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Run a business in New Zealand

At a glance

  • Innovative country with modern demographics and technology
  • Ideal test market and excellent clustering opportunities
  • Niche markets of communications technology, biotechnology, wine-making, wood production, film and call-centres relatively untapped
  • Great telecommunications
  • Establishing residence relatively easy
Run a business in New Zealand

Picture New Zealand and you see lush green forests, rolling pastures and the promise of a new and better life.

This is why New Zealand has recently been a buzzword on the lips of adventurous emigrants the world over.

For a country with a relatively small market, New Zealand is a remarkably sophisticated, technologically aware nation

With a blossoming economy and several niche markets that are unexploited and ripe for investment, the business traveller has a lot to gain by discovering this resourceful nation.

Investing in New Zealand offers unique opportunities to leverage dynamic ideas and creative intellect in specialised, valuable industries such as communications technology, biotechnology, film, niche manufacturing, vineyards, wood processing and call centres.

For a country with a relatively small market, New Zealand is a remarkably sophisticated, technologically aware nation and has one of the highest investments in information technology as a proportion of GDP in the world.

It's businesspeople boast a reputation for embracing fresh ideas and combined with the compact size of the country and demographics that mirror those of much larger markets, this makes New Zealand the ideal place to test new market technologies.

Excellent communications

With up to the minute telecommunications access, New Zealand is now a virtual suburb to the rest of the world. Telstra, Bell Atlantic, AT&T, British Telecom, Sprint and Cable and Wireless all have affiliates in New Zealand and there are more than a dozen high capacity links across the globe.

The Southern Cross cable recently 'went live' and this highly sophisticated fibre optic system links San Francisco, Hawaii, New Zealand, Australia and Fiji and is capable of transferring the equivalent of two full-length movies every second, and at a network availability rate of more than 99%.

As well as welcoming fresh technology and perhaps because of this, New Zealand is also a great location for clinical trials and research and development for new biomedical products.

In fact, world-class companies active in biotechnology and ICT are already clustering here to research, develop technology and explore commercial collaborations.

Due to New Zealand's vast forests, industries involved in wood products should also take advantage of the relatively untapped resources here.


The UK is New Zealand's fourth largest partner in two-way trade, with British companies exporting goods mainly in the agricultural, food and drink, marine, pharmaceuticals, creative industries, motor vehicles and healthcare sectors.

Unlike more formidable players in the world market, New Zealand is keen to assist overseas investment and the Government is actively working to provide an environment that enables international investors to bring or establish operations, or to collaborate with New Zealand to mutual advantage.

The recent CER agreement with Australia means that a business operating from New Zealand gains duty free access to a potential tran-Tasman market of 24 million. Free trade agreements, such as the recently negotiated economic co-operation with Singapore and others still in negotiation in the Asia-Pacific region, can only increase the size of that free market.

Methodical immigration

Under New Zealand's immigration laws there are methodical steps to full establishment and residence in the country.

Under the Long Term Business category you must have a sound business plan and evidence that you have enough money aside from investment funds to support any partner or children coming with you.

While in New Zealand, a work permit is issued for nine months and during this time you must establish your business and apply for a further work permit to take your stay up to three years. This further permit requires documentary proof that you are making reasonable progress in setting up the business.

After this, to be eligible for residence under the Entrepreneur category, you must prove that you have established, purchased or made an investment of at least 25% in a business operating in New Zealand and have been self-employed or, if you're a part owner, have worked in that business for two years before applying for residence as an entrepreneur.

With a stable economy, thanks to a recent Governmental legacy of structural economic reform which included the deregulation of markets to enhance competition and efficiency, the privatisation of assets, the closing of a large budget deficit, and public debt being slashed in half, New Zealand's pastures new are ever more attractive.

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