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Discussion Starter #1
Hi Everyone
My Husband and I are currently looking to move to Christchurch but as we have never been we do not know the areas. We really liked Sumner, Liltton but have since been told that these places have been hit badly by the terrible earthquake.
We would ideally like a place that has a seaview/close to the sea and withing walking distance to a local shop/dairy, cafe and restaurant. Also by Husband would probably be based in Christchurch city centre so he really doesn't want to drive more than 30 mins to get to and from work.
Any help at all will be much appreciated. I am being naive to think we are moving to lovely greenery and beaches etc??? Is it more like abuilding site????
Our hearts go out to all those who have gone through this terrible disaster.
Any comments??
Many thanks
Lyndsey:juggle:
 

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Hi Lyndsey,

You can pick somewhere in Hornby, Halswell and nearby areas, 10 to 20 minutes drive to CBD, unfortunately it's not seaview which your preference.

IHMO, I'd rather stay away from Sumner and Lyttleton areas.

Cheers
Andre




Hi Everyone
My Husband and I are currently looking to move to Christchurch but as we have never been we do not know the areas. We really liked Sumner, Liltton but have since been told that these places have been hit badly by the terrible earthquake.
We would ideally like a place that has a seaview/close to the sea and withing walking distance to a local shop/dairy, cafe and restaurant. Also by Husband would probably be based in Christchurch city centre so he really doesn't want to drive more than 30 mins to get to and from work.
Any help at all will be much appreciated. I am being naive to think we are moving to lovely greenery and beaches etc??? Is it more like abuilding site????
Our hearts go out to all those who have gone through this terrible disaster.
Any comments??
Many thanks
Lyndsey:juggle:
 

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Hi Lyndsey,

If you want somewhere that is close to the beach and shops then New Brighton is your best bet. It's not the prettiest of areas but it ticks your boxes below and is a lot cheaper to buy property there. The town itself has suffered over the last 10 or so years due to the retail parks taking away a lot of the customers.
Obviously most of the coastline in the Christchurch area has been affected due to the sand based foundations.
I believe that New Brighton hasn't been listed in the "red zone" whereas Bexley up the road has. You need to do your research beforehand.
It's also closer to the CBD then Lyttelton and Sumner.
Good luck

:)
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Hi Lyndsey,

You can pick somewhere in Hornby, Halswell and nearby areas, 10 to 20 minutes drive to CBD, unfortunately it's not seaview which your preference.

IHMO, I'd rather stay away from Sumner and Lyttleton areas.

Cheers
Andre
Great Any, thanks so much for taking the time to reply. Is it at all close to a beach/sea? Also is Hornby and Halswell got a nice view of anything?? Hills/forests etc?
Thanks so much this is so difficult from so far, appreciate your advice.
Lyndsey:clap2:
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Hi Lyndsey,

If you want somewhere that is close to the beach and shops then New Brighton is your best bet. It's not the prettiest of areas but it ticks your boxes below and is a lot cheaper to buy property there. The town itself has suffered over the last 10 or so years due to the retail parks taking away a lot of the customers.
Obviously most of the coastline in the Christchurch area has been affected due to the sand based foundations.
I believe that New Brighton hasn't been listed in the "red zone" whereas Bexley up the road has. You need to do your research beforehand.
It's also closer to the CBD then Lyttelton and Sumner.
Good luck

:)
Hi eastendof london
Thanks so much for taking the time to reply, I/we did look at New Brighton but I think someone said it had bad areas, not sure if they meant crime or damage I will have to try and find the post. However we will have another look at New Brighton. Am I in for a shock? Are the majority of Christchurches buildings collapsed, is it now like war zone??? Just trying to know what to expect, not set my expectations so high that I'm shocked at our new home.
Thanks again
Lyndsey:clap2:
 

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Hi, i haven't been to Christchurch since the last big quakes in Feb but was there over christmas.
Yes the roads are in a mess in areas(uneven and cracked)and a lot of the buildings in the CBD are being pulled down.
I'm not sure how easy it will be to buy a home at present as a lot of residents are waiting to hear from their insurers what is going to happen with the property.
I never saw an issues in New Brighton myself but have heard it has problems with crime. No more then what you would probably encounter in a small English town though.I personally found it very quiet.
Put it this way i went running almosy every morning on the beach when i was there and i came across a maximum of 2 or 3 ppl.That was at 8am.

