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Countries Information & Lifestyle
 New Zealand New Zealand

Country Information & Lifestyle

 Land of the  Long White Cloud

Land of the Long White Cloud

New Zealand - known by the Maori's as Aotearoa, the "Land of the Long White Cloud", one of the most beautiful, awesome and spectacular places on earth. Made up of North and South Islands and numerous smaller ones such as Stewart Island and the Chatham Islands.

New Zealand also includes the Cooks Island and nine, self-governing but in free association, Tokelau and the Ross Dependency,(New Zealand's territorial claim to Antarctica). With Hawaii and Rapa Nui,(Easter Island), New Zealand forms what is known by anthropologists as the Triangle of Polynesia.

The country is noted for its geographic isolation being separated from Australia to the north-west by the Tasman Sea, 2,000 km2 across and the closest neighbours are New Caledonia, Fiji and Tonga. The population is mainly of European descent with the indigenous Maoris the largest minority.

The country is full of rugged mountains, untouched beauty, superb skiing and snowboarding, miles of sandy beaches and offers so much for everyone with such a diverse landscape and climate. In New Zealand you will be surrounded by some of the most pristine, awe-inspiring outdoor scenery on earth. The movie The Lord of the Rings has brought New Zealand to the world's attention and many people who have made the trip Down Under name New Zealand as their favourite destination.

The English-speaking population, temperate climate, a clean, safe image, low living costs, high marks for health care and highs standards of education - they all combine to make New Zealand a great place to live either part or all of the year.

In this uncrowded, unspoiled Pacific-island paradise you will have towering, snow-capped peaks, fern-filled rain forests, black-sand beaches, healing hot springs and just about everything in between.

The flightless Kiwi bird, the national namesake of New Zealand, used to run in millions and the official count in 2003 was less than 50,000. It is possible that you might catch a glimpse of this bird in Coromandel.

The Dutchman, Abel Tasman, first sighted and named the island in 1642 but it was not until Capt Cook charted the coastline in 1769 that the country experienced whalers and traders beginning to arrive. The first European settlers came in the early 19th century at the Bay of Islands and established a missionary station and mass immigration happened after the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840.

The indigenous people, the Maori's keep alive their culture and language which is rich and varied and the Marae, a communal plaza provides a focus for social cultural and spiritual life. Traditional carvers keep culture alive, every piece tells a story which can only be ready by those who know.

Oral culture is rich with stories and legends and the creation of New Zealand is described in legend by Maui. This God was a cheeky trickster who managed among other things to harness the sun in order to make the days longer. However his biggest claim to fame was his fishing up of the North Island which he described as Te Ika A Maui,(the fish of Maui).

The North Island has so many beautiful places it is impossible to do justice to them all but here are just a few. In sub-tropical tropical Northland a welcome awaits you among the blue, green and gold of beaches, bays and forests. Auckland with its magnificent harbour, restaurants, shops and outgoing, friendly people. Rotorua surely must be one of the most unusual places with its geothermal phenomena and Maori culture.

The Bay of Plenty has extraordinary coastal beauty where you can relax and indulge in all kinds of adventure possible. Eastland is where the sun touches before anywhere else in New Zealand and the Maori culture thrives here.

The snow-capped mountain Taranki,(Gliding Peak), has a lovely legend. Taranki once lived with the northern North Island great volcanoes, (Tongariro, Ruapehu & Ngauruhoe), but was banished for falling in love with Tongariroa's wife a smaller volcano called Pihanga.

Awe-inspiring Lake Taupo, created by one of the world most exciting volcanic eruptions and Hawkes Bay is the premium wines area with magnificent beaches. Manawatu-Wanganui is the serene, green heart of North Island with the wild Whanganui river, dune lakes, gorges.

Wellington is the capital and is a city with two faces. The culture side with art, theatres, galleries and then the blockbuster scenery, familiar to everyone who has watched the Lord of the Rings. In Waiarapa is the scent of Pinot Noir is in the air in the historic vineyard villages.

Coromandel has vast mountain chains, steaming volcanoes, sweeping coastlines, deep indented fjords and lush rain forests, along with rolling farmland. Here is a haven for people seeking peace, rejuvenation and relaxation as well as a playground for thrill seekers and adventurers. You will possibly glimpse the unique flightless bird, the Kiwi here and see an abundance of natural plants found nowhere else on earth.

The South Island is spectacular with the Southern Alps,(Ka Tiritir o te Moana, caressed by clouds and soaked by a deep sense of spirit. The mountains of the Southern Alps cut a spectacular sight against the sky as they ride across the southern island are are featured frequently in the film trilogy Lord of the Rings.

Mount Cook, Aoraki, is a link between the supernatural and the natural world, and you will find this mountain's grandeur awe inspiring. Marlborough is on an exquisitely pretty plain framed by mountains and a passion for food and wine lure will you here.

