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Advice: Moving to Auckland with a young family

Advice: Moving to Auckland with a young family

Old Apr 20th 2012, 2:39 pm
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Default Advice: Moving to Auckland with a young family

Hi, this is my first thread on this forum. In 2008 I applied under Skilled Migrant category, got assigned the NZIS Beijing office, sent ITA in sept 2008, application failed in June 2009, went for an appeal and the decision was refered to the minister for a decision as being exception to the rule. Minister decided in our favour in 2011 and now have until June 2012 to get permanent residency stamped from NZIS London that will allow us to come over (if we finally decide to) by June 2013 - with three kids aged 9, 7 and 5.

Currently we are living in Abu Dhabi (UK citizens) but think the move would be good for the long term especially for the kids as we dont think the UK is a good option anymore. Hence the questions now are:

1- to buy or rent a place in Auckland?
2- Job prospects?
3- I am a secondary level teacher and teach English - have the NZ teachers Board registration valid until 2014. seems the market is saturated with teachers although my occupation was on the LTSS when we applied in 2008
4- spouse studying MA Graphic design - what job prospects could she have in Auckland?
5- Everyone seems to hate Sth Auckland- is it really that bad? We were thinking of living in a multicultural area such as Manukau/ Mangere but have heard negative news of this area.
6- It seems a 3 BR property in AKL can be purchased around $280k if you look at the estate agents websites. Are such priced properties in bad areas?
7- I believe we have to arrive in NZ, stay for two years and then get the visa status that allows to come and go as you please without time restrictions and a total of 5 years after arrival to apply for citizenship/ NZ passports...is that correct? or have time lines changed?
8- What about Hamilton - is that a nic place to live - what are the pros and cons of Hamilton? perhaps fewer jobs as its a smaller place
9- If we budget and bring NZ$ 40k with us - will that be enough to see us through the first year whilst we sort ourselves out and find reasonable jobs?
10- We presume like the UK, health care and education are free in NZ?
11- Tried applying for jobs from outside NZ but seems they dont want to know unless you are in the country and possess the 'right to live and work in NZ' - is it true that if one is in NZ its better to do the job searching?

I was thinking of coming over for 2 weeks to 'sus' the place out and get a feel for the job market, housing, kids schools etc. Is 2 weeks enough to get a good idea?

Sorry for the long thread......I tried to list all the queries we have and would appreciate some helpful replies.
Cheers
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Old Apr 21st 2012, 12:33 pm
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Default Re: Advice: Moving to Auckland with a young family

Originally Posted by citybanklondon View Post
Hi, this is my first thread on this forum. In 2008 I applied under Skilled Migrant category, got assigned the NZIS Beijing office, sent ITA in sept 2008, application failed in June 2009, went for an appeal and the decision was refered to the minister for a decision as being exception to the rule. Minister decided in our favour in 2011 and now have until June 2012 to get permanent residency stamped from NZIS London that will allow us to come over (if we finally decide to) by June 2013 - with three kids aged 9, 7 and 5.

Currently we are living in Abu Dhabi (UK citizens) but think the move would be good for the long term especially for the kids as we dont think the UK is a good option anymore. Hence the questions now are:

1- to buy or rent a place in Auckland?
2- Job prospects?
3- I am a secondary level teacher and teach English - have the NZ teachers Board registration valid until 2014. seems the market is saturated with teachers although my occupation was on the LTSS when we applied in 2008
4- spouse studying MA Graphic design - what job prospects could she have in Auckland?
5- Everyone seems to hate Sth Auckland- is it really that bad? We were thinking of living in a multicultural area such as Manukau/ Mangere but have heard negative news of this area.
6- It seems a 3 BR property in AKL can be purchased around $280k if you look at the estate agents websites. Are such priced properties in bad areas?
7- I believe we have to arrive in NZ, stay for two years and then get the visa status that allows to come and go as you please without time restrictions and a total of 5 years after arrival to apply for citizenship/ NZ passports...is that correct? or have time lines changed?
8- What about Hamilton - is that a nic place to live - what are the pros and cons of Hamilton? perhaps fewer jobs as its a smaller place
9- If we budget and bring NZ$ 40k with us - will that be enough to see us through the first year whilst we sort ourselves out and find reasonable jobs?
10- We presume like the UK, health care and education are free in NZ?
11- Tried applying for jobs from outside NZ but seems they dont want to know unless you are in the country and possess the 'right to live and work in NZ' - is it true that if one is in NZ its better to do the job searching?

I was thinking of coming over for 2 weeks to 'sus' the place out and get a feel for the job market, housing, kids schools etc. Is 2 weeks enough to get a good idea?

