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Finding and starting a job
Discover jobs that would suit you, find and apply for vacancies, and prepare for interviews.
Search for jobs in government, sign up for job alerts and find out how to apply for government vacancies.
Before you accept a job, you need to agree on your pay, hours and working conditions. You can apply for money to help pay the costs of starting a new job.
A trial period is a timeframe that employers can use to find out if you are suitable for a job. An employer can dismiss you and you cannot raise a personal grievance for unjustified dismissal if the trial period was valid.
When you start a new job, you'll automatically be enrolled in KiwiSaver if you're eligible and not a member already. You can also join through your current employer or directly with a provider.
If you're planning to work in New Zealand and you’re not a citizen or permanent resident of NZ or Australia, you’ll need a visa that lets you work.
Public holidays and work
Dates when employees get national public holidays and regional anniversary days.
Find out how you’ll be paid if you do or do not work on a public holiday and what your employment rights are as an employee.
There are 4 public holidays over Christmas and New Year.
Only Good Friday and Easter Monday are public holidays. Easter Sunday is not a public holiday, and shops can choose to open if their local council lets them.
If you work on a public holiday and it’s a day you usually work, you may get a paid day off you can take later. This is usually called an alternative holiday or a day in lieu.
You’ll be paid at least time and a half for the hours you work on a public holiday. You’ll also get a day in lieu (alternative holiday) if it’s a day you usually work.
Anyone can ask their employer to transfer a public holiday to another day.
All employees are entitled to at least 4 weeks’ paid annual holidays (annual leave) for each year they have worked for their employer.
In general, you can take annual holidays at any time that is agreed between you and your employer.
Your annual holidays are paid at the rate of the greater of your ordinary weekly pay and average weekly earnings.
You can ask to swap up to 1 week of your annual holidays for cash each year.
You can take unpaid leave if your employer agrees to it. The agreement should be recorded in writing.
As well as maternity and paternity leave, there are other leave options for eligible parents and carers. You may be able to get parental leave payments from the government.
Find information about returning to work, breaks for breastfeeding, and how to get help with childcare and other costs when you’re back in work.
You can decide to leave your job and resign at any time while you’re on parental leave. You just need to give the correct notice and it may affect any holiday pay you’re due.
Leaving a job
When you leave a job, you’re responsible for checking your final pay is taxed correctly. If it isn’t, you could get a bill from Inland Revenue at the end of the tax year.
Your employer can only make you redundant if your position is no longer needed — they cannot make you redundant because of other reasons. See what your options are for legal help, paying tax and help with other situations related to redundancy.
If you’re made redundant from your job, check that your final pay is taxed correctly. If it’s not, you could get a bill from Inland Revenue at the end of the tax year.
If you’re fired from a job, check that your final pay is taxed correctly. If it’s not, you could get a bill from Inland Revenue at the end of the tax year.
Retiring from work
It pays to plan for your retirement as early as possible.
When you leave your job because you’re retiring, check that your final pay is taxed correctly. If it’s not, you could get a bill from Inland Revenue at the end of the tax year.
There is no official retirement age in New Zealand. The common age to retire is 65 when NZ Super and some other pension payments start.
NZ Superannuation is a universal payment for NZ citizens and residents who are 65 or older. If you've served in New Zealand's Armed Forces you might be able to apply for a Veteran’s Pension instead.
If you get NZ Superannuation or a Veteran's Pension, you'll get a SuperGold Card. Use it to get business discounts, free or discounted council services, and free off-peak travel on public transport.
Most people get NZ Superannuation when they turn 65, but there are other sources of income you might use to support yourself.
You can withdraw all your savings when you turn 65, as long as you've been a KiwiSaver member for at least 5 years.
Moving to a retirement village is a big decision — it's important to get independent advice.
There are 3 different types of minimum wage rates depending on if you are an adult worker, a starting-out worker or a trainee.
If you have a problem at work talk to your boss directly. If you cannot solve it you can get help from government and other organisations. Some of this help is free.
If the process to fire you has not been handled properly or the reason you’ve been fired is not valid, you can raise a personal grievance with your employer.
It’s against the law to be treated unfairly in the workplace or when you apply for a job.
Date printed 29 January 2023