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  #31 (permalink)  
Old 4th August 2009, 03:16 PM
 
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Default Thanks Mazzie

Hello: thank you for taking the time to write this informative and very honest message which has given me a lot of the information I need as I am thinking about making the move. I have a chance at a very good job there and will be discussing it with the potential employer later today. I am a Canadian who went "starry eyed" to the UK for a while, and I did not like living there at all. It's still my favourite place to visit, but living and working there is very different. From what you have said here, I think I am getting "starry eyed" again and perhaps will stay home and make some changes to improve my life here. I still want to visit NZ though! Thanks for taking the time to share your experience and good luck with your move back to the UK!

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My husband and I just left NZ 2 weeks ago after living there for 11 months and we are now back living in Canada. I was born in the UK, but married a Canadian. I lived in the UK until I got married in 1986, lived in Canada until 2007 and then we moved back to the UK. My husband has the right to live and work in the UK. We spent 7 months in the UK and in March 2008 hubby saw a job advertised by an Accredited Employer in NZ. (Google Accredited Employers for a list of employers who sponsor people to move to NZ)

Our experience living and working in NZ was an absolute nightmare and it would take me days to explain why, it was mainly related to work, so may I suggest that you look into the following points extremely carefully before you make the move.

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 had a freind who was a NZ Police Officer, he told us that the NZ Police are one of the worst offenders for doing this and another friend who was in the Prison Service said the same thing. Some employers will hire you and not pay you. (That was my job, worked and never got paid a penny.) Still trying to get the money via a debt collection agency, but that's another story. I was ripped off by 2 different employers to the tune of $15,000.

Doctor's - You will pay for every visit to the Doctor, it ranges between $40 & $60 per visit, depending on which Doctor you get. That's if you can get a Dr., to regsiter with, as there is a definite shortage. The health system is like it was in the UK about 30 years ago, it SUCKS! If you are on expensive medication they have to apply for a special number from the government so you can get the medication and if they say no, then you either can't have it, or you will need to pay full price for it.

Shopping - We found prices to be high, for both food and household items. Most NZ'rs buy stuff 2nd hand from Trade Me because they can't afford new things. Wages are low compared to what things cost. Amongst other things, a cooked chicken as big as your fist, costs $15.99. Yes, they really are that small. 3 Litres of milk is $6.79 and forget cheese. 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. Do your homework on prices and wages before you go.

Housing - Oh my gosh, we have lived in many Countries, but NZ has to have the worst housing in the world. It's just like living in a shed at the bottom of your garden. No heating, no insulation and no double glazing and for this you can pay $350 A WEEK, yes we did. I am not exagerating here, most of the garages in the UK are better heated and insulated than the houses in NZ. The 1st house we rented was only 7 years old, no heating whatsoever, little insulation and no double glazing. Double glazing has only just been introduced as a requirement for new builds this year, so houses pre 2009 do not have double glazing and houses are cold! Mould is common place in 90% of all houses because the condensation is incredible. You will need to run a dehumidifier constantly and we bought oil filled raditators for heat because they were the cheapest source of heating if there is no wood burner and our electricty bill for ONE MONTH was $400!

Cars & Insurance - Vehicles are expensive compared to the UK. A car which is 10 years old in the UK can be picked up for under 1000 pounds, the same car in NZ will cost you $5,000 and the mileage will be extremely high. You need a WOF, (warrant of fitness, which is the equivalent of an MOT) every 6 months at a cost of $55 each time. Car insurance is not mandatory, you don't have to have it and many people don't. If you do get it, it will cost you around $365 per year if you have full no claims bonuses, but take a letter of experience with you from your home Country or you won't get them.

Telephones, Internet and TV - Cell phones, not a lot of competition here. You have Telecom and Voadafone, both are expensive and sim cards will cost you approximately $35 to buy and then another $20 for the minutes. Most people in NZ text as it is cheaper. Landlines, Telecom charges 45 cents per minute for long distance calls within NZ, shudder to think what the per minute rates for overseas were. I never used them I used a VOIP program on the internet for all my calls and texts which was next to nothing. 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.

