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Electricians in NZ

Electricians in NZ

Old Nov 3rd 2017, 3:59 pm
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Default Electricians in NZ

Hi all,

I am qualified electrician here in UK and now seriously considering to move to New Zealand. After reading some of the posts here and elsewhere I am little worried if it would be the right move. Is any electrician here working there already who can give me some info? I would like to know few things:

- is it fairly easy to find a job as an electrician there?
- what is the average rate of pay per hour now?
- I red that t&c's can be tricky, I want to go there to have better work/life balance, so dont want to work more than 40 hours a week really. Does any body in this field have experience with this? Are you forced to work more than 40 hours? Or can you actually choose not to? I am sure there is plenty of overtime available in construction....but question is - do I have to do it???


Now more general questions for anybody

- also red some bad stuff about bullying in schools, plenty of drugs there etc..how do you people see it? Dont want to go to Auckland, too busy there. Thinking more about Christchurch, Tauranga or New Plymouth, maybe Nelson....any experience with these things in these cities?


Thanks for any inputs, really appreciated...

Martin
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Old Nov 3rd 2017, 7:13 pm
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Default Re: Electricians in NZ

Average pay for an electrician is $27.50 per hr. You are entitled to at least 20 days annual holiday leave plus an extra 11 days for public holidays. The average Kiwi works less hrs than the OECD average but 75 hrs per year more than someone living in the UK, so on average 1.5 hrs per week more here. But for many cases it will be less. Depends on your individual t & cs. Your employer cant make you work more than stated although sometimes workers are persuaded to at busy times and made difficult to say no if you want to stay on side. Depends a lot on what sort of boss you get. Those cities you mention are good places.
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Old Nov 3rd 2017, 7:33 pm
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Default Re: Electricians in NZ

Originally Posted by garethwm View Post
Average pay for an electrician is $27.50 per hr. You are entitled to at least 20 days annual holiday leave plus an extra 11 days for public holidays. The average Kiwi works less hrs than the OECD average but 75 hrs per year more than someone living in the UK, so on average 1.5 hrs per week more here. But for many cases it will be less. Depends on your individual t & cs. Your employer cant make you work more than stated although sometimes workers are persuaded to at busy times and made difficult to say no if you want to stay on side. Depends a lot on what sort of boss you get. Those cities you mention are good places.
thanks for some insight Garethwm...Just curious - do you or did you work there as electrician? Or is it information from somewhere else?? Hope to get some more opinions and experiences......

thanks
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Old Nov 3rd 2017, 9:41 pm
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Default Re: Electricians in NZ

Originally Posted by mkuracka View Post
Hi all,

I am qualified electrician here in UK and now seriously considering to move to New Zealand. After reading some of the posts here and elsewhere I am little worried if it would be the right move. Is any electrician here working there already who can give me some info? I would like to know few things:

- is it fairly easy to find a job as an electrician there?
- what is the average rate of pay per hour now?
- I red that t&c's can be tricky, I want to go there to have better work/life balance, so dont want to work more than 40 hours a week really. Does any body in this field have experience with this? Are you forced to work more than 40 hours? Or can you actually choose not to? I am sure there is plenty of overtime available in construction....but question is - do I have to do it???


Now more general questions for anybody

- also red some bad stuff about bullying in schools, plenty of drugs there etc..how do you people see it? Dont want to go to Auckland, too busy there. Thinking more about Christchurch, Tauranga or New Plymouth, maybe Nelson....any experience with these things in these cities?


Thanks for any inputs, really appreciated...

Martin
Hi there and welcome to this cosy New Zealand forum on British Expats.

Crikey. Quite a lot to get started with.

Much depends on what you are looking for really. What makes it a right move for some can make it a wrong move for others.
Without wishing to sound nosy are you coming with family or a single fella ?

Most employed trade jobs here or in the UK are based on a 40 hour week where there can be call-out weeks/weekends and pushes for overtime when the work gets backed up. If you are in the trades & work in construction you will know what I mean. My husband is a time served plumber and gasfitter who has worked on new builds as well as commercial.