Anyway i have just been told that a small riot has broken out near my office so i'm going to see if i can get home in one piece.(London is besieged with rioters at the moment).

I may be over to NZ sooner then i had planned!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Hi, i haven't been to Christchurch since the last big quakes in Feb but was there over christmas.
Yes the roads are in a mess in areas(uneven and cracked)and a lot of the buildings in the CBD are being pulled down.
I'm not sure how easy it will be to buy a home at present as a lot of residents are waiting to hear from their insurers what is going to happen with the property.
I never saw an issues in New Brighton myself but have heard it has problems with crime. No more then what you would probably encounter in a small English town though.I personally found it very quiet.
Put it this way i went running almosy every morning on the beach when i was there and i came across a maximum of 2 or 3 ppl.That was at 8am.

Anyway i have just been told that a small riot has broken out near my office so i'm going to see if i can get home in one piece.(London is besieged with rioters at the moment).

I may be over to NZ sooner then i had planned!
Thanks again for your info, we are looking at homes right now, we will rent first. Hope you get home safely (I though that you were in NZ)
Take care and thanks again
Lyndsey:)
 

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Hi eastendof london
Thanks so much for taking the time to reply, I/we did look at New Brighton but I think someone said it had bad areas, not sure if they meant crime or damage I will have to try and find the post. However we will have another look at New Brighton. Am I in for a shock? Are the majority of Christchurches buildings collapsed, is it now like war zone??? Just trying to know what to expect, not set my expectations so high that I'm shocked at our new home.
Thanks again
Lyndsey:clap2:
Hi Lyndsey,
It's certainly not like a war zone, although a lot of the CBD is either demolished or yet to be demolished. They're going to start rebuilding shortly, so it will probably end up the flashest city in NZ in 5 years. A lot of the suburbs and houses weren't effected that much, whereas other pockets of areas have been red carded, meaning that they are uninhabitable. The great majority of houses are still standing, with people living in them, though.

I don't suppose one of you can come out first for a couple of weeks beforehand to have a look?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Hi Lyndsey,
It's certainly not like a war zone, although a lot of the CBD is either demolished or yet to be demolished. They're going to start rebuilding shortly, so it will probably end up the flashest city in NZ in 5 years. A lot of the suburbs and houses weren't effected that much, whereas other pockets of areas have been red carded, meaning that they are uninhabitable. The great majority of houses are still standing, with people living in them, though.

I don't suppose one of you can come out first for a couple of weeks beforehand to have a look?
Ah that's good, we will be looking to live in the suburbs as opposed to the city centre. Thanks for metioning red zones, will check them out and stay clear. I wish we could have a look and visit before but we have no spare cash or time. Hopefull if Hubby gets the job his company will let us come a week or 2 earlier to find a place to live. Thanks so much for taking the time to reply, appreciate it.
Lyndsey:)
 

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Ah that's good, we will be looking to live in the suburbs as opposed to the city centre. Thanks for metioning red zones, will check them out and stay clear. I wish we could have a look and visit before but we have no spare cash or time. Hopefull if Hubby gets the job his company will let us come a week or 2 earlier to find a place to live. Thanks so much for taking the time to reply, appreciate it.
Lyndsey:)
You can see a map of the red zones here :
Will my house be demolished? | NZ Raw
 

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Hey Lyndsey,

I'm the guy behind that website (NZ Raw). I've just signed up to these forums so I could post - when someone links to my blog I get to see where the link came from and so came across your conversation.

I'm in Christchurch right now, originally from Chester. Been here 10 years. Christchurch will be an awesome place again one day but it's certainly quite a different city right now.

The city centre is still cordoned off and hundreds of the older buildings there are currently being knocked down and will eventually be rebuilt (meaning more modern buildings in the future).

