NZ Experiences

Old Sep 11th 2002, 11:17 am
  #1  
JPW
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Default NZ Experiences

I've noticed that there is a great deal more discussion here about Australia and people's experiences with the emigration process and life after arrival.

I'd like to hear from anyone who has recently experienced emigration to NZ - how were your first few weeks - what suprised you - what did you enjoy most (and least) - did you experience any unforseen problems, how have you now adjusted to life? What do you miss - did you experience any level of culture shock? that kind of thing?

Any thoughts.... anyone? Bueller?

Thanks!
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Old Sep 11th 2002, 8:50 pm
  #2  
Emmy & Phil
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Default Re: NZ Experiences

I have been here for 5 weeks now. Have you ever been to nz? well i hadn't and my
first thoughts was how western it looked, i was almost expecting cowboys to come
riding down the street!!! : ) no real culture shock we have settled in really well,
there is only a few things that are different, everything here is really crunchy!!!
not saying it is a bad thing just different, i know its silly but its the main thing
i noticed, and Cadburys.....what can i say, apart from the fact i will now lose
weight (which is a very good thing) it is HORRIBLE nothing like in the UK, all i have
had is 1 malteser and i will never eat chocolate again : (

On a serious note we haven't had any problems, people here are really understanding.
when i enrolled my son in kindy they needed people who they could contact if they
couldn't get hold of us, i just explained we knew no-one and that was fine, as for
what i miss, well not a lot, i miss George (my cat) but he will be shipped as soon as
Phil gets a job, one thing i do miss is my things, just the little things you don't
think of. We decided not to ship anything and its the little bits i miss all the
silly things we take for granted, the other day was really hot and i said to go for a
picnic, but we had no blanket to sit on!!! I think getting all those little bits well
take a long time.

When you do your first supermarket shop don't take the kids, you will be surprised
how difficult it is, we all take for granted the things we buy
i.e.. i always bought Persil but they don't have it here, so you will take a long
time to adjust to all the different brands.

We did have a bit of a problem finding somewhere to live. We wanted to rent a
furnished house but there weren't any. well one or two but they didn't have a garden.
Gardens are something we take for granted in the uk. A lot of properties here are
sub-divided so they don't have a garden especially near the city, so we move into an
unfurnished house 20 min drive from Wellington.

I think that about covers it.

Emily


"JPW" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > I've noticed that there is a great deal more discussion here about Australia and
    > people's experiences with the emigration process and life after arrival.
    > I'd like to hear from anyone who has recently experienced emigration to NZ - how
    > were your first few weeks - what suprised you - what did you enjoy most (and
    > least) - did you experience any unforseen problems, how have you now adjusted to
    > life? What do you miss - did you experience any level of culture shock? that kind
    > of thing?
    > Any thoughts.... anyone? Bueller?
    > Thanks!
    > --
    > Posted via http://britishexpats.com
 
Old Sep 12th 2002, 3:01 am
  #3  
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Default Re: NZ Experiences

I've been in NZ for 2 years now, came over initially on a working holiday visa (I was only going to be here for a month or so visiting a mate, fell in love with the place & now live here). One of the first things you will notice is how spacious NZ is compared to home. Auckland is the same size as greater London (Botany/manukau to Orewa) & yet only 1.4 million people live here. Compare this to approx 8 million living in the greater London area. Most houses are villas/bungalows of wooden construction, the only appartment blocks you will find are in/near the city.

Leaving Auckland was another suprise, road signs are of the australian/american type, & we have a strange give way rule whereby if you are turning right and another car from the opposite direction also wants to turn into the same road as you, You have to stop and give way!! takes awhile to get used to. Motorways in NZ are 2 lane. Rural NZ is like going back in time, driving though small villages makes you think you could be back in England in the 50's or 60's. This is most evident in the south island, I've seen old 60's cars on the road in pristine condition. The quality of food is very good here, fruit/veg/meat all taste like fruit/veg/meat & not full of additives. Top end supermarkets are Woolworths (yes, Woolworths!) and New World. Food is cheap, compared to home - a trolley load of food costs $140/$150 (excluding wine/beer) which is about GBP45-50. Petrol is $1.10 a litre - about 33p!! Chocolate does indeed taste different, I used to be very partial to Twix's back home, can't eat them now as they are vile (the caramel is v sweet & sickly)
NZ also produces some excellent wine. Get over to Hawkes Bay (I was there for my very first week in NZ..fantastic!)

