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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Whether you've lived there your whole life, or moved to NZ from another country...

What are the best and worst things about living in New Zealand?
 

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Whether you've lived there your whole life, or moved to NZ from another country...

What are the best and worst things about living in New Zealand?
Best thing? The wonderful scenery wherever you go (apart from Huntly) and no crowds (apart from Auckland)

Worse? Leaky houses and large garden sheds with no insulation or heating as 'typical' NZ houses. But these can be side-stepped by doing the correct investigations when you rent/buy...
 

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Well, it depends on your age, your family, where you live. We moved in Feb, gorgeous place. Nice people. We live a ferry ride away from Auckland though in a quiet beachy bit, good for summer not winter so hopefully moving closer to the centre. Cost of living etc's the same as UK i reckon. Where in Uk you moving from?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
We're from the USA.

Just trying to get a realistic perspective on life in NZ vs. life in the States.

We are a very outdoorsy family, so we're really looking forward to that aspect of NZ. We'll definitely have to downsize on housing, as houses are much less expensive in the States.
 

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We'll definitely have to downsize on housing, as houses are much less expensive in the States.
That's a massive generalization. Depends on where in the States you are referring to. There are condos in NY that cost more than the most expensive houses in Auckland.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
We come from Las Vegas so it's no stretch to say that housing will be more expensive for us. The market in Las Vegas was one of the worst hit in the US. A brand new 4 bedroom, 3 bathroom, 2 story house, with energy star appliances, granite counter tops, backyard, garage, and loft is only about $150,000 US dollars. In Chch I haven't seen anything online comparable for less than $400,000 NZ dollars. (which is about what one would have paid in Las Vegas before the market crashed)
Places like New York and California are some of the most expensive places in the US for buying homes, so someone moving from one of those areas might actually find housing prices to be similar, or less expensive, in NZ.
 

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I'm not entirely sure about the housing market as I've never owned in NZ, however I would say that the best things include:

The scenery, the people (generally very friendly with a reputation for being so), the fact that it is a great place to raise a family (and apparently the 4th best place in the world to be a mother...who know), the relaxed atmosphere, the beaches.

Worst? If you are more of a 'big city' person then perhaps all of the above would hold less appeal for you. It is, of course, an extreme distance from Europe, America etc - therefore travel to these countries tends to be costly. In the winter you don't tend to get central heating - even though the winters can get extremely cold.

It's a beautiful place, great to bring up children.

I am, of course, extremely biased...
 

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We are from Reno Nevada; moved here almost 4 years for a go of it.

My recommendation is do not move here.

Houses are way over priced for what you get; food is also way over priced and extremely bland.

Sure there is some really nice scenery but trust me on this; you will see just as good if not better in America; try Yosemite.

If you do move here I hope you are able to get a job that pays really well other wise you will not be able to afford to do all those outdoorsy things that you like to do.
When we moved here we thought hey; no snakes, no bears or mountain lions so we will be safe camping and hiking but unfortunately due to the over price gas in New Zealand and prices for camping ground etc we have only been out of the city we live in 3 or 4 times in the last 4 years.

Some good things about New Zealand.... Single payer health system BUT that has its major draw backs also like huge waiting lists for major operations that you could just well die while you are waiting which has been known to happen.

We are moving at the end of the year back to Reno; this place has done a real number on our finances and our mental well being.
I'm afraid that NZ can be very different to the US - and in fact generally it seems to be US citizens that have the most difficulties with the culture differences too.

I must admit the food one amused me though - we don't have all the convenience food, but I guess that the raw ingredient type foods used to cook from basics are as bland wherever you buy them in the world!

And you can always buy private medical insurance (and it will be cheaper than the equivalent in the US). At least we have the option and I'd dispute the 'die while you are waiting.' If you have a serious life-threatening problem you will be seen quickly; if you have an ingrowing toe-nail you won't! :D
 

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scottjames84 said:
Yeah we cook our own food just like we did in America.

I will give you an example.

Brought the ingredients to make home made Quesadilla's last week; ingredients for the salsa cost around $12; 6 tortilla's $6, cheese $4
In total $22 for 6 Quesadilla's.

In America I could make the same if not better (because we have better ingredients in America) for way cheaper.

The reason Americans have the hardest time adjusting culturally here in NZ is because we are used to things being better and I cannot understand why with the resources NZ has they don't change to make things better for it's citizens.
If replicating your exact diet from the States--with food common only in north america...yes NZ is a bad fit. Ditto europe Australia Asia. We didn't have any decent mexican food in Vancouver until 5 years ago!!!