I haven't been to Sumner or Lyttelton following the earthquake but they were hit pretty hard - not necessarily just for the buildings themselves but simply for the access routes. There's pretty much one or two main roads into Lyttelton and Sumner and those roads either run along cliff-fronts above the sea or underneath cliffs along the beach. So both were hit really badly with the earthquake in the form of landslides and rockfalls, meaning that you couldn't really get out of the area. I wouldn't really say the buildings themselves in Sumner were hit any worse than bulidings in other areas of the city.

The trick is that the ground varies so much across the city. You can see some really great information about areas across Christchurch with the EQC Interactive map - just head to my NZ Raw website and search for that title (I can't post links because I'm a newbie) - some new suburbs were built on very soft land which completely liquified. And yet suburbs right next door could be on much harder ground and so were no where near as bad. Our house in Aranui (a rougher area of Chirstchurch!) survived with minimal damage but the house next door, which is a couple of feet lower, has a garden buried under a foot of silt. We also lost power for a couple of weeks after the quake and weren't able to use the toilet here for a good couple of months. The picture of the car on the post I linked to was taken about 200m from my house :)

Generally the eastern side of the city (where I live) was hit far worse than the west in terms of severe liquefaction - i.e. huge cracks in the road with tonnes of silt pouring up. The biggest affect was on the water supply. Months after the February quake, there are some suburbs around here that still don't have flushing toilets so people are using portaloos on the streets. When it comes to the red zone map (with houses classified as red, orange or green) they're referring to the land itself and the infrastructure supplying that land. With a red zone, they've deemed the water and electricity supply to that property, and the land itself, as costing too much to repair so the property will basically be knocked down.

In terms of New Brighton itself - a good few areas were flooded and to some extent they had access issues almost as bad as Sumner. There are one or two main bridges that access New Brighton and both were unusable after the quake. However, it's a great community and there are some nice houses there. Quite a mix of old wooden weatherboard houses and modern roughcast houses.

For me, I'd love to live there for the access to the long and quiet beach (and there's a really nice forest there as well) but you always have the underlying fear of 'what if there was a tsunami?'. It's a valid concern with the number of earthquakes we've had - we don't live far from New Brighton and minutes after the Sept quake my wife and I had thrown the dog in the back of our car and were heading for the hills, just in case. The land is very flat and not particularly high above sea level.

Particularly nice suburbs include:

St Martins and Cashmere - at the base of the Port Hills so you're never far from fantastic views.

Fendalton and Merivale - the premium suburbs of Christchurch on the western side. Except for a row of shops on the main road, the area wasn't that affected by the earthquake and there are some impressive houses but with the prices to match.

Hope all of this helps. I'm more than happy to answer questions and provide you with any extra info - there's new information coming from EQC all the time so hopefully I can be quite handy seeing as I live in one of the worst affected areas!

Cheers,

Mark

P.S. Oh yeah Hornby and Hoon-hay were mentioned. They're both on the south-western side of Christchurch. Not really affected by the earthquake but neither have much in the way of views. Hornby is quite a commercial area and is mostly built along the main road heading south out of the city. I haven't spent much time in Hoon-hay.

Might also be worth mentioning areas a bit futher outside of Christchurch. The key areas are:

South:
Rolleston - a newer town about 10 minutes drive to the south of Christchurch. Quite a nice community of young professional couples and quite self-contained. You get a bit of a view of the southern alps from one side of Rolleston. It's also known for having a prison but I wouldn't hold that against it!

North:
Kaiapoi - just to the north of Chirstchurch. Quite badly affected by the Sept quake. Doesn't have a great reputation but there's nothing wrong with the place.
Rangiora - a bit further to the north. Quite a nice farming community. Not really affected by the quake.

West:
There isn't much at all for a while, until you hit Oxford, Springfield and Darfield. All very small communities. The big September quake was here on a faultline near Darfield. Nice places to live but a bit far from good sized supermarkets and shopping areas, etc.

East:
The sea - cold and wet ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Hey Lyndsey,

I'm the guy behind that website (NZ Raw). I've just signed up to these forums so I could post - when someone links to my blog I get to see where the link came from and so came across your conversation.

I'm in Christchurch right now, originally from Chester. Been here 10 years. Christchurch will be an awesome place again one day but it's certainly quite a different city right now.

