How to Become a Mystery Shopper in New Zealand

Being a parent and trying to juggle a job – even a part-time job – is a huge challenge.

With endless commitments and unexpected tasks cropping up every day, it’s hard to find something with a flexible schedule.

By signing up to be a mystery shopper NZ mums can find the perfect side gig.

You can choose when to fit in your assignments and select the number of jobs to suit your lifestyle.

It’s a great way to bring in some extra money without the stress of conforming to the rigid hours of a regular job.

What is a mystery shopper?

Businesses are always looking for ways to improve their customer’s experiences and ensure they are providing top notch customer service.

In today’s online world, one bad review can spread rapidly and have a serious impact on your bottom line.

Mystery shoppers are everyday people who are hired – usually by a middle-man specialist company – to assess different aspects of a business and report back on their experiences, helping the company or business to improve.

Who can be a mystery shopper?

Almost anyone can be a mystery shopper, although most companies require a minimum age of 18.

Whether you’re a stay at home mum or dad, senior citizen or student, you are a candidate to be a mystery shopper.

Some agencies cater their jobs to meet your areas of interest or expertise, but generally, they’re looking for the average consumer – which is all of us!

Preferably, you’ll need your own transport to get to your mystery shopping locations, but there’s nothing to say you can’t jump on a bus to get there.

You’ll also need access to computer and reliable internet, as most of the feedback is done online.

It may also be beneficial if you have a phone with a camera, in case you need to take photographic evidence of anything.

What skills do I need to have?

Computer skills – You’ll need to have basic computer skills in order to complete online feedback and communicate with the agency you have signed up with. This won’t be anything too technical, however.

Good communication – You should be able to read, write, and speak clearly and effectively. This is essential both during your mystery shop and during the feedback process afterwards. You may be required to submit detailed written reports of your shopping experience.

A good grasp of English – Although English doesn’t have to be your first language, you will need to be able to communicate well enough to provide thorough feedback, written or verbal.

Attention and focus – Before your shop, you’ll be provided with in-depth information on the task/s required of you, which may include a detailed list of instructions and things to look for.

To be an effective mystery shopper, you’ll need to memorise all this info.

Along with these skills, mystery shopping agencies are looking for the following attributes:

  • Reliable and conscientious
  • Honest
  • Hard working
  • Good observation skills
  • Ability to meet deadlines
  • Ability to follow instructions accurately
  • A good memory

Want to be a secret shopper? NZers can sign up with these companies to start making money today.

What kind of things will I be doing?

Every assignment will vary, depending on the business and their requests.

Your job may be as straightforward as going into a shop and buying a specific product, then reporting on facets of this process, or you might be visiting to ask for details about a service.

You could be shopping, eating dinner at a restaurant, taking a tour, staying in accommodation, or making general customer enquiries.

You could be asked to evaluate the cleanliness of a store or the orderliness of product displays or give feedback on the staff you interact with.

Some businesses merely want you to visit competitors and find out how much they charge for various products and services.

Other jobs might require you to be a bit more hands-on; for example, visiting a bank and asking about a loan.

After you have completed the job, you will generally log into your agency’s website and input your feedback online.

Some feedback may be in the form of multi-choice answers, but many require you to be as specific and detailed as possible.

How much can I make?

Payment varies depending on the scope of the work.

Similarly to online surveys, time-consuming and technical assignments will be paid more than easy jobs.

Generally, assignments start at around $20 per shop.

You may get benefits other than money, such as free meals or drinks, free accommodation or products.

Unless it’s agreed prior to the job, you will be reimbursed for any products or services that you purchase.

The number of assignments you get will vary. If you live in a remote, rural area, there may be very few jobs available.

Those living in cities tend to get a lot more options.

You don’t have to commit to a certain amount of jobs per month, and each agency has different availability and assignments.

In general, you may get between one and five assignments a month, depending on where you live.

Note that with most of these companies you are considered to be an independent contractor, not an employee.

You’ll still need to pay tax on your income.

How to find Mystery Shopper Jobs in New Zealand

By becoming a mystery shopper NZ mums can earn a little extra cash and work when it suits.
There are many agencies operating around New Zealand that are actively looking for mystery shoppers to join their ranks right now.

Following are the top five that we’ve dug up, so you can sign up and get to work straight away!

Mystery Shop Network New Zealand

This New Zealand based consulting company offers services that measure customer service and research competitors for their clients.

They are members of the international Mystery Shop Providers Association.

Visit their website here:

Hoed Mystery Shopping NZ Ltd.

Hoed has the largest database of mystery shoppers in NZ and Australia.

They tend to give assignments based not only on location but also on the shopper’s background and knowledge base.

Jobs may be online visits, retail visits or phone calls and they estimate you will get an average of one to five jobs per month.

Visit their website here:

Customer Care

This is a market research business that provides customized mystery shopper programmes throughout NZ and Australia.

They pride themselves on individually training each shopper and you will be evaluated using a rating system for accuracy and details.

Visit their website here:

The Realise Group

The Realise Group is one of the leading mystery shopping companies in Australia, but are on the hunt for new shoppers throughout NZ, particularly in the North Island.

Jobs are posted on a Job Board and you can select any that are relevant and apply online.

The number of jobs could vary from 1-10 a month, dependent on a variety of factors.

Visit their website here:

Service Integrity

This appears to be more of a boutique, specialist company that operates in Australia and New Zealand.

