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An honest opinion on New Zealand for people thinking of moving here

An honest opinion on New Zealand for people thinking of moving here

Old Dec 5th 2012, 12:59 am
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Default An honest opinion on New Zealand for people thinking of moving here

Hi forum, my name is Alex and I have lived in New Zealand since I was 17, in 2005.

Having been here for 7 years, I feel I have become so used to it, that I can give some insight into the positive and negative sides of New Zealand.

When we were first going to move out here, my parents fed me a fantastical story about a land of wonder and beauty. And while there is some truth to that, it doesn't paint the full picture.

The main advantage New Zealand has is the weather, which obviously is a lot better than that of the UK. This is especially true for people who like to do a lot of outdoor activities such as hiking, watersports etc, itself a great place for that. Be warned though, this is not Australia, not even close. Mid 20's is what you get for the most part.

The other main advantage is the laid back atmosphere. While this does tend to get exaggerated quite a bit, it is true that work tends to be less stressful, and you will have a more laid back lifestyle. Again though, for some people this might actually be a disadvantage, especially if you are an ambitious and productive person. An example of this would be a company that is satisfied easily, and doesn't take on board suggestions of how to improve productivity. Most frustrating.

One more advantage is the relative safety of the environment, to bring up children and things like that. However in my experience this is relative. If you moved from the lake district to South Auckland, obviously SA is more dangerous, dirty and horrible. So generally this is in relation to moving from inner city UK to small town NZ.

Ok and now for the negatives.

First and foremost is the isolation. You are not only a long way from your family, you are a long way from..... Everything. It's going to cost you a minimum of 2000 dollars to get off this island for a holiday, and even then I sure hope you like Australia, because that's where you will be going. If you are a person who likes to explore the different cultures that Europe and North Africa has to offer, you can forget anything like that, unless you want to spend an extortionate amount you are limited to Australasia. And it gets old, real fast. Culture in general is in short supply, world class musical acts and sports events don't come here very often, so I hope you like rugby and kiwi music a lot.

The second disadvantage applies only to small town New Zealand, Auckland is a little bit better. And that is making friends and meeting people. Kiwis have a reputation for being a friendly, open and welcoming people, and I'm not sure where this has come from. I have a good group of friends, but fitting in is hard. Most kiwis I have met in the last 7 years are happy to hang round with the people they went to school with, and aren't fussed about meeting new people, or doing anything other than drink at the weekends. It may seem a generalising statement, but it's what I have found. You need to be very persistent to make any friends. Auckland is different because it's more open minded, I made friends easy there.

So really that's all there is to it. It can be a great place, but it might not be the paradise you have in your mind.

I would advise NZ to married couples with very young children, I would advise younger people under the age of 40 to consider alternative options like Australia or the states, as you will get bored here.

If anyone has any questions, ask away
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Old Dec 5th 2012, 1:16 am
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Default Re: An honest opinion on New Zealand for people thinking of moving here

I'd say you've pretty much hit the nail on the head.

Nice place if a little dull.
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Old Dec 5th 2012, 1:45 am
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Default Re: An honest opinion on New Zealand for people thinking of moving here

Originally Posted by Infern0 View Post
Hi forum, my name is Alex and I have lived in New Zealand since I was 17, in 2005.

Having been here for 7 years, I feel I have become so used to it, that I can give some insight into the positive and negative sides of New Zealand.

When we were first going to move out here, my parents fed me a fantastical story about a land of wonder and beauty. And while there is some truth to that, it doesn't paint the full picture.

The main advantage New Zealand has is the weather, which obviously is a lot better than that of the UK. This is especially true for people who like to do a lot of outdoor activities such as hiking, watersports etc, itself a great place for that. Be warned though, this is not Australia, not even close. Mid 20's is what you get for the most part.

The other main advantage is the laid back atmosphere. While this does tend to get exaggerated quite a bit, it is true that work tends to be less stressful, and you will have a more laid back lifestyle. Again though, for some people this might actually be a disadvantage, especially if you are an ambitious and productive person. An example of this would be a company that is satisfied easily, and doesn't take on board suggestions of how to improve productivity. Most frustrating.

One more advantage is the relative safety of the environment, to bring up children and things like that. However in my experience this is relative. If you moved from the lake district to South Auckland, obviously SA is more dangerous, dirty and horrible. So generally this is in relation to moving from inner city UK to small town NZ.

Ok and now for the negatives.

First and foremost is the isolation. You are not only a long way from your family, you are a long way from..... Everything. It's going to cost you a minimum of 2000 dollars to get off this island for a holiday, and even then I sure hope you like Australia, because that's where you will be going. If you are a person who likes to explore the different cultures that Europe and North Africa has to offer, you can forget anything like that, unless you want to spend an extortionate amount you are limited to Australasia. And it gets old, real fast. Culture in general is in short supply, world class musical acts and sports events don't come here very often, so I hope you like rugby and kiwi music a lot.

