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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello Everyone

We are now embarking on the start of the immigration process for my husband (bricklayer by trade) and I and our 4 girls twins 13, 6 and 3. After much soul searching and should we / shouldn't we, we have decided to take our chances (after a difficult few years) and make the move. Husband has secured a job and we are now looking to move just after Christmas.

We are country folk here I suppose, kids have own ponies (who they are devastated to leave) and we like village life, walking the dog etc etc. country life over there seems it can be very remote and don't want that either. When I've been looking for housing within catchment areas for schools it seems quite built up, I'm probably looking or typing in wrong info in my searches.

We are looking around Rangiora (or at least I think so at the moment) the high school there looks great, tho currently in the UK our eldest girls go to an all girl (state) school and have a healthy no interest in boys policy and fear this may soon be lost??!

We are also bringing our much loved dog with us and most rentals I see stipulate NO DOGS? She's a good dog and very well behaved and wouldn't be taking her otherwise, our 3 yr old is more trouble, has anyone else come across trying to rent somewhere with a dog in tow?

Another couple of questions does anyone know if

Do UK TV's work in NZ?
Other electrical stuff I suppose will just be a change of plugs, but TV's today are a bit more Techy. Also DVD's?

Can you buy PG Tips? I personally can't stand tea, but husband can't live without his. (Typical builder) As we have bought own shipping container which we are gradually filling I have sneaked several boxes in as a surprise (now also worried that these will be impounded, by authorities as its a food, didn't think about it at the time, not worried about the tea of course, it's all our other stuff/furniture etc in the container) any ideas? I have no idea just how many boxes there are either or where I've sneaked them in. Just thinking that my thoughtful idea is not the best one I've come up with?

I've heard that things on the whole are a lot more expensive, should we really bring everything (everyday items) I was hoping to go shopping (I'm not that country!!) but truthfully money is tight and its such a big expense .... No need to answer this now I guess I've just answered my own question

Oh things like Doctors and Dentist are they free for under 16's like here?

Any help gratefully received
 

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Can you buy PG Tips?
Yes.

As we have bought own shipping container which we are gradually filling I have sneaked several boxes in as a surprise (now also worried that these will be impounded, by authorities as its a food, didn't think about it at the time, not worried about the tea of course, it's all our other stuff/furniture etc in the container) any ideas? I have no idea just how many boxes there are either or where I've sneaked them in. Just thinking that my thoughtful idea is not the best one I've come up with?
Did you not declare them? NZ customs is very strict on food, especially animal products, fruit, vegetables and plants. Of course NZ depends alot on the export of these products and they don't want to import diseases etc (which we are relatively free of, and being an Island nation can control somewhat), which could wipe out NZs exports.
You'll just have to hope they don't find out, because otherwise you could be in for a fine if any of the food is animal or organic, and you haven't declared it. Fingers crossed.

I've heard that things on the whole are a lot more expensive, should we really bring everything (everyday items) I was hoping to go shopping (I'm not that country!!) but truthfully money is tight and its such a big expense .... No need to answer this now I guess I've just answered my own question
You can do grocery comparisons by looking up the Countdown online store. Just halve the value of all the prices to convert to pounds. I understand there is little difference in the prices of electronic goods and the like. I just bought a good new Toshiba laptop for $650 (325 pounds). And because of the high dollar, prices of TVs etc, I think compare not too badly. Again, look up the prices on stores like Dick Smith, Noel Lemmings, JB Hi Fi on the net. You might be surprised.

Oh things like Doctors and Dentist are they free for under 16's like here?

Any help gratefully received
At primary school age, minor dental work such as fillings and extractions are free at the School dental clinics. I think after that it's pay your own at a dentist, but I'm not sure. Doctors visits can range from $17 to about $40 for a normal consultation, depending on the practice. To be honest I'm not sure if kids of a certain age are free or not. Someone else will know.

