New Zealand vs Australia: Expating pros and cons?

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New Zealand vs Australia: Expating pros and cons?


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Old 14th December 2011, 06:09 PM
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Default New Zealand vs Australia: Expating pros and cons?

I'm from the USA seriously considering moving from my current expat location in South America and am eying up both New Zealand and Australia, though so far I've spent most of my time learning about NZ. My primary motivation is better employment opportunities and for me that means moving to an English speaking country. I'm thrilled that both NZ and Au are both doing well economically and should have opportunities in my skill area.

But what is the difference between NZ and Au from an expat perspective? I already know that Au is about 27 times larger by land area with about 6 times the population. I believe it's generally warmer and dryer than NZ. I think NZ on the other hand has a greater variety of geography. I think in both places you guys drive on the wrong side of the road which will be a serious adjustment I'll need to make!

What about taxes as a percentage of income. Prospective economic growth? Crime rates, home prices (as % of income) civil liberties? I did read that Au's biggest source of immigrants is NZ which seems to make a statement favorable to Au, but then again, I haven't seen the annual number of migrants moving from Au to NZ.

I know that both places have advantages over the other in various areas -- all places do have both their ups and downs, so this isn't about a contest between the two. There are things about Ecuador I'll certainly miss when I go. My hope here is just to highlight some of these differences to better inform people like me who've never been to either country who need to choose between the two.

I think this info may be helpful for many others in a similar situation as me. Thanks!

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Old 15th December 2011, 02:16 AM
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Hi Neil, I think before anyone can give much of an answer you will need say what type of work you are looking for. NZer's are very friendly

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Old 15th December 2011, 02:44 AM
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Hi Neil, I think before anyone can give much of an answer you will need say what type of work you are looking for. NZer's are very friendly
Hi Dumbo. I'm in the Information Tech (programming) field, primarily internet related, systems and content. It appears there is decent demand in that skill sector in both NZ and Au. If that's not the case then it would make the decision for me, but if not then I'd like to know about things such as food, customs, leisure activites, which place speaks English most similar to USA English (only partially joking as my wife speaks N American English as a second language and she'll struggle for a bit and need time to adjust to the accent), and and whatever other things might be obviously different that I'm not even thinking of right now.

Friendly is definitely great. Here in Ecuador, that's certainly not the descriptive term so that will be welcome and refreshing change. I like softball, sport flying and RC planes which seems to be there in NZ. I certainly like the outdoors, clean air great scenery, healthy living....

Thanks and cheers...

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Old 15th December 2011, 02:07 PM
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Hi Dumbo. I'm in the Information Tech (programming) field, primarily internet related, systems and content. It appears there is decent demand in that skill sector in both NZ and Au. If that's not the case then it would make the decision for me, but if not then I'd like to know about things such as food, customs, leisure activites, which place speaks English most similar to USA English (only partially joking as my wife speaks N American English as a second language and she'll struggle for a bit and need time to adjust to the accent), and and whatever other things might be obviously different that I'm not even thinking of right now.

Friendly is definitely great. Here in Ecuador, that's certainly not the descriptive term so that will be welcome and refreshing change. I like softball, sport flying and RC planes which seems to be there in NZ. I certainly like the outdoors, clean air great scenery, healthy living....

Thanks and cheers...
Hi Neil
You'll find most IT jobs in Auckland or Wellington, with some in Christchurch and Hamilton. I also work in IT, and have never had a problem finding work. Currently designing a web-based system from scratch - my idea of heaven!

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Old 16th December 2011, 05:01 AM
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Hi Neil
You'll find most IT jobs in Auckland or Wellington, with some in Christchurch and Hamilton. I also work in IT, and have never had a problem finding work. Currently designing a web-based system from scratch - my idea of heaven!
Hey topcat, thanks for the reply. That's definitely encouraging. Building a web system from scratch can be fun too. Let's you make it exactly the way you want it. If you're building from scratch, I'd guess it's a linux system your building on.

I was skyping this evening with an associate of mine who's over in Au who's in the IT business and he was saying it can be tough over there. Said Indians were getting degrees in Au but then can't find work so return to India. Also said that Au's didn't work well with us N Americans too well. But if so, maybe they'd have an even harder time with Indians. I know Indian English is a strong dialect difference from N American English. Maybe that's the problem there.

My associate also mentioned there was a strong culture shock in coming from the USA. (He's from the USA originally but now a dual citizen and speaks much like an Australian now). However, since I'm currently acclimated to Ecuador, I imagine that going to Au or NZ would be more like coming home than leaving home. I'm much more concerned for how my Ecuadorian wife could deal with it, but as long as she's properly prepared I think she could pull through. Especially if people are generally friendly in NZ. The real issue in Ecuador is you can hardly trust anyone. It's a given here that you just don't do that and you can pretty much tell people that to their face and they understand completely, because they pretty much won't trust you either. There are exceptions as trust is earned but in general... I have been burned here on that score, in spite of applying prudence.

