Experience Living and Working in New Zealand as an Au Pair

Video and Photos

Cape Reigna au pair link trip
Omaha beach
Lake Wanaka
Lake Pukaki
Cape Reinga
Mount Manganui
Searching For Gandalf and the Hobbits


Experience the warmth of New Zealand’s welcome as part of the Au Pair Link family! Create lasting memories as you become one of the family and part of our network of au pairs - the largest in the Southern Hemisphere! Discover our enchanting landscapes and famous hospitality as you experience life in one of the world's most popular travel destinations. As part of our early learning programme you’ll get support from our team of qualified teachers, as well as access to regular playgroups, activities and events. With Au Pair Link it’s all taken care of!

Our programs
  • AU PAIR 123 – Our most popular program, offering you the opportunity to learn professional childcare techniques and helping children under-5 to discover and explore their own unique skills and interests. 6-12 month placements, 30-45 hrs/week
  • AU PAIR WHIZ – Our early childhood program for qualified or highly experienced candidates, providing an opportunity to truly master your skills in a sole charge early childhood position. 6-12 month placements, 30-45 hrs/week (for candidates with an Early Childhood Education degree or diploma + 6 months experience OR one year's full time experience with under 5s)
  • AU PAIR ASSIST – Our short-term placement option for candidates already in New Zealand, allowing you to join a family pretty much immediately and is ideal for enthusiastic working travelers who want a rewarding short-term job before continuing on their travels. 3-4 month placements, 25-45 hrs/week.

Questions & Answers

An applicant can apply at 17 – they will not be able to come until they are 18 as that is the legal age for a working holiday visa. We do welcome applicants that are 17 however.
I honestly don’t know the answer to that but my guess is that it completely depends on the family. I don’t know that they would be completely opposed but it would probably require interviewing both and seeing how both people interact with the kids.
Hi Matthew, Absolutely male candidates are accepted as au pairs! In terms of visa, as long as you are between the ages of 18 - 30 (assuming you are a US citizen?) then you shouldn't have a problem getting a working holiday visa after you apply. Hope this helps! Mallory
Hi Becky, the reason the cut off age is 30 is due to the working holiday visa laws for New Zealand. You would have to double check on this, but I'm fairly sure that as long as you apply for the working holiday visa before the age of 31 you should be ok to stay for a year.


based on 18 reviews
  • Housing 8.4
  • Support 8.2
  • Fun 9.5
  • Value 8.6
  • Safety 8.8
Showing 1 - 15 of 18
Yes, I recommend this program

Lifetime Experience

I enjoyed working in NZ as an Au Pair and would probably do it again. I'm also really happy that for my first time au pairing I went through an agency. Au Pair Link is a great agency and they do their best to help you out, they also generally make sure that you'll be going into a safe environment. The people working at Au Pair link were very kind and supportive, and they did their best to match me with a family, and they have a great re-matching process if you need it. If you choose to do this, you'll probably end up getting really close with your program manager and I totally recommend it! Especially if you're like me and do it at 18, it's really a Godsend to have someone who has your back. Kiwi culture is one of the warmest and most welcoming you could ever ask to experience! The kids were amazing in both of my host families! Also, New Zealand in general is full of lovely amazing people that will change your life! Host families can be hit or miss but most of my friends had really wonderful experiences (So I would say the odds are in your favour!). Besides the job aspect, NZ is full of so many fantastic outdoor and community opportunities if you have the chance to go, GO! :)

I would say some of the only downsides about Au Pair Link is that they didn't really inform au pairs about how taxes/tax refunds in NZ worked, and they weren't really checking to make sure that if a host family was paying their au pair in cash that the family was paying the au pair's taxes (personally this ended up causing a massive dramatic scene with my first host family). Another factor of privacy is they didn't really require a host family to have a lock on their au pair's room door for privacy/safety (my first host dad (when intoxicated) would occasionally push my door open at night and ask me questions and my second host mum would go through my room on the weekends when I was gone). If those things are a concern to you, check with your host family before accepting a contract. However, my biggest con was that my program manager tried talking me into staying with my second host family even though they were treating me poorly. I would say just make sure you know what is best for you and really stand by it, even if your program manager might try and say otherwise (and even if you're scared of what could happen if you quit).

I would also ask your host family how much cleaning is involved because it may end up surprising you.
>Also I would recommenced that if you choose to do this, do at least 2-3 skype interviews and have questions prepared before each interview with your possible host family/ies.
>Read your contract and know what you're entitled to as an au pair!
>Also be aware that about half of your paycheck IS going to your host family for room and board so don't feel bad if you have dietary requirements and need to ask for specific foods! (though you should defo inform them of this prior to accepting a contract).

