Expat Forum For People Moving Overseas And Living Abroad banner

1 - 12 of 12 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone, new here. After years of trying to convince my wife about emigrating she has now decided to consider a new life in NZ. I am currently a firefighter in the UK but I am a time served electrician with over 14 years experience, I would be returning to my trade to apply for a skilled migrant visa. I know I would have to gain my licence etc, what's the demand like for electricians? My wife is a secondary school teacher.
A bit about us, we are early 30's with a 3 year old and looking to make a move and make the most from an outdoor lifestyle and the differing cultures and way of life. I've been doing a bit of research and looking at potential places to make the move to, New Plymouth (vacinity) or Christchurch (vacinity). What are people's thoughts on these areas and also any other areas that people may feel is worth a look.
I don't wear rose tinted glasses and know that we wouldn't be doubling our wage and buying a 6 bedroom beach house with a pool for a couple of hundred grand. I've looked into wages as a spark and there seems to be a better wage than in the UK, around £10-15k p.a, having said that how does cost of living compare? I've done a few calcs and it seems things such as a weekly shop is roughly the same, maybe £20 more in NZ. What are people's thoughts on this and how does the general everyday cost compare?
I'm just after any help or advice as its a huge decision and want to make sure that we are well informed and make the right choice for us. Sorry if others have posted similar, just want opinions.

Thanks
Jamie
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
386 Posts
If it was me, I would consider Tauranga over New Plymouth.

New Plymouth is a 'city' of about 80,000 people, mainly serving a dairy community, but also with a small gas industry. It's a little bit out on a limb and is fairly remote from a major city like Auckland or Wellington. But it's a nice enough place.

Tauranga has better beaches and weather and is more central, being about 2 hours from Auckland.

Is there a reason you're looking at New Plymouth?

I did a trial shop about 3 years ago and found the prices in NZ supermarkets, on average, about 15% dearer than the UK. So you're about right I think on that one.

You could actually just about buy a 6 bedroom beach house with swimming pool for $200k, (slight exageration) if you wanted to live in Invercargill, but it's pretty cold down there.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi thanks for the reply. There was no particular reason on New Plymouth, I've researched several areas such as taranaki and Canterbury. I will take a look at your suggestion too. The main reason I was looking at Christchurch was because of the rebuild works and the possibility of them looking for electricians, I'd be looking to move out with from the city though and commute.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
4,930 Posts
You'll probably struggle to find any decent work unless you seriously consider Christchurch and forget everywhere else (for now at least). There's heaps of work there due to the rebuild and it'll be at least a 15 year programme so could set you up and then at a later stage you could look elsewhere when you have some NZ experience and have all the registrations etc.
Have a look at Canstaff as a recruitment agent.
Some employers will take you on without the registration, depending on the evidence you have of your skills/experience/qualifications.....there's so much work, they need all the hands they can get so the registration is being sidelined to get people over here and working. You would start from the bottom as even though you may have years of UK experience, in reality it doesn't count for much here as it's not NZ experience. Also the lack of the proper registration means wages would be less. The employers get around it by having you supervised at all times so in other words you start off as a trainee or apprentice or whatever you'd like to call it.
Once you have proved yourself and got some experience and are working towards registration your wages will rise and once the full registration comes through the country would be your oyster.

You would have to opt to do it the right way and get the registration first by applying to have your skills/experience/qualifications assessed by the EWRB here in NZ if you want to go the skilled migrant visa route. It'll be a requirement of that to have at least started the process of being professionally registered.

Due to your age I'd say do it another way....maybe a working holiday visa for 2 years for each of you. Come here on an extended visit which allows part-time work (part-time as in not permanent), work in a few jobs and get the feel for it here. If you get the chance of a permanent position then use that as your ticket for an essential skills temporary work visa which can be granted for up to 5 years and in that time you could get the resident visa via SMC but with a job offer. You can also use the time to get the experience and registration.

The other way to do it is get a job offer first and go straight for the essential skills temporary work visa then onto a Resident Visa via SMC. This is harder as you would still be overseas trying to get a job here, so you would need the job offer in order to get the visa.
With the WHV you can come here without a job so long as you have the funds to support yourselves up front.

Wages will be less here until you have some experience of working as a spark in NZ and have the appropriate registration.

