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How to get started

In Ashburton District, you will find friendly neighbours, colleagues and services ready to help you.

Here are some handy tips to get you started:

  • You will need a mobile phone with a New Zealand number and an email address to open bank accounts, process your tax number, rent a house, enrol with a doctor, etc.
  • Set up power and internet for your home - no need to worry about paying for water.
  • Ensure you have rubbish and recycling wheelie bins and a green crate for glass recycling at your home if you live in an urban area.
  • Follow the Ashburton District Council Facebook Page.
  • Introduce yourself to your neighbours.
  • Sign up for a free Ashburton Library card - remember to take your ID with you.
  • Take a walk around your new neighbourhood – explore our parks, walks and reserves including the Ashburton & Tinwald domains.
  • Visit a few of our landmark attractions; Lake Hood, Mount Hutt, Mt Sunday and our high-country lakes.
  • Explore different volunteering, recreation or community groups that you can join, you can contact Citizens Advice Bureau or Hakatere Multi Cultural Council to find out their details.
  • Explore the New Zealand Now website: Your guide to living & working in New Zealand


The rental market is limited at the moment, and finding a suitable home for you and your family can take time.  Make a plan and consider you will have to provide:

  • Reference letters from your previous landlords.
  • A letter from your employer.
  • copy of your ID.
  • A bond.*

*When you rent a house, you might need to pay something called a 'bond,' which is usually the same as two to four weeks' worth of rent. This money is a security deposit for the landlord. It's there to cover any damages to the house or if you haven't paid rent. You get the bond money back when you move out, but only if everything is okay - if there's no damage or unpaid rent.

Other factors to consider:

  • Most rental homes are not furnished.
  • The rent is paid weekly.
  • You must pay for services such as electricity, phone connection and internet.
  • There may be some whiteware included in the house (like dishwasher, washing machine, stove), ask the landlord.
  • When you find a rental, it is recommended to get "contents insurance", this insurance covers the items in your home in case of a natural disaster like a flooding or earthquake.  Check what the insurance companies offer and select the one that adjusts to your budget.

Finding a rental property:

In Ashburton, landlords prefer if you have a look of the house prior to applying for it.  To apply for a house, you will need to fill in a form with your details and attach a scanned copy of your reference letters, employment letters, and copy of your ID.

You can look for rentals on Real Estate and TradeMe. Thera are also Facebook pages and groups (Accommodation Ashburton NZ), local newspapers and community boards.

To find out more information about your rights and responsibilities as a tenant and other questions you may have about tenancy agreements, go to  Aratohu website.

Emergency information

NATIONAL EMERGENCY PHONE NUMBER: 111 this is always a free call, it will work even if you don't have credit on your phone, and will connect you to the fire service, police and ambulance.

If you would like an emergency poster to stick on your fridge, you can find them at the Ashburton Public Library (2 Baring Square East) or at the Hakatere Multi Cultural Council (255 Moore Street, Ashburton).  These posters have been translated into nine different languages.

EnglishTe Reo MāoriSpanish / Español
Nepali / नेपालीFarsi/Dari / فارسیTongan / Lea Faka-Tonga
Samoan / Gagana SāmoaTagalogHindi /  हिंदी

In case of a disaster (earthquake, flooding, cyclone, etc.) you may need to look after yourself for at least seven days before the emergency services can reach you.  Make sure you have enough water and food stored for you and your family. You can find more information about how to prepare for an emergency here

If you have a mobile phone, you will automatically be sent an Emergency Mobile Alert if it is a serious risk, you can also text your postal code to "4196" to receive local information as soon as possible.  This service is free, and you can opt out whenever by texting STOP.