It can take a while when you move to a new area to fit in with the community and find out about local services. Moving abroad can seem even more daunting and the information that we take for granted here, such as the number to call in emergencies, is not so familiar overseas. So here is our guide of all the essential information you will need to know whilst you are living in New Zealand.
Where to Get Local Information?
Your estate agent should give you information about services in the local area and will be able to give you information on your utility providers.
The New Zealand government have a website set up to help migrants to settle into life as a Kiwi. Their Settlement Services site has a wealth of information and useful links, including a freephone number to call for information about your local area: 0800 776 948.
Telephone and Communications
Telecom New Zealand is the BT equivalent and they provide fixed line, mobile and internet services to consumers and businesses. Their sister company is AAPT.
As the telephone network is privatised you do have a variety of providers to choose from so it's worth comparing costs.
Most communications companies offer phone and broadband packages that run for a 12 month term and are priced around $70 - $75 for a basic package. It's handy to know that local landline calls in New Zealand are free. National calls will cost around 20 cents per minute at offpeak times (6pm â€“ 8am) and around 60 cents at all other times.
The international dialing code for New Zealand from the UK is 0064.
International directory service is 0172, national directory enquires is 018.
There are three main mobile phone providers in New Zealand and these are; Telecom, Vodafone and 2Degrees.
Because of New Zealand's warm climate, central heating is rarely needed and can be more expensive than in the UK. Heating is provided on a room to room basis or 'zone-based' so you choose which 'zones' in your house to heat up. Heating is commonly either by electricity or gas.
If you live in a rural area your gas may be delivered by bottle that is stored outside the house. Piped gas is usually only available in built-up areas.
To find out about collections and to order a new bin, contact Environwaste.
If you need the Police, Ambulance or Fire Rescue then dial 111.
Crimestoppers in New Zealand can be reached on 0800 555 111.
If you have a non-emergency health problem that you need advice on you can call the government funded Healthline on 0800 611 116 for free 24 hour healthcare advice.
Lastly, it can feel quite lonely and isolating being a newcomer in a different country. Luckily there are plenty of expat communities in New Zealand to help you feel more at home. British Expat is a community forum full of friendly chat.