All the issues you have raised happen everywhere in the world. Cross any issue you come up against as it finds you.

Electrician is on the long term shortage list so provided you have the quals and exp it should be perfectly possible for you to gain a job offer.
Average working week will be 40 hrs. As has been stated an average going rate is around $27.50. Most trade companies and construction firms shut down over the Xmas New Year period for a good fortnight or more, so that will be compulsory holiday leave. Give or take a few days that will leave you 10 days to do with as you please + any public holidays.

I live outside of Nelson. It is small town size . There is a sprawl of villages and urban areas so there is a little bit of something to take everyone's fancy.
One issue with Nelson & Tasman district is that it is out on a limb , off the main drag.

Have you been to New Zealand?
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Old Nov 3rd 2017, 9:54 pm
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Default Re: Electricians in NZ

Hey BEVS...

no I have not been there yet, been to Canada and the nature is similar there )

thanks for the infos.......You are right, it depends what are we looking for. We are family of 3, me, my partner and 5yr old son. What we are after is the nature, mountains, beaches, less hectic life, less of congestions than UK , firendly people, better safety in general and good school for our son.......so based on this, what could you say? How it is from this point of view?

To be honest Nelsom was my first choice where I would go, based on the proximity to amazing parks and plenty of sunshine. But then I red some bad reviews from people that there can be lot of bullying at schools and kiwis there dont like immigrants really. And that it is very hard to find work for foreigners...that when I started to think bigger city might be more tolerant due to more diversity and aso more job opportunities. But dont get me wrong, if all would be allright in Nelson I would definitely go for that place

So please if you dont mind drop some views now that you know why we want to go and what we are sieeking.....

very appreciated

Last edited by mkuracka; Nov 3rd 2017 at 9:56 pm.
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Old Nov 3rd 2017, 10:03 pm
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Default Re: Electricians in NZ

No not an electrician here but know one or two. From observation he appears to be leaving work at 5pm. Just a small point but the 2 week break over Christmas - New Year uses up 6 days of your 20 as 4 of the 10 are public hols. So you are left with 14 days plus 7 more public holidays the rest of the year. Yes bullying does occur. It is frowned upon but some Principals are better at dealing with it than others. As Bevs said, NZ has social problems like anywhere else. Some areas better, some areas worse.
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Old Nov 3rd 2017, 10:22 pm
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Default Re: Electricians in NZ

Not wishing to sound argumentative but with regard to the shut downs given that husband works in the trades and so we have this every year.
They are not necessarily a Monday to Friday thing & more often take more than 6 days of leave. Just 6 days of leave would be good actually as it would almost leave 3 weeks to do something with, not two.

For instance this year the shutdown for MrBEVS is inclusive from 21st Dec to the 8th Jan. 8 days which is actually better than some years This matches all other trade and construction firms in this area.
It is for practical reasons . Most all will go away on their summer holidays around New Zealand or Oz . Trade and construction firms are inter-dependent.
This year MrBEVS will have the on-call phone over the NY week in case of probs.

There is usually a push for overtime and weekend work before the shut down because of deadlines and basically clients/customers pushing for completed works & festive topping outs.

However if perhaps working on a large commercial construction site where deadlines are maybe years in front it may be different.

Work hours for this firm is 8-5. Previous it was 7-4.30

Himself could become self employed or start up his own wee firm of course as he is master craftsman level but at his age he now prefers to leave the burden to others and so is employed.

On another note ,most trade firms are flexible when it comes to unpaid leave during the course of a year.

Last edited by BEVS; Nov 3rd 2017 at 10:25 pm.
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Old Nov 3rd 2017, 10:48 pm
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Default Re: Electricians in NZ

and 20 days is after working a year, some employers will let you take some in the first year but then will make you work the full year.
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Old Nov 4th 2017, 10:05 am
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Default Re: Electricians in NZ

All the sparkys I know are self employed but jump in and work on contract for builders when needed and they are doing pretty well.

