Vodafone in New Zealand has become One NZ earlier this year. It’s still the largest network provider in New Zealand, with 40% country’s market share, and is preferred by many people. Whether you are moving or visiting New Zealand, you will need to get a local SIM card. Vodafone is your first choice.
Vodafone (One NZ) in summary: Vodafone is the largest and most reputable network provider in New Zealand. They have mobile plans starting from $13 and up to $80 per month. The 5G coverage is still very limited but available in large cities like Auckland, Wellington, and Christchurch. That said, you probably will benefit more from Spark as they have great coverage and lower prices.
I have been using Vodafone since I moved to New Zealand, but my experience wasn’t that great, to be frank. Vodafone lacks speed and coverage in many locations across New Zealand. Besides, it’s more pricey than its competitors, like Spark or 2degrees. Read till the end before buying a Vodafone SIM card in New Zealand. *Further in the article, I will refer to Vodafone as One NZ, as this is an official name now.
Should you get Vodafone (One) in New Zealand?
When I landed in Auckland, getting a SIM card was first on my list, but to be honest, I regretted buying Vodafone later. Vodafone is great, don’t get me wrong, but it has limited coverage in some parts of New Zealand. In that case, Spark would have been a better option. For instance, an unlimited plan from Spark costs $22,99 per month vs $80 at Vodafone.
Overall, I am satisfied with One NZ, especially with their MyFlex Prepay, where you can adjust your plan as you want! Read below for more info about their current plans.
One NZ (former Vodafone) has two main plan types, monthly and MyFlex Prepay.
Here is an overview of monthly paid plans. The best is Unlimited, otherwise, you aren’t getting many benefits from it. 5GB for $45 is too expensive, and you can get a better deal with MyFlex Prepay.
With MyFlex Prepay is a flexible plan where you can choose as much data, mins & TXTs as you want. You can also change the setting every time and jump to different data amounts.
My favorite part of Vodafone Prepay MyFlex is that they give you additional data, which is basically double what is included in your plan. Hence, if you purchase 4 GB for a month, you get 4 GB extra!
Another advantage of having a MyFlex Prepay is that you can carry over to the next month your unused data, up to 3.5 GB, and up to 500 unused minutes. For this, you must have some balance on your SIM.
I would say, Prepay MyFlex is the best option if you want to have Vodafone as your network provider. Unless you are using your mobile internet for work on the laptop, you don’t really need unlimited data.
Keep in mind that all Vodafone plans are valid for 28 days.
Pay and go
Pay and go is the last option that you have with Vodafone.
With Pay and Go, you buy a Vodafone SIM and use as much data and as many minutes & TXTs as you want. Of course, you must have some money on the balance because you spend as you go.
Here are current Pay and go rates:
|$0,49 per minute
|$0,50 per MB
|International calls (top 15 countries)
|$0,89 per minute
|International calls (rest of the world)
|$1,43 per minute
As you can see, choosing Pay and go doesn’t really make sense for most people, especially if they are using mobile data. It can add up pretty quickly.
Vodafone options for travelers
If you are buying a SIM at the airport, you are most likely will be offered only one type of SIM card, which is One NZ Travel SIM.
There are several options you can choose from, but generally, it’s more expensive than buying a SIM card somewhere in the city. Here are the tourist plans you can pick from:
|Mins & TXTs
|Unlimited NZ + 200 international
|Unlimited NZ + 200 international
|Unlimited NZ + 250 international
The good thing about Travel SIM is that it’s ready and available at the airport, and you can change your plan later on. So I did, purchased a Travel SIM card at Auckland airport but then changed my monthly plan to MyFlex Prepay. It’s amazing that ONE NZ gives you the option to do so.
As I mentioned, Vodafone wasn’t great in all parts of New Zealand, on the South Island in particular.
I also haven’t ever seen 5G coverage on Vodafone, while other providers, like Spark, offer 5G. Come on, Vodafone, it’s 2024, 5G is a must!
That said, here is what Vodafone displays on its website regarding the coverage:
- Mobile network covers over 98.5% of the population
- 4G covers over 96% of Kiwis.
- 5G is available in parts of Auckland, Hamilton, Bay of Plenty, Manawatū-Whanganui, Taranaki, Wellington, Christchurch, Queenstown, Southland, and more.
On their map, you can choose the desired speed and your location to see the current coverage. Here, I selected 3G.
Vodafone’s 5G coverage is veryyyy sparse and available only in particular locations. According to the research made by Canstarblue, 2degrees has the widest coverage, hence, pick this provider for more remote areas and South Island overall.
Roaming with Vodafone
Roaming is always expensive, and you will be better off buying a local SIM card instead. However, if you decide to do call or use mobile data with your NZ SIM card, here is some helpful information.
One NZ offers one attractive deal for roaming where you pay $8 per day and can use all your data and minutes that you usually get for New Zealand abroad!
Alternatively, you can opt for one of the add-ons:
- $6 for 200 MB (valid for 24 hours)
- $22 for 1 GB (valid for 7 days)
You will find these add-on options in your account via a mobile app or website.
That said, if you are staying abroad for any considerable amount of time (week+), it will make sense to buy a local SIM card.
Where to buy a Vodafone SIM card?
Vodafone (which is called One NZ now) SIM cards are available at all main airports of New Zealand, including Auckland, Wellington, and Christchurch. Keep in mind that kiosks in airports sell only Tourist SIM cards which are more expensive and have less data. That said, once you have a SIM card, you can change the plan to the local.
Besides, most cities have at least one One NZ shop. Additionally, SIM cards are sold in all main supermarket chains like Countdown, New World, and PAK’nSAVE. There are also some general and electronic stores that sell SIM cards, including Noel Leeming.
To buy a SIM card, you will need to have your passport ready. Overall, the process takes two minutes maximum.