In New Zealand, there is no official au pair programme. Au pairs have the status of regular employees and host families of their employers.
We recommend au pairs and host families to sign a written contract together. You can either sign the au pair contract or use the employment agreement builder tool provided by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment in New Zealand. You can use both of them to define important details, such as duties, working hours, holidays, etc. To set the course for a successful au pair experience, you should include your mutual expectations, as well.
What happens if you and your au pair do not get along with each other? Our tip: cancel your au pair agreement observing a two weeks' notice period. In your initial au pair contract you should agree on this cancellation period with your au pair. You will need this time to find a new au pair and help your au pair find a new family or organise their return trip.
Au pairs who wish to travel to New Zealand on a Working Holiday visa need full health insurance coverage throughout their entire stay in the country. There are insurance providers with special offers for Working Holiday Makers. You will find more information on this topic on the Immigration New Zealand website.
Au pairs must have a valid driving licence with an approved translation or an international driving licence to be allowed to drive a car in New Zealand for up to one year. Should they wish to stay for more than one year and continue to drive, they need to apply for a New Zealand driving licence.
If you wish your au pair to drive your car, you need to make sure that they have sufficient driving experience. Ask them whether they feel confident in terms of driving in left-hand traffic, as it is the case in New Zealand. It is well possible that they have no experience in this regard. Furthermore, you should clarify who will bear the costs in case of an accident.
Tip for host families: For au pairs from many countries it is very easy to convert their own driver licence into a New Zealand driver licence and as soon as they do so, the insurance company will apply the same rate of excess on them as they would on a similar person from New Zealand and not the high one that normally applies to drivers with licences from abroad. Another advantage of changing to a New Zealand driver licence is that au pairs are able to use it as identification, so they can it when going out instead of their passport.
We are continually researching and updating our host country information, but cannot guarantee that all material provided is complete and correct. If you notice gaps or inaccuracies, we would like to hear from you.