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Old Dec 27th 2017, 4:27 pm   #1
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Question Wellington advice

Hello everyone,
I hope you had a lovely Christmas! I need some help please but first I need to provide a bit of background (Ill try to keep it brief) as this will emphasize how important the decision is.

I used to live in New Zealand (one year in Timaru, 2 years in Auckland) and I returned to the UK in 2010 due to a divorce. Basically, I needed my family at that time in my life. I always wanted to return to NZ but I ended up meeting a new partner and having two little girls. Now years later it is time to come back!!!!

I have permanent residency so a visa isn't an issue, the issue is that coming back a second time is going to be so hard. There is so much riding on it as it now affects children and my partner who hadn't even been to London before he met me! We have a beautiful house on a quiet cul-de-sac and my partner has been in his job for 20 years!

The main issue is that realistically I / we cannot afford Auckland prices and as beautiful as the south island was it isn't for me to live therefore I am focusing on Wellington. We have been very lucky to have been selected for a BBC TV programme and in March / April they will be flying me and my family over for 3 weeks. The first week will be in Auckland and the second two weeks I am planning on driving down to Wellington for a week and a half.

Is there anyone on here that could advise me of the best places / things to do in our short time? I don't mean touristy stuff as I have already done that, I am talking the best areas to live and things to do with children that maybe local people would do rather than tourists as that would reflect normal life a bit more. I am also thinking of driving up to Paraparaumu area maybe for a look, can anyone tell me if that is nice? We have to take advantage of this opportunity and see as much as we can so we can make an informed decision. It is too early to actually be officially looking at houses and speaking to employers as I do not finish my degree until 2019 but this trip will be the deciding factor so I am really hopeful you lovely people can come up with some awesome things to do.

Thank you and a happy new year to you all!!
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Old Dec 28th 2017, 12:52 am   #2
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Default Re: Wellington advice

Good idea to steer away of the touristy things. You've been here before and done a bit of that. Doing touristy things would be a waste of valuable recce time.

A week and a half isn't a long time to get to know Wellington and going along the lines of the above I wouldn't advise you to waste any of the journey time on the way there and/or back. It is a long drive - around 8hrs. You will have to stop off along the way Yes, there's loads of places you can stay to see and do things along the way, but they'll always be there and touristy things aren't the things you'll be doing in your everyday lives if you come to NZ to live. If i was you I'd concentrate on seeing areas where you may be living, experience the public transport if you'd possibly be commuting in to the CBD and maybe just set aside 1 or 2 days for doing something fun.

Kapiti Coast is really nice. Param is growing and growing but is still a nice place to live. We spent quite a bit of time there when we lived in Wellington and looked to buy there or at least on the Kapiti Coast before getting the nod that I could transfer work to Hamilton so we then headed up North to live in Tauranga. We liked Raumati Beach more as it has more of a village feel with a few shops, take aways, pubs/restaurants. It has a great park with a working train ride on the weekends for the kids, a really good playground and an awesome splash pad. Param is a small town now with a small shopping precinct etc. It is more built up with some industrial areas etc. Param Beach is also quite a way from the town - the town is on the state highway and the beach is a few KM's heading West. Awesome golf course if you're in to that. The area is defo worth a visit and a stay if that is a likely place for you to live. The only thing we didn't like about the Kapiti was the beaches. They are very windswept and covered in driftwood etc. Good for walking the dogs and rarely good for a proper day on the beach with the kids and boards etc. We tried but either got blasted with sand from the wind or lost all the toys trying to have fun in the sea. The West Coast of NZ gets hammered quite a lot from Southerly winds so to have a day on the beach you need to find somewhere sheltered - like Plimmerton for example.
Housing will be cheaper the further out you go from Wellington but also bear in mind that the Kapiti is a summer holiday destination and has a lot of holiday homes so this in itself can lift prices or keep them healthy. There is also a huge roading project on the go at the moment (Transmission Gully) that will give 4 lanes in and out of Wellington all the way up to Te Horo and when it's all finished this will bring more places that are further away like Waikanae/Te Horo/Otaki and maybe even as far as Levin to be places within reasonable commuting time to Wellington CBD and may make all the places up the Kapiti more desirable to buy ?
I have a colleague whose had a bach in Waikanae for years and he's been rubbing his hands watching its value rise.

