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Thread: Look before you leap

  1. #1
    clare is offline Junior Member
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    Default Look before you leap

    Just felt obliged to register and write to give our experiece

    We are family in our 40's with 2 teenage children no mortgage- nice house living in Bath. We secured residency very quickly with no problems as IT and Teaching.

    We have just returned from three and half weeks holiday and research in NZ.
    Intending to go for all the same reasons as most people. Believe we all have push/ pull factors!

    We had a great time - lots of activities - rafting etc, loved scenery - it's a beautiful country, love to live in that house on that beach! However we often say that about where we go on holiday, doing it is another thing.

    But would we still go??? Our assessment:

    Trip confirmed our anxieties that children would not stay - Loved adventures, scenery but thought "naff". They are active but not potential rafting instructors
    Many NZders children live overseas ie UK

    Wasn't sure life would be that different - only jobs in major cities. Houses relatively expensive - wages very low in comparison

    Cost of living not much cheaper. again compare wages
    Crime - could see problems in city and on news. Husband rescued girl attacked in Wellington in daytime.
    Less safety conscious. Adventure park real death trap! No liability a problem
    Driving - very courteous, no problems but crazy overtaking because of single lane highways. Apparently don't need car insurance!!!!
    NZ is isolated as counrty and we felt so were the cities - too much travelling.
    Some lovely parts of cities and some nice towns - Queenstown and Nelson - many other places very shabby and poorly maintained.
    Billboards , hoardings, signs too intrusive like US
    Race relations - growing issue - obvious to pick up. Check recent percentages of immigrants you get a flavour of the situation. Read 'North & South' mag
    In your face racism and humour - funny at first but then irritating
    Weather - very changeable, bad December we know- sun very intense need factor 30!! Burn instantly -a real bind as could often change very quickly see why have high cancer rate.

    Final word from our 15 and 17 year old to 'What would you miss?'
    EVERYTHING!

    Don't want to be a kill joy for those of you who are moving, but have you investigated with a trip.
    We were glad we went - holiday of a lifetime, an expensive experience with immigration process probably ?10k in all. But glad we spent money rather than plunging ahead. This would have been a costly expense.
    For everyone that loves it i'm sure there are those that don't but I'm not sure we wanted to acknowledge that before we went.

    We were prompted not to leap as our best friends went to Adelaide 18 months ago - she has been hospitalied with work related stress. Boss is a nightmare, very pressured job, she worked city before. Husband could not get an IT job now finishing studying, they are talking about moving to another city. Wonder if they will ever settle, think expense to come home would be crippling! Little boy loves it - they think he has now dropped behind academically!

    So, so glad we spent the money. NZ is lovely, although not somewhere we would necessarily spend the money to revisit - think someone is dong a great PR job. Lots of beautiful places in europe that are more accessible.

    Think it makes a difference what your income, property, family and location status is as to whether it is the right thing for you. My advise - best wishes if you are moving otherwise
    Look before you leap!!

  2. #2
    MotherBear's Avatar
    MotherBear is offline The missing link
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    Default Re: Look before you leap

    Hi Clare,

    Welcome to the forum . ?That's a very valid post you've made and it's always good to hear another point of view. ?NZ isn't for everyone - some love it and some hate it and some who love it just can't afford or find they aren't able to stay. ?

    Horses for courses, so do your homework folks! ?
    Mother Bear

    Try to bloom wherever you are planted.

  3. #3
    LilAmy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Look before you leap

    Hi Clare,

    Good post!

    I think you're right that you do have to research things before a big move like that. Stu and I certainly did that and even when we moved across last year we still did a few weeks touring about before getting jobs.

    We've met so many people who've moved across without visiting prior and I take my hat of too them. Thankfully all is going well for them. I know we'd never have moved unless we had visited.

    Just on your comments re jobs - I just wanted to make sure that anyone reading your post realises that there are jobs in small towns and cities as well big towns and cities in NZ. I dont want anyone dreaming of life in a smaller city and thinking that they cant live there because they wont get work. You just have to realise that it may take longer to get work in smaller towns compared with the big city.

    Stu and I have both secured jobs in Rotorua, Hamilton and Wellington as contract IT bods (there were also many other positions outwith IT on offer too). All very different places to live. In each place the cost of living is relative to your wages. Similar to the UK really.

    Good luck with the future Clare & co, glad you realised what you wanted to do before it was too late.

    I think when you make a big decision like that you have to make sure your 110% as it's not just you you're upheaving but it's also an emotional time for all your family and friends.

