Moving to Christchurch


Why move to Christchurch?

You’re not that far from a beach to try surfing during the Summer or go for a lovely walk. There are numerous of walks around the city with one being Hagley Park which is one of the largest parks in the Southern Hemisphere. With the Port Hills as a background setting in Christchurch, there are several hill walks you can try out. Rapaki Track or Taylor’s Mistake walking Track are some of the popular tracks on the outskirts of the city. Then during the Winter month’s you’re only a 2 hour drive away from the nearest ski fields to give skiing or snow boarding a go.

Due to the earthquakes of 2011, the city centre has lost a lot buildings and land marks. However, the city re build is slowly starting and one of the more popular places to go to is Cashel Mall in the city. Cashel Mall is made of very colourful shipping containers with shops, food places and coffee places to try out. The Botanical Gardens are also in the city which provide amazing plants and flowers to view with a walk around the river Avon. There are also several Farmers Markets which are opened during the weekend. The Gondola and Boat Rides are some of the activities you can do in the city too. There are also several parks with playgrounds by them for the kids to play.

For more information on moving to Christchurch, we have compiled some information to help you with your move. You can also find out more information on the Canterbury Development Corporation page in regards to living and working in Christchurch

Get a Visa

The Official Government Immigration website has all you need to know about applying for a visa and is easy to use.

The website even provides a questionnaire,, to help find the right one for you. Most Irish citizens aged between 18 and 30 apply for the one- year working holiday visa.

If you don’t qualify for the one- year working holiday visa, there are still a number of avenues that may be available to you. The Temporary Working Visa, Work to Residence Visa and Permanent Residency Visa. The Permanent Residency Visa is available for people who have the skills/qualifications New Zealand needs, and who meet the requirements of the Skilled Migrants Category.

If you use an agent to assist you with your visa application, note that they must be registered and they will cost you more.

Find a Job

A good place to start looking for a job in Christchurch is online. and are the biggest jobs websites, and most companies use these to advertise positions.

On occasion Christchurch McKenna’s Facebook page will have post relating to available work.

Note that you will need an IRD Number before you start work. You can apply for yours in the Post Office. It is a simple process that takes 10 working days. Remember to bring a copy of your visa, and two forms of identification.

Find a Place to Live

Rental accommodation in Christchurch is currently in high demand. Two websites to help you find accommodation are and

Most rental accommodation is unfurnished, with a 3-month minimum lease. Landlords will seek a 4-week tenancy bond, which is managed by a government agency and a rental fee of one week if an agent is involved.

To furnish your new place  has cheap second-hand furniture. There is also lots of second hand shops in Christchurch such as The EcoShop. And Riccarton Market on a Sunday morning can turn up a few gems.

Purchasing a Car

Second hand cars are also in high demand in Christchurch but there is still good deals to be had.  and make a good starting point. Turners hold auctions almost daily and are opening for viewing and test drives. Just bring your Full Licence.

Opening a Bank Account

ANZ, BNZ, National, Kiwi Bank and Westpac are the main banks in New Zealand, be sure to do your research so you don’t get a caught out by unexpected fees, especially when it comes to ATM use.

The New Zealand Debit Card system is called EFTPOS, it is like the Laser, and is accepted almost everywhere so carrying cash is less common.

Driving Licences

If you’ll be in New Zealand for more than a year, you need to get a New Zealand driver licence.  If your overseas licence is still current or expired less than 12 months ago you can apply to convert it to a New Zealand licence. Check out AA New Zealand website for details on how to apply.


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