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Cost of living in New Zealand vs South Africa

By September 23, 2019January 23rd, 2023FinGlobal

Cost of living in New Zealand vs South Africa

September 23, 2019


If you are planning on moving to New Zealand, it’s important you understand what the cost of living in New Zealand equates to in terms of the lifestyle your salary will afford you. Many people make the mistake when emigrating abroad, of converting their new salary to rands and imagining the lifestyle it can provide – based on a South African cost of living – rather than taking into account the cost of living in their new country.


Living the dream

For many people, New Zealand is a dream destination consisting of wide, open spaces, beautiful scenery and a healthy lifestyle. What many don’t realise is that its cost of living can fluctuate depending on what island you live on and whether you are living in an urban or a rural area. The South Island is a lot cheaper than the North Island. Mercer’s latest cost of living index indicates however that due to currency fluctuations many New Zealand cities have dropped in the rankings and become cheaper to live in. Auckland has fallen from 81st to 89th position and Wellington has fallen 13 places to 114.



Cost of living in New Zealand vs South Africa

If you want to compare the cost of living of New Zealand directly with South Africa, a good website to look at is which directly compares expenses between the two countries. The two comparisons show that:

  • South Africa is 31.4% cheaper than New Zealand to live in.
  • You will pay 62.2% more to eat out at a restaurant in New Zealand than you will in South Africa. An inexpensive meal with a drink in South Africa will cost you R114.30, while the same meal in New Zealand will cost you R153.75 at the current exchange rates.
  • You will pay 68.3% more for groceries in New Zealand.
  • You will pay 7.6% more for transportation. Petrol is 32.7% more expensive in New Zealand and a monthly public transit pass is 128.9% more in New Zealand. If you want to buy a car, purchasing a Golf 1.4 standard edition will be 7.3% more in New Zealand.
  • Rents are a lot higher in New Zealand. You will pay approximately R4 808 rand to rent a 1-bedroom apartment in downtown South Africa, but a similar apartment in New Zealand will cost R10 000.
  • Childcare is 3.4 times more in New Zealand.
  • You will pay 21.1% more for clothing in New Zealand.

Quality of life in New Zealand

Despite the higher cost of living, many South Africans report they enjoy a great quality of life in New Zealand with many people loving the outdoor activities, parks and beaches – all of which are free! Other quality of life highlights in New Zealand are that residents live 17.5 years longer in New Zealand, with the average life expectancy being 81 years versus South Africa, which is 64 years. You are also likely to make 2.9 times more money in New Zealand and are 82.2% less likely to be unemployed.


If you are a South African living abroad and would like to know more about how you can maximise your finances through the financial emigration process, accessing your South African retirement annuity and our tailor-made tax solutions for South Africans around the world, contact FinGlobal today for your free and no obligation consultation and quote.

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