Suggesting areas to live is difficult as we don't know your wants and needs, whether your happy with suburbia or rural, whether you want to be on the beach or in an apartment etc. so a bit more info would be useful. I could write a huge list of nice places to live in Wellington as there's quite a few. It'd probably be easier to list the places to steer clear from as there'd be a heck of a lot less.
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Old Dec 28th 2017, 3:26 am   #3
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Default Re: Wellington advice

not sure on the visa front as things have changed so much over the last 5 years regarding visa's. So I personally would be double checking with Immigration that the visa would allow other family members to join you.

We live in Wellington, Waikanae on Kapiti Coast. Smaller than Paraparaumu, not as secluded (re public transport) as Raumati, not as small as Plimmerton and not as parochial as Pukerua Bay.
As escapetonz says there is a major road work initiative going on at the moment so house prices have gone up but as you say no where near as the ridiculous prices in Auckland, but long gone are the days of cheaper housing, rentals are like hens teeth.

Only things I can suggest you do are the touristy stuff to be honest, anything else would be day to day living which consists of exactly what you do in the UK, only difference would be cost of living, scenery, public transport, and the seasons are back to front and you won't be able to replicate that in the short time you are here.

Moving to another country, where ever it is, is really just a change of scenery Government, weather - possibly. You will still have all the same crap to deal with you previously had just different hoops to jump through to do them.
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Old Dec 28th 2017, 5:13 pm   #4
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Default Re: Wellington advice

Thank you very much for taking the time to reply. You have been very helpful. regarding areas to live it would be really useful if you could give me an idea of areas to avoid, especially near to the city. I do like the idea of the city and I like facilities to be available but I also don't mind around a 45 min commute if I lived rural.
Also when I lived in NZ previously I didn't have children so I know nothing about schooling. Is there anything important I should consider school related? Such as do I get to choose the school or is it basically the school where I end up living and no choice?
Thank you all
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Old Dec 28th 2017, 8:10 pm   #5
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Default Re: Wellington advice

Would you consider training in from the Wairapa?
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Old Dec 28th 2017, 9:44 pm   #6
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Default Re: Wellington advice

schooling generally depends on the area you live in. avoid Pukerua Bay like the plague re schooling.
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Old Dec 29th 2017, 5:55 am   #7
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Default Re: Wellington advice

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Originally Posted by Steffy84 View Post
Thank you very much for taking the time to reply. You have been very helpful. regarding areas to live it would be really useful if you could give me an idea of areas to avoid, especially near to the city. I do like the idea of the city and I like facilities to be available but I also don't mind around a 45 min commute if I lived rural.
Also when I lived in NZ previously I didn't have children so I know nothing about schooling. Is there anything important I should consider school related? Such as do I get to choose the school or is it basically the school where I end up living and no choice?
Thank you all
Ok. Hopefully don't offend anyone This is just my opinion depending on what I'm comfortable with as a place to live with young kids.........