Hope you have a good trip :)
 

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Hello I just came across your thread I must agree its a very expensive story but its worth it we have a dog too and looking on the moment for quotes for him he is a collie and my hubby is a qualified plasterer we have started the process too but have to waite with the dog he had the rabis jab so will be 6mth or so I am quiet interested how you go along we going to Christchurch as well
regards kaz
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The shipping container is here with us so think I may go all through the boxes and remove the tea. I just thought that when we are across the other side of the world what a nice idea that as we're unpacking the surprise of an odd box or two of tea pops up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Many thanks inhamilton for all your comments, you'll have to excuse my useless ability to reply, in fumbling around on here as I'm not used to forums etc, so please excuse me.
It's nice to know some names of stores etc so I can look online at products.

Do you happen to know who in NZ would be similar to Waitose or Sainsburys?

Thanks again, much appreciated x
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hi Bikaz

We've been planning for a while and Willow had her Rabies jab a few months ago, her boosters were a bit if a problem tho as something called Lepto is given here and could be a problem there, but I think than what all the blood samples are for. Lads of information comes with your export pack from DEFRA and High Commision. So her boosters took three trips to he vets this time as we all wanted to make sure she was covered.

Good luck with your move to Christchurch, do you have Kids that your taking along?
 

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no they are all adults and have all moved out so they aren't coming only my hubby and I and the dog .who do you got for the transport from the dog could you tell as that please kaz
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I'm not 100% sure yet, had a couple of quotes in, all HUGE, I was shocked to say the least but I think we will use Transfur, met the guy at an Expo held n London was very knowledgeable and caring. I can't sleep have a wisdom tooth playing up, hence 2.30am thread!, good luck with everything. Bec
 

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that's ok I am anyway a late bird lol we have some quotes in as well but there are hidden costs as well be careful what we find out after there quotes likes quarantine and import fees what you paying by transfur all together Bec? best wishes kaz
 

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Just thought I'd jump in and answer a couple of your questions about Rangiora, as that is where I live. I will warn you, the rental market is really tight in and around Christchurch and Rangiora. My partner owns a rental property, and we had 30 applicants in the 2 days we advertised for tenants and were able to fill it. Most rental properties stipulate no dogs as there are plenty of people looking and they can be as picky as they want. So, be prepared for a hunt, especially with a dog. You might be better off looking for slightly more rural rentals as they tend to be more lenient on pets. Cust is a small town about 10 minutes from rangiora that is in the rangiora high school district, and it might have some houses for rent. When are you moving out here?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Many for the inside information, seems we could be in for a bumpy ride, rental house wise. But we just couldn't bare life without our dog, she's part of our family unit.
We are looking to move out in January, and hope to spend an enjoyable Christmas here with family albeit a tearful one.

Thanks for your help xxx much appreciated
 

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No problem. You should be able to find a place that accepts dogs, but it may mean longer search. It's definitely a landlord favored market down here. If you've got any other questions about the area let me know, and good luck on the move!
 

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Many thanks inhamilton for all your comments, you'll have to excuse my useless ability to reply, in fumbling around on here as I'm not used to forums etc, so please excuse me.
It's nice to know some names of stores etc so I can look online at products.

Do you happen to know who in NZ would be similar to Waitose or Sainsburys?

Thanks again, much appreciated x
Countdown & New World are the equivalent of Sainsburys & Tesco, Pak'n'save is your Aldi or Lidl, and 'Nosh' or 'Farro' for Waitrose or M&S.

Farmers are the equivalent of Debenhams, Mitre 10 and Bunnings are the equivalent of B&Q.

And there's one shop over here that i never found the exact equivalent of in the UK - Briscoes. It sells all homeware - bedding, towels, kitchen equipment, crockery, cutlery etc. A bit like BHS without the clothes section!
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Countdown & New World are the equivalent of Sainsburys & Tesco, Pak'n'save is your Aldi or Lidl, and 'Nosh' or 'Farro' for Waitrose or M&S.

Farmers are the equivalent of Debenhams, Mitre 10 and Bunnings are the equivalent of B&Q.

