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Old Sep 5th 2017, 7:14 pm   #1
WBHB 
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Default Some questions please

Dear All,

First post after spending some time ‘lurking’ while looking a job in NZ. This site has been most useful in providing a good insight into moving to NZ both good and bad.

I have landed a job and have an offer for a role in Auckland within the construction sector. Still in disbelief that I’ve got the job and it’s both very exciting and scary all at the same time. My new employer is paying for all of the relocation costs which is also very helpful and I will be going with my wife and daughter (2 years old) in the hope of finding a new adventure and a better way of life than we currently have here in the UK whilst giving us the chance to see Australasia properly.

We do have some questions though that you kind and experienced people may be able to help with or offer some kind of insight.

We understand the cost of living is going to be slightly more than our current south UK cost of living but can anybody put that into perspective? We’ve noted the cost of food seems to be considerably more but is there anything else that will be a particular sting? I have had a nice pay bump from my UK salary which will help things but still worried we might not have much disposable income.

How much stuff should we take? I’ve read advice where people advise taking everything and others say take minimal stuff. Things like white goods and furniture etc?

Will white goods work in the same way as the UK, are the plugs and voltages the same?

We’ve just bought a car that is 2 years old. Would it be better to sell this before we go or import it to NZ?

How are the attitudes of Auckland people towards English expats, are we well received or prejudiced against or rejected? This is biggy for me as my wife will be looking after my daughter while I work so it would be good for her to fit in and be well received.

Is working life much different to the UK in terms of pace of work, stress and work/life balance?

My profession is on the short and long term skills shortage list and I am assuming/hoping the visa process ‘should’ be straight forward. I know it is likely very individual but how long might things take to go through (we haven’t done anything yet!)? Also what snags might we face if any?

Lastly (long list I know) what are some good areas to live whereby I can commute to the Auckland CBD? I am willing to consider driving (if this is sensible), taking public transport or cycling if it’s doable but ideally I don’t want much more than a 30 minute commute each way to and from the office. I guess we’d have a rental budget of perhaps $650 per week or more, are we likely to get anything decent for that money? I’d like 3 bedrooms and a garage in an ideal world.

Sorry for this long winded post and congratulations if you managed to read it all.

Thank you in advance for any replies.
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Old Sep 5th 2017, 8:07 pm   #2
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Default Re: Some questions please

HI and welcome.

first I would check out the new immigration criteria to see if you can uplift a visa and that it will include the rest of the family. some visas no longer allow family members to get visa's off of other applicants.

Then cost of living, yes it is higher but the main thing to understand is that you are taxed on every cent you earn, so actual income is less that you might realise from a gross amount.
you no longer have free health care for over 13's in most cases, unless its an accident and they approve the costs.
Housing is ridiculous and unless a new build will come with their own challenges.
From my prospective crime and drugs are more prevalent then there ever were for me living and I come from the SE London/Kent borders.

Unless you have owned the car for more than a year, and you would need to prove this, you will pay tax on it if you bring it over.

UK electricals all good, just need a plug converter but again if you cannot prove you have owned them for more than 12 months you will pay tax.

As for area's of Auckland sorry don't know that bit, Auckland not my cup of tea.
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Old Sep 5th 2017, 9:35 pm   #3
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Default Re: Some questions please

Quote:
Originally Posted by WBHB View Post
Dear All,

First post after spending some time ‘lurking’ while looking a job in NZ. This site has been most useful in providing a good insight into moving to NZ both good and bad.

I have landed a job and have an offer for a role in Auckland within the construction sector. Still in disbelief that I’ve got the job and it’s both very exciting and scary all at the same time. My new employer is paying for all of the relocation costs which is also very helpful and I will be going with my wife and daughter (2 years old) in the hope of finding a new adventure and a better way of life than we currently have here in the UK whilst giving us the chance to see Australasia properly.

We do have some questions though that you kind and experienced people may be able to help with or offer some kind of insight.

We understand the cost of living is going to be slightly more than our current south UK cost of living but can anybody put that into perspective? We’ve noted the cost of food seems to be considerably more but is there anything else that will be a particular sting? I have had a nice pay bump from my UK salary which will help things but still worried we might not have much disposable income.

How much stuff should we take? I’ve read advice where people advise taking everything and others say take minimal stuff. Things like white goods and furniture etc?

Will white goods work in the same way as the UK, are the plugs and voltages the same?

