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What's it like living in New Zealand?
It's very much the same as what it was like in the UK but with different advantages and disadvantages.
 
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What's it like living in New Zealand?
Well, the answer will depend on the person, of course. For me, it is wonderful, perfect beyond description except for the odd anomaly here and there that lets me down.

It is much slower paced than most moderate to large cities in the US; however, if you are from a small town, or a low population state, or a rural area, it might not be all that different at all.

The housing and heating are different than America, built not so much for comfort but for functionality, i.e., you might not be warm, but you won't be wet. If you're cold and live in a older home (which outside of Auckland would be most of the houses!), if you want heat, add another sweater, and put on some gloves.

Customer service is tricky, as it is non-existent compared to what we're used to in the US, however, all things considered, it's a non-essential to being happy, and it's simple, if you find a place you like the service at, stay a loyal customer.

It is expensive, but the lifestyle you can achieve here definitely is worth it if you love the outdoors: hiking, camping, boating, fishing, etc. I *never* get tired of the scenery, and the heavy influence of Maori culture that is integrated into daily life never fails to thrill me...

If you are looking for a place where the yards have perfectly trimmed hedges, and everyone's house is tidy and monochromatic, and all the buildings are perfectly symmetrical and everything looks like a perfectionist dream come true, this is not the country for you. But, if your idea of beauty is raw nature, old world architecture, overflowing english gardens spilling onto the sidewalks, community activities year round, farm living in a city setting (unless you really DO move to a farm here!), this might be the perfect place to visit or move to.

Cheers
 

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It's aight.

Moving in the opposite direction to Kimbella has made me realize how laid back and easy the lifestyle is in NZ, if you want it that way.

If you're after a place where the work/life balance is closer to the life side of the equation than work, then NZ may well be the place for you.

Plus we're all kinda cool... unless we're serving you.
 

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Kimbella said:
Well, the answer will depend on the person, of course. For me, it is wonderful, perfect beyond description except for the odd anomaly here and there that lets me down.

It is much slower paced than most moderate to large cities in the US; however, if you are from a small town, or a low population state, or a rural area, it might not be all that different at all.

The housing and heating are different than America, built not so much for comfort but for functionality, i.e., you might not be warm, but you won't be wet. If you're cold and live in a older home (which outside of Auckland would be most of the houses!), if you want heat, add another sweater, and put on some gloves.

Customer service is tricky, as it is non-existent compared to what we're used to in the US, however, all things considered, it's a non-essential to being happy, and it's simple, if you find a place you like the service at, stay a loyal customer.

It is expensive, but the lifestyle you can achieve here definitely is worth it if you love the outdoors: hiking, camping, boating, fishing, etc. I *never* get tired of the scenery, and the heavy influence of Maori culture that is integrated into daily life never fails to thrill me...

If you are looking for a place where the yards have perfectly trimmed hedges, and everyone's house is tidy and monochromatic, and all the buildings are perfectly symmetrical and everything looks like a perfectionist dream come true, this is not the country for you. But, if your idea of beauty is raw nature, old world architecture, overflowing english gardens spilling onto the sidewalks, community activities year round, farm living in a city setting (unless you really DO move to a farm here!), this might be the perfect place to visit or move to.

Cheers
I hear that a lot about the heating in NZ. So there's no central heat at all? Not even new builds.
I sort of picture NZ looking like an east coast state like Rhode Island maybe.
 

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I hear that a lot about the heating in NZ. So there's no central heat at all? Not even new builds.
I sort of picture NZ looking like an east coast state like Rhode Island maybe.
Yes, there is heating. And you can get 'central heating'. But there are certainly houses that do not have built in heating, and many that have wood burners.

But I'll give you my house as an example of what you can have:

We live in a 4 year old fully insulated, fully double glazed house in a rural location.
When we moved in, there was just one wood burning stove in the open plan living area and nothing in the bedrooms.
We installed a heat pump in the living area, and air ducting to take the heat into the bedrooms.
And we are as toasty as!

So you don't have to live in an icebox - unless you choose to!
 

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You can also live in a neighbourhood with neatly manicured lawns and hedges where all the houses are identical, should you choose to.
 

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I hear that a lot about the heating in NZ. So there's no central heat at all? Not even new builds.
I sort of picture NZ looking like an east coast state like Rhode Island maybe.
Hhhmmm... well, having been to both places, I'm going to say no, it doesn't, not really--at least not to me (maybe I was in the wrong part of RI!). It doesn't look like any place I've been to in the US. Maybe a little like Hawaii, with jutting mountains and volcanoes, and tropical-ish flora and fauna. If you'd like to see some recent pics, you can find me on facebook and msg me, I'd be happy to let you have a look at the 1,000+ I have posted. :)

As for heating, it's a mixed bag for me. We looked at central heating and air, and it is prohibitively expensive ($20k+ for a 3 bedroom house). Before we sold our other home, we had thought we might install it when the house was slated for repair/rebuild. Uh, no thanks. So, heat pumps are like a mini version of CH&A, they have an outdoor unit that provides the climate control, and installed on the interior of your home will be a large "unit" that is attached to the wall, juts out quite a bit, and blows the air from there (sticks out maybe 4 to 6 inches). It is large and bulky (to a degree), but works. For me the drawback is that it seems to blow right into my face no matter where I sit, and dries my eyes out. And, it doesn't heat the whole house, bedrooms that are in other parts of the house have either ceramic panel heaters or small electric heaters; our dining room has a gas fireplace... so, we stay warm, but not with the same "ease" that comes with switching on the thermostat and having the whole house heated without further thought.
 
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