What Is Considered A Good Salary in Wellington in 2024?

” Welly from the above”

So if you are considering working and living in Wellington, it’s crucial to know how much you will earn there. Since salaries aren’t particularly high in New Zealand, but living here is expensive, you should plan your move wisely.

An annual salary starting from NZ$80,000 is considered good for a single working in Wellington. A family with children will need to earn at least NZ$120,000 per year combined to pay all bills and save a little.

Let’s dive into more details about salaries and the cost of living in Wellington; in the end, there are so many details that go into this. You can learn more about salaries in New Zealand in this guide.

Also read: Pros and cons of living in Wellington.

So what is a good salary in Wellington?

A single living and working in Wellington would need to earn at least NZ$80,000 to cover average living expenses. As a family, you would need to make at least NZ$100,000 per year.

Fortunately, Wellington, New Zealand’s capital holds the first place in terms of average salary; hence, you can expect to be paid a decent amount when working there.

According to the largest online job board in New Zealand, Seek.co.nz, Wellington topped the list as the highest-paying region in New Zealand with an average advertised salary of NZ$82,407.

Generally speaking, a good salary is an income that allows you to cover all your main bills, pay for your hobbies or leisure activities and put some money aside.

To enjoy a good quality of life in Wellington, you are looking at a salary above NZ$100,000 per year. That means renting a house. If you are fine with living in a smaller apartment, a salary of NZ$80k would be sufficient for a single.

To live comfortably as a single person in Wellington, you would need to earn around NZ$70,000 per year. Keep in mind this salary still wouldn’t allow you to live on your own and would still require budgeting to ensure you weren’t spending too much on extras like clothing, entertainment, or eating out.

Also, you need to consider that if you have or plan to have a mortgage or a car payment, you should count on higher expenses, as only a mortgage for a two-bedroom house might cost around NZ$800 – NZ$900 per week.

However, if you share your house or apartment with someone else, even a salary of NZ$70,000 can go a long way.

If you are on a super budget and just looking to scrape by, a salary of NZ$45k per year will be sufficient to rent a room and cover basic expenses.

At the same time, for a family of four with a mortgage, a recommended monthly income is about NZ$140,000.

What about retirement? New Zealand is pretty good in terms of savings; there is a Kiwisaver, where you can put aside about 5% of your gross salary. That way, you will have a good junk of money when the time comes.

While NZ$81,000 might not be enough to live as comfortably as you would like with children, it would be enough for single people or couples with no dependents.

Yet, if you have children, the situation looks completely different. According to statistics and user-provided data, a family of four needs about NZ$7,806 per month or NZ$93,600 per year to cover the main living expenses in Wellington in 2023.

That translates to an annual gross salary of around NZ$130,000. Hence, you will need to earn significantly more as a family if you want to live in Wellington. This salary is hard to achieve for a single earner, so plan to have your spouse working too.

Another very important note is that cost of living in New Zealand is significantly increasing, while wages aren’t growing to the same extent. Rising inflation also doesn’t make it easier.

Therefore, it doesn’t matter if you are moving to Wellington as a single or as a family; you should earn a six-figure salary to ensure a decent quality of life. Keep in mind that only 62% of four-person households in entire New Zealand earn more than $102,500 per year.

Salaries in New Zealand

The perception of a good salary can be misinterpreted in many ways.

For example, if we take another large city in New Zealand, Christchurch, Statistics NZ say that 34% of Christchurch residents earning between NZ$70,000 to NZ$100,000 said they only had enough money to survive, while 11% said they could not cover all their basic needs like food, shelter, and utilities.

Besides, almost half of Auckland households with annual income between NZ$70,000 to NZ$100,000 say they are just able to cover basic expenses or make ends meet.

For instance, 55% of Auckland households save money on power bills by not turning on the heating. 52% of Wellington residents reduce their expenditures and 50% of people living in Canterbury do the same.

And this is despite the fact that these households earn what is considered a good salary.


Taxes in New Zealand can seem pretty high, if you look at the salaries, as they aren’t particularly high either.

For instance, here are the income tax rates for 2023:

Tax rateTaxable income bracket
10.5%$0 to $14,000
17.5%$14,001 to $48,000
30%​$48,001 to $70,000
33%$70,001 to $180,000

Besides, you can check how much exactly you will pay in taxes on the official government website Paye.net.nz.

If you are moving to Wellington, check out this guide on the best suburbs.

The average salary in Wellington in 2023

“Photo by denisbin, link to license

Wellington is home to some of the highest average salaries in New Zealand. In 2022, the average wage was about $81,280.

In 2022, Wellington scored as the place with the highest average salaries in the country (NZ$81,280), followed by Auckland (NZ$79,641). These numbers translate to the net amount of NZ$5,195.91 and NZ$5,106.39, respectively.

Furthermore, user-provided data from Numbeo.com says that the average net salary in Wellington is NZ$4,289.86 as of March 2023.

Nationwide, the average salary was about NZ$65,799. As you can see, workers are paid significantly more in main New Zealand cities than elsewhere.

However, the number of jobs hasn’t increased significantly from the previous year showing only 6% growth.

According to data from Payscale, an average salary in Wellington is NZ$72,000 per year, which is way above the national average of NZ$58,000. Here are some ranges:

Job titleSalary rangeAverage
Software developerNZ$53k – NZ$98kNZ$68,870
Executive assistantNZ$55k – NZ$79kNZ$68,144
Operations managerNZ$56k – NZ$129kNZ$81,342
Project managerNZ$63k – NZ$140kNZ$93,909
Data analystNZ$53k – NZ$89kNZ$67,582
AccountantNZ$46k – NZ$86kNZ$59,936
Chief executive officer (CEO)NZ$93k – NZ$257kNZ$155,487
Source: www.payscale.com

If you are in the tech industry, then you are in luck, as software engineers enjoy higher-than-average salaries. Wellington ranks 90th for salaries among 265 other main cities worldwide.

