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Thread: Giving and Taking

  1. #1
    Burgundy21 is offline Member
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    Talking Giving and Taking

    There's loads of interesting posts on here about what to take in terms of material stuff that it has got me round to thinking of what to take in terms of mental stuff. ( Nah, not mental like that but like psychological, spiritual, enthusiasm...oh no deep water approaching....) I would be really curious to read how people feel that being in NZ has changed them, whether they made an actual effort to integrate or if it happened naturally. We are one calendar month to the day from leaving France and I guess it is that which has made me introspective, plus the rain and mist..!

    Also, what are people hoping to give to NZ? We read loads about how we want a slower lifestyle and more child friendly place but what are we giving in return? For me I am looking to be able to work in my profession with ease, teaching in France outside the private sector, is reserved for civil servants and I feel I have loads still to give and share . If NZ will have us then I am determined to contribute with a positivism that I haven't felt for ages, maybe it's a clever ploy: make it quite hard to get in and we will remain forever grateful !?

    Is this totally naive or just blindly optimistic....will I crumble with no central heating, will my kid have a Kiwi accent, can I remember how to drive on the left....

  2. #2
    MotherBear's Avatar
    MotherBear is offline The missing link
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    Very thought provoking.

    I can't answer the first bit because I'm not in NZ yet, so I'll just peer forward a bit and say that I would hope to go out and meet kiwis on their own terms. I don't want to stomp around all over their ground and leave my footprints over everything, but just to quietly integrate and blend in so they hardly notice I'm there. I won't be contributing much to the work force, as we'll be retired by then, but I would hope to give friendship and laughter and whatever else I find NZ wants from me. In return I would like to regain some of the positivity and zest for life that's a bit lacking here at the moment. Not very exciting, but I'll enjoy the experience, I'm sure.

    Hope you can find what you're looking for Burgundy and you'll eventually come to the decision that you have indeed made the right choice in going to NZ. And, yes, I'm pretty sure you'll miss central heating unless you're up with Glenda in the far north. There are houses available with some forms of heating so it's just a case of hunting around to find one. Heat pumps are pretty good and reasonable to run if used properly. Wood burners can be efficient but involve a bit or work and may only heat part of the house unless there's a heat transfer system installed.
    Mother Bear

    Try to bloom wherever you are planted.

  3. #3
    LilAmy's Avatar
    LilAmy is offline God like figure
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    Hello,

    I think being in NZ hasn't as such changed us just given us the confidence to be ourselves. In Edinburgh we always wanted to please our friends and family and did more things for them than ourselves. We're not grumbling as we loved making them happy but being here has made us realise that it's time to make ourselves happy as well. I think we're also less materialistic and look on things in the Kiwi way of making do with the tools you have to build things rather than going out and buying a new table for the sake of it. Instead you do up an old table or build one. We found it was way too easy to just go out and buy and build clutter than make do. We're also more aware of money and appreciate it now.

    As for making friends and fitting in with Kiwi life it all depends on what area you stay in I think as to how you integrate. Rotorua was so easy to fit in and make friends. Everyone wanted to know about us, where we'd been what we'd seen. Where as in Wellington people are slightly more reserved and take time to get to know you but once they let down their barriers and let you in you really have a true friend. Well that's our experience anyway.

    As for what we would like to give back to NZ this is easy. Making Kiwi's realise what a lovely country they have and encourage them to travel it and see different areas or even go to the other island. So many do their OE in Europe and dont appreciate what they have on their doorstep. It's amazing when we tell them where we've been in NZ and what we've seen that they didnt even know it was there and it excites them and hopefully encourages them to venture out and see their own country. I know we wish we'd done more in Scotland and now we cant!

  4. #4
    Glenda's Avatar
    Glenda is offline All Knowing Deity
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    There is no doubt that the immigrant has to think hard of what NZ will give to him and his family. Few of us would go through all the hurdles and anxieties of immigrating if there was not the hope of bettering life in one way or another.

    I don't think people think like you Burgundy - considering what they can do for NZ - as most are wrapped up in realising their own personal dreams. Those on a Business Visa certainly have to in order to get their entry into NZ accepted. However, apart from having your own business, I would not be surprised if a poll found that most immigrants taking up employment here in NZ have to play down their expertise in order to fit in - in this respect Kiwis don't like being told that what they are doing is possibly outdated or wasteful.

    Must admit it seems that my only contribution to NZ has to be whatever money I've spent keeping the economy ticking over and adding to the increase in population with my four kids, three of them boys to rebalance the gender gap (there are more females than males in NZ).

    Integration will take time. The initial sheer 'high' of being here and starting a new life can open doors to new friendships, usually other expats at first. Some folks worry over the time it takes to settle; others like to take their time, learning step by step about their new country, kept buoyant by the better weather, scenery, outdoor life etc.

    You shouldn't crumble without central heating - it wasn't that long ago that most of Europe and the UK relied on fireplaces and gas/electric heaters. (Remember well waking up to ice on the windows ... and I ain't that old!) Most new houses being built now have insulation in the walls and roof spaces which (surprise surprise) keeps these homes so much more warmer than the others which are basically sheds. In time, they will get around to putting double glazing into houses, especially in the South Island. As Mother Bear said, heat pumps are the most popular form of heating and they sure do give out some heat. Woodburning stoves are still very popular here and I had one installed in my house as well as the heat pump in case of any power cuts.

    I'm sure you will get used to driving on the left. As to whether your child gets a Kiwi accent, well it depends how old they are. Children 10 years and over do tend to keep their original accents unless they go out of their way to integrate by copying their Kiwi peers.

    (This looks like one of those 'know it all' essays that pop out from me now and again on this forum. )

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

  5. #5
    Burgundy21 is offline Member
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    Hey Girls,
    thanks for those thoughts, especially Lilamy talking about feeling more individual freedom. We started looking at NZ 4 years ago but decided against it as it wasn't right for our extended family. Since then my big kids have finished uni and very much have 'their' lives and we have realised that it is now or never if we actually want to do something for us. Whilst not 'old', though can too remember ice on inside of windows....our son is 7 so our move is very much to offer him more. I find reading others' opinions is useful and positive especially in the countdown to arriving.

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