Expectation management issue on your part,
I'm afraid...
 
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This is a dummy reply--the images embedded in a previous reply are screwing up the page width
 

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Hey guys - I'm going to have to try and sort out those photos as they are causing difficulties.
Like I can't edit anything because the edit button's off the screen.
Just going to see if I can find a wider screen somewhere :)
 

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OK - sorted by deleting the pictures.
Reinetterenee - I have not deleted them because of what they were showing but because they were so large that they were causing major problems with the formatting of the page.
So people know what they were - they show how little insulation there is in the house that Renee is living in..

My reply? Make sure you get a house with decent insulation and heating - you have the choice! We live in a fully insulated double-glazed house that sits on a windy ridge. We have no problems. Our old house was badly insulated so we went out and bought insulation.

And what kind of job are you doing if you are on $15 pr hour? That is minimum wage. Most people who emigrate will be on substantially more than that.

And gas (I assume petrol) at $8 per gallon? I assume that's USD. Well I'm afraid you've been spoilt in the US. $2.09 NZD for a litre is cheap when compared to other countries (like the UK).

Life is what you make it, and I've made a fantastic life for myself in NZ. I hope you find what you need to make yours fantastic, wherever you go next.

But don't expect it to make itself.
 

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Topcat you Quote scottjames84 and talk about him like he is from the USA and only but if you look at his profile you can see he states that he is originally from new zealand. you would think someone FROM the place in question would know something about the place
I believe his post says 'We are from Reno Nevada' - sorry I don't go reading everyone's profiles in detail - I have better things to do with my time.

NZ's not for everyone. And if it isn't working for you then it's better for you and for the people of NZ if we go our separate ways.....
 

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And I cant afford heat!! wt

Yeah we cook our own food just like we did in America.

I will give you an example.

Brought the ingredients to make home made Quesadilla's last week; ingredients for the salsa cost around $12; 6 tortilla's $6, cheese $4
In total $22 for 6 Quesadilla's.

In America I could make the same if not better (because we have better ingredients in America) for way cheaper.


The reason Americans have the hardest time adjusting culturally here in NZ is because we are used to things being better and I cannot understand why with the resources NZ has they don't change to make things better for it's citizens.
I couldn't agree with you more. I am a New Zealander, like most Kiwis love many things about New Zealand, but having lived in the states for 3 yrs ( South Carolina and Ohio) I know exactly how you get more bang for your buck in 99% of living expenses.! Food, Petrol, Clothing, Appliances. Discounts in the U.S really are discounts and in fact too many deals to list here.

Businesses compete and market so competitively and means the consumer is spoiled for choice. ( In a positive way)...

I do love the way New Zealand actively monitors the quality and health of all foods available for sale and in that respect the US is lagging.

Plus New Zealand Immigration is streets ahead..effective and prompt. My American hubby was granted a work visa ,BEFORE he had to sign up for residency. Not so for me in the states.

And the cultures are very different even within the cultures. By that I mean because of the United States sheer population and distance from one another ,it means the sub cultures are diverse and distinct varying fro state to state and sometimes even county to county...

New Zealand by contrast is smaller ,much much smaller so her people are pretty much all the same ( I know the Souths better than the North ) ...and will rise again oops wrong country...

Actually I am so angry at our Government:mad: and the apathy of my fellow Kiwis for blindly accepting media bs....REALLY where are my choices Mr Key!!
 

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I hear ya!

BTW i realize the way i might decrible the place like we are living in poverty.... this place runs us about $265 a week for a three bedroom place, one car garage, recreation room below the house. Large back yard enough you could play a family game of foot ball and still have room to BBQ. Its just cold and wet and this is the standard of living the locals are used to. Its like asking Donald trump to live in a 3 bedroom trailer with 4 other people and hes not allowed to complain when its not up to his standard of living. watch pocahontas where john smith tells her they they are going to come and make their houses better cause the way the live sucks and you will kinda understand the differences of the standard of living. you might be used to better standards but to them this substandard is good enough
..lol ...My opinion is because, unless they have lived overseas ,they ( Kiwis) dont know any different,so they groan for 10 mins, then just pay another over priced electric bill !:boxing: pisses me off the apathy.

