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Tips on Students’ Accommodations in New Zealand

New Zealand, often referred to as the world’s last untouched paradise, is renowned for its breathtaking natural landscapes. However, the allure of this country extends beyond its scenic beauty. Its high-quality education system and agreeable climate have made it a magnet for students from around the globe.

New Zealand’s distinctive mix of bustling cities and tranquil rural towns makes navigating the rental market about more than just securing a place to live. Finding suitable accommodation can be a daunting task for international students. This blog post is designed to equip international students with practical advice and insights, easing their transition into New Zealand’s accommodation. We aim to ensure that you can concentrate on your studies and immerse yourself in the Kiwi lifestyle without the stress of accommodation issues.

Houses in New Zealand

Types of Accommodation

Selecting the ideal accommodation requires careful thought and a multitude of factors to consider. What kind of room aligns with your requirements? How proximate is the dwelling to your educational institution? Are there amenities within easy reach? How can you protect yourself from potential scams? In today’s discussion, we will delve into these queries as we guide you through the intricacies of the rental housing market in New Zealand.

On-campus Accommodation

In New Zealand, educational institutions offer on-campus dormitories, typically situated close to the campus. These dormitories provide both single-room and double-room options.

Amenities such as a school canteen are conveniently located near the dormitories, catering to various dietary needs. Additionally, schools organize various social and sporting activities, fostering a vibrant community for on-campus residents.

Some institutions also feature “self-catering” dormitories. In these accommodations, 6-8 students each have their own bedrooms while sharing common areas like bathrooms, kitchens, and living rooms. The cost for such arrangements typically ranges from NZ$200-300 per week. This offers students a blend of privacy and community living, enhancing their on-campus experience.

On-campus Accommodation


Host families typically provide three meals a day and a separate room for their guests. Daily conversations with your host family is an excellent way to improve your English skills rapidly. Regular interactions with your host family can also assist you in adjusting to life in New Zealand and provide you with a deeper insight into the local culture.

However, living under the same roof means that you may need to adapt to the host family’s customs and rules. If any issues arise, it’s essential to communicate with your host to prevent misunderstandings. The typical cost for this arrangement ranges from NZD 250 to 350 per week.

Off-campus Accommodation

Renting an off-campus apartment can offer you a greater degree of freedom than residing with a host family. You have the flexibility to either rent an apartment independently or opt to share it with persons.

Typically, rental apartments come with only essential furnishings. Therefore, you will be responsible for arranging many daily necessities yourself. Additionally, you will need to cover the costs of utilities such as gas, electricity, and internet every month.

If you rent a room off-campus independently, you can choose from three main types of accommodations: a studio, an apartment, or a house.

Studio: A type of apartment where the kitchen, living room, and bedroom are all interconnected. This type of accommodation is particularly suitable for individuals or couples.

Pros: The Studio has its own kitchen and bathroom, so there is no need to share with others.

Cons: It may be smaller.

Studio Apartment

Apartment: It is a suite in an apartment, usually shared by 2-3 people.

Pros: It is closer to the city, so commuting to work or school is more convenient! You need to share the kitchen and other common facilities with your roommates.

Cons: Less privacy, and sometimes you need to share a bathroom with your roommate if there is no bathroom in the room.

students apartment accommodation

House: Need 3 – 4 friends to share a room together. Located in the suburbs, some distance from the city centre!
Pros: Free parking, more space!
Cons: Usually not furnished, and can be inconvenient if you don’t have a car. May need lawn care.

House for renting

In Auckland, for example, a two-bedroom, one-bathroom apartment in the city centre is about NZD 500-600 per week, or NZD 250-350 per week for a shared room.

Average Accommodation Rent(NZD)
ZoneWhole tenancy/WeekJoint tenancy/Week
Central District550-800200-300
East Zone550-600200-300
North Shore600-800300-400
West/South Zone450-500100-200

Utility and Network Charges


Vodafone 4G Unlimited, NZD 55/month (December Fixed Term)
Vodafone 5G Unlimited, NZD 64/month (December Fixed Term)
Vodafone Fibre, NZD 89/month (regular for December)

Website: https://www.vodafone.co.nz/

2degrees 4G unlimited, NZD 65/month
2degrees Fibre, NZD 80/month (recurring in December)

Website: https://www.2degrees.nz/

Tip: For unlimited internet, you’d better choose an internet company with the same brand as your mobile network. There will be occasional monthly discounts and many other offers! It’s not only convenient but also saves money!


Two well rated electricity companies:
Powershop: NZD 0.25/kW, about NZD 2.2 per day.

