Getting deflated

Old May 2nd 2006, 8:04 pm
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Default Getting deflated

My husband & I are looking very seriously into moving to New Zealand. We have 2 small children and want a better lifestyle for them both. We have read that the schools in New Zealand are MUCH better with less children in a class than here in the UK and education grade passes are higher. We have also read and been advised that we would have a better lifestyle and crime is very low.

These are the main reasons we are looking to move, for our children. However after reading several of the comments from people who have already moved it sounds that the schools are not brilliant, crime is on the rise and we are going to be skint as we will only have one income and the cost of living is so high?

What is the truth. One minute I think that it's going to be brill and can't wait to move and the next I'm feeling rather deflated and frightened by all the negative comments on this website.

It's obviously one of the BIGGEST decissions we are ever going to make and we have to put our children first. Can someone advise me more on the schooling. My children are 18 months & 3 1/2?

Is it worth the Move?
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Old May 2nd 2006, 10:06 pm
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Default Re: Getting deflated

Only you can make such an important decision for yourself. Keep in mind that more than 90% of British people who move to NZ stay in NZ.

You can see from reading the posts that most of the posts are made by a group of frequent posters. Many of us may not have enough other interests. Most people who move to NZ do not use this forum and most of the British people in NZ, or even a reasonable representation post on this board either.

I have been reading this board for sometime and yes I do post too. My wife and I have found some of the information useful and a few people have some good help available for specifically asked questions. We have found far more information ourselves on cost of living, prices of houses, migration process, job opportunities, location of nice but modest parts of the city, what city we think we would like and schools. Spending a little time here and there on line helps.

We have been able to make contacts in NZ by being in touch with an estate agent, who turns out to be Canadian too. She has even permitted me to use here address as a mailing address for the HSBC account I am opening so my cards and so forth can be available when I arrive. We have made a contact with a family in NZ who we speak to on Skype and have children the same age as ours. He happens to be teacher and his wife helps families who are relocating to Christchurch.

You too can do all this and feel fine about your choice, but you have to understand yourself well, know why you want to make this sort of move. All the time keeping in mind that you are not moving to some tropical paradise. You still have to clean house, bath kids, go to work, worry about the bills to a certain extent and all the other things you currently do. However, if on balance you think that you will realise a long term benefit from such a move than why not.

Sorry for the long post. Pm me if you want to talk more.
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Old May 2nd 2006, 10:56 pm
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Default Re: Getting deflated

We came here from Britain when our kids were 9 and 11 and they have settled in very well, they have grown in so many ways and have thrived on the more relaxed, informal teaching methods. The move has been more than worth it for their sakes, if nothing else.

Levels of crime, standards of education and wages vary within NZ in the same way that they vary within the UK, probably more so. Inner city living will be a lot different to being out in the sticks, as you can imagine. I'm in a rural location and can leave my front door open and the kids bikes out front but wouldn't have done this in Browns Bay, North Shore when I lived there.

I think that so long as you earn enough to make ends meet, choose carefully where to live, where to educate your children and be as flexible as you can you will find what you are looking for.
 
Old May 2nd 2006, 11:18 pm
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Default Re: Getting deflated

We moved here in January with our kids. We have found the move to be lifechanging, but for the better. We didn't come with a truck load of money and yes we have to watch what we spend, but for ourselves and the kids we did the right thing. We both had quite stressful jobs in the UK, here the lifestyle is so much more relaxed. The kids love it. The schools are fantastic and my two teenagers are doing so much more work/homework, after school sports and dont moan each morning that they dont want to go, as they did in the UK. We spend much more time outdoors as a family, exploring the countryside and all the parks and walks (and there are tons). The boys go out on their bikes and are gone for hours. I too can leave their bikes outside my front door and expect it to be there in an hour...mine got nicked in the UK after 15 mins!!! The two younger ones are having so much more freedom. In the UK my 7 and 9 years old never went outside the house unless they were with someone older. Here in our street, which is very quiet, there are about six other families with young kids and they all play in the street or in or out of each others houses...my kids absolutely love it.
On the other hand, you do need to pay school fees and for all of their books. You pay more in tax, but no national insurance. You pay for your healthcare and dentist.
All in all I definitely made this right decision.....but each person is different. If you have a wonderful life in the UK and expect it to be like that as soon as you arrive - it wont. It takes time to find a home, schools and most importantly friends.. You will spend alot of time on your own when you arrive when the kids are at school and hubby is at work (the TV is naff) so you will be left alone for alot of the time. I found a part-time job so now my days are full. Just be prepared to make sacrifices and you will be fine.. Best of luck.
Sue
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Old May 3rd 2006, 4:22 am
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Default Re: Getting deflated

