Unemployment Benefits in Auckland


The country's unemployment rate rose from 4.6 percent in the December 2008 quarter to 5.0 percent in the March 2009 quarter, the highest for six years. Traditionally, the only countries to have a lower unemployment rate than New Zealand were Switzerland and Korea.

Employment growth in Auckland city has been trending downwards over the past few years, falling from an average annual growth of 2.7 per cent in March 2006 to 1.2 per cent in March 2007 and -0.5 per cent in March 2008. Auckland's unemployment is currently 6.5 per cent.

Who can get it?

You may get the Unemployment Benefit (or "dole") if you are not in full-time work.

You must be:

  • available for, and looking for full time work
  • 18 years old or over (or 16-17 if you are married or in a civil union or in a de facto relationship and have one or more children you support).
  • be a New Zealand citizen or permanent resident
  • have lived in New Zealand for at least 2 years at any one time since becoming a New Zealand citizen or resident (unless you are a refugee).

People who apply for the benefit may be asked to develop a Job Seeker Agreement with Work and Income where he/she agrees to look for work or prepare for work.

How much you can get

This depends on your current circumstances. Current benefit levels are between $115.94 and $249.10 a week depending on the applicant's age and living situation


Gross Weekly Rate (NZ$)

Single, 20 to 24


Single, 25 or over


Single parent


The benefit payment can reduce due to any income the person or their partner earns.

How to apply

Work and Income provides financial assistance and employment services throughout New Zealand and operates the service for unemployment benefit.

If you’re aged 16 to 64, you need to:

You have 20 working days from when you first contacted them (submitting your online application form counts as contacting them).

Update 6/12/2009


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Find more definitions and general answers on expatriation issues in the Expat FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions).

Go to the Forum to talk more about unemployment benefits in Auckland, at work.

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