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A four year mistake

A four year mistake

Old Jan 24th 2023, 10:50 pm
  #16  
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Default Re: A four year mistake

Good on you MaxiStavros. You galvanised yourself to get to NZ. My husband and I did that back in 2011. Like you, we sold our house, resigned our jobs and landed in Christchurch (via a visit to my in-laws in Auckland) in April 2011. There was the small matter of the Christchurch earthquake in March 2011 but lets let bygones be bygones. (We had sold the house, resigned our jobs, said goodbye to family and friends and were just counting the days until be boarded our flight to NZ when we got the news of the Christchurch earthquake and the initial body count, which tragically would rise. Basically we were past the point of no return and we hadn't even left Britain.)

Needless to say our attempt to settle in Christchurch went nowhere fast and it was my husband's job offer in the small town of Whanganui on the north island, about 120 miles north of Wellington that got us out of Christchurch in late June 2011.

I was/still am fairly ambivalent about living in New Zealand. I picked up a few bits and pieces of admin work, mostly out of town when we lived in Whanganui. My husband had a steady income and could walk to work.

We kinda settled in NZ. Well for as much as I was counting the years until I felt we had given it a good go. My husband could reconnect with his mother and sister. He hadn't lost touch with them, it was just useful to be, 'boots on the ground' for a few years. He could establish a relationship with his nephew and nieces too. Which he/we did.

We visited Auckland two or three times a year. Mostly to see a show. Also visited the in-laws as a by-the-way too. We sometimes went to Wellington at the weekend to see a show or a pop concert. We went to Australia once. Also, visited Raratonga and New Caledonia as separate holidays. So, not a bad life, really. But it was all the months and years between those edited highlights that reminded me that we would be going home one day.

I had my NZ citizenship ceremony in 2016 and we came home in November of the same year.

We moved around the UK for a few years dependent on where my husband's work contracts were based. Three years ago we purchased our house in the Midlands. We must have shelled out over forty grand GBP in rent over the years between returning from NZ and buying our house in the Midlands. It would have been much more had we rented in the South East of England.

We had been living in the South East of England before relocating to NZ. I knew we would probably settle in the Midlands upon our return from NZ rather than the over heated, overblown South East. It was the difference between buying a house for cash and having to find a mortgage to deal with any potential shortfall. We would have been middle aged mortgage applicants who have been out of the UK for nearly six years and by then hadn't had a permanent job in four years. I'm not saying it couldn't be done.....

However, we were cash buyers when we purchased the house we're living in now. We're still doing contract work, fortunately we're working from home so no commuting costs and associated hassles. We aim to retire in a few years. Pensions ? Whole other story.

As I had in my 'signature block' at the bottom of my other B.E. account where my screen name was Snap Shot: Goodbye New Zealand. It's been real.

(I re-registered for an alternative B.E. account because I couldn't remember my old password.)


Last edited by Moon_River; Jan 24th 2023 at 10:54 pm.
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Old Jan 24th 2023, 11:26 pm
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Default Re: A four year mistake

Originally Posted by Moon_River View Post
Good on you MaxiStavros. You galvanised yourself to get to NZ. My husband and I did that back in 2011. Like you, we sold our house, resigned our jobs and landed in Christchurch (via a visit to my in-laws in Auckland) in April 2011. There was the small matter of the Christchurch earthquake in March 2011 but lets let bygones be bygones. (We had sold the house, resigned our jobs, said goodbye to family and friends and were just counting the days until be boarded our flight to NZ when we got the news of the Christchurch earthquake and the initial body count, which tragically would rise. Basically we were past the point of no return and we hadn't even left Britain.)

Needless to say our attempt to settle in Christchurch went nowhere fast and it was my husband's job offer in the small town of Whanganui on the north island, about 120 miles north of Wellington that got us out of Christchurch in late June 2011.