The city centre is still cordoned off and hundreds of the older buildings there are currently being knocked down and will eventually be rebuilt (meaning more modern buildings in the future).

I haven't been to Sumner or Lyttelton following the earthquake but they were hit pretty hard - not necessarily just for the buildings themselves but simply for the access routes. There's pretty much one or two main roads into Lyttelton and Sumner and those roads either run along cliff-fronts above the sea or underneath cliffs along the beach. So both were hit really badly with the earthquake in the form of landslides and rockfalls, meaning that you couldn't really get out of the area. I wouldn't really say the buildings themselves in Sumner were hit any worse than bulidings in other areas of the city.

The trick is that the ground varies so much across the city. You can see some really great information about areas across Christchurch with the EQC Interactive map - just head to my NZ Raw website and search for that title (I can't post links because I'm a newbie) - some new suburbs were built on very soft land which completely liquified. And yet suburbs right next door could be on much harder ground and so were no where near as bad. Our house in Aranui (a rougher area of Chirstchurch!) survived with minimal damage but the house next door, which is a couple of feet lower, has a garden buried under a foot of silt. We also lost power for a couple of weeks after the quake and weren't able to use the toilet here for a good couple of months. The picture of the car on the post I linked to was taken about 200m from my house :)

Generally the eastern side of the city (where I live) was hit far worse than the west in terms of severe liquefaction - i.e. huge cracks in the road with tonnes of silt pouring up. The biggest affect was on the water supply. Months after the February quake, there are some suburbs around here that still don't have flushing toilets so people are using portaloos on the streets. When it comes to the red zone map (with houses classified as red, orange or green) they're referring to the land itself and the infrastructure supplying that land. With a red zone, they've deemed the water and electricity supply to that property, and the land itself, as costing too much to repair so the property will basically be knocked down.

In terms of New Brighton itself - a good few areas were flooded and to some extent they had access issues almost as bad as Sumner. There are one or two main bridges that access New Brighton and both were unusable after the quake. However, it's a great community and there are some nice houses there. Quite a mix of old wooden weatherboard houses and modern roughcast houses.

For me, I'd love to live there for the access to the long and quiet beach (and there's a really nice forest there as well) but you always have the underlying fear of 'what if there was a tsunami?'. It's a valid concern with the number of earthquakes we've had - we don't live far from New Brighton and minutes after the Sept quake my wife and I had thrown the dog in the back of our car and were heading for the hills, just in case. The land is very flat and not particularly high above sea level.

Particularly nice suburbs include:

St Martins and Cashmere - at the base of the Port Hills so you're never far from fantastic views.

Fendalton and Merivale - the premium suburbs of Christchurch on the western side. Except for a row of shops on the main road, the area wasn't that affected by the earthquake and there are some impressive houses but with the prices to match.

Hope all of this helps. I'm more than happy to answer questions and provide you with any extra info - there's new information coming from EQC all the time so hopefully I can be quite handy seeing as I live in one of the worst affected areas!

Cheers,

Mark

P.S. Oh yeah Hornby and Hoon-hay were mentioned. They're both on the south-western side of Christchurch. Not really affected by the earthquake but neither have much in the way of views. Hornby is quite a commercial area and is mostly built along the main road heading south out of the city. I haven't spent much time in Hoon-hay.

Might also be worth mentioning areas a bit futher outside of Christchurch. The key areas are:

South:
Rolleston - a newer town about 10 minutes drive to the south of Christchurch. Quite a nice community of young professional couples and quite self-contained. You get a bit of a view of the southern alps from one side of Rolleston. It's also known for having a prison but I wouldn't hold that against it!

North:
Kaiapoi - just to the north of Chirstchurch. Quite badly affected by the Sept quake. Doesn't have a great reputation but there's nothing wrong with the place.
Rangiora - a bit further to the north. Quite a nice farming community. Not really affected by the quake.

West:
There isn't much at all for a while, until you hit Oxford, Springfield and Darfield. All very small communities. The big September quake was here on a faultline near Darfield. Nice places to live but a bit far from good sized supermarkets and shopping areas, etc.