They are very into their neuro-science with regards to buying behaviour.

Once you are registered with them, you can log into the website to find assignments in your area. Registration is free.

Visit their website here:

Read next: 15 Places to Get Free Samples in New Zealand

16 Lucrative Ways to Make Money Online in New Zealand

If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that there’s no such thing as a safe job.

As we live through the turmoil, people are discovering how much they love working from home and some are wondering how to make money online so they can switch to this lifestyle permanently.

I must admit, earning an income online is pretty great.

I am a mum who makes a full-time living, working from home in school hours only.

I never go into an office or need to answer to anyone but myself. 

Committing to finding a way to make money online was the best financial decision I have ever made. 

I thought if I share everything I know about different ways to make money online, NZ readers might be able to find a way to earn extra income from anywhere with an internet connection.

If working online interests you – there are so many opportunities. 

And there has never been an easier time to earn money online from New Zealand.

With the rise in fibre broadband installations across the country, we have a world-class broadband service making internet access faster and easier than ever before. 

Whether you want to make extra money, work from home or become an online entrepreneur, I hope you’ll find something useful here.

16 Ways to Make Money Online – NZ Edition!

Since my entire income for the last four years is from making money online from New Zealand, I wanted to give you a helpful list of ways to make money online (and from home) from Aotearoa.

Note: Just because you’re in New Zealand, doesn’t mean you have to restrict yourself to customers here. In fact, I recommend you don’t.

We are a very small country, and depending on the type of business you offer, you might have more success in targeting customers in Australia, the United Kingdom or even the United States.

Over half my income comes from the United States, even though I live in New Zealand.

1. Take paid online surveys

Taking surveys for money is an excellent boost to your online income. You can easily earn over $200 per month if you sign up for multiple NZ survey companies.

My favourites include Valued Opinions followed by Opinion World and Ipsos i-Say.

If you want to make money from paid surveys, I recommend you join all three to maximise your chances of always having a survey available.

I have written a more in-depth review of some of the best-paid surveys NZ has to offer here.

2. Share your online activity

Nielsen Digital Voice rewards you for sharing your online activity.

The simplest of extra income ideas, Nielsen Digital Voice requires you to install a secure piece of software on your computer.

Nielsen states the software will not slow down your computer or impact performance in any other ways.

Online surveys and other earning opportunities will then appear on your computer as pop-ups as they come available.

You must be the owner of any computer you install the software on and over 18 years of age to participate. Join Nielsen Digital Voice today.

3. Scan your groceries

Did you know Nielsen Homescan rewards you for scanning the barcodes of your groceries?

This is an easy way to earn vouchers, redeem for items and win prizes in New Zealand.

Once you’ve completed signup, you will be sent a handheld scanner in the mail.

The information you enter is transmitted weekly.

Then your account is credited with points which you can use to redeem a range of items from a catalogue including electronics, gift cards, toys and household items.

Click here to join Nielsen Homescan

Looking for ways to make money online from New Zealand? This list of ways to earn money from home in New Zealand is a great start. There are loads of opportunities for make money online NZ, so hop to it!

4. Get cashback and free signup bonuses with Ebates

Ok so this isn’t technically a way to make money, more a saving money tip – but I earn a couple of hundred dollars (US dollars at that!) each year by using Ebates for my online purchases.

Since I buy almost all my books from Book Depository and do travel bookings with and – this really adds up.

Two things to be aware of – you’ll need a Paypal account for payment. That’s easy and free to set up here and simple to transfer from Paypal to an NZ bank account so you can actually spend the money.

You’ll also get $10USD free when you make a $25USD qualifying purchase when you join with this link.

Sweet USD cash back!

Ebates will only pay you once your balance hits $5USD, if it’s under the threshold your balance will roll over to the next quarterly payment period.

I’ve been with them for three years and never had a problem getting paid. Plus, it’s money I was going to spend anyway so I’m in love with Ebates.

Click here to join Ebates today

5. Start a Service business

Offering a service from home is the simplest way to get started making money online.

You could use the skills you’ve acquired throughout your professional life to build a repertoire of offerings such as appointment making, proposal writing, procurement, travel bookings, personal shopper.

If you are prepared to work away from the computer you could use your skills to do the cleaning, ironing and other tasks for customers. Here’s a handy list of home business ideas to get you started.

6. Become a Freelance Writer

Can you string a sentence together? If so, freelance writing is an excellent way to work from home, NZ and overseas businesses always need content for websites, memos, press releases and more.

Freelance writing was how I got my start working online from New Zealand. I used Upwork to build a profile and wrote for publications in Australia and the U.S.

It was a little difficult writing in American English but the money was worth the effort.

7. Data entry

If you have experience and can type quickly and accurately, data entry jobs from home could be just what you’re looking for. Check out Upwork, Fiverr and as well as Trademe and Seek.

8. Customer service

CSR’s (Customer Service Representatives) are the most commonly occurring jobs under Seek’s Work From Home listings.

If you’ve got experience, working from home as a CSR is one of the simplest transitions to make as most employers will provide you with the full setup from home.

9. Test websites and provide feedback

You can earn money from home in NZ by testing other people’s website. You’ll earn $10USD per 20-minute test.

You’ll need a good internet connection and very clear spoken English.

User testers provide valuable feedback to website owners about website navigation and use.

