FAQs

The questions answered here cover a wide range of topics, however if you have any queries not addressed below we encourage you to contact us.

Application

Do many people travel on their own?

Yes. On average 70% of participants taking a BUNAC Group Flight join the programme on their own. The Discover Hong Kong stopover provides an ideal opportunity to make new friends.

When should I apply for the programme?

We recommend that you apply as soon as possible. Places are available on a first-come first-served basis. Applications for BUNAC group flight options must be received at least 6 weeks before departure. Those arranging their own flights must submit their application at least 6 weeks before the intended departure.

What will it cost?

You should budget for the following costs: 


  • Work New Zealand (£339), plus any additional package cost
  • Flight costs (either BUNAC Group Flight or independent)
  • Visa fee (IEP Work Exchange visa £189 or Working Holiday visa £105)
  • Insurance (the BUNAC Comprehensive policy costs approx. £203 for 6 months)
  • Spending money (each visa has specific minimum requirements; please refer to the visa information for more information).

This is a working holiday and the expectation is that you will earn a local salary whilst away. Most participants use this to cover daily living costs and with careful budgeting can save money to put toward travelling around New Zealand.

Do I have to buy one of the packages?

The Work New Zealand gap year programme is based on the Essentials programme. The other packages are intended to enhance the experience. However, they are optional and you are not obliged to add anything to the Essentials programme. Most people taking a BUNAC Group Flight will also pre-book at least 2 night’s accommodation.

Can I buy an add-on without being on the Essentials programme?

The essence of the Work New Zealand gap year programme is the support and services that are included in the Essentials programme. The extra packages enhance the experience. The packages can’t be arranged without having the Essentials programme.

I am planning to use the Work New Zealand programme as part of a round-the-world trip. Can I spend time in other countries on my way to New Zealand?

Yes, if you book your own flights you can arrange an itinerary to meet your own unique requirements. You must arrive in New Zealand within 12 months of the visa being issued.

Flights

If I book a BUNAC round-the-world ticket, will I be able to change it?

BUNAC flights are flexible and allow dates of travel to be changed for a fee of approximately £75. Changes are made subject to airline availability.

Tell me about the Hong Kong stopover

Discover Hong Kong is an inclusive part of your London-Auckland Group Flight. The BUNAC rep at Heathrow will introduce you to the rest of the group and seats on the plane are pre-allocated to ensure you are sitting with other Work New Zealand participants. 

On arrival in Hong Kong you will be transferred to a centrally located 3* hotel for two nights (rooms are based on two or three sharing and breakfast is included). 

There will be some free time to rest and recover from the flight; although you are likely to fight off the sleep and go and explore the local area with your new friends. 

During your stay your English speaking guide will take you to see some of Hong Kong's most popular tourist highlights including Victoria Peak, Stanley Market, and the Aberdeen Fishing Village (tours may vary from one group to another). There is also a group night out planned for one evening. Finally, having enjoyed a brief introduction to this frenetic Chinese outpost you will be transferred back to the airport in time for your next flight to Auckland.

The flight costs has changed since I first looked at the website. Why is this?

Whilst the flight costs are a constant, the airport/departure taxes and fuel surcharges can fluctuate and this may result in a change to the overall flight cost.

Do I have to fly to Auckland?

All BUNAC Group flights will arrive in Auckland where the IEP resource centre is located. If you are arranging an independent flight you can choose to travel to a city of your choice. However, outside of Auckland the resources will be limited. Please contact BUNAC to discuss your specific needs in more detail.

Visa

How do I know which visa to go for?

The key differences between the visas are the length of stay, funds required on entry to New Zealand and the upper age limit. See the table here for more information on the two different visas. If you are still unsure please call BUNAC and we’ll be happy to discuss the options with you.

What support funds do I need?

New Zealand Immigration explain that you should be prepared to show evidence on arrival of access to either:
NZ$3000 (for the IEP visa) or
NZ$350 for each month you anticipate staying in New Zealand (for the Working Holiday Visa). 

Funds can be NZ$ or £s equivalent. If you arrive on a one-way flight you may need to show evidence of a further £500. 

You are not obliged to spend this money in New Zealand (we expect you’ll be earning during your trip) but it reassures Immigration that you have appropriate funds to support yourself for your initial stay. The funds can be either in your name or provided by a guarantor (such as a parent).

I’ve already had a Working Holiday Visa for New Zealand. Can I apply for the IEP Work Exchange visa?

Yes. If you have already used the Working Holiday Visa for New Zealand you can still apply for the IEP Work Exchange Visa (although this visa is also a once in a lifetime opportunity).

How long do I have to stay?

There is no minimum stay; however we recommend a trip of at least three months. Short trips will need careful planning to ensure you see and do everything that you want to. Finding work may be harder as you will only be able to commit to an employer for a short time. Crop picking and harvest work are ideal for short stay trips. 

The IEP Exchange Visa is available to British and Irish passport holders for a maximum stay of 12 months. 

Irish passport holders can apply for a 12 month Working Holiday Visa. British passport holders can apply for either a 12 month or 23 month Working Holiday Visa. 

As part of the application process for the 23 month visa you must have a government approved chest x-ray and medical which can cost approximately £150; BUNAC will provide the necessary forms. The 12 month Working Holiday Visa can be extended to 23 months whilst in New Zealand providing you still meet the eligibility requirements and you have a medical in New Zealand.

Work

How will you help me find a job?

Our Work New Zealand Handbook has some useful tips that will help you prepare for the job hunt. On arrival in Auckland, utilise IEP’s resource centre with job boards, computers, free internet and knowledgeable staff. They will help you get your tax number and set up a bank account (both essential for potential employers). 

If you are looking for a head start, why not consider the Skills & Thrills package which has been designed to provide you with the necessary experience to find hospitality work.

What kind of work do people do?

Most participants work in retail, hospitality, agriculture (e.g. fruit picking/harvesting) or office temping. Typical jobs include serving in pubs and bars, waiting tables in restaurants and cafes, working in shops and supermarkets, housekeeping and reception work in hotels and hostels, and data entry and customer service roles.

Accommodation

Does the package include accommodation?

Arrival accommodation is an optional extra providing you with the flexibility to tailor your arrival to best match your needs. It can be pre-booked for 2 or 7 consecutive nights to coincide with your arrival. We recommend that people book at least their first 2 night’s accommodation so that they have time to find their feet and become orientated in their new city. We use well equipped centrally located hostels; rooms are shared single sex dorms and the booking includes breakfast.

Can I reserve a twin room in Auckland?

Subject to availability and an upgrade fee we can arrange twin accommodation for you and your travel partner/friend in Auckland. Please contact BUNAC for more information.

Where will I live?

Most participants live in hostels or rent shared flats/houses. It is common for people to share with other participants they meet on the Group Flight. Vacant properties and rooms are advertised online, in local newspapers, hostel notice boards and in IEP’s resource office.

Do I have to stay in Auckland?

Auckland provides a good base to start your trip, but the visa allows you to work anywhere in New Zealand; North Island or South, winter ski resorts or summer beaches, office temping or countryside farming.

How can I find out more?

Contact us on0207 251 3472, send us an email (downunder@bunac.org.uk) or attend a presentation.

Start my Work New Zealand adventure

Not found what you've been looking for?

  • Destination
  • Interest
  • Duration