moving to New Zealand from USA...what to expect?

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moving to New Zealand from USA...what to expect?


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Old 23rd May 2012, 04:58 PM
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My husband and I, along with our 2 year old, are planning to move from the United States to New Zealand (Christchurch).
This is going to be an adventure for our family. We have never lived outside the United States. My husband and I enjoy the outdoors very much and cannot help but be captivated by New Zealand's beauty, and all that we've read about the way of life there.

My husband is a commercial/industrial electrician, so we'd like to know id Christchurch is a promising place for him to secure a job in the electrical/construction field.

Any advice or helpful information about what to expect from life in New Zealand would be most appreciated. (best suburbs in Christchurch to live, what is life like in New Zealand compared to the States, opinions about the best and worst things about living in NZ (Christchurch, in particular).

Thanks.

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Old 23rd May 2012, 05:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrsRose View Post
My husband and I, along with our 2 year old, are planning to move from the United States to New Zealand (Christchurch).
This is going to be an adventure for our family. We have never lived outside the United States. My husband and I enjoy the outdoors very much and cannot help but be captivated by New Zealand's beauty, and all that we've read about the way of life there.

My husband is a commercial/industrial electrician, so we'd like to know id Christchurch is a promising place for him to secure a job in the electrical/construction field.

Any advice or helpful information about what to expect from life in New Zealand would be most appreciated. (best suburbs in Christchurch to live, what is life like in New Zealand compared to the States, opinions about the best and worst things about living in NZ (Christchurch, in particular).

Thanks.
Hi there

You will find things different here - look for other earlier threads that discuss the things that American citizens have found.

The main themes that seem to come out are
  1. the expense of electrical items
  2. the lack of convenience foods
  3. the lack of insulation and heating in older houses.

1 and 2 are difficult to get round (especially as US appliances work off a different power supply - we use 240v like the UK). But for 3 (which is I think the most important) just make sure that the house you rent/buy has been insulated. Newer builds are usually OK.

Brits find the same problems - but I think for Americans it's an even bigger change.

But I think the laid-back lifestyle of NZ and the wonderful outdoors more than makes up for it

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Old 25th May 2012, 08:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrsRose View Post
My husband and I, along with our 2 year old, are planning to move from the United States to New Zealand (Christchurch).
This is going to be an adventure for our family. We have never lived outside the United States. My husband and I enjoy the outdoors very much and cannot help but be captivated by New Zealand's beauty, and all that we've read about the way of life there.

My husband is a commercial/industrial electrician, so we'd like to know id Christchurch is a promising place for him to secure a job in the electrical/construction field.

Any advice or helpful information about what to expect from life in New Zealand would be most appreciated. (best suburbs in Christchurch to live, what is life like in New Zealand compared to the States, opinions about the best and worst things about living in NZ (Christchurch, in particular).
Thanks.



Hi MissRose,

My husband and I just moved to Christchurch from the States about a month ago. He is a mechanical engineer and works in sewer systems. I agree with what tomcat has said. Also to add to that I would say when grocery shopping you don't have near the selection of items. My husband and I are pretty health conscience and it is difficult to find low fat options at the grocery. Not that you can't find some alternatives to make it work, if that's important to you. I would say eating out in general is somewhat more expensive, but not at this current exchange rate. I guess it's depends on where you are coming from in the U.S. We came from middle of nowhere Ohio, so cost of living was inexpensive.

Finding housing in Chch can be difficult. With the influx of people coming in to help with the rebuild and people being displaced from their homes to have their homes fixed from earthquake damage. I would say if you find something that will work for your family jump on it. We found something, but thought it was to soon to make a decision because we had not looked long. We lost that house and then had a difficult time finding another house.

It might sound like there are a lot of negatives, but these are just things I wish I would have known beforehand to be prepared. Otherwise I can honestly say we made the right decision to move here. We are loving it so far! People here are so helpful and genuinely nice! So much to do outdoors It is an unbelievable place! I hope we are able to stay longer than our two year visas. If you have any other more specific questions I would love to help you out. Good luck with everything! Cheers!
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Old 25th May 2012, 07:09 PM
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Thanks everyone!

We are coming from Las Vegas, Nevada. Not sure how cost of living here compares to Ohio.

I'm glad for all of the information. It's very helpful to hear all of the "negatives" as well, as that will help us to look into those things ahead of time and be prepared. We are still in the beginning stages of the immigration process. After having submitted our EOI and having sufficient points, we are currently submitting our Full check Initial Assessment.
We're pretty sure we'll need to rent when we first arrive...that way we can get to know the area and decide where to settle.

Our family is not all that into "convenience foods" anyways. We like eating organic and cooking from scratch as much as possible. (hoping there are plenty of farmers markets in NZ...)


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Old 25th May 2012, 07:14 PM
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another question regarding the immigration process:

About how long can we expect the immigration process to take (rough estimate, assuming we're approved and all goes smoothly)?

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Old 27th May 2012, 07:02 AM
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Hey,

Hope the visa and moving process goes smoothyl for you guys. Have been living n Christchurch for 5 weeks now (from UK) and am really enjoying life here. Certainly compared to the UK people are really friendly and the scenery never ceases to amaze me. I would say that renting in Christchurch is tricky given the number of people trying to find a place outside of the earthquake affected areas, but it's not impossible to find a decent place.

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Old 27th May 2012, 08:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrsRose
another question regarding the immigration process:

About how long can we expect the immigration process to take (rough estimate, assuming we're approved and all goes smoothly)?
We got two year visas. We went through an immigration lawyer who helped expedite the application, so it took about 2 weeks. This was after we completed health requirements (physical, blood work, xrays) and background checks. We have heard that it can take up to 6 weeks based on possible backlog.

Make sure you are very thorough with requirements and follow all instructions in submitting the application to make sure you get approved the first time.

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Old 27th May 2012, 02:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrsRose View Post
another question regarding the immigration process:

About how long can we expect the immigration process to take (rough estimate, assuming we're approved and all goes smoothly)?
After all of the medicals and police checks we went through the Consulate General in LA as we are in the Western part of the US and it took two days to process. Our applications were for a 3 year student visa and a 3 year work visa.

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Old 24th June 2012, 02:39 AM
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Hello, I dont have much advice to give, but we are in the same situation...my husband is an electrician, but we are really wanting to be in the Auckland area...if you would be willing, I'd love to be able to email back and forth, and be able to update each other on any new info we have figured out... Are you using an immigration service or doing it on your own? Anyway, let me know if you would like to exchange email addresses...thanks, and good luck to you!


Last edited by anski; 24th June 2012 at 05:34 AM. Reason: moved my reply
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Old 24th June 2012, 05:34 AM
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Hi,

Once you have made 5 posts you can send MrsRose or anybody else a PM Private Message & that way you can exchange email addresses, likewise MrsRose could PM you with the information if she chooses to.

Good luck.
Anyway it''s always a should we or shouldn't we. Believe me I am an expert at relocating, done it more than 10 times in the past 55 years with the most moves in the past 14 years. It's a huge adventure & learning curve, & even if it oes not work out you will still take away life experiences.

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