Click here to read more about becoming a user tester.

10. Become a Virtual Assistant

If you have experience as a personal assistant, executive assistant or in general office administration, starting a virtual assistant business from New Zealand could be your most profitable route.

Click here to read more about becoming a virtual assistant.

11. Proofreading

Proofreading is becoming a more popular way to make money from home.

If you have an excellent eye for detail, becoming a proofreader is a business you can do from anywhere.

12. Become a transcriptionist with REV

Can you type quickly and accurately? Becoming a REV transcriptionist might be a great way for you to earn extra money from home.

Transcriptionists turn audio files into typed documents using a free online editor developed by Rev. You’ll need to be able to listen closely and type what you hear. You can earn between $0.36USD and $0.45USD per audio minute of transcription.

You can pick and choose jobs that interest you. Payment is made weekly via Paypal.

Learn more about becoming a Rev transcriptionist here.

13. Review music

Love music? Record companies and indie publishers appreciate feedback before going to market with new music.

Check out slice the pie to be rewarded for sharing your opinions on new music before it hits the charts.

14. Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate Marketing is when you promote a product on a website or social media and receive a commission on any sales made from your referral.

It can be a lucrative business to make money through internet marketing but you’ll need to grow an audience of potential purchasers first, which means affiliate marketing is a long game.

Affiliate marketing is how I started to make money from my blog and now makes up over 60% of my online income, which is great as affiliate marketing can be truly passive income.

15. Blogging

Blogging is how I make the bulk of my income online. I run my blog as a business now, but for many years it was just a hobby.

If you have a special interest in a particular topic, blogging can be a great way to get started making money online.

Blogging income comes from many different sources including sponsorships, affiliate marketing, advertising income, course sales and more.

At last count, my blog had 8 income streams which pay me each month.

The great thing about a blog is how easy and cheap they are to start off.  Click here if you learn more about how to make money blogging. 

16. Teach English online

Teaching English online is a relatively new field for Kiwis. That’s because a lot of countries prefer American English speakers, but a new company called SayABC are open to hiring Kiwis with the right experience and qualifications.

You can earn up to $21USD per 40-minute lesson and work as much as suits you.

During the week, lessons are mainly at night (starting 6 pm Beijing time – 11 pm New Zealand time!). On the weekends they are all day long so you can really make a lot of extra cash on top of your Monday-Friday gig if you hustle hard.

You’ll need to be a native English speaker with a bachelor’s degree in any field and some teaching experience.

Check out SayABC for more info

As you can see there are lots of ways to starting making money from the internet, even in New Zealand. I’ll add to this list as I discover more ways to grow my income online.

Do you make money online? Any tips to share?

Free Samples: 15 Places to Get Free Samples in New Zealand in 2020

When it comes to free samples, NZers are totally onboard.

Who doesn’t love free stuff? The chance to try something new – or enjoy something you already like – without any cost to you is a rare treat.

The highlight of anyone’s visit to the supermarket is stumbling across the in-house taste testers, and who doesn’t love going to an event and scoring a free goodie bag!?

With the cost of living soaring, we’re always on the lookout for ways to save money.

Free samples are an excellent way to try out new products to see if they’re a right fit for you or score some new bits and pieces, saving your hard-earned cash.

Many businesses are looking for people to sample their offerings in exchange for feedback or want to whet your appetite for their goods with a teaser or two.

So where are they all hiding? And how can you get your hands on some free samples?

Want to try product testing? Ipsos i-Say occasionally recruits product testers in addition to the online surveys they offer. A product tester gets to try and keep new products in exchange for feedback. Join Ipsos i-Say here

We’ve scoured the internet and found a range of free samples that you can enjoy in New Zealand.

So, jump online, and let the goodies come to you!

Do bear in mind that although the products are free, you will often have to cover the cost of postage and handling, so make sure you’re requesting something you really want, to make it worth the cost.

Health and Beauty

With so many products out there for every use under the sun, it certainly helps to be able to try some of them out before you part with your cash. Here are a few great freebies to get you started.

Dentiste’ Nighttime Toothpaste

For only $2 to cover postage, you can receive a 5g tube of this award-winning toothpaste that claims to prevent morning breath (with the bonus of being cruelty-free.) While stocks last.

PURE Sports Nutrition

In need of hydration? Get a free sample starter pack of the PURE Electrolyte Hydration Range (one pack only per customer and shipping charges may apply.)

There’s a range of flavours to choose from, and the product is free of nasties like added colours, gluten, and preservatives. It’s also vegan-friendly.

ManukaRx Ointment

Experience the healing power of New Zealand Manuka honey.

For only $1.95 shipping fee, you get a 4gm sample of this skincare ointment which can resolve a host of issues.

Snowberry New Zealand Skincare

Although not technically without a catch, we still think these free samples are a great deal.

Order anything (no minimum amount required) from this gorgeous, sustainable, natural range, and you can get three free samples, with free shipping!


Join up to be a myNIVEA VIP and you can get free product samples.

Pet Food

Free samples nz including pet food samples.
While most dogs chow down on literally anything, there is the odd precious pooch that turns his nose up at that fancy food you just spent half your salary on.

And let’s not get started on those fussy felines.

Luckily, there are plenty of pet food brands that are practically throwing samples your way.

Repashy Superfoods

If you’re into your alternative pets like fish or reptiles, grab yourself a sample from this NZ owned and operated small business.

