Most banks are open from 9.30am to 4.30pm Monday to Friday. Automated Teller machines (ATM) are widely available at banks, along main shopping streets and in shopping centers. Money can be withdrawn by using International Credit Cards (i.e. Visa, MasterCard) and ATM cards as long as they have a Personal identification Number (PIN) encoded. Check with your bank before leaving home to make sure you will have access to your account.
It is recommended that you set up a New Zealand bank account in your own country before leaving. Most banks will have an association with a bank in New Zealand. For example, Lloyds Bank in the United Kingdom is affiliated with the National Bank, as is First National connected with the Bank of New Zealand.
Lakes District Health Board has a special arrangement with Westpac although the ASB Bank will offer similar interest rates etc if you can prove you will be a Lakes District Health Board employee.
Cheques are not used a great deal, as it can be difficult to get credit without references or identification. It is recommended that you bring travelers cheques or cash. ATM cards from your home country can be used in NZ. A warning though - banks can take up to 3 weeks to clear overseas cheques.
Contact your preferred bank for mortgage, investment or foreign exchange information.