Cost of living is higher - I'd say 15% overall. Living here is very different than the UK. You have to change the way you live and shop as prices are very seasonal if not extortionate sometimes. No point bleating about it though if you live here. It is what it is so you have to adapt and work out the cheapest way to live.
You will find you can spend the same on a weekly shop but you just won't have the choice or the quality of back in the UK for the same spend.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks that's a great insight. To be honest my initial thoughts have been Christchurch as by the sounds of it, you have just backed it up, there is a huge amount of work. I've spoke to canstaff and they seem very interested in my skills. They referred me to a company in London known as Down under tradies. I need to do som more research but they are claiming that, with the endorsement of the NZ govt. and the electrical body that you can do a course here which will assess you and give you your NZ registration, then canstaff will place you straight into employment as a registered NZ spark. Like I say I need to research that more to make sure I'm not getting fleeced.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
4,930 Posts
Thanks that's a great insight. To be honest my initial thoughts have been Christchurch as by the sounds of it, you have just backed it up, there is a huge amount of work. I've spoke to canstaff and they seem very interested in my skills. They referred me to a company in London known as Down under tradies. I need to do som more research but they are claiming that, with the endorsement of the NZ govt. and the electrical body that you can do a course here which will assess you and give you your NZ registration, then canstaff will place you straight into employment as a registered NZ spark. Like I say I need to research that more to make sure I'm not getting fleeced.
Yes do your research well.

The EWRB were great in my case. Spoke to them a few times and they seemed genuinely happy to help with my questions instead of just fobbing me off and asking me to send in the evidence to be assessed which was pretty expensive.
In the end, and on their advice I didn't even need professional registration :rolleyes:

I've heard lots of good reports about Canstaff and taking the course in the UK seems a good idea so long as it'll lead to NZ registration.
Just be aware that nobody can promise you will get a visa that will allow you to work. The only person that can get you one of those is you via an application to Immigration NZ. Sure you can get assistance on the process by an authorised Immigration advisor but it's still your application, they just do some of the leg work in return for lots of $'s.
Also be aware of anyone promising you a job in return for money.
Also be aware of any agency - like a recruitment agent asking for money in return for them finding you a job - that would be a scam for sure as the recruiters are paid by the employers to find them skilled people.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
The EWRB were great in my case. Spoke to them a few times and they seemed genuinely happy to help with my questions instead of just fobbing me off and asking me to send in the evidence to be assessed which was pretty expensive. In the end, and on their advice I didn't even need professional registration


Is the non-registration down to the fact that they need tradesmen ASAP?
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
4,930 Posts
Is the non-registration down to the fact that they need tradesmen ASAP?
Yes but only in terms of the employers.
It's nothing to do with the EWRB. They want all potential candidates to register or go through the process as you are their customers and that's how they make money. The rules haven't changed for Immigration also. They still insist a person of an occupation that needs professional registration is working towards it regardless of the need for the skills in the country.
It's the employers who are "overlooking" the registration.....maybe "overlooking" is the wrong word but where in the past a person had to have registration in order to be offered a job, that is no longer the case. The job can be offered to someone not registered as NZ qualified so long as they will work towards it as soon as they arrive and in the meantime they will just be supervised until they do get the NZ registration.

It was just big misunderstanding in my case. Our Immigration advisor just didn't understand my skill/expertise/occupation so wrongly assumed I had to be registered when I didn't but it took a few weeks to work through the red tape to get to the point where everyone (Immigration advisor, Immigration and the EWRB) understood that I didn't need professional registration in my career.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I've got you mate, thanks. That seems to be a positive step meaning you can work as a spark whilst going through the registration process. It's also good to know when speaking to a migration agent to maybe let them know so they can factor that in. I've actually just emailed the EWRB asking for info on the process and also to see if they have heard of that company I was on about in London. See what they say and hopefully start the ball rolling. I was searching on seek, found a company who are looking for both NZ registered Sparks and international sparks currently unregistered. See what sort of response I get. Thanks again mate
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
4,930 Posts
I've got you mate, thanks. That seems to be a positive step meaning you can work as a spark whilst going through the registration process. It's also good to know when speaking to a migration agent to maybe let them know so they can factor that in. I've actually just emailed the EWRB asking for info on the process and also to see if they have heard of that company I was on about in London. See what they say and hopefully start the ball rolling. I was searching on seek, found a company who are looking for both NZ registered Sparks and international sparks currently unregistered. See what sort of response I get. Thanks again mate
No worries. Promising that you have found a company looking for International sparks. That will mean they are aware of Immigration and the visa process so would have some knowledge of the process and the time taken for it to happen.
Good luck.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
My recommendation would be view coming here as a 2 year project. Don't sell up in the UK unless you really really have to.

Once you arrive here and start working you will wonder why NZ are so fussy about qualifications and accreditation. You will have no difficulty in getting work if you come to Auckland, construction is going mad here and getting good quality staff who want to work hard is difficult. Before anyone jumps on me - yes I have lots of experience of this. Have you thought of approaching companies directly e.g Fletchers, Hawkins, etc.

It's expensive to get here and expensive to live here. You have to pay for your children to go to school, you have to pay for every GP appointment (even children), there is little choice and goods are expensive. However it is an outdoorsy place so if you are looking for that then there is plenty of it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Hi, thanks for that. My initial plan would be to rent our house in the UK so that we have an option if it doesn't go well. I haven't really looked at Auckland as I thought there might be more opportunity for my trade in Christchurch, I will have a look though and I'll look up those companies too, appreciate that.
 
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
Top