    Good luck to anyone else thinking of making the leap! :)

  4. #4
    selchie's Avatar
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    Default Re: Look before you leap

    Good observations, Clare. Now that you mention it, I recall that there were many potential safety hazards in NZ that we don't see much in the US. I figured part of it was that NZ expects people to have good common sense, while people in the US are so lawsuit-happy. The "frontier/small town" attitude in NZ is part of its charm, but could become a problem as the population grows. I do worry about tourist attractions that are potentially hazardous, yet aren't well regulated.

    Many times during our visits, I felt that NZ was like the US 40 years ago, in many good ways. They also have some bad old ways, and many good new ways. I think it's good to be aware of them all, and weigh their importance - as you have. It's a big leap, and definitely one to carefully consider.
    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
    Dawn's Avatar
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    Default Re: Look before you leap

    I think the safety thing could be an issue but safety over here in the UK is just a smoke screen. No one really cares about keeping people safe they just don't want a whacking great law suit and all the bad publicity that's all. The Health and Safety Laws, although good in principle, are also a nightmare to implement sensibly and unnecessary half of the time.

    I am sick of living in a nanny state, where I'm not trusted to make my own decisions about things. Some stuffy arse, stuck up civil servant sitting in a posh office somewhere comes up with a thousand reasons why I shouldn't be able to do things the way I want to do them, just so he can keep his job and probably invent several more. Paper chasing!!!

    Everything carries a risk and we're more than capable of assessing them if only we'd be left alone to get on with it!

    [smiley=066.gif] [smiley=066.gif]

    I know whinge, whinge - first one this year ;)
    Passionate about the unfathomableness opportunities of kiwi-a-gogo-land

  6. #6
    Debd's Avatar
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    Default Re: Look before you leap

    Hi, interesting observations there.
    There are many things here in New Zealand that will get your back up more than 'home' for sure, I can think of too many to mention tham all but living in England makes you realise how spoiled we were!! I'm starting to feel a bit more laid back about the irritable things now... which I hoped would happen!
    We and our other immigrant friends here, agree that customer service pretty much stinks over here compared to England. Yes you get the over-the-top sales people in the big stores rushing over to encourage a purchase but many of the other shops, including Warehouse and supermarkets etc look a bit baffled/irritated that you need to ask them something!! Also cleanliness is not high on the list here in many large shops, health & safety seems not to exist.
    We all miss decent restaurants too. We have wasted so much money on real c**p from so many restaurants.... in fact we decided to have our last restaurant meal the other day after yet another flop, ha!!
    But hey, it's certainly not all downs, they're just some of he irritating things.
    The place itself is lovely and I like living here very much. All the unexplored places of beauty and just a little drive ot somewhere, you get to see the sea all the time, so wonderful and exhilarating!!
    Last week my friend and I took the kids to the beach for the day and both of us said we feel we are definitely on holiday, it almost makes you feel guilty!! Don't ask me why!
    Now we didn't visit before we came and I really still don't see the need to, (for us anyway), unless you need hard evidence that this will be your ideal place. I'm still not even sure if this is the right/ideal place for us and it doesn't matter because what we came for has pretty much turned out that way!! (ie.. beautiful scenery, beaches, extremely child-friendly, great fresh meat and food to buy, sunshine...... and more!! )Well they're simple things and they're here for sure... but it's just a case of weighing up the pro's and cons. Our scales are leaning to the right side so far. BUT this place is bloomin expensive! Overpriced tack, no bargains, no quality cheaper clothing shops, expensive food bills compared to wages (wage in our case!!).
    It's all about positive attitude and determination. I'm SO glad we're here. There have been many troubles, upsets etc in our short 4 months but that happens in life and it's all the more 'easeier' to handle when you can just pop to the beach to clear your head. :)

  7. #7
    Dawn's Avatar
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    Default Re: Look before you leap

    Nicely put Deb! ;) Same as most people have been saying all along, if you go thinking it's gonna be like home just with better weather then don't bother unpacking your bags. You've gotta expect everything to be different and be prepared to accept it for what it is. I worry about the money side of things but I worry about money here too so no change there, my philosophy matches yours though, at least I'll be worrying in the sunshine or where I can see the sea or wild open spaces. That'll help get things into perspective.