On the downside, it can be quiet over here. The nightlife in Auckland is good, but nothing compared to London (having said this, Sydney is only a 3hr flight away ;-) Another thing that is very noticeable is that some electronic goods are expensive/difficult to obtain - for example Widescreen TV's are v expensive over here (compared to the UK) & there aren't many models to choose from - to illustrate this I was in the Sony shop in Newmarket last weekend, they had 2 widescreen models on display. 2!! Spoke to the guy in the shop who said there simply isnt the market at present for them in NZ.

I could write a book on similarities/differences between the UK and NZ so thats just a few things I've noticed/can think off the top of my head. Anything specific you want to know, drop me a line :-)
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Old Sep 12th 2002, 5:00 am
  #4  
Ian Guy
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Default Re: NZ Experiences

The lack of furninshed rentals is a big shock.

Emily, have you not discovered Whittakers dreamy milk bars - yummy! Maltesers are the
same, Cadbury's - after 18 months I am now used to it (stick it in the fridge, it
helps). Persil we can buy, but usually from the Warehouse in an industrial sized bag!

Coffee in packets rather than a jar was an interesting discovery.

Driving - the stupid give way when turning left rule - nearly caused a few
write offs!

Lack of public transport - no big surprise.

The postal service - fantastic, better, cheaper and faster than the UK

The phone system - as above (with the exception of the net, but we are semi-rural).

Poverty - there are some seriously poor areas.

Kids with no shoes (a shocker till those kids are your own!) - people just don't
wear shoes!

Hooded sweatshirts/rasta/gang culture - another weird shock.

Wouldn't give it up though. Loving it despite the [email protected] wages. "Emmy & Phil"
<[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > I have been here for 5 weeks now. Have you ever been to nz? well i hadn't and my
    > first thoughts was how western it looked, i was almost expecting cowboys to come
    > riding down the street!!! : ) no real culture shock we
have
    > settled in really well, there is only a few things that are different, everything
    > here is really crunchy!!! not saying it is a bad thing just different, i know its
    > silly but its the main thing i noticed, and Cadburys.....what can i say, apart
    > from the fact i will now lose weight (which is a very good thing) it is HORRIBLE
    > nothing like in the UK, all i have had is 1 malteser and i will never eat
    > chocolate again : (
    > On a serious note we haven't had any problems, people here are really
    > understanding. when i enrolled my son in kindy they needed people who they could
    > contact if they couldn't get hold of us, i just explained we knew no-one and that
    > was fine, as for what i miss, well not a lot, i miss
George
    > (my cat) but he will be shipped as soon as Phil gets a job, one thing i do miss is
    > my things, just the little things you don't think of. We decided
not
    > to ship anything and its the little bits i miss all the silly things we
take
    > for granted, the other day was really hot and i said to go for a picnic,
but
    > we had no blanket to sit on!!! I think getting all those little bits well take a
    > long time.
    > When you do your first supermarket shop don't take the kids, you will be surprised
    > how difficult it is, we all take for granted the things we buy
    > i.e.. i always bought Persil but they don't have it here, so you will take
a
    > long time to adjust to all the different brands.
    > We did have a bit of a problem finding somewhere to live. We wanted to
rent
    > a furnished house but there weren't any. well one or two but they didn't have a
    > garden. Gardens are something we take for granted in the uk. A lot
of
    > properties here are sub-divided so they don't have a garden especially
near
    > the city, so we move into an unfurnished house 20 min drive from
Wellington.
    > I think that about covers it.
    > Emily
    > "JPW" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > >
    > > I've noticed that there is a great deal more discussion here about Australia and
    > > people's experiences with the emigration process and life after arrival.
    > >
    > > I'd like to hear from anyone who has recently experienced emigration to NZ - how
    > > were your first few weeks - what suprised you - what did you enjoy most (and
    > > least) - did you experience any unforseen problems, how have you now adjusted to
    > > life? What do you miss - did you experience any level of culture shock? that kind
    > > of thing?
    > >
    > > Any thoughts.... anyone? Bueller?
    > >
    > > Thanks!
    > >
    > > --
    > > Posted via http://britishexpats.com
    > >
 
Old Sep 12th 2002, 5:33 am
  #5  
Dkc
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Default Re: NZ Experiences

    > I'd like to hear from anyone who has recently experienced emigration to NZ - how
    > were your first few weeks - what suprised you - what did you enjoy most (and
    > least) - did you experience any unforseen problems, how have you now adjusted to
    > life? What do you miss - did you experience any level of culture shock? that kind
    > of thing?

