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Thread: Opinions and/or advice from those who live in NZ or have moved from USA to NZ...

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    MrsRose is offline Junior Member
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    Default Opinions and/or advice from those who live in NZ or have moved from USA to NZ...

    My husband and I have lived in the United States all our lives, and want to move to New Zealand. We are in our twenties, and have a little girl. My husband is a commercial/industrial electrician. We have already begun the immigration process.

    We never lived outside the States so we have many questions. Any information or advice about life in New Zealand, immigration to NZ, etc would be greatly appreciated. We are considering Christchurch as our new home.

  2. #2
    Cliff's Avatar
    Cliff is offline Oh Masterful One
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    MrsRose

    I can provide you with first hand experience on the subject. I am a yank (born in the USA to you) and have lived in NZ for 15 years. I have been a NZ citizen since 2000. Most US citizens have never been out of the country so you are not alone on that aspect. However with what is going on in the USA this changing as the rats are jumping ship now that it is sinking. No cynicism just stating the facts.

    NZ is the best place in the world to raise a family bar none. So you are giving your child a very special gift if you move here. Many people have moved to NZ for a lesser position and less pay for their families. If you move here you won't get rich but will have a rich life. If you ever lived in a small town you will understand NZ much better as NZ is much like a small town in many ways. Your reputation is important here as everyone knows everyone. If you do somebody dirty then every one knows and won't have anything to do with you. There is not much crime here as the police don't carry guns where the police in the USA are increasingly carrying automatic weapons.

    We have socialized medicine which is paid for in your income taxes. No such thing as preexisting conditions here or trying to figure if you are covered or not. If you are sick they fix it. You can get private health insurance but you don't need it. The job of the health system is to get working people back to work. As you get older if you have something that is discretionary, like a knee replacement you might have to wait a while so some people will opt to have to done sooner and pay for it themselves. This is for something that is discretionary not something that is life threatening or necessary. In the USA you have some of the best health care infrastructure available but no one can afford it or if you find you really need something your insurance magically doesn't cover it. But I ma telling you what you already know.

    People here are friendly and it is a classless society meaning there is no rich or poor class everyone if the same. To flaunt wealth is considered rude.

    What will be tough for you is the distance. NZ is long way away from the USA and not cheap to fly to plus it takes a long time. So if a family member gets sick you don't fly there. Also you can write off things like weddings and most social events. It is not that you can't, it just isn't practical. With things like Skype keeping on contact by phone is easy and not expensive. The closer you are to family the more difficult this can be. It can even be years later when those strings begin to pull at you so don't underestimate this aspect in the big picture.

    To sum it up is NZ different from the USA, yes, thank god. Do we have problems, yes, any country does. But NZ has a lot going for it. We do speak English so no foreign language to learn but a lot of slang you will need to get used to. Take a look at this post it is very good: Kiwi slang.

    For me it was the best thing I ever did to move here and thankful to be here. The only regret is I didn't do it sooner. I sent you a private message of my contact details so check your notifications. Some things I don't like to post in the open, nothing bad it is just I am a private person.
    Last edited by Cliff; 24-05-2012 at 07:09 PM.
    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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    MrsRose is offline Junior Member
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    Thanks so much for the information.

    We are certainly looking forward to many of those changes.

    We are from Las Vegas, Nevada, so we're really looking forward to the exchange of green and blue scenery for all of this brown.

    Some interesting things I've noticed and wanted to ask New Zealanders about:

    1. It seems in looking at real estate that most homes have only one bathroom in the whole house. ??? Is this common?

    2. Also noticed that not too many houses have garages. ?

    3. What are some recommendations for best areas to live in or around Christchurch?

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    Cliff's Avatar
    Cliff is offline Oh Masterful One
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    Lost wages? Say it ain't so, small world. Boy can I talk to you in spades. I lived in Nevada for 20 years, mostly Reno but lost wages too. Still have lots of friends there. Tell your husband he is called a "sparky" here.

    1. It seems in looking at real estate that most homes have only one bathroom in the whole house. ??? Is this common?
    Yes for most homes, you might see the term "Ensuite" which means a bath off the master bedroom as this may be a second bathroom but doesn't read the way you are used to like US real estate listings. It is not uncommon for the toilet to be a separate room by itself in NZ.

    2. Also noticed that not too many houses have garages. ?
    Depends on the area and price range but garages are not that uncommon.

    For real estate you can search and look on Real Estate, Houses for Sale, Rentals, Commercial and Businesses for sale at Realestate.co.nz - Realestate.co.nz or Trade Me Property - New Zealand real estate. rentals, houses for sale & more. The real estate market in ChCh is sort of awkward now since the earthquake. What properties went undamaged are demanding a premium. If you go there your husband will have plenty of work for years. It will give you time to learn NZ and decide where you want to live long term if you decide another place fits you better.
    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."

  5. #5
    MrsRose is offline Junior Member
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    "Lost Wages" indeed!

    I think one of the biggest changes for us in moving to New Zealand may be the difference in housing prices. Las Vegas still has one of the worst hit housing markets in the country. The houses in our neighborhood currently sell for around $150,000 US dollars. (I think that comes to a little over $110,000 NZ dollars?) A similar sized home in New Zealand looks to be about $400-$500,000 NZ dollars at least!

    Needless to say, we will be down-sizing our residence for sure. But that's totally fine with us. That's why we're moving to New Zealand. We're trading in all this materialistic, work-til-you-drop-dead, American lifestyle for the simplicity and higher quality of life that we've heard and read so much about in New Zealand.

    Based on much of what I've read in these forums, I'm sure life in New Zealand will be VERY different from life in the States. But hey...that's a GOOD thing.

  6. #6
    Cliff's Avatar
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    Cool

    Your currency conversion is in the wrong direction. $150,000 USD would be $200,00 NZD.
    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."

  7. #7
    MrsRose is offline Junior Member
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    Oh. whoops.

    Well, anyways...much more expensive to buy a home in NZ than USA.

    Still, as I said, very much looking forward to the change of lifestyle. I'll take a smaller house in beautiful New Zealand over a big house in the Las Vegas desert any day!

  8. #8
    Cliff's Avatar
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    Wink

    yes it is more expensive. And I bet you can't find a single house with a swamp cooler. lol.
    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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