Sorry for the long thread......I tried to list all the queries we have and would appreciate some helpful replies.
Cheers
I think you need to get your visas sorted first, get into the country and see how things go, you cant expect to know everything in advance of tAking the plunge and without knowing where you will be working it is hard to even contemplate queries about property investment although generally it is sensible to rent for a short period before buying so you can do some reseach on the ground as such get a feel for the areas you might like to settle and then buy. Generally rental prices are highfor what you get, if your gut tells you something is a good deal to buy then go for it as the mortgage repayments will be lower and you will invariably have a better standard of living. It seems landlords are fairly ruthless in NZ, we have seen manay many properties that are shockingly basic but sellers have to work very hard to shift their properties due to the economic climate so often undertake a renovation first. Re: visa timelines 2 years is correct if you come in on a work to residence class ( usually 30 months) which then gives you 6 months to file for permanent residency. If your application process takes longer than 6 months you can apply for an extension to your existing visa while they are making their decision. If I were you though I'd apply direct for residency as soon as you get a job offer so you dont pay for two sets of application fees. In regards to the catch 22 situation of needing a visa to get a job offer and needing a job offer to get a visa, just make clear to any employer that you have the neccesary registration and once you obtain a job offer the visa will come through be it a work visa or residence visa. You might well find that spending the money to take a trip to NZ wold be a good investment if it helps secure a job offer, many employers would appreciate the dedication and commitment that would demonstrate. Re Hamilton, they do have problems with gangs and there are three areas to avoid but you will get extra points for securing a job offer outside of Auckland so might be something to consider if you are struggling for points. Re Healthcare, not identical to UK but very similar. Its more like the UK dental system whereby you pay for the appointment but not necessarily for the treatment ( depending on what you need done). Larger families find it expensive as routine check ups costs all add up..in regards to property sales in " bad areas" I think you will find that the available properties in the lower price range in Auckland and any other city are directly correlated to the rough areas. If you have an iphone/ ipad then check out the realestate app and you will see wha I mean. Generally property turnover is always higher in rougher areas as people dont want to stick around any longer than they have to! Hope this has been helpful in some way. All the very best : )
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Old Apr 21st 2012, 3:25 pm
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Default Re: Advice: Moving to Auckland with a young family

Dear James, thanks for the details and the info is very much helpful and appreciated. I do believe coming over for 2 weeks in nov/dec will be a good idea. Regarding the visa situation I think you perhaps misunderstood me. we have been granted permanent residency, so I am not bringing my family over in a situation where our stay is subject to me getting points or a job. We have been through that loop and will be granted PR when we send our passports to NZIS in London in July. Then we shall have a further 12 mths to take the plunge i.e land in NZ. I only wanted to come to NZ to settle if NZIS granted us permanent residency as with a family any other option was seen as being too risky.

I understand your point regarding housing, the rough areas have cheaper homes and lower rents the same as you would expect anyway. It will be a big change for our circumstances as in Abu Dhabi we are financially quite comfortable, have easy jobs and can save $4,000 a month but in NZ it would be quite the opposite hence we see alot of kiwis coming here to work as they can save up in a short period of time. Hence our worries as to how quickly we shall find jobs there. I did correspond with an employment agency names synarbor and perhaps they can help me find a job in NZ before I arrive otherwise having had a look at seek.co.nz it seems I may be able to find a job with the numerous privately run colleges that exist providing english language courses and business studies programs to mainly expat students (chinese, korean students perhaps?) but the pay rate may be low hence important to have the DW getting a job soon too.

We have opted for Auckland due to its size and better chances of finding a job quickly. Would you know that if we got our PR visa's in July this year and I was to travel on my own in Nov would they view at immigration me as using the residency visa and hence from that date my stay starts? or can they not stamp the residency and allow me as a visitor for 2 weeks so they stamp the PR when I come permanently with the family in 2013? a tricky one I know.

cheers
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Old Apr 22nd 2012, 5:47 am
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Default Re: Advice: Moving to Auckland with a young family

What are your aiming to achieve by coming to NZ? I ask so that it is easier to advise and I am puzzled why it is so long since your original application in 2008 yet you want to postpone each step now you have been offered PR by as long as possible?

No $40k will likely not be enough for a family for a year with neither working, if that is the sum of your resources then I would be seriously reconsidering in your position. Even if you rent a house there are deposits and setup costs, together with vehicle/transport costs and a car is pretty vital in seeing this fantastic country.

No, medical care is largely not free. No education is not free. Given you started this in 2008 have you done much research online since? The NZ govt has a lot of information available online especially on the education system.

I would solely focus on locating where you will find work, $40k will not give you the luxury of picking and choosing I suspect.

