How to get an IRD number

What Are the Conditions to Find a Job?

Book your New Zealand Holiday!

Please contact us and we will help you to organize your trip! It's free and without commitment.

Ask a question ...
  • Read the post
  • Details
  • Advices
2 Please vote!
Your questions (21)
Add to my trip


  • 1Is it Difficult to Find a Job in New Zealand?
  • 2What Are the Conditions to Be Hired?
  • 3How Can I Get a Second ID Document?
  • 4How to Report Your Income and Pay Your Taxes?
  • 5How to Enjoy Your Working Holiday Visa?

Is it Difficult to Find a Job in New Zealand?

With Auckland ranked 3rd most enjoyable city in the world, New Zealand's economy is doing well despite the international crisis.

The New Zealand economy is particularly flourishing.

New Zealand is one of the richest countries in the world, where unemployment affects only 3.5% of the working population. Even though the economy is increasingly turning to tourism services, the agricultural sector still hires many young people with a Working Holiday Visa.

Nevertheless, New Zealand is far from offering very attractive salaries, with an average income that is 30% lower than in Australia. Despite an undeniable quality of life, wage differentials push many Kiwis to expatriate themselves for a few years to seek fortune.

But even though incomes are lower than in Australia, the quality of life of Kiwis is equivalent if not superior.

If the worker is not subjected to excessive formalities like in European countries, he must nevertheless overcome some formalities to be able to work and pay his taxes.

To help you, I will review all the essential steps concerning the travelers with a Working Holiday Visa..

But I reassure you right away: there is no need to open a tube of aspirin to be successful.

The steps are simple and usually fast. Reading this article will take you only a few minutes but will save your precious time in New Zealand.

This article presents the formalities to work in New Zealand and pay taxes if needed. If you are rather looking for help to apply for a Working Holiday Visa, I invite you to consult our guide about the formalities where every detail is explained.

What Are the Conditions to Be Hired?

To be authorized to work in the country, you must obtain an IRD number. This formality is mandatory, and employers will check this registration number.

The IRD number is mandatory to have a job.

To work in New Zealand, you must have your “tax number”, more commonly known as the IRD (Inland Revenue Department). This registration is compulsory and trying to work without this sesame would be synonymous of fine and expulsion from the territory.

You could ask your first employer if he can claim the IRD number for you. However, he can refuse if he wants, and you would probably lose the job opportunity... You’d better do the procedure all by yourself!.

How to request an IRD number?

Visit the website of the tax administration and complete the application form.

If you do not have access to the Internet, you can also get the document in a post office.

Fill out the form and send it to the appropriate department along with a photocopy of two pieces of identification (your Passport, International Driving License, Identity Card or Hanz Card).

The official website of the Inland Revenue allows you to request your IRD number. This is mandatory if you wish to work during your Work Holiday Program.

The IRD number can be requested on the Inland Revenue website.

The identity card from your own country can be accepted (you need to provide a double-sided photocopy), but this is not always the case and you should ask first (please note that the driver's license is usually not accepted as evidence).

By the way, you may have heard about the Hanz Card +18, and I will talk about it in the next section.

It will take from one to three weeks to receive you IRD number. In the meantime, you can legally start working.

As soon as you have your IRD number, you'll just have to communicate the information to your employer who will finally be able to pay your wages.

How Can I Get a Second ID Document?

Even foreigners can apply for a Hanz Card. This ID is often claimed by bar tenants or in supermarkets that sell alcohol.

The Hanz Card +18 is also issued to foreigners.

The Hanz Card +18 is a piece of identification that allows to certify that its holder is over 18. The card is mostly useful in pubs or tobacco sellers, but it can also be used to request an IRD number.

The credit card format of the Hanz Card is convenient because it allows not to circulate constantly with your passport in the pocket.

As travelers with a Working Holiday Visa, you can apply for this card by following the three-step procedure.

1 - Form and Supporting Documents.

The free form to request a Hanz Card +18 is to be retrieved at the post offices of New Zealand or on the official website. Please note that the rest of the procedure cannot be done online and requires your presence in the country.

Complete the following form and documents:

  • Fees of $20.
  • Photocopy of the passport.
  • A picture (smile is allowed, but do not exaggerate).
  • A proof of address, to choose in this list:
  • A proof of address which appears in this list:
    • IRD Number.
    • Account statement from a New Zealand Bank.
    • Gas invoice.
    • Electricity bill.
    • Certification of an employer.
    • Certificate of a university.

2 - Official Certificate.

A part of the form must be completed, signed and stamped by a state official. Just go to a police station (avoid the end of the day, they close around 5 pm) to meet the officer in charge of the Hanz Card +18.

3 - Validation of Your Request.

Return to a post office and go to the counter with your form and all supporting documents.

Your file will be checked and if nothing is missing, you will receive a receipt and a prepaid envelope will be added.

