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I am I making a horrible mistake - Auckland?

I am I making a horrible mistake - Auckland?

Old Jan 16th 2015, 1:31 pm
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Red face I am I making a horrible mistake - Auckland?

I have spent the past week reading everything I can find on the internet about moving to Auckland, and what started as a thrill and excitement has descended into utter dread!!!!!! I know it is easier (generally) to write about the bad rather than the good so I'm hoping the kind folks on here can either give some confidence or convince me not to go any further!

First up - I'm being considered for a very good job on what appears to be very good wages in Auckland (£160k pa). I am currently in a good job in the UK and so is my partner. We live in Didsbury in Manchester and both concede that unless we moved rurally, we really couldn't see ourselves moving elsewhere near a city as it is perfect for us. There's lots of bars (The Didsbury Dozen) and restaurants locally and the commute to the city centre is 12 minutes! We don't have kids and we like to often eat out and go to gigs / theatre etc.

We both feel that if we are going to "do something" whatever "something" is it probably needs to be sooner rather than later and this opportunity seemed to fit the bill. We would be looking to maintain the type of lifestyle and live in a fairly top end suburb with lots of bars / restaurants and most importantly near the sea. We would both be working so there would be another income coming in more akin to the average so we would both be commuting into the CBD. We both saw this as an opportunity to explore NZ but also get access to visit other destinations that are just too difficult from the UK. We were initially looking at 2 years and then see what happens (as in we wouldn't be selling our place in the UK so we would be renting in NZ - currently budgeted $800/week).

The upsides from what I know and have read is: the money's good, there's places near beaches and less crowded than a Manchester suburb (?), the summers look fantastic, much more outdoors orientated, access to other destinations, potentially improved quality of life, the experience, change in culture, more sun!

The downsides appear to be: very very expensive housing for what you get, damp and cold housing and winters, obviously all that goes along with a relocation, having to find a job for my partner. From comments I've read, issues around crime (although I thought it would be much better than cities in UK), attitudes to Brits, racism, and money not going as far as you think.

With the salary on the table, we were both expecting to be able to head over and, not that money would be no object, but you wouldn't be scrimping and could get by comfortably. Probably not looking to get a car initially and just use public transport. With the research into cost of living, housing costs and coupled with many negative comments I'm really having second thoughts around it.

If anyone has any comments or observations I would really appreciate their viewpoint.
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Old Jan 16th 2015, 4:52 pm
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Default Re: I am I making a horrible mistake - Auckland?

I don't know much about Auckland but that's one hell of a wage!
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Old Jan 16th 2015, 5:04 pm
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Default Re: I am I making a horrible mistake - Auckland?

My ipad just crashed and ate my post

In summary: welcome to BE and the NZ forum

Please confirm whether you mean a salary of >300k NZ$ or whether you just couldn't find the $ on your keyboard? It makes a huge difference ...
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Old Jan 16th 2015, 5:07 pm
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Default Re: I am I making a horrible mistake - Auckland?

lol - I'm sorry - no it's $160k NZ - apologies

I wish I think the phrase is!
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Old Jan 16th 2015, 5:22 pm
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Default Re: I am I making a horrible mistake - Auckland?

Ok, well, reading your lifestyle aspirations for the move (top Auckland burb, eating out, theatre, bars AND overseas travel) I am a bit unsure that you can achieve that on 160 + average wage. You are probably pretty close though and it probably depends a bit on what your accustomed to now. Seeing as it is an anon forum, can I ask what your household income is in UK?

Crime and racism are here, as everywhere. The difference is in the sort of racism here, which can take some adjusting to - but I won't elaborate as discussions about racism always result in bun fights on here because racists rarely realise or acknowledge that they are racists.

Emigrating is a big deal emotionally. However, coming for a set time to see how you feel, with a solid escape plan, without children, relieves a lot of the pressure expats feel on arrival, so that doesn't really seem like a deal breaker.

Housing. Yes, tricky. If your budget is enough you can avoid this hassle but I will leave it to Aucklanders on the forum to discuss if you have enough to meet your wish list.
Good luck deciding!
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Old Jan 16th 2015, 5:28 pm
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Default Re: I am I making a horrible mistake - Auckland?

