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Thread: Which is the most child-friendly city and why?

  1. #1
    KiwiHopeful's Avatar
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    Default Which is the most child-friendly city and why?

    One of the things that attracts me to NZ is that I always hear it described as "child friendly." I was wondering if anyone could provide some specifics about the specific things some of the major cities offer that make them such good places to raise children. (Of course I mean beyond the overall quality of the physical, spiritual, and psychological environment!)
    EOI Submitted: July 20, 2006
    EOI Selected: August 2, 2006
    ITA Received: October 12, 2006
    ITA Submitted: February 2, 2007
    Migrant Levy Paid & Visas Shipped: June 6, 2007
    Arrived in NZ: July 26th, 2007
    Leaving NZ: June 1st, 2008

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    LilAmy's Avatar
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    Default Which is the most child-friendly city and why?

    Hello,

    I dont have any kiddie-winks so I can only comment on what my friends have told me and what I've seen.

    We travelled for 3 wks last year round NZ and no matter where we went big cities like Wellington or smaller towns like Whakatane everything was set out for a child friendly environment.

    The streets were all clean, not much traffic about (unless you are in the centre of a city), there were playparks dotted all around. That is one thing we remember and they're not just your average playparks, they have great swings, slides etc designed to look like animals which the kids just loved. not once did we see any graffitti in the park, back in the UK its the norm to see that.

    My friend who stays in Opotiki always praises the daycare for her youngest and the primary schools in NZ. We visited the daycare last year where her youngest was and it was amazing. They had a small animal farm in the centre, lots of rooms with different themes, plenty of teachers to look after the kids and the one thing that stood out was the fact that all the kids were so happy and cheerful. Cammie, her youngest loves daycare, they even do camping overnight for the kids when its nice.

    Hope this information helps you a bit, so far I've not heard any bad things to be said about kiddies growing up in NZ. Its such a family orientated place I think. Obviously these are just my own opinions and others may disagree but I'd love to raise a kiddie across in NZ.

  3. #3
    jadet is offline Junior Member
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    Default Which is the most child-friendly city and why?

    Unlike the US there is a national heathcare system so kids check ups are super cheap (compared to here) and dental care is free until age 16 or 18 I think- they actually have a dentist come to school to see the kids and do the work there!

    Also it seems like a less materialistic culture. It's not about having the latest sneakers for kids there, or the newest clothes. America is so consumer driven. It would be nice to raise my kids in a place where the focus is not on buy buy buy.

  4. #4
    Welshgirl's Avatar
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    Default Which is the most child-friendly city and why?

    With regards to education, I believe the children are under less pressure in this country, to 'perform' well. By this I mean, although academic qualification and achievements are certainly recognised, there is also equal praise and reward for doing well in other areas, e.g. sport, singing, community work, etc. The schools are rated on a decile scale, ranging from 0 to 10, with 10 being generally the 'better' schools, i.e. they receive less government funding due to them being in a well-off area, therefore parents/caregivers are able to contribute more money to the school in the form of fees, fundraising, etc. The higher decile rated schools are generally more well-equipped and have higher performance levels.

    Obviously, as a general rule, the bigger the town/city you live in, the bigger the school. To give you a guide, we live in Hamilton, the 4th largest city in NZ, and our daughters school has just under 500 pupils (including intermediate pupils).

    Overall, the education standard is high. There are problems, as in any country, but I believe they are dealt with appropriately. Depending on the nature of your child/children, you may find it best to send them to a small local school or a larger one.

    We have found NZ to be, so far, very child-friendly and accepting of our 'little people' :icon_biggrin: . They are allowed in most pubs/bars/restaurants up until a reasonable hour and provided they behave!

    The family (Whanau) culture is promoted strongly here, with a great emphasis on youth and how we can raise the next generation well, and schools in particular, are always stressing how we can make our kids feel valued and loved.

    I saw three children through school in the UK and saw them forced to grow up too quickly and pressurised to perform well. By comparison, since our youngest daughter started school just over a year ago, I see how she is encouraged to do well in things she enjoys and excels at, but I also see how she is allowed to be a child and grow up at her own pace and in her own time.

    Sorry to harp on about this so much, just realised how much I've written :icon_eek: but it is something I feel very strongly about and thank my lucky stars for every day that she is growing up in this environment.

    Sorry also, that I can't be more specific about particular towns/cities that are 'child-friendly' but pretty much everywhere is!

    There are problems for sure - gang violence, suicide, drugs - more so than in some other countries - but I believe with the right parenting, the right education and the right attitude, kids have a better chance in this country.

  5. #5
    KiwiHopeful's Avatar
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    Default Thanks for the insights, all!

    You've all helped to affirm my decision to begin the process of making the move. For me it's really what I believe is best for my sons--and a little of what's best for mom and dad, since having a happy mom and dad is good for the little ones.

    I'm a public high school teacher here in the states, so I really appreciate what having caring, concerned, loving parents means to a child and to society as a whole. As we get closer to the end of the year, I see more and more kids who have given up or who are just so angry because they know that summer vacation means abandonment, since the one place they can count on being fed, given attention, and being cared for will be closed for the next three months. Not to mention that I see more than enough kids who are angry all the time--or kids who are spoiled materially and feel that they are entitled to everything under the sun because their parents give them everything EXCEPT their love and discipline.

    [/soapbox]

    Sorry 'bout that, but it's been a rough week--and it's only Tuesday here!

    Anyway, the point is, I love my boys too much to let them either grow up like that or live in a culture where letting them grow up like that is not only tolerated, but the norm.
    EOI Submitted: July 20, 2006
    EOI Selected: August 2, 2006
    ITA Received: October 12, 2006
    ITA Submitted: February 2, 2007
    Migrant Levy Paid & Visas Shipped: June 6, 2007
    Arrived in NZ: July 26th, 2007
    Leaving NZ: June 1st, 2008

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    LilAmy's Avatar
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    Default Which is the most child-friendly city and why?

    Hello,

    I think you are making the right decision in moving to NZ, I hope everything works out for you and your sons will appreciate the move later in life.

    They will appreciate so much more. I couldnt believe how much respect the kiddies in NZ had for family life and other adults in general, it was lovely to see and to know that not all kiddies are nasty wee devils :icon_twisted:

    Good luck with your EOI etc...

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