11 FAQs For Indians Who Want To Build A Finance Career In New Zealand

Build a Finance Career in New Zealand as an Indian expat

  • New Zealand is facing a brain drain as highly skilled natives move out of the country.
  • The country heavily depends on immigrants for consulting and strategy roles.
  • We have answered the top 11 FAQs for Indian Finance Professionals planning to move to New Zealand.

Q. What challenges might Indian Finance Professionals face when seeking jobs in New Zealand?

The New Zealand job market is competitive, and employers often prefer to hire candidates who have previous work experience in New Zealand or the region. 

However, if you have a strong academic background, relevant work experience, and the necessary skills and qualifications, you may be able to find suitable job opportunities in New Zealand.

It's important to note that the job search process can take some time and effort, and starting the job search process well in advance is recommended.

 You may also want to consider networking with professionals in your field, attending job fairs and industry events and contacting recruitment agencies or headhunters for assistance in your job search.

Q. Which industries in New Zealand tend to attract the most expat finance professionals for employment?

The finance industry in New Zealand is diverse and has a range of opportunities for finance professionals from different backgrounds.

However, some industries are known to attract more expat finance professionals for employment. Some of these industries include:

Agriculture - Agriculture is New Zealand's largest industry. It accounts for 70% of New Zealand's merchandise export profits and 12% of GDP. 

Banking - The banking industry dominates the New Zealand financial system, accounting for the largest share of overall assets. Banks had total assets of slightly over $667 billion in March 2022. Both banks and Public Accounting firms (Big4s) hire expat Finance Professionals for highly skilled positions such as Advanced Risk Management, Data Analytics, Strategy Planning, Business Development, and Financial Analysis.

Tourism - The third major industry in New Zealand is tourism. It is considered a popular destination for travellers. Tourism is a symbiotic relationship between activity providers, transportation, hospitality, and entertainment venues and employs one in every eleven New Zealanders. 

IT - New Zealand's technology sector employs over 120,000 people, accounting for $8.7 billion in exports. It is the third-largest export sector in New Zealand.

Hiring in other sectors such as manufacturing, retail and consulting and strategy are also booming due to a scarcity of local talent.

Data as presented by seek.co.nz

Q. What are the commonly sought-after finance job roles in New Zealand for expatriates?

There are several popular finance job roles available in New Zealand for expats. Some of the most common roles include that typically earns around :

Financial Analyst: NZD 40,000 (lowest) to NZD 150,000 Per year

Tax Manager: NZD 60,000 (lowest) to NZD 150,000 Per year

Investment Analyst: NZD 50,000 (lowest) to NZD 150,000 per year 

Financial Controller: NZD 90,000 (lowest) to NZD 164,000 per year

Risk Manager: NZD 82,000 (lowest) to NZD 147,000 per year

Chief Financial Officer (CFO): NZD 97,000 (lowest) to NZD 245,000 per year

Other benefits such as bonuses, profit-sharing, and retirement contributions can also be a part of the total compensation package.

The above salary ranges were taken from Payscale and may differ from industry to industry and also the size of the business. A CFO responsible for a finance team of 5 people is likely to earn less than one who is responsible for a team of 20 people.

Remuneration by sector by acuitymag.com

Q. What qualifications are required to build a career in Finance in New Zealand?

In New Zealand, most finance job vacancies require finance qualifications like Chartered Accountancy or internationally recognised qualifications such as ACCA or CPA.

Many Indian CAs that come to New Zealand don't have any international qualifications but still get the job due to their experience and skill sets.

Getting the CA ANZ membership is a fantastic route for international professionals to find more opportunities in the country. But it’s not mandatory,  

The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) has entered into a unilateral arrangement with Chartered Accountants Australia & New Zealand (CA ANZ) known as the Pilot International Pathway Scheme.

Under this scheme, ICAI members based in Australia and New Zealand can obtain membership in CA ANZ without having to write all the exams. This can be achieved by completing a self-study program of 40 hours and attending a two-day workshop, all within a month.

The Institute would assess your qualifications in your home country and check if you have a good track record and working experience (If any). After that, you would become eligible for membership.

Also Read

Everything you need to know about moving to New Zealand. CA Ponshanker is an IT Auditor who wanted to move to a European country but coincidentally found out about a job vacancy in KPMG New Zealand

Q. Is there work/life balance in New Zealand?

Kiwis are known for giving importance to work-life balance. 

You won’t see anyone in the office after working hours. The employers here offer the flexibility to work from home, allow you to pick up kids from school if it’s required, and a paid maternity and paternity leave.  

People even go on extended holidays, that’s how healthy the work culture is in New Zealand.

Q. Which job portal is the best to find a Finance job role in New Zealand?

TradeMe and Seek are two of the most useful job portals for foreigners, with Linkedin following closely behind. 

You can also connect with headhunters and recruiters.

When applying for a job, please check whether the position is eligible for a work visa on the immigration website. The government has a set minimum salary limitation that companies have to pay to the expat they are hiring.

If you don't get a response from the employer, it may be because the job wasn't eligible for a work visa in the first place.

Q. How do I get into a Big 4 in New Zealand?

The first option is an internal transfer, which most Big 4 firms offer. 

The second option is applying to the company abroad and going through the usual interview process. 

You should opt for the internal route and reach out to your New Zealand counterparts. They can vouch for your skills to your prospective employer.

