Do you want to start a business in New Zealand? If YES, here are 9 best cities in New Zealand with lots of opportunities for you to start a business.

New Zealand is the youngest country in the world and home to a small population of around 4.1 million. Known as a small isolated island about the size of Colorado, it is located in the southwestern Pacific Ocean approximately 2,000 miles from Australia.

It consists of two islands- the North Island and the South Island. New Zealand over the years have become more alluring than ever before, with its majestic mountain ranges, sweeping plains, native forests, miles of golden beaches and pleasant climate. All these make a great escape for those looking for adventure and it also makes a great haven for those looking for a place to relax and unwind.

Why Start a Business in New Zealand?

This country provides a more flexible working life with the majority of residents preferring to lead a balanced lifestyle with equal amounts of leisure time. However, sometimes this means working hard and long hours.

Also have it in mind that New Zealand is a virtually self-sufficient country with a modern and sophisticated free market economy, with good opportunities for growing businesses. In recent years there have been substantial new investments in areas like wine, electronics, telecommunications and information technology.

New Zealand has a tradition of developing its own new ideas and products, making it a good test market for businesses, researchers and investors. The population of New Zealand is 4.56 million. It’s also crucial to note that New Zealand is now competing successfully overseas, and has a strong, growing economy.

According to reports, small business is very popular in New Zealand. 96% of businesses employ fewer than 20 people.  The main industry is still agriculture, but New Zealand has grown a lot in the past forty years and is beginning to realize a veritable variation in its business.

Some of the new and fast growing industries are: Biotechnology, wine-making, information technology, tourism, education (overseas students), film making, yacht design, and the list goes on.

Being in the Southern Hemisphere, the seasons are completely opposite to countries north of the equator. Winter lasts from June until August and summer is between December and February. The overall temperate climate ranges from 20-30C (68-86F) in summer and from 5-15C (41-59F) in winter.

There are many appealing facets of New Zealand’s business environment. New Zealand keeps tax compliance simple, with zero social security, stamp duty, payroll, estate or capital gains tax requirements.

When looking to start a business in New Zealand, it’s advisable you walk the various parts of New Zealand and investigate where seems right for your business. The climate, as well as the city or town can vary remarkably. Much would also depend on the type of business  you are considering. However, some concentrated areas are worth paying special attention to, like the following;

9 Best Cities in New Zealand to Start a Business

  1. Auckland

Auckland is New Zealand’s economic star child, housing approximately 1.6 million people. This is around one-third of New Zealand’s overall population. Educated workers, entrepreneurs and students are all drawn to New Zealand’s commercial capital. Auckland’s super-city Council welcomes foreign direct investment (FDI) to increase employment and local capital.

Areas of commercial opportunity lie especially in advanced materials, technology, food and beverages, commercial services and commercial real estate.

Auckland is home to Australasia’s most efficient port, and the second-largest in New Zealand. In 2017, Auckland’s port handled 580,351 containers. This port facilitates easy import and export arrangements for local businesses. Auckland’s edge comes from its international connectivity and strategic position as the hub for the Asia-Pacific region.

The country’s location and trade relationships give it a unique ability to connect with Asia, the US, and Australia. The city’s global connections also facilitate strong city-to-city relationships with overseas partners. This fosters an innovative and multicultural commercial environment whose diversity plays a key role in Auckland’s growth and success.

  1. Christchurch

Christchurch’s reconstruction is New Zealand’s vehicle to build “the best place for business, work, study and living in Australasia.” Public and international investment is flooding into Christchurch (population approximately 381,500). The South Island hub suffered damaging earthquakes in 2010 and 2011, prompting the government to spend NZ$40 billion (around US$26.6 billion) on a major rebuild.

The reconstruction project places a strong emphasis on attracting foreign investors to the city and the surrounding Canterbury region. The government encourages investors to move into the area early, and utilize institutional support from organizations like ChristchurchNZ.