Originally Posted by Sarah Dixon
My husband & I are looking very seriously into moving to New Zealand. We have 2 small children and want a better lifestyle for them both. We have read that the schools in New Zealand are MUCH better with less children in a class than here in the UK and education grade passes are higher. We have also read and been advised that we would have a better lifestyle and crime is very low.

These are the main reasons we are looking to move, for our children. However after reading several of the comments from people who have already moved it sounds that the schools are not brilliant, crime is on the rise and we are going to be skint as we will only have one income and the cost of living is so high?

What is the truth. One minute I think that it's going to be brill and can't wait to move and the next I'm feeling rather deflated and frightened by all the negative comments on this website.

It's obviously one of the BIGGEST decissions we are ever going to make and we have to put our children first. Can someone advise me more on the schooling. My children are 18 months & 3 1/2?

Is it worth the Move?
it is difficult, and unfortunately there isn't an easy one-size-fits-all answer. Which is good too..

I would say being informed and realistic about what to expect is one way to increase the chances of success, and it sounds like you are doing that.

The comment about this forum not necessarily being representative of all immigrants is probably a good point. Use this forum as a source of info but not the only source of info..
having said that.. of course i DO have all the answers.....

I think kids have a good future in NZ overall, so that is a positive. Being on one income may or may not be a problem, it depends how much money you have to bring across for a deposit on a house here..accommmodation is the main expense and if you have a small/ no mortgage your money goes a long way further....

And it is natural to feel deflated....its hugely stressful so dont worry if you have days when you feel down...Emigration is a process..we have been here 3 1/2 years and we are in the PROCESS of applying for our citizenship, and then passports and and and..

Feel free to msg me if you want to know more about NZ and the whole experience.....

Bad news for you i guess is its always going to remain a difficult decision that only you can make at the end of the day..

Best of luck
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Old May 3rd 2006, 7:09 pm
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Wink Re: Getting deflated

Thank you so much for your comments and i hope you don't mind me replying. There are so many questions I need to ask SOMEONE rather than read.

My husband has to find a job with an accredited employer earning 45000 nz dollars before we can come over - I think this is going to be a huge problem as he is a lorry driver & they are not well paid in NZ. Is this enough money for us to live on? We are not planning on selling our house in the UK yet but are planning to rent just in case we need to come home. This means we will have to pay rent. Do we have to rent furniture or does this come with most properties? Can you tell me what other household bills have to paid be and are they similar to that in the UK i.e water, TV licence, council tax etc?

Do you know how much money people generally bring over with them? We will not have that much prob about £4000 uk. In your own opinion will this get us very far?

I know that health is not covered for us but does that apply for children especially if we are not a permanent residence at the time of entering NZ? How much is the cost of a Health Care policy and will this cover trips to the doctors etc? On the same note is dental care expensive - do they have dental plans like we do in the UK?

Do Employers offer pensions or do we have to take out private pensions? Do most employers pay holiday pay & sick pay?

Regarding schools will my daughter be entitled free pre-school or do we have to pay for this - do you know what age they go to pre-school and for how long i.e hours?

How much do we have to pay the schools for education?

If you are not yet a PR do you pay tax to the UK?

Where do New Zealanders go on holiday? Is the cost to travel very expensive?

