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28 months in - some ramblings

28 months in - some ramblings

Old Apr 7th 2008, 3:21 am
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Default 28 months in - some ramblings

Soo.. we've been here in NZ now for 28 months now.
I never did a two-year post and things are quiet at work at the moment so I thought I might do some rambling, share some thoughts.

So here’s a brief account of our escapades in NZ so far.

My wife Melanie and I arrived here on November 1st 2005 with just a night in a hotel booked (and our PR). No jobs or plans at all!
The two cats arrived a week later, just before we moved into our rental. I was lucky enough to get a job after six days (I work in IT). After three months we bought a house, and moved in two months later. We then proceeded to increase the already not-inconsiderable mortgage by insulating, double glazing and painting it. We’re here for the long haul so it’s all worth it! Meanwhile Melanie got a job at the Commerce Commission.
After ten months I was poached from the first company by a larger vendor, who later on purchased the first company, so I work back with some of the same people again!!
Later this month I move on again to another large vendor. It’s all good!
After a year, Melanie decided to realise the dream she’d always had of being a teacher. She quite her job and took an 11 month postgraduate course at Vic Uni and now has a job at a primary school in East Porirua where she’s just about to finish her first term.
Also during this time we got ourselves a spoodle puppy, making the female – male ratio in our house 4-1. I am seriously outnumbered!

So here we are! Happily housed and employed in our new life in NZ!

In this time we’ve also been on two tours of the North Island, two of the South Island, we’ve been to Sydney to see Robbie Williams, we’ve been to Christchurch to see Bon Jovi, we’ve seen Elton John, David Gray, Pete Murray, Ben Elton, Dylan Moran. We’ve been whale watching, swimming with dolphins, all sorts!!
So we’re skint now of course!

Anyway, so..

Am I happy we came here? YES!
Would I do it again? YES!

I’ve said this before, but: I can’t put my finger on why, but Wellington feels like home more than anywhere else. Maybe because we chose this place to live out of all of the places we could be.

The only things we miss from the UK are relatives and friends.

I occasionally get a pang of, well, guilt I suppose, when I think about my mum, dad and sister. But they’ve admitted that my leaving gave them the push to retire, sell up and move to their new log cabin by the seaside.

If we did it again, I wouldn’t do much differently. I’d sell the car and buy one out here. I love my car, but the hassle isn’t really worth it. I’d probably ask people to wait until the first year or so is up before visiting. Not because we didn’t want to see them – it was fantastic to have them here – but we probably should have been more sensible in the first year.

Loves:
I love this place.
I love the scenery.
I love our house and our garden.
I love the way everyone says hello and smiles when you pass them in the street (well they do in Tawa).
I love the wildlife.
I love the nearness of so many incredible natural features.
I love the learning experiences of a new country and effectively two new cultures.
I love being able to wander around the streets in the dark with the dog and not worry (try that in South Leeds).
I love the roads.
I love the food.
I love that our garden has apple, orange, lemon, plum, kiwifruit, olive, feijoa trees!!
I love the Maori culture – the positive side, not the negative side nearly always portrayed in the press
I love that our cats have so much more space in which to play
I love my ta moko!

Annoyances:
The way they do roadworks and kerbs – my low car doesn’t get on with them.
Expense of certain goods (European car parts, books)
Idiots who don’t appreciate what they have here and throw rubbish, bottles from car windows etc.
The expensive internet links and data caps
The initial assumption that all poms are loaded

Things I have done here that I probably wouldn’t have done in the UK:
My ta moko
Swim with dolphins
Whale watching
Front row tickets to Bon Jovi
Four trips to Australia in a 15 month period (two were for work )
Seen Glaciers and Fjords
Learned about another culture (Mauri Ora course)

Not things I couldn’t have done, obviously, but things I probably wouldn’t have. Especially the ta moko!!

Anyway, enough of my ramblings.
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Old Apr 7th 2008, 3:41 am
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Default Re: 28 months in - some ramblings

Hi

Really enjoyed reading your account of your life in NZ. We moved here 9 months ago. Theres not a day goes by I regret it. We love it here to.

Hope all you Brits reading this, from the UK, and thinking of emigrating will be inspired by Robs story.
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Old Apr 7th 2008, 7:06 am
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Default Re: 28 months in - some ramblings

Originally Posted by RobClubley View Post
Soo.. we've been here in NZ now for 28 months now.
I never did a two-year post and things are quiet at work at the moment so I thought I might do some rambling, share some thoughts.

So here’s a brief account of our escapades in NZ so far.