Meanwhile, the rebuild also focuses on finding innovative solutions to improve productivity, increasing import and export distribution networks, and maximizing opportunities for business during the recovery process. Early movers into Christchurch not only enjoy a brand-new, smart tech-laden city with beautiful landscapes and juxtaposed heritage buildings.

They have the rare opportunity to shape the vibrant city’s commercial future. With an educated and skilled workforce, business mentors on hand to assist, and improving import and export capability, this city is perfectly placed to receive your business and support its long-term success.

  1. Wellington

Wellington as New Zealand’s capital city has a population of around 418,500. Tiny by international standards, Wellington is no less impressive against its cohort of world capitals. The vibrant city consistently ranks among the top 20 cities worldwide in international ‘liveable city’ surveys.

Also the city’s council is constantly advocating investments into facilities and initiatives that maintain a high quality of life. Its arts and events scene, with crown jewel Te Papa museum, being the driving force behind Wellington’s ‘cultural capital’ title. This is closely accompanied by Wellington’s hip café culture.

New Zealand’s political hub, Wellington’s public service is accessible and exemplary. Businesses will find ample support and information from public authorities when settling into their new commercial life. The city’s international port and airport make it easy for entrepreneurs and commodities to move around.

Consequently, traveling throughout New Zealand for business or leisure is effortless and relatively cheap, due to Wellington’s central location. Inner-city transport is cheap and efficient. Furthermore, escape to the outdoors is quite literally within a few minutes’ drive from the central business district.

  1. Palmerston North

Palmerston North and the Manawatu area provides you with endless opportunities to experience the great outdoors, from short walks in splendid native bush, half day walks through the spectacular Manawatu Gorge, to tramping in the majestic Ruahine or Tararua Ranges.

All of this is surrounding the stunning seven-acres park called ‘The Square’ in the center of the city, and the amazingly beautiful public sculptures. The complete refurbishment of the city’s beautiful theatre, ‘Regent on Broadway’, the Centrepoint Theatre, and a multiplex cinema makes Palmerston North a popular destination for enthusiasts of the screen and stage.

Palmerston North is also a vibrant youthful city with an active student population converging on Massey University, UCOL (Universal College of Learning) and IPC (International Pacific College). Nearby are Linton Military Camp, the New Zealand Dairy Research Institute and Crown Research Institutes, all adding to a cosmopolitan atmosphere. Palmerston North Airport is approximately 5.5 km from the CBD. Favorable weather conditions mean Palmerston North Airport is open for 99.97% of the year.

The airport is a busy freight hub at night. Palmerston North’s geographical position makes it an ideal central location to access other parts of New Zealand easily. Palmerston North has a long history of innovation in the business sector. A number of firms founded in or near the city have become nationally or internationally renowned.

  1. Nelson

Nelson is the oldest city in the South Island and the second-oldest settled city in New Zealand. This city was officially established in 1841 and was proclaimed a city by royal charter in 1858. The Nelson economy (and that of the neighboring Tasman District) relies heavily on the ‘big five’ industries; seafood, horticulture, forestry, farming and tourism. Note that Port Nelson is the biggest fishing port in Australasia.

There are also a range of growth industries, including art and craft, aviation, engineering technology, and information technology. Nelson is home to various business agencies that serve the city and its surroundings, including Nelson Tasman Tourism (NTT), which objectives are to promote the region and help advertisers reach visitors from New Zealand and overseas, and the Nelson Regional Economic Development Agency (EDA), which works to “coordinate, promote, facilitate, investigate, develop, implement, support and fund initiatives relating to economic development [and] employment growth … within the Nelson region.

  1. Hamilton

Regarded as the most populous city of the Waikato region, with an encouraging population of 169,300, Hamilton is the country’s fourth most-populous city. Encompassing a land area of about 110 km2 (42 sq. mi)on the banks of the Waikato River, Hamilton is part of the wider Hamilton Urban Area, which also encompasses the nearby towns of Ngaruawahia, Te Awamutu  and Cambridge.

