After obtaining a New Zealand Working Holiday Visa, chances are you’ll want to find a job. Some people may choose to travel the country before starting their work. Others may prefer to work first and play later. While I fall into the latter, there is no right or wrong way to enjoy your WHV.
There are several types of working holiday visa jobs in New Zealand. Some people move here with their career in mind and land jobs within the cities. Others arrive with the intent to party and travel, so they’re more comfortable finding temporary work in the countryside. Whichever the choice, there will be something for every personality and skill.
1. Office jobs
There are lots recruitment agencies who are eager to help people find working holiday visa jobs in New Zealand. While there are PLENTY to choose from, I would say the best and most responsive are:
You can either upload a generic cover letter along with your CV to the system, or you can apply directly. Since I moved here to bolster my CV, this is the route I’m taking. I preferred to cater my cover letter to those in charge during this stage, and always sent a follow-up email. PROTIP: I had the most positive experience with Ranstad. They were able to hook me up with a gig within the first two weeks of me living here.
2. Service industry jobs
While I can’t speak about the rest of the country, I can say that there are so many restaurants in Auckland. From fine dining to fast food, this city is a foodie haven with more than enough to offer. Print out a dozen or more copies of your CV and walk into the establishments at a reasonable time of day. Speak to the manager and inquire if they’re hiring. Send a follow-up email afterward to keep yourself in the forefront of their minds.
Another option is to check out the Restaurant Association of New Zealand for job vacancies. Most of the bartenders and servers at our local pub arrived here on a working holiday visa and were able to get residency as a result. It’s worth a shot!
3. Nannying/babysitting/au pair jobs
One of the most popular working holiday visa jobs in New Zealand is au pairing for families. There are loads of websites where au pairs and families connect, which I’ve listed below. Think of it as like online dating but with several strangers who ask you to move in as soon as you begin your relationship. But less creepy, obviously.
If an in-house job isn’t your cup of tea, you can always work as a nanny or sub in as a babysitter when needed. This is a great way to make some extra cash on the side while hanging out with little ones. For more information, check out KiwiOz Nannies, Rockymybaby or The Nanny Company.
4. Teaching jobs
If you’re a certified teacher or an unqualified teacher who applied for a New Zealand working holiday visa in Korea or elsewhere, this is an excellent option. If you’re an unqualified but experienced teacher keen to work with young children, there’s an abundance of centers throughout New Zealand in need of Early Childhood Education Relief Teachers. You can make a decent amount of money working as a relief (substitute) teacher depending on your schedule availability. This is actually the route I am currently taking as it’s flexible and enables me to dedicate time to my freelance writing, too. If you’d like to apply for this type of job, check out the New Zealand Relief Teachers website.
If you’re a qualified teacher, there are lots of options as well. I suggest browsing job boards and looking for a school that you feel is a good fit for you. Some of the more popular websites can be found on New Zealand Now, Teach NZ and the New Zealand Education Gazette.
5. Skilled worker jobs
If you have a specific skill such as carpentry, medicine or accounting, there will be a wealth of working holiday visa jobs in New Zealand for you to choose from. It may take a bit of extra research, but it’s definitely possible! If you’re interested in browsing jobs, I suggest checking out TradeMe.
The New Zealand government actually offers residency visas to skilled workers. If you’re interested in this route, check out the skill shortage list checker to see if you may qualify. Pretty sweet deal if you ask me!
6. Hospitality/tourism jobs
This is one of the more popular working holiday visa jobs in New Zealand. I have yet to travel down to Queenstown, but I’ve been told that’s where a lot of the kids in this realm are living. If you’d like to work in these services, you’ll have no problem finding a job. There are several tourism companies here who prefer to hire people who’ve traveled extensively, so even better if you’re moving here after a big trip! Walk into the shop or hotel with a big smile on your face, inquire about the opportunities and show ’em what ya got!
If you’ll be applying from the road en route to a new city, there are a plethora of websites you can use.
PROTIP: Many of the places I’ve seen strongly prefer job candidates who have experience traveling Australia. If you’re planning on coming to New Zealand after your working holiday visa in Australia or are an Aussie, this could be an excellent job opportunity.
7. Temporary/seasonal jobs
If you’re not looking to settle down in any particular town, this is an excellent option. The agencies I listed in #1 all offer temporary options and have headquarters across the entire country. This is perfect if you’re applying on the go. Again, I would definitely seek out the jobs that interest you and apply directly to streamline the process. Another great reference is this seasonal jobs board.
8. Retail jobs
There are always stores looking to hire. I personally find working in retail to be the bane of my existence, but if I were in need of a job I certainly wouldn’t turn down the opportunity. Many of the stores post openings on TradeMe or SEEK, both of which come in handy for all of the examples of working holiday visa jobs in New Zealand listed above and below.
If you live near a larger city like Auckland or Wellington, I suggest walking around the downtown area. Keep your eyes open for any job postings on the entrance of the stores. Either walk in with your CV that moment or make a mental list to stop by another time if you’re unprepared.
9. Sports-related jobs
Kiwis (the nickname for New Zealand natives for those who aren’t aware) are extremely active people. During my job hunt I came across a number of job openings for positions such as coaches, lifeguards and team managers. Similar to #5, this may require a bit of an extra effort, but it’s worth a try if this is something that interests you!
10. Farming jobs
And last, but not least, we have the most well-known types of working holiday visa jobs in New Zealand. In fact, I’m under the impression that some people think these kinds of jobs are all this beautiful country has to offer. While it’s definitely not my first choice, this is an extremely popular job route for hardcore backpackers and young people.
Since a large percentage of New Zealand accounts for farmland, it is almost guaranteed that you’ll be able to find something easily if this is what you’re after. There are so many opportunities here if you’re looking to get down and dirty or try something completely out of your comfort zone!
I met a guy in Cambodia who works in New Zealand as a beekeeper. He randomly accepted the new opportunity and was eventually offered a full-time visa. I think it goes to show, you never know where these choices and paths will lead you! If you’d like to browse through some farming jobs, I strongly suggest looking through listings using these resources:
Although there is no shortage of jobs in New Zealand, it doesn’t mean you’ll definitely be granted a residency or visa extension while you’re here. Despite this, do your best to put yourself out there and enjoy your time. If you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to drop me a line via email or in the comment section below! Thanks so much for stopping by and reading.