We used to live in an apartment in the states ,which was 'equal housing' equivalent to Housing New Zealand ,low rent ,low income etc. That is the only similarity.
We had free heat ,good carpet, window dressing on every window, large dumpsters in car park, laundry in every building, gas for cooking ( free)..and we paid $140 per week for a one bedroom...of course once hubby got a job ,we relocated 2 miles down and upgraded for another $35 and got the gym and swimming pool and coded door entry....

Obviously you get what you pay for ,including decent neighbours but I was never cold inside the house!! because I couldn't afford to have heat! like here in NZ...
 

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Hey guys - I'm going to have to try and sort out those photos as they are causing difficulties.
Like I can't edit anything because the edit button's off the screen.
Just going to see if I can find a wider screen somewhere :)
Thanks!
 
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Regarding the differences in food and diet between NZ and the States:

Our family's diet is largely vegetarian (we eat meat, just very rarely) and we're kinda health nuts, so we don't include a whole lot of sugar, salts, and unhealthy fats in our diet. The typical American diet is largely composed of...sugar, salt, and unhealthy fats. :rolleyes:
So if the food seems more bland in NZ, it's probably because it's REAL food, and not the over processed, artificially flavored stuff that is so commonly served and sold here in the States. :lol:
And that's something I will NOT miss.

Also, having in lived in California, Arizona, and Nevada, I have tasted some pretty amazing Mexican food. But that might have something to do with the fact that the country of Mexico is right next door. I would expect to find the best Mexican food in or near Mexico. And the best Italian food in or near Italy. (you get the idea...) ;)
 

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Best..... ummmm great well child check ups for those under 5. loved my midwifery care i revived while pregnant.

worst...

Temps of houses....
June 7th mornings temps
Small bed room - 4.2c = 39.5f
Master bedroom - 6.0c = 42.8f
Our bedroom - 8.3c = 46.9f
Hallway - 8.4c = 47.1f

I have lived in at least 5 different houses and this is the trend with them. our last house we used to wake up with dew on our bed. first we thought that the cat was peeing on the bed till we realized the whole house had gotten so cold there was water running down the walls, dripping off the ceiling and our top blanket was wet.

Here are some photos from under our house (we rent the place)

(picture deleted due to size) This i under our bathroom/ laundry room those are the floor broads we walk on if the shower leaks water it flows down blow to here what you see.[/SIZE]
(picture deleted due to size) This is under our hallway the only thing above that floor is carpet.[/SIZE]
(picture deleted due to size) This is under our kitchen... if we drop cookie crumbs through the floor broads you could watch them fall down here.[/SIZE]
(picture deleted due to size) this is under the small bedroom... the coldest bedroom...we dont bother its just too cold.[/SIZE]


as you can see we have no insulation under the floor so when it rains that moisture comes right up into the house. So does the cold. Sure there are a few things that are good about NZ but with a job of $15 an hour i cant afford the gas when its $8 a gallon.

If you want to come here then come live here for 3 months a year but have a plane ticket out just encase you don't like it.
I'm interested to see your photographs, this sounds very much like the first place I lived in. Can you resize them and post them again?
 

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Best
low population
long way from world events
close to the pacific islands
larger houses than in Britain
fresh produce is tasty, best bought in season
you can barter more easily
empty beaches
great fish and chips
cheap second hand cars
the sky at night


worst
low wages relative to cost of living
out of date/weird local working practices
colder houses than in Britain
schools are self governing so standards can be a bit hit and miss
too much reliance on state handouts and benefits
overseas travel is expensive, long way from Europe
petty crime
not much culture other than Maori
too much rugby
high UV
some medicines are expensive/not available OTC
high turnover of people. You just get to know them and they're either off to australia or returning home.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Best
low population
long way from world events
close to the pacific islands
larger houses than in Britain
fresh produce is tasty, best bought in season
you can barter more easily
empty beaches
great fish and chips
cheap second hand cars
the sky at night


worst
low wages relative to cost of living
out of date/weird local working practices
colder houses than in Britain
schools are self governing so standards can be a bit hit and miss
too much reliance on state handouts and benefits
overseas travel is expensive, long way from Europe
petty crime
not much culture other than Maori
too much rugby
high UV
some medicines are expensive/not available OTC
high turnover of people. You just get to know them and they're either off to australia or returning home.
Off to Australia or returning home? Is that because they were just in NZ for school? Or because they find they'd rather live in Australia or wherever they came from?
 
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