My family and I have been here for 6 weeks now, from the US. We find that NZ could
be part of the USA except for the funky accents. We are having a great time and my
kids have been in school for 3 weeks now. They love it! I have never seen my
daughter as excited as she is now about school, and she has always been a good
student. We do miss the choices that were available in the US and all of the
convenience items, but we have made do.

I have already found a job and start on Monday. The Kiwis are the nicest people on
the face of the planet, bar none. At times we got overwhelmed with being new and the
stress of the move and if it hadn't been for the kindness of strangers we may not
have made it.

Housing prices in Auckland, especially the North Shore, are spiralling upward which
is a bit disconcerting but we will rent for at least 6 months before taking the house
buying plunge. We live in Devonport right now, which is a beautiful little seaside
village. We have spoiled ourselves by moving here right off as we may not be able to
afford to buy in the area. One step at a time though.

We are friendly with people who it feels like we have known for years even though
we've only been here 3 weeks. It is a much friendlier, safer place than the US. I
will always be an American but if things keep going as well as they have for us, I
may soon be a permanent Kiwi.

We moved here with no friends, family or even acquaintences and people have accepted
us with no reservations.

If you'd like a better description of our travails I have kept a journal since we
arrived and would be willing to share if you send me an email address. It's a bit
long at times though.
 
Old Sep 12th 2002, 8:25 am
  #6  
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Default Re: NZ Experiences

Hi Emily,
Can you explain what you mean by 'crunchy' pls??? In our house it usually means overcooked (read burnt)! Also the subdivision bit? I'm imagining a house with a garden who had had another house built in the garden - can you elaborate pls? Lastly, how did you deal with any need for references with your house rental??
Pat.


Originally posted by Emmy & Phil:
I have been here for 5 weeks now. Have you ever been to nz? well i hadn't and my
first thoughts was how western it looked, i was almost expecting cowboys to come
riding down the street!!! : ) no real culture shock we have settled in really well,
there is only a few things that are different, everything here is really crunchy!!!
not saying it is a bad thing just different, i know its silly but its the main thing
i noticed, and Cadburys.....what can i say, apart from the fact i will now lose
weight (which is a very good thing) it is HORRIBLE nothing like in the UK, all i have
had is 1 malteser and i will never eat chocolate again : (

On a serious note we haven't had any problems, people here are really understanding.
when i enrolled my son in kindy they needed people who they could contact if they
couldn't get hold of us, i just explained we knew no-one and that was fine, as for
what i miss, well not a lot, i miss George (my cat) but he will be shipped as soon as
Phil gets a job, one thing i do miss is my things, just the little things you don't
think of. We decided not to ship anything and its the little bits i miss all the
silly things we take for granted, the other day was really hot and i said to go for a
picnic, but we had no blanket to sit on!!! I think getting all those little bits well
take a long time.

When you do your first supermarket shop don't take the kids, you will be surprised
how difficult it is, we all take for granted the things we buy
i.e.. i always bought Persil but they don't have it here, so you will take a long
time to adjust to all the different brands.

We did have a bit of a problem finding somewhere to live. We wanted to rent a
furnished house but there weren't any. well one or two but they didn't have a garden.
Gardens are something we take for granted in the uk. A lot of properties here are
sub-divided so they don't have a garden especially near the city, so we move into an
unfurnished house 20 min drive from Wellington.

I think that about covers it.

Emily


"JPW" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > I've noticed that there is a great deal more discussion here about Australia and
    > people's experiences with the emigration process and life after arrival.
    > I'd like to hear from anyone who has recently experienced emigration to NZ - how
    > were your first few weeks - what suprised you - what did you enjoy most (and
    > least) - did you experience any unforseen problems, how have you now adjusted to
    > life? What do you miss - did you experience any level of culture shock? that kind
    > of thing?
    > Any thoughts.... anyone? Bueller?
    > Thanks!
    > --
    > Posted via http://britishexpats.com
Smokey is offline  
Old Sep 12th 2002, 11:42 am
  #7  
JPW
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Default Re: NZ Experiences