And there's one shop over here that i never found the exact equivalent of in the UK - Briscoes. It sells all homeware - bedding, towels, kitchen equipment, crockery, cutlery etc. A bit like BHS without the clothes section!
Thank you so much, sadly Nosh and Farro look like they are on the South Island only for the time being, but I've just visited both Countdown and New World site and they look fantastic ....
Can't wait, it seems its just the same with you guys in the UK we've all turned into Foodies and love everything about it, have a multitude of Celebrity Chefs that frequently bombard us with programmes designed to get us floundering around in the kitchen!
Funnily enough Tesco recently had the same Allessi cutlery promotion, I'm sure we will all have fun adjusting ...... Anything we can't live without there is the Internet

Many thanks I'm finding everyone and this site really helpfully xx
 

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Thank you so much, sadly Nosh and Farro look like they are on the South Island only for the time being
Absolutely not! They're both popular high quality supermarkets in Auckland (or I've been seeing things after eating too many magic mushrooms!)
... but I've just visited both Countdown and New World site and they look fantastic ....
don't get too excited - they'l make yer average Sainsburys look like the biggest hypermarket you've ever seen! I'm afraid that there definitely isn't the same choice of goods in our supermarkets.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
It's me on the magic mushrooms I meant to say the North Island, we are going to Christchurch I don't think they are own there? Been having some late nights! Sorry
 

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Certainly in Auckland there are UK speciality shops which seem expensive to me but also supermarket chains generally accommodate expats in certain suburbs with SA and UK foods. Having said that and despite what you may think now, your tastes will adapt. Fortunately most kiwis have UK links so food and diet isn't a huge adjustment. I craved certain foods then after visiting SA again realised I didn't enjoy some things as much as I thought I would.

As far as electrical appliances go my advice would be not to waste your time lugging them and changing plugs. Honestly kettles and microwaves just aren't worth the cost of container or suitcase space.

You can easily research prices of food and items by looking on retailer websites and compare it to your disposable income on your NZ salary available to you after paying rent.

Basic dentistry is "free" for school kids (up to 18 as I recall) but it's one area you will notice class distinction in a supposedly class free society. Many kiwis are now taking "dental' holidays to Thailand - the cost of the trip and dentistry is cheaper than dentistry alone in NZ - a trend with UK residents as well. Root canal will cost $800 - $1,000+ and a filling $80- $150 so not cheap.

Medical emergency and hospital are relatively free especially with ACC accident cover. You may consider medical cover for some procedures but most kiwis don't have this and despite complaints by locals, my experience of kiwi state hospitals for emergencies has been very good. A doctor's visit will cost about $70 - $120 but hospital A&E is free if you have time to sit and wait. Kids under 5 get free medical.
 

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Hello Everyone

We are now embarking on the start of the immigration process for my husband (bricklayer by trade) and I and our 4 girls twins 13, 6 and 3. After much soul searching and should we / shouldn't we, we have decided to take our chances (after a difficult few years) and make the move. Husband has secured a job and we are now looking to move just after Christmas.

We are country folk here I suppose, kids have own ponies (who they are devastated to leave) and we like village life, walking the dog etc etc. country life over there seems it can be very remote and don't want that either. When I've been looking for housing within catchment areas for schools it seems quite built up, I'm probably looking or typing in wrong info in my searches.

We are looking around Rangiora (or at least I think so at the moment) the high school there looks great, tho currently in the UK our eldest girls go to an all girl (state) school and have a healthy no interest in boys policy and fear this may soon be lost??!

We are also bringing our much loved dog with us and most rentals I see stipulate NO DOGS? She's a good dog and very well behaved and wouldn't be taking her otherwise, our 3 yr old is more trouble, has anyone else come across trying to rent somewhere with a dog in tow?

Another couple of questions does anyone know if

Do UK TV's work in NZ?
Other electrical stuff I suppose will just be a change of plugs, but TV's today are a bit more Techy. Also DVD's?

