Work, Tax, CV

New Zealand has a relatively low unemployment rate and it is easy to find work. However, more than 50 % of all the positions currently available are not advertised anywhere. Therefor it is a good idea to knock on some doors or to pop into some restaurants personally, as work could be right around the corner.

All Seasonal work usually does not require an extensive CV, but it never wrong to have one handy, in case you are asked for it. Simply pick up the phone, make a call and find out if work is available.

Websites to find work on

Job Application – CV & Cover Letter

Although there are no real rules, it is recommended to use an anti-chronological CV pointing out your latest experiences and qualifications first. Also consider the following:

  • Do not write more than 3 pages
  • Keep it short and tidy
  • Point our your qualifications and and work experiences
  • Point out additional skills and certificates (e. g. driver license)
  • Add your contact details and use a professional email address
  • Add at least 2 Referees
  • Be positive and enthusiastic
  • Do not staple anything
  • Proof read it by a third person

Every CV should be accompanied by a cover letter, which includes the following:

  • Be neat and tidy
  • Use a blank A4 paper
  • Use only 1 page, if possible
  • Pay attention to detail, like spelling mistakes and add your contact details
  • Be professional, positive and confident
  • Describe where you have found the job you are applying for
  • Describe your personal interest in the job
  • Tell the reader a highlight from your past
  • Let them know that you would be greatly interested to be invited for an interview

A couple of neatly designed CVs that will help you to stand out can be found on

What is my tax code?

Before you start to work, every employer will give you an IR 330 form on which you have to declare your tax code. If you have only one job then your tax code will be “M”. If you have more than one job then the tax code for the job you earn most of your money with will be “M”. For all other secondary jobs you have to choose one of the following:

  • For secondary jobs with an annual income of less than $14 000, your tax will be “SB”
  • For secondary jobs with an annual income between $14 001 and $48 000, your tax will be “S”
  • For secondary jobs with an annual income between $48 001 and $70 000, your tax will be “ST”

How do I get my tax back?

The New Zealand tax year starts on 1 April and ends 31 March of the following year. In general, you can apply for a tax refund after the tax year has finished.

A tax return for employees is pretty straight forwards and the amount of tax you get back depends on how many days you have worked, how much you earned, how much tax you paid and for how many different employers you have worked.

Tax returns for employees are calculated automatically by Inland Revenue after the end of the tax year. to check the current status of your return or provide details such a refund bank account, log in to your MyIR Account.

Login to your MyIR Account

How much tax will I pay?

Taxes are automatically deducted from your wages/salary by your employer.

  • For the portion of your annual income less than $14 000 your tax rate is 10.5%
  • For the portion of your annual income between $14 001 and $48 000 your tax rate is 17.5%
  • For the portion of your annual income between $48 001 and $70 000 your tax rate is 30%
  • For the portion of your annual income over $70 001 your tax rate is 33%

If you want to find out, if you were taxed correctly you can use the PAYE / KiwiSaver deductions calculator

Do I need Kiwi Saver

The simple answer is no.

KiwiSaver is a long-term saving product that focuses on retirement and in which a small part of your wages/salary is deducted and saved for later. If you get handed a KiwiSaver form your employer, you can choose to opt-out and to not participate in this.

Minimum Employment Rights

All employees (incl. Backpackers) are protected by the minimum employment rights, which are as follows:

  • Get paid at least the minimum wage
  • Any trial period must not exceed 90 days
  • Your are entitled to an unpaid 30 minutes meal break and 2 paid 10 minutes rest breaks within an 8 hour work day
  • You are entitled to 4 weeks paid holidays, if you don’t take these days they must be paid to you latest with your last pay, usually the holiday paid will be around 8% of your gross income
  • You are entitled to 12 paid public holidays per year, should you work on a public holiday you need to be paid 1.5 times the usual pay and you  may get one free paid day
  • After working 6 month you are entitled to 10 days sick leave
  • The minimum notice you or your employer need to give to quit a job is 2 weeks