I'm a 44 year old British man who is in Christchurch on a 5-year temporary work visa in the IT industry since January 2011. My main purpose for coming to New Zealand was to work until retirement in a country known for a good work/life balance and retirement lifestyle. My choice of Christchurch was due to the "Britishness" of it and the surrounding areas, plus the South Island offers the best motorbike touring journeys/destinations.

After 18 months here however, the impact of the earthquakes, the on-going bureaucratic chaos, an ineffective city council, and now the Reserve Bank limit on high-LVR lending, have lead me to believe it would be impossible for me to meet my goal by staying in Christchurch. While IT industry salaries are above national average, the cost of living here is a lot higher than I had anticipated, mainly due to the exorbitant rents and a rise in prices for consumer goods.

My options seem to be:

1) Stick it out in ChCh and hope that things improve down the road, although probably not for another 5 years or more, during which time I'm pissing money away to some unscrupulous landlord.
2) Move to another part of New Zealand where rents are a lot lower and houses are more affordable, as good IT jobs exist all over this country. Would need to go through the visa process again.
3) Leave for Australia and give that a go, either in Melbourne or Perth. Would need to go through a whole new visa process and IT jobs are not as common.
4) Return to Japan, where I was living and working for the 15 years before coming to NZ. My spousal visa makes it a lot easier, although the reasons I left would still exist.
5) Return to England, where at least I can get support from my family, although the place has changed a lot in the 17-odd years I've been away.

While I've talked with family and friends outside of New Zealand, I'd really like to hear what others think is a more realistic expectation of what is achievable.