Settling In: Tips for New Filipino Migrants to New Zealand

  • Posted by Jason on November 3, 2014 in Immigration

So you’ve relocated from the Philippines to New Zealand? Congratulations and Haere Mai (that’s Maori for ‘Welcome’)! There are a few things that you’re going to find here that work very differently from back in the Philippines, so we’ve put together a few tips on aspects of NZ society like socializing, language, communication with the Philippines, and how to send money back to family in the Philippines to help you get settled in.

Filipino expats remitting money home

Don’t Be Scared of the Locals!

One thing you’re going to find out very quickly after moving to New Zealand is that Kiwis are a friendly and welcoming bunch who are usually very interested in finding out more about visitors. They are also great travellers themselves and they’re always looking for the next place to visit. Don’t be afraid to ask questions – they’ll be more than happy to help you get used to the way things work. Living in New Zealand is a great experience and the locals will be more than happy to help get you settled.

Socializing in New Zealand

Kiwis also love to eat and drink, and they love to do it together. Every weekend all over the country you will see barbecues being lit in backyards as New Zealanders invite their friends over to get together, spend time together and talk about life. The BBQ is a New Zealand icon. For a more historical food experience, there’s the traditional Maori hangi. The food at a hangi has to be tasted to be believed, so if you get the chance to attend one be sure to go along.

The Outdoor Lifestyle

Apart from eating and drinking together, Kiwis also really love the outdoors. New Zealand is one of the most beautiful countries on the planet, so be sure to take full advantage of the wide array of outdoor activities on offer. One thing you’ll find quite a bit of here that you don’t tend to get in the Philippines is snow! Be sure to get to the mountains during ski season (or, if you’re in Auckland, check out Snow Planet, the indoor ski field).

The Kiwi Accent

When it comes to the language, pretty much everyone speaks English but you will find that the accent will take some getting used to as it’s quite different from the American accents that you may be accustomed to in the Philippines. Kiwis also tend to talk pretty quickly so you might need to politely ask people to slow down a little while you’re getting used to the way they speak if your English isn’t particularly strong yet.

Phoning Home

Communicating with friends and family back in the Philippines using a normal New Zealand landline or cellphone can be an expensive prospect so it’s best if you get yourself a phone card. You’ll find them available at most corner dairies (you may know these as sari sari stores). There is a wide range of options available and you’ll need to work out which one is going to be best for you. It depends a lot on who you’re calling, what sort of phone you’re calling and how long you want to talk. You can also search online and see what kind of packages the major telecommunications providers have for regular calling to the Philippines.

Sending Money to the Philippines from NZ

When it comes to sending money back home to help your family in the Philippines, your best option is to use an online money transfer service. With OrbitRemit you’re able to transfer money straight from your New Zealand bank account to us and then have it in a bank account in the Philippines within one business day. Head on over to our Philippines money transfer page if you’d like to take the service for a test run.

Settling in to any new country is always a challenging experience, but it doesn’t have to be too complex. What you’ve got to remember is that many of the people in New Zealand will be as curious about your culture as you are about theirs, and you may end up teaching more than you learn. We wish you all the best in settling in to your new home.



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