Beginning to plan a move to NZ - would love to hear general suggestions and experienc

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Beginning to plan a move to NZ - would love to hear general suggestions and experienc

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Old 1st May 2020, 03:09 PM
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Default Beginning to plan a move to NZ - would love to hear general suggestions and experienc

Hi all!

I'm new to the forums, as my family is embarking on the early steps of our journey to eventually relocate from the States to New Zealand.

I have been utilizing the government websites related to immigration (which are fantastic, I must say!), but wanted to see about connecting with a couple folks who have experienced the move, ideally recently, so that I might plan for any foreseeable hiccups, things to watch out for, etc.

I work in healthcare administration and consulting, and a brief search has revealed there are a lot of relevant opportunities for someone with my background. My wife is a preschool teacher with a Bachelors in Early Childhood Education. We have 2 kids (12, 9) and a dog.

This move is unlikely to occur immediately, but if like to start laying the ground work that makes sense now so as to make the steps down the road as smooth as possible. We are looking ideally at Auckland suburbs which are good for young families, but are really quite open. Ideally we'll make a visit as soon as the COVID crisis is over to begin exploring areas of interest, network with potential employers, and just get to know the vicinity. Then, as long as we're still on track, it's back home to start the real process of locking down jobs, visas, planning the physical moving process, etc., which will obviously take quite awhile.

Given it's literally a move to the other side of the globe, it feels super overwhelming and I quite honestly have no idea where to reasonably start beyond what I've outlined above. I've read numerous government and non-government immigration guides and checklists, but I'm really hoping some high level advice and encouragement from this group might help as we begin to embark down this extremely complicated path.

At the end of the day, we're making the move with the hopes of enabling our children and future generations of our family to have a better life in a home country which better reflects the values of our family, so we're extremely excited for what the future holds, even if it takes awhile, and can't wait to someday call ourselves kiwis!

Thank you in advance for any feedback, and I look forward to connecting with folks here throughout our journey and once we arrive!


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Old 1st May 2020, 08:59 PM
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Users Flag! Originally from england. Users Flag! Expat in newzealand.

Hi and welcome to the forum,

Yes the move will take some time for sure. I also expect it will take many months for the borders to even reopen to welcome visitors again.
Agree that starting the process early will make the transition easier when it does happen in the future. We researched for many months before actually applying for the visas etc and attended a couple of overseas expo's in the UK, talking to many organisations about the logistics before we even approached Immigration.

First observation of your post would be to not limit yourself to one location as that will drastically reduce the possible opportunities. Just like you, we too expected to migrate to Auckland. Its the biggest place with the most people and jobs and we also had friends living there so it was the natural choice, but the reality of that was I couldn't (at the time) find a job in the Auckland area as there weren't any jobs in my particular specialized occupation. I even sent a CV and cover letter to every company I could possibly work for in the Auckland area but still no vacancies. The nearest I could get at the time was a role in Kaitaia in the Far North or New Plymouth. We were steered away from a move to the Far North by a Kiwi friend who said it would be too much of a different lifestyle change so went for the New Plymouth job and just missed out. I was second choice. They offered the job to a Kiwi who accepted.
That gave way to a few months of zero vacancies across the country and then two appeared in Wellington so went for both and was offered both. We made the move over to Wellington in 2012 and after 2.5yrs there moved North to Tauranga, however I'm still working for the same employer which is a nationally recognized company so has offices across the country.
I'm so glad we didn't go to Auckland. We do visit every now and then to see friends there, go to the airport to pick up relatives etc and I don't like it. Too big, too busy and too many people. Reminds me of being back in Manchester UK with everyone being in a rush 24/7. Cost of Living there is also ridiculous. I can't wait to leave the place whenever i go.

So my advice would be to find a job and look all over NZ. Be open to anywhere. It is the job that will get you here. Once you are here and if the location isn't the place you want to be (just like we felt in Wellington) then you can make a plan to move.

Coming out for a visit first is an excellent idea. If you have the cash to do that I would highly advise it. Once here as a visitor you can approach potential employers and get a feel of your chosen occupation here and NZ employers will love your determination to be there in person. Shows you are really committed to the move and will likely mean you may be going back home with a job offer already in the bag.

Yes it is an overwhelming process but one step at a time.

At the moment it is job first then visa second so I'd concentrate on planning a recce trip for when you can travel here and use that time to fully experience the whole of NZ if you can. Do a road trip in a motorhome maybe. Get around to see a bit of the country and maybe spend a few days in each of the bigger cities to see if you could find work there ?

Always here for advice along the way and to answer any questions you may have with NZ or the Immigration process.

EOI submitted Jan 2010. ITA Jan 2010. ITA submitted Apr 2010. RV approved June 2011. Passports stickered and back to us Aug 2011. Secured job Dec 2011. Arrived Mar 2012. PRV Mar eligible for citizenship but at $1175 Yeah but Nah!!!
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Old 1st May 2020, 11:17 PM
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I just wanted to say thank you so much for the comprehensive and thoughtful response to my post! Ironically Tauranga is one of our top spots if we had a choice. I am already in a position to travel there once the borders reopen, so we'll plan to visit and check out some of the potential landing spots. In the meantime, I'll keep monitoring the job boards to get a feel for that landscape. Our timeline is probably at least a couple years if not more, so I really appreciate your feedback around your experience. I look forward to connecting again as things move along and, again, thank you!


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Old 13th May 2020, 12:51 AM
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Users Flag! Originally from usa. Users Flag! Expat in newzealand.

One of the impacts of Covid has been people are being laid-off and put out of work regardless of their skill-sets or years of experience. Industries across the board are tightening their hiring, with some of the harder-hit sectors closing up shop completely.

This just put you and every other foreigner at the very back of the hiring-line as Kiwis will hire other Kiwis long before they hire you. No matter what you do, you will always be a foreigner here and thus at a severe disadvantage when it comes to work, or finding a job.

Thousands are unemployed here, and with the wage-subsidy scheme about to end even more will be on the dole and looking for work - any work as more and more companies close for good. The ripple-effect on the economy will be tremendous and will last for a very long time...

Iím not trying to be negative or discouraging you from following your dream, just pointing out that the world has changed dramatically in the last few months and New Zealand is no exception. If I had to do it all over again in this environment, I would not even consider a move here unless I had a signed and secured work contract and had a multi-year work visa in hand.

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