There is a wide selection of companies that can help with shipping to New Zealand; expats should get quotes from several companies before making a final decision.

Although rare, it is possible to rent furnished accommodation in New Zealand and therefore, depending on how long an expat intends to stay, it may be worth storing household belongings in their home country if they do plan to return.

Shipping personal belongings to New Zealand

Shipping times vary depending on where a person ships from but most companies will be able to provide an accurate estimated time of arrival. Forums and online testimonials are a good way to confirm this if an expat is unsure about arrival times or any other information given to them by their shipping company.

Air freight is a popular and fast way to ship smaller cargo, but it costs more than shipping by sea (air freight is typically billed by weight while sea freight is billed according to the size of container). That said, some expats still prefer to spend more on the cost of excess baggage in order to have their belongings arrive immediately.

It is also advisable for expats to insure any belongings prior to shipping them to New Zealand.

Shipping pets to New Zealand

Shipping pets to New Zealand is likely to be a large expense in terms of vet bills, permits, quarantine and air transport costs.

Pets will need to be vaccinated for rabies six months before leaving for New Zealand, and proof of the vaccine duration will need to be acquired, in the form of a certificate. All pets must also be fitted with a microchip. The pet will then need a medical check-up in their home country from an accredited vet, as they'll need to meet bio-security regulations for New Zealand, which are stricter than many other countries. The exact regulations that apply to an expat’s pet depend on the type of animal and the country of origin.

All cats and dogs, except those arriving from Australia, have to be placed in a quarantine facility for at least 10 days after they arrive in New Zealand. The facility has to be approved by the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) and supervised by official government veterinarians.

Expats should also be aware that there are restrictions on different types of animals. Certain breeds of dogs, such as American pit bull terriers, are not allowed to be brought into the country at all, and neither are guinea pigs, snakes, birds and rats. New Zealand's Customs page has a full list of the animals and items that are prohibited from entering the country.  

More information can be found on the Biosecurity New Zealand website. Expats should be aware that importing animals is a complicated process, and it is therefore recommended that a reputable pet relocation agency be used.