I am travelling to NZ next month, and I need to open a bank account as I will be working. I am looking at Kiwibank, Bank of New Zealand and National Bank of New Zealand. Could anyone advise/ recommend a bank? Can you open an account before you get to NZ? Is it easier to do it that way?
And could someone explain the fees to me. Coming from the UK, we don't pay for our banking (unless you count charges), so I am a bit stumped as to what is what.
And how easy is it to get an IRD number?
Hi Redcadence ... Nationwide do free international transactions, ive spoken to loads of people who've had one of their accounts and worked in Oz and NZ, all of whom said Nationwide were great!
I'm with Westpac and would recommend them as with their electronic current accounts there are no fees, as long as you do everything electronically or at ATMs, ie you don't ever go into the bank to make deposits, pay cheques etc.
It's easier to open an account when you get to NZ - it's pretty hassle free to open a new account over here, unlike in the UK.
Re IRD number, there used to be a place at the bottom of Queen St (auckland) that could arrange this for you, but I think they might have closed - it was called Travellers Contact point. Instead you could try ACB (Auckland Central Backpackers) as they may be able to sort this out for you as they have loads of resources for backpackers.
Otherwise just contact the tax office direct: http://www.ird.govt.nz/.
Mine took a couple of weeks to come through I think.
Kiwibank also have a free-fee account as long as you do everything electronicaly. It doesn't take more than 20 minutes to open a bank account. Once you are in NZ, walk into any branch, make an appointment and you will be surprised how easy it is. They will also explain the fees you will pay for eample if you withdraw money from a different bank's ATM etc.
IRD number - follow this link http://www.ird.govt.nz/forms-guides/title/forms-i/ir595-form-individualirdapp.html?id=righttabs, download the IRD number application form. Once it's done, go with the identification documents to any post shop, they will confirm the photo-copies and send the application to the IRD. The IRD number card will be sent to you by mail after about 2 weeks.
Thanks for the replies!
I am glad that is quite simple to set it all up. Just a few more things...I have a UK passport and UK provisional drivers license, are these suitable for identification? I know that you need two forms for the IRD number.
Can I set it all up using a PO Box? We will be looking for accomodation, but not knowing how long it will take and since we are planning on travelling around, we will use a PO Box.
And....are there any other documents that you would suggest we take with us? Bank statements? Credit card statements? Utility bill? Anything?
I think I must have used driving license and passport so that should be ok - has the provisional one got a photo on it though? if not it might pay to take a copy of your birth certificate just in case.
you shouldn't need to take any of the other documents and a PO box will be fine.
Let me know if you need any more info about NZ/ working holidays etc!