Working in New Zealand

110Can you have paid work while in our programmes? Probably. However, here are important considerations:

  • Legal restrictions: If you are not a New Zealand citizen, you are only legally allowed to be employed in New Zealand if your visa allows it and only in keeping with any restrictions of that visa.  Often, students are allowed to work with limitations.  It is important to follow the rules.  Failure to do so can have serious consequences including removal from New Zealand.
  • Legal rights: If you are employed in New Zealand, you have all of the rights of others employed in New Zealand. Employers may not, for instance, have you work more hours than you are paid for or pay you less than the minimum wage.
  • Programme participation must come first: Your job must not interfere with your taking full advantage of our programmes.  How much you work and when you work needs to be arranged so that you can be a fully active participant.  Offerings of our programmes usually have some flexibility about when you are in the Learning Centre.  However, there is NO flexibility about when you are at the Partnering Laboratory.  In addition to being a programme requirement and an Immigrations requirement to attend, impressing the staff at the Partnering Laboratory is very important to future career success.  New Zealand is a small country.  Your reputation, good or bad, will matter when you are job hunting.
  • Working during the parts of programmes at the Learning Centre:  If you are in Palmerston North for a short time before moving on to a Partnering Laboratory in another city, it is possible but unlikely that you will be able to arrange employment during that part of the programme.

Please check with Immigrations about work restrictions and your student visa.

Do New Zealand laboratories hire people from overseas? Yep. In fact, there is a good chance the person interviewing you will be from overseas.  Many New Zealand labs have more people from elsewhere in the world than people born in New Zealand.  However, New Zealand employers tend to look especially carefully at people from overseas in ways it is important to understand:

  • Communications: Employers need to be confident you will understand what you are told verbally and in writing.  Employers need to be confident they will understand what you communicate verbally and in writing.
  • Skills: Employers want to know you are actually up to the job.  Frankly, they are used to seeing overseas experience and qualifications that are impressive on paper, but do not really indicate preparedness for the job.  Although overseas experience and education is sometimes similar to New Zealand experience and education, employers who have found some overseas credentials misleading strongly prefer New Zealand qualifications and experience.
  • The Kiwi Way: New Zealand is a diverse country. About a quarter of us are Kiwi by choice, not by birth.  We bring our foods, accents and religions.  And most Kiwis are fine with that.  However, we also sometimes bring things that are not alright. Some of us bring ideas that men are superior to women; and that is not acceptable here.  Some of us bring a concept of paying money to "smooth things over" in a way that is considered a bribe here; that is not alright.  Employers want confidence that you have adjusted to things here in the ways that matter to employers.

How does REAL.AC.NZ help participants get lab jobs in New Zealand?  Our programmes lead to New Zealand qualifications.  It will also give significant experience in well-run, well-respected New Zealand laboratories.  We can never guarantee any participant employment, but we are very serious about all participants, Kiwi and international, getting a job in a laboratory.  We assist participants and graduates get laboratory jobs.  Please check with Immigrations about how our programmes fit with your needs for visa applications for work in New Zealand after graduation.