I'm so sorry to bombard you with questions and they may seem silly but I'm a bit clueless when it comes to immigration!!!

Where are you living at the moment - in your opinion which is best North or South?

I appreciate any advice you may be able to give.

Thanks Sarah
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Old May 3rd 2006, 8:19 pm
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Default Re: Getting deflated

We will not have that much prob about £4000 uk. In your own opinion will this get us very far?


Hi Sarah

Will £4000 get you far in the UK ?..........Well there is your answer

K9
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Old May 3rd 2006, 9:17 pm
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Wink Re: Getting deflated

Originally Posted by Sarah Dixon

Do you know how much money people generally bring over with them? We will not have that much prob about £4000 uk. In your own opinion will this get us very far?

Thanks Sarah
Hi Sarah - I will be watching out for the answers to these questions too! With regards to money - well, we hope to save enough to see ourselves right for 6 months. There are 2 adults, and 2 under 3s in our lot. So I spose in the region of 10k would sort out rent, deposits, bills, food/clothes basics - but it wouldnt be enough for incidentals. So we need to save a bit more for contingency, a car, fees, health etc etc. Our house sale should release 10k, and ihope to save the other 10k over next 12 months. So that is what we are bringing out with us. This doesnt include what we need to save for flights/container/medicals/paperwork etc etc. Its going to be a struggle to save. I have read in these posts about ppl who have come out with 10k and less... might be worth you having a read through last posts see what you can find.

With ref to your house. I have thought long and hard about this too. We are still very reluctant to think we must sell it.... but I know how i think. If I got out to NZ and things got even slightly tough, I would think, we have a house back in the UK, no probs lets go back. It would be too easy and I wouldnt be making that proper break.

And so, if we do come back, we have to start again. Oh well... so be it. At least we can say we have done something in our lives, and given our children an alternative education and experiences.

I am a little emotional about my house too - but at the end of the day, its just a pile of bricks. It doesnt care much for me in return

Kate.
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Old May 3rd 2006, 10:38 pm
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Default Re: Getting deflated

Originally Posted by dreamfish
Hi Sarah - I will be watching out for the answers to these questions too! With regards to money - well, we hope to save enough to see ourselves right for 6 months. There are 2 adults, and 2 under 3s in our lot. So I spose in the region of 10k would sort out rent, deposits, bills, food/clothes basics - but it wouldnt be enough for incidentals. So we need to save a bit more for contingency, a car, fees, health etc etc. Our house sale should release 10k, and ihope to save the other 10k over next 12 months. So that is what we are bringing out with us. This doesnt include what we need to save for flights/container/medicals/paperwork etc etc. Its going to be a struggle to save. I have read in these posts about ppl who have come out with 10k and less... might be worth you having a read through last posts see what you can find.

With ref to your house. I have thought long and hard about this too. We are still very reluctant to think we must sell it.... but I know how i think. If I got out to NZ and things got even slightly tough, I would think, we have a house back in the UK, no probs lets go back. It would be too easy and I wouldnt be making that proper break.

And so, if we do come back, we have to start again. Oh well... so be it. At least we can say we have done something in our lives, and given our children an alternative education and experiences.

I am a little emotional about my house too - but at the end of the day, its just a pile of bricks. It doesnt care much for me in return

Kate.
Hi Kate
We arrived in NZ with about 20k NZD, although we were lucky enough to have a job lined up and two weeks accommodation paid for by my employer...

I take your point about the house, but renting it out for the first 6 months to a yerar does have its advantages too...
1. you are not going to have to try and get back on the property ladder if you return to the UK
2. you can have a income from renting it out
3. you wont feel "trapped" in NZ with no means to return
4. you can take your time selling and may get a better price when you finally do decide to sell..

on the downside..
1. like you said, it might mean you dont feel settled but honestly you wont feel settled that soon even if you did buy a house in NZ
2. Hassles having to manage a property from the other side of the world
3. Selling allows you to bring in more cash/ capital
4. Not getting into the property market in Nz

Guess all this shows is that ists a tradeoff and everyone makes up their own mind based on what is important to them...