We’ve just bought a car that is 2 years old. Would it be better to sell this before we go or import it to NZ?

How are the attitudes of Auckland people towards English expats, are we well received or prejudiced against or rejected? This is biggy for me as my wife will be looking after my daughter while I work so it would be good for her to fit in and be well received.

Is working life much different to the UK in terms of pace of work, stress and work/life balance?

My profession is on the short and long term skills shortage list and I am assuming/hoping the visa process ‘should’ be straight forward. I know it is likely very individual but how long might things take to go through (we haven’t done anything yet!)? Also what snags might we face if any?

Lastly (long list I know) what are some good areas to live whereby I can commute to the Auckland CBD? I am willing to consider driving (if this is sensible), taking public transport or cycling if it’s doable but ideally I don’t want much more than a 30 minute commute each way to and from the office. I guess we’d have a rental budget of perhaps $650 per week or more, are we likely to get anything decent for that money? I’d like 3 bedrooms and a garage in an ideal world.

Sorry for this long winded post and congratulations if you managed to read it all.

Thank you in advance for any replies.
Congrats on the job offer. No mean feat landing a job from overseas and so awesome that you've negotiated the company paying your relocation costs as that will save you a huge chunk of the migration costs and allows you to spend that money on more important things


You may have researched or read that the cost of living will be slightly more than the UK, but take that with a pinch of salt and consider it is significantly more than in the UK for the majority of goods and services. NZ is a small country on the other side of the world at least 3 hrs away from it's closest neighbour country and apart from dairy products, aluminium production, wood and paper products, lamb & fish everything else is imported so incurs a fee. We pay 15% GST on virtually everything in the supermarket for a start, so consider that grocery items are generally more expensive here anyway then add 15% on top to pay the GST
It doesn't end there and I struggle to think of things that are cheaper here. All that springs to mind......fuel, motoring costs and car insurance is cheaper. No TV licence or council tax to pay but if you own your own home then you'll have $3k a year to pay in Council Rates. If you are renting you may get away without having to pay for water / wastewater. All swings & roundabouts I suppose. One thing that is very high cost here is manual labour which is why you'll learn that people here like to do things themselves instead of getting a man in to do it for you.
You are very lucky to be offered a salary that is more than what you earn in the UK. In general salaries here in many of the industries are lower than in their UK equivalent with many people taking a hit on the salary in the hope of a much better lifestyle. I for one lost maybe 35-40% and for that I had to secure a role with a more national company which I would have considered as promotion if I'd have done similar in the UK. If I'd have stayed at the same Regional level of company as in the UK the salary hit would have been 45% plus.
Your highest cost will be in rent. Cost of accommodation in NZ is ridiculous for the standard on offer and even more so in Auckland as it is more populated so more demand. $650 a week for a decent 3 bed with a garage should be doable. Be aware to secure a rental at that cost, you will have to shell out around 6 x the weekly rent up front (4 x weekly rent as a bond, plus 1 x week advance, plus 1 week letting fee + GST) this amounts to near $4k . Then you will have to start paying the weekly rent from the day you move in to maintain the week in advance. The bond is paid back to you after you leave less any agreed amount for damage etc.
Don't do Auckland much myself so only really know the North Shore over the bridge being popular with Ex. Pats and within a commutable distance/time from the CBD. Had a friend lived in suburban Pukekohe which was fine but commute in to the CBD was a pig.
I'd advise you to do a costs spreadsheet for everything in the UK and then do a comparison against it for NZ to see the areas where it'll cost you more and where you will save. The forum can give you an idea of what things like utilities, mobile phones, internet etc will generally cost here.


I'd advise you to take everything...especially as the company will be paying for shipping. Get a 40 foot container of your own and fill it. If you can't fill it then buy more stuff and fill it
Yes the customs rules state you must own everything you import and must have owned it for at least 12 months but unlikely you'd ever be caught out and have to pay the GST. We brought loads of new stuff with us and declared that we'd owned it longer than a year. Customs weren't even interested in our container. Just reduce the risk as much as you can by disposing new packaging, purchase receipts etc. Just keep the instructions as you won't be sending anything back within it's UK warranty period!!!
Whatever you decide you don't need or want this end you can easily move it on.
I'd only bring the vehicle if the company will pay the fees associated, plus consider its all KPH and KM's here so unless it's got a digital dash I wouldn't bother. You will also have no warranty here and servicing/parts will probably be more. Unlike general stuff in your container you must provide evidence of when a vehicle was purchased especially if declaring you have owned it more than 12 months. If under 12 months you must pay 15% GST on it's NZ worth plus shipping costs and vehciles are worth more here than the UK.


