Moving To
New Zealand And Working For Propellerhead


The thought of moving to the land of hobbits and sheep and working for a company you don't know can be daunting, especially if you're based on the other side of the world. But do not fret. New Zealand is an incredible country filled with nice people and exciting places to explore.


This is a Lord of the Rings/Hobbit reference :)


We've collated some common information about Propellerhead and New Zealand. Have we missed something? Let us know!



About Propellerhead, And The Way We Work

As you'll know by now, Propellerhead is a software services company building products for a number of New Zealand entities. We pride ourselves on our use of the right technologies, the hiring of smart people, and our carefully thought-out, beautiful offices.

 Our offices in Freemans Bay, Auckland.

Our offices in Freemans Bay, Auckland.


We believe a few things help make this a special place to work:


Interesting Projects
Our typical client engagements are large-scale, but often start small. We concentrate on the right combination of methodology, architecture, technology, and operating model. We believe software’s ‘natural state’ is live, in front of real users, and used for the purpose it is intended. The earlier we can deliver working software the sooner we are creating value. We are passionate advocates for open-source software, open data, and open ideas.

Propellerhead has moved away from traditional company hierarchy, and practices a flat organisational structure that takes its influence from Holacracy. We made this change to be able to empower smart people and allow them to make their own decisions.

Work is organised around cross-functional, self-managing teams, each including roles needed to contribute to successful delivery of value. The most effective team size for us is roughly 5 people, with each person playing one or more roles. We adopt this structure for its leanness and flexibility: as teams are internally self-organising, this allows them to focus on managing their work rather than people. 

Upcoming Badge System
From mid 2018, we’re planning to start assigning skill-based ‘badges’ to our employees. It’s an experiment designed to recognise the ability of our team, help ensure a transparent system, and is something that allows employees to take charge of their professional development. Business and technology magazine Idealog covered it - you can read about it here.


Our Offices

We have tried hard to create a tranquil and empowering environment for our team. Features of our offices include:

Central Location
We're in the heart of Auckland in Freemans Bay, right next to popular eatery and bar La Zeppa and our largest inner-city park Victoria Park.

 La Zeppa

La Zeppa

 Victoria Park

Victoria Park


The most cost-effective way to get to our offices is by public transport. Auckland Transport buses stop very close to our offices (and you'll have the pleasure of using the AT Mobile app, which we have built and maintain!). Team members also cycle, motorbike, walk, train, or are dropped off by family members. If you'd like to drive, there are parking buildings between 5 and 15 minute walks away, or you can park for free in Ponsonby (30 minute walk away).

Beautiful Offices 
We have arguably New Zealand's best office for a software development company!

Latest Hardware
New employees are given a brand new, latest model Macbook Pro and an 18" x 34" curved LG monitor to use at work. If you need anything else, we can likely provide that too.

Standing Desks 
You will of course have an electric standing desk!

Italian Coffee Machine 
Our office has an excellent Italian coffee machine and unlimited artisanal beans.

Office Snacks 
We have plenty of snacks available and we are happy to oblige snack requests :)

Birthday Cakes & Shared Lunches
On your birthday you'll be able to choose two cakes to share with the office. We can also order savoury cakes for those without a sweet tooth! Also, every two weeks we have a full company shared lunch.

Fragrance Bar
Our bathrooms contain mens and womens fragrance bars, filled with luxury fragrances.

Holiday Celebrations

It's common for us to celebrate holidays and other special occasions with champagne and treats :)



Staff Training

Friday Time
On Fridays employees can spend half their day learning new things, if they don't have an urgent piece of work to get finished. 

Propellerhead Library
Our office contains a library for our staff to use as they please, filled with books on better ways of working and software development.

Conference Tickets
We regularly fund conferences, training days and event tickets.

In-Office Event Series
We're planning an event series for some time in 2018, hosted in our offices, where we bring developers from many of Auckland's leading companies together to talk about interesting technologies.

*We'd love to improve our knowledge sharing - if you have an idea, please let us know!




Propellerhead actively supports STEM and IT related initiatives, including Shadow Tech Day and Shadow IT (events allowing female high-school students to 'shadow' a female IT professional for a day in the workplace), MIT Code Camp (a boot camp teaching high-school students coding and computer game development), and JHack (an event bringing together over 100 students from over 20 high schools to complete in a series of programming challenges).