Utilities - Check out the real cost of electricity, gas, telephone, tv, internet before you go because none of these are cheap.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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  #32 (permalink)  
Old 5th August 2009, 12:11 PM
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nice ! an interesting post

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Old 21st September 2009, 09:47 AM
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After reading this entire thread - we are also looking at moving from Scotland to Auckland - I must admit that I am nervous......but not nervous enough. We've relocated once already and have a better idea of the realities. My fears are that Auckland is going to be like the UK in too many ways

I do believe that every situation is what you make of it for the most part. Granted we don't always have the choice of the situation we might find ourselves in but we do have a choice in how we deal with those situations

I have to wonder if the Brits are not just seriously spoilt in what choice you get in the UK and your level of technology. I originally come from South Africa and am therefore - from the Southern Hemisphere and understand everything that has been "complained" about and actually miss the "minor" things. They seem like more realistic worries to us than as to whether we are going to have enough cash to get our children the latest bit of technology/clothing so that they can keep up with their friends, etc

We have been in Scotland for 4 years now and have hated it for probably 99% of the time. We are desperate to take our children back to the simple way of life that the Southern Hemisphere offers, the morals and family values that are important and seem to have been forgotten in the UK, the outdoor lifestyle and more family time. In short - a simpler Southern Hemisphere life!

Everything that has been pinpointed as problems just don't seem to be insurmountable to us. We expect these problems with heating, paying for everything (something the UK population don't expect to do anymore) and generally having to work hard to get anywhere (unlike working hard here in the UK to support the benefits system, government expenses and the workshy)

As my one neighbour pointed out to us when we arrived here - "we are so different in our way of thinking that it is like a space ship dropped us off in Glasgow". I would assume that it is the same for all the Northerners heading South.

Southern Hemisphere is not the same as the Northern Hemisphere - that's what makes it special - and visa versa.

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Old 21st September 2009, 10:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kaztayli View Post
After reading this entire thread - we are also looking at moving from Scotland to Auckland - I must admit that I am nervous......but not nervous enough. We've relocated once already and have a better idea of the realities. My fears are that Auckland is going to be like the UK in too many ways

I do believe that every situation is what you make of it for the most part. Granted we don't always have the choice of the situation we might find ourselves in but we do have a choice in how we deal with those situations

I have to wonder if the Brits are not just seriously spoilt in what choice you get in the UK and your level of technology. I originally come from South Africa and am therefore - from the Southern Hemisphere and understand everything that has been "complained" about and actually miss the "minor" things. They seem like more realistic worries to us than as to whether we are going to have enough cash to get our children the latest bit of technology/clothing so that they can keep up with their friends, etc

We have been in Scotland for 4 years now and have hated it for probably 99% of the time. We are desperate to take our children back to the simple way of life that the Southern Hemisphere offers, the morals and family values that are important and seem to have been forgotten in the UK, the outdoor lifestyle and more family time. In short - a simpler Southern Hemisphere life!

Everything that has been pinpointed as problems just don't seem to be insurmountable to us. We expect these problems with heating, paying for everything (something the UK population don't expect to do anymore) and generally having to work hard to get anywhere (unlike working hard here in the UK to support the benefits system, government expenses and the workshy)

As my one neighbour pointed out to us when we arrived here - "we are so different in our way of thinking that it is like a space ship dropped us off in Glasgow". I would assume that it is the same for all the Northerners heading South.

Southern Hemisphere is not the same as the Northern Hemisphere - that's what makes it special - and visa versa.

I think that you are making some sweeping assumptions about both the UK and NZ.

I come from, as do most of my friends, an environment where family, hard work and community are very important. I think it is unfair to write off the entire population of the UK by suggesting that we are spoiled and only interested in the latest electronic gadget. By choice (mine) my children did not even have a TV, let alone a mobile phone or the latest clothes when they were growing up.

As for the benefits culture in the UK yes its a major problem which hopefully will be addressed at the next election.

I fear that you will find the position in NZ is not very different, a massive amount of money is spend on benefits of various kinds incidentally supported by a significantly smaller population of tax payers. As for family values child abuse and domestic violence is at a level which would make most Brits blush.