East:
The sea - cold and wet ;)

Hi Mark
I cannot thank you enough! You reply has been so informative! I'm going to copy it and paste it into a work doc so I can show Hubby and not loose it. Seriously the info you have given is a great help. Great webite you have made New Zealand Blog | NZ Raw I don't think that I thought about how bad it would be until I saw you photos, and if I being honest I would still like us to come to NZ but I really don't know if I could live in CC. It sounds selfish but we are moving for a better quality of life, less stress than we have now and to start a family. I really don't think I would be able to relax thinking that there could be another quake Tsunami any day, in fact I would feel almost a little irresponsible starting a family in the current environment. Hope that doesn't offend anyone, it seems like CC was a beautiful place with wonderful people, but the constant worry will make an unhappy life (I think). However, this is just what I feel now, I'm not ruling it out. Plus it depends on my Husbands job, he is still having in the application process as they have told him to Kiwifi CV. This we thought would be copy and paste but in reality it has meant he has had to rewrite it all over again! Nearly there though.:)
So like I said CC is still a possibility but we are now also looking at the Hawkes Bay area and maybe Auckland, do you have any info/opinions about these areas?
Hawkes Bay seems to be a beautiful place with a med climate which we would love, as it is 45 degrees Celsius here in Abu Dhabi, so don't really like a lot of cold. Although I know that it will be a lot colder than here. Any views?
Finally, are you still glad you moved? Do you have a better quality of life?
The main reason we are moving is to have a more relaxed life. Right now my Husband takes me to work at 6.30, gets to work himself for 7.45 am and doesn't get home until 7-8 pm, he then eats dinner, watches TV/reads for half and hour, walks the dogs, shower and bed, then up again at 5.15 for the next day ahead. He just can't do it anymore, his health is suffering. In your opinion do you think he will notice a difference working in NZ??? He wants to work hard, but not under this pressure with this many hours, oh and he has to work every other Saturday. Sorry for the long explanation but I'm trying to compare work here to work in NZ. He is a civil Eng, so would be helping with repairs bridges and probably in the role of a project manager which he is now. He is applying for a job with a yearly salary of 110/120,000 NZ dollars. Do you think that this is enough to live off (2 people), comfortably? When I say comfortably ideally this is what would be on our list of would like but know we may not be able to have: Fresh healthy food (fruit,veg etc) to cook with at home for dinner every evening and food to make both our lunches, wine to accompany our evening meals, a house maybe between 300-500 a week rent, a car but maybe the company will pay, to go out for dinner at mid range restaurant maybe 3 times a month, a few camping holidays a year and one main holiday to somewhere hot. Do you think this is doable??? It may not seem like it but the above is alot less than we do now, here we always go out to high end hotels, holidays etc. Which I know we won't be able to do in NZ, plus we will enjoy the outdoors. So am I being naive to think we could have a life with the things I listed and not be in debt???:juggle:
I was going to go there not working but maybe find a job when we have settled down (I'm a teacher, primary, but specialised in Early Childhood) and it also depends on if we could do the above on Hubby salary. Sorry very long email. Any thought, comment would be greatly appreciated, think this is the hardest decision of our lives! :)
 

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Hi Lindsey,

No worries, glad it all helps :) No one would blame you at all for crossing Christchurch off your list. It will be a great city again one day (actually I've just posted a new blog post on NZ Raw because a draft of the rebuild plan has just been released this afternoon) but in the mean time there's going to be a whole heap of building work that will include arguments, finger pointing and stress!

I've considered moving to Auckland. I'm deep in the Internet industry in NZ and Auckland is the place to be for that as that's where all the modern business is.

It gets a bit of flack from the rest of New Zealand as:

- it's the most expensive place to buy or rent a house
- it has a high immigrant population (although I guess we'd class ourselves in that area!)
- the traffic can be pretty bad

But having said that, it's also loved by many and you can have a good quality of life there. I haven't spent much time there but when I did, I was quite impressed. Head back to that blog and search for 'auckland city not that bad' and you'll see a short post I wrote in 2009 with some photos.

I don't know the Hawkes Bay I'm afraid but I've heard nice things! That probably won't help you that much!

