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When to arrive

You must arrive in Christchurch in time to complete your enrolment in person in the week before your courses start and to attend the International Orientation.

To make sure you arrive in time to enrol, book your flights as soon as possible, especially if you intend to start in February as this coincides with the high season for tourism in New Zealand. If you arrive late, you may need to get permission from your College to enrol.

Check with your travel agent about transit visa requirements if you have to travel through another country on your way to New Zealand.

New Zealand’s arrival process

When you arrive in New Zealand, you will go through an arrivals process. This will involve immigration, customs, and biosecurity checks.

You will be given an arrival card which asks you to declare food and other restricted items. It is important to read the information of the arrival card carefully. If you are not sure about an item you are carrying, declare it. If you fail to declare any goods that are considered a biosecurity risk, you may receive an instant fine of at least NZ$400, or be prosecuted.

What you can bring to NZ

Before you get on the plane, make sure you know your responsibilities when it comes to protecting New Zealand’s beautiful environment. There are restrictions on what you can bring into New Zealand, and what cannot be sent to you while you are living here.

It is very important that you do not try to bring anything into New Zealand which is prohibited, and that you declare anything which is restricted on your arrival.

The New Zealand Customs Service provides advice on importing goods into New Zealand. It also offers information about customs duties and taxes on articles imported into New Zealand, and goods which are exempt, subject to strict import control, or are absolutely prohibited.

The Ministry for Primary Industries also offers advice, particularly around quarantine of goods.

Items you shouldn’t bring to New Zealand

Start your study in New Zealand the right way by not carrying banned biosecurity (quarantine) items in your luggage. New Zealand has very strict laws to protect our environment and industries from pests and diseases.

Don’t pack:

  • Fresh fruit and vegetables
  • Food (cooked, uncooked, fresh, preserved, packaged or dried)
  • Plant products

There are also prohibited Customs items you can't bring into New Zealand. If you are unsure if you can bring an item, declare it when you land in New Zealand.

By doing the right thing and declaring, you will avoid a $400 fine.

To find out more visit the Biosecurity and Customs New Zealand websites:

Airport pick up service

If you are arriving in New Zealand for the first time and are intending to study for at least one semester ie February-July or July-December, Accommodation Services can arrange for you to be picked up from the airport and taken to your pre-arranged accommodation. This service is free but must be booked at least a week prior to your departure.

Book an airport pick-up with the airport pick up service form.

For more information