Sorry if this sounds hard.....
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Old Apr 22nd 2012, 7:44 am
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Default Re: Advice: Moving to Auckland with a young family

Hi Simonsi- took 3 years from 2008-2011 to get PR approved as had to go through appeals and then the minister had to make a decision. Hence it has taken 4 years to now. The main issues I really have are: 1) finding a job in NZ, is this going to be hard and time consuming for a secondary teacher? The later I get a job the more we have to rely on our own resources with 3 kids that can be a issue. (2) housing: rents seem quite high in AKL (maybe $1600/mth) so that can easily gobble up half of one's salary. Seems Hamilton is reasonable for rents. (3) kids schooling - finding a good school is definitely important for us.

When you say schools are not free - does this mean each school going kid in a govt school is paying fees? how much? Is it the $300/ year approx fee that a schools requests but a vast number of parents simply dont pay?? Howcome health care is not free? Cant imagine Kiwi's on meagre salaries paying thousands for operations... Something is not quite right here. When an immigrant comes with PR surely they have the same rights as the locals, dont they?
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Old Apr 22nd 2012, 8:08 am
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Default Re: Advice: Moving to Auckland with a young family

went for an appeal and the decision was refered to the minister for a decision as being exception to the rule.
It's Sunday evening here so , family time but I'd like to read the appeal if you don't mind. To save me trawling through all the appeals, can you post the link . Would be very interesting.
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Old Apr 22nd 2012, 8:23 am
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Default Re: Advice: Moving to Auckland with a young family

Appeal no 16600 if you can find it on the appeal tribunal website
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Old Apr 22nd 2012, 11:10 am
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Default Re: Advice: Moving to Auckland with a young family

Originally Posted by citybanklondon View Post
Hi Simonsi- took 3 years from 2008-2011 to get PR approved as had to go through appeals and then the minister had to make a decision. Hence it has taken 4 years to now. The main issues I really have are: 1) finding a job in NZ, is this going to be hard and time consuming for a secondary teacher? The later I get a job the more we have to rely on our own resources with 3 kids that can be a issue. (2) housing: rents seem quite high in AKL (maybe $1600/mth) so that can easily gobble up half of one's salary. Seems Hamilton is reasonable for rents. (3) kids schooling - finding a good school is definitely important for us.

When you say schools are not free - does this mean each school going kid in a govt school is paying fees? how much? Is it the $300/ year approx fee that a schools requests but a vast number of parents simply dont pay?? Howcome health care is not free? Cant imagine Kiwi's on meagre salaries paying thousands for operations... Something is not quite right here. When an immigrant comes with PR surely they have the same rights as the locals, dont they?
Education, yes there are "donations", trouble is the school funding depends on the decile of the area, higher decile of the zone the school draws from, the less school funding comes from the state, either way, dont donate and your kids get less resources at school. Also stationary needs buying by parents. Even the $300 a year for three children is a substantial part of your proposed $40k budget for the first year???

Medical, split out accidents for which there is a well funded (from insurance and employers), scheme, from illness, for which there isnt. Adult dental is also not cheap and not state funded. This is true for those on Work Permits, PR and citizens.

I understand why your application took so long. My point is that having (presumably) struggled to get the result you have wanted, you propose to run each stage now down to the wire - get visas at last minute, plan on arriving just before visa expires??? Your migration plans will need some contingency, you are planning on having little in either funds or time, that concerns me as you may then not be able to cope with inevitable unforseens in the move.
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Old Apr 22nd 2012, 11:21 am
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Default Re: Advice: Moving to Auckland with a young family

what happens when one needs heart bypass surgery? do people pay consultant and surgery costs before the op or do they all have private medical insurance cover? NZ is a welfare state afterall so cant possibly leave people without health cover. Now my predicament is that I need to come over next year and have three things in place as a bare minimum: A Job, Place to live and Schools for kids. It may be better if I came alone in January and did the ground work and then the family followed 6 mths later and by then I will have a better idea as to whether NZ would be right for us or not. The sum I mentioned $40k was meant to tide us by for 9-12 mths (food & rent) which I was basing on $4k a month approx. If the need arose I could even bring all our finances and buy a place as I can see some places in AKL and Hamilton going for around $260k and perhaps prices are low now due to subdued demand in a recessionary situation. I still feel better to rent for the first 6 mths as no point in buying a house and getting stuck if finding a job is going to be next to impossible. I want to keep the option of moving to the UK open if we have problems in settling in NZ. Can you shed some light on how I may start to approach the 3 areas I mentioned above i.e. job finding, schools and places to live? Thanks
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Old Apr 22nd 2012, 7:30 pm
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Default Re: Advice: Moving to Auckland with a young family