One thing's for sure - there should be plenty of work for Civil Engineers right now. Although there's a chance that New Zealand's building and road development efforts will be focused in Christchurch to the extent that the rest of NZ might be put on hold, but I'm sure there will be a lot of remote work based in Auckland so you should be sweet there.

For the salary that you mentioned and the quality of life you're interested in, you should be totally fine. My wife and I have a combined salary of far less than that and we basically do all of those things you mentioned! We have a weekly mortgage of just under $400, two cars and a dog and we still manage to eat well and get out for a meal and a holiday from time to time.

Auckland will be more expensive than Christchurch - what you'll get for a $400 rental in Auckland won't be as impressive as a $400 rental anywhere on the south island, but I doubt you'll have too many problems finding somewhere nice.

The place to look is trademe.co.nz. They have heaps of rental listings as well as cars for sale - it's the number one viewed website in NZ so can be a pretty good indicator of fair prices.

Let me know if you have any more questions :)

Mark

P.S. I'm not sure but for teaching I think you would have to complete an NZ-based certificate to supplement your own experience and qualifications - NZ is funny about having their own qualifications for local jobs. You shouldn't have too many problems finding work if you chose to though - we have a bit of a 'brain drain'. People study here and then end up moving to Australia where the income is generally higher.

Oh also - the weather here can get pretty cold in the winter ;) I'd say it's quite like the UK but better. The top of the north island obviously gets the warmer climate and temperatures of the 30 degree mark aren't all that unusual in the height of summer up there. However, it's winter now and it's getting down to about -2 at night and then around 10 to 15 degrees during the day in Christchurch at the moment.

P.P.S sorry just saw your questions in your post - am I glad I moved here from the UK? Absolutely. I do love it here. I moved here from Liverpool specifically because I was sick of the racist locals and the crime (and that was long before the riots of the last week!). New Zealand does have crime - probably best to stay clear of South Auckland - and there's still racism against Maoris as well as our large asian population, but for the most part it's much better than the UK.

The scenery can be incredible - you can go from geothermal hot pools, sandy beaches and areas of forest that are almost like rainforests to snow-capped mountains, glaciers and emerald lakes. Pretty awesome. The way of life is also more laid back that the UK - no one cares about money here as much as they do in the UK. No one walks around in CK jeans or has 'armani' written across their jerseys. There isn't the same traditional pub culture that there is in the UK - that's one of the main things I miss - but there are plenty of smart modern bars and restaurants and Auckland in particular has a big coffee/cafe culture.

Used car prices are a bit steeper than the UK and are actually set to go up next year as import laws are changing, but you'll find car insurance ridiculously cheap!

For some New Zealand photos, check out my Flickr account. It's Flickr dot com and then slash photos slash marklincoln (I need to get my post count up so I can post URLs!)
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Hi Lindsey,

No worries, glad it all helps :) No one would blame you at all for crossing Christchurch off your list. It will be a great city again one day (actually I've just posted a new blog post on NZ Raw because a draft of the rebuild plan has just been released this afternoon) but in the mean time there's going to be a whole heap of building work that will include arguments, finger pointing and stress!

I've considered moving to Auckland. I'm deep in the Internet industry in NZ and Auckland is the place to be for that as that's where all the modern business is.

It gets a bit of flack from the rest of New Zealand as:

- it's the most expensive place to buy or rent a house
- it has a high immigrant population (although I guess we'd class ourselves in that area!)
- the traffic can be pretty bad

But having said that, it's also loved by many and you can have a good quality of life there. I haven't spent much time there but when I did, I was quite impressed. Head back to that blog and search for 'auckland city not that bad' and you'll see a short post I wrote in 2009 with some photos.

I don't know the Hawkes Bay I'm afraid but I've heard nice things! That probably won't help you that much!

One thing's for sure - there should be plenty of work for Civil Engineers right now. Although there's a chance that New Zealand's building and road development efforts will be focused in Christchurch to the extent that the rest of NZ might be put on hold, but I'm sure there will be a lot of remote work based in Auckland so you should be sweet there.

For the salary that you mentioned and the quality of life you're interested in, you should be totally fine. My wife and I have a combined salary of far less than that and we basically do all of those things you mentioned! We have a weekly mortgage of just under $400, two cars and a dog and we still manage to eat well and get out for a meal and a holiday from time to time.

