It’s been quite the journey trying to open bank accounts. The main reason for opening a bank account is so that we can get IRD numbers. IRD numbers are needed in order to work in NZ and are equivalent to social security numbers in the US. From our Auckland post you may remember we had trouble trying to find a bank due to the fact that it was the weekend. Once we were in Paihia we had further trouble because one of the two banks couldn’t open bank accounts for non-residents. We were left with one option, Westpac. The people at the bank have been more than kind and helpful. But we did run into a few roadblocks.
When we went in for the first time we found out that we need an address. You can pay for an address online, which you may find as an option on other blogging sites, but I wouldn’t risk it. Wherever you are staying if you can get the owner of the property to vouch for you it’s your best option. We are staying at an Airbnb and we got the owner to write a letter confirming we are staying here, he signed the letter, and provided proof that he is living here. He uses Westpac as his bank so they were able to confirm he lives here without him sending us an electricity bill or something.
Once we got a bank that could open the account and proof of an address we were able to open one up. We chose a joint online account. The online banking options have no fees, unless you deposit or withdraw in person. We chose a joint account so that we would have less to manage. We ran into further issues when we tried to deposit the bank check I wrote to myself. Because we have no history of banking here we may not be able to cash a check yet. But, we are now able to apply for our IRD right online!