As for more family time you will work longer hours here for a lot less pay. You will have less time and less money. You may want to check out the stats.

I make no apologies for wanting a warm dry home to come back to after a days work. I think it is the least that you should expect and once you experience a cold damp mouldy bedroom in July you may agree.

I want to make it clear that both my husband and I have made a success of our time here we both earn well above the national average. We have a nice house in an affluent part of Wellington and all that sort of stuff. We achieved this by hard work and determination. We do not hate NZ. We have not failed here we simply prefer our lives in the UK. I know most people think this is strange but that is the way it is. If we were all the same and all that.

I wish you well in NZ if you work hard it is possible to succeed but you really have to be realistic NZ for all its trees is not paradise it also has it's pitfalls

GOOD LUCK

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Old 21st September 2009, 10:58 PM
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I'm sorry - I didn't mean to offend. Maybe my post sounded more harsh than I meant it to.

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Old 22nd September 2009, 09:25 PM
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Originally Posted by kaztayli View Post
I'm sorry - I didn't mean to offend. Maybe my post sounded more harsh than I meant it to.
The one thing I've learned the hard way is that emails and written posts sometimes don't come out the way intended - you just can't get the voice tone across.

I think all the posts are very valid - and as Arnaud says, it's one of the more interesting posts.

I'm in the UK at the moment , and I must say it's confirming to me yet again that I personally made the right choice in moving to NZ.

I still miss 'proper' pork pies, taramasalata and the selection of quiches in Tescos though. Oh - and Curly Wurlies. Guess what's going in my suitcase

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Old 22nd September 2009, 09:54 PM
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Honestly, no offence taken

I responded because I think you may have a view of New Zealand which is somewhat different from the reality. it is a lovely place, in general the people are great, but it is not the idyllic, back to basics, family orientated, cosy, little backwater place your post implied. If you live in a small town maybe, but Auckland no way. I come from a very big city in the UK and even I struggled with Auckland hence our move to Wellington which in my opinion is a much nicer city.

Life is far to short to be miserable and if you hate Glasgow( do they still do deep fried Mars bars?) then you should of course look to find somewhere that you and your family will be happy but it is always better to have as much information as you can get before making such a huge move. I really wish I had done more research I would have brought more wollens with me.

I know lots of people from South Africa who love it here, they moan about the cold and the damp, that is a national pass time, but they would not dream of going anywhere else and think I am mad to go back to the UK. I say Life is what you make it.

As I said before good luck with your move I hope it all works out for you.

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Old 6th November 2009, 03:18 AM
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This has actually been a very funny read. I'm thinking of moving from NZ to the UK, posts on this and similar boards for expats are full of "are you MAD?" and "the UK is a nightmare"!. Things like, there is so much crime, the education system is a total nightmare, it is so polluted, the traffic is out of control etc etc.

Then I come over for a quick look at the NZ site and what do I see....the crime, the pollution, the costs, the education...blah blah blah.

I think expats, but especially Brits outside Britain (and I've lived there before, my husband is English, and I know many many expat Brits) view home very much through rose-tinted glasses, and always have. If we're going to rely on newspaper websites to be an accurate guide to a country (and I wouldn't), then take a look any British newspaper. Its a wonder anyone is still alive and sane over there.

Of course, this is a totally one eyed response to any inquiry, you need to balance everything. Some of you have represented what happened to you as though everyone has the same experience...no-one can afford to buy things new? Speak for yourself. Housing is a national scandal...have owned three houses, probably lived in at least 15 more, no problems with any of them. 55% of water is polluted....obviously you can't just go and drink from any old stream, thats why we have water treatment plants in the majority of the world now. NZ is full of beaches and the vast, vast majority are totally safe for swimming in. Rains all the time? Thats just ridiculous, Auckland is quite a rainy city, but it is alone in that, and at least in NZ you can actually see a blue sky because it is not obscured by pollution.