I usually get slagged off for this bit but. . .
Wanting to come over and do the bare minimum and expect to get on is not the attitude that is going to make a move here succesful
I get wanting to have a better work life balance but thats not something you walk into, its something you work towards, and whether you get
it or not depends on your expectations of what New Zealand has to offer.
From my experience it is not what you do at work but how you utilize the time you are not.
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Old Nov 4th 2017, 10:30 pm
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Default Re: Electricians in NZ

Originally Posted by mkuracka View Post
Hi all,

I am qualified electrician here in UK and now seriously considering to move to New Zealand. After reading some of the posts here and elsewhere I am little worried if it would be the right move. Is any electrician here working there already who can give me some info? I would like to know few things:

- is it fairly easy to find a job as an electrician there?
- what is the average rate of pay per hour now?
- I red that t&c's can be tricky, I want to go there to have better work/life balance, so dont want to work more than 40 hours a week really. Does any body in this field have experience with this? Are you forced to work more than 40 hours? Or can you actually choose not to? I am sure there is plenty of overtime available in construction....but question is - do I have to do it???


Now more general questions for anybody

- also red some bad stuff about bullying in schools, plenty of drugs there etc..how do you people see it? Dont want to go to Auckland, too busy there. Thinking more about Christchurch, Tauranga or New Plymouth, maybe Nelson....any experience with these things in these cities?


Thanks for any inputs, really appreciated...

Martin
I'm not an electrician but an Electrical Engineer working for the National Grid here in NZ. Electrician was in a past life, but I know the industry, I know what you are on about and have friends here who are / have been electricians.

First off, it isn't easy to get any job here, regardless that electrician is on the shortage list and there is a high shortage of electrician tradesmen in some areas - Christchurch and Auckland spring to mind.
If you have many years experience and the right qualifications then you have a greater chance of getting a job here.
Look at About Us | Canstaff New Zealand and https://www.tradestaff.co.nz/about-us for possible employment opportunities.

To work as an unsupervised electrician in NZ you must be Registered. Electrician is an occupation that requires professional registration in NZ. Look at https://www.ewrb.govt.nz/
You will need to apply to the EWRB with qualifications and work experience and after a fee they will assess and decide what you need in order to gain a limited license then practicing license here.
You can work without any registration or license BUT you are only classed as a trainee or apprentice so will only be offered equivalent salary. Similar to a limited license. Your work must still be supervised so you won't be on top whack for an electrician if the employer has to provide someone to oversea all your work. It'll only be when you have the full license and have 'proved' yourself and gained some NZ experience will you be on the full money for the job and have the option to maybe go it alone, work for yourself or set up your own business.

https://www.careers.govt.nz/jobs-dat...n/electrician/ gives a good guide to the job and likely salary.
Any contract of employment will most likely be for a 40hr working week 8am-4pm give or take and it all depends on how much work there is and how many staff in the company whether or not they'd expect you to work overtime. If you're gonna be employed in an area that is seriously short of electricians then I'd expect they'll want you there to plug a whole and get working, not turn round and say No to overtime.....remember, your visa is subject to the job so you have to keep the employer happy as if you lose the job you then don't have the means or the right to stay in NZ. An employer cannot force you to work longer hours but in my experience of the industry will expect you to work whatever hours are required in order to get the work done and keep the company afloat.
Tradie jobs where there is a seriously shortage of the skilled tradesmen and a better work/life balance don't really go together in NZ. As has been mentioned, it is something to work towards in the future and not a constraint you will want to impose on any employer here as it'll either mean they won't offer you a job in the first place or you'll be out of a job within the first 3 months probationary period.
You could land lucky with an employer who doesn't mind you just doing 40hrs a week if they have others more than willing to do the overtime.
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Old Nov 4th 2017, 11:48 pm
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Default Re: Electricians in NZ

Originally Posted by escapedtonz View Post
I'm not an electrician but an Electrical Engineer working for the National Grid here in NZ. Electrician was in a past life.
I was hoping you'd pass by.

I think it is achievable for this chap. If the family are sure this is what they want then they should give it a go.

Very first step is to try to gain that job offer. Nothing else matters really until that is in the bag.

On top of the great links Escaped has given you , also have a chat with Hays NZ .

