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Hi,as the title mentions we're thinking about NZ.We're both in out early/mid 40's and have 3 children aged 3,10 and 12 and really want out of Britain.I know several people that have made the move to NZ in the last year or so and general consensus of opinion is that NZ is great with opportunity to make a good life (obviously with hard work!),any opinions please from experienced ex-pats.Cheers,Mick.
 

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Just want to say welcome to the forum, but unfortunately can't help you with NZ.

Good luck with your future plans. I am sure your kids will love it. My three teenagers don't even want to think about going back to the UK. They love their new found freedom here too much.

Regards

Michelle
 

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hi there our kids are 10 and 7 and we preferred to move down to the kapiti coast which is one hour on the train from wellington. nice beaches, nice parks, nice people, nice mountains to walk up, shops are not what they are like in uk but we find we are spending less and living more of an outdoor life. i am even losing weight!!!! on a downer, the t.v. is crap but hey i never really watched t.v. anyway and the internet can sometimes run a bit slow but people are so laid back here they are positively horizontal .... ! anybody want any advice about the kapiti coast, (that's paraparaumu/raumati/waikanae/otaki) just ask! be aware you will get the horrible nobby no mates feeling walking into the playground on the first day but once the kids are settled you are halfway there!
 

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Hi there,I stay in Scotland with my husband and 2 kids(girl 9, boy 2) and we were thinking of making the move to new zealand. Did you use an agency or apply to emigrate yourself? Also how have you settled in? have you met many people? Have Kids settled in ok too? do you have any regrets? Sorry for all the ???? but would loke to know the answers and yousound like a good person to ask. Hope to hear from you soon. Ejoy your day!

Joanne x
 

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Hi Joanne,
We did not use an Agency as I refuse to pay somebody the best part of anywhere between four grand upwards to fill in forms that I am capable of doing myself.
We did it in this order!
Firstly my Husband got his job. He works on the railways fixing trains. He had a telephone interview with the Agency who were advertising the job, then he had an informal chat with the train company boss and then a telephone interview was set up with his boss and his bosses boss! The Agency had by this point arranged for a video of Andy to be taken in London before his first interview on phone with boss so that the train company in NZ could see him in animated form. What does your Husband do?
Then we came out for a visit for two week which although isn't long, it was all we could get off work and School. We put our house up for sale before our holiday and as luck would have it, when we came back it was sold. If we had hated what we saw in NZ, we would have pulled out of selling.
Then we just had to wait 11 weeks for the house move to go through and during this time, we applied for 'work to residence' visas as it takes up to 2-3 months rather than longer 5-6 months for residency visas. After two years, we can apply for residency here but Immigration advise we start doing it after Andy has been in his job for 21 months. We can stay here till May 2010 at the moment but it will all go though.
We liked what we saw. I did feel lonely for about a month because kids were out for Summer holidays here from Dec 18 - Feb 4 and Andy was with me for first month but when he went to work, I felt at a bit of a loose end.
Our kids love their new School. Our Son has Aspergers Syndrome (high functioning autism) and has made himself a couple of friends even though he has only been there less than a month and our Daughter is popular and I would say happier than when she was in the UK with her friends (but her old best friend was a cow anyway). I would say the education is more is more similar to when I was a kid and I was surprised to see that yesterday the School kids all had ear and eye tests!!!! That does not happen in UK when they are 10 and 7.
Going back to living here, I would say that there is work for people if they want it. I have got a job in the day working from home doing telesales (it pays more than the minimum wage!) and all the things I thought I would do like join the women's centre, the local art centre etc. when i came here on
holiday, well I didn't do them in the end.
I have made two good friends I see here socially already but never feel lonely now as there is always stuff to keep me busy in the day doing telesales and housework and I even go shopping once a week with two of my new friends (separately, so two shopping trips for me - yay!).
Cost of living, a weekly shop costs us $130-$150 a week but the cost of living is cheaper compared to UK but this is reflected in lower wages.
You do have to get a job that pays $50,000 to be considered residency and I personally think 'work to residence' suits us because it gets you here quicker so you can see if you like it.
If you have any particular queries on house prices, just ask! Rental prices, just ask! If I can help point you in direction of Agencies for your Hubs getting a job, just ask!
The only thing I don't like is having to 'slip slap slop and wrap' as the commercial on tv. here says. Which means, putting on the suncream!
I would recommend Kapiti Coast to live in NZ because it has beach, shops and although there are a lot of pommies here, the Kiwis are friendly.
And I have not had any prejudice from the Maoris or come across bad spiders yet! I heard this rumour before I came. In fact, all the Maoris I have met are very nice.
Hope this helps!
 

