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

Accommodation NZ$6,000 to NZ$8,000
Textbooks NZ$1000
Food NZ$2,500
Miscellaneous NZ$3,000

Other living costs

Bus ride from Unitec to the city centre NZ$4
Travel and medical insurance NZ$500 per year
A taxi ride per 5km NZ$8
Movie ticket NZ$14
One day of skiing NZ$250
Tickets to a sports event at Eden Park NZ$15 each
Tickets to an international music concert or theatre event NZ$45

Food and drink

McDonald's combo meal NZ$5.95 to NZ$7.95
A loaf of bread NZ$2.50
A litre of milk NZ$1.90
Coffee/cappuccino NZ$3.50
Lunch from campus cafe NZ$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.