One of the attractions of migration to New Zealand is the very strong welfare system they have in place. Of course you are expected to be accountable for your own well-being and many welfare benefits are restricted during the first 2 years of New Zealand permanent residency.
There is however a certain reassurance that you will not be allowed go without the basics in life due to the state welfare system. There is also a certain pride in a society that offers a welfare system that provides assistance to those most in need and alleviates many of the issues that abject poverty can bring with it.
The welfare system can be described as a cradle to grave philosophy offering help such:
- Loss of your job
- Inability to work due to illness or an accident,
- Retirement benefits via the New Zealand Superannuation
- Maternity leave when you have a baby,
- Financial assistance for the elderly.
Some welfare benefits
- Jobseekers allowance
If you are unemployed in New Zealand you may qualify for a jobseekers benefit payment. Criteria includes:
- You are not in full-time work
- That you are available and actively looking for full-time work
- You must be generally be over 18 years of age
- That you are a New Zealand citizen or permanent resident
- Having lived in New Zealand for at least 2 years at any one time since becoming a New Zealand citizen or resident
- Normally you reside in New Zealand and intending to stay there.
Depending upon your circumstances you may qualify for between $139.37 and $348.42 per week (2013 rates).
- Disability Allowance
May be payable if you:
- Have a disability that is likely to last at least six months
- Have regular, ongoing costs because of your disability
- Are a New Zealand citizen or permanent resident
- Normally live in New Zealand and intend to stay there.
- The current maximum (2013) payable is $61.38 but it does depend on how much you and your spouse or partner earn.
- Maternity Leave
From 6 weeks prior to the birth of your child you many qualify for Maternity leave of 14 continuous weeks. This can also in certain circumstances be transferable to your partner.
The current rate (2013) is a maximum gross payment of $488.17 per week or your weekly salary – whichever is lower.