Emigrating to NZ: Sell or Ship Your Vehicle?

This is a guest post by Kristina Bijelic.

In recent years, many Americans have made the decision to pack up their memories and start a new life in New Zealand. Once that major decision has been made, it opens a can of worms about what to take and what to leave. Most people will, at some point, face the decision of whether they should ship their car to New Zealand, or sell it in America and buy a new car when they arrive in their new homeland.

New Zealand is a friendly country, only in part due to the Goods and Services Tax and compliance exemptions offered to immigrants. However, there are certain rules, and it the process can drag on a bit, especially when you’re not working with a professional importer. Before you even start the process of shipping your vehicle to New Zealand, ask yourself…

Is Your Vehicle Eligible for Use on New Zealand Roads?

To import a vehicle into New Zealand, you will need an entry certifier to certify that your vehicle meets the appropriate standards for use on New Zealand’s roads. If you want to handle the import on your own, you need to chat to an entry certifier at the start of the process to find out if your vehicle is suitable. The last thing you want is for the vehicle to arrive, and to be rejected after you have spent money on the import. This process is obviously only applicable to cars that will be used on the roads.

Sometimes, manufacturers recall vehicles that have design defects ranging from minor issues to major safety or performance issues. It’s important to check whether your vehicle is cleared for import into New Zealand. Some of the requirements include that your vehicle must have an accurately working odometer, and it must meet minimum frontal impact standards. You are responsible for obtaining the necessary proof of certification before you can register your vehicle.

Undergo an Entry Certification Inspection

Whether you’re shipping your car to New Zealand or selling it, a thorough inspection will go a long way to satisfying the New Zealand Transport Agency and providing you or a potential buyer (should you decide to sell) peace of mind. A qualified mechanic can test and certify your vehicle. Alternatively, entry testing can be done by any official testing station in New Zealand.

How Much Does It Cost to Ship a Vehicle to New Zealand?

Of course, you want to be sure that it costs less to ship your can to New Zealand than to sell it and buy a new one on arrival. Naturally, your car’s value and replacement cost will be the first consideration. In most cases, it’s worth looking into shipping your car if it is worth $5000 or more, or if you have a sentimental attachment to it. If it will cost too much to ensure your car meets New Zealand compliance standards, maybe it’s not worthwhile.

To ship your vehicle to New Zealand will require road freight auto transportation from your collection point to the nearest port, which could range from $200 to around $1,000. The ocean freight shipping will depend on the shipping distance between the U.S. port and the New Zealand port. This cost can vary from $3,400 to $4,300 and the shipping can take from as little as three weeks to approximately three months. Roll-on, roll-off shipments can be cheaper and faster.

The nice thing about shipping your vehicle to New Zealand is the fact that the country does not impose tariff duties on personal vehicles, except for motorhomes that are subject to a 10% customs duty. In fact, shipping your car to New Zealand is cheaper than it is to many other countries, provided you meet all the necessary requirements. However, it is usually a good idea to speak to a trusted, reliable auto transport company that can help facilitate the process on your behalf.


Further reading:

10 Things You Should Know About Driving in New Zealand

Healthcare in New Zealand

New Zealanders Keep Dialling 911 Instead of 111 and Here’s Why

Hamilton’s Historic Estate

POMS AWAY!

Need help finding things to do in Hamilton, New Zealand? Probably. At first glance, it can seem like the only place worth visiting in Hamilton is the Gardens. At second glance, you have to concede that the zoo is a great place to go in Hamilton as well. Then you’ve got the museum, Taitua Arboretum, Memorial Park and the lake. Admittedly, after that you’re beginning to scrape the bottom of the barrel. We’ve lived in Hamilton for two years and we’re rapidly running out of new things to see. We have to keep visiting relatives entertained somehow!

Last weekend, however, we visited somewhere we’d never been before, Woodlands Historic Homestead and Gardens. It’s about fifteen minutes by car from the centre of Hamilton, in a village called Gordonton. (By the looks of things, it won’t be a village much longer. In a few years, it’ll be…

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There’s a church made of trees – and it’s just outside Hamilton!

POMS AWAY!

That’s right. There’s a tree church… in Ohaupo.

The Tree Church

It was made by this guy whose job was transplanting trees, so he decided to transplant some into his own garden in the shape of a church. It looked so amazing that people persuaded him to open it to the public, and the rest is history.

The Tree Church

It’s not just a church: there’s a whole massive garden to explore, with a labyrinth, a pond, a stunning avenue of trees and absolutely glorious flowers. And cats.

The Tree Church

The ginger cat, in particular, has become world-famous for its habit of lounging in the Tree Church and charming the tourists. As soon as it saw me, it sprang up and trotted towards me, meowing. I never wanted to leave it!

The Tree Church

The Tree Church is only open on Tuesdays and Sundays from late October until the end of March, between the hours of 10 and 4, but you…

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An Intriguing Find

I found it in a secondhand bookshop in Scotland. It was called Old New Zealand: A Tale of the Good Old Days, by A Pākehā Māori. I immediately looked for the publication date. It was a 1948 edition of a book first published in 1863.

There was also a bookseller’s stamp. This copy had been purchased in a stationer’s in Pukekohe, close to where I lived when I moved to New Zealand! Here was a book that had travelled the world, from a small town in New Zealand to a small town in Scotland. Just like me.

