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Thread: The Story so Far- Life in New Zealand!

  1. #1
    macfod's Avatar
    macfod is offline Oh Masterful One
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    Default The Story so Far- Life in New Zealand!

    As promised after 12 months here I can enlighten any interested parties.

    Just a small summary on how we got here.

    We planned to move here over two years before we arrived giving up UK and two very well paid jobs for a new life.
    People said how brave! and on May 23rd 2006 we left after selling one property taking redundency and renting out our lovely cottage in Surrey!
    We went back-packing through 16 different countries in Asia for ten months on route in places like China Phillipines and Cambodia finally arriving in Auckland on 9th December 2006!
    Remember that we are fit people inot outdoor life and skiing and both divers.
    At 50 and 55 years now( we still work on the 20 year old basis...why not!)

    We had lots of ummph..and still have!
    We had an idea what to do and looked to buy a business whilst on our visitors visas.

    We had always planned on Dunedin following my wifes earlier 5 month tour to NZ seven years previous.

    However, the reality struck after ten months living in various beds around Asia of what the hell were we going to do.
    We travelled round both islands seeing all for three months before finally arriving in Dunedin.

    We looked to rent but discovered it difficult to do short term as most wanting 6-12 months!
    We then found a house and discovered the joys( not !) of no heating or cosy central heating.....
    Along with this a dodgy landlord...another long story!

    Finally we set about buying either a motel or Cafe......
    But, discovered little profit from most business's and as for decent balance sheets!
    Most had single sheet accounts that just didnt add up!
    A phone call to Immigration and we were told that we couldnt buy any business whilst on a visitors permit!!!!
    By this time we had found the place--our little veggie cafe.
    Not giving up we called Business Migration direct and found them very helpful and gave us the go ahead...so of!

    Anyway, three weeks later we finallized the business purchase and had our LTBV in a super quick 12 days.
    Also, we found out how easy it is to buy a house over here and bought one within 8 days...the same month..

    Back to life here...
    Well, Kiwis in Dunedin were so helpful( still are!) and are so genuine,
    We have settled in extremely well although the business is such hard work for little monetary return,
    But. on that note..remember very few people will get rich over here....

    Running a business here is pretty simple and being a small city everyone gets to know you and always say hello.
    In fact running a business here now we get lots of tourists....and as we have relaxed in the Kiwi mode..who are the most demanding...Sorry..its us British...
    Some are just so damn rude!

    Anyway, lots of expats we meet dont settle as well as we have and miss the UK..and are not happy bunnies here.
    Others, are so boring as all they do is go on about in England this and England that..I say if you miss it to much GO HOME...
    You have to adapt to being a Kiwi or why move here!

    And hey, its not all roses here..
    Crime is increasing and they dont appear to have control on their teenagers who flout the law( there just isnt a big enough police force).
    Kids on drugs, drink and driving without insurance and high speeds are a problem!
    And they dont really want to work..just earn a few dollars to buy booze!

    Driving over here...well sorry but its pretty poor!
    Food pricing is getting expensive now and many are struggling.

    Banks, rip off merchants with charges on everything and HIGH interest rates.

    Most locals live in house far to big to heat and often live in one room through the winter as they cannot afford to heat them.
    This with no cosy central heating but those damn heaters they call heatpumps...

    And certainly down here..double glazing ! whats that...they dont appear to have good access to UPVC and still install aluminium glasing,aaaah

    Ok we miss good Curry house's pubs...but shucks .that it.
    Not being able to walk across fields we find restrictive...dont want to get shot by local farmers do we !
    Life is getting more expensive here and with low wages its a problem.

    HOWEVER, would we change our minds about staying here..NO
    We love it!
    Its relaxed, the only traffic jam we find is 5/6 cars on a Friday night getting out of the CBD..HA HA
    What fantastic countryside and coastlines we have.
    We have great beaches, pretty much deserted.

    We can dive when we want and ski in winter after dring for just two hours.
    So, we await the time when we can start applying for residency.14 months and counting down..
    We have decided to sell our house in UK and buy and invest here as its home!

    Hope this isnt too long at gives a wee insight to our life here to date..
    Me a Brummy let lose in New Zealand.

  2. #2
    pleccy2000's Avatar
    pleccy2000 is offline Member
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    Default

    Excellent post!

  3. #3
    pebbles is offline Junior Member
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    I really enjoyed your post I was hoping that somehow Nz had changed and that it was a little easier to get ahead over there.
    My family and I are living in Perth and have been here for 5months(so yer its early days) Anyhow i know in my hearts of hearts that i wanna go home mayb not right now but i do..I was just hoping NZ was going to change its ways and help people get ahead...we struggled over there and never seem to get ahead..im not sure if that will put me off to wanna go home..but it is sad thats we cant even afford to live comfortably in our own country...NZ really is beautiful it has a real natural beauty and this is something i took for granted...

    You must be very happy with what you and your wife have accomplished ..well done!!!! I have only been to Dunedin a few times but have family in Christchurch and i also used to live in Blenheim...the sth island has so much beauty.

    Luck with all your new goals and again thanks for sharing that great post it really helped me.

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    selchie's Avatar
    selchie is offline All Knowing Deity
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    Thanks for the summary, Mark. It helps add nuances to the collage of experiences reported here.

    We've played with the idea of buying a funky motel in NZ, but who knows if we could put up with the people? If they were all wonderful like Taffy's People, we could, but where else can you get such a concentration of excellence?
    If men had wings and bore black feathers, few of them would be clever enough to be crows.
    - Rev. Henry Ward Beecher, mid-1800s

  5. #5
    Taffy's Avatar
    Taffy is offline He who shall be ignored
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    I have 'People'?

    Excellent post Mark. It certainly shows who's willing to put up with what for whatever you believe in.
    Taffy

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

  6. #6
    MotherBear's Avatar
    MotherBear is offline The missing link
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    Well done, Mark. We need more posts like this as they give a good insight into everyday life in NZ (if you can call running a veggie cafe with dysfunctional staff 'everyday life') .
    Mother Bear

    Try to bloom wherever you are planted.

  7. #7
    macfod's Avatar
    macfod is offline Oh Masterful One
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    Default reality

    Thanks for the kind comments folks.
    Hopefully, I didnt waffle on too much!

    After having been on the website over the last few years I thought it only fair to try to give back some thoughts of my own as I gained much from others over the years.

    And yes, its a huge step for anyone to take to move so far and look for a live that suits them.
    Its very individual and I am afraid will not suit all as it can be tough just getting through Immigration alone before the reality of actually living here and making it right.

    Must admit though until we have our residency we will never be at full ease.


    14 months to wait!!

    At that stage we sell the cafe as its damn hard work....

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