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hello from cold scotland

Hi, Thanks for getting back to me. It was good to hear from you. We were thinking on going on a residency permit. My husband is a joiner, although he is not Qualified(dont know if this makes any difference) he has been doing the job for 20 years. We were going to rent for that duration then look at property to buy. we will make some profit from the sale of our house so will put that towards a house.We were looking at the bay of plenty, thought that looked quite nice. think its just an hour or so down from you. have you heard anything about it? Do you need to be in the country a certain amount of time before you can get a mortgage? Are house prices reasonable? weve had a look on the net(trade me)but it would be good to hear from you as you're there! Did you ship anything over(house stuff,car) or is it cheap enough to start again? can you give me the names of shops like comet etc to see if i can check prices on the net? Hope to hear from you soon. Joanne. x
 

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hi again joanne,
some shops for you to look up are as follows:
big discount warehouse, briscoes, liam neeson (electrical shop), the warehouse, farmers (deparment store)
Estate agents : Harcourts
bay of plenty, yes have heard of it but know somebody from our village who moved there and she didn't like it but don't let that put you off. we used to call her lemon face in our village behind her back because she looked like she sucked them. she weren't a friend. just another mum in the school who if she liked you she would give you a nice smile but if she didn't like you so much, you got the lemon face smile! lol.
don't think mortgages are restricted to time limit nor is life insurance. just got life insurance but we are personally waiting for dollar to be worth more for the pound as our money is still in barclays bank, uk although if you do want to open up an account with the bank, westpac, you can opt to keep your money in pounds sterling here in the nz bank but we have andy's mum taking care of it as a third party to our bank account so when the time if right, she can transfer it.
what are you looking for and what made you choose the bay of plenty? we can get a four bedroom house, two lounges, one dining room, 2 bathrooms on 1000sq metres of land for approximately $300,000-$400,000 although you are better off buying one off an estate agents that has been recalled because people have failed to pay the mortgage. twas a beauty in the local paper this week but we missed the deadline date this week. we shipped our furniture with pickfords but don't bring you car as we got a 1996 nissan sunny from kapiti cars for $5995 and it has good bodywork and runs like a dre (hope I ain't tempted fate for it to pack up next week ha ha!) and it has only done 67,000kms and i had it checked by AA and had odometer tested myself for $120 to make sure odo had not been put back but it is genuine! Cost of furniture was (pounds)3,500 plus (pounds)950 insurance and it took 10 weeks to arrive.
i would advise use pickfords because they have an office of pickfords in wellington whereas if you use another removal firm and they don't have an office here, then they use an agents and it can cause all sorts of problems but with pickfords, you only deal with them.
to be honest, if you can find an unfurnished rental, do what we did for 10 weeks. buy a nice patio table and chairs to eat off, buy beanbags and tv for the lounge with some rimu wicker chairs, sleep on blow up beds and just pack your duvet covers and because we came in summer, well we didn't need duvets/buy your pillows in the warehouse, $9 each or thereabouts and make do with salvation army plates/saucepans etc. just to get you by.
my friend who lives here, they paid $525 per week for a small two bedroom furnished rental property compared to us paying $290 per week for unfurnished three bedroom rental and although we have a current small garden like they had, well we do not want to do anybody elses garden personally hence why a small garden is ok for us for the time being.
i would not have wanted to have "started again" as some things are important to us like certain bits of furniture etc. and our dinner set and stuff and CD's and my Freddie Mercury oil painting (sad I know but I was/am a huge Queen fan!) and he is now back on my wall ha ha!
you just got to decide whether you prefer spending money for the sake of 10 weeks without your sofa and bed etc. or whether you prefer to save the money!
with regard to your husband being a joiner and not being qualified, i will look into this in the week and get back to you. depends if there is a professional body for it, like a trade. i will look up and find out and get back to you.
anyway, got to go for now!
linda. x
 

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hi

Thanks For the List. I will look those up on the net.been looking on Trade me and prices seem to be quite reasonable. We had a look on the net at different towns and places in New Zealand and found Bay of Plenty. thought that looked a nice place and house prices seemed reasonable.We want a better quality of life and a better chance for the kids, Dont like the culture in Britain for kids, all we seem to hear about is drunken teenagers killing folk for trying to protect whats theirs. want an outdoors life, where we can at least go for a walk without getting drenched!!! We had origanally been looking at Australia but it just seems impossible. Think NZ looks a bit nicer to be honest. Been looking into applying ourselfs but seems like your in a catch 22 situation. need a job to get the visa, but cant get the visa till you get the job. My husband had a telephone interview on sun night which went ok, but the employer said he would want him there soon to start work. we said we hoped to be there in 3-6 months and he said to look contact him as he had a big contract starting in august. are you still renting or have you bought a house? and if so did you pay a reasonable price for it? better go now. enjoy your day. Joanne x
 

