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Winnie - how about an update?!

Winnie - how about an update?!

Old Jun 9th 2002, 6:20 pm
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Default Winnie - how about an update?!

Winnie - we miss your cheerful voice these days. How's it going in NZ?

All the best
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Old Jun 10th 2002, 10:20 am
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Default Re: Winnie - how about an update?! (NZ)

"newstartnz" <[email protected]> wrote in message
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    > Winnie - we miss your cheerful voice these days. How's it going in NZ?
    >
    > All the best

Oh, OK then.... here I am in NZ, in Southland, at our ickle laptop in an old 1870s
farmhouse. We've been resting up here after a whirlwind 6 week tour of north and
south islands. Things of interest, hmm, let's see.....

(These are my own personal views, and a few facts, and I'm sure you can work out
which is which! ))

Kiwis are lovely. Not the little brown feathered ones, which we've heard but have yet
to see, but the people. They are as trusting and friendly as you could ever want.
We've been lent a brand new car, sent off with a signed blank cheque, and in a few
days we're housesitting for some folks we met whilst watching the rugby. Boy do we
have some karma to pay back!

Scenery is stunning, beautiful, sublime. There are a lot of tourists though, even
out of season. This means that the place doesn't feel as empty as it ought to, with
less than 4 million residents. The tour buses full of Japanese are a joke - they
whizz by so fast they can't possibly see anything, and stay in soulless motels.
Still, at least folks here are starting to talk about the problem of too many
tourists spoiling the very thing they come to see. eg Queenstown is not a pretty
mountain village - it's like having Blackpool plonked into the Swiss Alps and most
people we've met hate it.

It's clean and green and eco friendly, and tries hard at it too.

Dog stuff: Our collie survived the flight pretty well; I was worried sick about him
but on the whole he was OK. Physically he was 100% but mentally it took a couple of
days for him to calm down. Some homeopathic calming stuff helped. NZ isn't a
particularly dog friendly place. Not allowed in national parks or some towns, and
farm dogs are often treated like objects. I'm hoping to open a little sanctuary for
retired working dogs when we find a place of our own.

Airport: when you arrive go through the "residents" channel - it's a cool feeling.
There's free tea and coffee on tap at Auckland International airport.

Maori: Dunno, haven't met one yet. There's a lot of covert antipathy from Pakeha
(white) towards Maori.

TV: Just as crap as the UK but Sky is more or less the same. Adverts are
super cheesy!

Beer: Excellent. Speight's Gold Medal, Old Dark, 4 malt - mmm.....

Food: Superb. Fresh, cheap and delicious, and speaking of which it's time to rustle
up some garlic bread and veggies so will finish this later......................

Right, yes, back to food..... Marmite is called "Our Mate". Cadburys choccy
everywhere. Decent coffee also everywhere, and lots of "cafe culture"

The roads are good, even the gravel ones, but the trucks (lorries) chuck up lots of
stones - we have a nasty smash and a crack in our windscreen already, the first after
only 400km. Ouch. Fuel is cheap!

Service - ace. They even put your groceries into the bag for you! Fuel pumps are
manned, and you often get your windscreen cleaned etc.

Possums look cute (but are a pest, although I'd contend mot as big a pest as humans
    )). Lots of possum fur and wool products around - makes snuggly socks and scarves.

If there are any other childfree people reading this, NZ is a refreshing break from
the in your face "kids are gods" culture that has evolved in the UK. The kids we've
met have been, on the whole, well brought up and polite. A pleasant surprise. Our
life choices are respected rather than maligned. It's also a very gay friendly place
and on the whole very PC in a laid back sort of way.

Travelling round - farmstays and homestays are a great way to meet the locals. Get
the black Bed & Breakfast book and "Charming B&Bs" and you're all set up. Ring first
though as they are often booked up.

There's tons more I could waffle on about, but hey, I'm going in the bath instead.
Oh, after filling in the tax forms - there's no escaping that one!

