Alright, I tried searching the forums, but everything seems to be information for Australia. Maybe it's the same in NZ, but I was just wondering how to go about transferring money to a NZ bank account. I will open one when I get there, but do I need to have my money with me and deposit it then? Or can I transfer it from my account in the U.S.? Will there be a big fee for doing this? Probably good questions for my bank, but I was just wondering if anyone had experience with this sort of thing. Cheers!
The best way is probably to join a bank in your country that has branches in New Zealand.
For example, ANZ Bank has branches all over the world
Once you have opened an ANZ Bank account in your country, it would be a simple matter of opening an ANZ New Zealand account and asking them to transfer money from your overseas ANZ Bank account to your New Zealand ANZ Bank Account.
Actually, I thought that it'd be useful to stay with the same bank, too - but at ANZ in New Zealand they informed me that despite having the same name, they have absolutely no more specific relation with the Australian ANZ then with any other bank, so transferring funds would be just as easy/difficult. (So I ended up just carrying $5,000 cash out of New Zealand and depositing it on my first day in Australia.) :P
Don't know if New Zealand banks (or American banks for that matter; this works all through Europe and Australia at the very least) have joined IBAN yet - if they have, you can trivially transfer money from one to the other with internet banking, assuming you know the IBAN number of the target account - otherwise you need both the regular account number and the SWIFT/BIC ID of the bank branch. There's fees to both forms of transferring money, but SWIFT/BIC is much more expensive (again, at least in Europe).
An alternative would be HSBC:
Before my brother left for London, he opened a British HSBC bank account in Australia and transferred money from his Australian HSBC bank account to his British HSBC bank account.
Thanks for the info! I looked up branch/atm locations of HSBC in New Zealand, and they seem to only be in Auckland, which isn't a good thing as I'm staying on the south island. What are the major banks in New Zealand?
ANZ, BNZ, NBZ and Westpac.
When I was there, ANZ had the accounts that worked out best for backpackers with the lowest fees (although it's still all organized theft).
haha, alright...thanks for the heads up