Skip to main content

Becoming an au pair in New Zealand


There are no official regulations concerning au pairs in New Zealand, however the information below is the generally accepted guidelines.

Am I eligible to be an au pair in New Zealand?

You are eligible to be an au pair in New Zealand if:

  • you are aged between 18 and 30
  • you are single and without children
  • you have a good knowledge of English
  • you hold a return ticket (or can prove you have sufficient funds to purchase one)
  • you are willing to work in New Zealand for a minimum of 6 months
  • you have a clean criminal background
  • you hold a medical and comprehensive hospitalisation insurance
  • you can prove to have immediate access to at least 4.200 NZD (amount can vary according to country of citizenship)
  • you have never been approved a visa under a working holiday scheme before
  • if you are already in New Zealand, you must hold a valid temporary visa

General information


To look after your host children and help out with light household chores. Discuss your duties beforehand and include all the points you agree upon in your contract.


Pocket money
Au pairs in New Zealand generally earn between 190 NZD and 230 NZD for 30-45 hours of work per week. 

Board and Lodging
Your own private room and food 7 days per week, even in the case of illness.



Travel expenses
Au pairs should bear the cost of their round trip themselves.

Working hours

There is no official regulation concerning the amount of hours an au pair should work, but they usually are between 30 and 40 hours per week, babysitting included.


Length of stay
You can be an au pair in New Zealand from a minimum of 6 months to a maximum of 12 months according to your visa and country of origin. See below for more information.

Free time
There is no official regulation, but au pairs are usually entitled to at least 2 free days per week, which should be a Sunday once a month.


Holiday entitlement is usually regulated by the visa programme you applied for, but in general it is 4 weeks of paid holiday for a 12-month stay. As an au pair you are also entitled to have the day off on public holidays. Should a public holiday fall on a week-end day, you are entitled to take that day off on the following Monday.

Always sign a contract with your host family at the beginning of the au pair placement. Click here for a sample contract.


Languages courses
Au pairs should be granted enough time off to attend a language course. The au pair will bear the cost of the language course him/herself.


If your host family requires you to drive in New Zealand, they must provide you with a car, pay for your car insurance, ensure that the car is well maintained and provide fuel or give you money to pay for fuel for the car. Holders of a driving licence issued by an EU member state can drive in New Zealand for a maximum of 12 months. After 12 months, you will be required to get a New Zealand driver licence. For more information about driving in New Zealand when holding a foreign licence visit the New Zealand Government website.


You should take out private medical and travel insurance to cover you during your stay, unless you come from one of those countries (UK or Australia) which have signed Reciprocal Health Care Agreements (RHCA) with New Zealand. If so, you are entitled to some essential health care treatments. Please be aware that the RHCA is only a health care cover, NOT a travel insurance cover.  For more information, please visit the website of the New Zealand Ministry of Health.

Visa information

Au pairs who want to do their placement in New Zealand can apply for a Working Holiday visa.


Working Holiday visa

Citizens from Argentina, Austria, BelgiumBrazil, CanadaChile, China, Croatia, Czech Republic, DenmarkEstoniaFinlandFranceGermany, Hong KongHungary, Ireland, Israel,  ItalyJapanKorea, Latvia, Malaysia, MaltaMexico, the NetherlandsNorwayPeru, Philippines, Poland, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, SwedenTaiwan, Thailand, Turkey, UK, USA, Uruguay, Vietnam can apply for this visa programme as far as they are willing to work for the same host family for maximum 6 months.

Citizens from Malaysia or Singapore can stay only up to 6 months, whereas citizens from Canada or UK can stay for up to 23 months.

To apply for a Working Holiday visa, you need: 

  • A passport valid for at least another 3 months after your planned departure from New Zealand.
  • Be at least 18 and not more than 30 years old (some countries 35)
  • Hold a return ticket, or sufficient funds to purchase such a ticket
  • Have a minimum of 4.200 NZD available funds*
  • Not have been approved a visa under a working holiday scheme before
  • You might be required to prove your level of proficiency in English according to your country of origin
  • You might have to submit a General Medical Certificate and/or a Chest X-ray Certificate


All applications must be submitted online, except for those who are already in New Zealand or are on a 12-month Canada or UK Working Holiday Scheme (WHS) work visa.

During your stay you must not take up permanent employment and you can enrol in one or more courses of training/study of up to 6 months duration in total.

Please note that the number of places available annually under this scheme varies according to your country of origin.

For more information about the Working Holiday visa, we invite you to check the New Zealand Immigration website.


*4.200 NZD is the minimum funds required for citizens from most of the countries listed above, but exceptions apply: according to your country of origin you might be required to have a minimum of 2.250 NZD or 7.000 NZD available funds. For more detailed information about your country we recommend you to check the New Zealand Immigration website.