New Zealand

New Zealand

Retirement Rankings

Overall Ranking

Quality of Life

Integration and Acceptance



96.53 pts


86.82 pts


100.0 pts


56.76 pts

Category Rankings




Flight Distance




Migrant's Acceptance


English Proficiency


Cost of Living


Tax Optimization


Country Population: 5,261,362


In New Zealand, regional climates vary: North Island’s northern areas like Northland have mild winters and warm, humid summers. Central North Island, including Wellington, experiences more moderate temperatures and higher wind levels. South Island’s regions like Central Otago have colder winters with potential snowfall, while coastal areas like Nelson are sunnier. Each region’s weather patterns contribute to New Zealand’s diverse climate, making it unique for various activities throughout the year.

In New Zealand, average temperatures vary by season: Summer (Dec-Feb) sees 20-25°C (68-77°F), autumn (Mar-May) has 17-21°C (62-70°F), winter (Jun-Aug) experiences 12-16°C (53-61°F), and spring (Sep-Nov) enjoys 16-19°C (61-66°F).


New Zealand’s healthcare system offers universal coverage, funded largely by the government, ensuring free or low-cost services for citizens and residents. Public healthcare includes hospital and specialist care via GP referral, while private insurance offers quicker access to specialists and private facilities. The Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) provides care for injuries regardless of visitor or resident status.

The system covers emergency and essential care, such as surgeries or cancer treatment, for citizens and permanent residents, ensuring access to necessary medical services without significant personal expense.

Expats in New Zealand may find private health insurance beneficial, especially for specialized health needs or immediate access to specialists and hospitals of choice. While long-term visa holders are covered by New Zealand’s universal healthcare, private insurance can offer additional support, such as travel health benefits, during the initial months or for specific health conditions not covered by the public system. It’s crucial for expats to have a suitable plan that provides comprehensive coverage and fits their healthcare needs. The cost of private health insurance in New Zealand for expats varies based on factors like age, health, coverage level, and insurer. The estimated monthly cost for private health insurance in New Zealand ranges from approximately $26 to $130, based on the current exchange rate. ​

Flight duration

Flight durations from the US to New Zealand vary: from Los Angeles and San Francisco it’s about 13 hours to Auckland, and from New York around 17.5 hours. The costs can fluctuate greatly depending on the departure city, time of booking, and airline. Generally, economy round-trip fares can range from $800 to over $2,000.


new zealand

New Zealand’s status as the fourth safest nation globally, per the Global Peace Index, highlights its exceptional safety and peace, trailing only behind Iceland, Ireland, and Denmark. The country’s low rates of violent crime and terrorism, coupled with minimal petty crime, reflect its robust law enforcement and community involvement. Awarded a Level 1 rating by the US Department of State, New Zealand is recognized for its secure environment, making it an ideal destination for both residents and visitors seeking safety and tranquility.

Migrants’ acceptance

New Zealand’s ranking as second in the Gallup Migrant Acceptance Index underscores its welcoming stance toward migrants, reflecting the country’s inclusive and open societal values, which complement its global reputation for safety and peace.

Cost of living

The cost of living in Auckland compared to New York City reveals notable differences, with consumer prices in New York being 44.3% higher than in Auckland when rent is excluded. When considering rent, the gap widens, with New York City’s costs soaring to 87% higher than Auckland’s. Specifically, restaurant and grocery prices in New York are significantly steeper, with meals at inexpensive restaurants and mid-range three-course meals being approximately 96.5% and 67.1% more expensive, respectively.

Housing costs further underscore the economic disparity. Rent in New York is 177.7% higher than in Auckland, impacting both city center and suburban living spaces. For example, a one-bedroom apartment in the city center of Auckland is markedly more affordable than its New York counterpart, highlighting the financial advantages of living in Auckland over the bustling American metropolis.

Grocery items show mixed trends; while most are more costly in New York, some items like milk are cheaper. This data underlines the broader financial implications for residents and expatriates considering either city for residence, with Auckland offering a more economical living environment compared to the high costs associated with New York City.

In Auckland, an inexpensive restaurant meal costs around $15.26, compared to $30.00 in New York. For groceries, a gallon of milk is more expensive in Auckland at $7.33 than in New York, where it’s $5.91. When it comes to renting, a one-bedroom apartment in the city center of Auckland costs about $1,326.43, significantly less than New York’s $4,189.81. These figures showcase the comparative cost-effectiveness of living in Auckland over New York City in terms of dining, groceries, and housing.

Tax Optimization

tax calculator

Residents pay taxes on global income, while non-residents are taxed only on income from within New Zealand. The ACC levy offers comprehensive injury cover for all. For retired expats, New Zealand’s tax code doesn’t offer specific concessions; pensions from abroad are taxable. 

The United States and New Zealand have a double taxation agreement to prevent the same income from being taxed by both countries. This agreement helps define tax obligations for residents and entities that might be subject to the tax laws of both countries, ensuring they don’t pay taxes twice on the same income.