Thinking of emigrating to New Zealand - Page 2

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  #11 (permalink)  
Old 7th June 2009, 10:54 PM
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I have to say I am astounded by Mazzie's post. We moved here nearly six years ago and I only wish we'd done it 15 years ago! NZ is a wonderful country, and while we have our gripes, we couldn't be happier here. We feel privileged to live in NZ. People are much friendlier, the costs of living is lower, children are allowed to be children. I have never felt threatened while walking in Auckland city centre at night. There is certainly less crime than in the UK. As for housing, I would hardly call the average Kiwi house a shed! No they don't have much insulation and they are often made of wood but the climate in Auckland at least is very mild. It's the equivalent of December here and I was wearing t-shirt and shorts as I walked the dog on the beach. It's rare to have grey miserable days and when it is grey it soon clears. There is so much to be appreciative of here it's difficult to know where to start. But that's the thing with people, we all have our own perspective and see things in our own unique way. All I would say is don't let Mazzie's experience put you off moving to NZ, maintain a positive attitude, smile and be thankful you have the opportunity to start a new life in one of the most beautiful countries on earth.
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Old 8th June 2009, 07:52 AM
 
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Default Life in NZ

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelloggs View Post
Hello everyone. Myself and my family are thinking of emigrating to New Zealand so it is very early days in the process but would like to hear what people think of the cost of living out there as that is a big factor in us moving out there. Cost of diesel here currently 1.28 at some petrol stations!!!! Home sickness is also a big concern although I appreciate something most people must go through so any suggestions, experiences I would love to hear about. Any stories and experiences of emigrating to NZ in general would be very helpful. Many thanks in advance everyone.
Hi
We have been in NZ since Jan 2008,Have a son aged 11 yrs.I chose the North Island Hamilton to ensure a favourable climate and easy access to main areas; Auckland,Rotorua,Tauranga,Coromondel ect.
The cost of living is difficult to comment on as everything is relative. People here generally lead simplistic lives and are not materialistic.
The biggest advice I could give is to visit and spend at least a month travelling around to get the feel of the place.I toured the North Island before I came to help me make a life changing decision.
Although NZ is English speaking dont be fooled the culture is very different from Uk.You would have to be prepared to embrace the culture and think very differently.
I love it here socially but work is sometimes a struggle with regard a lack of structure in comparision to Uk.
As for petrol prices not a priority.
NZ is a beautiful place but it also has its social problems..poverty being a particular issue.If you have a reasonable amount of money to buy a home and secure employment earning $60000 plus a second wage you should be ok.BJTB

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Old 2nd July 2009, 09:01 AM
 
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Hi Kellogs, I moved to Auckland from Scotland in October 2008 so I have been here 9 months now. I have found the place much cleaner than the UK, weather in the spring/summer/autumn far better than in the UK, summer here from Dec 08 - Apr 09 was warm and pleasant. We certainly couldn't pick up the kids from school in Scotland and go straight to the beach, but that is what you have the option of doing here.

As everyone says, it is what you make of it yourseld. I have had low points and wondered what I'm doing here, but that is all part of the course of your move and would be the case no matter where you want to be.

My kids settled into school with no problems, no taunting about their Scottish accent (which would have been the case in reverse, kids from NZ moving to UK). Both my kids don't want to return to Scotland and enjoy the lifestyle they have here.

Yes, some of the houses are poor, but that is also the same as some of the UK housing estates, again it all depends on where you want to live and what you want to live in.

I am no worse off in terms of money here than I was in Scotland with both of us working full time. I think that's what you need to remember, life here is the same as there having to work etc.. It's not a life long holiday. But you have the benefit of better weather, an out door lifestyle and a safer environment for kids. As far as I am aware, there is no school in the UK which doesn't have gates and fences all around it like a cage. Here most of the schools are open. What does that tell you??

Good Luck with whatever you decide to do.

Astrajl

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Old 2nd July 2009, 07:56 PM
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Well I have to say that for our experience Mazzie has a lot of points that I relate to. My husband is a Kiwi who lived in England for 20+ years and in many ways re adjusting was like both of us coming here for the first time. My husband worked with cars in England and was horrified at the cost of a ten year old car here. He'd also forgotten things like how cold it was in the houses, the condensation, the mould etc and was shocked at the cost of living generally.

In the UK, we spent about an 1/8th of our income on food, here it's 1/4. We used to spend 1/4 of our income on housing, here it's 1/2. There's no personal tax allowance here so wages are lower and taxes are higher. I struggled with my job and fitting in and being told it's one thing while it's actually another.

That isn't to say that we are unhappy, there are many good things about the country and not least in our case relatives and many beautiful unspoilt places. I do think it makes a huge difference if you came/come here with a sum of money to get started.

In the

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Old 3rd July 2009, 01:28 AM
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.....I do think it makes a huge difference if you came/come here with a sum of money to get started.
A very good point, Gemini.