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Hi Vanboy i am new to this today, but we are also thinking about moving to Auckland for over 1 year been looking into it and looks like my hubby may have a job offer he has to get a working visa and go for a face to face interview as they very rarely take on full time workers with out an interview unless you are skilled etc, so we are thinking which suburbs are the best the companys located in Mt Wellington ,Auckland so any advised of any one living in areas not to far from there or give ne ideas what getting to works like etc also schools and leasure activitys ?, the thing putting me off is we are from scotland and live in a small town, and to move to a busy city it makes me worry what it would be like? i would love a quiet area where i could drive to buy shops etc, i have 5 kids!! my eldest is coming up for 19 yrs and is in Gb Army so he will not be coming over with us next i have son 11yrs,then girl 9 yrs, then twins who will be 3yrs on 17th of march who were a double surprize....lol all we want is a safe,relaxed, healthy life to bring our family up in. and it is New Zeland we have chosen to do all this in every thing i read or see tickes all the right boxes and more and more people from uk are getting out so i think its time for us to move on as well, good luck with what ever you decide i am getting set for the rollarcoster ride of emotions.

so i am thinking about you all who have yet to take the move of your life....
 

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Hi, Please check out that yahoo group I mentioned in my other post-they are a group you will want to talk to. Willing to share and help with their experiences and suggestions. They are very active and you will find more help there.
Some love NZ, some don't find its all that its cracked up to be(except for beauty). So one other site that is worth checking out is Expat Exposed at Expat Exposed: Behind the Hype in New Zealand. It is the flip side experiences of immigrants to NZ. It is worth checking out as many feel if they knew ahead what they know now living there, they would not have moved to NZ. There can be an edge with some posters but others strive to be fair even if unhappy. I found it vey interesting reading-all the stuff that people find difficult that nowhere else talks about. For many it can be a real let down or disaster. They say know as much as you can before making the big move. So I thought you should have a look. I always wanted to move to NZ, but after reading more about the realities I was not so sure. Some love it, some hate it, and some think its somewhere inbetween. Its the stuff you wouldn't think much of that is the most thought provoking once you get there-it seems. Be informed before you go.
If you do go, I wish you best of luck! Hope you and yours love it.
 

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thanks for that i will take it on board..... i think no matter where you go you will always have problems etc i think its about getting the right place for you and your family everyone wants different things in life will wait to see what life throws at me.... thanks again and good luck to all :)
 

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Auckland?

Hi, NZ is a fantastic country to live in. I think if you are looking at moving to Auckland then research the area you are to live in well. I think it depends on what you are used to, as to whether or not you will like Auckland. It is a big city with all the problems associated with city life. It is also beautiful in many parts and much better than many UK cities, but still not the place for me. Auckland is very much self contained and not a representation of the rest of NZ. If you want the laid back life etc, my advice would be to look at other regions. I believe you also get extra points if you settle outside of Auckland!!!!
 

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Auckland cannot reallly be considered a big city at a population of 1.4 million, I guess it's relative of what you're used to. The factors to consider living in Auckland are :

Housing - overall central suburbs are very expensive and older houses are not insulated for the climate. Insulation is an essential requirement, as Auckland gets a lot of rain for 8 months of the year. You have to travel long distances to live in affordable, more modern structures.

Traffic - the North/South development of the city causes a lot of traffic congestion. Parking in the city areas is very expensive, forcing more commuters to use public transport. There are Bus facilities in the North, and both Bus and Train facilities in the South.

Auckland is the number one destination for immigrants because of job opportunities.
 

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Think long and hard

We have been here 18months and are still not sure its the place for us ,we are renting in Governors bay ,just outside of christchurch,NZ is not as good as it makes itself out to be ,the cost of living has doubled in the last 18 months we have been here ,dairy products have gone up by 75%in the last 8 months ,wages are a joke ,if you rent it will cost you on average $450 per week ,electricity is very dear average $200 a month ,the houses are freezing in winter,they burn wood hence christchurch is covered in smog ,so if you have breathing problems you are in trouble, to see a docter will cost you on average $25 plus any medicine you might need ,and if you need a dentist well if you thought england was expensive think again,if you dont have a trade that can get you $70,000 a year you will find it hard to make ends meet ,unless you have savings ,the plus point being you can get 8.5% interest on savings ,the down side being morgatge rate is average 9.5%.The head of NZbank as just been on NZ tv stating that houses are over priced by 30% and predicts that house prices will be stati for the next 5-10 years hence the house market is in decline ,so think carefully about buying now or you could be trapped if you decide that NZ is not for you. On the plus side NZ is great place for holidays the west coast of the south island is great ,but when you have to settle im still not sure
 

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Hi there!
We moved out here in December 2008 and our kids were then 10 and 7. I would say if kids are getting older, say aged 12 or upwards, they are going to find it harder to settle than kids who are younger and will miss their old mates etc.
I would recommend that everybody comes out to see NZ for themselves .... I hear horror stories of people who come out without seeing it (I mean, would you move town in UK without seeing it??).
Van Boy, ask away any questions you have and I will gladly answer them for you.
What job are you hoping to get?
You have any idea where you would like to settle in NZ, North or South Island?
We live in Paraparaumu (known as Pom-a-pom-a-umu - ha ha!) and the weather is very mild here!
I would not recommend Wellington myself .... too flipping windy!
Cheers, Linda.
 