Thanks for all of your replies - all very interesting. For my part I was actually born in Auckland but moved to Melbourne when I was about 7 and lived there for a further 17 years. I went back to NZ on holiday earlier this year (March) - my first visit since 1985!! I had very high expectations and very fond memories and was hoping that I would not be dissapointed. I was truly surprised with how much better things were than my memory. I remembered the air being very clean - it was perfect, I remebered great scenery - it took my breath away! I remembered friendly people - I had the guy at immigration (I came in on my UK passport) joking with me and people coming up to us on the street offering directions BEFORE we asked!
Clearly i enjoyed it. And am now looking to move "home" but as I've not lived there since 1979 its not entirely familiar to me.
Emily when you say Crunchy - what do you mean?
As for Cadburys I think it will grow on you - I had the reverse experience when I moved to the UK from Oz. But am now used to Twix etc. Hang in there! hehe.
DKC (and anyone else) - how difficult did you find it to get a good rental property? We're looking at spending up to 380 (maybe 400) pw - in Auckland, but I would like 2-3 bedrooms and a Garden and would like to be around the North Shore Bays (Devonport would be great) or St Heliers, Mission Bay type areas - is this realistic? Did you have any problems with references, moving in etc?
Thanks again all!
J
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Old Sep 12th 2002, 8:21 pm
  #8  
Nicki
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Default Re: NZ Experiences

On Thu, 12 Sep 2002 17:00:51 +1200, "Ian Guy" <[email protected]> wrote:

    >Driving - the stupid give way when turning left rule - nearly caused a few
    >write offs!

Is that as awful as it sounds?! I just can't picture it. Guess I'll find out when
I'm in my rental car in two weeks time!

Nicki
 
Old Sep 12th 2002, 8:21 pm
  #9  
Emmy & Phil
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Default Re: NZ Experiences

"Smokey" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > Hi Emily, Can you explain what you mean by 'crunchy' pls??? In our house it usually
    > means overcooked (read burnt)!

I dont know how to explain it......coco pops stay crunchy till long after you have
finished them!!!! crisps are really crunchy, coockies have this strange crunch to
them, its just really strange i cant really put it in writing, just that its all
crunchy, not burnt, crispy.

    > Also the subdivision bit? I'm imagining a house with a garden who had had
another house built in >the garden - can you elaborate pls?

Thats exactly it, Houses with another house in the garden, well thats what it look
like, outside the back door you will have, say 10 foot of flat grass and then there
is another house......no wall or fence, no privesy what so ever just your neighbours
in "your" garden.


    > Lastly, how did you deal with any need for references with your house
rental??

We used an agent and they asked for references, i said i could give 100 referances in
the UK but that i knew no-one here, they understood so i didnt give one. I just gave
my 2 weeks deposit and that was that.

dose that help clarify things?

Emily

    > Pat.
    > Originally posted by Emmy & Phil:
    > > I have been here for 5 weeks now. Have you ever been to nz? well i hadn't and my
    > > first thoughts was how western it looked, i was almost expecting cowboys to come
    > > riding down the street!!! : ) no real culture shock we have settled in really
    > > well, there is only a few things that are different, everything here is really
    > > crunchy!!! not saying it is a bad thing just different, i know its silly but its
    > > the main thing i noticed, and Cadburys.....what can i say, apart from the fact i
    > > will now lose weight (which is a very good thing) it is HORRIBLE nothing like in
    > > the UK, all i have had is 1 malteser and i will never eat chocolate again : (
    > >
    > > On a serious note we haven't had any problems, people here are really
    > > understanding. when i enrolled my son in kindy they needed people who they could
    > > contact if they couldn't get hold of us, i just explained we knew no-one and that
    > > was fine, as for what i miss, well not a lot, i miss George (my cat) but he will
    > > be shipped as soon as Phil gets a job, one thing i do miss is my things, just the
    > > little things you don't think of. We decided not to ship anything and its the
    > > little bits i miss all the silly things we take for granted, the other day was
    > > really hot and i said to go for a picnic, but we had no blanket to sit on!!! I
    > > think getting all those little bits well take a long time.
    > >
    > > When you do your first supermarket shop don't take the kids, you will be
    > > surprised how difficult it is, we all take for granted the things we buy
    > > i.e.. i always bought Persil but they don't have it here, so you will take a long
    > > time to adjust to all the different brands.
    > >
    > > We did have a bit of a problem finding somewhere to live. We wanted to rent a
    > > furnished house but there weren't any. well one or two but they didn't have a
    > > garden. Gardens are something we take for granted in the uk. A lot of properties
    > > here are sub-divided so they don't have a garden especially near the city, so we
    > > move into an unfurnished house 20 min drive from Wellington.
    > >
    > > I think that about covers it.
    > >
    > > Emily
    > >
    > >
    > > "JPW" wrote in message
    > > news:[email protected]
    > > shexpats.comnews:[email protected] om...
    > > > I've noticed that there is a great deal more discussion here about Australia
    > > > and people's experiences with the emigration process and life after arrival.
    > > > I'd like to hear from anyone who has recently experienced emigration to NZ -
    > > > how were your first few weeks - what suprised you - what did you enjoy most
    > > > (and least) - did you experience any unforseen problems, how have you now
    > > > adjusted to life? What do you miss - did you experience any level of culture
    > > > shock? that kind of thing? Any thoughts.... anyone? Bueller? Thanks!
    > > > --
    > > > Posted via http://bri-
    > > > tishexpats.com/http://britishexpats.com