Please do get back to us with your own thoughts.
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Old Nov 18th 2017, 9:27 pm
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i've been a sparkie in NZ for 11 years now. I've worked for someone, worked for myself and now work for the government.
Positives first.
In my opinion the majority of kiwi sparkies are terrible. They get their registration and that's it! Personal development stops as soon as they start earning, and that's where European sparkies shine. Our basic level of ability far exceeds the average kiwi one, so you will shine when compared to others.
Plus this is the land of opportunity if you have ambition. If you are happy swinging a screwdriver so be it, but if you want to get on then there's less competition, and being above average, you ought to be able to get the job you want with easy.
Now the negatives.
expect to work longer hours. 9-10 days are normal (plus traveling - nightmare in the big cities)
Expect lower wages. At first they seem good, but when you are used to the cost of living, it's worse than what you'll get in the UK
And, as others have said, expect to have half you've leave mandated off over the Christmas period - just when everyone else is having leave as well, and the weather is unpredictable. ( I can put up with the hours, and can put up with the wages - well sort of - but the mandated leave still winds me up no end)
Any more questions, just ask.
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Old Jun 21st 2018, 3:23 pm
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Default Re: Electricians in NZ

Hi all,

sorry I was not responding for long time.....

I really appreciate all the opinions, will be more prepared what to exeact now.

As it was already mentioned, I know I will have to commit at the beginning and do pretty much whatever will be required from me at least until I get permanent residence visa. After that I might go the self employed route so I can manage my own time better.

We decided to go to Tauranga as there should be some job opportunities for my wife as well ( health care assistant).

I am in contact with both Canstaff and Tradestaff and they both were impressed with my CV and promised there will be no problem with job offer. Lets see )

Regarding the Electricians qualification, There is company called GB Construction training based in London which provides full NZ electrical licencing courses. I will be doing mine final exam in 2 weeks and if I pass it I will gain full NZ Electrical qualification prior the arival to NZ. That will be very beneficial since I don't have to be worried about it anymore once there.

I think Tradestaff mentioned something around 26$ per hour for Tauranga as starting salary with promise of increase if they see I am worth more.....that can be very relative so I don't count on it much. As you guys already said, with temp visa I will be bound to one agency that offers me a job - one of the two mentioned - so I will be applying for permanent residency straight away so I can be free in terms of employment.

If there is anyone here who works and lives in Tauranga, maybe you can give me some insight how it is to live in this city? Whats good, whats bad, what to expect, where to live, where not.......

thank you again, all advises are appreciated

Martin
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Old Jun 21st 2018, 11:41 pm
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Default Re: Electricians in NZ

Originally Posted by mkuracka View Post
Hi all,

sorry I was not responding for long time.....

I really appreciate all the opinions, will be more prepared what to exeact now.

As it was already mentioned, I know I will have to commit at the beginning and do pretty much whatever will be required from me at least until I get permanent residence visa. After that I might go the self employed route so I can manage my own time better.

We decided to go to Tauranga as there should be some job opportunities for my wife as well ( health care assistant).

I am in contact with both Canstaff and Tradestaff and they both were impressed with my CV and promised there will be no problem with job offer. Lets see )

Regarding the Electricians qualification, There is company called GB Construction training based in London which provides full NZ electrical licencing courses. I will be doing mine final exam in 2 weeks and if I pass it I will gain full NZ Electrical qualification prior the arival to NZ. That will be very beneficial since I don't have to be worried about it anymore once there.

I think Tradestaff mentioned something around 26$ per hour for Tauranga as starting salary with promise of increase if they see I am worth more.....that can be very relative so I don't count on it much. As you guys already said, with temp visa I will be bound to one agency that offers me a job - one of the two mentioned - so I will be applying for permanent residency straight away so I can be free in terms of employment.

If there is anyone here who works and lives in Tauranga, maybe you can give me some insight how it is to live in this city? Whats good, whats bad, what to expect, where to live, where not.......

thank you again, all advises are appreciated

Martin
Hi,

Yup. I've lived in Tauranga for near 4 years now.
It is a really cool place to live. Very close to the beach no matter where you live really. Good climate. Don't have snow and only a handful of frosts during the winter. Very rare for the temp to drop to 0 or below and then by 10am the temp will be in double figures. Only a few weeks to go till mid-winter today and it's blue skies and sunshine and I'm in shorts and a t shirt.