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Whilst I agree that the UK really isn't the best place to be at the moment unfortunately that doesn't mean NZ is a good choice, you need to be very careful you don't get into a frying pan to fire situation.

NZ is in the grip of a deepening recession and things are steadily going to get worse, its isolation isn't going to insulate it from the problems the rest of the world suffers from.

Do all the research you can, read read and then read some more and when you've done that book a return flight and visit for a holiday so at least you can see what you're letting yourself in for.
 

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World recession hits again!

Whilst I agree that the UK really isn't the best place to be at the moment unfortunately that doesn't mean NZ is a good choice, you need to be very careful you don't get into a frying pan to fire situation.

NZ is in the grip of a deepening recession and things are steadily going to get worse, its isolation isn't going to insulate it from the problems the rest of the world suffers from.

Do all the research you can, read read and then read some more and when you've done that book a return flight and visit for a holiday so at least you can see what you're letting yourself in for.
Dear TGM,
Yes good advice to anybody considering NZ, book a return flight and come out and have a look .... things that have opened my eyes is the price of food, the price of petrol (they are both higher than we imagined) and also the houses .... blooming freezing! No double brick houses here, just wood and fake brick outer and also the plots around here where we live are all quite smallish and built together although we are just waiting for the house prices to come down and the dollar to go down so we get more dollars for our pounds in the UK (cause our money is still there at present, us having moved here December 2007).
I think the worst thing that is a killer here is the fact that I miss my mates in the UK, some of them I had for 20 years and although we stay in touch as best we can, well it ain't the same chatting on the phone or the PC and as always happens, people do tend to lose touch etc. although we all have good intention that we won't but I see changes already after 8 months of being here.
People here on the Kapiti Coast area of North Island are far more friendlier than anybody ever was in the UK .... you do get your crime here .... you do get gangs here .... but it's nothing like it was in the UK.
Seriously, would you move to a place 100 miles away in UK without going to look it over first .... I think not .... it amazes me that so many brits consider moving to NZ to save money without coming out for a look over first.
You have to ask yourself what reasons you are leaving the UK for .... and remember them when you are here!
Cheers!
 

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Moving to New Zealand - Auckland

I'm a kiwi living and working in London. I have lived here for just over 18 months. In my experience, I would not bring up children in London. Just remember there is more to New Zealand than Auckland and if you want to see the 'real' New Zealand and meet the real people you need to look further afield than Auckland. There is this Auckland and the rest of the country attitude. Auckland also has a high population of Maori, Pacific Islander and Asians in comparison to the south island.

Crime is a problem in New Zealand not just in Auckland but throughout the country. We also have a drug problem. There are limited resources so small crimes like burgulary etc are ignored. There appears to be a bigger gap emerging between the haves and the have nots and this is feeding the crime issue. We lived in a provincial town in the north island in a 'secure' apartment and were burgled twice and every other week had issues with law and order in the town. There is also a boy racer attitude throughout the country.

Have read the various comments re cost of living etc. Listening to family members and friends still residing in New Zealand, it is true the cost of living has risen dramatically. Basics like butter and milk are out of the realms of the average kiwi family. The economic crisis has also started to hit the housing market and nows the time to bag a bargin (if you're prepared to take the risk). Modern homes are fitted with heating however alot of kiwis still like log fires - the reason being, the price of power.

My advice is get out of Auckland where you may earn less but your cost of living is less and you have a better quality of life.

All in all it depends what you are looking for. If it's the great outdoors experience and a decent quality of life I would say get out of Auckland and research what the rest of NZ has to offer. If you want access to all the entertainment things like sports events and concerts, easy travel etc - Auckland's the place.

Good luck
 

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My husband, two children (6 & 3) and I have been making plans for sometime to come out to NZ and are finding the posted comments really interesting. Iam new to the site so appologise for asking questions in this thread, but does anyone know anything of how the education system works over there? Our eldest boy has an Autistic spectrum dissorder and currently has 1 to 1 support at a specialist unit. e are so confused at the moment as to whether this move is right for him. Does anyone know what exists over there? I have been in touch with the education department who have been helpful but unable to answer all the questions we have.
Loopylinda do you have any suggestions, as I envisage you may have had similar issues with your son?
 
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