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Thread: More Canadians Thinking about the Move!

  1. #1
    Colin Bowern is offline Junior Member
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    Default More Canadians Thinking about the Move!

    My wife, Christi, and I spent three weeks last year travelling around the North and South Islands in a camper van. We fell in love with the country and have begun researching a move in the last few days. With our first child due in a few weeks we reflected on what we want out of work/life balance and we know it's not here in Canada. I work in technology consulting, my wife works in health care as an emergency room nurse - both occupations listed on the long term skills shortage list. It's early days for us in our research but I wanted to say hello! Christi is finishing up her Masters degree with a certificate as a Primary Health Care Nurse Practitioner next August and that will be the last thing holding us back from making the move. We aren't sure where exactly yet, most likely in the North Island.

    I would be interested in connecting with others in similar fields that can share their experiences within New Zealand and anyone who has made the move for tips along the way. It's a big move for both of us having never lived anywhere outside of Ontario, but one that we're both excited and ready to do!
    Last edited by Colin Bowern; 22-07-2011 at 01:09 PM.

  2. #2
    Cliff's Avatar
    Cliff is offline Oh Masterful One
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    At first glance it looks like getting residency shouldn't be an issue for you. Your reasoning for the move is similar to many others - lifestyle change. I will make some of my normal comments. You won't get rich here but you will live a rich life. You won't be poor but if big bucks is in the plan it is a hard place for that. It is probably the best country in the world to raise kids. The closer you or your wife are to family the harder it can be. It will be difficult to go back to Canada for things like weddings and funerals or if someone gets sick. Not impossible just expensive and time consuming. You are 2 days and a few thousand dollars to get there plus time off from work. For some people no issue but for others this can be extremely difficult and they didn't expect it or see it coming. Sometime it hits you later, sometimes years later. Just think if your parents got sick and you couldn't be there. Another issue is after a time, sometimes years, you begin to miss things from back home or things that are familiar, nothing you can put your finger on but it builds and pulls on you. I have seen these issues in other people and cause people to move back. Not trying to be negative as I have been here for 14 years and is my home and country plus consider myself lucky to be here. The best lucky thing I ever did. I don't think like a yank anymore (thank god) and have had run ins before with old Yank friends because of it.

    You have spent some good time here and that is very good. But that was as a tourist, not as a resident. There are 2 New Zealands, Auckland and the rest of the country. 25% of the population lives in Auckland. Auckland is like many international cities and wouldn't be much different from Toronto or Paris. Lots of people, traffic, jobs, and more crime as well. Living in any other city is different and I like it better. There is a bit of animosity between Aucklanders and the rest of the country. There are jobs in other places but harder to find and sometimes doesn't pay as well but much better lifestyle IMHO. I live in Nelson, sunshine capital of NZ and population of around 50,000. There is a saying here called "sunshine wages", you get paid less because the weather is so nice and people want to live here and it is true. Just know where you choose to live will effect your lifestyle in no small way. In the same way in Canada life would not be the same if you lived in Ottawa as opposed to Yellowknife. As a former data gigolo (computer consultant) and IT project manager of 31+ years I can tell you the cities you can find a job in will be much more limited than your wife. Auckland, Hamilton, Wellington, Christchurch, or Dunedin would be your short list. Depending on your specialty it could even be shorter. So you have chosen a country now the now you have a more daunting decision which city which will effect how you will live the rest of your life here.

    I hope you don't consider of my comments as negative as that is not how it was intended. I was trying to give you insight to see things you don't see right now. I hope it helped. Happy to answer any specific questions you might have. I can even give you a call on the phone. Best of luck on your quest.
    Cheers

    Cliff

    Nelson, New Zealand
    NZ Citizenship in 2000, been in NZ 15 years now
    Arrived NZ in 1997 from Las Vegas, Nevada, USA

    "New Zealand isn't just a physical place it is a state of mind."