    We'll have to meet up Deb - I think we'd get on. ;)
    Passionate about the unfathomableness opportunities of kiwi-a-gogo-land

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Look before you leap

    :) Hi everyone, have read everyones's messages. I haven't visited NZ first and I am going on my own with my 13 year old daughter. My colleagues say I am brave, I don't feel like that. ?I can get on a plane and come home if I don't like it but I am going to give it a good go, very expensive I know. I am going to be homesick and lonely, which I think is going to be the worst thing. Make sure you have good communications set up to talk to everyone back home. Get telephone and broadband set up with webcam. You can join sights like Myspace were ?you can place blogs and everyone can log on to see how you are doing.
    You have got to remember, it is a foreign country with a different culture and language, different politics and laws. They are paid less than we are. ?They also seem to be quite self sufficient having houses with plots to grow their own food, they also fish, they make and mend. You have to be ready to adapt. ?We have to pay for our entertainment here and a lot more is done indoors because of the weather, I am not going to be visiting the cinema or going out for meals as much. In NZ you have the beaches and landscape plus friendly people, you bring a plate. I am looking forward to my daughter getting kiwi feet, not wearing shoes at all. Wonder if she will still want Rockport and Uggs, it would save me a fortune if she did.
    If anyone is having any doubts have a look at Glenda's bloggs on her website with pictures. It cheered me up and confirmed what I already knew. That I wanted the more simple lifestyle, quality of life and yes, the sunny weather and beaches.

    Missvee

  9. #9
    LilAmy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Look before you leap

    Hi Guys,

    Well put with all the posts. I think we're all on the same lines with our thoughts.

    I sometimes get the impression that people want to move to NZ as it will resolve all their problems from back home and be this magical place where everything is perfect.

    NZ is a country like everywhere else. There are loads of differences as there are with any country but at the end of the day we all need to work & pay bills to live just like we did back home.

    The biggest up for us as you've all mentioned, you're not far from a coastline, the weather is so much better as well as many other positives.

    I think having this big change in lifestyle is a great thing for us. We're outdoors every weekend, doing things after work. Unlike back home. We were both just saying last night, the weather was great sun was shining and our reaction back home would be 'let's find a beer garden and go for a wee tipple' well here our reaction is lets do a two hour walk home round the bay, lets go fishing at our local wharf. Our lives are so much healthier now. We just love it.

    Yes, as Deb said there are cons but you learn to deal with them and in time I dont think we'll call them cons.

    Deb, like you I am much more chilled out with my life since moving here. Back home if I saw kids wandering round in bear feet in the supermarket I'd have been right up there complaining. Not now tho.

    You just have to be open minded I think when you move countries. After all we're the aliens in their country. They may well disagree with what goes on in our home country!

  10. #10
    Glenda's Avatar
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    Default Re: Look before you leap

    If anyone is having any doubts have a look at Glenda's bloggs on her website with pictures. It cheered me up and confirmed what I already knew. That I wanted the more simple lifestyle, quality of life and yes, the sunny weather and beaches.
    Very pleased to hear my blog cheered you up! ? :)

    I haven't replied to this thread before as Clare's advice to "look before you leap" is good advice, and not everyone will feel or find New Zealand to be as expected and for them. ? As Mother Bear said "horses for courses". ? I also felt that Clare was posting to justifying to herself the reasons why she and her family made their decision rather than giving a balanced view, but we all do that now and again (see below, ha ha!) and it makes her view no less relevant. ?

    I personally would not have put as much importance on some of the points she mentioned, as much as she did. ?For example - crime, it happens everywhere even here in beautiful faraway New Zealand(!); also, roads - there are some dual carriageways but with a smaller population we have to accept that most roads are single carriageway. ? However, I can understand Clare's need to impress to those who think NZ is close to utopia, that there are many things the same or worse than the UK and Europe, some of which one could find annoying to the degree of making life difficult. ?Must say I am relieved for Clare and her family that they did not make a costly mistake moving here when it obviously was not for them.

    Living in New Zealand seems to be working for us, as my blog cheerfully indicates. ?But to balance the input on my blog (originally written for UK friends and family) it does not mention the loneliness of being away from those UK friends and family and the slower than expected build up of a new life to help alleviate that loss. ?That, and the stress with my husband are personal to me however, and have nothing to do with living in New Zealand. ?I am also living in 'cloud cuckoo land' with regard to finances - living on the interest of bank funds until my divorce this year. ?After my divorce and return of his half of the funds, I will no doubt feel the problems of living in NZ with less money - something which has concerned many who have moved here. ? ?

    What do we dislike about NZ? ?I've thought about this, asked the kids, and the only things we can think of as important is the cost and length of journeys back to see relatives. ?Anything else seems trivial now - the sandflies, thermal quality of houses, boy racers, etc. ?Perhaps we have been here too long now (18 months) to be fully objective and have successfully settled in, not noticing those faults all too clear to newcomers. ?Maybe that is not a bad thing. ? 8-)

    :)
    ?
    ?

    ?


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

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