I hope everything works out..


cheers
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Old May 4th 2006, 1:47 am
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Default Re: Getting deflated

We have been here 11 months now.... I am just getting to the stage where I am seriously considering putting my UK house up for sale and maybe buying one here. We have 2 properties that we rent out in the UK and I'm not seeing a profit from mine now so whats the point in keeping it?

I still dont feel totally settled here (but getting more settled everyday) ... living in rented accomm isnt quite the same... we cant do things to it that we would want to do if it was ours.... we arnt even allowed to put stair gates up in case we mark the walls. We are thinking about having another bub so what,...... when it crawls, it falls down the stairs??!! (upstairs living).

Even if we didnt buy straight away we would get $1000 interest in a high interest account.... that would help with day to day living which aint cheap here in Auckland!

The lease on my house in UK is up for renewal this month so I will ask the Management Company to ask tenent if she'd like to buy it (its a starter home in nice area)... if she doesnt then I have to make up my mind what I'm going to do.

eh.... my post doesnt have a lot in common with the OP's questions...sorry!! lol So is it worth the move?? Well, our answer is yes but thats just our opinion.
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Old May 4th 2006, 3:37 am
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Default Re: Getting deflated

Originally Posted by Sarah Dixon
My husband has to find a job with an accredited employer earning 45000 nz dollars before we can come over - I think this is going to be a huge problem as he is a lorry driver & they are not well paid in NZ. Is this enough money for us to live on?
Most kiwi families find this enough. I had an idea that HGV drivers were in demand in NZ, and the adantage is many of the jobs are in the regions (eg. dairy and forestry related) with lower CoL and easier lifestyle. Has hubby tried Fonterra yet?

Originally Posted by Sarah Dixon
Do we have to rent furniture or does this come with most properties? Can you tell me what other household bills have to paid be and are they similar to that in the UK i.e water, TV licence, council tax etc?
Most properties are unfurnished, but you can find some furnished too?
There is no TV licence, but many people get Sky. Water is often unmetered and included in rates (equivalent of council tax), which are generally lower than in UK. Insurance and MV costs are generally lower than the UK, electricity and gas appear the same or more expensive. You really are better off looking at some of the cost of living specific threads for more info on these.


Originally Posted by Sarah Dixon
Do you know how much money people generally bring over with them? We will not have that much prob about £4000 uk. In your own opinion will this get us very far?
Most people probably have sold their UK properties so have plenty of readies for the setting up period. I've heard some quite large numbers mentioned for how much cash is needed, in the order of 10-15 sterling, but that included flights and moving expenses I think.

Originally Posted by Sarah Dixon
Do Employers offer pensions or do we have to take out private pensions? Do most employers pay holiday pay & sick pay?
Few employers offer pension schemes at the moment, although that will change in the next year or two (although whether they want to subsidise pensions is another matter). Re private pensions, I would advise giving yourself a pension holiday for a year or so while you settle in to NZ and decide if you will stay.

Holiday pay is a statutory requirement (minimum 3 weeks now, rising to 4 weeks in 07). Sick pay - I think most employers offer up to 5 days per year. It is almost standard that you cannot take paid holiday in first 6 months of joining (although it accumulates for you). In practice many employers will let you take a few days in lieu during this period.


Originally Posted by Sarah Dixon
If you are not yet a PR do you pay tax to the UK?
Only to the extent that you earn UK income (eg rent and interest).

Originally Posted by Sarah Dixon
Where do New Zealanders go on holiday? Is the cost to travel very expensive?
New Zealand generally. Camping is dead cheap, motels are reasonably priced too. Big holiday spots are Nelson, Central Otago, Taupo and Coromandel.

Overseas trips are generally expensive on NZ salaries, although you can get some bargains to Oz (but not the eally cheap flights that are available in Europe).


Originally Posted by Sarah Dixon
Where are you living at the moment - in your opinion which is best North or South?
Dunedin. South is best by far.