I wish you the best of luck!

What would you improve about this program?
I would have au pair link really makes sure their host families are paying the taxes of their au pairs.
I would also want au pair link to be more understanding and supportive if an au pair is not happy in their situation. I would never want another au pair to have to go through what I did with my second host family because she/he let their program manager talk them into staying rather than quitting.
I would also really ask that au pair link make sure that the bedrooms of the au pairs maybe have a lock on it? I don't know if there's a rule against it or anything but I had my drunk host dad push my door open a couple times and it terrified me.
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Yes, I recommend this program

Really worth the money

At first I thought it was pretty pricey but I'm so glad that I went for it! It is so worth it. It is my first time being away from home and so it is very comforting to have someone always there when you need them. The families are all screened, as well as the au pairs. My family is awesome, just take time to pick one! You each have a family programme manager who you meet with monthly and they give you a bag of themed books and toys for your kids under five. Also just checks that everything is going okay with your family and checks in with your host parents as well. There are also weekly coffee groups you can go to to meet people. And au pair events during each month! Overall it is so worth the money just to have that security that if something did go wrong you have support!

What would you improve about this program?
Make the au pair trips more frequent.
Read my full story
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Yes, I recommend this program

My Year as an Au Pair

The beginning is always hard. I was in a new family and in a new city. I was alone and I missed my friends. But when the kids come for the first time to cuddle you you know you've done everything right. And even if not everything is perfect they love you and you love them too. :) Beeing an Au Pair is more than just a Job. It's about becoming a member of a second family.

What would you improve about this program?
More support in the first few weeks when everything is new and you don't know anyone around. It would be good to have someone that helps a little bit more at the beginning.
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Yes, I recommend this program

Best Opportunity Ever

From day one I knew that I had chosen the right thing to do. I left my safety zone in Sweden to go over 17000km away, to New Zealand.

I was going to take care of three boys, and how was I supposed to manage that? I'm only 19 (20 now). But after a few weeks with these boys I fell in love. They are so caring and they have been giving me everything I wanted. They have made me grow as a person.

How are you supposed to leave such a great family, that has given you everything. They have given me a new way to see life, they have given me a woundeful friendship and a reason to come back here. I can't believe that a year ago I was stuck in my little hometown just dreaming about going overseas and here I am, I'm overseas with an amazing family that has made my time here so worth it.

If anyone ever had a chance to go overseas, I just want to say this -TAKE IT. Because it will change your life forever.

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Yes, I recommend this program

New People

Beiing Aupair in New Zealand is one of the best thing you could do in your life. Since I'm here I had met lots of different people and I made lots of new friends. And I also found a second family! It is the best way to travel a new country and to learn something about New Zealands culture.

What would you improve about this program?
More located events in diffrent places
Response from Au Pair Link - New Zealand

We're so glad you enjoyed being part of our programme! Thanks so much for the lovely feedback.

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Yes, I recommend this program

Best year of my life!

The decision to become an au pair was the best think I could ever do after school!
You have the possibility to live in a lovely kiwi family and on the other side you can travel around in your free time!

I'm really enjoying my time in NZ and I'm glad that I have got such a nice family and program manager from Au Pair Link.

That's probably the best time of my life and I will never regret my decision!

What would you improve about this program?
One thing I would change is about the application.
I think it is kind of unfair, that the au pairs have to write so much about themselves and make a movie...
And some families just wrote 5 sentences and that's all.
It would be nice, If the families had something like a video too.
Because on my opinion it is important to, that the au pair knows in what kind of family she/he will live.
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Yes, I recommend this program

Sweet and Difficult, Yet Rewarding Experiences

I honestly am beyond grateful for the experiences that Aupairlink has provided me with thus far in my journey throughout New Zealand. It was always my plan to travel the country, but having Aupairlink facilitate a big part of this exploration has made the trip and experiences that much easier and more beneficial.
I really enjoy the outings that are organized through au pair link as well as the playgroups. There are a few things that I find to be a bit frustrating at playgroup when it comes to the language barriers, but overall I have had the chance to meet many fellow au pairs through these weekly meet ups. I also think that the coffee groups were an amazing idea as well. I enjoy meeting new people, especially at the beginning, i found it very helpful to have the coffee groups to go to on the nights where I just wanted to get out of the house.
I am also grateful for the contract that is agreed upon in the beginning between the host family and au pair. Although I haven't had any issues whatsoever with my host family that we needed the contract to solve, I have noticed that my friends who are not with aupairlink have suffered from the lack of a contract to fall back on. I am so happy these problems were never ones I had to deal with. Makes me really feel a part of the family when we know the boundaries, rules, and regulations ahead of time in order to meet all expectations from both ends.