Purina One Cat Food

You must sign up for the 21-day program to get a free 150g sample of cat food.

But you’ll also score other freebies like health evaluations, weekly emails, and articles and tips.

Butch Pet Foods

Butch rolls aren’t just for dogs. They have fancy Premium Formulations (PF5) for cats too.

Fill in your details to get a voucher for a free PF5 roll. Take a look at the Butch White Label for dogs, too.

You can also get a free sample of this product created to sensitive canines.

Baby products

When you’re having a baby, free samples can be a lifesaver for your budget. Every parent knows that baby stuff is expensive!

The last thing you want is to waste money buying food, nappies, or skincare products that aren’t a good match for your little one.

Be smart and get hold of some of the best free baby samples NZ companies have to offer before investing your hard-earned money.

Treasures Comfort Nappies

When it comes to free nappy samples NZ options are limited. Most charge at least a few dollars for a sample pack. Not Treasures! Claim a free 3-pack of Newborn nappies from Treasures.

Anmum Pedia Toddler Milk

Only for infants over 12 months, you can get a single-serve sachet of Anmum Pedia Pro3 to try.

Need some free baby stuff NZ? Of course you do! Check out this list of free baby products and try before you buy.

Little Dragon – Natural Skin Care for Babies

This cute NZ company makes excellent organic-certified skincare products for little ones.

To make sure the products are right for your baby, they offer a maximum of two free samples.

You can choose from Baby Moisturiser, Baby Wash, Baby Oil and Organic Insect Repellent.

They also offer Baby Balm and SPF50 sunscreen but were out of samples at the time of writing.

Women’s Products

Have you ever heard of the pink tax?

This refers to the unfortunate fact that many products aimed at women are far more expensive than those for men.

And let’s not even talk about the insane price of sanitary products!

U by Kotex

Score a free sample pack of pads, tampons or liners to try; you get to choose which products you’d like to receive, but the freebies are limited to four samples per household every year.

Poise Liners

Try out some of the Poise products with a free starter pack, which includes three different liners and pads.

What about Sample Box programs?

Perhaps you have a friend who has received a box packed full of awesome products for FREE, with the only requirement being some feedback in return. A few years back getting free sample boxes NZ-wide wasn’t an issue, however, most of them appear to have fizzled out.

The only one currently in action is Blackbox.

How does it work? You just fill out a profile, and if a product comes up to match you, you’ll go into the draw to receive a black box full of goodies. Offerings can range from food, beauty products, health care, drinks and more.

Sadly, there are no free memberships left in NZ for this scheme. While you can sign up for a silver membership ($38 per year) which guarantees you at least one black box per year, it can’t really be classified as a “free sample.”

But do keep an eye on this website, in case free memberships open up again. And if you have any friends or family in Australia, let them know about it, because they’re currently looking for people to sign up for free across the ditch!

So there you have it! Take advantage of the opportunities for free samples we’ve outlined and you’ll be able to feed your pet and try out some new products for yourself.

At worst, it’ll make checking the mail every day that much more exciting; at best, you’ll save some money and find some great New Zealand-made products.

Read next: Where to Get Free Stuff on Your Birthday in New Zealand

Valued Opinions New Zealand Review

If you want to take paid surveys for vouchers or as a way of making extra income, you can’t go past Valued Opinions as a legit survey site in New Zealand.

There are many reasons I consider Valued Opinions to be the best survey site in New Zealand, so in this Valued opinions NZ review, I’m going to discuss why I prefer Valued Opinions over other survey sites and share others reviews of this kiwi survey site.

Valued Opinions NZ Review

If you’re looking to earn free gift cards, NZ participants can take surveys with Valued Opinions and start building a gift card stash today.

Valued Opinions offers surveys in New Zealand, Australia, United States and more.

How regular are their offers

I get emails almost daily with new surveys from Valued Opinions.

I have noticed that Valued Opinions send me way more emails after I’ve completed surveys, so keeping an active profile seems to be important.

How do you earn points

Just by taking surveys. Valued Opinions pays in local currency, so I get actual cash value every time I take a survey.

This is why Valued Opinions are my favourite survey site. They are transparent. No confusing points system.

In this Valued Opinions NZ review I will show you how to earn vouchers with Valued OpinionsEach email I receive with an invite to participate in a survey tells me how much the survey pays and how long it’ll take.

I know ahead of time if it’s worth my effort.

>>Click here to join Valued Opinions<<

How much do they pay

In New Zealand, Valued Opinions claim to pay up to $5 per survey.

The highest offer I’ve had recently was $4 for a 30-minute survey.

I usually get invites for surveys taking 10-15 minutes paying $1-$2.

How to redeem points

Redemption is simple.

In the dashboard, click over to ‘My Rewards’.

Valued Opinions rewards

Your balance will be clearly shown at the top right of the page.

You can then select the rewards you like.

They are currently:

  • Farmers $20
  • Rebel Sport $10
  • Mighty Ape $20
  • Xbox Digital Gift Card $25
  • J-B Hifi $20
  • Subway $10
  • XBox live 3-month subscription $30
  • iTunes $20
  • Super Cheap Auto $20
  • Hoyts cinevoucher $12 (1 Adult ticket)
  • Unicef donation $10

To redeem your reward you will need to verify your account with a valid number for the region.