I was/still am fairly ambivalent about living in New Zealand. I picked up a few bits and pieces of admin work, mostly out of town when we lived in Whanganui. My husband had a steady income and could walk to work.

We kinda settled in NZ. Well for as much as I was counting the years until I felt we had given it a good go. My husband could reconnect with his mother and sister. He hadn't lost touch with them, it was just useful to be, 'boots on the ground' for a few years. He could establish a relationship with his nephew and nieces too. Which he/we did.

We visited Auckland two or three times a year. Mostly to see a show. Also visited the in-laws as a by-the-way too. We sometimes went to Wellington at the weekend to see a show or a pop concert. We went to Australia once. Also, visited Raratonga and New Caledonia as separate holidays. So, not a bad life, really. But it was all the months and years between those edited highlights that reminded me that we would be going home one day.

I had my NZ citizenship ceremony in 2016 and we came home in November of the same year.

We moved around the UK for a few years dependent on where my husband's work contracts were based. Three years ago we purchased our house in the Midlands. We must have shelled out over forty grand GBP in rent over the years between returning from NZ and buying our house in the Midlands. It would have been much more had we rented in the South East of England.

We had been living in the South East of England before relocating to NZ. I knew we would probably settle in the Midlands upon our return from NZ rather than the over heated, overblown South East. It was the difference between buying a house for cash and having to find a mortgage to deal with any potential shortfall. We would have been middle aged mortgage applicants who have been out of the UK for nearly six years and by then hadn't had a permanent job in four years. I'm not saying it couldn't be done.....

However, we were cash buyers when we purchased the house we're living in now. We're still doing contract work, fortunately we're working from home so no commuting costs and associated hassles. We aim to retire in a few years. Pensions ? Whole other story.

As I had in my 'signature block' at the bottom of my other B.E. account where my screen name was Snap Shot: Goodbye New Zealand. It's been real.

(I re-registered for an alternative B.E. account because I couldn't remember my old password.)
I remember you, I hope you're enjoying life back home 😊
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Old Jan 25th 2023, 12:01 am
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Thumbs down Re: A four year mistake

Originally Posted by LittleGreyCat View Post
Invercargill is a lovely place (in the summer).

It is hard when you have to have a job before you migrate because the offer of a job dictates where you move to.

New Zealand isn't the dream destination it used to be even 5 years ago.

For those who say just move in the UK, perhaps treat a move to a town in NZ as the first step to choosing a final location.
Settle in and then apply for jobs everywhere.
Invercargill is a lovely place (in the summer) ???
For a kick off Invercargill's summer (2 weeks in February) is not exactly sub tropical - so what's lovely about it?
Oriti Beach is OK ish but is cold for 11 months of the year and is always as windy as hell. As for the rest of Invercargill - one of the highest rates of crime per capita head in the whole of New Zealand.
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Old Jan 25th 2023, 5:13 am
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Default Re: A four year mistake

We obviously went to a different Invercargill this January.
Nice weather, good trip over to Stewart Island (yes, that was unusual) and nobody robbed us
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Old Jan 25th 2023, 5:35 am
  #20  
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Default Re: A four year mistake

Originally Posted by LittleGreyCat View Post
We obviously went to a different Invercargill this January.
Nice weather, good trip over to Stewart Island (yes, that was unusual) and nobody robbed us

I'm glad the trip went well. You recommend it then. We have not been over.
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Old Jan 25th 2023, 6:45 am
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Default Re: A four year mistake

Bermondsey George, I really do agree with you. The area we were in (Timaru) was grim, I bet people there were baffled why anyone would emigrate from the other side of the world, from Britain which has so much beauty and so much happening to live in such a place, it is a bit like someone from Melbourne or Sydney emigrating to Hartlepool or Blyth. And as you say all along the East coast south from Timaru there is just nothing. Despite hundreds of miles of coast line there are no beaches, there are no towns or cities, no mountains, no lakes, no forests. We really struggled to think of anything worth doing on our weekends there. Christchurch was 100 miles away and that was just a concrete jungle. Dunedin was a little further to the south and that was not worth seeing either.