Website: https://www.powershop.co.nz/

Mercury: NZD 0.16/kW, approximately NZD 2.1/day

Website: https://www.mercury.co.nz/

NZD, New Zealand Dollar, money, charge


Generally apartments in Auckland CBD are packaged with cold water, it is best to double check these questions with the landlord and agent.

  • If cold water is included, will the hot water go through electric heating or a hot water pipe?
  • If it is electric, you only need to pay the electricity bill, and you will have hot and cold water.
  • If it goes with hot water pipes, you must keep the bills sent out each month.

There are two water companies to choose from:

Website: https://www.watercare.co.nz/

Website: https://energycoltd.co.nz/

You only need to register an account on the official website and ask your landlord or agent to authorise you to pay the water bill on your behalf; if you are not authorised to do so, please ask your landlord or agent to give you a water bill every month and then pay it yourself.

Tips: Generally, Auckland CBD flats are contracted by a certain water supply company. Please consult your landlord or agent in advance.

Auckland CBD, New Zealand


uhomes, a global platform, is committed to providing students with a comprehensive accommodation search. They boast a vast selection of verified properties in over 500+ cities, strategically located near major universities. With a 24×7 assistance service and a price-match guarantee, they ensure transparency and reliability in their offerings.

Their innovative services include Virtual Reality (VR) property viewing and detailed floorplans, providing a realistic and thorough understanding of the property. The booking process is straightforward and user-friendly.

uhomes has garnered high praise from students for its dependable and efficient service. Catering to diverse needs, whether you’re in search of an en-suite, a studio, or shared accommodation, uhomes simplifies the process of finding your ideal student home, making it both effortless and enjoyable.



Once you’ve identified an apartment that meets your needs, it’s crucial to promptly finalize and sign a housing contract with your landlord or agent. Here are some tips to guide you through the process:

  1. Choosing between an agent and a landlord: The critical difference lies in flexibility. Renting directly from a landlord can expedite the process, but it’s essential to sign a robust contract to prevent future complications. If you opt for an agent, be prepared for additional steps such as credit checks and personal information verification. While this route is generally safer, it may be slower.
  2. Planning your move: If you’re considering moving, start your apartment hunt 1-2 months before your lease expires.
  3. Understanding agency fees: As of the end of 2018, New Zealand regulations prohibit agents from charging agency fees for apartment rentals. Exercise caution when viewing or searching for an apartment through an agent.
  4. Signing a tenancy agreement and paying your bond: Ensure you sign your tenancy agreement and pay your bond promptly. Landlords typically charge a bond equivalent to 2-4 weeks’ rent, and the deposit must not exceed four weeks’ rent. The landlord can retain the bond or pay it to the deposit centre (for room subletting). However, if you rent an entire room, you must pay it to the deposit centre by the 23rd day.
  5. Paying the bond: When you pay the bond, you must sign the bond lodgement form. For more information, please refer to the Tenancy Services (website: https://tools.tenancy.govt.nz/lodge-your-bond/).

Remember, understanding your rights and responsibilities can make your renting experience smoother and more enjoyable.

Glasgow University, New Zealand


Finding accommodation in New Zealand involves considering your budget, preferences, and the duration of your stay. Options range from budget-friendly hostels, mid-range hotels, to luxury lodges and bed and breakfasts. It’s advisable to book your accommodation well in advance, especially during peak tourist seasons. Look for accommodations with a Qualmark badge, which is New Zealand tourism’s official quality assurance organization. Also, consider staying outside of the major cities for a unique Kiwi experience. Websites and apps can be useful for comparing prices and locations. Always read reviews and check the cancellation policy before booking.

Student accommodation costs in New Zealand vary based on the type and location. On-campus accommodation, like a residential college, can cost around NZ$18,696 per year. Shared flats average around NZ$10,400 for rent annually, with additional costs for food and utilities1. Studio rooms can cost around NZ$13,000 per year. Private accommodations also vary significantly in cost1. The cost of student accommodation in popular cities ranges between NZD 1,066 and NZD 2,505 per month2. It’s essential to consider these costs along with your budget and lifestyle preferences when choosing accommodation.

International students in New Zealand typically live in a variety of accommodation options, including homestays, university dormitories, private hostels, shared apartments, and rental houses. Many international students choose to live in university-managed accommodation near their institution, providing a convenient and supportive living environment. Homestays are also popular, offering the opportunity to live with a local family for cultural immersion. Urban centres like Auckland, Wellington, and Christchurch have a range of accommodation options suitable for international students, including student apartments and homestays. Overall, international students in New Zealand have access to diverse and comfortable living arrangements.

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