If you’re an Australian citizen you will usually be allowed to live, work or study in New Zealand and won't need to apply for any type of visa before travelling.
You will need to show a valid Australian passport on your arrival in New Zealand and be of good character.
A foreign passport showing your Australian Citizen Endorsement (either with a label or a confirmation letter) may also be accepted as evidence of your Australian citizenship.
If you are an Australian permanent resident entering New Zealand with a valid passport, you will normally be granted a residence class visa (at the airport) to enter and stay in New Zealand, provided you have completed your arrival card correctly and truthfully.
You do not need a physical label in your passport as in most cases Immigration New Zealand will recognise Australian permanent resident visas issued electronically.
You can still be refused residence however if you are not of good character (you will be required to make a character declaration by completing the character section of your arrival card).
If you are a temporary Australian Resident, you may require a visa to visit NZ (please assess your ability to travel visa free), but you will definitely need an appropriate visa in your passport if you wish to study, work or live in NZ.
This answer was last updated on 20 December, 2012.
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