May not be the best option work wise for both of you. Yes there's lots of construction, new homes and commercial premises going up that need electricians but doesn't mean there's an actual shortage here. Not sure how easy it would be to find work ? Same story for your partner really. My Mrs is a practice nurse now after being an ICU Sister for 15 years in the UK and she's found it hard to find permanent work here in Tauranga. Took her maybe 2.5 years until she got an offer of some part time permanent hours although we did have another child in between which kind of made it more difficult. Don't know where your partner is looking to work as a health care assistant but you may be limiting yourselves to much by only looking at Tauranga. My advice would be to look anywhere in the country and take any opportunity that comes up so long as the money and conditions work as it'll get you the visa and get you here and after that and after gaining some experience you could then move elsewhere. If you do have to restrict opportunities then maybe just decide North Island but consider all vacancies or offers across the whole of the North Island and not just in one place.

Everywhere in NZ has a dodgy area or two that people will advise you not to live. In our experience of NZ, there is no place here that is anywhere near as rough as some of the estates or areas in the UK that I could mention. I was born and bred in Wigan, Lancashire and some estates had burnt out cars and the like in their front gardens etc etc. never seen any of that here. Even in the roughest areas people seem to care about their surroundings and cut the grass etc. Yeah some places are a bit dilapidated with bins and sofas in the front garden but that's about as bad as it gets.
Lowest socio-economic area in Tauranga is Merivale closely followed by Parkvale next door. After that I'd personally steer clear of Welcome Bay but with that said it all depends where you lived in Welcome Bay as some parts are fine........its a big older subdivision which just keeps growing so the newer areas are fine. There is a saying here that West is best....meaning West of Tauranga (looking on Google maps) is much nicer and affluent than the East. Bethlehem is pretty much the nicest suburb of Tauranga and I would highly recommend as it has everything needed and good schools/shopping etc. We enjoyed our time there living in Bethlehem suburbia but we wanted more rural which is why we headed West on SH2 over the Wairoa River to Te Puna / Whakamarama.
Only thing I'd say that's bad is there's not much to do when it's raining.....especially for the kids but then if they like to play out in the rain they can as that's how they rock n roll here.
It is a much slower pace of life. That's what you've gotta expect and keep in your mind. It is like the UK 20 years ago. You don't have the options and choice of the UK at all in all manner of things from buying goods, services to going shopping. It is getting better but will take years to catch up with where the UK is now and with no family or friends here it can be lonely as you have nobody to turn to for support. You can't just nip to your parents for a brew etc.

Financially wise Tauranga is expensive. Cost of living is high. Cost of rent is high and increasing. Costs to own property is very high and increasing. TCC and WBOPC (Tauranga City Council and Western Bay Of Plenty Council) have the highest property rates in the country according to research. Properties available to rent is low and the demand high so you can find 20 families going for each rental.
People live here for the lifestyle even though living here is a task.
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Old Jun 22nd 2018, 6:50 am
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Default Re: Electricians in NZ

HI,

thank for some insight regerding the city of Tauranga...

You have confirmef what I have thought really. I also think that it is gonna be quite expensive for us and if I will be the only one making money (until partner finds work which can take long) then we could be struggling financialy. I was looking at houses under 400 -450 a week for rent and found some in Welcome Bay...but there were quite few in Gate Pa as well, which you did not mention as 'rough'.

I was considering Hawkes Bay as well but my partner wants bigger city - more job opportunities for her. I dont know now....maybe Auckland should be the starting point? Surely there must be more work available than anywhere else. As for my job offer, I was told by both agencies (Canstaff & Tradestaff) that there is work in Tauranga and I can get job offer there. I think they would find work for me, bigger problem will be my partner....

Well we have something to think about for sure...if you have any ideas how to increase our chances I'll be glad to hear them

Thanks for the input

Martin
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