Cheers...

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Old 16th December 2011, 03:10 PM
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Hey topcat, thanks for the reply. That's definitely encouraging. Building a web system from scratch can be fun too. Let's you make it exactly the way you want it. If you're building from scratch, I'd guess it's a linux system your building on.

I was skyping this evening with an associate of mine who's over in Au who's in the IT business and he was saying it can be tough over there. Said Indians were getting degrees in Au but then can't find work so return to India. Also said that Au's didn't work well with us N Americans too well. But if so, maybe they'd have an even harder time with Indians. I know Indian English is a strong dialect difference from N American English. Maybe that's the problem there.

My associate also mentioned there was a strong culture shock in coming from the USA. (He's from the USA originally but now a dual citizen and speaks much like an Australian now). However, since I'm currently acclimated to Ecuador, I imagine that going to Au or NZ would be more like coming home than leaving home. I'm much more concerned for how my Ecuadorian wife could deal with it, but as long as she's properly prepared I think she could pull through. Especially if people are generally friendly in NZ. The real issue in Ecuador is you can hardly trust anyone. It's a given here that you just don't do that and you can pretty much tell people that to their face and they understand completely, because they pretty much won't trust you either. There are exceptions as trust is earned but in general... I have been burned here on that score, in spite of applying prudence.

Cheers...
Hi Neil - you're right on the Linux front, but that's not the reason they're developing from scratch. I have actually recommended them to buy a package as much as possible - but they don't want to, so meanwhile I have fun

There is a culture difference between N America and Australasia, but there are differences within each of those regions as well. I always think of Oz being the Australasian US and NZ being the Australasian Canada.

Have a read of some of the threads to spot the cultural differences but I'll try and sum them up:

1. The NZ culture is not as 'in your face' as the Oz culture - it's much quieter and polite. Very British, in a lot of ways - but maybe from 20-30 years ago.

2. Many Americans (or people who have worked for American companies) come unstuck in work because of the difference in marketing yourself. I certainly did when I first came over. In NZ, it is seen as impolite to 'blow your own trumpet' whereas in US companies you are expected to tell people what you can do. This is sometimes known as 'tall poppy syndrome' - if you put your head above everyone else it will be cut off! One reason that this may have come about is the Polynesian influence - it is considered extreme bad manners to brag about yourself and your exploits in that culture. It can be quite difficult interviewing Polynesians for jobs because they won't tell you what they can do! You have to ask a friend!!

3. Most Americans who make it NZ are accepted and find NZ a very friendly place. I think it's fair to say that it's not Americans that most NZ'ers dislike but American politics. And most Americans who make it across the border have thought past the politics!

4. NZ has been voted one of the most trustworthy places in the world - it has very little corruption in business and politics. That's not to say there's none - but it isn't the 'culture'.

So - I think you and your wife will fit in just fine

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Old 17th December 2011, 02:40 AM
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There is a culture difference between N America and Australasia, but there are differences within each of those regions as well. I always think of Oz being the Australasian US and NZ being the Australasian Canada.

...

1. The NZ culture is not as 'in your face' as the Oz culture - it's much quieter and polite. Very British, in a lot of ways - but maybe from 20-30 years ago.

2. Many Americans (or people who have worked for American companies) come unstuck in work because of the difference in marketing yourself. I certainly did when I first came over. In NZ, it is seen as impolite to 'blow your own trumpet' whereas in US companies you are expected to tell people what you can do. This is sometimes known as 'tall poppy syndrome' - if you put your head above everyone else it will be cut off! One reason that this may have come about is the Polynesian influence - it is considered extreme bad manners to brag about yourself and your exploits in that culture. It can be quite difficult interviewing Polynesians for jobs because they won't tell you what they can do! You have to ask a friend!!

4. NZ has been voted one of the most trustworthy places in the world - it has very little corruption in business and politics. That's not to say there's none - but it isn't the 'culture'.

So - I think you and your wife will fit in just fine
Well, good gravy that's me pretty much. I'm normally poor at marketing/sales type tasks for that reason. NZ is sounding better and better.

Yes, even in Ecuador, which is about the same size as both NZ islands combined, there is a substantial cultural difference between the coastal people and those in the sierra. Those on the coast are more likely to tell you exactly what they think of you (i.e. rude or "open" depending on who you ask) and those in the mountains (8500-9000 ft altitude) are more diplomatic and cordial (or hypocritical, again depending on who you ask). A funny thing.

I prefer the sierra for that and weather reasons, but my wife is from the coast, so she'll need to learn to be an especially good hypocrite.

I've read somewhere that NZ is about the least corrupt country in the world. Corruption is definitely endemic here and I think in most of Latin America. Dealing with it is basically a way of life though. You learn to navigate a world of corruption just as one would navigate rules and laws in a non-corrupt world. In the end it's just a different set of rules to live by. So when in Rome....

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