Cheers, and good luck - I still reckon it's one of the best things we ever
did.

Cheers Winnie

PS Calls from NZ to UK - $8 for up to two hours. Bragain!
 
Old Jun 10th 2002, 1:29 pm
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Default Re: Winnie - how about an update?!

Winnie - that's brilliant and so inspiring! Just one other query if you have time, how are you finding costs, finances etc in comparison to the UK? I know about various website cost comparison tools but there's nothing like someone's real experience.

Can't wait to join you...

All the best
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Old Jun 12th 2002, 8:53 pm
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Default Re: Winnie - how about an update?!

Winnie - your report on your experiences of life in NZ has been a breath of fresh air to us. After having the sickening news that the passmark is to increase to 28 points next week (meaning a job offer is now absolutely necessary for us to gain the coverted PR) it was heartwarming to read that you are realising so many positive things in NZ. A lot of what you wrote is how we had hoped life would be there so this has spurred us on.

Hope to hear more in the future.

Lizzie
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Old Jun 17th 2002, 3:30 pm
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Default Re: Winnie - how about an update?! (NZ)

"Winnie" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:<[email protected]>...
    > "newstartnz" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]...
    > > Winnie - we miss your cheerful voice these days. How's it going in NZ?
    > >
    > Winnie

You have given in my view a pretty reasonable picture of New Zealand. You are in the
South Island where people do tend to be a bit more friendly than the North Island.
Hope the rest of your tour goes well, and your settling in continues well.

Ashley Watson
 
Old Jun 17th 2002, 3:30 pm
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Default Re: Winnie - how about an update?!

"newstartnz" <[email protected]> wrote in message
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    > Winnie - that's brilliant and so inspiring! Just one other query if you have time,
    > how are you finding costs, finances etc in comparison to the UK? I know about
    > various website cost comparison tools but there's nothing like someone's real
    > experience.
    >
    > Can't wait to join you...
    >
    > All the best

Hmm, costs....

Fuel drastically cheaper, as is car insurance. Japanese vehicles also lots lots
cheaper than in the UK.

Food - some items about the same, most cheaper, and if you buy ingredients that are
local and in season you can eat like a king for a song. Eating out is much more
affordable, and the quality is top notch.

Banking is not free, but the charges are small, and if you keep a certain amount
(usually about $5k) in your account you do get almost free banking.

B&Bs are good value - the cheapest good one we stayed in was about $75 per night for
a double; you can of course pay anything up to several hundred dollars a night but
$110 is about the average for some real comfort and hospitality.

Clothes seem good value but we haven't bought much, just wellies and socks! My
impression is that you can buy top quality stuff for the same price as mediocre
in the UK.

Property is cheaper too, although rising fast with all the american investment etc.

HOWEVER - there are two kinds of money for us immigrants - whatever you bring with
you, and what you earn here. When you're spending the money you bring, you think
everything is "cheap as", but once you have to earn it here then I reckon prices are
about the same, as the average wage is twenty-something thousand NZ$ a year. I can't
remember the exact figure but I'm sure google would turn it up.

So, in summary, don't come for the slightly lower cost of living as you'll soon be
thinking in dollars anyway. Do come if you want the other things NZ has to offer, eg
a more down to earth, friendly, laid back approach, some wonderful scenery and more
space to go around. Do be prepared to have to muck in, work hard and give something
back to those kind friendly Kiwis - we have heard of people who have expected it to
be a one way street, and they didn't last long!

Good luck..... Winnie
 
Old Jun 17th 2002, 3:30 pm
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Default Re: Winnie - how about an update?! (NZ)

"Ashley Watson" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]...
    > "Winnie" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:<[email protected]>...
    > > "newstartnz" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > > news:[email protected]...
    > > > Winnie - we miss your cheerful voice these days. How's it going in NZ?
    > > >
    > > Winnie
    >
    > You have given in my view a pretty reasonable picture of New Zealand. You are in
    > the South Island where people do tend to be a bit more friendly than the North
    > Island. Hope the rest of your tour goes well, and your settling in continues well.
    >
    > Ashley Watson

Thanks Ashley! In some ways I still have on my rose tinted specs, but my brain does
insist on nudging me with the facts as well, from time to time, annoying piece of
grey mush that it is.