My wife Melanie and I arrived here on November 1st 2005 with just a night in a hotel booked (and our PR). No jobs or plans at all!
The two cats arrived a week later, just before we moved into our rental. I was lucky enough to get a job after six days (I work in IT). After three months we bought a house, and moved in two months later. We then proceeded to increase the already not-inconsiderable mortgage by insulating, double glazing and painting it. We’re here for the long haul so it’s all worth it! Meanwhile Melanie got a job at the Commerce Commission.
After ten months I was poached from the first company by a larger vendor, who later on purchased the first company, so I work back with some of the same people again!!
Later this month I move on again to another large vendor. It’s all good!
After a year, Melanie decided to realise the dream she’d always had of being a teacher. She quite her job and took an 11 month postgraduate course at Vic Uni and now has a job at a primary school in East Porirua where she’s just about to finish her first term.
Also during this time we got ourselves a spoodle puppy, making the female – male ratio in our house 4-1. I am seriously outnumbered!

So here we are! Happily housed and employed in our new life in NZ!

In this time we’ve also been on two tours of the North Island, two of the South Island, we’ve been to Sydney to see Robbie Williams, we’ve been to Christchurch to see Bon Jovi, we’ve seen Elton John, David Gray, Pete Murray, Ben Elton, Dylan Moran. We’ve been whale watching, swimming with dolphins, all sorts!!
So we’re skint now of course!

Anyway, so..

Am I happy we came here? YES!
Would I do it again? YES!

I’ve said this before, but: I can’t put my finger on why, but Wellington feels like home more than anywhere else. Maybe because we chose this place to live out of all of the places we could be.

The only things we miss from the UK are relatives and friends.

I occasionally get a pang of, well, guilt I suppose, when I think about my mum, dad and sister. But they’ve admitted that my leaving gave them the push to retire, sell up and move to their new log cabin by the seaside.

If we did it again, I wouldn’t do much differently. I’d sell the car and buy one out here. I love my car, but the hassle isn’t really worth it. I’d probably ask people to wait until the first year or so is up before visiting. Not because we didn’t want to see them – it was fantastic to have them here – but we probably should have been more sensible in the first year.

Loves:
I love this place.
I love the scenery.
I love our house and our garden.
I love the way everyone says hello and smiles when you pass them in the street (well they do in Tawa).
I love the wildlife.
I love the nearness of so many incredible natural features.
I love the learning experiences of a new country and effectively two new cultures.
I love being able to wander around the streets in the dark with the dog and not worry (try that in South Leeds).
I love the roads.
I love the food.
I love that our garden has apple, orange, lemon, plum, kiwifruit, olive, feijoa trees!!
I love the Maori culture – the positive side, not the negative side nearly always portrayed in the press
I love that our cats have so much more space in which to play
I love my ta moko!

Annoyances:
The way they do roadworks and kerbs – my low car doesn’t get on with them.
Expense of certain goods (European car parts, books)
Idiots who don’t appreciate what they have here and throw rubbish, bottles from car windows etc.
The expensive internet links and data caps
The initial assumption that all poms are loaded

Things I have done here that I probably wouldn’t have done in the UK:
My ta moko
Swim with dolphins
Whale watching
Front row tickets to Bon Jovi
Four trips to Australia in a 15 month period (two were for work )
Seen Glaciers and Fjords
Learned about another culture (Mauri Ora course)

Not things I couldn’t have done, obviously, but things I probably wouldn’t have. Especially the ta moko!!

Anyway, enough of my ramblings.

Nice one Rob!! Bloody good here innit? Have not done anything like you guys but we have 3 sub 7's small humans in tow!!! It is a great place NZ and like you we have a long list of things that are in our lives here that would not be were we back in Northampton!!

3 years here we still feel excited about it all. NZ has way exceeded all our expectations. We have the lives here that we dreamed of having in the Uk but were unable to attain there due to a plethora of reasons.

Great to hear you are loving it. If you are ever Palmy way pop in for lunch. Like you I am a petrol head ( had a new Fabia in the UK!!..awesome car..and those RS Octavias are lovely cars..even JC said as much!). We drive a euro car too..our 2nd one since being here..lovely but pricey on parts as you say!

May be meet you one day aye?

Dom et al.
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Old Apr 7th 2008, 7:18 am
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Default Re: 28 months in - some ramblings

Loved reading your post so thanks! I love a lot of the things you love too.... but havnt got the bottle to have a ta moko , but I thought yours looked fantastic by the way. I hope everything continues to go so great for you, Sarah
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Old Apr 7th 2008, 10:38 am
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Default Re: 28 months in - some ramblings

Nice one Rob, well done!

Only 5 months in so reserving judgement myself but also realise that I would not have done half had I stayed in the UK. It certainly brings the adventure out in people. Unfortunately my job demands a city, Auckland may have not been the answer but there is plenty to going on. However, after my three trips as a holiday previously has shown, vacation is a lot different than living it, I only left the city proper this weekend on a get away from it all trip. Good to get out of the metropolis!!!
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Old Apr 7th 2008, 7:34 pm
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Default Re: 28 months in - some ramblings



Hello Rob,

What a great post. oooh I am dead excited now!!! We will be in Wellington in October. Everyone keeps asking me what we have planned for when we get there, and they look at me as if I am crazy when I say "nothing" !!! So I am glad it has all worked out for you and Melanie, and the kitties.

