called colleges.
Primary, intermediate and secondary compulsory schooling is free for citizens and permanent residents, although some nominal fees are generally charged to cover consumable materials. Tertiary education is state assisted, with part of the tuition costs funded by the state. International students will need to pay for their education; in some cases this includes a national profit margin.
The Ministry of Education has established a Code of Practice that New Zealand educational institutions enrolling international students need to abide by. This Code of Practice includes minimum standards for the 'PC 'pastoral care of international students. Primary school students, or those age 10 or under, need to either live with a parent or else board in a school hostel. Additionally, older students, who are under age 18, may live in homestays, temporary accommodation or with designated caregivers. Where the institution arranges accommodation for students older than age 18 the code of practice applies to their accommodation situations also.
New Zealand citizens, permanent residents and refugees can receive financial assistance through loans and allowances, to pay the tuition fees and to attend tertiary education at Universities, Polytechnics, Whananga Māori operated universities/polytechnics and Private Training Providers. Overseas students will need to pay the full tuition fees and their own living costs while studying at a New Zealand institution.
Overseas students need to have a student visa and a reasonable level of cash to spend in order to undertake a course of study at a New Zealand based educational institution. Visas are generally valid for the duration of the course of study and only while the student is attending the course of study. New Zealand educational institutions will inform the appropriate immigration authorities if a student ceases to attend their enrolled courses, who may then suspend or cancel that student's visa. Educational institutions often also exchange this enrollment and attendance data electronically with other government agencies responsible for providing student assistance.
Outdoor and adventure activities include:
Aerial sightseeing helicopter and fixed-wing
Black water rafting cave rafting
Bungy Jump Queenstown, Auckland, Lake Taupo - the modern bungy jump was invented here by New Zealander A.J. Hackett.
Canoeing and kayaking on rivers and lakes
Caving Waitomo, Nelson, South Island West Coast, Te Anau
Fishing - trout some of the finest trout-fishing in the world, salmon, marlin, broadbill, sharks and many other salt-water species
Fly by wire invented here
Gliding - Omarama is one of the best places in the world for gliding
Golf - New Zealand has over 400 registered golf courses, from local clubs to internationally renowned resorts, offering uncrowded golfing and superb scenery.
Heli-hiking at Fox Glacier
Hiking - New Zealand has a number of national parks and other wilderness and forested areas, much of which is managed by the Department of Conservation. The activity known in other countries as hiking, trekking or bush walking is known as tramping in New Zealand and is a very popular activity for visitors and locals.
Hunting - several species of deer, wild pig wild boar, tahr, chamois, goat, wallabies they are protected in Australia but a pest here, game birds.
Lord of the Rings Tours that show the actual locations used in the filming.
Luge on concrete not ice Auckland, Queenstown, Rotorua.
Mountaineering - this was the training ground for Sir Edmund Hillary, one of the first two people to climb Mt Everest.
River jetboating - the Hamilton jet was invented by New Zealander William Hamilton.
Rugby - the national game. Major tournaments include the ITM Cup, featuring domestic teams; Super Rugby, featuring regional teams from New Zealand, Australia and South Africa; and The Rugby Championship, in which the national team, the All Blacks, plays the national teams of Australia, South Africa and Argentina. New Zealand hosted and won the most recent Rugby World Cup in 2011.
Sailing - New Zealand has produced many world-champion yachties and is the only country apart from the US to have won and successfully defended yachting's ultimate prize, the America's Cup.
Scuba diving and snorkelling, especially down to the sunken Rainbow Warrior at Matauri Bay, not far from Kerikeri.
Sea kayaking Abel Tasman Marine Reserve
Shark cage diving Kaikoura
Skiing and snowboarding including heli-skiing Queenstown
Swimming with dolphins Kaikoura, Bay of Islands
Swimming with seals
Whale watching Kaikoura
White water rafting Fox Glacier
White water sledging / dam dropping
Zorbing invented here Agrodome in Rotorua
To work in New Zealand you need to be a citizen or current permanent resident of either New Zealand or Australia, or else have a work permit or appropriate visa. If you are intending to work in New Zealand you should obtain a work permit along with any tourist visas you might apply for.
You will also need to have a New Zealand bank account, as the vast majority of employers pay using electronic banking rather than in cash; an Inland Revenue Tax Number, as witholding tax or income tax will be deducted from your wages by your employer; and a tax declaration form, as tax will be deducted at the no declaration rate of 45% unless you have a tax code. More information about New Zealand's tax system, including appropriate forms, can be obtained from Inland Revenue (http://www.ird.govt.nz).
The process of applying for an IRD number is between 8-10 working days. You will need to fill in the IRD number application form, and provide a photocopy of a passport or New Zealand birth certificate. It is possible to apply for the IRD number, then call the department around a week later to request the number by phone, however this will depend on the workload of the processing centres at the time. Calling the IRD requires several forms of ID, it is ideal to be able to provide your passport number and full address when requested.
New Zealand operates a simplified tax system that tends to collect more tax than people need to pay because employers pay their worker's tax when they pay their workers. The obligation is then on the worker to claim overpaid tax back, rather than declaring their income and paying any extra tax. Be careful though, if you choose to work in New Zealand and you stay more than 183 days in any 12-month period, your worldwide income could be taxed. New Zealand has double taxation agreements with several countries to stop tax being paid twice. A safe rule of thumb is to pay all tax demands and not seek claims for redress on any matter.
Being a foreigner means that your New Zealand income is subject to local income tax at the fullest levels. Although many people believe that they can collect all their tax back when they leave the country, this is not true. It may be the case that filing an income tax return may result in a small refund if working for only part of the year; however, this is not likely the case. Tax in all its forms in New Zealand amounts to around half of a worker's income.
New Zealand is currently 2013 still experiencing a period of relatively high unemployment as it feels the effects of the international monetary crises including the US Subprime loans and the European Euro monetary crises. Therefore, many positions are filled to capacity and many prospective employees are actively seeking work.
Seasonal work such as fruit picking and other agricultural work is sometimes available for tourists such as backpackers formally but always available illegally. More information about legal seasonal fruit picking work can be found at Pick NZ (http://www.picknz.co.nz/).
New Zealand has a number of reciprocal Working Holiday Schemes, which allow people between 18 and 30 to travel and work in New Zealand for up to one year and vice versa. At present young citizens of a number of countries from Europe, South America, North America and Asia can apply. These schemes are enormously popular and in many instances participants can apply to stay in New Zealand longer once they have completed their one year stay. Information on all the various schemes and application details can be found at: (http://www.immigration.go...)
If you want to stay in New Zealand long term, you should apply well ahead of time. New Zealand operates a points system for assessing applicants.
Refugee applications should be made before arrival since NZ has a formal refugee induction programme.
Those who turn up in a New Zealand airport arrival lounge without papers, claiming refugee status, may find themselves put on a return flight to their country of origin or in jail awaiting the outcome of legal proceedings.
For those considering long term stay in Christchurch the Canterbury Development Corporation has helpful information on living and working in Christchurch.