Thinking of emigrating to New Zealand - View Single Post
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Old 6th June 2009, 12:17 AM
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Users Flag! Originally from england. Users Flag! Expat in newzealand.

Mazzie, I'm sorry you had a bad experience.

Some of the things you say are true, but I'd like to balance it with what we've found in the 2.5 years that we've been here.

Originally Posted by Mazzie View Post
Employment - Make sure the job is what they say it is. Many employers lure people to NZ with great job offers and it turns out that it is not what they are making it out to be. ..... I was ripped off by 2 different employers to the tune of $15,000.
What a nightmare for you! I have not heard of any of my friends having this problem though. So I do hope that it was a one-off.

Doctor's - You will pay for every visit to the Doctor, it ranges between $40 & $60 per visit....
True you do pay. (our doctor charges $34 NZD per visit. But prescriptions are really cheap when compared to the UK. My husband pays $1 NZD per perscription per month. That's compared to the 6.90 per prescription he used to pay in the UK.

That's if you can get a Dr. to regsiter with, as there is a definite shortage.
We haven't found this. We found a surgery just down the road from us and have nothing but praise

The health system is like it was in the UK about 30 years ago .......
Sounds like the UK NHS system now!! You are right, there are some limitations - but we've not found many problems. The generic version of the drug my husband is on is just as good as the named brand one he used to be on.

Shopping - We found prices to be high, for both food and household items.
Some things are high in price - but others are good value. I find the food bill to be about the same as that in the UK, but I do buy slightly different things. Can't do without the PG Tips tea bags and Branston Pickle though!

Most NZ'rs buy stuff 2nd hand from Trade Me because they can't afford new things.
I have to disagree with you here. Most NZ'ers buy on Trademe because it's addictive and you can get some really good things on it! Because NZ is relatively small, Trademe actually feels much more like a community than Ebay. I find it easier to use too. And why pay a fortune for something new when you can buy something just as good for less, and do some recycling at the same time!

Wages are low compared to what things cost. .... 3 Litres of milk is $6.79 and forget cheese.
My local supermarket is less. I don't know about the cooked chicken but 2 litres of milk is $3.15 NZD, and 1KG of 'Colby' cheddar is $7.99 NZD, 2 dozen eggs for $6 NZD.

There are places like the Warehouse where you can get cheaper things, but most of it is imported from China and breaks within a few weeks, cheap tat, but you get what you pay for.
Agreed. So we don't use the Warehouse. Briscoes and Farmers have household goods at very reasonably priced and good quality.

Do your homework on prices and wages before you go.
Assume a salary of two thirds what you currently earn - but the cost of living will be two thirds too.

Housing - Oh my gosh, we have lived in many Countries, but NZ has to have the worst housing in the world.......
Some houses are exactly like this. But many aren't. Our house does have single glazing, but with some insulation in the roof and a heat pump installed we reckon we're just as comfy as we were in out fully double-glazed and centrally heated house in the UK. Pick your house with care, and if you're buying make sure you ask your surveyor to check for 'leaky building syndrome', which was a huge problem over here at one time.

Cars & Insurance - Vehicles are expensive compared to the UK. .........
I must totally and utterly disagree with this paragraph!

Here's our personal experience:

We have found vehicles to be considerably cheaper than the UK.

When we moved here we bought a 1 year old Honda Jazz for $17,000 NZD That was considerably cheaper than the equivalent car in the UK. The insurance was also very reasonable.

My 18 year old son moved out - we bought him a 1998 2.5 litre Mitsubishi Legnum Estate (imagine buying THAT for an 18 year old in the UK!!) in good condition for $3,000 NZD. The insurance - full comp - with my son as the main driver was $450 NZD - that's less than 200 GBP.

We recently brought an immaculate 1998 MGF sports car for $6000 NZD.

Look at Trade Me Motors - Used cars, new cars, motorbikes, boats and more for sale on for some ideas of prices.