    > --
    > Posted via http://britishexpats.com
 
Old Sep 12th 2002, 8:29 pm
  #10  
Emmy & Phil
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Default Re: NZ Experiences

Another thing i forgot to mention is the fact that labour here is SO cheap they have
people doing real jobs.....people cleaning the streets, its not like in the uk you
get the road sweeper (if you lucky) once a week, there is someone doing it on a daily
basis, it is sooo clean here, and in the supermarket there is someone to pack you
shopping for you and they do it properly, not like in tesco's where they shove all
your sopping in any bag, here they put it in nicely and all the right food
together!!! And you are right the people here are so friendly nothing is a bother to
them they will help you as much as they can, very refreshing.

A very happy Emily : )

"JPW" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > Thanks for all of your replies - all very interesting. For my part I was actually
    > born in Auckland but moved to Melbourne when I was about 7 and lived there for a
    > further 17 years. I went back to NZ on holiday earlier this year (March) - my
    > first visit since 1985!! I had very high expectations and very fond memories and
    > was hoping that I would not be dissapointed. I was truly surprised with how much
    > better things were than my memory. I remembered the air being very clean - it was
    > perfect, I remebered great scenery - it took my breath away! I remembered friendly
    > people - I had the guy at immigration (I came in on my UK passport) joking with me
    > and people coming up to us on the street offering directions BEFORE we asked!
    > Clearly i enjoyed it. And am now looking to move "home" but as I've not lived
    > there since 1979 its not entirely familiar to me. Emily when you say Crunchy -
    > what do you mean? As for Cadburys I think it will grow on you - I had the reverse
    > experience when I moved to the UK from Oz. But am now used to Twix etc. Hang in
    > there! hehe. DKC (and anyone else) - how difficult did you find it to get a good
    > rental property? We're looking at spending up to 380 (maybe 400) pw - in Auckland,
    > but I would like 2-3 bedrooms and a Garden and would like to be around the North
    > Shore Bays (Devonport would be great) or St Heliers, Mission Bay type areas - is
    > this realistic? Did you have any problems with references, moving in etc? Thanks
    > again all! J
    > --
    > Posted via http://britishexpats.com
 
Old Sep 12th 2002, 8:58 pm
  #11  
JPW
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Joined: Aug 2002
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Default Re: NZ Experiences

Thanks emily & lucky you!!

By the way any idea or rough guides to rental prices? for "nice" place?

ta!
J
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Old Sep 12th 2002, 9:44 pm
  #12  
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Default Re: NZ Experiences

Thanks for all the useful and informative posts on this thread. It is nice to see this forum being used as was intended, for positive/contructive feedback rather than some of the antagonistic crap we have been seeing lately.
Our application for a work-to-residence talent visa went in on Monday and are eagerly awaiting some idea of timescale (hope its quick because we have sold the house!). Emily your posts are heartwarming, I am particularly looking forward to the cleanliness you mention and can't wait to experience the "crunchy" NZ you describe. We too have children ages 6 & 4, and i find all you references to how childfriendly NZ is particularly interesting.

Keep posting


Paula


:PARTY:
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Old Sep 12th 2002, 9:51 pm
  #13  
Emmy & Phil
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Default Re: NZ Experiences

Well....there are quite a range it seems..... From our experience anything that we
found that was nice was at least $300/week - most of the ones we saw were closer to
$350. That's 3 bedroom, typically.