People on the East Coast are few and the landscapes wild, here you can follow in footsteps of Pounamu hunters, gold prospectors and explorers. Christchurch-Canterbury is a captivating world of rivers and coastal plains and every day will surprise you, and Lake Wanaka is where each season paints a picture.

Queenstown's fabled alpine scenery is for real and Central Otago's powerful, moody landscape will touch your soul. Dunedin is charming and wild and is the oldest city in New Zealand, full of history, stunning scenery and wildlife.

The Caitlins in Southland has a surprising natural beach and curious fossilized forest of Curio Bay, at Nugget Point you will encounter fur seals, penguins and sea lions. A touch of enchantment in the air like you've slipped through the gateway into a different world.

Fiorlands landscape is carved by glaciers and it is remote, stupendous almost supernatural. You'll think you have arrived at the end of the earth.

New Zealand would not be New Zealand without the mention of the Haka the electrifying ancient dance performed by the All Blacks at the start of every rugby match.

Purchasing a Property

There are no restrictions on the foreign purchase of New Zealand urban property and New Zealand generally welcomes and encourages overseas investment from anywhere in the world.

Off-shore investors in New Zealand property no longer require Government consent to acquire urban property.

Urban property is property that is used for commercial, industrial or residential purposes and is not used principally or exclusively for any type of farming.

Instances when an overseas investor will need to seek consent from the Overseas Investment Office when acquiring New Zealand property include : -

Property(other than urban property) such as lifestyle, farms etc, which exceeds 15 hectares(12 acres) or where the purchase price exceeds $10 million.

It is not mandatory to use a lawyer to do your conveyance although it is certainly recommended.

Once you have appointed a lawyer he will conduct a title search to establish that the person selling the property is in fact entitled to sell it. This is usually carried out swiftly by the Land Information New Zealand. Your lawyer should obtain a copy of the Land Information Memorandum(LIM) report from the local council which describes the title of the land, outlines the official boundaries and buildings, the changes allowed to buildings and flood risks. This has to be applied for in writing to the local council and is usually issued within then working days.

One peculiar local concept in property purchase is cross leasing )also known as X-leasing). This usually applies in a situation where the previous owner a section has leased part of it for the construction of another home, e.g. the one you are planning to buy, it is effective:

Where the property exceeds O.4 hectares (one acre) and adjoins sensitive property (reserve, conservation historic etc).

Where the property exceeds 0.2 hectares (half an acre) and adjoins a foreshore.

Where the property is or forms part of an island.

Further the property must have been on the open market for a period of no less than 20 days within the past 12 months.

Fees & Taxes

There is no stamp duty or estate duty.

If an individual is resident in New Zealand he or she must pay New Zealand income tax on his or her worldwide income.. If an individual is a non-resident in New Zealand he or she pays New Zealand income tax only on income that has a source in New Zealand.

There is currently no capital gains tax imposed in New Zealand but some capital gains are taxed as income.

There is no wealth tax.

The lawyers fee for conveyance will be in the region of $60 and $20. The fee may include the land transfer registration fee of $128. There is no fixed scale of conveyance charges as this was abolished in 1984, it is worth shopping around and haggling over the cost.

The Land Information Memorandum (LIM) will cost in the region of $2 to $1,500 depending on the property and the details included therefore check the cost in advance.

Goods and Services Tax (GST) is a tax on the consumption of most goods and services in New Zealand. The current standard rate of GST is 12.5%.

There is an annual property tax levied by the local authorities and is based on the rate-able value of the property.

Visas

A passport with a least six months validity from date of entry into New Zealand is required by all nationals.

New Zealand and the USA have a Visa Waiver Agreement.

A US passport holder requires the following :-

A return air ticket or a valid onward ticket to a country the traveler has a right to enter.

A passport valid for three months beyond the date you are leaving New Zealand.


Proof of sufficient funds for the duration of the visit and is only wishing to visit for the time granted on arrival, may visit New Zealand for tourism purposes for up to three months without a visa. If the intention is to stay longer the traveller should apply for a visitor's visa.

Non US citizens require the following : -

Passport must be valid for three months beyond the intended date of departure from New Zealand.

Completed visitor's visa application signed and dated by the applicant.

Two recent passport size photographs with applicant's name printed on the back.

Evidence of funds in form of traveller's cheques, bank draft, letter of credit from bank, bank or credit card statements showing available credit, original statement plus one copy.

If returning to the US applicants must produce evidence of their right of entry, i.e.either a valid visa or a notarised copy of both sides of their alien registration card.

Onward/return ticket or confirmed itinerary.

NZ Business Visa requirements are the following :-

As above with the addition of : -

A letter from the company in the US explaining the purpose and duration of the trip.

A letter of invitation from the company in New Zealand.
Onward/return ticket or confirmed itinerary.

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