The second disadvantage applies only to small town New Zealand, Auckland is a little bit better. And that is making friends and meeting people. Kiwis have a reputation for being a friendly, open and welcoming people, and I'm not sure where this has come from. I have a good group of friends, but fitting in is hard. Most kiwis I have met in the last 7 years are happy to hang round with the people they went to school with, and aren't fussed about meeting new people, or doing anything other than drink at the weekends. It may seem a generalising statement, but it's what I have found. You need to be very persistent to make any friends. Auckland is different because it's more open minded, I made friends easy there.

So really that's all there is to it. It can be a great place, but it might not be the paradise you have in your mind.

I would advise NZ to married couples with very young children, I would advise younger people under the age of 40 to consider alternative options like Australia or the states, as you will get bored here.

If anyone has any questions, ask away
Yeah agree with everything you say and I for one feel guilty that my eldest daughter never settled (she's 19) and she says people her age bore her and I have to say I can understand where she's coming from

So much for thinking it was going to be a better place to live for my girls, actually never thought about the fact that when they grow up its dull

Last edited by love30stm; Dec 5th 2012 at 1:47 am.
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Old Dec 5th 2012, 2:08 am
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Default Re: An honest opinion on New Zealand for people thinking of moving here

Originally Posted by love30stm View Post
So much for thinking it was going to be a better place to live for my girls, actually never thought about the fact that when they grow up its dull
I think it genuinely is. So what if they are a little bored when they hit 18, in many ways that is good.

What it does is give your kids more options and outlooks on life. NZ graduates have zero problems getting work around the world and in many cases do very well. So I think it gives them pretty much all of the benefits of growing up and being educated in any other country but still allows a relatively free, safe and relaxed childhood.
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Old Dec 5th 2012, 2:13 am
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Default Re: An honest opinion on New Zealand for people thinking of moving here

Originally Posted by love30stm View Post
Yeah agree with everything you say and I for one feel guilty that my eldest daughter never settled (she's 19) and she says people her age bore her and I have to say I can understand where she's coming from

So much for thinking it was going to be a better place to live for my girls, actually never thought about the fact that when they grow up its dull
I wouldn't feel guilty, a lot of people made the same mistake, and nobody can know before they have done it, what it will end up being like.

There is advantages though, your daughter could go to work in Australia which is a hotbed for young people.

She isn't alone with people her age boring her, at 25, I still find most people my age act like 17 year old's, mostly I socialize with the people I work with, who are all 30+

Just encourage your daughter to think about what she wants to do with her life, and try to help her along with her goals.

She's lucky to have parents who care about how she feels enough to be guilty, my parents never ave a toss to be frank.
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Old Dec 5th 2012, 2:17 am
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Default Re: An honest opinion on New Zealand for people thinking of moving here

Originally Posted by sr71 View Post
I think it genuinely is. So what if they are a little bored when they hit 18, in many ways that is good.

What it does is give your kids more options and outlooks on life. NZ graduates have zero problems getting work around the world and in many cases do very well. So I think it gives them pretty much all of the benefits of growing up and being educated in any other country but still allows a relatively free, safe and relaxed childhood.
It gives you the motivation to get the hell out of here, i'll give it that

I think you are looking at it a little short-sightedly (no offence meant)

Sure it's "safe"... I guess.

Kids here still take drugs, they still binge drink, they still get in fights.

When I was 17, the summer before I moved here, I went on vacation to Barcelona with my friends, and that still stands as the best time of my life, my old UK friends continued to do that type of thing, while I was stuck over here.

It's not all a bed of roses I think it seriously has to be considered for anyone moving here
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Old Dec 5th 2012, 2:54 am
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Default Re: An honest opinion on New Zealand for people thinking of moving here

Comparisons are difficult to make IMHO especially when it involves teenagers/young adults.

We lived in the UK during those years with three sons and we were often told they were bored as they struggled with what "they' thought was a restrictive and old fashioned life style.

But then they were and still are as adults into their sports especially water sports etc and lived much of their life in NZ or Aus.

I might add that when they lived in Aus they oftern complained about the heat and lack of snow sports LOL.

My personal opinion is that we are all different, some adapt differently to any given situation in our lives and that is how it should be, but unfortunately we don't always appreciate the opportunities we have had until we reflect as we age.

Our views of any country are limited to the location we have lived in, what we hear or what we read. Negative experiences can occur anywhere and anytime. In my life they have taught me the most (about myself mostly).

Inferno it sounds like you are ready to explore life more than you already have just as I did at your age as did most of my friends and family. My advice is go for it, be open minded and enjoy what life brings you.

Do you mind if I ask if you live or have lived in South Auckland ?

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Old Dec 5th 2012, 2:55 am
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Default Re: An honest opinion on New Zealand for people thinking of moving here

Originally Posted by Infern0 View Post
I wouldn't feel guilty, a lot of people made the same mistake, and nobody can know before they have done it, what it will end up being like.

There is advantages though, your daughter could go to work in Australia which is a hotbed for young people.

She isn't alone with people her age boring her, at 25, I still find most people my age act like 17 year old's, mostly I socialize with the people I work with, who are all 30+

Just encourage your daughter to think about what she wants to do with her life, and try to help her along with her goals.

