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Cost of Living in New Zealand

You will find the cost of living in Hamilton is less than in many of New Zealand's other major cities. You will, however, need to plan carefully to ensure you have sufficient money to cover your accommodation, and daily living expenses such as groceries, phone and electricity bills, and transport.

The amount of money you need will depend on whether you are a single student or here with a family where and how you live, any further travel you choose to undertake, and your expenditure on entertainment and personal items. In addition to tuition fees and airfares, if you are a single student you will need at least NZ$18,000 per year for living costs.

This page provides an estimated range of living costs so please use it as a guideline only. All prices are quoted in New Zealand dollars. Use the online currency converter to check the latest exchange rates.

After you have paid your tuition fees, air tickets, medical and travel insurance and visa costs, the main things you must budget for are:


Type Cost per week ($NZ)* Facilities**
On Campus Halls of Residence $300-320 Room and all meals (fully-catered)
$145-165 Room only (self-catered)
Homestay $259 Room and all meals
Flatting – 1 room in a house with other flatmates

$90 - $135+

Will need to supply own furniture (bed, drawers etc)
1 bedroom unit/apartment $150 - $200+ Will need to supply all household furniture/items and whiteware (only an oven is normally provided)
2 bedroom house $220 - $350+ Will need to supply all household furniture/items and whiteware (only an oven is normally provided)
3 bedroom house $295 - $360+ Will need to supply all household furniture/items and whiteware (only an oven is normally provided)

*Based on 2014 costs and fees. Please note: most forms of accommodation will also incur set-up costs - a bond to the Landlord (this can be up to 4 weeks rent); electricity and telephone connection costs.

**Halls of Residence and homestay accommodation have all furniture provided. Most rented rooms and houses are empty and need to be furnished and you will need to rent/buy whiteware (fridge/freezer & washing machine).

What accommodation options exist in New Zealand and how do you find accommodation?


These resource videos have been produced by our affiliate Hotcourses Abroad. Hotcourses Abroad provide a database of course and programme information for learning institutions throughout the world.


Course costs

  • Textbooks: This will vary depending on your paper selection. We suggest budgeting at least $500 per semester
  • Printing: $0.10 for A4 black & white
  • University internet usage: Free 2GB per month with the ability to purchase additional data from Lightwire


  • Bus services: $24 a week (single student, home-Uni, 5 days of the week)
  • Owning a car: Costs vary depending on type of car and distances driven. By law, you must pay an annual registration fee and get six-monthly Warrant of Fitness checks on your car. Petrol costs an average $2.40 - $2.90 a litre

Phone/internet charges

  • This is variable depending on your requirements – see useful website links below


  • This will vary greatly by what you choose to do (for example is a movie ticket costs $12 – $20; a trip to the Hamilton Gardens is free; a standard bottle of beer in a bar would cost approximately $7)
  • We suggest budgeting at least $50 per week for entertainment

Useful websites to help estimate your living costs


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