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 Living Costs in New Zealand

What do things cost in New Zealand?

International students may find that the price of some consumer and grocery items are less expensive than what they pay back home; while some other costs may be somewhat higher than what is expected in their home country. Overall, the pricing of most goods and services is more or less on par with those countries of a similar standard and quality of living.

A sales tax (Goods and Service Tax) of 15% applies to all purchases of goods and services.

Tipping is not a customary practice in New Zealand.

Below are the indicators of some common costs in Auckland, New Zealand (all prices in NZ$). Wellington tends to be more expensive, other regions may be slightly cheaper. Please note that these figures are only indicatory as of 2021, and the actual costs/prices will vary depending on your lifestyle, location and provider/supplier of goods and services:


  • Accommodation: $200 (if you share a flat) up to $360 per week (1 bedroom apartment in the CBD)

  • Electricity bills: $30 in summer/$40 in winter (per person, per month for a flat of 4)

  • Posting a letter within New Zealand: price starts from $1.50

  • Posting a letter overseas: price starts from $3.60

  • A cup of coffee: $4.50-$6.00

  • Eating out at a restaurant: $15.00-$40.00 per person

  • Big Mac Combo at McDonald's: $12.40

  • Prepaid mobile plans available from $20 per month

  • Basic laptop: prices start from $400

  • Broadband Internet: pricing plans start from $60 per household per month

  • Movies: $10 (with specials like movie of the week) to $23 per person + $1.50 booking fees

  • Bus and train fares with a tertiary student discount using an AT HOP card: $0.48 for city link, $1.70 for travelling within 1 zone and $9 for travelling within zones

  • Used car: prices start from $2,000 to $5,000

Here's a helpful estimation of the cost of living here in New Zealand created by Immigration New Zealand, which is created more for working people in mind.

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