  3. #3
    MotherBear's Avatar
    MotherBear is offline The missing link
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    Welcome to MTNZ, Colin. Glad to have you with us. Hope you can find some answers to your questions here.
    Mother Bear

    Try to bloom wherever you are planted.

  4. #4
    Colin Bowern is offline Junior Member
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    Thanks for your honest feedback Cliff - it's great to hear some of our suspicions validated and new points to consider!

    Quote Originally Posted by Cliff View Post
    You won't get rich here but you will live a rich life. You won't be poor but if big bucks is in the plan it is a hard place for that. It is probably the best country in the world to raise kids.
    I believe that is the essence of what we are looking for. Here in Canada we have done well financially, better than most, however money doesn't buy happiness. The "rites of passage" are things like owning a BMW, buying a cottage and an upscale home in the city - the focus is on material possessions as values. The guys next to me on the train are comparing the size and value of their cottages. :S It's not what we want from life. Instead I look at my guitar collecting dust knowing that it could use a bit of time playing on it, I think about our first child due in a few weeks and how I will want to spend time being a dad, and how work, while I'm very passionate about it, needs to be balanced with exploration of the rest of the world.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cliff View Post
    The closer you or your wife are to family the harder it can be. It will be difficult to go back to Canada for things like weddings and funerals or if someone gets sick. Not impossible just expensive and time consuming.
    This is probably our biggest challenge to get over. Christi is closer to her family (both immediate and extended) than I am. That being said we are hoping that our move will inspire our families to get out and explore the world as well. None of our immediate and first tier of extended family have lived very far from where they were born. With things like Skype, air travel and such we hope to close that gap as best we can knowing that it is a "cost" of making the move.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cliff View Post
    There are 2 New Zealands, Auckland and the rest of the country... Auckland is like many international cities and wouldn't be much different from Toronto or Paris... As a former data gigolo (computer consultant) and IT project manager of 31+ years I can tell you the cities you can find a job in will be much more limited than your wife. Auckland, Hamilton, Wellington, Christchurch, or Dunedin would be your short list. Depending on your specialty it could even be shorter. So you have chosen a country now the now you have a more daunting decision which city which will effect how you will live the rest of your life here.
    That is interesting to hear - we spent very little time in Auckland, maybe half a day during our visit last year. We spent more time enjoying the views of the Northland through to the west coast of the South Island. Choosing a place to live is the question that currently remains unanswered for us. I know my work will largely drive the decision because Christi's skills as a emergency room nurse (and now a Nurse Practitioner) are needed everywhere. It leads me to wonder if we land in the Auckland or Wellington area to secure employment and get our feet planted first. Who are the major players in the tech industry in NZ?

    At the moment I am consulting into software development teams in the Toronto area providing coaching/mentoring to those looking to step up their development practices, adopt new technologies, etc... I also have experience in the start-up scene here having been part of the founding team for a music industry start-up. I am as interested in finding a steady job for the transition as I am eventually finding something to start-up like the folks at Xero, Mindscape, and other NZ tech start-ups have done.

  5. #5
    Cliff's Avatar
    Cliff is offline Oh Masterful One
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    Colin

    Check out seek.co.nz to check the tech jobs. It will tell you the areas of expertise wanted and where. A large portion of this will be head hunters so you won't see the employers but will see the skill sets wanted. all things in NZ are smaller including the IT industry. I am a day trader now so I am out of the IT industry so I can't tell you who the players are now.

    Your wife will need to see if she can live remote while still in Canada. As a test or learning experience see if she can live via skype without personal interaction with family. This will be hard especially with the new baby but if she can't do it there she can't do it here either. You may as well learn now. Just a thought and take it as a grain of salt.
    Cheers

    Cliff

    Nelson, New Zealand
    NZ Citizenship in 2000, been in NZ 15 years now
    Arrived NZ in 1997 from Las Vegas, Nevada, USA

    "New Zealand isn't just a physical place it is a state of mind."

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