This involves entering your mobile number and being sent a validation code which you’ll then need to enter to complete redemption of your reward.

It is stated in the Valued Opinions help section that you can also validate with a landline but I’ve never done this so can’t advise how it works.

Other things to note

Valued Opinions do not pay cash. If you’re looking for Valued Opinions PayPal rewards you will be disappointed.

I don’t mind this too much as I always find a use for Farmers vouchers but if you want to take Kiwi surveys for cash you’ll need to find another survey site (my picks for the best New Zealand surveys here).

If a survey is full Valued Opinions will usually offer you an alternative if there is one available.

What do other people think?

Valued Opinions reviews tend to be positive, especially here in New Zealand.

Most reviewers state they don’t have a problem getting paid and receiving rewards isn’t too taxing.

I think the key thing to remember when reading reviews of any survey site is to be realistic.

A lot of negative reviews stem from people saying the pay is too low to justify their time.

If I extrapolate my earnings from taking surveys it’s between $6-10 an hour which is well below the minimum wage. But this isn’t a job. I use my survey earnings to pay for gifts so I don’t have to touch our savings.

I do surveys when I’ve switched the washing machine on or sat down for a coffee.

This is the time I’d usually be surfing Facebook. Which pays me nothing at all.

If you’re realistic with your expectations, taking paid surveys with Valued Opinions is an excellent side hustle.

Join Valued Opinions now >>

9 Legit Grants for Startup Businesses in New Zealand

Running your own business is the dream lifestyle for many a New Zealander, and part of our down to earth, do it yourself, go-getter kiwi attitude.

The idea of being your own boss, taking pride in your own products and services and making a name for yourself appeals to so many people.

Maybe you’re one of them, with all the ideas and motivation but lacking the funds to get your business off the ground.

The good news is that little old Aotearoa has consistently been rated as one of the best countries in the world for startups and small businesses.

In 2017, NZ took the number one spot on the World Bank’s ‘15 Best Countries to Start a Business’ list.

There’s more good news; New Zealand has a number of legit government grants that can help you kick-start your own business.

9 Government Grants for Kiwi Startups

1. Getting started grants from Callaghan Innovation

Aimed at research and development (R&D), the Getting Started Grant can help you in the early stages of developing and testing new products.

“A Getting Started Grant will give you a kick-start to help you take your product, process or service solution from development through to commercialization,” states their website.

If you need help to get a competitive boost, troubleshooting R&D issues, figuring out user requirements or getting touch with experts to help keep you on track, this grant has you covered.

The grant will provide your business with 40% of your eligible project costs, up to a maximum of $5,000.

There are the usual hoops to jump through to be eligible: your business must be registered and meet all the financial requirements. Read more about the grant here

2. Project Grants from Callaghan Innovation

Similar to the Getting Started Grant, Project Grants are aimed at R&D, but these are specifically for larger, more innovative projects that are trying to develop and uncover new technology and ideas.

Find out more here.

3. Student Grants from Callaghan Innovation

These grants are designed to build collaboration between students and businesses, allowing your business to access upcoming talent in various fields of expertise at minimal cost while providing the students with valuable industry experience.

They are divided into Experience Grants – where students come and work with your business during their holidays; Fellowship Grants, with students helping your business out as they undertake PhD or masters research; or Career Grants, where you invite a new graduate to join the team.

More details here

4. Technology Incubators and Accelerators – Callaghan Innovation

If your business is slanted towards technology, you may be eligible for a variety of grants or repayable loans through Callaghan Innovation. Technology incubators help to gradually build and grow a tech business to be a global powerhouse.

Accelerator programmes are designed for high speed and intensive product development, to get your business market-ready quickly.

The focus is on mentoring, coaching and business support – and culminates in a final pitch to potential investors.

Read more here

5. Capability Development Vouchers from the Regional Business Partner Network

This is a great scheme in which business owners can get access to essential business and training services.

Your business may be eligible for a voucher which can provide up to 50% off these services (up to $5000 every year.)

You’ll need to meet with one of the Regional Business Partner (RBP) advisors first and come up with a plan with their help.

If they determine that your business could greatly benefit from further training, they may issue you with a Capability Voucher, which can then be used with registered services.

This is an ideal grant for a startup business that will set you off on the right foot with some professional expertise and advice.

Check out this link for more details.

6. Seed Co-investment Fund – New Zealand Venture Investment Fund

You may have heard of angel or seed investing, where an individual provides capital for a start-up business, often in exchange for part ownership or profit returns.

The New Zealand government set up the New Zealand Venture Investment Fund (NZVIF) in 2002 to help boost the investment market in the country.

The Seed Co-investment Fund (SCIF) is aimed at start-up tech companies and helps connect businesses with investors.

Go here for more info

7. Business Training and Advice Grant – WINZ

Work and Income New Zealand (WINZ) offers assistance for startup businesses.

This grant can help develop your business plan, get training in relevant business skills, provide an independent vetting report, and receive valuable advice on starting a business. The cap is $1000 per year.

To be eligible, you or your partner must be receiving a benefit.

More details here

8. Self-employment Startup Payment – WINZ

If you need help with some basic start-up costs for your business, this payment may get you off the ground by covering the cost of start-up stock, essential equipment or materials, legal costs and insurance, website design and advertising materials, or even help pay for renovations to make a business viable.

It can apply to starting a new business or helping an existing business become self-sufficient.