What would you improve about this program?
I believe playgroup leaders/program managers could do a bit more with making sure the au pairs are getting along and communicating with each other in English. I know it is hard when the majority of people feel most comfortable talking in their native language, but it is quite frustrating for those of us wanting to be involved in the conversation and are unable to because of the language barrier.

Also, I feel as though a way to get more people on board with some of au pair outings, outside of work, would be to make a short list of possible prices/discounts depending on who comes. For instance, if there is a weekend trip to Waitomo planned the post might say.

"If we can get 20 au pairs the price will be:
If we can get 40 au pairs the price will be:
Make sure to sign up you and your friends in order for all of us to save a bit on an amazing trip!" And maybe include some photos along with it in case people are unfamiliar with what it is.

Other than this, I think aupairlink is a major helper in making New Zealand feel like home to any foreigner.
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Yes, I recommend this program

Really Great

I have not had any problems whilst I have been with Au Pair Link but I have a great relationship with both my host family and family manager so I think any problems could be easily sorted. The number of au pairs in my area is great and I made friends quickly and easily. Myself and the boys always look forward to playgroup.

What would you improve about this program?
Sometimes I get multiple notifications for one event on the online system. It would also be good if you could reply to emails on your own email address instead of having to log on to the online system.
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Yes, I recommend this program

Being an Au Pair

Working with children is not always easy but it is so great that you can mean so much to these little people you take care of and as a bonus you learn a lot about yourself as well.
Being an Au Pair gives you a good opportunity to not only work with children and improve your language skills but it is an amazing way to get to know the culture of another country.
With my kids I go to a playground, park, forest, zoo, museum or playgroups to meet other kids and Au Pairs every day so being an Au Pair is a good way to get out there, see more of the country and meet new people. And the same thing counts for you kids.

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Yes, I recommend this program

Getting confident

Being an Au Pair isn't always easy. You always come to the point where you are exhausted, tired and don't know what to do. Sometimes I can't sleep at night and the baby is grumpy the next day. But it doesn't matter how much the baby screams, I love her and try my very best to make her feel good again. My hostparents are also very important to me. They help me wherever they can and make me feel at home. And even if the day at work wasn't that good one day, there are my friends who make me laugh again. We are a good Au Pair community here in Tauranga and love to spend time together. Playgroup really helped meeting the other girls for the first time and is fun every week.

What would you improve about this program?
I wouldn't change a thing (Well, maybe the big amount of money you have to pay when you stop working fir a family), I would like to add one thong. Maybe you could offer some courses, like sport classes, where we as Au Pairs can meet kiwis. Most of our friends are other Au Pairs and we don't really meet other people. So if you maybe could arrange that the program manager show us, what we can do in our town to meet kiwi teens, that would be great.
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Yes, I recommend this program

Good support

Hello there,
I have to say that the support of the agency Au Pair Link is really good! My Programm and Family Manager really cares about me and she always asked me how I am feeling in the family. But she also cares about my social life here in New Zealand, so she helped me to find a choir and also asked me if I already got friends here. I am very happy that my Family and Programm Manager from Au Pair Link looks so good after me so that I am not alone. I am also sure that my Programm and Family Manager will be there for me if I would have trouble with my hostfamily or if I would not feel comfortable in my hostfamily.

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Yes, I recommend this program

Being an Au Pair is the best way to get to know the culture and people

If you want to go to a foreign country to get to know its culture, its people, its countryside and its lifestyle then you should go there as an Au Pair. This is the best way to get to know all of these things as you´re part of a family where you look after children which is hard work sometimes of course but it´s also great fun. You get the chance to experience a different culture, to see how your host family lives and celebrates special events such as public holidays. And you also get the chance to travel and to see the country, to meet new people and to go on adventures.
Being an Au Pair is just amazing - especially when you´re going with a supportive organisation like Au Pair Link!!

What would you improve about this program?
It should stay exactly the way it is as it´s supportive and helpful and great fun to be part of it.
Response from Au Pair Link - New Zealand

Thank you for such lovely comments, Viviane! We agree, it's a great way to experience a new culture! All the best.

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Yes, I recommend this program

Au pair 101

My experiences here have been pretty much what I expected. I do get homesick and luckily my programme manager has been there when I needed her. I understand that education of ministery requires written documentation but I do find it to be complicated. It's a bit unrealistic to do 10 minute checksespecislly when dealing with more than 1 child.

What would you improve about this program?
See above
Response from Au Pair Link - New Zealand

Hi there, thank you for the kind words regarding our programmes and support, it is much appreciated! In terms of the ten minute checks, these are a requirement set by New Zealand's Ministry of Education, and really makes sure the little ones are OK, though understand this can prove a bit difficult with more than one child. That you juggled the responsibility so deftly is a Testament to your childcare skills, no doubt!