She's lucky to have parents who care about how she feels enough to be guilty, my parents never ave a toss to be frank.

Thanks she's been trying to get work without much success plus she don't know what to do

Anyway we may look at Oz for all of us in the future as I get bored just the same I'm a young in mind 50 something who likes a bit of life and don't feel like I should retire just yet
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Old Dec 5th 2012, 3:05 am
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Default Re: An honest opinion on New Zealand for people thinking of moving here

Originally Posted by Bellasmum View Post
Inferno do you mind if I ask if you live or have lived in South Auckland ?
Very briefly, it was when we had just moved here, my Dad's employer went into administration one morning, and by afternoon he'd got another job and we were all moving to tauranga .

I would say though there is certainly good and bad parts to it.

Did the old move around NZ, here there and everywhere for a bit, went to Uni at Waikato, and then got a job in central aucks and have got an apartment just off Wyndham Street.

Central Auckland living is fun, and a bit more me, but i'm looking into moving to NY or if I cant get there a trip back to London.
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Old Dec 5th 2012, 3:15 am
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Default Re: An honest opinion on New Zealand for people thinking of moving here

Originally Posted by Infern0 View Post
Very briefly, it was when we had just moved here, my Dad's employer went into administration one morning, and by afternoon he'd got another job and we were all moving to tauranga .

I would say though there is certainly good and bad parts to it.

Did the old move around NZ, here there and everywhere for a bit, went to Uni at Waikato, and then got a job in central aucks and have got an apartment just off Wyndham Street.

Central Auckland living is fun, and a bit more me, but i'm looking into moving to NY or if I cant get there a trip back to London.
Good for you, take every chance to explore the world, you will never regret it.
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Old Dec 5th 2012, 4:26 am
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Default Re: An honest opinion on New Zealand for people thinking of moving here

Intersting post, my son was also 17 when we came 1 1/2 years ago. He has also found making friends hard work. I have felt bad as he had a great set of friends in the UK. However he has survived and off to uni and new things this year.
Getting bored I think is a restless late teenage thing. I got bored at that age in my not so small Uk town and went to live in France for a couple of years.
I do really miss the Europe travel we used to do in the UK.
But our day to day life is better in NZ (I get to walk my dog on the beach every day before work, the UK was a quick trip to the local waste ground)
To be young is to travel and roam.
NZ is a great place for a young family.
Most kiwi's travel and do an OE in their 20 and us older ones just hope we have the money to do so.
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Old Dec 5th 2012, 8:57 pm
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Default Re: An honest opinion on New Zealand for people thinking of moving here

Good to read a post from someone who emigrated, ultimately without choice, and how you view NZ. It's another perspective than what I've seen since using BE. Although a lot of what you say has been eluded to on a number of occasions, it's good read the reasoning behind your opinions.

Good luck on your travels, get stuck in. I'm sure you will
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Old Dec 5th 2012, 9:37 pm
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Default Re: An honest opinion on New Zealand for people thinking of moving here

Interesting points raised

I think what the OP has highlighted is some of the misconceptions or down right fantasy ideals that people think is going to happen when you emigrate.

A good example was a guy I used to work with in Auckland, he had been here over ten years and worked as a service engineer, looking after industrial machinery all round Auckland. Pretty much exactly the same thing he did when he was in the UK, except it was in Leeds. His life was pretty much the same and he complained....a lot.

Eventually I got round to asking him why he came to NZ,

"the wife and I wanted a new start in life"
"Ok, so is this what you imagined?" (We were in East Tamaki)
"No, we wanted to have a orchard on the South Island, around Nelson"
"Oh, sounds cool, why didn't you?"
"This job came up."
"Oh, did you ever go to Nelson?"
"Nah, been to Raglan though"

And there you have it. You do all the hard work of moving halfway round the world, just to do the same thing you did back at home.
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Old Dec 5th 2012, 10:41 pm
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Default Re: An honest opinion on New Zealand for people thinking of moving here

Originally Posted by Catchafire View Post
And there you have it. You do all the hard work of moving halfway round the world, just to do the same thing you did back at home.
Of course, in the midst of huge change it is only human to look for the familiar and grasp it, of course grasping it too tightly means the rest of the plan has to change/wait etc...

The world is full of half-executed plans, doesn't make them wrong or failures.
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Old Dec 5th 2012, 11:07 pm
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Default Re: An honest opinion on New Zealand for people thinking of moving here

Originally Posted by Catchafire View Post
And there you have it. You do all the hard work of moving halfway round the world, just to do the same thing you did back at home.
Exactly what I did. I've done some travelling around, seen a fair bit of the country but the day to day stuff is the same. I sit in traffic, I sit in an office doing the same job I did before (on a bigger scale but still) and then I sit in traffic to get home.

I'm very very aware of the fact that to fully appreciate this move I need to make a bigger change. A career change and MORE of a lifestyle change. I think that part is even scarier than moving to the other side of the world for me!
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