Living costs

As well as the exchange rate, the cost of living depends on your personal requirements and standards.

Research shows that the cost of living in New Zealand is considerably cheaper than many other English-speaking countries, such as the United Kingdom, the United States and Australia. As a guide, allow NZ$10,000 to NZ$12,000 per year for general living costs, including accommodation.

The following is a breakdown of approximate living costs for one academic year:

Accommodation and course-related costs per academic year

AccommodationNZ$6,000 to NZ$8,000
TextbooksNZ$1000
FoodNZ$2,500
MiscellaneousNZ$3,000

Other living costs

Bus ride from Unitec to the city centreNZ$4
Travel and medical insuranceNZ$500 per year
A taxi ride per 5kmNZ$8
Movie ticketNZ$14
One day of skiingNZ$250
Tickets to a sports event at Eden ParkNZ$15 each
Tickets to an international music concert or theatre eventNZ$45

Food and drink

McDonald's combo mealNZ$5.95 to NZ$7.95
A loaf of breadNZ$2.50
A litre of milkNZ$1.90
Coffee/cappuccinoNZ$3.50
Lunch from campus cafeNZ$5 to NZ$10

Cars and associated costs

If you own a car allow up to NZ$1000 a year for running costs. These costs will be made up of:

  • Car insurance – this is usually an annual premium
  • Warrant of Fitness (WoF) – cars that are six years or older require a new WoF every six months; under six years old they only require a WoF annually
  • Car registration – you can pay for either six or twelve months
  • Fuel and oil
  • Car and tyre maintenance/servicing.

The Automobile Association (AA) has information on the costs of running a car, and lists cars for sale.

Costs for dependants of student permit holders

If you hold a New Zealand study permit, your dependents will need medical insurance. As a dependant, they will also be charged full-cost fees to attend schools, which range from NZ$4,000 to NZ$6,000 per year at the primary level, and between NZ$8, 000 and NZ$12,000 at the secondary level.

If you are studying a programme that is either postgraduate and/or listed on the short-term skills category, tuition fees for your dependants’ schooling may be free of charge. Your partner may also be able to apply for a work visa.

Visit Immigration New Zealand for more information.