 Shan, Sophie and Sia from a recent Shadow Tech Day in May 2018, along with Maddie and Elyse from Propellerhead.

Shan, Sophie and Sia from a recent Shadow Tech Day in May 2018, along with Maddie and Elyse from Propellerhead.


We also recently donated 27 computers and 27 monitors to the charity OMGTech!, to help with their mission of teaching young New Zealanders how to utilise technology.

We have provided sponsorship for the Junior Dev Auckland Meetup and Hardware Meetup AKL.


Would you like to know anything else about Propellerhead? Please let us know!



About Auckland and New Zealand

 The view of Auckland City from Mount Eden.

The view of Auckland City from Mount Eden.


We are lucky that many of our team are European and have made the move from Europe to New Zealand. Countries of origin include Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Poland, France, Russia, Ukraine and Serbia. Here are a bunch of resources some of them used to help with the move.

Disclaimer - by law we cannot advise on immigration, only provide resources our team have used before.




Guidance about Visas is best from an Immigration advisor (it's illegal for us to give immigration advice), but here's a bunch of resources from the immigration website.


Work visas

Exploring options

Visa checklist

Work visa holders supporting family

We have recently become an Accredited Employer with Immigration New Zealand, so new employees can now apply for the Talent Work Visa. These visas are easier to get, are often much faster, and are a direct path to residency.



The Initial Move

Many new employees move to New Zealand for an initial three-month period without their spouse, who then follows later with children if they have any. This allows the new employee to begin settling in and organising everything when they are already over here, instead of trying to organise everything before they leave.




Here are a couple of resources:

Short Term/Temporary

Temporary accommodation resource - Immigration New Zealand

Airbnb - what most of our new employees use

TradeMe - New Zealand's largest auction and listing site

Tourism New Zealand - travel accommodation options


Long Term

TradeMe - where many people find houses to rent or buy




Money & Tax - Immigration New Zealand

Banks our staff have accounts with are ANZ, ASB, BNZ, Kiwibank, TSB, Westpac.

Information about tax can be found at Inland Revenue.




New Zealand was ranked first on the global Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) of 2017, and has ranked consistently in the top two since 2012. The Corruption Perceptions Index annually ranks countries "by their perceived levels of corruption, as determined by expert assessments and opinion surveys."




Transport - Immigration New Zealand

Transport - Tourism New Zealand

TradeMe Motors

Your Drive - car sharing


Zoomy - cheaper New Zealand version of Uber




Shopping - Immigration New Zealand

Top Restaurants - Tripadvisor

Supermarkets we use are Countdown, New World and PAKn'SAVE.

Auckland has a number of farmers markets where you can buy fresh produce and other items.

  Matakana Farmers Market , north of Auckland.

Matakana Farmers Market, north of Auckland.




English is the de facto official and predominant language of New Zealand. Almost the entire population speak it either as native speakers or proficiently as a second language. The Māori language (te reo Māori) of the indigenous Māori people is also an official language, as is New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL). Many other languages are used by New Zealand's minority ethnic communities.

English language for your visa - Immigration New Zealand



Public Holidays

Public holidays and anniversary dates - New Zealand Government




Healthcare Services - Immigration New Zealand

Is Health Insurance Worth It? - Sorted New Zealand

For health insurance, many people use Southern Cross, nib, or AA to name a few, though it is a good idea to research health insurance in New Zealand before taking out a plan.




New Zealand History & Government

History & government - Immigration New Zealand



 Roys Peak, Wanaka, South Island, New Zealand.

Roys Peak, Wanaka, South Island, New Zealand.


New Zealand is a wonderland for people who like outdoor activities and nature. 



Tourism New Zealand - New Zealand's top tourist attractions

Eventbrite - for finding upcoming city-specific events

Meetup - for finding activity groups



Travelling Around New Zealand

Air New Zealand - our national airline

Grabaseat - cheap flights through Air New Zealand

Jetstar - budget airline offering flights around New Zealand


Education & Schooling


Education - New Zealand Immigration

School holiday dates - New Zealand Government


Older Students

Tertiary education and training - New Zealand Immigration

New Zealand universities include AUT, Canterbury, LincolnMassey, Otago, University of Auckland, and Victoria

StudySpy is a place to find relevant courses from universities and other providers.



Upcoming resources

We'll be updating this sheet with more information. Have something you'd like to know? Let us know!