The maximum payout is $10,000 in one year, and you or your partner will need to be already receiving a WINZ benefit.

Click this link for more info

9. Start-up Business Mentoring Programme – Business Mentors New Zealand

Although not a grant as such, this is a fantastic program which a start-up business can benefit greatly from.

Business Mentors NZ is a non-profit group that uses volunteer mentors to help small businesses grow and succeed.

The Start-up Business Mentoring Programme gives you six months of one on one mentoring from an expert in your field, who will help you write a business plan, source funding, and figure out the legal side of your business.

There is a one-time registration fee of $300 plus GST to enrol for this service.

The fee covers the operational costs of the programme.

More information can be found here

Important Note

If you’ve spotted some grants outside of this list while doing your own research, beware; not all such grants are legit, even if they appear to be.

There are scams aplenty. Avoid any business grants that require you to pay a fee.

If you’re not sure, pop the company’s name into Google alongside the word “scam” or “fraud,” just to be safe.

50+ Part-Time Job Ideas for Kiwi Mums

If you want to make some extra money as a mum without paying for childcare you need to think outside the box.

Finding a part-time job to fit around your lifestyle can be the perfect way to increase your income and get you out of the house.

These part-time job ideas include jobs that can be done on the weekends and also industry looking for evening staff.

You’ll be more likely to find a larger selection of part-time jobs in bigger cities than in smaller towns.

That said, you will find part-time jobs in small-town New Zealand, you just have to be a bit savvy in your searching.

Note: If self-employment is of interest to you, check out this list of home business ideas perfect for Mums

50+ Part-Time Jobs for Mums

this list of part time jobs for mums will help you find the best side gig for your family
This list of job ideas is a culmination of my own research and suggestions/experiences from friends and family.

If you have any more to add to the list, please leave a comment below

  1. Post officer – sort the mail for NZ Post. 
  2. Circular delivery – deliver mailers on foot
  3. Retail – most retail outlets in New Zealand hire part-time staff
  4. Cleaning – cleaning schools, offices and other commercial buildings in the evenings, early mornings and weekends
  5. Gym instructor – lead classes or work reception
  6. Personal trainer – if you have the right qualifications you can take one on one clients to fit around your schedule or run boot camp classes for groups
  7. Fruit and veggie picking and packing – a lot of this work is seasonal
  8. Factory hand – some factories hire part-time staff
  9. Cinema attendant – working at a cinema usually means free movies (I worked at one for years and it was my favourite job)
  10. After school care – many after-school programs hire part-time staff
  11. Market researcher – you could be organising focus groups or going door to door
  12. After hours call centre work – so many call centres have 24-hour support these days
  13. Uber or UberEats driver/delivery
  14. Equipment Installer – many installers work after hours as people like to be home when installations occur
  15. Merchandiser – set up displays in supermarkets and other retail stores
  16. Fast food restaurant – all the big chains hire part-time staff
  17. Kitchen hand – washing dishes and keeping the kitchen in order in restaurants. I worked as a kitchen hand in a top Christchurch restaurant many years ago and still consider it the hardest job I’ve ever done.
  18. Youth hostel work – cleaning and reception/management. Tourism never sleeps!
  19. Orderly or Hospital Aide
  20. Registered nurse – nursing is a highly flexible career option
  21. English language tutor – teach English to speakers of other languages
  22. Administration – many admin jobs are available part-time
  23. Telemarketing – both inbound and outbound
  24. Hospitality work at events and conferences – if you have the skills and the right uniform, this can be a great way to earn extra money for mums
  25. Customs and aviation security officers – with flights arriving and departing at all different times of the days, customs and aviation security jobs are a great part-time job in New Zealand.
  26. Courier – deliver parcels and packages
  27. Support workers. Assist the elderly and others with special needs to live a full life. Usually, you work in their homes.
  28. Swimming instructor – teaching children and adults to swim
  29. Lifeguard – manning pools and beaches
  30. Picking and packing – especially in the lead up to Christmas. This work involved filling orders and packing them for shipment.
  31. First Aid instructor – run courses to help others get certified
  32. Relief teacher at ECE centres – often on call, for both qualified and non-qualified ECE teachers.
  33. Barista – making coffee at markets, events and in cafes.
  34. Fundraiser – door to door and in the street
  35. Hotel room attendant – cleaning and making up hotel rooms
  36. Social worker – if you have the skills and experience, social work can be found as a part-time job.
  37. Caretaker/Maintenance – looking after and maintaining schools, shopping centres, office buildings etc.
  38. Night fill at the supermarket – restocking shelves in the evenings at supermarkets.
  39. Appointment making – for real estate agents and other sales professionals.
  40. Sports coach – little rugby, soccer and netball
  41. Sewing Machinist – in factories or for a dry-cleaner/clothing repair business
  42. Personal assistant to a self-employed business owner
  43. Devanning/container unloading – physical but flexible work unloading containers
  44. House removals – more physical work, but usually good money and hours are flexible
  45. Bookkeeping/Accounts – if you have the skills, bookkeeping is an excellent way to earn extra money
  46. Gardening and landscaping work – for the local council or even start your own business servicing your neighbourhood
  47. Housekeeping – cooking, cleaning and shopping for busy executive families.
  48. In-home childcare – looking after children in your home.
  49. Nanny – looking after other people’s children. Usually in their home.
  50. Catering assistant in workplace canteens and school.