This city was initially an agricultural service center, but in recent years have now become a diverse economy and is the third fastest growing urban area in New Zealand, behind Pukekohe and Auckland. Note that Hamilton Gardens is the region’s most popular tourist attraction.

Education and research and development play an important part in Hamilton’s economy, as the city is home to approximately 40,000 tertiary students and 1,000 PhD-qualified scientists. Hamilton is home to two institutes of higher education, the University of Waikato and the Waikato Institute of Technology  (Wintec).

Research at the Ruakura research centers have been responsible for much of New Zealand’s innovation in agriculture. Hamilton’s main revenue source is the dairy industry, due to its location in the center of New Zealand’s largest dairying area. Manufacturing and retail are also important to the local economy, as is the provision of health services through the Waikato Hospital.

  1. Whanganui

Whanganui possesses a strong industry base, with a history of niche manufacturing. Current businesses include Q-West Boat Builders, based at the Port who have built boats for customers from around New Zealand and the world and were awarded a contract in 2015 to build two 34-meter passenger ferries for Auckland ferry company Fullers.

It’s very necessary to reiterate that most of Whanganui’s economy relates directly to the fertile and prosperous farming hinterland near the town. Whanganui is well known for embracing the production of several new pear varieties, including the Crimson Gem.

Heads Road is Whanganui’s main industrial area and is home to a number of manufacturing and engineering operations. The Wanganui Port, once the center of industrial transport, still has some traffic but is more noted for the Q-West boat building operation there.

  1. Napier

Although, Napier a smaller population than its neighboring city of Hastings, yet it has grown to become the main center due to it being closer in distance to both the seaport and the main airport that service Hawke’s Bay. Regarded as the nexus of the largest wool center in the Southern Hemisphere, it also has the major export seaport for northeastern New Zealand – which is the biggest producer of apples, pears, and stone fruit in New Zealand.

This city has also become a crucial grape and wine production area, with the grapes grown around Hastings and Napier being sent through the Port of Napier for export. Also note that large amounts of sheep’s wool, frozen meat, wood pulp, and timber also pass through Napier annually for export.

Smaller amounts of these materials are shipped via road and railway to large metropolitan areas of New Zealand itself, such as Auckland, Wellington and Hamilton. Also a popular tourist city with a unique concentration of 1930s Art Deco architecture, Napier was built after much of the city was razed in the 1931 Hawke’s Bay earthquake.

It also has one of the most photographed tourist attractions in the country, a statue on Marine Parade called Pania of the Reef. Thousands of people flock to Napier every February for the Tremains Art Deco Weekend event, a celebration of its Art Deco heritage and history.

  1. Tauranga

Tauranga is one of New Zealand’s main hubs for business, international trade, culture, fashion and horticultural science. Note that the Port of Tauranga is New Zealand’s largest port in terms of gross export tonnage and efficiency. Tauranga is one of New Zealand’s fastest growing cities, with a 14 percent increase in population between the 2001 census and the 2006 census, and 11% between the 2006 census and the 2013 census.

Meanwhile, this rapid population growth has seen Tauranga overtake Dunedin and the Napier-Hastings urban areas to become New Zealand’s fifth-largest city.

Have it in mind that much of the countryside surrounding Tauranga is horticultural land, used to grow a wide range of fresh produce for both domestic consumption and export. There are many kiwifruit and avocado orchards as well as other crops. The Port of Tauranga is New Zealand’s largest export port. It is a regular stop for both container ships and luxury cruise liners.

New Zealand indeed can boost of cities with diverse opportunities for foreign investors and businesses. Although, this is not limited to doing business; the country offers enviable living standards and lifestyle opportunities. You can choose to move to New Zealand and be part of a thriving economy that remains wholly supportive of international business.