Avoid most places directly South of Wellington CBD....so the likes of Te Aro, Brooklyn, Vogeltown, Mornington, Kingston, Newtown, Berhampore, Melrose, Kilbirnie, maybe Hataitai. Only say this as it's all built up and old. Tiny sections with a house on it with hardly any gardens and everyone on top of each other and overlooked. The streets look a bit messy and run down. Cars parked everywhere, wheelie bins everywhere and the overhead trambus wires make it look crap
All the Bay villages like Owhiro Bay, Lyall Bay, Houghton Bay and areas East of the airport are fine.
West of the CBD and the majority of the Northern Suburbs are fine. Avoid Cannons Creek and Titahi Bay.
If you are considering the Hutt Valley, this is the area from Petone all the way up to Te Marua just short of the Takka's. Avoid Naenae, Stokes Valley, Timberlea, Brown Owl.
Over the hill directly East of Petone is Wainuiomata. Also avoid unless you are considering rural. I really like it over that side of the hill but the little town is a bit on the rough side and has a bad stigma attached to it. House prices show it isn't as desirable as many other places.
The nicest rural feel places to live would be up in Karori and towards Makara. Ohariu Valley is beaut. Down Coast Rd, Wainuiomata around and further past the golf course is really nice and rural. Silverstream and Pinehaven are really nice older subdivisions. Blue Mountains and Whitemans Valley really nice for rural. Riverstone Terraces is your brand new decent size section decent size new build subdivision of SH2 but we didn't like the fact there's only one way in and one way out and since a fault line runs right the way up the valley there is a remote possibility you could be cut off should a major earthquake occur ?
Birchville seems fine and Akatarawa is getting rural again. That's just a huge forest and a country road of 40 odd KM's that'll get you over to Param....at some point. Did that on a motorbike once

Schools are zoned so you normally need to live in the school zone to get a place. You can apply for out of zone but there's no guarantee you'll get a place. Look on the school websites to get an idea of the zone a school covers. The other way is to use TradeMe when looking at houses to buy/rent. Each advert has a map at the bottom to show you the location and you can play with the side tabs to see a road map view, satellite view etc. One of the tabs relates to school zoning and you can play around with the drop down which'll show you what zone a school covers in red. Some schools are not zoned and generally you'll find these are the ones that are rural or don't have a massive clientele base..i.e there is no need for them to be zoning to reduce or control enrolment applications.
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Old Jan 1st 2018, 3:40 pm   #8
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Default Re: Wellington advice

Hi All - I am also interested in knowing more about housing in Wellington. What are the best websites for house searches?

Steve
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Old Jan 1st 2018, 9:50 pm   #9
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Default Re: Wellington advice

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Hi All - I am also interested in knowing more about housing in Wellington. What are the best websites for house searches?

Steve
trademe and homes.co.nz for historical information on sales
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Old Jan 3rd 2018, 2:40 pm   #10
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Default Re: Wellington advice

Wanted down under by any chance?

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Old Jan 3rd 2018, 3:03 pm   #11
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Default Re: Wellington advice

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Wanted down under by any chance?
Yes actually. Lol.
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Old Jan 3rd 2018, 3:14 pm   #12
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Default Re: Wellington advice

Quite like that one, always a nice way to see snap shots of certain areas.

Do think it's always a bit cruel when they show the "dream" home then tell them it's so many thousand over budget.
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Old Jan 3rd 2018, 3:16 pm   #13
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Default Re: Wellington advice

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Quite like that one, always a nice way to see snap shots of certain areas.

Do think it's always a bit cruel when they show the "dream" home then tell them it's so many thousand over budget.
Yes I'm pretty sure that will happen to us in Auckland but Wellington was always an option as I liked it before when I lived there but my partner couldn't get work there. We have this great opportunity now to see both thanks to the BBC
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Old Jan 3rd 2018, 3:30 pm   #14
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Default Re: Wellington advice

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Yes I'm pretty sure that will happen to us in Auckland but Wellington was always an option as I liked it before when I lived there but my partner couldn't get work there. We have this great opportunity now to see both thanks to the BBC
Hope the program goes well and wish you the best for Wellington
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Old Jan 9th 2018, 6:46 pm   #15
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Default Re: Wellington advice

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Originally Posted by Steffy84 View Post
Yes actually. Lol.
I Just came on here for a little research as we are starting to make plans for the move! We were out last year with wanted down under!

We were in Wellington with the program and then went off for a couple of weeks after. We had two kids at the time and another in the oven so can recommend taking a day down at the waterfront walk. Had some food near the tsb arena and then just walked and messed about for hours. I know you didn't really want the touristy side of things but If I Lived in Wellington I would quite happily spend time with the family there.

Will look forward to hearing how you get on!
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