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Yes, I recommend this program

Great Support.

Last April, I decided to leave the States and go Au Pair overseas. It was a process deciding where I want to go and which agency to use. I finally decided to come the gorgeous NZ, but I still had to sort through the different agencies and decide which one to use. After emailing back and forth with a few agencies and spending hours reading though websites, I settled on Au Pair Link. It was the best choice I could have made. I chose to use an agency for the support system and selected Au Pair Link because they seemed to have a great one on paper. I prayed that I wouldn't need to use all of this support, but sadly, a month into my first placement, I did. It is a long story so I will just say that I felt extremely unsafe with my family. I contacted my programme manager about this and she met with me outside of the home as soon as we were both able to. I told her that I wanted to leave the home as soon as possible, would not stay longer that a week, and would leave as soon as the family was told that I felt unsafe. This was not a situation that she had dealt with before (there is usually a 4-week mediation period with your family), so she contacted her boss. Her boss said that I could pack and have my programme manager pick me up in the morning. I decide to do this. After leaving the home, we went and got some coffee and talked, then she took me to hostel. We checked it out and decide it was a safe place to stay. Au Pair Link paid for me to stay there for 5 days while I continued to be supported by the amazing people who work for them. During this time, I was sent profiles of other potential families and I ended up meeting with one of them just a week after leaving my first family. They offered me the position with them and I accepted. I've now been with this family for two months and could not be happier. I love my new programme manager and everyone who work here in Auckland. They continue to support me and help me to have the best time I can during my year in NZ. Every single person who works Au Pair Link that I have had any sort of contact with is amazing. You could not find a better agency anywhere.

What would you improve about this program?
I love Au Pair Link, but if I could change one thing, I would ask that the families be required to submit character references like the Au Pairs do. It would be nice to be able to read what others think of the people we are going to live with.
Response from Au Pair Link - New Zealand

Thank you for such lovely comments about the programme and our team! Just a quick response to your suggestion about Host Family character references... we've actually just launched an online matching system which gives our Au Pair candidates a lot more transparency in terms of what information you can see about a potential Host Family. As part of the new system, we've also reviewed our application form for families, asking more questions about the Au Pair role they have available, the children and general family routines. We definitely want our Au Pairs to feel they're making informed decisions about joining a family and think this system has definitely made some steps to ensure both parties have all the information they need!

Check out our new system at www.aupairlink.co.nz!

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No, I don't recommend this program

Au Pair Link is nice, but there's cheaper ways to nanny in NZ

I have many friends who au pair in NZ and didn't go through an agency. They saved $3000 and are having an equally good time. If you're not a confident or out going person, the outings and activities they plan are a great way to meet people. Otherwise, everyone here is friendly and you'll have no problem making friends. Overall I appreciate what the agency does, but don't think the "support" is worth the high cost.

Response from Au Pair Link - New Zealand

Hi there, thanks for sharing your feedback with us! Great to hear your friends had a good time when they were here! Many people do have successful placements, but we often get approached by Au Pairs who travelled here independently and then get stuck because it hasn’t worked out as they’d hoped!

The programme fee doesn't just cover the support you receive or the costs of running the programme, although these are certainly included as we have a nationwide team who are dedicated to building one-on-one relationships with our Au Pairs and nannies around the country.

Our programme fee also includes your return flights and comprehensive travel insurance, which can sometimes cost thousands of dollars on their own. We make sure any family you're placed with are screened (including police checks) so there is some security for your applicants built into the fee.

Also, if your initial Au Pair placement doesn't work out, we provide you with a placement guarantee, including paid for accommodation while we find you a new Host Family - so a fair amount of value is built into the programme fee, you are not just paying for 'support'. Indeed, you could choose to not use an agency and save a few hundred dollars, however this can be a gamble when you are travelling alone overseas. There are some major benefits of using an agency.

Hope this goes some way to explaining the cost of the programme - not to mention we have the largest Au Pair network in New Zealand - which means good times abound!


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New Zealand has a culture centered around all things outdoor. They have perfected the outdoor lifestyle by embracing the unbeatable scenery, abundance of outdoor adventures, & wildlife -- best seen through a rented camper van. This country is a mecca for thrill seekers and adventurers alike.


About Au Pair Link - New Zealand

Au Pair Link is New Zealand's leading and largest Au Pair agency, and one of the largest Au Pair agencies in the world. We have flexible programmes tailored to the preferences and experience of our candidates, including Au Pair Whiz for qualified or...