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Thread: Starting our new life in NZ - part 4

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    Glenda's Avatar
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    Default Starting our new life in NZ - part 4

    Here we go again. :024: :icon_rolleyes: :icon_lol:

    Generally, part 1 was about the journey, part 2 about the first week, part 3 settling down in the rental. I wasn?t too keen to do a part 4 because, as expected, this stage is the anticlimax after the move and there really is little useful information to pass on.

    Anyway, we are settling down. The kids have sorted out the best TV programmes and are memorizing the TV ads. We know when the postie comes along on her scooter and when the rubbish goes out in the green $2 bags purchased from the supermarket. We?ve found the recycling centre, which surprisingly is manned, and made the rather common immigrant mistake of queuing up at the counter in the post office for stamps (the queue is for Kiwibank, stamps are informally purchased over the food/stationery counter). We learn by experience not to buy terry toweling tea towels from New World as they disintegrate in the wash and leave thousands of bits over clothing which then have to be individually vacuumed. We are getting used to sleeping on the floor, being scared silly by the fire siren in the middle of the night (swear I must have experienced an air raid in a previous life :icon_eek: icon_exclaim.gif ), and braving the cold in the mornings (again ? a medal for those living further south in a cold kiwi house).

    Meal times are a disaster. It is amazing how one can get used to the way of eating in the UK. There I confidently popped down to Tescos, knew what my family liked, knew what to buy. No hassle. Here I am lost and cannot get an agreement with the family as to what is OK and what is not. To make matters worse, most of the kitchen utensils are in the container and I am one of those people who can?t cook on gas. Most dinner times I give myself a tiny portion and resign myself to be a human dustbin eating the kids? leftovers. For example, going through the brands of chips - you are supposed to be able to oven cook Pam?s chips ? but I would advise anyone to use a chip pan as they are quite anaemic. The kids give the thumbs up to McCain and Birds Eye, but frankly it is cheaper to buy from the fish and chip shop. They like Tim Tams but not Toffee Pops (fussy kids!) and Arnotts ginger nuts are better than Griffins unless you have nut-cracking teeth or like to dunk. My youngest won?t touch the fresh or long-life soya milk (or soy milk, as they call it here) and only one likes the yoghurts. I have several boxes of cereals in the larder ? abandoned after the first tasting. Fortunately, the meat and vegetables are great tasting ? more particularly the beef rather than any other meat. Oh, I?ve cracked the gravy problem. :icon_biggrin: In the absence of Bisto?s gravy granules I now use an older method of gravy making - dissolving an Oxo cube in a saucepan and adding a big teaspoon of Bisto powder mixed with cold water to thicken.

    Anyway, like those on the relocation programmes on UK TV, :icon_wink: we decided to get out to relax and chat with other expats. The day we decided to look around Kaitaia area and Ninety Mile Beach was supposed to be good with rain in the afternoon. NZ weather forecasts can be wrong too and it was grey with rain on and off all day. Still, the scenery was still amazing and our pop in for a brew with an expat family (great folks, lovely family ::): ) - was so pleasant that before we knew it the afternoon was slipping away. We made a quick trip to Ninety Mile Beach, had a paddle in the sea (yes, it is midwinter here and believe it or not there were others swimming) and went home. Yesterday, the weather was better and we went to Paihia (the main tourist coastal town) and then took a car ferry to Russell to wander around there. Apparently, Russell was once upon a time the capital of New Zealand and has a fascinating history. Nowadays, it is so remote you either take a long partially unsealed road, go nearly all the way to Whangarei and up, or take the car ferry which most people seem to do as it leaves every 10 minutes or so. We were also invited to dinner by our very pleasant neighbours ? it was their son?s 10th birthday and whilst the kids played upstairs, the adults talked and ate downstairs (good rule!). We all had a great time! We knew of the NZ habit of bringing a plate (of food) but due to my trouble cooking, I made my apologies and offered some bottles of drink. Met other expats as well as kiwis, also the last tenants of the rental ? apparently, there is an ants nest in the roof space which can?t be reached and we have got to look forward to ants raining on us in a couple of months? time. :icon_eek: icon_exclaim.gif :icon_mad:

    What is next? ? ah, yes, schools. We went to the schools to kit the kids out. The plan was to put bright and sensitive child no.1 into the small private school and the others into state. No.2 child was OK going to the high school as long as we applied for a student visa and paid international student fees until PR was granted (at which they would refund some). So we popped along and bought her uniform (two pairs trousers, a white polo neck top, a jumper, shorts and PE top) and some of her stationery and books. This all amounted to $222 ? I will expect to pay more on books in the next couple of weeks. The international fees ? well, $2,400 for a term. :icon_eek: icon_exclaim.gif Gulp. Plus she needs special insurance cover ? another $160. I think I have mentioned before that the primary school would not accept the two youngest until PR was granted and told me to basically homeschool them until that time. Anyway, we went to the private school and they informed us that there was a place for the youngest as well as the oldest. (Hmmm, what should we do? Split the two youngest?) It was a difficult decision but we said OK and coughed up the $1000 bond each and terms tuition fees - $1539 for one $1338 for the other. No uniform but stationery for the two amounted to $213. (Our poor bank account! :icon_frown:)

    There has to one dark cloud overhanging us ? we?ve joined the ?can?t sell the house club?. The two parties fighting over our house the last couple of weeks have both decided not to go ahead. This means we may buy our section of land but cannot have a house built on it yet. Guess we may have to get used to this rental.