Auckland will be more expensive than Christchurch - what you'll get for a $400 rental in Auckland won't be as impressive as a $400 rental anywhere on the south island, but I doubt you'll have too many problems finding somewhere nice.

The place to look is trademe.co.nz. They have heaps of rental listings as well as cars for sale - it's the number one viewed website in NZ so can be a pretty good indicator of fair prices.

Let me know if you have any more questions :)

Mark

P.S. I'm not sure but for teaching I think you would have to complete an NZ-based certificate to supplement your own experience and qualifications - NZ is funny about having their own qualifications for local jobs. You shouldn't have too many problems finding work if you chose to though - we have a bit of a 'brain drain'. People study here and then end up moving to Australia where the income is generally higher.

Oh also - the weather here can get pretty cold in the winter ;) I'd say it's quite like the UK but better. The top of the north island obviously gets the warmer climate and temperatures of the 30 degree mark aren't all that unusual in the height of summer up there. However, it's winter now and it's getting down to about -2 at night and then around 10 to 15 degrees during the day in Christchurch at the moment.

P.P.S sorry just saw your questions in your post - am I glad I moved here from the UK? Absolutely. I do love it here. I moved here from Liverpool specifically because I was sick of the racist locals and the crime (and that was long before the riots of the last week!). New Zealand does have crime - probably best to stay clear of South Auckland - and there's still racism against Maoris as well as our large asian population, but for the most part it's much better than the UK.

The scenery can be incredible - you can go from geothermal hot pools, sandy beaches and areas of forest that are almost like rainforests to snow-capped mountains, glaciers and emerald lakes. Pretty awesome. The way of life is also more laid back that the UK - no one cares about money here as much as they do in the UK. No one walks around in CK jeans or has 'armani' written across their jerseys. There isn't the same traditional pub culture that there is in the UK - that's one of the main things I miss - but there are plenty of smart modern bars and restaurants and Auckland in particular has a big coffee/cafe culture.

Used car prices are a bit steeper than the UK and are actually set to go up next year as import laws are changing, but you'll find car insurance ridiculously cheap!

For some New Zealand photos, check out my Flickr account. It's Flickr dot com and then slash photos slash marklincoln (I need to get my post count up so I can post URLs!)
Ok Mark, I think somehow you have got into my brain and know all of my questions!!! Thank you so, so much! I'm back on track now and ready to move to NZ! I am also from Liverpool! My hubbys from Hull, we met here in Abu Dhabi. I do like Liverpool, certain parts and it does feel like home evry time I return, but as for the run down parts, crime, climate etc, no thanks! Luckily my Nan comes to visit in AD and makes us a pan of scouse to remind us of home. Sorry diverted there. Your comments about your quality of life have been wonderful! I have been trying to get answers on here and lots of people have responded which I am so grateful for but it is good to know that you and your wife have the same wants and needs to do with going out/work life balance etc etc, as my Husband and I do. I'm just being realistic and I know I will love the green, outdoors etc, but if we ended up just having to stay in and not have any left for a nice meal now and then, trip to a bar or a camping trip, then I have to say I wouldn't be happy. I'm all for embracing the NZ life but I need balance. Hopefully it will be a welcomed change and the main thing reduce my Husbands stress and 60 plus hours a week!
Thanks for the info on Auckland, I think we are going to put Auckland,Christchurch and HawkesBay. Used cars and rent we had a look at but now I'm thinking we should just wait to see if the company would supply us with a car, although it is good to know the cost in case we do need to buy one. I'm going to have a look at your flicker account and the previous thread you mentioned.
Thanks again Mark, I really can't thank you enough. I will update you if we manage to make the move! Or if there is anything else you would like to comment on, please feel free.
Appreciate your time,
Cheers
Lyndsey:)
 

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No worries, glad I could help :) When we first moved here we already had friends that had moved here first. It really helps to have input from someone who has taken that same path.

Good luck!
 

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I moved the CHCH from UK 18 months ago. Here are a few comments:

Tsunami - very improbable from new-shore quakes due to the shallow water. Obviously still a risk from mega deep-water quakes like Japan. But I don't know anyone who worries about local quakes causing tsunamis.

