Set up a bank account before you get to NZ. You’ll have enough to do in the first few days and having a local bank ready and waiting for you will make it all much easier. Plus, leaving it till you arrive can make it harder to give proof of address, making things harder still, at the time when you most need things to be easy.
You’ll probably need to settle at least a small sum of money in your New Zealand bank, even if you establish your account from overseas. Once you’re here, most ATM cards access nearly all banks. And the entire country is wired for eftpos – what Kiwis call payment by debit card.
There are four big banks which service the majority of the market (ANZ, ASB, BNZ & Westpac). These banks may generally have the most branches and online/mobile services. There is also a smaller Government owned bank: Kiwibank, and some other, smaller, privately held local banks. Some people prefer their New Zealand bank to be New Zealand owned. You’ll also find local branches of most of the largest European, Asian and American banks.
MoveList puts you in touch with up to three leading banks that have services for new migrants and international workers. All of the banks with MoveList allow you to open your bank account before you arrive in the country.