The hiring scenario in New Zealand has certainly transformed post-Covid. 

Since New Zealand is a small country (approximately 5 Mn people), the team size of a Big 4 firm can be somewhere between 1000 – 2500 people. A department containing 15-20 team members may post 1 or 2 job vacancies throughout the year. 

Two of the best things about working in a Big 4 firm in New Zealand are its various scope and flexibility. 

You may move to a different department or role if you wish to explore other avenues. The employers here are very encouraging and considerate.

Also Read

Why should a Finance Professional from India look at the Cayman Islands for opportunities? Looks like the perks are several, starting with no income tax and vacancies for Audit, and Accounting roles.

​​​​QWhat is the cost of living in New Zealand for one person? 

New Zealand is considered to be a relatively expensive country, with prices for some goods and services being higher than in other countries.

The cost of renting may vary depending on the city you choose to relocate to. Whether you want to live in the centre of the city or the outskirts also matters. The average monthly cost of living in New Zealand for a single person, without rent, is around 1200-1,500 NZD. 

Some of the major expenses for one person in New Zealand are:

Housing: Rent prices can be high, especially in larger cities such as Auckland and Wellington. However, in more rural areas, prices may be more affordable. 

The cost of renting a one-bedroom apartment in the city centre can range from NZD 1,400-2,500 per month, while outside of the city, it can range from NZD 1,100-2,000 per month.

Food: Groceries can be moderately expensive in New Zealand, especially for imported or speciality items. One person's average cost of groceries can range from NZD 80-150 per week. Eating out at a mid-range restaurant can cost around NZD 25-35 for a meal. 

Transportation: Public transportation is generally reliable and widely available in New Zealand, but fares can add up quickly. Owning a car can be expensive due to high fuel costs and vehicle registration fees.

The cost of a monthly bus pass in a major city can range from NZD 100-200 while owning a car can cost around NZD 100-200 per month for insurance and registration.

Healthcare: While New Zealand has a public healthcare system, some medical expenses may not be covered.  

The cost of a doctor's visit can range from NZD 40-70, while private health insurance can cost around NZD 50-100 per month.

Overall, the higher cost of living in New Zealand can be compensated by wages. They are also generally higher than what it is in many other countries. 

It's important to do your research and create a budget that works for your individual circumstances. Please note that these costs are approximate and can vary depending on location, lifestyle, time period and individual spending habits.

You can check out this video to gain more insights - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jdFLN1FOT3g

Q. What is the New Zealand work visa requirements?

There are a wide variety of work visas available in New Zealand, such as Skilled Migrant Category Resident Visa, Straight to Residence Visa, and Accredited Employer Work Visa. 

Skilled Migrant Category Resident Visa: This visa may be suitable for you if you want to live in New Zealand permanently and have skills that can contribute to New Zealand’s economic growth. 

Your application is more likely to be accepted if you have employment in an area in which New Zealand has a skills shortage.

Straight to Residence Visa: This visa may be suitable for you if want to live, study and work in New Zealand and are employed by, or hold an employment offer from, an accredited employer. And your role is on Tier 1 of the Green List.

Accredited Employer Work Visa: This visa may be suitable if you have been offered a job that no New Zealanders are available to do, and you are planning a temporary stay in New Zealand. 

Applicants must make sure they adhere to the right requirements, fees, and procedures for their specific visa.

They will require proof of:

  • Identities such as a birth certificate, passport, or two approved visa photographs.
  • Good health, as shown by a chest x-ray, health questionnaire, and medical examination following arrival.
  • Good character, as demonstrated by the submission of a character questionnaire and police certifications from the individual's country of origin as well as any place they’ve lived for at least five years since they turned 17.

You can check out this website for more information - https://www.immigration.govt.nz/new-zealand-visas/explore-visa-options

Q. How long does it take to become a Citizen of New Zealand?

Unlike Canada or the US, New Zealand does not give direct Citizenship and PR.

To apply for citizenship, you must live in New Zealand for at least 5 years and only go outside of the country for at least 6 months a year. Citizenship applications are assessed by the Department of Internal Affairs.

In most cases, you’d get citizenship through these steps: 

  1. Come to the country on a temporary (work) visa or a common accredited employer visa
  2. Get a resident visa: Through a residency visa, you would be able to work for any company of your choice.
  3. Get a permanent resident visa after 2 years as a resident
  4. Eventually, apply for New Zealand citizenship after 5 years on a New Zealand resident visa.

What else do I need to know before moving to New Zealand?

  • Before making a decision to transfer to the country, first go to the immigration website and read the information on the immigration requirements and what work visas are available. 
  • Apply for the visa once you get the job offer. You could get the work visa within a month. It’s wiser to resign from your current company only after receiving the visa. 
  • After going through the information on the website, search for the average salary of the desired job on Google and tally it with the work visa. As recruiters will only hire if the salary is higher than the visa limit. You can use this website to Calculate your take-home pay -  https://www.paye.net.nz/ 

Insights for this article were provided by CA Ponshanker Palanisamy - Senior Manager - IT Audit and Assurance | Technology Risk at KPMG New Zealand.

Career Overseas Series: The Finance Story brings Global Finance professionals together to discuss how to build a career in Finance in foreign countries. We go live on LinkedIn every Wednesday and Thursday at 6 pm IST (4.30 PM UAE Time). Join our WhatsApp career overseas group for more insights and daily job vacancies. Group Link 

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