We're off to visit a remote hill farm today...

Winnie xx
 
Old Jun 17th 2002, 4:14 pm
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Default Re: Winnie - how about an update?!

"lizzie" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]...
    > Winnie - your report on your experiences of life in NZ has been a breath of fresh
    > air to us. After having the sickening news that the passmark is to increase to 28
    > points next week (meaning a job offer is now absolutely necessary for us to gain
    > the coverted PR) it was heartwarming to read that you are realising so many
    > positive things in NZ. A lot of what you wrote is how we had hoped life would be
    > there so this has spurred us on.
    >
    > Hope to hear more in the future.
    >
    > Lizzie

Hi Lizzie! More good news for you is that if you have skills and enthusiasm to offer
you should have no problems finding a job - it's hard for employers here to get the
people they need.

Good luck! Winnie
 
Old Jun 17th 2002, 4:14 pm
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Default Re: Winnie - how about an update?! (NZ)

"fred" <[email protected]> wrote in message
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    > Hi Winnie,
    >
    > I hope you enjoy your new life in NZ.
    >
    > if I remember well, you were talking a lot about Auckland, planning to settle
    > there. You're in Southland at the moment... what's happening ? Too many people in
    > Auckland ? I'd like to know what you think about the Nelson region, and
    > Christchurch too.
    >
    > Best regards,
    >
    > -f

Hi Fred, and thanks! We did stay in Auckland for a few days when we first arrived,
simply because that's where the plane landed, but we aren't city folk and had no
intention of living there. We're searching for just the opposite - peace,
tranquillity and no neighbours!

Nelson area - we very much liked the Marlborough Sounds, but not hthe rest of the
region - it's hot, and touristy, and not for us. Most people love it though - it's us
that's weird.

Christchurch - don't know, haven't been, but Banks Peninsula is lovely.

Where are you off to?

Cheers Winnie
 
Old Jun 17th 2002, 4:14 pm
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Default Re: Winnie - how about an update?! (NZ)

"Angela and Kevin Metcalfe" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]...

    > We are now about to move in to a villa which we are having transported from
    > Stratford to Hastings: loads of renovation, but having your house delivered to you
    > overnight is just too freaky an experience to miss!

Oh, cool Ange. More details please! Pictures?? The place we're staying has a church
next door which was moved - you can't tell, it survived so well. I'd definitely
consider doing it.

    > Abandon waistlines all ye who enter.The food here is amazing! Crisps are still
    > tasteless and the sausages are just not right However, meat, veggies, estate
    > bottled olive oils, real fresh bread (using yeast!), croissant, more varieties of
    > cheese than you can shake a stick at, smoked salmon, venison, Anathoth's jam,
    > cakes, ice-cream, Blackball Salamis, arrrggggh, drool,.....somebody stop me!

I know, I know. And the portion sizes - enough to sink an elephant. Have you tried
"Kettle" salt and vinegar? I love the flavour of those. Currently exploring NZ single
malts - Lammerlaw not bad - best with water - quite sweet and fruity.

    > Slightly different taste to the choc? but much cheaper.

Yes, maybe a little. I have to confess to being a bit of a choccy snob these days and
so far still can't beat Belgian.

    >
    > One thing we noticed is that all ages of society seem to be catered for: go to the
    > pub and there are grannies, young and lovelies as well as children and all ages in
    > between. Nights out in town reflect a similar dispersal of age ranges.