No issues that I'm aware of with Auckland people's attitudes towards British. I've certainly not suffered any from anywhere I've been.
As for work / life balance I'd say it is much much better here and many of the people I know here that have come from overseas will say the same. It all depends on your industry/company/job in reality. A mate of mine still can't believe his boss orders him back to the yard on a Friday at 2pm no matter what he's doing to get a beer and bbq


You have a few options for the visas.
(a) Go for a temporary work visa and depending on your job offer salary your wife and child may also gain temporary visas. You can then go for something more permanent later. Advantage is the cost is less & only takes a matter of weeks allowing travel pretty quickly. Disadvantage is they are temporary & individual so you'll have to apply for 3 different visas this way.
(b) Go for a Resident Visa for all family members. Advantage is you are all on the same application. Disadvantage is more paperwork, more evidence required, more waiting, they take several months to process and cost more.
(c) Do both at the same time so you get the temporary ones first and the Resident visa application is always ticking away in the background.
Only major snags may be with the wording of the job offer to satisfy immigration, proving partnership and medicals.
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Old Sep 6th 2017, 4:28 am   #4
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Default Re: Some questions please

If you want less than 30 minutes commute, live as close to the CBD as you can afford. Not sure how far $650 goes on a rental these days but look at Trade Me property rentals for an idea. All of the suburbs near the cbd are nice. Kingsland, Mt Albert and some of Mt Eden are on the train line. If you go to the North Shore you'd need to be in the bottom bit of it to keep the commute shorter. Pretty much all of the North Shore, east Auckland and the inner city suburbs are nice places to live. West and South Auckland - some areas are nice, some are a bit scruffy/deprived and you are a bit further from the cbd.

If you want to look at prices of everyday things - Countdown for online food shoppping (fruit and veg are expensive at supermarkets, cheaper at fruit and veg shops). Homewares, kids clothes, toys etc - look at websites for The Warehouse and K Mart - these are at the cheaper end, quality is variable, kind of Primark-quality clothes.

If you want I can post details of our monthly expenses - electricity, phone etc, we are a family of 2 adults, 2 primary-school aged kids. It's been a great place to bring up
kids imo BUT we bought our house 10 years ago when prices were (literally) half what they are now. Auckland has become very expensive property-wise. Think our kids are having a good childhood, lots of beaches, outdoor stuff, etc but much harder financially moving here now than it was 10 years ago.

No problems being an English expat. There's loads of us here and every second Kiwi I meet has a dad/cousin/granny from the UK...
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Old Sep 6th 2017, 10:52 am   #5
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Default Re: Some questions please

Quote:
Originally Posted by WBHB View Post
We understand the cost of living is going to be slightly more than our current south UK cost of living but can anybody put that into perspective? We’ve noted the cost of food seems to be considerably more but is there anything else that will be a particular sting? I have had a nice pay bump from my UK salary which will help things but still worried we might not have much disposable income.
One example - we recently bought a clothes-dryer. My Mother-in-Law knows people that work for the local kiwi/Chinese household appliance manufacturer so they could get it for us at the 'cheap' price available to staff. That price was only double the cost that you get an equivalent machine in the UK from Dixons. The normal stores here have them at four-times the price you would pay in the UK (you can get them here a bit less than usual here if they have a sale on).

Quote:
Originally Posted by WBHB View Post
How much stuff should we take? I’ve read advice where people advise taking everything and others say take minimal stuff. Things like white goods and furniture etc?

