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What is a Good Salary in New Zealand

New Zealand offers a high quality of life with reasonable costs of living. For those considering moving to New Zealand for work or lifestyle reasons, an important factor is determining what is a good salary.

This article provides the latest information on incomes in New Zealand. It answers key questions on what is considered a good salary across different locations and for different circumstances.

We break down salaries by region and industry. Tables and direct comparisons illustrate differences in pay across New Zealand. With facts on typical costs like rent and food, readers can evaluate if potential wage levels allow a comfortable lifestyle.

Equipped with these details, immigrants can set realistic salary expectations. Locals also gain useful benchmarks on incomes. Let’s examine the data on Kiwi wages and what is good pay in New Zealand.

Table of Contents

  • What is Considered a High Salary in New Zealand?
  • What’s a Good Weekly Pay in New Zealand?
  • Do Salaries in New Zealand Vary?
  • Can I Have a Good Living in New Zealand with a Salary of $120k?
  • How Much Salary Should One Get to Have a Decent Living for a Family of 4 in New Zealand?
  • What is a Comfortable Salary in New Zealand?

What is Considered a High Salary in New Zealand?

The average annual salary in New Zealand is around NZ$58,000 per year. The median income in New Zealand is approximately NZ$49,000.

Based on this nationwide data, a salary over NZ$100,000 is considered a high income. The top 10% of earners in New Zealand make NZ$88,000 or above.

However, incomes vary greatly depending on your job and location. Some key differences:

  • Location: Incomes are higher in major cities like Auckland
  • Industry: Some sectors like financial services tend to pay more
  • Role seniority: More experienced positions deliver higher compensation

For example, senior professionals in Auckland can make NZ$150,000 or more. While outside major hubs, salaries over NZ$80,000 are still seen as strong.

Here is a salary comparison in New Zealand across different situations:

Location Considered High Income?
Wellington No
Christchurch Yes
Auckland Yes
Rural Town No


In summary, while over NZ$100k represents a top tier income nationwide, this benchmark varies by region and job type. Location and sector impact specific salary norms.

What’s a Good Weekly Pay in New Zealand?

With average annual incomes of around NZ$58,000, typical weekly pay lands at about $1,100 per week after tax.

Based on common living expenses, a good target weekly income for individuals is:

  • NZ$800-1,000 per week for comfortable lifestyle
  • NZ$500-700 to cover basic costs like rent and food

Meanwhile for families, rough weekly income benchmarks are:

  • NZ$1,500+ for 2 adults and 2 children
  • NZ$1,200-1,400 for decent living with less discretionary spending

Good Salary in New Zealand

Breaking this down further using sample budgets:

Family Type Rent Food Others
Single Individual $300 $100 $400
Young Couple $500 $200 $500
Family of 4 $750 $400 $350


Based on typical costs for housing, food, childcare and other expenses, these income levels deliver reasonable living standards across different household types.

So while specific budgets vary greatly, $800+ per week represents decent pay for individuals. And incomes over $1,200 weekly enable comfortable lifestyles for families.

Do Salaries in New Zealand Vary?

Yes, salaries in New Zealand vary substantially based on 

1) Location 

2) Industry

Major cities like Auckland and Wellington tend to deliver higher pay across most roles. Finance and technology jobs also pull up income averages.

Some key differences in salaries by region and sector:

New Zealand Salary By Location

Location Average Salary
Auckland $66,000
Wellington $62,500
Christchurch $59,000
Regional/Rural $51,000


New Zealand Salary By Industry

Sector Average Salary
Finance/Banking $83,000
Technology $78,500
Health $75,000
Education $59,500
Tourism/Hospitality $47,000


And within specific occupations, higher seniority also drives substantially bigger paychecks. For instance:

  • Entry corporate bankers earn ~$60k
  • Senior investment bankers make ~$250k

So across regions, sectors, and roles, incomes vary widely. This means defining what is good salary in New Zealand requires compared to relevant benchmarks. While $100k+ is high pay nationwide, finance manager roles in Auckland often pay over $150k.


Can I Have a Good Living in New Zealand with a Salary of $120k?

Yes, an annual salary of around $120,000 provides a very comfortable lifestyle in New Zealand for both individuals and families.

Based on typical costs of living, a $120k income enables home ownership, regular savings, budget hacks, and discretionary spending.

Here is a breakdown of estimated budgets for different household types earning $120k:

Category Single Individual Young Family
After Tax Income $75,000 $90,000
Rent/Mortgage $18,000 (Rent) $40,000 (Mortgage)
Food $10,000 N/A (included in Bills)
Bills N/A (included in Rent) $15,000
Others/Savings $47,000 $35,000
Can Live Comfortably? Yes Yes


With over $3,000 after tax income weekly from a $120k salary, individuals and families can readily afford costs for a very good standard of living. Plus, most households will also save over $30,000 annually with these income levels.

So in summary, this data shows that NZ $120,000 allows home ownership and discretionary spending, supporting a comfortable lifestyle across New Zealand. Therefore, this level is considered good pay for even higher cost cities like Auckland or Wellington.

How Much Salary Should One Get to Have a Decent Living for a Family of 4 in New Zealand?

For a family of 4 (2 adults, 2 children), analysts estimate about NZ$110,000 in annual income is needed for a decent standard of living across most areas of New Zealand.

This income level enables covered costs related to:

  • Housing – Either rent of NZ$25k-30k annually or mortgage payments up to $50k per year
  • Bills – Utilities, insurance, healthcare adding up to ~$15k per year
  • Food – Approximately $1,000-1,500 monthly for family
  • Education & Child Care – With 2 kids, around $15k per year
  • Other essentials/transportation – $12k per year

With the expenses above, a gross salary over $100k-110k provides income after deductions of around $70k net. This supports savings of $10k+ along with discretionary spending.

