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What is the local currency?
The New Zealand dollar is the local currency (NZ$) and each dollar is worth 100 cents.
What denominations does it come in?
New Zealand dollars are divided into 100 cents. There are $100, $50, $20, $10 and $5 notes made of a sturdy plastic material and coins in denominations of two dollars and one dollar, as well as 50, 20 and 10 cents. Grocery items are given to the nearest cent, but the final bill is rounded up or down to the nearest ten cents. Generally, Goods and Service Tax (GST) - currently 15% - is included in the listed price, except for some business hotels, where rates will be clearly marked GST-exclusive.
What is the best way to exchange currency?
Banks provide the best method for foreign exchange and will have the latest foreign exchange rates. Hotels will exchange foreign money, though are likely to offer the service at a higher rate than the banks.
What are commonly-used forms of payment for everyday purchases (such as groceries)?
Cash, EFTPOS (personal banking card), major credit cards (i.e., MasterCard, Visa, Diners Club and American Express). Personal checks will not be accepted without proof of identity.
Will I be able to use my credit card around town? If not, list when I’ll need cash.
While most shops and restaurants will accept checks or credit cards, some smaller institutions may not. It is always a good idea to have a little cash on hand. Cash will be required for smaller stores, street vendors, and some public transport.
By what method are bills (such as rent and utilities) paid?
People usually opt to pay by direct debit from a bank account or credit card.
What are the requirements for opening a bank account? At what stage of the settling-in process should I open it?
A bank account can be opened at any time with correct identification. Banks will require two forms of identification. One should be your passport or driver's license. The second can be your credit card, debit card or birth certificate. Non-New Zealand residents and new residents must provide a valid passport as one form of identification. You do not need a permanent address to open an account.
When applying for credit card, you must provide evidence of income. This can be as a payslip, letter from your employer on their business letterhead or, if you are self-employed, financial statements for the past year. You can also transfer your accounts from another bank. Please contact the banks directly for further details.
Will foreign residents be able to find banking services in their native languages?
Banking services are primarily in English, though several of the major banks in the Central Business District also have staff who can speak a variety of foreign languages.
Are there any restrictions on services for those who are new to your country?
Generally, there are no restrictions on services to newcomers as long as personal identification is provided. Minimal cash is required to open a bank account. Please check with your bank for the exact amount.
What are typical banking hours?
Typically banking hours are Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. However, some banks stay open late on Thursday evening and some open for business on Saturday morning. For weekend hours, please consult your local bank.
Are automatic teller machines (ATMs) available around the clock?
Yes, ATMs are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and can be found throughout the city.
Is there any other money information that might help me?
Be aware of high service charges incurred for using ATM machines not affiliated with your bank. Also, check to see if your bank charges a service fee for every transaction or if it is a monthly-based fee.
Crown Relocations has made every effort to present accurate information. However, regulations, rates and other variables are subject to change and Crown Relocations cannot accept responsibility for the errors that might result. Should you have any questions or need additional information, please contact your local Crown representative.