We ended up moving a bit further out, and you seem to be able to get better for your
money if you don't mind being away from the city, which suits us fine.

Or, if you would prefer, there are lots of apartments for rent in the city - we
didn't consider it, as we wanted the outdoor space...

Phil (& Em)

"JPW" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > Thanks emily & lucky you!!
    > By the way any idea or rough guides to rental prices? for "nice" place?
    > ta! J
    > --
    > Posted via http://britishexpats.com
 
Old Sep 13th 2002, 8:44 am
  #14  
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Location: Swift Current, SK
Posts: 695
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Default Re: NZ Experiences

Originally posted by Emmy & Phil:
Well....there are quite a range it seems..... From our experience anything that we
found that was nice was at least $300/week - most of the ones we saw were closer to
$350. That's 3 bedroom, typically.

We ended up moving a bit further out, and you seem to be able to get better for your
money if you don't mind being away from the city, which suits us fine.

Or, if you would prefer, there are lots of apartments for rent in the city - we
didn't consider it, as we wanted the outdoor space...

Phil (& Em)

"JPW" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > Thanks emily & lucky you!!
    > By the way any idea or rough guides to rental prices? for "nice" place?
    > ta! J
    > --
    > Posted via http://britishexpats.com
Emily,
Thanks for the posts - hugely helpful. I'll be looking forward to that crunchy experience - not one that I had in Australia (or remember having) which could of course be due to my Aunt's cooking!!!

JPW - try www.centuary21nz.co.nz
www.barfoot.co.nz
www.bayleys.co.nz

they all have sections on rentals especially the Centuary 21 site.
I found a lot through www.searchnz.co.nz

Hope it helps a bit
Pat.
Smokey is offline  
Old Sep 14th 2002, 7:52 am
  #15  
Ian Guy
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Default Re: NZ Experiences

Now before all the city dwellers get uppity....

You lot are living in cities - move out of there and experience the real NZ! Hills,
lakes, native forests, desrted beaches, mountains, snow. Add to this minimal traffic,
even better country schools (our kids have 200 at their school, 12 teachers, 20 PC's
in the library, a 20m pool, 2 tennis courts, etc....), more affordable housing (and
land) - we are across the road from a beautiful lake, yet only 10 mins from the city
centre and we paid LESS for a 3 bed detached with a 1/4 acre than we sold our 3 bed
terrace in a good area in Huddersfield (£69000). The plan is to buy a 2 acre block
(part of a sub-division) and build a five bedder! The other thing with rural is you
can do the full lifestyle thing (Chooks, pigs, sheep, etc) although we are a bit wary
of the whole 'home kill' thing!

"DKC" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected] om...
    > > I'd like to hear from anyone who has recently experienced emigration to NZ - how
    > > were your first few weeks - what suprised you - what did you enjoy most (and
    > > least) - did you experience any unforseen problems, how have you now adjusted to
    > > life? What do you miss - did you experience any level of culture shock? that kind
    > > of thing?
    > >
    > My family and I have been here for 6 weeks now, from the US. We find that NZ could
    > be part of the USA except for the funky accents. We are having a great time and my
    > kids have been in school for 3 weeks now. They love it! I have never seen my
    > daughter as excited as she is now about school, and she has always been a good
    > student. We do miss the choices that were available in the US and all of the
    > convenience items, but we have made do.
    > I have already found a job and start on Monday. The Kiwis are the nicest people on
    > the face of the planet, bar none. At times we got overwhelmed with being new and
    > the stress of the move and if it hadn't been for the kindness of strangers we may
    > not have made it.
    > Housing prices in Auckland, especially the North Shore, are spiralling upward which
    > is a bit disconcerting but we will rent for at least 6 months before taking the
    > house buying plunge. We live in Devonport right now, which is a beautiful little
    > seaside village. We have spoiled ourselves by moving here right off as we may not
    > be able to afford to buy in the area. One step at a time though.
    > We are friendly with people who it feels like we have known for years even though
    > we've only been here 3 weeks. It is a much friendlier, safer place than the US. I
    > will always be an American but if things keep going as well as they have for us, I
    > may soon be a permanent Kiwi.
    > We moved here with no friends, family or even acquaintences and people have
    > accepted us with no reservations.
    > If you'd like a better description of our travails I have kept a journal since we
    > arrived and would be willing to share if you send me an email address. It's a bit
    > long at times though.
 

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