Relocating to Wellington for a tech career – tips

In this article, we aim to provide some handy tips about relocating to Wellington for your tech career, helping you to conduct your search for work and accommodation with valuable insights.

What makes Wellington attractive for tech professionals?

Wellington, New Zealand’s capital, isn’t just the political hub; it’s also a hotspot for IT and technology activities. With a mix of public sector jobs, thriving private companies, and a strong start-up culture, Wellington is a fantastic place for any tech professional looking for new opportunities.

Whether you’re fresh out of education and hunting for your first role, or you’re an industry veteran seeking a change of scenery or new challenges, making the move to Wellington is a popular choice among locals and those from overseas alike.

Where to work across the Wellington region?

Though Wellington is a relatively small and compact city, the Wellington region is quite expansive, covering unique areas such as Wellington City itself, Hutt City, Porirua, Kapiti, and the Wairarapa.

While the bulk of tech roles are found in the city, there are opportunities further afield which might appeal if you’re aiming to cut down on commuting times or wish to live closer to home or schools. Wherever you decide to live and work, getting around the greater Wellington region is made easier thanks to public transport and improved road networks.

If public sector work, especially roles closely linked to central government, is what you’re after, then you’ll likely find yourself in the Wellington CBD or Thorndon.

Start-ups, on the other hand, could be located anywhere from a founder’s garage to business incubators across the region. If you’re not keen on commuting, living in central Wellington could be ideal, placing you within walking distance of work and the city’s incredible hospitality and arts scene.

The cost of living in Wellington

Like much of New Zealand, Wellington has seen a steady increase in the cost of living, particularly influenced by the global economy and the pandemic.

Real estate in Wellington has experienced significant spikes in recent years, making it competitive to buy or even rent. Though this peak may now be behind us, it’s still important to remember that central city space is limited and housing comes at a premium. If you’re already living in New Zealand, this might not come as a surprise.

Doing your homework is a must – from checking online for available accommodation in the rental market or, if you’re looking to buy, reviewing the current asking prices for properties. The real estate market is always changing, influenced by broader economic conditions.

In terms of eating and going out in Wellington, there are plenty of spots across the region where you can find a good deal. However, like the rest of New Zealand, groceries can sometimes be on the expensive side. The great thing about Wellington is the sheer number of options available for eating out and socialising, catering to all budgets and tastes.


Schooling in Wellington includes a mix of private and public primary and secondary schools. No matter where you choose to live in the Wellington region, you should be able to find a good school nearby if this is an important consideration for you.

Public transport

Public transport is popular in Wellington, with many opting not to own a vehicle, which can make life much easier, especially if you’re living in or near the city where driving and parking can be challenging. For those who prefer public transport, there are buses, trains, and various rideshare options, including electric scooters. The costs are reasonable, with savings available through longer-term passes, such as monthly passes.

Recently, the Snapper card system has been extended to trains, allowing for seamless payment across buses and trains with a single card.

Driving in Wellington

If you’re a driver, Wellington offers numerous parking options, but be mindful that these can be pricey. It’s common for people to drive to train stations or bus stops and commute into their workplace using public transport from there.

A Flexible City for Any Lifestyle

One of the great things about Wellington is its adaptability to suit any lifestyle, especially for tech professionals. The city boasts a vibrant market of roles, companies, and professionals.

It’s often said that New Zealand feels like a big village, and this is particularly true in Wellington. Work here for a year, and you’ll quickly realise that most people in the industry are only one or two degrees of separation apart.

If you enjoy connecting with others in a similar field or career stage, you’ll find plenty of opportunities for networking, whether through meet-ups online or within businesses and organisations.

Wellington’s Unique Tech Scene

What’s unique about Wellington’s tech scene, compared with the rest of New Zealand, is the variety of projects you could be working on. From supporting a start-up business launching its first software product to working directly on platforms that the whole country relies on in the public sector, the opportunities are vast and varied.

Wellington has a real concentration of start-up businesses, many of which focus on software as a service and mobile apps. The geographical layout of Wellington city, coupled with its compact nature, means that collaboration, idea-sharing, and innovation come naturally to those based here.

Getting Your Visa Details Sorted

If you’re coming from overseas to work in New Zealand, it’s crucial to have your visa details sorted well in advance. There are various types of visas available, depending on the nature of your work and how long you plan to stay.

It’s also worth checking out the skill shortage list to see if your skill set matches up with those in high demand. To obtain a working visa, you’ll typically need a job offer from an employer willing to sponsor you. The application process involves submitting your details along with those of the job and your employer to Immigration New Zealand for review.

Remember, visa processes and requirements can change, so it’s always best to check the official Immigration New Zealand website for the most up-to-date information.

Visiting Before Moving

If it’s feasible, visiting Wellington before making a commitment is highly recommended. While we absolutely love Wellington as a place to work and live, it’s important to do your homework and see if this vibrant city matches the type of work you want to do and the lifestyle you wish to have.

There are many different opportunities and lifestyles that Wellington supports, and visiting is about getting a feel for the city, its energy, amenities, travel options, and of course, the job market.

It could be beneficial to meet with recruiters or potential employers even before an official job interview to start building a picture of how the industry operates in Wellington.

Finding a Tech Role in Wellington

Whether you’re planning to move to Wellington or you’re already here and looking for a role, our team can help. We’re experts in Wellington’s tech sector and the jobs currently available. We also have close relationships with employers across the public and private sectors, meaning we have a finger on the pulse of upcoming opportunities.

Get in touch with our Wellington team today to chat about Wellington IT work opportunities, and feel free to ask us any questions about your CV, market fit, or interview tips.

Back to IT Jobs Hub Wellington.