As long as you have a Resident visa with valid travel conditions or a Permanent Resident Visa (PRV) in your valid passport when you return to NZ, your residence status will not be affected if you travel overseas.
A valid Returning Residents Visa (granted prior to 29 November 2010) will also allow you to return to NZ as a resident.
If you have a Permanent Resident Visa (PRV) in your passport, you may return to NZ at any time and continue your residence here.
If your Resident Visa has travel conditions on it, you must return to NZ before the expire date of those travel conditions in order to resume your residence in New Zealand.
Please note that your eligibility for further travel conditions or a PRV may be affected by the time you have spent outside of NZ. For more information on this, please refer to the answer below "When and how can I apply for a Permanent Resident Visa?"
This answer was last updated on 23 April, 2013.
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