How Much Does It Cost to Live In New Zealand?

New Zealand is an island country in the southwestern Pacific Ocean, known for its high prices and a very pleasant standard of life.

Cost of living depends a great deal on where you live and on your living situation.

For example, living in Auckland is quite expensive depending on one’s average income.

Of course, it makes sense that one earns more in the big city of Auckland, but the lack of supply in housing and apartments means rentals are high and house prices out of reach for most people.

Living out of Auckland in other smaller towns would definitely save considerable amounts of money – on rent, primarily.

Cost of Living Index:

New Zealand : Cost of Living by City



Eating out will, for sure, cost you more than cooking by yourself. Since New Zealand is known for its relatively high prices, you can expect to eat in an inexpensive restaurant for no less than 12$. A meal for two at a mid-range restaurant will cost you around 60$, while a pint of domestic beer will cost you around 6$.



Food and essentials are relatively more expensive than places like the UK where more competitive markets exist. For example, only two corporations are involved in the grocery store sector and that’s why the groceries cost more, too. Vegetables, for example, are insanely expensive in winter, and you’re better off buying them in a farmer’s market.



Public transport is not as widespread here, which means a car is a necessity, and that – naturally, leads to more costs. You really need a car if you want to get around Auckland and major cities, as the transport infrastructure is not that great and the motorways are congested. A one-way ticket for public transport will cost you around 2.50$.



Utilities are not too expensive in New Zealand, if you look at the price of all included utilities for an apartment of a larger structure (85m2): for such an apartment, all basic utilities – including electricity, along with heating and cooling, water, gas and garbage services – costs around 120$. Internet is pretty pricey though, amounting up to 60$.

Sports and leisure


Comparing with the prices of everything else, enjoying some sports and fitness activities isn’t that expensive at all. Becoming a member of a gym or a fitness club will cost you around 40$ a month. Going to the cinema costs nearly the same as it does in most popular European destinations – around 10$ per ticket.

Clothing and shoes


Clothes are available at many shopping centers, but are only occasionally priced at reasonable rates. For example, a pair of quality jeans like Levi’s costs more than 70$, a pair of quality running sneakers like Nike are around 90$, while simpler items of clothing like shirts cost around 40$. The best thing to do when it comes to shopping for clothes is to wait for a sale!

Rent per month


Rent is definitely one of the more expensive aspects of living in New Zealand. Don’t expect to find a cute apartment anywhere near the center of any of the major cities for less than 1000$ – and that goes for one-bedroom apartments! If you want to move in with your family in a larger apartment, then prepare to cash out at least 1600$.

Cost of Living Averages Table for New Zealand

Average Restaurant Prices
Meal (Inexpensive Restaurant) $12.29
Domestic Beer (0.5 Liter) $5.46
Water (0.33 Liter) $1.77
Average Market Prices
Milk (1 Liter) $1.83
Loaf Bread (500g) $1.47
Eggs (12) $3.22
Average Transport Prices
One Way Ticket $2.39
Monthly Pass $102.40
Gasoline $1.50
Average Utilities Prices
Basic (Water, Electricity, Garbage, Heating, Cooling) $119.67
1 min. of Prepaid Mobile Tariff Local $0.31
Internet (Unlimited Data, Cable/ADSL) $57.37
Average Leisure Prices
Fitness Club, Monthly Fee for 1 Adult $41.44
Tennis Court Rent (1 Hour) $10.16
Cinema, 1 Seat, International Release $10.24
Average Clothing Prices
1 Pair of Jeans (Levis 501 Or Comparable) $72.41
1 Summer Dress in a Chain Store (Zara, etc...) $39.23
1 Pair of Adidas Walking Shoes (Mid-Range) $94.38
Average Rent Prices
Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Center $1005.76
Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of Center $827.36
Apartment (3 bedrooms) in City Center $1651.12

How Does the Average Person Spend Their Money in New Zealand?

Food and groceries are the biggest expense of anyone living in New Zealand, along with rent which is definitely one of the most expensive aspects of living in this country, if not the most expensive one.

Apart from food and rent, people spend a lot of money on transportation (and this includes gasoline expenses, taxi rides as well as car rental expenses) and restaurants – since there are many people who are used to eating all three meals in restaurants.

Utilities are also a big expense for an average person living in New Zealand – as this is something that just has to be paid, like it or not.


New Zealand: Average Salary, Minimum Wage & Mortgages

Salaries in New Zealand are definitely high and make living in New Zealand a very pleasant and comfortable experience, since they enable the citizens of this country to pay for everything they need and have enough even for the things that aren’t necessities.

Minimum wage in New Zealand is around 1800$ – and though the prices are higher in this country too, this is still a reasonable amount of money that just goes in line with the high standard of living in New Zealand.

This country is definitely not the most expensive place to be and most people get by without any problems, but many say that it could be better, too.

Average Salary$2446.55
Minimum Wage$1868.3
Mortgage Interest Rate4.86%

Cost of Living by City in New Zealand

City Cost of Living Index
Auckland 76.63
Christchurch 70.23
Dunedin 70.16
Hamilton 71.91
Wellington 71.52

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