Careers advice

8 side hustle ideas to bring in extra money in NZ

There are a lot of options out there.

Last updated: 12 July 2023

We’ve all felt the increase in the cost of living over recent months, which has led many Kiwi to look for ways to save money, or increase the amount coming in.

Of course, there are lots of means to do this, including cutting back on discretionary spending or asking for a pay rise in your existing job. But today, we’re going to focus on another avenue – starting a side hustle.

This can be an exciting new route to explore, as well as potentially being lucrative, but you need to know where to look. So, here, we’ll look at the best side hustles in Aotearoa New Zealand to help you make money.

Top side hustle jobs

1. Selling on Trade Me

Okay, it’d be weird if we didn’t start here, wouldn’t it? Yes, on Trade Me, you’ll find brands like Kathmandu, The Nile and Mighty Ape selling in professional stores, but we’re also proud to provide an easy-to-use platform for everyday Kiwi to set up their own online businesses to sell their products.

Got a knack for artsing and crafting? Perfect, set up a store and see if you can turn your hobby into a money maker. Or perhaps you’ve just got a garage or loft full of things you don’t need that might be just what someone else is looking for – you never know what a fellow Kiwi might be willing to pay for them.

Could your hobby become your side hustle by selling through Trade Me?

2. Rent a spare room

Got a spare room or a sleepout on your property? Consider renting it out for a reliable, relatively passive, income. This could be a permanent arrangement, whereby you take on a long-term tenant, or you could consider an AirBnB type set up, where you take on guests whenever you choose, and likely for shorter periods of time.

Of course, this will mean you have to share your spaces with other people. So there are some drawbacks to consider, but, if you have the space, this is a side hustle that typically requires relatively minimal effort on your part.

3. Find a part-time job with regular hours

Trade Me Jobs allows you to search directly for part-time jobs by filtering out other contract types. So, if your schedule allows for it, this could be another option for you. If your current role wouldn’t provide enough time for a part-time role, another option is to look for a casual position. Again, you can search specifically for these types of positions on Trade Me Jobs, and one of the benefits of working on a casual contract is that you only work when you and your employer agree, allowing you to pick up shifts when you want some extra cash, and turn them down when it’s not convenient.

Of course, this does work both ways, meaning that if the employer doesn’t have any work for you, they won’t offer shifts.

4. List your services on freelancing websites

If you’ve got a skillset that businesses value – this could be anything from website design to copywriting to photography and beyond – there are freelancing websites that allow you to search for employers looking for paid help.

These sites include:

  • Upwork
  • Fiverr
  • The Freelance Village
  • Bark
  • Unicorn Factory

Depending on your needs, and those of the employer, you can use these sites to find both short and longer term projects that can make for a great side hustle.

Got a skill to sell? Freelancing sites make it easy.

5. Drive for a rideshare company (but only at certain times)

Many Kiwi have signed up to work for rideshare companies such as Uber and Ola as side hustles since these companies set up shop in Aotearoa New Zealand. While driving for one of these companies obviously can’t be done from the comfort of your own home, like many of the freelancing services mentioned in the point above, it’s still a viable option.

Crucially, you want to be selective about when you opt to work for one of these organisations. Working in slow periods, think first thing on a Sunday morning, for example, is unlikely to be very profitable. Instead, time your hours for peak or surge times. If you know there’s a big sports match or concert going on in your city, this is a perfect time to jump behind the wheel and earn some extra money, as there’s heaps of demand, which drives up the amount you earn.

6. Provide services in your local area

While digital platforms provide great ways to get the word out about services you can offer to businesses, there are also more old-fashioned routes, like providing on-the-ground services in your local area. This could be things like gardening, babysitting or dog walking (getting paid to hang out with dogs? Yes please!).

7. Participate in online surveys

Businesses are always keen to find out more about their customers, meaning there are often opportunities to make money by participating in online market research surveys. You can sign up for websites such as Nielsen Digital Voice, i-Say and Homescan to get started earning money online, with minimal effort from you.

Similar to this, some businesses also pay users to test apps and websites to find any problems or user experience issues that might cause them problems down the track.

8. Become a mystery shopper

This side hustle idea sounds a bit shady, but is actually a very normal practice for many businesses to engage in. Mystery shopping is something that companies use to assess the quality of sales and service staff, job performance, and regulatory compliance that customers receive. Essentially, you pretend to be an everyday customer of a business and keep a mental note of factors that the organiser is interested in.

For example, it’s common for shops selling alcohol to be mystery-shopped to ensure they’re checking that purchasers are aged 18 or over.


Al Hall
Al Hall

Al Hall is a regular contributor at Trade Me Jobs and Trade Me Property. He’s dedicated to helping people succeed in their aspirations to find their dream job and place to live.