What is residence – and does it allow me to work in NZ?

New Zealand residence is  a status that gives you most of the advantages of citizenship, including the right to vote, to enjoy government-paid education and health benefits for you and your family, and to travel and work freely in and out of the country on a permanent basis as long as you hold a resident permit and a returning resident’s visa. 

Remember, a permit is what allows you to work in New Zealand, and the visa is what allows you to travel in and out of the country.  The returning resident’s visa is initially granted for two years, and an assessment will be made after two years to issue another that can be either indefinite, for 12 months or for 14 days.

Source: newzealandnow.govt.nz