Originally Posted by Sarah Dixon
I'm so sorry to bombard you with questions and they may seem silly but I'm a bit clueless when it comes to immigration!!!
Thats OK, we were all clueless at one stage. Thats why we all join these sort of forums.
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Old May 4th 2006, 8:23 am
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Default Re: Getting deflated

I'd agree with much of what Southerner's said.

But, IMO $45k won't get you far at all if you live near a major population area, certainly as a single salary in Auckland it would not be sufficient for a family in rented accommodation: rents start out in the order of 350-400 a week for an unfurnished house around here. You will need to pay a letting fee = one week's rent, a bond = 3 weeks rent and a weeks rent in advance.

You will get carpets, curtains, dishwasher and possibly a washing machine thrown in, your council rates will be paid for by your landlord, you'll pay metered water yourself, or if you have a water tank you may need to pay to have it filled if there's insufficient rain.

Bills for a family - well, how long is a piece of string? between $100-150 a month for leccy, tank full of petrol is $85 for me. There's plenty of info on this forum about living costs though.

You would be entitled to state benefits on that sort of salary if you have children and it may be worth investigating these if you are at all concerned about making ends meet.

Health insurance really is necessary, we pay $140 month for the 4 of us, doctors bills, prescription charges and medicines we pay for ourselves. Dental insurance is not worth having.

One last word about driving in NZ - not a patch on the standard of the roads in the UK. Much of NZ is like the UK was before motorways were built and good quality, smooth, straight, fast roads are few and far between in some places. Towns can be long distances apart and quite isolated; the speed limit is 60 km/hr.

Good luck.
 
Old May 4th 2006, 9:32 am
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Default Re: Getting deflated

Originally Posted by livewire
Towns can be long distances apart and quite isolated; the speed limit is 60 km/hr.
Errrmm, the normal speed limit in town is 50 km/hr, the speed limit on some sections of road in town is 60 km/hr (eg main suburban links here in ChCh), the speed limit on the open road is 100 km/hr. Speed limits are signposted and end in an "0". Speed recommendations ie warnings for sharp corners, are signposted and end in a "5".
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Old May 4th 2006, 10:39 am
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Default Re: Getting deflated

Originally Posted by Sarah Dixon
My husband & I are looking very seriously into moving to New Zealand. We have 2 small children and want a better lifestyle for them both. We have read that the schools in New Zealand are MUCH better with less children in a class than here in the UK and education grade passes are higher. We have also read and been advised that we would have a better lifestyle and crime is very low.

These are the main reasons we are looking to move, for our children. However after reading several of the comments from people who have already moved it sounds that the schools are not brilliant, crime is on the rise and we are going to be skint as we will only have one income and the cost of living is so high?

What is the truth. One minute I think that it's going to be brill and can't wait to move and the next I'm feeling rather deflated and frightened by all the negative comments on this website.

It's obviously one of the BIGGEST decissions we are ever going to make and we have to put our children first. Can someone advise me more on the schooling. My children are 18 months & 3 1/2?

Is it worth the Move?
Hi sarah
I too read the previous discussion and panicked as i tend to do most days. I've just put my house on the market and when it sells were intending on arriving in Auckland and my husband looking for work. Hes got no job offer and no work permit but were hoping some kind person will offer him a job. Were also bringing our 3 children one of 14, one of 12 and one of 7. I'm really worried about how they will find it. My husband works as a support analyst in I.T, this isn't really well paid and we would be hoping for the kind of salary you are. We've been told its unlikely he'll get work anywhere other than Auckland or Wellington. You are not alone in panicking. If anyone can help me with affordable areas with good but fun schools in these areas i'd be really gratefull.
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Old May 4th 2006, 10:50 am
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Default Re: Getting deflated

Hi Spacecake,

Be careful about just popping into New Zealand and starting work and living here. The immigration department may view things differentley to you and could say that you should have applied to live here first.

In saying that my cousin jumped the ditch from Malaysia and found a job while on holiday and has been here for 4 years now.

All the best.

Lawrence
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