Telephones, Internet and TV - Cell phones, not a lot of competition here. You have Telecom and Vodafone, ....Landlines, Telecom charges 45 cents per minute for long distance calls within NZ, shudder to think what the per minute rates for overseas were. .....
Yes, phones have a way to go. But there are some new broadband connections and options opening up this week, and it is getting better. Telecom do a deal - $5 for up to 2 hours for a call back to the UK. I use it every week to call my Mum.

TV, if you don't have Sky you get about 6 channels, same as Freeview, you pay $350 for a freeview box and only get about 6 channels, what a rip off. I couldn't believe the price of the Freeview boxes, especially as UK Freeview boxes can be picked up for 25 quid. Internet, not cheap. I paid $80 month for my internet, you can get slightly cheaper packages, but it's still too expensive. Mostly DSL, only get cable internet in the bigger cities.
'Landline' TV is not the best in the world. We paid less for a Freeview box, but I can't remember the exact cost. With so much going on outside the house though we don't watch much TV anyway!

Utilities - Check out the real cost of electricity, gas, telephone, tv, internet before you go because none of these are cheap.
We haven't found them expensive, though. To give you an idea, our latest electricity bill for May is $173 NZD, which was a cold month, and we use electricity for everything, including cooking and heating. In the summer it can go down to about $100 NZD per month.

Crime - Considering there are only 4 million people in NZ, the crime rate is horrendous for such a small amount of people. Police are understaffed and crime is abundant. Petty crime is rife and you just don't realize how much crime there is until you live there. Even my friend who is a NZ Police Officer admits the crime rate is extremely high and I myself am an ex Canadian Police Officer and I know what high crime rates are. Many criminals get away with things because the Police don't have the manpower. Boy racers are all over the place too. Kids who race their cars up and down residential streets.
Every place has its problems, and NZ is no exception. All I can pass on is what my son thinks. He was brought up and went to a state-run school in Harrow. He loves it over here and reckons that 'Auckland has it's problems but compared to the UK they're on a different scale'.

Weather - It depends on if you like rain or not. Maybe we were unlucky, but it seemed to rain constantly during the 11 months we were there. We had a few sunny days, nothing too hot, but the summer was nothing to rave about.
Yes, it rains (that's why it's green). But we also have beautiful sun. Today is a good example. It rained overnight, then the sun came out this morning. We had a bit of a shower about an hour ago and now the sun't out again. Very few long dull drizzly days like the UK though.

People seem to think that NZ is the land of milk and honey. Nowhere on this earth is there anywhere like that. Having lived in many different Countries there are problems with every Country in the world, good points and bad everywhere you go. People leave their homeland because they think they will get a better life somewhere else. Well, it doesn't matter where you live really, life is what you make of it. You can't change a Country, you have to live with whatever you get. NZ for us had more bad points than good, that is why we left, but for you it will probably be completely different. Heavens knows we certainly did not go for the money. We went because we heard stories of a better life and more freedom etc. It didn't work out for us, my husband's job was not what they said it would be and he was incredibly unhappy.
Oh how true. To anyone considering emigrating here, don't come here expecting paradise and a life of luxury for no work. And it sounds like you had a really bad time of it which (unfortunately) has coloured your view.[

They often say "home is where the heart is" and this could not be more true. My heart is in the UK and for all it's faults, it's my 'home' and we will be returning there after hubby has finished his work here in Canada.
I miss the UK too - my Mum and my eldest boy are still there - but I can't imagine living anywhere other than NZ now.

For anyone who is thinking of moving out of their own Country, please do lots of research before you go anywhere. It is so easy to be starry eyed because living in another Country sounds romantic. When you actually have to live there, it becomes a different story completely. I wish I could take all the good little bits of every Country I have lived in and make a whole Country out of them, but of course we can't do that. Just remember, the grass is not always greener on the other side. Statistics in NZ show that 1,000 people EVERY WEEK leave NZ to go to another Country and may people who do immigrate there from the UK, end up going back.
It certainly doesn't work for everyone - we've been very lucky. But I think people can help their luck along. We joined lots of clubs, and made friends. This kept us from feeling isolated, and really helped.

Mazzie, I do hope that life in Canada is better for you than the experience you've had over here.
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Last edited by topcat83; 6th June 2009 at 12:24 AM.
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