Trademe - site where everything seems to be advertised. Bear in mind that most NZ companies either don't have or have pitifully poor websites. Houses (sale+rental) and cars on here, so give you an idea of prices.

Cars - 2nd hands hold value well. Roads aren't salted, so cars don't seem to be bothered by rust. And the paintwork still shiny! That's a surprise since UK claim that harsh sun (not 1/2 as harsh as it is here in NZ) degrades paint over time.

Rentals - prices up 20% this year in CHCH due to quake. I have been paying $2600 per month for a 3-4 bed in Riccarton, whereas normally only $1800 for that.

Salary - I'm started on 2/3 UK rates in real terms, but since the pound gone down and NZ$ risen my salary is almost comparable... for now.

Cost of living - petrol cheap, (almost) everything else more expensive than UK. Though fish and chips are cheap at 1/3 price. Recent Adidas clothing rip-off scandal shows how little NZ'ers are aware of global pricing. Clothing/shoes are more expensive across the board, but as some are now finding out it's easy to buy in from overseas.

Good - there is more Made-in-NZ stuff than there is Made-in-UK. NZ'ers wililng to pay a premium for home grown, which is good. I'd rather pump my money back into the place I'm living and pay 2x price than to buy some sweat-shop made discount products.

Enjoy your first few weeks/months. Life in a new land should feel like a holiday. Make sure you don't yearn for what you've left behind. That's not why you've taken the plunge. Some stuff will be good, other stuff bad. Be open-minded and not judgemental (at least not yet ;) ).

Nat.
 

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I moved the CHCH from UK 18 months ago. Here are a few comments:

Tsunami - very improbable from new-shore quakes due to the shallow water. Obviously still a risk from mega deep-water quakes like Japan. But I don't know anyone who worries about local quakes causing tsunamis.

Trademe - site where everything seems to be advertised. Bear in mind that most NZ companies either don't have or have pitifully poor websites. Houses (sale+rental) and cars on here, so give you an idea of prices.

Cars - 2nd hands hold value well. Roads aren't salted, so cars don't seem to be bothered by rust. And the paintwork still shiny! That's a surprise since UK claim that harsh sun (not 1/2 as harsh as it is here in NZ) degrades paint over time.

Rentals - prices up 20% this year in CHCH due to quake. I have been paying $2600 per month for a 3-4 bed in Riccarton, whereas normally only $1800 for that.

Salary - I'm started on 2/3 UK rates in real terms, but since the pound gone down and NZ$ risen my salary is almost comparable... for now.

Cost of living - petrol cheap, (almost) everything else more expensive than UK. Though fish and chips are cheap at 1/3 price. Recent Adidas clothing rip-off scandal shows how little NZ'ers are aware of global pricing. Clothing/shoes are more expensive across the board, but as some are now finding out it's easy to buy in from overseas.

Good - there is more Made-in-NZ stuff than there is Made-in-UK. NZ'ers wililng to pay a premium for home grown, which is good. I'd rather pump my money back into the place I'm living and pay 2x price than to buy some sweat-shop made discount products.

Enjoy your first few weeks/months. Life in a new land should feel like a holiday. Make sure you don't yearn for what you've left behind. That's not why you've taken the plunge. Some stuff will be good, other stuff bad. Be open-minded and not judgemental (at least not yet ;) ).

Nat.
Hi Nat
Thanks so much for your reply, good to know the info that you have mentioned. What your saying is right, e do need to be open minded and know that it will be a very big change, very different to Abu Dhabi. So now that you are there are you enjoying life in NZ? Is it what you expected? Are you glad that you did it?
Thanks again
Lyndsey :)
 

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I've followed a similar path to yourself, originally from Scotland, spent 3 years living in Dubai and I've been in Christchurch for 6 months now.

I can honestly say it's the best decision I've ever made, absolutely no regrets.

From the sea on one side of the city to the mountains on the other side, the promiximity to some stunning scenery in places like Tekapo, Wanaka and Central Otago, the lack of rain (compared to Scotland ;) ) and the general relaxed nature of the city.
 
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