It was quite a ragged tome. I wondered what adventures it had been on. I was intrigued by its anonymous author: A Pākehā Māori. Was this a Māori who had adopted the European settlers’ way of life, or vice versa? Or were they half-European and half-Māori by blood? Whatever the case was, it seemed they were a bridge between the two cultures, and not at all in favour of the British mission to “civilise” New Zealand.

Later, I indulged in a bit of research. The Pākehā Māori in question was an Irishman by the name of Frederick Edward Maning. He arrived in New Zealand as a young man in 1833 and lived among the Ngāpuhi, a Northland tribe. He married a Māori woman and warned people not to sign the Treaty of Waitangi, (though how much he was motivated by a desire to preserve the native culture, and how much by more selfish trading interests, I can’t say. No doubt people who’ve actually studied the subject can.)

In another connection to me, Frederick Maning was buried in Symmonds Street Cemetery, right by where I lived when I attended the University of Auckland. I’ve walked past his grave and not known it!

Baby Fur Seals and Other Animals

Fur Seal by Lucie Simpson

While I’m off travelling the world, my little sister’s having her own adventure in the South Island. She’s studying wildlife conservation, which, for a girl who’s been obsessed with animals since infancy, is a dream come true. Here are some of the photographs she’s taken of the animals she’s encountered. These first few are New Zealand fur seal pups. Credit, obviously, to Lucie Simpson.

Fur Seal by Lucie Simpson

Fur Seal by Lucie Simpson

Fur Seals by Lucie Simpson

Fur Seals by Lucie Simpson

Fur Seal by Lucie Simpson

How gorgeous are they? Now for some kea.

Kea by Lucie Simpson

Kea by Lucie Simpson

Kea by Lucie Simpson

Wait… is this one a takahe or a pukeko? (Lucie will not be impressed I had to ask.)

Okay, one last one…

Oh, South Island, stop being so gorgeous.

From Land’s End to John O’Groats to… Bluff?

New Zealand keeps cropping up in the most unexpected of places. A few weeks ago, I embarked upon a road trip around Scotland with my Kiwi fiancé and our Kiwi friend. We drove from Edinburgh, up through the Cairngorms National Park (not without incident,) and on through Inverness. I wanted to visit Orkney, having been desperate to see Skara Brae and the Ring of Brodgar since I was a kid, but to do that we needed to catch the ferry from the northernmost tip of mainland Britain, John O’Groats.

Ring of Brodgar Abigail Simpson

The Ring of Brodgar

You may have heard the phrase “from Land’s End to John O’Groats”, Land’s End being the southernmost tip of mainland Britain, in Cornwall. In New Zealand, we have an equivalent phrase: “from Cape Reinga from Bluff”. Cape Reinga is famous for its lighthouse and Bluff is famous for its oysters. Many New Zealand motorhome holidays are based around the idea of seeing the country from Cape Reinga to Bluff.

So we arrived at John O’Groats and made our way down to the pier. It was a fine summer day, so we “only” needed jumpers, scarves and anoraks. It was colder than a fine winter day in the North Island of New Zealand, a fact that we found quite amusing. We passed the expected Land’s End/John O’Groats sign, but then I noticed something unexpected. The sign had a picture of New Zealand on it, along with a downwards arrow pointing towards Bluff.

The sign

Of course, we all got unduly excited at this random international mention of New Zealand, and asked a confused fellow tourist to take a picture of us next to it. (Getting unduly excited when New Zealand is noticed by the world at large is a very Kiwi thing, and perhaps shows that I’ve become more of a Kiwi than I thought.) There weren’t any other mentions of New Zealand around, and a Google search didn’t give any clues as to a special connection between John O’Groats and Bluff, so…

We shrugged and got on the ferry.

In some respects, driving around Scotland did feel a lot like driving around New Zealand – especially the South Island. A lot of New Zealand’s nineteenth century colonists came from Scotland. Alice, the Kiwi friend we were travelling with, remarked that it was no wonder they’d felt so at home in New Zealand – all that dramatic, mountainous scenery! There was also the fact that Scotland has rather a lot of fields of sheep, which, if you’ve ever done a New Zealand road trip, you’ll know is kind of New Zealand’s thing.

Sheep with Stone Circle Abigail Simpson

Except there are fewer stone circles in the fields of New Zealand…

In fact, seeing all the Scottish sheep souvenirs reminded me fondly of my adopted home – not to mention the New Zealand wines on every restaurant menu!

New Zealand’s Most Enchanting Museum

POMS AWAY!

You know sometimes you go somewhere not expecting much, but end up utterly enchanted? That’s what happened when I went to Nigel Ogle’s Tawhiti Museum in Taranaki. I can’t recommend it highly enough! Just go there, and make sure you give yourself plenty of time to see everything – a few hours at least. And visit the café. It’s just… well… let me explain…

Tawhiti Museum 01Tawhiti is the largest private museum in New Zealand. Housed in a former cheese factory, it was developed by an artist called Nigel Ogle, who spends his time creating life-sized models of people, using moulds cast from co-opted locals. These models, along with many scale dioramas, tell the story of Taranaki, from the early interactions of the European sailors and Maori tribesmen, to the tragic life of mid-twentieth century local author, Ronald Hugh Morrieson.

The entrance of Tawhiti has the look of one of those historic…

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