To find some of the above positions in your area, search for the position and job + part time + area, so for example, if I was looking for a nanny job in Christchurch, I’d search “nanny job part-time Christchurch”.

A quick way to make some extra cash is by taking paid surveys, read my top picks here.

If you’re interested in becoming a secret shopper, this article is for you.

Please note: I have not included any multi-level marketing roles here as I’m very wary of their success. All of the jobs here can be found on or and pay an hourly wage.

Can you suggest any other part-time jobs which might suit mums who want to earn extra income? Share in the comments.

Toluna NZ Review: Taking Paid Surveys with Toluna

Toluna is one of my favourite paid surveys sites for Kiwis.

To show you why I enjoy this site so much I wanted to do a Toluna NZ review so you can decide if this is a good survey site for you to join.

Firstly, a quick look around the Toluna dashboard (you can download the app too – but I prefer to take surveys on my laptop, when possible).

Click here to join Toluna New Zealand

My Honest Toluna NZ Review

Toluna NZ is part of the ThinkAction network, offering survey panels all across the world.

They are a big name in the survey world, which makes me comfortable that I can participate with them long-term.

The Toluna Survey Centre

The Survey Centre is basically your dashboard. It’s where you can see which surveys are available for you to take and how much they are worth.

What I like about Toluna:

Toluna gives you points just for signing up, plus you can earn an extra 100 points for filling out more in-depth profile surveys.

This means you can earn from surveys before technically completing a survey.

They also give you extra points for referring friends.

I’ve always enjoyed taking surveys on the Toluna site as the interface is clean and modern (others could learn from them) and makes you want to stick around.

I get frequent emails from Toluna to take surveys.

I’ve always had plenty of opportunities to take surveys, with frequent emails inviting me to participate.

Remember one of the best ways to succeed with paid surveys is to have a complete profile.

This way the emails you receive to take online surveys will be targeted to you and you are not wasting time ‘qualifying’ for surveys that are not right for you.

What I might change:

Just last night I spent 5 minutes filling out a survey only to be deemed unsuitable.

I know this is the name of the game and it doesn’t happen often, but I would really love if Toluna could enter a message stating that I had been rejected from the survey, rather than just redirecting me to the survey centre without a note as to why.

A nice extra touch is that you are entered in the sweepstakes draw if you don’t qualify, so your time is not for nothing.

Toluna NZ Rewards

toluna rewards
Toluna is one of the only survey sites that pay cash in New Zealand.

Their threshold for payment by Paypal is 20400 points for $10NZD.

This is slightly higher than the 19,500 required for a $10 Mighty Ape voucher.

I don’t think it would take much time to accumulate this many points, especially if you kept an eye on your email and hopped into the surveys as soon as you could.

Related post: Paid Surveys New Zealand: 7 Survey Sites for Kiwis

Polls & Sponsored Content

Another nifty way to boost your earnings with Toluna is by taking part in the polls they offer.

This Toluna NZ review includes screenshots and examples of how Toluna works.
The points offered are quite low but the questions take 10 seconds to answer, so definitely check them out.

Toluna offers a solid survey panel for Kiwis to share their opinions and be rewarded for doing so. It’s a site I keep returning to, and I recommend you check it out too.

Click to join Toluna NZ now

Electric Kiwi Refer a Friend: Get $50 Free

We’re friends, right? So it’s totally fine for me to share my Electric Kiwi refer a friend code with you so we can both get $50 off our power bills! Interested?

Click here to join Electric Kiwi and get $50 off your power bill>>

I was so stoked to see that Electric Kiwi is accepting new customers in New Zealand.

I’ve been keen to try them out for ages, but I was with another spot based retailer for a while and Electric Kiwi wasn’t accepting customers from spot price retailers due to the crazy pricing conditions (which I hope have passed).

Anyway, they’ve just approved my application and I’m super excited to get started with them due to one main feature – the Hour of Power.

What is the Hour of Power?

Electric Kiwi's Hour of Power

The Hour of Power is a free hour of power during off-peak periods. You can nominate an hour that best suits you, as long as it’s outside of peak usage periods.

You can change your nominated time within the app,

Here’s how I plan to get maximum value from my hour of power.

5 Ways to Max Your Hour of Power

Getting maximum value from the Hour of Power will require a wee bit of tweaking, but I reckon we’ll still be able to make it work for us (especially as I work from home).

1. Run the big appliances

I’m talking dishwasher, washing machine, dryer (we don’t have one so it’ll just be the washing machine for us). Have those loaded and ready to press go by the time your hour starts.

2. Charge all your devices.

Plugin laptops, tablets and phones during your hour of power.

3. Have a shower/bath

Now this one was slightly confusing for me because, by the time the water leaves the showerhead, it’s already been heated.

But, to start your hot water cylinder heating up the water, you need to drain the existing reserve.

So start your shower or bath a few minutes before the hour of power starts, and you’ll get the benefit of it.

4. Blast your heaters or aircon

This is where we will get huge value.

We have a north-facing living room which is absolutely scorching in the summertime.

I will now be able to run the heat pump as aircon in the afternoon for an hour (or as a heater in the morning in winter) and know I’m not bankrupting us.

Related post: 20 Money-Saving Tips for Life in New Zealand

5. Use a timer

Get yourself a power plug timer if you can’t be at home during your hour of power. Mitre 10 has loads (see here).

