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Please be advised that the Embassy of Ireland, New Zealand website has moved and this page is no longer being updated. The Embassy website is now available at Ireland.ie/wellington.

New to New Zealand?

Here you will find some practical information on living in Aotearoa New Zealand.

Irish Associations and Community Support

If you have recently moved to Aotearoa New Zealand, you may wish to meet with other Irish citizens who are part of a local organisation or business network that can provide you with general advice, information and guidance.

There is a robust diaspora community in New Zealand. There are many GAA clubs, Irish Dancing groups, Irish Business Groups and Irish Clubs and Societies around the country. For a comprehensive list and more information on these clubs, sports and cultural groups around Aotearoa we suggest you visit the Friends of Ireland website www.friendsofireland.co.nz.

The Friends of Ireland website also has a number of resources for Irish citizens providing information on welfare, wellbeing and working in New Zealand.

Health Care

The New Zealand government subsidises the health care system. As a migrant, you may be eligible to benefit from the country's public healthcare system if:

  • You hold a residence visa or;
  • You have a work visa that's valid for two years or more.

New Zealand's subsidised healthcare system provides immediate access for urgent treatments but has waiting lists for non-urgent services. Because of these potential delays at some stages of the public system, many New Zealanders and eligible migrants chose to get health insurance. Insurance of this kind avoids queues as well as giving access to private hospitals.

There are several different health insurance providers, and their prices and services can accommodate most people's requirements.

If you do not hold an appropriate visa you are strongly urged to get travel insurance.

Culture and Language of New Zealand

Aotearoa is the Māori name for New Zealand and is often used interchangeably with New Zealand by most New Zealanders. In fact, English, Te Reo Māori (the Māori language) and New Zealand sign language are the official languages of Aotearoa. You will often hear New Zealanders using Māori in their everyday speech. Its usage is quite prevalent in government departments. Māori culture is more predominant in the North Island. New Zealand has a very diverse community.