Recruitment in New Zealand

Recruitment in New Zealand: Frequently Asked Questions

What is the monthly cost of using an Umbrella Company in New Zealand? 

3 to 5%.


What is the cost of a Work Permit in New Zealand?

$2,000 NZD.

How long does it take to get a work permit in New Zealand?

4 to 6 weeks.

What is the estimated net retention in New Zealand for a contractor earning USD 500 per day?

*update pending

What is the estimated net retention in New Zealand for a contractor earning USD 1000 per day?

Depending on your level of expenses 65-75%.

Read more about the work permit process.

click here


Recruitment in New Zealand can be a challenge, but you don’t have to drown in time-consuming admin just to place a candidate. You can simplify complications by using an Umbrella Company (or “contractor management company”), as long as you pick the right one.

Skip ahead to find out how we can help you place candidates faster, or simply read on to find out more about the specific issues you’ll face.

Placing a new contractor in New Zealand: what are the challenges?


Recruiting in New Zealand generally requires a lot of complex admin duties, and contractors might end up paying too much in taxes or failing to comply with New Zealand tax law. It’s important to know what kind of concerns you’ll be facing.

  • Double taxation: Contractors can incur a tax liability in both their home country and in New Zealand. Many countries have agreements that mitigate this type of issue, but whether or not you can take advantage of them will depend on factors like the length of the contractor’s stay, or the laws of the contractor’s home country. You can learn more about double taxation here (note: this info was written with respect to the UK, but the general concepts will still apply).
  • Withholding tax: If a foreign company is used to provide services overseas, the payments made to that company by the New Zealand client could be liable for withholding tax under New Zealand tax law. Find out more about withholding tax.
  • Individual taxation and tax residency: A contractor’s tax liability will often be determined by his or her residency status in their home country and in New Zealand. Figuring out their tax residency can be difficult and is often tied to the length of their stay in New Zealand (or out of their home country). Read more about tax residency and individual tax liability here.
  • Permanent establishment: Most double taxation agreements limit the scope of taxation in the host country by providing that a business is only taxable in another state if it has a permanent establishment in that state. A permanent establishment is a fixed base such as a branch, office, factory, workshop, mine or oil well. To find out how to avoid permanent establishment and unnecessary tax liability, read more about the issue.

Work permits

Contractors will need to find a sponsored work permit, which can be difficult and may seriously slow the placement process. Additionally, they’ll need a new permit for each new contract, spawning even more paperwork.

See our FAQ to find out more about the cost and processing time of New Zealand work permits.

Why use a contractor management company?

An efficient way to manage these problems is to outsource them to a contractor management company. They’ll act as the contractor’s “employer,” handling all of their invoicing, fees, and social security. As New Zealand tax experts, they also help contractors comply with local tax law while maximising the amount they get to keep.

A quicker, better recruitment process: Working with an Umbrella Company means saving time, effort, and resources. Higher earnings and a smoother transition also make contracting a more attractive opportunity, helping you place candidates more quickly and successfully.

Still, you’ll need to find the right company for you and your candidate.

How to find the right Umbrella Company?

Making sense of the optionsFor free, we match contractors with Umbrella Companies and can help dramatically reduce waiting times. There are numerous Umbrella Companies in New Zealand and each has its own specialties, services, and payment structures. Choosing the right one is crucial, but it can be difficult when you’re facing a bunch of unfamiliar options.

We’ve developed an extensive database of these companies. We can guide you through your options and help connect you with the best company for you and the contractor.

Get in touch: If you want straightforward, honest advice on recruitment in New Zealand, we’re easy to contact. Call, e-mail, or chat with us online - for free.

Send your details for more information

Work Permits & Payroll - Frequently Asked Questions


What documentation is required for a New Zealand work permit?

Click here for list of requirments.

What is the work permit process in New Zealand?

A local NZ company needs to make the application. They will need the candidates documentation (see below), plus the candidates offer letter, then the application is lodged in NZ and once approved the candidate takes the approved work permit to their local NZ Consulate and has the visa stamped in their passport.

Can you transfer from a Business Visa to a Work Permit in New Zealand?


Can we organise Business Visas in New Zealand?


How long does it take to process a Business Visa in New Zealand?

5 to 7 days.

How much does a Work Permit cost in New Zealand?

 $200 NZD.


Can nationals of certain countries enter New Zealand without a Business Visa (ex. on an entry visa or visa waiver)?


Yes – Australians.



$6,000 NZD.


What is the monthly cost to run a local payroll in New Zealand?


3 to 5%

How does payroll work in New Zealand?


Your employer (the company sponsoring your visa) pays the candidate on a monthly basis. There is no social security deductions in NZ for employers or employees - although employees pay an earners levy to cover injuries outside the workplace - called the Accident Compensation Corporation - which equates to 1.7% on income up to NZD 113,768. Your employer will also  deduct income tax - which is progressive and varies from 10.5% to 33% pendant on salary level. These deductions are made at source and paid to the New Zealand tax authorities. Candidates are able to offset their taxable income with relevant business expenses. The World Bank estimates it takes employers in New Zealand 67 man days to ensure compliance with payroll and labour taxes each year.



Client comment

"Great advice and excellent service on contracting and immigration solutions in the UK. I would highly recommend Tim and the team to assist you with accurate, clear and concise contracting advice in the UK or any other country for that matter."

Prishen Pillay,Global DBA Operations Lead

Shell International Trading & Shipping