A Social Security number in New Zealand is called an IRD number. You do not need an IRD number to open a bank account or rent an apartment. However, you will need an IRD number if:
- you are earning an income
- you are starting a business
- you want a student loan
- your child has a job
- you file tax returns
To find out more about how to get an IRD number, go to the following link: http://www.ird.govt.nz/how-to/irdnumbers/
If you have previously held a New Zealand IRD number, then you need to contact the IRD department to find out if the number is still valid before applying for a new number.
You will need to fill out an IR595 form for individuals, or an IR596 form for a business or group.
You will need to submit the form along with two original forms of identification and legible photocopies of both of these forms of ID. Once you have filled out the form and gathered your ID, you can have your ID verified at any AA driver licensing agent (http://www.aa.co.nz) or PostShop (http://www.nzpost.co.nz/Cultures/en-NZ/OnlineTools/PostShopLocator/). The agent will return your originals to you and send the copies, along with your application, to the IRD. You should receive your IRD number in 8-10 working days.
If you need to arrange an IRD number immediately, it is possible to go directly to an IRD office and have an IRD number created the same day. You need to make an appointment and will need to turn up with the completed form and your two forms of ID. http://www.ird.govt.nz/contact-us/appointments/