Keep the receipt as it indicates the number of your request.

In case of problems, this number will be your only recourse to claim your card. The Hanz Card +18 will normally be mailed to you in the prepaid envelope. You'll receive it within two to three weeks.

How to Report Your Income and Pay Your Taxes?

Being a foreigner and enjoying a Working Holiday Visa does not exempt you from tax formalities. You must report your income and pay your taxes like any citizen.

All your salaried activities must be declared.

To the extent that you benefit from the economy of the country, it is quite normal to pay taxes. The small jobs you are going to occupy should not generate very high taxes anyway.

How to Report Your Income?

Taxes are collected by the employer in New Zealand, but this does not exempt you from reporting your income.

However, the procedures are simpler than in the rest of the world.

The fiscal year begins on the 1st of April and ends on the 31st of March of the following year. You are supposed to report your taxes over the Internet between March and June. Given your situation, you will just have to indicate the total of your salaries.

How to Pay Your Taxes?

New Zealand is famous for its simple tax system, and it should take less than five minutes to declare an income. And you will spend even less time paying them to the extent that they are already collected by the employer...

The PAYE system, “Pay As You Earn” is in use and includes a 2% contribution to the ACC. This means that part of your income goes to the association that help the victim of accidents (even if they are foreigners like you).

The tax rates are lower than in most European countries and based on an honest system.

There is therefore no surprise to fear, and if you know how much you earn, you can immediately know how much you will pay.

Less than $14000 12,5 %
Between $14000 and $48000 21 %
Between $48000 and $70000 33 %

Good news, if you stay until the end of your WHV, you can even claim a refund of a part of your income tax. However, you will not be able to recover the GST on your purchases (GST is not reimbursed in New Zealand).

Can I Contribute for My Retirement?

Of course, you cannot contribute for your retirement during your stay in New Zealand, unless you are working in a branch of a company from your home country. Even if it is the case, the conditions are fairly strict. In other terms, you should consider emigrating to New Zealand if you desire to stay.

How to Enjoy Your Working Holiday Visa?

Even if you do not spend a whole year in the country, work is probably your only way to finance the holiday part of the stay.

The ability to find work is essential for successful WHV.

No matter how organized you may be, a one-year stay with a Working Holiday Visa always comes with few surprises. The success of a WHV is based on a double motivation that combines working in small jobs and the pleasure of travel. But before hitting the road, you must prepare your stay seriously.

If getting Working Holiday Visa is a key step, this is not the only one, and the first weeks in the country will be occupied by some procedures to follow.

The opening of a bank account is one of theses tasks to do, and I invite you to read our article devoted to the subject.

Since the country is less populated, the bureaucracy has not yet taken power like in Europe, and common sense is often the rule.

In other terms, it is a country where one can discuss with the tax authorities without having the feeling of running into a wall.

To obtain a Working Holiday Visa, you must have two pieces of identification. They will, moreover, be required by the immigration authorities during your entry into the territory.

You must present two pieces of identification most of the time.

But the small delays that slip between each step can accumulate and you may lose a month before being able to work!

Ben the Kiwi is an expert of the Working Holiday Visa that answers all your practical questions. I invite you to find his section a little further down in the page.

After what, you will still need to find a job in New Zealand. But I'm pretty sure that reading of our guide about the sectors that hire young people in Working Holiday Visa should be helpful.

William, Kiwipal
A Guide Written by William.
Founder of Kiwipal, New Zealand Travel Guide.

Questions & Answers.

What can I do for you? Do not be intimidated by the tax department, it's not very complicated and I'm here to answer your questions.

Ask a question to Ben

  • All topics ... 21 answers in total
  • Job Search 6 answers
  • IRD Taxes and Charges 5 answers
  • Working Visa 4 answers
  • Diplomas 3 answers
  • Hanz Card 3 answers

Job Search

  • What city to start looking for work?

    Auckland offers more opportunities to start a Work Holiday Program. Even if Christchurch hires in the building sector, its economy offers fewer opportunities as part of a Work Holiday Visa.

  • Which Internet sites to search for a job?

    Here is the list of the three main sites.Jobs NZSearch 4 JobsTrade Me

  • Can I get an internship with a WHV?

    Your Work Holiday Visa allows you to search for an internship. But if this is the only purpose of your stay, you should consider applying for a Student Trainee visa instead. This will prevent you from wasting your only year available with a Working Holiday Visa.

  • How do trainees work in New Zealand?

    If the internship is remunerated (this is not always the case), your employer must provide you with a contract of employment or an internship agreement. In all cases, the contract must mention the remuneration which cannot be less than the legal minimum guaranteed. Both parties must agree and sign their undertaking BEFORE the Visa application if it is a Student Trainee Visa.

  • Are there employment agencies?