Will white goods work in the same way as the UK, are the plugs and voltages the same?.
See my answer above - you should bring them. I think the electrical stuff should work OK. I have looked into this question a bit recently and my conclusion is that the power supply here is the same as the EU and now so is the UK so they should be OK - with the proviso that the plugs here are different and I don't think the household power supplies here would cope with running something that draws as much power as a full-bar electric heater. The plugs here don't have fuses so you wouldn't want to take chances with things like that.
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How are the attitudes of Auckland people towards English expats, are we well received or prejudiced against or rejected? This is biggy for me as my wife will be looking after my daughter while I work so it would be good for her to fit in and be well received.
A significant proportion of the people living in Auckland are immigrants. Most immigrants in recent years come from Britain, India and China - also many that I find myself working with are from South Africa.
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Is working life much different to the UK in terms of pace of work, stress and work/life balance?
This is a topic for a whole separate thread. In my line of work expect the management to be inept and for you to spend all day banging your head against a brick wall. Other people have better experiences.
Quote:
Originally Posted by WBHB View Post
My profession is on the short and long term skills shortage list and I am assuming/hoping the visa process ‘should’ be straight forward. I know it is likely very individual but how long might things take to go through (we haven’t done anything yet!)? Also what snags might we face if any?
The things I think might trip you up are health and criminal record. If your BMI is not 'healthy' that might slow things down based on recent threads here, if you have in the past served a criminal sentence longer than 12 months then that could be a show-stopper.
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Lastly (long list I know) what are some good areas to live whereby I can commute to the Auckland CBD? I am willing to consider driving (if this is sensible), taking public transport or cycling if it’s doable but ideally I don’t want much more than a 30 minute commute each way to and from the office. I guess we’d have a rental budget of perhaps $650 per week or more, are we likely to get anything decent for that money? I’d like 3 bedrooms and a garage in an ideal world.
Auckland is a colossal suburb. To be 30 minutes from the CBD will have to be in the middle of it. The areas that close to the CBD are all great - the bad areas are further out of the town-centre.
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Old Sep 6th 2017, 10:58 am   #6
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Default Re: Some questions please

We are in the process of moving so I can't answer all your questions.

The thing holding us up just now is medicals, my husband and I both thought the medical would be totally fine, we are both healthy, normal bmi, however a couple of blood results came back just outwith the 'normal' ranges, meaning an automatic referral to the health assessment team. Currently waiting on their response on that. Our panel doctor doesn't think it will be an issue as the results were so minimal she still marked them as normal and gave us both an A grade certificate.

Fingers crossed she's right!

My husbands profession is also on both lists he has a job offer from an accredited employer so has went with the work to residence talent visa, myself and our children have all applied for visas based on our relationship with him.

Good luck!
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Old Sep 6th 2017, 11:04 am   #7
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Default Re: Some questions please

Thanks for all of your replies they've been most useful.

I guess in short housing might be expensive then the nearer we live to the CBD. Neither my wife or I are outside 'normal' BMI range or have any previous criminal problems so fingers crossed that side of things will be smooth.

Based on what you say Clappy I think it might be prudent for us to purchase some things before we go and ship them. Stuff like our kettle, hair dryers, microwave and other things that may need replacing soon should probably be done in the UK before we leave. Same goes for clothes etc. We should do a big shop here in the UK and ship it all I think.

'A rush and a push' I'll have a look into those locations you mention on Trade me. I think by the sounds of things property seems to shift and be taken quickly and it will be difficult to sort from the UK which means likely rushing once we're there to find a house to rent.

With regards to shipping our stuff. Can anybody recommend a reputable shipping firm and explain how it will work? Do they turn up at your house with a lorry or something? Also what sort of timings are we looking at. Will it take a long time for our stuff to arrive. I assume we may need to stay with family or in a hotel in the UK if we want our belongings in NZ when we arrive or shortly there after?
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Old Sep 6th 2017, 11:07 am   #8
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Default Re: Some questions please

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We are in the process of moving so I can't answer all your questions.

The thing holding us up just now is medicals, my husband and I both thought the medical would be totally fine, we are both healthy, normal bmi, however a couple of blood results came back just outwith the 'normal' ranges, meaning an automatic referral to the health assessment team. Currently waiting on their response on that. Our panel doctor doesn't think it will be an issue as the results were so minimal she still marked them as normal and gave us both an A grade certificate.

Fingers crossed she's right!

My husbands profession is also on both lists he has a job offer from an accredited employer so has went with the work to residence talent visa, myself and our children have all applied for visas based on our relationship with him.

Good luck!
Sounds like you're in the exact same boat as us. Are you also moving to Auckland to work there too?

This is my worry about the medical. Although we're healthy we have both had previous blood tests where some of our markers have been marginally out of range (although we're both pretty healthy). My fear is this will severely delay things.

When do you think you'll be making the move?
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Old Sep 6th 2017, 11:15 am   #9
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Default Re: Some questions please

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Sounds like you're in the exact same boat as us. Are you also moving to Auckland to work there too?

This is my worry about the medical. Although we're healthy we have both had previous blood tests where some of our markers have been marginally out of range (although we're both pretty healthy). My fear is this will severely delay things.

