Dress & climate

At the college you are expected to be tidily and comfortably dressed. 

All year round Auckland can experience four seasons in one day! Summers are subtropical, while winters are mild and damp.

Napier has a Mediterranean-style climate with long, fine summers and short, mild winters.  It has high sunshine hours.  In autumn it can be warmer than in spring.  In winter there are frosts but not snow.  However, you can see snow on the hills about one hour’s drive from Napier, and on frosty mornings before school the temperature can be down to zero degrees, but it warms up during the day.

Usually only the living areas in houses are heated and New Zealanders put on more clothing to keep warm instead of turning on a heater.

Banking and money

Trading bank hours are 9.00am to 4.30pm Monday to Friday and some banks are open on Saturday. No banks are open on Sunday or public holidays.  24-hour Automated Teller Machines are available at most banks.  We can assist students to open an ANZ bank account if they have a visa for at least 6 months.

The major unit of currency is the New Zealand Dollar.  We use a decimal system ie: 100 cents = 1 dollar.  The coins in New Zealand are 10 cent, 20 cent, and 50 cent pieces, and 1 dollar and 2 dollar pieces.  There are 5 dollar, 10 dollar, 20 dollar, 50 dollar and 100 dollar banknotes in circulation.  There are no 1, 2 or 5 cent coins so all amounts are rounded up or down to the nearest 10 cents.


It is New Zealand law that international students have current Travel and Medical insurance to cover them against accident or illness, theft, loss of or damage to their personal property and the loss of fees through absence, or unexpected termination of the course.

If you bring a valuable item to New Zealand such as cell phone, laptop, camera etc, or if you buy such items in New Zealand, you should make sure you keep the proof of purchase receipt, in case the item is lost or damaged and you need to make a claim on your insurance.


Retailers are open Monday to Friday 9.00am to 5.30pm.  Most retailers are open on Saturday mornings with some remaining open until 4.30pm.  Some are also open on Sundays.  Supermarkets are usually open until midnight, 7 days a week.  Goods and services in New Zealand are subject to a 15% tax commonly known as GST.

Riding a bicycle

You must wear a helmet.  Bike lanes and cyclepaths are available but you are not allowed to ride on the footpath.  You must ride on the left hand side of the road.  You should always use a bicycle lock to secure the bike if you leave it.  If your homestay lends you a bicycle and/or helmet, you are responsible for replacing these if they are stolen.


You cannot purchase alcohol unless you are 18 years old or over.  You may drink in a bar if you are 18 years old or over.  You are not allowed give alcohol to anyone who is under 18 years old.

Different cities have different rules about where you can drink in public.  There are liquor bans in many public areas in Napier, which means people are not allowed to drink alcohol in these areas, for example, on the beach.  The Liquor Control bylaw is enforced by the police who have authority to search, detain and request details from anyone.


You cannot purchase cigarettes or tobacco (including herbal cigarettes) unless you are 18 years old or older.  You are not allowed to give cigarettes or tobacco (or herbal cigarettes) to anyone under 18 years old.

There is a smoking ban in all indoor public workplaces and inside hospitality venues (pubs, bars, restaurants and casinos).  Smoking is banned in the grounds of all schools, and some hospitals, stadiums, parks and universities.

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