To compare New Zealand to Wellington, on the chart below, you can actually see how much money people are earning across the country.

You might notice that salaries above NZ$100,000 are more rare than between NZ$50,000 to NZ$70,000, for example.

Source: figure.nz

The data from Teleport.org shows the following average salaries in Wellington:

Job typeMedian salary (US$)
Source: www.teleport.org

If you are wondering what all the jobs you can get in Wellington, then this city mainly offers jobs in services and knowledge, plus it has departments of many state-owned organizations and a fast-growing tech start-up industry.

Generally, all government workers can find a well-paying job in Wellington.

Cost of living in Wellington

We can not ignore the cost of living when discussing salaries in a particular city, as some places in New Zealand are less expensive than others. Wellington is the second most expensive city in New Zealand.

When calculating your monthly expenditure, consider the rent or mortgage, groceries, food & drinks, mobile, transport, entertainment, and bills. If we sum it all up, you need about NZ$4,462 as a single and NZ$7,806 as a family.

However, this amount assumes that you are renting a place on your own; flatting (sharing an apartment/house) would cost you significantly less, and you can save about NZ$1,000 and more on rent.

So, generally speaking, a single would need to have a net income of NZ$3,400 per month, which is NZ$50,000 per year before taxes. Consequently, a salary of NZ$50,000 is enough to cover all your needs in Wellington.

However, this only accounts for basic expenditures. You’ll still need to cover things like skincare, beauty products, gym memberships, clothing, dentist appointments, school expenses, subscriptions to streaming platforms, gifts, donations to charity, any savings, and KiwiSaver contributions.

You can read more about the cost of living in our articles like: cost of living for a family in NZ, cost of food in NZ.


Affordable housing and housing in general can be an issue in Wellington. But it’s a very young city, meaning you will see plenty of people sharing houses and apartments. Therefore, it will be easier to rent a room instead of the entire house.

But if living in a stand-alone house or townhouse is your priority, then you can expect to pay at least NZ$600 per week for two bedrooms.

On average, rent in Wellington is around NZ$984 per week for a three-bedroom home in the center. Living in a suburb will save you a significant amount of money, as such houses are rented for NZ$650 per week on average.

If you rent a room in a shared house or live with your partner, you can expect to pay anything between NZ$200 and NZ$450 per week.

Here are some average rent prices for different property sizes in Wellington:

1 bedroom apartment/suite in the centreNZ$2,518 
1 bedroom apartment/suite in suburbsNZ$2,261
3 bedroom house in the centreNZ$4,222
3 bedroom house in suburbsNZ$3,465

Buying a house is very expensive in Wellington but cheaper in smaller towns nearby like Lower Hutt or Porirua. If you want to have a place in Wellington city, then expect to pay an average of NZ$11,000 per square meter or about NZ$1,100,000 for a single-family house.


An average bill for electricity is about NZ$150 per month, which is similar across the country. Fortunately, Wellington isn’t very cold, as it’s still on a North Island.

The average temperature in the winter is about 12 degrees celsius. Yet, it can be very windy, and Wellington is truly the world’s windiest capital.

So you will surely use electricity to warm up your house, which might cost around NZ$270 in the winter season for a two-three bedroom house. Unlimited internet costs NZ$80 – NZ$90 per month.


Groceries and food cost almost the same anywhere you go in New Zealand, with exceptions for places like Queenstown and Auckland.

As a single, expect to spend between NZ$100 and NZ$200 per week on groceries. A family with children needs about NZ$300 – NZ$400 per week to cover the basics.

Here are current groceries prices in Wellington:

Milk 1 liter3.10 NZ$
White bread3.39 NZ$
Rice (1kg)3.48 NZ$
Eggs (12)10.42 NZ$
Local cheese (1kg)16.31 NZ$
Chicken fillets (1kg)16.84 NZ$
Beef (1kg)23.63 NZ$
Apples (1kg)4.95 NZ$
Banana (1kg)3.80 NZ$
Oranges (1kg)5.00 NZ$
Tomato (1kg)9.22 NZ$
Potato (1kg)3.65 NZ$
Onion (1kg)3.19 NZ$
Lettuce 4.40 NZ$
Water (1.5 liter bottle)1.98 NZ$
Bottle of wine17.99 NZ$
Domestic beer (0.5 liter bottle)6.48 NZ$
Imported beer (0.33 liter bottle)7.58 NZ$
Source: numbeo.com

Cost of eating out

Wellington is a lively city where every foodie will be satisfied. You will see plenty of cafes, bars and restaurants in different price ranges.

A typical meal in the restaurant/bar will cost you about NZ$25. A sandwich at the bakery is around NZ$8, a beer – NZ$11, and a cappuccino is NZ$5. Most cafes offer breakfast or brunch meals for about NZ$15 to NZ$20.

Here are some examples of prices in Wellington:

Meal at an inexpensive restaurant21.00 NZ$
Meal for 2 people at the decent restaurant 120.00 NZ$
McMeal at McDonalds 15.00 NZ$
A beer (0.5 l)11.00 NZ$
Cappuccino5.40 NZ$
Coke/Pepsi (0.33 liter bottle)4.05 NZ$
Water (0.33 liter bottle)3.67 NZ$


A gym membership price can range from NZ$60 to NZ$125 per month. While a typical price is around NZ$100 per month or NZ$25 weekly.

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