The term Down Under is a colloquialism and refers to Australia and New Zealand.
It comes from the fact that these two countries are located in the Southern Hemisphere, 'below' many other countries on the globe.
New Zealand's largest city Auckland was recently ranked second best city in the world on Mercer’s Quality of Living Survey.
New Zealand was a founding member of the United Nations and has always played an active role in international affairs. You’ll find us at the forefront of debate on the major issues affecting the world community, such as global warming. We’ve shown that we’re ready to stand up for those things we care passionately about even if, as in the case of our anti-nuclear legislation, this comes at a cost.
Flexible work arrangements and adequate holidays give Kiwis additional leisure time. Unlike in the US, you earn four weeks of paid holiday for every full year of employment with any one employer. For part-time or casual work, your holiday pay will be based on the percentage of the year that you work.
New Zealand is a productive nation devoted to the happiness and wellbeing of employees across all industries.
We don’t have high crime rates, our police do not carry guns and instances of corruption are virtually unheard of.
We don’t have abject poverty or hunger and we don’t have the pollution, congestion, health issues and cramped city living that one can see elsewhere.
One of the things you will find here, and it’s something we take very seriously, is our acceptance of different views and ideas.
We are a modern, secular, democratic society with no ingrained class system. Freedom of speech, expression and religious belief is guaranteed in law.
We don’t judge people on how they sound, what colour they are, how they vote, where they go to church, where they live or the type of car they drive. Gender equality is something New Zealand has led the world in.
Being tucked away in a corner of the South Pacific doesn’t mean that New Zealanders don’t care deeply about events affecting the rest of the world. We provide a significant sum in foreign aid, honour our refugee responsibilities and make an enormous contribution to humanitarian efforts.
Source: Immigration New Zealand, December 2013
New Zealand features consistently at or near the top of surveys comparing quality of life internationally.
Working hard and getting ahead is considered a virtue in New Zealand. New Zealand is a well-developed, connected country and can offer numerous opportunities to advance and broaden your career.
But, life away from the job is just as important. Good living in New Zealand is about balancing an honest day’s work with social fun, time at home with your family and taking advantage of all the recreational opportunities you can enjoy here.
The pace of life here is less stressed. And there are all sorts of opportunities to get outdoors – from lazing on an uncrowded beach to getting close to nature in the bush. Enjoying the outdoors isn't just a rural privilege - you can experience this lifestyle while living in our cities too.
Whether it’s indoors or outdoors, on the beach or at the theatre, on the playing fields or in the garden, New Zealand has an inexhaustible range of things to do, see and enjoy.
Drawing on the richness of a thousand years of South Pacific heritage, New Zealand culture is youthful and diverse.
Maori and Pacific cultural festivals and performing arts happily coexist with the more formal institutions like The New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and Royal New Zealand Ballet.
And if your passion is for shopping or for museums, libraries, art galleries, or the theatre, you can truly indulge yourself here.
Most of us live within half an hour’s drive of the coast, so swimming, boating, diving and fishing are almost national pastimes.
We also have 14 national parks and reserves where you can enjoy some of the world’s most breathtaking bush walks.
In winter, our 10 commercial ski fields and numerous club fields provide inexpensive yet challenging skiing, heli-skiing and snowboarding.
We’ve got more golf courses per capita than anywhere else in the world, and the average green fees are around NZ$30.
Our city and regional councils provide extensive, well-kept playgrounds, swimming pools and other recreational facilities.
On Saturdays, parks throughout the country host organised team sports like, rugby, netball, soccer, cricket and hockey.
New Zealanders are enthusiastic movie-goers. In fact we have one of the highest cinema attendance rates in the world.
We’re also heavily into the Internet with over 63 percent of us logging in on a regular basis. Of that number, 25 percent have used the Internet to make a purchase in the past year.
Source: Immigration New Zealand, April 2006
You can find more information, answers to questions, or blogs relating to visas, job search, and investment in New Zealand.