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Old 1st December 2009, 11:23 PM
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My husband and I just left NZ 2 weeks ago after living there for 11 months and we are now back living in Canada. I was born in the UK, but married a Canadian. I lived in the UK until I got married in 1986, lived in Canada until 2007 and then we moved back to the UK. My husband has the right to live and work in the UK. We spent 7 months in the UK and in March 2008 hubby saw a job advertised by an Accredited Employer in NZ. (Google Accredited Employers for a list of employers who sponsor people to move to NZ)

Our experience living and working in NZ was an absolute nightmare and it would take me days to explain why, it was mainly related to work, so may I suggest that you look into the following points extremely carefully before you make the move.

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 had a freind who was a NZ Police Officer, he told us that the NZ Police are one of the worst offenders for doing this and another friend who was in the Prison Service said the same thing. Some employers will hire you and not pay you. (That was my job, worked and never got paid a penny.) Still trying to get the money via a debt collection agency, but that's another story. I was ripped off by 2 different employers to the tune of $15,000.

Doctor's - You will pay for every visit to the Doctor, it ranges between $40 & $60 per visit, depending on which Doctor you get. That's if you can get a Dr., to regsiter with, as there is a definite shortage. The health system is like it was in the UK about 30 years ago, it SUCKS! If you are on expensive medication they have to apply for a special number from the government so you can get the medication and if they say no, then you either can't have it, or you will need to pay full price for it.

Shopping - We found prices to be high, for both food and household items. Most NZ'rs buy stuff 2nd hand from Trade Me because they can't afford new things. Wages are low compared to what things cost. Amongst other things, a cooked chicken as big as your fist, costs $15.99. Yes, they really are that small. 3 Litres of milk is $6.79 and forget cheese. 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. Do your homework on prices and wages before you go.

Housing - Oh my gosh, we have lived in many Countries, but NZ has to have the worst housing in the world. It's just like living in a shed at the bottom of your garden. No heating, no insulation and no double glazing and for this you can pay $350 A WEEK, yes we did. I am not exagerating here, most of the garages in the UK are better heated and insulated than the houses in NZ. The 1st house we rented was only 7 years old, no heating whatsoever, little insulation and no double glazing. Double glazing has only just been introduced as a requirement for new builds this year, so houses pre 2009 do not have double glazing and houses are cold! Mould is common place in 90% of all houses because the condensation is incredible. You will need to run a dehumidifier constantly and we bought oil filled raditators for heat because they were the cheapest source of heating if there is no wood burner and our electricty bill for ONE MONTH was $400!

Cars & Insurance - Vehicles are expensive compared to the UK. A car which is 10 years old in the UK can be picked up for under 1000 pounds, the same car in NZ will cost you $5,000 and the mileage will be extremely high. You need a WOF, (warrant of fitness, which is the equivalent of an MOT) every 6 months at a cost of $55 each time. Car insurance is not mandatory, you don't have to have it and many people don't. If you do get it, it will cost you around $365 per year if you have full no claims bonuses, but take a letter of experience with you from your home Country or you won't get them.

Telephones, Internet and TV - Cell phones, not a lot of competition here. You have Telecom and Voadafone, both are expensive and sim cards will cost you approximately $35 to buy and then another $20 for the minutes. Most people in NZ text as it is cheaper. Landlines, Telecom charges 45 cents per minute for long distance calls within NZ, shudder to think what the per minute rates for overseas were. I never used them I used a VOIP program on the internet for all my calls and texts which was next to nothing. 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.

Utilities - Check out the real cost of electricity, gas, telephone, tv, internet before you go because none of these are cheap.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.
Sounds not too good. We were heading to NZ, but cost of living seems way too high for us to even manage, so we may stay in U.K.

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Old 1st December 2009, 11:47 PM
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Sounds not too good. We were heading to NZ, but cost of living seems way too high for us to even manage, so we may stay in U.K.
Pepperpot, read the other posts in this thread as well - it may give you a more balanced view of the situation.

Mazzie's is definitely one side of the situation, but not everyone (including myself) has the same view.

I will say that coming over with a positive attitude helps - and maybe it's not the country for you, just because you are starting with concerns before you get here.

Good luck, wherever you end up

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