It helped tremendously that we had enough from our house sale in the UK to get a reasonable house in NZ, and to budget for a car (albeit a small one). The one-year-old car we bought was less than a similar one in the UK. We haven't bought an old car for many years (we tend to buy a reasonably new one then hang on to it) so we're probably not the best qualified to comment on older ones!

I suppose the other thing we try not to do is compare things too much - both countries have positives and negatives. I personally think our life has a few more positives now.

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Old 7th July 2009, 02:17 PM
 
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I'll offer an American view to the OP.

My family and I (wife & 2 school age children, 1 with mild special needs) looked into relocating to NZ late last year. We chose not to go. We made an exploratory trip to NZ before we made our decision, and this was our experience:

Income and Expenses - I cannot speak to obtaining general or trades employment in NZ. My wife and I are both professional types with doctorates, and we found that (a) the employment situation was bad and getting worse and (b) that we would have to be willing to accept at least a 30% paycut, even taking the exchange rate into account. Earning less is fine, so long as expenses are also less. They aren't. Again, I cannot speak to the cost of living in UK or Europe, but costs compared to the US were out-of-this-world. We found, easily, groceries costing double what they do here, with many things more than that. Utilities were far more expensive in NZ than here. Petrol, phone, etc. - all more expensive. My family is not overly-materialistic, but that was far more than we expected. I would also say that the current attitude towards recent expats and work has worsened significantly - read this: NZ 'paradise' not so wonderful for British expats, says UK newspaper - National - NZ Herald News

Housing - in all fairness, housing in NZ is a national scandal. Building codes either don't exist or aren't enforced at all. The mold problem was quite high, with little thought to insulation or water-proofing. The general state of housing in NZ would make a US building inspector head straight to the courthouse to sue whomever built it. It is also much more expensive than the US, but it would appear to be in line with European costs.

Medical care - for all the talk of "socialized medicine" being better than the US system, I found it to be totally untrue. There are waits for doctors. There is rationing. We don't have either in the US, but we do pay for our system. I guess it's just a choice of what you're willing to put up with.

Education - we looked at schools for our children, and I found a dire lack of special education resources for my one child, and there really wasn't a lot of "advanced" educational opportunities for my other child - one needs lots of help, the other is exceptionally bright. Both ends of the spectrum was a letdown.

Social - crime is far worse, per capita, than in most places in the US. NZ has a lot of gang issues, and the police appears to be behind-the-curve on this issue. We also experienced a definite anti-US bias while we were there, and it wasn't looking to get better. Perhaps this is better with Brits, but US expats have real issues there.

All-in-all, we decided not to go. Everyone will have a different experience, but that was ours. Good luck.

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Old 11th July 2009, 06:46 PM
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Hi American Guy

I think your approach has a lot going for it - how many people arrive without having done at least some investigation into the country they're going to, then end up being disappointed when they get there?

I'd encourage anyone to visit first if they can, before making that final jump. It's not for everyone, although for us it definitely was.

And I think the differences between the US and NZ are larger than the differences between the UK and NZ.

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Old 11th July 2009, 08:22 PM
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I agree with AmericanGuy that housing here is national scandal. There is so much that is done wrong. Builders often put them up as cheaply as possible to make a quick profit. Owners often prefer cosmetic repairs over proper, structural repairs in order to increase their resale value. There seems to be an attitude that a building should only last about twenty or thirty years: one which I think has developed recently, because stuff built in the first half of the twentieth century looks a lot more solid.

The reason for this approach is also because there is no land tax or capital gains tax in New Zealand. The best way to make a tax-free profit is by buying houses, tarting them up a bit and selling them on for a price in excess of the cost of the work, which is generally the cheapest way of making a house look good, rather than, for example, insulating it.

It's a real pity because it's a zero-sum game. Creating a successful business generally results in a happy businessman and happy customers. Everyone wins. IN housing, by contrast, the extent to which a person makes a surplus profit is equal to the extent someone else gets ripped off.

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Old 11th July 2009, 08:27 PM
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Just one more thing:

If you can afford it, you can get medical insurance in New Zealand, and that will pay for a good standard of private healthcare. If you can't, the healthcare system here is, in our experience, very good, with a good network of general practitioners whill refer you appropriately, and although the range of medication is not as wide as in the UK, we've not ever been put on a waiting list. The bottom line is that in New Zealand you will still receive decent healthcare if you lose you job. In the US, you won't.

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Old 12th July 2009, 12:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YoungsSpecialLondon View Post
If you can afford it, you can get medical insurance in New Zealand, and that will pay for a good standard of private healthcare. If you can't, the healthcare system here is, in our experience, very good, with a good network of general practitioners whill refer you appropriately, and although the range of medication is not as wide as in the UK, we've not ever been put on a waiting list. The bottom line is that in New Zealand you will still receive decent healthcare if you lose you job. In the US, you won't.
I can back this up. Hubby managed to gain a hernia picking up his motorbike (serves him right for dropping it!) and we expected to wait a while as it wasn't urgent. In fact, we waited less than 2 months and it was done on Health Service expense in a private clinic in Remuera (and it wsn't covered under ACC either).

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