If you’ve checked with Consumer Powerswitch and Electric Kiwi is coming up as an option that would save you money, don’t forget to use my Electric Kiwi refer a friend code to save $50 off your first power bill (and I will too, thanks!). 

Here’s the link: Get $50 Free Power and Emma will too – yeah!>>

6 Christchurch Restaurants Where Kids Eat Free

OGH Chch Kids Eat Free

I love eating out. My budget doesn’t. That’s why I love discovering restaurants with kids eat free offers. 

Not only does trying out a new kids eat free Christchurch restaurant save money, but they are also usually kid-friendly with staff and facilities receptive to and accepting of our delightful little moonbeams. 

Note – most kids eat free deals require an adult to dine which is fair enough, if you are one adult dining with more than one child, it pays to call the restaurant and check out their conditions.

Here are our top picks for a budget-friendly family meal in Christchurch.

6 Restaurants Where Kids Eat Free Christchurch

Paying for kids food is a gamble at the best of times, often they don’t eat it anyway so it feels like a waste.

Because I started mumsmoney to help my readers live their best life for less I thought it best that this blog post be as accurately researched as possible so I took a few meals for the team.

This article is evolving, and I’ll keep updating it as I find new spots. 

If you are looking for restaurants where kids eat free in Christchurch, I’m your girl.


The Mexico Christchurch menu - the kids loved this place (and we loved the savings).

Kids eat free from the kid’s menu at Mexico on Sundays from 12 pm until closing time when they dining with a parent. 

I actually couldn’t believe the value here, because some of the grownup meals were only $19 or so, and the kids eat free offer was $14 worth of food. 

Definitely the best kids eat free offer in Christchurch, avocado taco, jamaica drink and churros for dessert.

The kid’s menu includes 1 kid’s treat (taco, quesadilla etc), 1 dessert and 1 drink. 

My kids have both been to Mexico (the country) and we love the food so this was a winner. 

Added bonus: get your lunch in early before spending the day ‘in town’ (that’s the Christchurch way of saying ‘city centre’).

The kids will love Turanga, the Christchurch museum, spotting eels in the Avon along Oxford Terrace and the free samples at Fudge Cottage.


The kids free meal at Dennys

The Kids Eat Free offer at Denny’s is valid Monday to Wednesday for children under 10.

It’s a quirky set up in that the adults must order off a specific menu – called the Value Menu to receive a free kids meal. 

I spent a while poring over the main menu before it was pointed out that I could only order from the Value Menu.

No big deal but when you come in on a Monday night with two tired kids, time is precious so the server could have pre-empted why we were there and been forthcoming with the information.

This offer does not include drinks or desserts.

One Good Horse Parklands

OGH Chch Kids Eat Free

This place is one of our favourites – it’s so kid-friendly. Kids eat free every Sunday from 5 pm when dining with a paying adult.

Junior Driver meals come served with a soft drink or milk, meal & a sundae!

One Good Horse has an amazing indoor playland (a soft play area) so it’s really popular for families and bookings are recommended.

We booked for 5 pm on a Sunday and were seated and served really quickly.

Ask for a table near the play area so you can relax a little.

(side note: I remember coming here as a kid when it was Cobb & Co and had an epic ball pit, it’s kinda cool bringing my kids here now). 

More Kids Eat Free Christchurch Restaurants (that I haven’t tried yet but will)

The Good Home Ferrymead

Free kids meal after 3pm on Sundays with a full paying adult eating from the all-day menu.

The Bog

Kids Eat Free Wednesdays. One kids meal per adult meal. Includes a meal, soft drink and scoop of ice cream with topping.

Bishop Brothers

Kids under 12 eat for free with a paying adult from Monday to Thursday. (Also conveniently located near the Elephant Playground for a post-dinner run around).

Do you know of any other restaurants with a kid’s eat free offer in Christchurch? Let us know in the comments and we’ll add it to the list.

Birthday Freebies: The Ultimate New Zealand Guide

Who doesn’t love free stuff? Well, if it’s your birthday soon, you’re in for a treat because there are loads of places to get birthday freebies in NZ.

If you can get over the fact that you actually have to tell someone it’s your birthday you can get a ton of birthday freebies all over New Zealand.

Most of the birthday rewards mentioned below are for club members.

You’ll want to join the loyalty program of the retailer you’re targeting in order to qualify for offers.

It’s worth it though, with loads of birthday vouchers on offer.

Here are a few of my faves.

Free Birthday Food

Birthday freebies in NZ - sign me up!
When it comes to birthday freebies, NZ food outlets are pretty generous.

Getting birthday freebies makes your birthday even more special, especially if you’re a bit frugal.

If you’re not one to go out for a meal or coffee usually, these free birthday deals might the perfect treat that you can actually afford.

Free Stuff That Isn’t Food

Lots of retailers offer discounts during your birthday month.

This can be a great time of year to do all the shopping you need to do – if you’re strategic enough to plan ahead.

Here are some great ways to save money on non-food items for your birthday.

Other places to get free stuff on your birthday

Your local Kiwi cafe probably has a free birthday coffee offer. Most smaller shops offer their loyal customers some form.

Be sure to ask.

Do you know of any birthday freebies, not on this list? Let me know in the comments and I’ll add them.

Read next: 15 Places to Get Free Samples in New Zealand