Is the ta moko your tattoo???

PL
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Old Apr 7th 2008, 7:42 pm
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Default Re: 28 months in - some ramblings

Great post Rob. Made me feel good inside. Couldn`t agree mrore with you on everything.
Ash
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Old Apr 7th 2008, 7:58 pm
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Default Re: 28 months in - some ramblings

Now thats the kind of thread i like to read. Not suprised that Genesis concurred with Rob. He loves it and i hope i do as much as these two.
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Old Apr 7th 2008, 8:37 pm
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Default Re: 28 months in - some ramblings

Yes it is an inspirational post, but for me the telling phrase is that you are skint Rob, that is NZ ! Most people emigrate for a better standard of living, NZ only offers a good lifestyle. Because it is a good way of life in Kiwiland, but the only way it can be achieved is by spending life savings from England because NZ salaries are not liveable. Most things are done on the cheap, otherwise people could not afford to live here. You could earn double your salary in UK and live in NZ for half the year. NZ is a poorish country with low salaries and high taxes at the end of the day. There is the same land owning elite as in England who trade land and horses these are the ones who benefit from the low Kiwi salaries not the emigrants who struggle with crap health service and high housing costs.
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Old Apr 7th 2008, 8:39 pm
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Default Re: 28 months in - some ramblings

Cheers everyone. I like to post a "happy clappy" post every now and again to help provide a little balance.

And yes pumpkinklou - a ta moko is a Maori tattoo
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Old Apr 7th 2008, 8:45 pm
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Default Re: 28 months in - some ramblings

Originally Posted by brussels_sprout View Post
Yes it is an inspirational post, but for me the telling phrase is that you are skint Rob, that is NZ ! Most people emigrate for a better standard of living, NZ only offers a good lifestyle. Because it is a good way of life in Kiwiland, but the only way it can be achieved is by spending life savings from England because NZ salaries are not liveable. Most things are done on the cheap, otherwise people could not afford to live here. You could earn double your salary in UK and live in NZ for half the year. NZ is a poorish country with low salaries and high taxes at the end of the day. There is the same land owning elite as in England who trade land and horses these are the ones who benefit from the low Kiwi salaries not the emigrants who struggle with crap health service and high housing costs.
Okay maybe skint is a little strong - we went on too many trips last year and overspent a little while Melanie wasn't earning.
But I earn a good salary - actually a fair bit more than I did in the UK.

We didn't bring any savings over - enough for a deposit on our house - so we have a bigger mortgage than we did in the UK. But if we'd simply moved to a bigger house in the UK (as we were planning on doing) we'd still have a similar mortgage.

So yeah, we'll never be rich, but we never came here to be rich!! We came for the adventure, to do something big, to see if it would work for us. And it has.
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Old Apr 7th 2008, 8:50 pm
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Default Re: 28 months in - some ramblings

Originally Posted by RobClubley View Post
Cheers everyone. I like to post a "happy clappy" post every now and again to help provide a little balance.

And yes pumpkinklou - a ta moko is a Maori tattoo
Reading this has made me feel we are doing this for the right reasons, we dont expect to be loaded just want for a calmer and more easy going life for us both and 2 boys. We take on board all posts on here and realise that for everyone thats loves nz there will be others that dont. Thanks for a great post.

Chris
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Old Apr 7th 2008, 10:06 pm
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Default Re: 28 months in - some ramblings

I love NZ too, i just want to warn potential immigrants of the realities of life here. As i have said in other posts, to have the good Kiwi lifestyle AND good standard of living, you will have to have 2 good salaries OR your house more or less paid off.
None of my relatives even have a lock on their doors. Now that is a sign of NZ lifestyle.
But without the above you will struggle to make ends meet !
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Old Apr 7th 2008, 10:15 pm
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Default Re: 28 months in - some ramblings

An excellent post Rob, thanks for sharing that with us. Our experience is similar to yours, though no Ta Moko! We have less disposable income than we had in England but we have a better quality of life, why? Because we don't feel the pressure to keep up with the jones's & we have a much better social life.
Wouldn't have turned my nose up at winning Lotto & Powerball on Saturday though
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Old Apr 7th 2008, 10:44 pm
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Default Re: 28 months in - some ramblings

Originally Posted by RobClubley View Post
Okay maybe skint is a little strong - we went on too many trips last year and overspent a little while Melanie wasn't earning.
But I earn a good salary - actually a fair bit more than I did in the UK.

We didn't bring any savings over - enough for a deposit on our house - so we have a bigger mortgage than we did in the UK. But if we'd simply moved to a bigger house in the UK (as we were planning on doing) we'd still have a similar mortgage.

So yeah, we'll never be rich, but we never came here to be rich!! We came for the adventure, to do something big, to see if it would work for us. And it has.

Sounds like you are living how we all want too!

I took your message as being skint on doing loads off stuff inyour first 2 years there.

Which in my opinion is good as if you live to save who saves for you to live?
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