    Some agencies are specialized in the placement of French expatriates. To be accepted in their programs, one must have the qualifications and documents required for the visa application. But do not contact such services for a working Holiday Visa, this is not their domain.Frog Recruitment

  • Can the employer require a drug test?

    It is a legal provision and tests are often required for factory jobs, when handling food products. Let us recall that the consumption of drugs leads to a definitive expulsion of the country.

IRD Taxes and Charges

  • Can we work without an IRD number?

    You can start working without an IRD number if you have applied for registration prior, or if your employer supports the application for registration. Do not forget that if you do not have an IRD number, you will not be paid and you will be subject to an increase in taxes, and even an expulsion for illegal work. While waiting for your registration, keep the certificate of deposit of your request carefully.

  • How to get an IRD number?

    The NZIS processes applications for IRD registration. You will need to give them a photocopy of your passport and you will receive your number within one to two weeks. Ask your questions by phone at 0800 22 77 74 or visit the official website.Inland Revenue Department

  • Does an IRD number issue a work permit?

    Be careful not to be confused. The IRD number does not mean you have the right to work. It is a mandatory registration to pay your taxes. The work visa (especially the Working Holiday Visa) remains essential.

  • Can I deduct the GST from my purchases?

    If it is possible to be reimbursed of the GST at the end of the stay in many countries, this is not the case in New Zealand. The only way to avoid paying GST is to send a product directly to a foreign country. In this case, the GST will be deducted from the price (some sellers are unaware of this possibility).

  • Where can I check the New Zealand tax rates?

    Visit the official websiteNew Zealand Tax system

Working Visa

  • Can I find work without a WHV?

    Illegal work is forbidden and leads straight to an expulsion from the territory. In any case, you must have a Visa to work in New Zealand.

  • How do I get a work permit?

    To obtain a work visa, you must first have a job offer from a New Zealand company. Your application must be completed by a work contract or an attestation from the future employer. Follow the procedure indicated on the website of the Immigration Department (form NZIS 1015 and attachments NZ 1016). The request is payable and must be made at least two weeks before the desired reply date. Finally, be aware that even by following the procedure from A to Z, you are not totally assured of obtaining your visa.

  • Where can I find the NZIS offices?

    NZIS is present in major cities such as Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, Dunedin, Hamilton, Palmerston North and Manukau. For contact information, I invite you to visit the website of the Ministry of Immigration.Immigration Minister

  • What is the risk for undeclared casual work?

    Illegal work is punishable by fine and expulsion. You will not be able to return to New Zealand later, even for a tourist stay.


  • How to obtain the equivalence of diplomas?

    The NZQA (NZ Qualification Accreditation) is the organism responsible for assessing the validity of your diplomas and their equivalences in New Zealand. But all diplomas do not necessarily have an equivalence ... Consult the official website to submit your requests.NZ Qualification Accreditation

  • What is the purpose of obtaining the equivalence of a diploma?

    Applicants for immigration, studies, or work visa applications generally have to provide proof of qualification. To obtain recognition of the validity of diplomas, equivalence must be obtained from the NZQA.

  • Is it necessary to obtain diploma equivalences for a WHV?

    The school level is not taken into account for a Working Holiday Visa and equivalences are not required.

Hanz Card

  • What if you did not receive your Hanz Card +18?

    You can contact the card service at 04 382 4419, Monday to Friday from 8:30 am to 5:30 pm. Please wait at least two weeks before contacting them. If the card was lost, they will do what is necessary.

  • Where to find the form to apply for a Hanz Card?

    The form is available free of charge in the post offices or on the Hanz Card website.Hanz Card +18 Official website

  • Is the Hanz Card +18 essential?

    If you already have two pieces of identification, including an international driver's license, it is theoretically not necessary to claim a Hanz Card. But in practice, one is never too careful and the Hanz Card is perfect to circulate without risking losing one's passport.

Guillaume picture in the mountains

Ask Questions to William.

New Zealand Expert

New Zealand has nothing in common with Europe when one speaks of bureaucracy...

Administrative formalities are often kept to a minimum.

A simplicity that is great for people traveling with a Working Holiday Visa.

william Ask me a question

Useful Links

More information about the subject before leaving.

Guillaume picture in the mountains

Book Your Trip

Book your New Zealand Holidays without travel agency.

You save up to 30% on your holiday budget by removing the travel agencies fees.

Contact an expert

Join Kiwipal!

Subscribe to the group of New Zealand travelers.

Expert certifié de la destination

Any Question?

Seek advice from experts in New Zealand:

Send your question
Invalid email or message is too short!
Message sent !
A Kiwipal guide will answer to you as soon as possible. Thanks!
Top of the page
Your favorite articles
You can build a list of your favorite articles.
Click on the “add to favorites” button on the page of your choice. Your list will be saved even if you leave the site.