I honestly don’t know how people live their lives in such places, it is so dull it’s ridiculous.

To think people were saying they were jealous of us living there.

We do feel cheated though, it wasn’t meant to be like that. It’s our own fault for not researching the area before applying for the job. I have no doubt that had we moved to Auckland, Tauranga, Napier on the north island we would have enjoyed life there. But there are a lot of dreary, soulless places in NZ, with nothing happening, nothing to see or do and it’s no wonder so many people on here say that they struggle to settle, don’t enjoy life in NZ and miss home. It’s easy to settle and enjoy life if you love where you live.

Winters were particularly grim and it made it worse thinking that the months of May, June and July are so amazing back in Europe.

As I say, we loved our holiday in NZ prior to going so we didn’t go blind as such but it does make you wonder where this image people have that emigrating to NZ is like a dream comes from, someone on the New Zealand marketing team is doing a great job because quite clearly it’s not a dream for so many.

If there is one piece of advice we would give people thinking of emigrating to NZ, find the right city or town you like the look of best - check out Google street view to make sure it’s a nice place to live with plenty happening, check out how likely you will find employment there. We were naive and paid the price, it could have been so much better if we did the right research.
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Old Jan 25th 2023, 8:48 am
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Default Re: A four year mistake

Originally Posted by MaxiStavros View Post
Bermondsey George, I really do agree with you. The area we were in (Timaru) was grim, I bet people there were baffled why anyone would emigrate from the other side of the world, from Britain which has so much beauty and so much happening to live in such a place, it is a bit like someone from Melbourne or Sydney emigrating to Hartlepool or Blyth. And as you say all along the East coast south from Timaru there is just nothing. Despite hundreds of miles of coast line there are no beaches, there are no towns or cities, no mountains, no lakes, no forests. We really struggled to think of anything worth doing on our weekends there. Christchurch was 100 miles away and that was just a concrete jungle. Dunedin was a little further to the south and that was not worth seeing either.

I honestly don’t know how people live their lives in such places, it is so dull it’s ridiculous.

To think people were saying they were jealous of us living there.

We do feel cheated though, it wasn’t meant to be like that. It’s our own fault for not researching the area before applying for the job. I have no doubt that had we moved to Auckland, Tauranga, Napier on the north island we would have enjoyed life there. But there are a lot of dreary, soulless places in NZ, with nothing happening, nothing to see or do and it’s no wonder so many people on here say that they struggle to settle, don’t enjoy life in NZ and miss home. It’s easy to settle and enjoy life if you love where you live.

Winters were particularly grim and it made it worse thinking that the months of May, June and July are so amazing back in Europe.

As I say, we loved our holiday in NZ prior to going so we didn’t go blind as such but it does make you wonder where this image people have that emigrating to NZ is like a dream comes from, someone on the New Zealand marketing team is doing a great job because quite clearly it’s not a dream for so many.

If there is one piece of advice we would give people thinking of emigrating to NZ, find the right city or town you like the look of best - check out Google street view to make sure it’s a nice place to live with plenty happening, check out how likely you will find employment there. We were naive and paid the price, it could have been so much better if we did the right research.
You did everything right and there is no perfect way, even people who move to the places you mention don't always enjoy life there. Auckland is often not the image people have from NZ either and they expected the rural NZ others dislike. Then there are other issues such as cost of living, lack of housing etc. and even people (BE Forum) who return to the UK complain that it's not the place they used to know and it's changed for the worse. You wanted more going on and some other people are now complaining there is too much going on, so you can't win. Even if we think these places are grim, there are others who would give anything to live there and even the grim parts would be paradise when you compare with the rest of the world.
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Old Jan 25th 2023, 8:53 am
  #23  
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Default Re: A four year mistake

Don't dwell.

It is a good enough place , just not for you.
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