Can you buy PG Tips? I personally can't stand tea, but husband can't live without his. (Typical builder) As we have bought own shipping container which we are gradually filling I have sneaked several boxes in as a surprise (now also worried that these will be impounded, by authorities as its a food, didn't think about it at the time, not worried about the tea of course, it's all our other stuff/furniture etc in the container) any ideas? I have no idea just how many boxes there are either or where I've sneaked them in. Just thinking that my thoughtful idea is not the best one I've come up with?

I've heard that things on the whole are a lot more expensive, should we really bring everything (everyday items) I was hoping to go shopping (I'm not that country!!) but truthfully money is tight and its such a big expense .... No need to answer this now I guess I've just answered my own question

Oh things like Doctors and Dentist are they free for under 16's like here?

Any help gratefully received
You'll probably transition just fine... rangiora is nice, as is kaiapoi--both on the outskirts of town. Depending on how far you are willing to commute for your daughters school, you will be able to apply for out of zone placement at Christchurch Girls High School--fully public and fully ALL girls. It is in Chch city though, not rural. Also, the uniform is $1000.00 (I have a teen who goes there), but you could potentially buy a second hand one off TradeMe (nz auction site).

I would suggest when looking at rentals that you put together a rental CV that gives background on your family--fun stuff and practical stuff--work history, hobbies, and include the pets and their personalities. Add a family photo or two and I bet you will get offered a place or two! I don't know about what the UK electrical conversion is, but I DID bring a number of my US electronics, and purchased a 1000w voltage converter for about $60 which allows me to run my kitchenaide, Wii, US DVD player, ice cream maker, etc. Considering those items would cost TONS here, I found the $60 investment to be well worth it! So much so, that when I went back to California in March, I brought another one back with me! Obviously you'll need an adapter for it to plug into the kiwi sockets if you chose that route as well. I've no idea what PG Tips are, but as far as your boxes go, be aware that when it comes time to ship, customs requires the boxes are numbered and with general description of the contents. You can get away with "household items: cups/plates/linens, etc., but you will be filling out and filing paperwork with customs showing the shipment items are numbered .... I would suggest going to the customs website and getting the import papers now so that you can reference and fill them out as you go... otherwise you'll have a full shipping container that WILL be gone through because you don't have things numbered for customs :( The food will probably make it through. My stuff had some non-perishables in them that I had forgotten and they went unfound... they did open 3 of my packages, but they were the cane/wicker packages, none of the boxes were messed with. Make sure you check out what your port fees will be (my total import cost in addition to shipping was $1500.00NZD, of which $900 was port fees). And this was duty free, depending on your visa type, you could be charged duty fees as well.

I brought about $15k worth of stuff from the US that is worth about $40k here. In other words, to purchase the same would cost that much! Clothes, shoes, linens, are especially dear! As is food... can't get around that, though!

No cost to take my daughter to the doctor (12 year old), although thus far it's just been for vaccinations. She will get dental check ups at school, but dentistry here is a private business and VERY expensive. A friend with perfect oral hygiene recently had a yearly check up and cleaning for $280! I recommend making sure your family becomes obsessive about flossing as it will save you heaps of money on actual dental work you would otherwise need!

Hope this helps!

Cheers,

Kim
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Heels Kim

Many thanks for your message I found it really helpful, as I wasn't aware that we could apply for schools which are out of zone. I had been thinking off Kaipoi so this could be. Good possibility.

Also the packing info, thanks for this as we have opted to do this ourselves and over a period of time, in preparation for this move we moved from our fairly comfortable family home into what feels a shoe box, with 4 kids I have regretted this so many times! But it did enable us to off load a lot of unwanted stuff that we had gathered over the years. This is why we bought our own shipping container and it been filled kind of gradually over last six months. I think I'm going to spend a day or so in there sorting and itemising each box for the shipping company and may opt to remove offending PG Tips (tea bags).

All in all we are really looking forward to our move and I am on a mission right now getting as much dental treatment done here as possible for the family, my daughter is booked in for retainers in a couple of weeks aftercare in NZ we will just have cover.

Best wishes
Rebecca
 
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