Yep - not much attention seems to be paid to age, gender etc - people are open and
friendly to all, and it's flipping marvellous! I've never experienced so much open
friendly courtesy from "youths" - you know, the ones who in the UK won't even look
you in the face. Although one cheeky sod the other day asked if I had grandkids! I
know technically 40 is old enough but really.... ) Perhaps it's cos I've had
trouble buying henna here and the grey is showing through - and then there are the
extra sun induced wrinkles - what a hard life (hahahhahaha)

Cheers Winnie
 
Old Jun 17th 2002, 9:24 pm
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Default Re: Winnie - how about an update?!

Well done Winnie, glad you like it so far.

Nelson, too hot!!!!! summut wrong with you, must come from Scotland or something!!!
Only joking.
We will be there in Dec-Jan for 4 weeks to look around, then returning in June 2003 to live, I hope.
We have the visas, just hope we like it now! GOOD LUCK, whats yer wellies like?? Oh by the way, I'm a west country man, hence the sad humour.
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Old Jun 17th 2002, 11:16 pm
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Default Re: Winnie - how about an update?!

Hi Winnie,
glad to see that everything is working out for you.
My partner and i arrive in NZ in august and i noticed from one of the messages that you are using a laptop from your new abode. So the question that all this rambling is getting to is whats the internet (home.. not cafe) provision like. As you can imagine we will be keeping in touch with the family this way and had hoped to make use of some of the web cam programs that are on offer..

cheers

Paul
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Old Jun 18th 2002, 10:20 am
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"garrisondamn" <[email protected]> wrote in message
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    > Well done Winnie, glad you like it so far.
    >
    > Nelson, too hot!!!!! summut wrong with you, must come from Scotland or
    > something!!! Only joking. We will be there in Dec-Jan for 4 weeks to look around,
    > then returning in June 2003 to live, I hope. We have the visas, just hope we like
    > it now! GOOD LUCK, whats yer wellies like?? Oh by the way, I'm a west country man,
    > hence the sad humour.

<big grin> have you been to Nelson before? One thing we found, having turned up with
PR but never having visited, was that _nowhere_ was like we expected it to be. Not a
bad thing, just the way it is. Some places are better, some not as nice and some just
radically different. I wonder if it's because most of the info on NZ that's available
outside the country is aimed at tourists rather than new residents?

BTW what did you think of the settlement video?

Winnie xx
 
Old Jun 18th 2002, 10:20 am
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Default Re: Winnie - how about an update?!

"p__sullivan" <[email protected]> wrote in message
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    > Hi Winnie, glad to see that everything is working out for you. My partner and i
    > arrive in NZ in august and i noticed from one of the messages that you are using a
    > laptop from your new abode. So the question that all this rambling is getting to is
    > whats the internet (home.. not cafe) provision like. As you can imagine we will be
    > keeping in touch with the family this way and had hoped to make use of some of the
    > web cam programs that are on offer..
    >
    > cheers
    >
    > Paul

Hi Paul. Internet provision is excellent, although our ihug connection is super slow
at the moment, in the evenings - I suspect there's a bottleneck somewhere. I'm sure
it'll pass. Connection speed with our fairly new but basic modem (built in to laptop)
varies from high 40s (kbps) in towns to 7k!!!!! at one place in Bay of Islands. We're
semi rural here and getting about 42kbps. DSL is available in bigger towns, and I
think is being rolled out to schools nationwide. We pay about $30 a month for
unlimited connection time, via a local call which is free in NZ.

Where are you aiming for in NZ?

Cheers Winnie
 
Old Jun 18th 2002, 6:22 pm
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Default Re: Winnie - how about an update?!

Never even been to NZ, but looks like Nelson gets pretty good weather.
We are going with an open mind, I know all the TV stuff is geared for tourists, looking forward to finding out what its really like!
The NZ immigration video, ....hmmmmm, to be fair & no disrespect to anyone, but I think that will beefit people emigrating to NZ who are not familiar with the "western" culture.
Good luck & keep us posted, oh have you been to the Northland yet? & what is Bay of Islands really like?

Last edited by garrisondamn; Jun 18th 2002 at 8:00 pm.
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