When do you think you'll be making the move?
Yes my husband has been offered a job there, they want him to start on 30th October, however he has agreed to do all we can to be in NZ by 30th, however won't actually start work until mid November giving us time to settle in a little and find our feet. His employers are happy with that.

I would get your medicals booked as soon as possible then hopefully any delays won't hold you up to much.
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Old Sep 6th 2017, 11:21 am   #10
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Default Re: Some questions please

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Yes my husband has been offered a job there, they want him to start on 30th October, however he has agreed to do all we can to be in NZ by 30th, however won't actually start work until mid November giving us time to settle in a little and find our feet. His employers are happy with that.

I would get your medicals booked as soon as possible then hopefully any delays won't hold you up to much.
My 'estimated start date' on my contract is the 30th October also! Although I find this extremely optimistic of them!

Have you found accommodation etc yet?

Feel free to PM
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Old Sep 6th 2017, 11:18 pm   #11
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Default Re: Some questions please

I currently pay $650/wk for a 4-bedroom in Blockhouse Bay, nice new tunnel connection to the motorway network so the CBD is a relatively easy 20-30min drive and excellent bus connection to the CBD too. Same will go for the suburbs East of Blockhouse Bay but those to the West still have big traffic bottlenecks so commute can be longer.

Auckland only really has a motorway network south of the Harbour Bridge so unless you want to bus in and don't need to travel for work I'd live South of the bridge.

White goods will work fine with the exception of anything rated over 2.4Kw as the capacity per socket is less here as stated above.

Importing a car - having done it 7yrs ago I wouldn't do it again, any saving gets rapidly eaten up with renting while your car gets shipped and compliance tested. Sell in the UK and buy when you get here would be my advice.
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Old Sep 7th 2017, 1:01 am   #12
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Default Re: Some questions please

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With regards to shipping our stuff. Can anybody recommend a reputable shipping firm and explain how it will work? Do they turn up at your house with a lorry or something? Also what sort of timings are we looking at. Will it take a long time for our stuff to arrive. I assume we may need to stay with family or in a hotel in the UK if we want our belongings in NZ when we arrive or shortly there after?
you need to contact a few shipping companies but make sure they are members of the appropriate federations like British Association of Removers (Overseas Group) www.bar.co.uk Once you get a quote you like, then post here again to see what folks think.
They will explain the various options. They can come and pack everything for you , you can pack some items yourselves, they may bring the container to your door to load, or, as in our case moving here, they came, packed, loaded onto truck, took to their stores, stored until we said to ship , packed container and shipped it. Took just over 4 weeks to the Philippines so I presume around 6 weeks to NZ. Be sure to ask whether the price includes clearing in NZ and delivery to your new place. They will advise transit times etc and what documents etc are needed. Oh, once you have a container number you can track the ship online - great fun for the kids (and Dad!)
Anyway, look up local companies and get a few in to quote.
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Old Sep 8th 2017, 1:56 pm   #13
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Default Re: Some questions please

Thanks for all the replies. So by the sounds of things it would be better to live south of the bridge for commuting reasons. I’ve been looking at rentals around New Lynn, mount Albert and Blockhouse Bay and prices seem to be affordable for our budget with a decent amount of space and a garage etc so that is really good. I’m wondering if I could even cycle to work from that sort of distance provided the traffic and roads are not particularly dangerous.

So we’ve seen that plugs under 5amp will work in NZ apparently, but we have a few electrical items were the plug seems to be in excess of 5 amp. Will this be a problem, could these be changed or will they just work or not work at all? (I’m terrible with electrics)
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Old Sep 9th 2017, 7:00 pm   #14
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Default Re: Some questions please

The physical plug will need to be changed, anything drawing 10amps and under will be fine (or rated at 2.4Kw max).

You could bike, there are some cycle lanes etc as you might expect, I wouldnt think it fun in wet commuter traffic though.
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Old Sep 10th 2017, 7:19 pm   #15
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Default Re: Some questions please

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The physical plug will need to be changed, anything drawing 10amps and under will be fine (or rated at 2.4Kw max).

You could bike, there are some cycle lanes etc as you might expect, I wouldnt think it fun in wet commuter traffic though.
Forgive me being dumb, when you say physical plug will need changing what will need to be done? Can I just simply wire a 10amp (or less) plug onto the appliance? Will it still work correctly?
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