So while specific budgets vary, this data suggests $110,000 annually allows a New Zealand family of 4 to cover costs and also accumulate savings. Therefore, this income represents decent living with reasonable affordability and lifestyle.

What is a Comfortable Salary in New Zealand?

Given average salaries of around NZ$58k nationwide, an annual income between NZ$80-100k is considered comfortable pay across most of New Zealand.

Comfortable salary in New Zealand

This income bracket enables a lifestyle with:

  • Ability to purchase a lower priced home or pay reasonable rents
  • Adequate healthy food, recreational budgets
  • 1-2 domestic/overseas holidays per year
  • Slow but steady savings build up
  • Reasonable pension contributions

For example, someone earning a gross income of NZ$95k can expect around NZ$63k net annually to budget with. Spread reasonably across different costs, this salary level facilitates good living standards.

However, in major metropolitan cities like Auckland where housing costs are 50% higher, incomes over NZ$120k+ deliver a comparable lifestyle. And in more rural areas, $70-80k represents a comfortable income bracket.

So while NZ$80-100k is a decent nationwide benchmark, truly comfortable salaries to match costs of living vary by region. Location-specific standards apply when evaluating what is good pay in New Zealand.

What is a Good Annual Income in NZ?

Given New Zealand’s average salary is around NZ$58,000, a good benchmark annual income range is NZ$70,000 to NZ$100,000

This allows for a comfortable standard of living in most parts of the country. Specifically, this income band enables:

  • Home ownership or reasonable rental payments
  • Providing for basic needs like food, utilities, transportation
  • Some discretionary spending on entertainment, travel, etc.
  • Savings set aside for retirement, emergencies, etc.

While salaries do vary by job, industry, experience level and location, NZ$70k-100k remains a reasonable guide across different situations.

Higher amounts like NZ$150k+ qualify as top tier incomes. But for most Kiwis, reaching $100k annually marks entering a highly comfortable income bracket.

Is $130k NZD a Good Salary Figure for Auckland?

Yes, NZ$130,000 represents a good salary level even for New Zealand’s highest cost city Auckland. At this wage rate, individuals and families enjoy high living standards.

Based on typical expenditure estimates in Auckland, a gross $130k salary provides around $85k in net annual income. This facilitates:

    • Home ownership – Either modest mortgage under NZ$60k annually or renting a nice property
    • Comfortable spending on food, bills, transportation
  • At least NZ$15k in annual savings

Additionally, $130k incomes qualify for top tier tax rates. So net income out of a $130k salary is higher than average.

This means that even for Auckland’s notoriously high housing prices, $130k enables home ownership. At the same time, households can also accumulate substantial savings each year.

So while Auckland’s average salary is the highest nationally at around NZ$66k, pay over $130k provides very comfortable affordability. Given elevated costs, this income marks good pay by both local and nationwide comparisons.

What is Considered a Good Salary/Hourly Rate?

Given New Zealand’s average annual salary of NZ$58k, a good benchmark income equates roughly to the following hourly rates:

  • ~$30 per hour annualized at 40 hours per week
  • $35-45 per hour marks high incomes relative to national median
  • $55+ per hour reaches top 10% of incomes

However, most salaries are stated in annual terms. Typical Kiwi workers do not have hourly wage jobs.

But as a rule of thumb, annual incomes over NZ$70k represent a comfortable salary. Anything below $30 per hour marks more limited incomes.

So this hourly rate view provides another angle for gauging good pay levels in the New Zealand job market across different roles.

What is Considered a Good Salary in NZ?

Given average annual incomes of around NZ$58k in New Zealand, here are broad benchmarks on what constitutes a good salary:

Low Income

  • Under NZ$30k
  • Tough to afford basics like housing and healthcare
  • Mainly entry-level salaries or part time roles

Average Income

  • NZ$40-60k
  • Enables reasonable standard without many frills
  • Covers basic costs but limited savings/vacations

Good Income

  • NZ$65-85k
  • Comfortable salary bracket for most Kiwis
  • Facilitates home ownership outside major cities
  • Allows for regular domestic and overseas holidays

Very Good Income

  • Over NZ$100k
  • Reaches top 25% of incomes nationwide
  • Top incomes by NZ standards
  • Enables nice housing even in Auckland/Wellington

However, incomes over NZ$150k qualify as truly high pay across nearly all sectors and regions.

So while definitions vary by location and household type, these benchmarks outline common perceptions on what is considered a good salary in New Zealand.

Key Takeaways – Defining Good Salary in New Zealand

Determining what is a good salary requires comparing incomes relative to averages and costs of living.

While NZ$100k+ represents top tier pay across most roles nationally, finance salaries in Auckland often exceed $150k. Teaching incomes of $65k stretch further in smaller towns too.

But broadly, salaries between NZ$70-150k facilitate comfortable lifestyles in New Zealand backed by benchmarks on typical household expenses. Within this range, higher salaries bring more savings and discretionary spending power.

Lower incomes under NZ$50k require careful budgeting especially in metros like Auckland or Wellington. Yet even on modest incomes, reasonable living standards are accessible since New Zealand offers high quality affordable healthcare, education and infrastructure across all regions.

Final Words 

So while incomes and costs vary by location and occupation, these national salary comparisons provide guidelines on what is considered a good income for both New Zealanders and immigrants. Evaluate budgets required for housing, food and lifestyle aspirations, and aim for salaries aligned based on where you plan to live.

Isabelle Catoni
Isabelle Catoni
Isabelle is a blogger and a professional SEO content writer. She has a degree in finance but her passion for playing with words forced her to become a writer. In her free time she loves exploring AI developments.


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