Money and banking

Having a New Zealand bank account will make it easier to pay for things while you are here. Find out how and when to open your account.

Most students can open a bank account when they arrive. However, if your student visa is for less than six months and you have no offer of further study, you will have to open a New Zealand bank account before you leave home. This includes Study Abroad and exchange students and some students in the English for Academic Purposes programme.

If you are a Manaaki New Zealand Scholarship student, your bank account will be set up before you arrive in New Zealand. The International team will help you activate this once you are here.

Opening an account

Most banks offer a student package or an international student package, with special benefits or banking rates.

Before you leave home

You can open an account with most major New Zealand banks from outside New Zealand. You can find information on how to do this on each bank's website:

Once you arrive

To open an account once you arrive in New Zealand, you may need to make an appointment with the bank. You will usually need to show:

  • your passport
  • proof that you are a full-time student—such as your Offer of Place or a fees invoice; the bank might also require your student ID card, which you will receive once you are enrolled
  • a residential address in New Zealand, or an Offer Letter from your hall of residence
  • your Tax Identification Number from every country that you are a tax resident.

ATM machines are available in the city close to Pipitea and Te Aro campuses.

To visit a branch of your bank, you will find these located in the central business district near Lambton Quay, as well as other parts of the city. Banks are generally open from 9 am to 4.30 pm, Monday to Friday. Some bank branches also open on Saturday mornings.

To find out more about money and banking in New Zealand, go to NauMai NZ for advice for international students.

Manaaki New Zealand Scholarship students

Manaaki New Zealand Scholarship students will be provided with an ANZ bank account. Your Scholarship payments will be paid into this account.

Setting up your bank account

To open a bank account in your name, we need a Tax Identification Number from your home country. This is any number or code you use to identify yourself within your home country’s tax system.

It can take two to three weeks for your account to be set up with the ANZ bank and your payments organised. We recommend you provide your Tax Identification Number at least four weeks before you arrive.

Students from Myanmar will need to visit the branch to finalise their new account, after arrival in New Zealand.

Initial establishment allowance

Your initial establishment allowance is paid into your ANZ bank account as soon as possible, and within five working days after your arrival in Wellington. The allowance is to cover the costs of temporary accommodation, accommodation bonds, utility bonds for services at rental properties, suitable clothing, course expenses, textbooks, and household items. It is essential you spend this allowance carefully over your first few months.

Find out more about allowances and payments for Manaaki New Zealand Scholarship students.