New Zealand is a popular option for people considering leaving the UK and moving abroad. It has a good climate, amazing scenery and GPs enjoy a fabulous work / life balance. But what is the cost of living like in comparison to the UK?
Parts of New Zealand are experiencing something of a housing boom at the moment that can see the cost of property in some areas higher than in the UK. Auckland is at the heart of the boom, with average prices reaching NZ$1 million (£550K 29/05/2017) at the end of 2016 for the first time. This was an increase of 15.9% on the same month in 2015 and was above the London average price at that time of £472,384.
The majority of our GPs however relocate to other areas of New Zealand across the North and South island further afield from Auckland. When looking at these areas for rental and house purchase, costs are generally much lower than the UK. If you compare the cost of renting a three bedroom apartment in London to a similar property in New Zealand the cost is around 80% less in NZ.
Basic living costs
Some basic living costs can be much cheaper in New Zealand than here in the UK however others may be a little more expensive. Milk, for example, costs an average of 90p per litre in the UK but the same product would cost the New Zealand dollar equivalent of £1.38. Likewise, fresh white bread costs around £1 for 500g in the UK but would cost £1.41 in New Zealand. Some food costs are lower – apples and local cheeses are two examples.
Luxury items and services
Eating out is usually less expensive in New Zealand than in the UK with the cost of a meal in an inexpensive restaurant being an average of £8 per head versus £15 in London. Mid-range restaurant costs are similar between the big cities in both countries and the cost of beer and drinks such as cappuccinos are similar.
To go shopping for a new pair of jeans or running shoes, costs are very similar in both countries while the cost of leisure activities such as a cinema ticket or fitness club membership are lower in New Zealand. Cars are driven on the same side of the road over there as here in the UK and the cost of a litre of petrol is slightly cheaper on average.
The demand for skilled workers in New Zealand is very high and we currently have plenty of positions available in various locations. The average salary for a GP working in New Zealand is around £100K .The average salary in NZ is just under $50K per year so with the average GP salary around $170 – $180K per annum you can see you will easily afford a comfortable lifestyle. Alongside the maximum tax rate of 33% we find our GPs moving to NZ can enjoy with nice house with plenty of disposal income and importantly, much more time to spend with the family.