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New Zealand Travel Tips & Questions

What is it like to work as an au pair in NZ?

Au pairing is a popular choice for those on Working Holiday Visas in New Zealand. The job is almost always live-in which offers something unique in itself - the chance to be part of a Kiwi family and really see first-hand what day-to-day life is like.

Your working hours average 30 to 35 a week (some contracts can be up to 45 hours a week) and duties will vary considerably based on a family's individual requirements and also the age of the children under your care. Pre-school children are going to have different needs to older children who are at school during the day. You may find yourself keeping the children entertained, driving them to school and activities, preparing their meals and helping with their personal care such as washing and dressing. As well as the child-care and supervision element your duties will typically include some kind of household duties such as washing dishes, keeping living areas clean or taking care of the laundry.

In return you receive free accommodation with a private room, all meals, 2 days off a week, holiday entitlement depending on your contract length and wages. According to New Zealand law all workers are entitled to the minimum wage. However, adjustments are made for the payment-in-kind element of free board and lodging which you receive as an au pair. In real terms this means a weekly wage of around NZ$ 245 for a 30 hour week or NZ$315 for a 40 hour week, before tax.

The opportunity of joining in with family activities and trips are usually all part of the fun while many au pair agencies organise get-togethers with other au pairs so you can swap notes, stories and advice or just let your hair down. There are plentiful au pair agencies in New Zealand which serve to match host families looking for help with those seeking positions. Such services attract a fee but can make it much easier to find a job as well as offering such things as training courses, contract completion bonuses, ensuring you are getting a fair deal and providing support throughout your employment term.