No. You dont seem to want to believe what i have to say. Good luck.
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Old Apr 22nd 2012, 8:42 pm
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Default Re: Advice: Moving to Auckland with a young family

Originally Posted by citybanklondon View Post
what happens when one needs heart bypass surgery? do people pay consultant and surgery costs before the op or do they all have private medical insurance cover? NZ is a welfare state afterall so cant possibly leave people without health cover. Now my predicament is that I need to come over next year and have three things in place as a bare minimum: A Job, Place to live and Schools for kids. It may be better if I came alone in January and did the ground work and then the family followed 6 mths later and by then I will have a better idea as to whether NZ would be right for us or not. The sum I mentioned $40k was meant to tide us by for 9-12 mths (food & rent) which I was basing on $4k a month approx. If the need arose I could even bring all our finances and buy a place as I can see some places in AKL and Hamilton going for around $260k and perhaps prices are low now due to subdued demand in a recessionary situation. I still feel better to rent for the first 6 mths as no point in buying a house and getting stuck if finding a job is going to be next to impossible. I want to keep the option of moving to the UK open if we have problems in settling in NZ. Can you shed some light on how I may start to approach the 3 areas I mentioned above i.e. job finding, schools and places to live? Thanks
260k for a house in a auckland? Must be a shithole.
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Old Apr 23rd 2012, 1:26 am
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Default Re: Advice: Moving to Auckland with a young family

Originally Posted by Kiwilass View Post
260k for a house in a auckland? Must be a shithole.
Or a long drop?
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Old Apr 23rd 2012, 2:44 am
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Default Re: Advice: Moving to Auckland with a young family

Originally Posted by citybanklondon View Post
what happens when one needs heart bypass surgery? do people pay consultant and surgery costs before the op or do they all have private medical insurance cover? NZ is a welfare state afterall so cant possibly leave people without health cover. Now my predicament is that I need to come over next year and have three things in place as a bare minimum: A Job, Place to live and Schools for kids. It may be better if I came alone in January and did the ground work and then the family followed 6 mths later and by then I will have a better idea as to whether NZ would be right for us or not. The sum I mentioned $40k was meant to tide us by for 9-12 mths (food & rent) which I was basing on $4k a month approx. If the need arose I could even bring all our finances and buy a place as I can see some places in AKL and Hamilton going for around $260k and perhaps prices are low now due to subdued demand in a recessionary situation. I still feel better to rent for the first 6 mths as no point in buying a house and getting stuck if finding a job is going to be next to impossible. I want to keep the option of moving to the UK open if we have problems in settling in NZ. Can you shed some light on how I may start to approach the 3 areas I mentioned above i.e. job finding, schools and places to live? Thanks
I have private cover but as I understand it there is a free at point of use Public system for A&E and hospital care but it's just that the waiting lists can be so long for some things that it is almost like there being no system. Some people have had good care in Public system though (Genesis?). You do pay for GP visits however with only youngish kids exempt. I had to call an ambulance once and got good 'no bill' care in Public A&E (medical emergency not an accident).

I heard on the Radio this morning that there is currently a glut of teachers with 100 applicants for jobs. UK is fine, pick your area, NZ no different good bad everywhere. UK probably has more teacher shortage than NZ right now unless the cutbacks really have bitten.

Another one to bear in mind, in UK the first 9k of your salary is tax free, in NZ you pay tax on every dollar earnt.

Last edited by luvwelly; Apr 23rd 2012 at 2:46 am.
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Old Apr 23rd 2012, 7:40 am
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Default Re: Advice: Moving to Auckland with a young family

Hi, there is stiff competition for teaching jobs at present. I know of quite a few teachers without job's for this year.
Rent wise, $1,600 per month will not get you anything decent in either Auckland or Wellington. $260,000 will not buy you anything decent in either Auckland or Wellington. And $40,000 will not go far, with set up costs you will be surprised how quickly that will go.
You pay for doctors and perscriptions and dental. Waiting lists for surgery on the public lists are long. I would imagine though that heart surgery would be a priority.
You make a donation (and they schools are pushy) as they rely on this to buy equipment, repairs and improvements to the school. You need to provide your childs school books and equipment and uniform (it all adds up)
Kaz
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Old Apr 23rd 2012, 9:01 am
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Default Re: Advice: Moving to Auckland with a young family

wow bebay bella- thanks. seems NZ is too pricey these days. If $1600 + is the rent then people must be taking $5k net home each month? Is this a reasonable salary to expect? Afterall people are paying for medical cover for the family, car insurance, petrol, food, utilities etc. so perhaps 5k a month wouldnt go far. Yes I can see that $40k being consumed in just 3-4 mths.
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