    That is us up to date. Kids went to school this morning for their first day with the exception of no.3 whose enjoying the peace and quiet (as I am!!!). Sadly, we had to wave goodbye to hubby this morning as he flew off from the airport in a diddy 19-seater plane to catch an Emirates flight from Auckland to London. :icon_cry: We knew he had to go to sort out the business and house, but had hoped the house would be sold so he can come home early. At least he will be warm in the mornings. My daughter inserted a note in his suitcase before she went to school, with a list of things to bring back. Then she says ?be safe and please do not let yourself be seen by any of my friends because they will think I have been lying about going to New Zealand.? Kids! :icon_rolleyes: :icon_lol:
    Glenda
    In NZ since June 2005
    Better to light a candle than to curse the darkness - Chinese proverb

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    nessie is offline Member
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    Default Starting our new life in NZ - part 4

    [quote:ca89872496]?be safe and please do not let yourself be seen by any of my friends because they will think I have been lying about going to New Zealand.? [/quote:ca89872496]

    :044: fantastic!

    Thanks for sharing your tale :icon_biggrin:

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    BruceampGill is offline Member
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    Default Kids in school

    Hi, I was interested to read your entire story but in particular the mention of schooling without having a PR. We are planning to move over from Scotland early next year in the hope of getting a job and taking it from there!! I thought it would be ok just to pitch up and basically put our 9 year old daughter straight into a suitable school. Are you saying that you have to have been granted permanent residency first and we would have to wait until then?? Is there a difference in policy between state and private?

    Bruce

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    nattydread's Avatar
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    Default Starting our new life in NZ - part 4

    excellent Glenda ... keep them coming...

    Hope the house manages to sell okay..

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    Taffy's Avatar
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    Default Starting our new life in NZ - part 4

    Hi Bruce,

    As soon as you get a work permit when you get your job, you only have to pay domestic fees, as you would if you had PR.

    It's only if you are on a visitors visa or similar that you would have to pay international fees.
    Taffy

    The greatest mistake you can make in life is to be continually fearing you will make one.

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    selchie's Avatar
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    Default Starting our new life in NZ - part 4

    Glenda - No, Part 4 is not anticlimactic - good day-to-day info.

    Good luck with the attic ants. Perhaps you can find an effective boric acid bait (Niban & Advance are US brands), or make your own. I'm not sure about ant species in NZ, but the following recipes would work for sweet- or grease-loving ants. The first measurements are for a huge batch, the ones in parentheses are for more modest amounts. Hopefully you have peanut butter out there (wonder if suet or bacon grease would work?). You should be able to find boric acid at the chemist's.

    Mix 3 fluid ounces (1 tablespoon) peanut butter, 3 fl. oz. (1 tablespoon) jam and 1 tablespoon (1/2 teaspoon) boric acid. Place the bait where the ants forage (I put it on a few squares of wax paper or aluminum foil). Other ants may prefer mayonnaise instead of PB & J. Hopefully they'll love it, and take it back to the colony, where all should get a terminal case of indigestion.
    If men had wings and bore black feathers, few of them would be clever enough to be crows.
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    Taffy's Avatar
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    Default Starting our new life in NZ - part 4

    Change of name:

    Selchie - 'The Termite-inator'

    Ant-terminator didnt have the same ring to it!
    Taffy

    The greatest mistake you can make in life is to be continually fearing you will make one.

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    Glenda's Avatar
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    Default Starting our new life in NZ - part 4

    Hi Bruce,

    Yes, as Taffy says you can get your kids into state school with a work visa, though I think a student visa is needed also. We are on visitor visas so the kids need student visas as well as have to pay international fees. The private school was understanding and as long as we get PR quickly they are happy. The high school was similarly understanding but required us to immediately send off an application for a student visa.

    We have heard that different schools have different approaches to the subject and individual circumstances.

    I'm afraid we find this business of visas and schools very muddled and are not entirely clear of what the regulations are, so apologies for any confusion.
    ::):



    Thanks Selchie,

    We will certainly have to do something in the line of a boric acid bait. ::): I do think though that hubby will have to open up the roof space from the roof to tackle them as I understand the ants actually fall from the ceiling from cracks between the wooden slats rather than just send foraging armies. We'll no doubt see. :icon_neutral:

    ::):
    Glenda
    In NZ since June 2005
    Better to light a candle than to curse the darkness - Chinese proverb

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    Taffy's Avatar
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    Default Starting our new life in NZ - part 4

    Hey Glenda,

    As your story is so good, would you mind me copying it from the forum and making it a feature on the website?

    As an example, if you go to the main website, look for 'Read Dans Story'.
    Taffy

    The greatest mistake you can make in life is to be continually fearing you will make one.

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    Glenda's Avatar
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    Default Starting our new life in NZ - part 4

    Taffy,

    Have PMed you.

    ::):
    Glenda
    In NZ since June 2005
    Better to light a candle than to curse the darkness - Chinese proverb

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