Banking in New Zealand

We recommend opening a New Zealand bank account for your convenience as they are the safest place to keep your money. Our major banks include:

Automatic Teller Machines (ATMs) are widely available throughout New Zealand. Most New Zealanders use Eftpos (debit) cards instead of cash. We recommend bringing around NZ$300 in cash when you arrive to sustain your first few days here. Please make sure you deposit any cash on hand as soon as you open an account for convenience.

Opening an account from overseas

Opening a bank account in New Zealand is fast and easy. Some larger banks, including ANZ, Kiwibank, BNZ and ASB, allow international students to open an account before arriving in New Zealand. This means you can deposit money into the account for use when you arrive. If you open an account before your arrival into New Zealand, you must visit the bank upon your arrival to activate the account.

Opening an account in New Zealand

To open an account in New Zealand, you'll need to take the following documents to the bank:

  • A passport
  • Proof that you are a full-time student, such as a letter from Unitec or a fees invoice 
  • Proof of a residential address in New Zealand or an offer letter from your Hall of Residence
  • IRD number
  • Your Tax Identification Number (TIN)

After completing an application form, you will be given an account number. You can make deposits and withdrawals on the same day. Your ATM card is usually mailed to your residential address within a few days of receiving your bank account. Take your ATM to the bank to select a PIN (security) number. You can use your ATM card instead of cash to buy goods and services or to withdraw money throughout the country. It is not considered an acceptable form of identification, so you need to carry your passport or driver's licence.

Bank accounts

Most banks offer student packages. Types of accounts include:

  • Student current accounts that come with a cheque book. These accounts allow phone or internet banking, which is helpful for paying bills.
  • Savings accounts – earn a better rate of interest for money than a current account. The longer the term of deposit, the better the interest rate. 
  • Credit cards – International students can apply for a credit card.

For more information, discuss your needs with a customer services officer, personal banker or specialist migrant banker.

Estimated cost of living in Auckland

Accommodation:NZD 10,000-12,000 per year
Books:                NZD 2,000
Miscellaneous:   NZD3,000

So in total, you need to budget for approximately NZD15,000 per year.  Use the currency calculator to work out the equivalent amounts.