General Question

noodle_poodle's avatar

A question for people from New Zealand?

Asked by noodle_poodle (1614 points ) May 8th, 2012

I am going to New Zealand soon for 12 months. I need to get a New Zealand bank account. I have read a lot of stuff online but, unfortunately, its mostly published by the banks themselves. I figured it might be biased info. Can anyone tell me which bank is the most widely available and trusted bank?

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6 Answers

cazzie's avatar

You are going to need a tax number first. Do you have one?

I banked with Trustbank, but then they were bought by Westpac, but they were still OK. They had a branch in a sundays open shopping mall that made things very convenient.

As far as fees go, Trust bank and Post bank were cheaper.

If you want some consumer report information on the banks… lets see if I can find one with google…

http://www.localbulletin.co.nz/

There is a NZ consumer .org but you have to pay a fee for it. It was a magazine I got when I lived there, now everything is online, but you still need to pay. www.consumer.org.nz but they cover everything, appliances, services etc.

And I am so jealous. I lived there for 15 years and long to go back.

cazzie's avatar

If you don’t have a tax number, I think you have to show up in person at a local IRD office. I take it you will have all the residency permits etc to show that you are allowed a tax number. You will have to take all of that with you to the IRD office.

Here is the page from the IRD with the form etc to apply for an tax number (or an IRD number)
http://www.ird.govt.nz/forms-guides/number/forms-500-599/ir595-form-individualirdapp.html

It will tell you everything you need to know.

noodle_poodle's avatar

@cazzie thanks! any idea if i can get a tax no before i go over there? I have a working holiday visa

cazzie's avatar

You can fill in the form, but you have to show up at one of the offices in person, like the website says…. but MAYBE, here is a wild thought, if you live near a city with a New Zealand or British Consulate or Embassy, you could ask them if they could issue the number or at least get the application in so that your waiting time is cut down.

What are you going to do there? Are you just going to travel and pick fruit? If you have a working visa, you should have no problems getting a tax number (you will need one to work legally) because it must be supplied to the employer before your first paycheck is issued and the employer may also want to direct credit your wages into your bank account, so you usually give the account number to your employer as well, but they still use checks there (or as they spell it, cheques) so you may be paid that way as well, depending.

Sooo jealous. I did accounting when I lived there. I miss it so much, my heart aches.

segdeha's avatar

I’m an American who lived in NZ for 3 years. I settled on Westpac as my bank. They’re all over the country and have one of the nicest online banking sites (or, at least, they did as of 2 years ago). Kiwibank is the hometown favourite, all other banks being owned by big Aussie banks.

noodle_poodle's avatar

@segdeha @cazzie thanks i have sent off an application to westpak…its seems like i can open it before i leave but have to have passport and tax code ready once i need to use it over there. Not sure what I am going to work as yet :) I have an amazingly varied work history so i am sure I will find something.

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