Thanks Bourbon! And fully understand regarding the racism comment - in hindsight I probably shouldn't have mentioned it - I was just surprised to read it a few times today. So yes - don't want to start anything on that front!

Current household income in UK is circa £5.5k a month take home (after tax) - and we have a fairly cheap mortgage so we are lucky to be able to go off and do our thing.

I think the thing I'm worried about is that if we want to go exploring when we do get free time, I'm just not convinced that we'll have enough spare if we wanted to live fairly comfortably in a nice neighbourhood.
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Old Jan 16th 2015, 5:45 pm
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Default Re: I am I making a horrible mistake - Auckland?

Originally Posted by blueuk808 View Post
Thanks Bourbon! And fully understand regarding the racism comment - in hindsight I probably shouldn't have mentioned it - I was just surprised to read it a few times today. So yes - don't want to start anything on that front!

Current household income in UK is circa £5.5k a month take home (after tax) - and we have a fairly cheap mortgage so we are lucky to be able to go off and do our thing.

I think the thing I'm worried about is that if we want to go exploring when we do get free time, I'm just not convinced that we'll have enough spare if we wanted to live fairly comfortably in a nice neighbourhood.
I've never been to Auckland but you seem to have a good life in the UK and that's also a lot of money for Manchester. We all have that feeling that there's a better place somewhere, but if I were you, I'd enjoy life where you are, go on holidays, buy stuff you like without stress. Maybe pay off the mortgage earlier etc. Personally, I could not cope renting somewhere that's overpriced, knowing I have a lovely place back home, but that's just me
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Old Jan 16th 2015, 8:01 pm
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Default Re: I am I making a horrible mistake - Auckland?

If you can settle on the idea that you're not doing it for the money and for a bit of a laugh and experience then it will be fine. People here will be at the amounts of money you are talking about but I work with people that earn that and more and they aren't exactly living the high life or on the rich list.

You'll be able to find somewhere decent to live that fits the bill for what you are trying to achieve and be able to avoid the majority of the downsides you mentioned, since you'll be able to afford to live in the nicer areas.

Where you live, access to beaches etc will depend of course on the location of the job and how far you want to commute. Living by the beach is not the be all and end all anyway if you have a job and a home to keep, unless you're within walking distance and /or can see it from your home - knowing it's down the road ten / fifteen minutes drive away won't make a huge difference to your life, unless you make the effort to go there. I went to our 'local' beach last Saturday - can't honestly remember the last time I went there - suffice to say it was probably about this time last year.
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Old Jan 16th 2015, 9:33 pm
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Smile Re: I am I making a horrible mistake - Auckland?

Originally Posted by blueuk808 View Post
I am I making a horrible mistake - Auckland?
With the thread title perhaps.

I think you'll be fine...except for the living in Auckland bit. Awful city really.
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Old Jan 16th 2015, 9:38 pm
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Default Re: I am I making a horrible mistake - Auckland?

Originally Posted by blueuk808 View Post
If anyone has any comments or observations I would really appreciate their viewpoint.
What you come over on may increase significantly, depends on individual of course but smaller number of "qualified candidates" in small pool commands premium. The issue is the initial identification of being a "qualified candidate"

Housing is expensive where ever you are in the world. In comparison we have found it very cheap (and not to make light of it for others) in comparison to inner Melbourne where you pay $5 million+ for 300 sqm
at least with $5 million in Auckland you can get 1000+ sqm with view in good location.

Petrol is the killer I thought at first it was being sold per gallon

I have found the outdoors far more accessible than we had in Melbourne, and generally not putting hand into wallet every 5 minutes.
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Old Jan 16th 2015, 10:32 pm
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Default Re: I am I making a horrible mistake - Auckland?

Originally Posted by Parnell View Post
Petrol is the killer I thought at first it was being sold per gallon
Petrol is a fair bit cheaper here than it is in the UK so I dont think that'll be an issue! In general cost of living is higher though and choice is definitely less as far as groceries, clothes ect are concerned.

I love living in Auckland though, I originally lived in Rotorua which I hated (way too quiet for me) Ive lived both more central in Mt Eden and now on the North Shore and for me, I wouldn't live anywhere else in NZ.

I do think you might struggle to find the type of accommodation you sound like you're looking for for your expected weekly rent though. 3 years ago I was paying almost $500/week for a 2 bedroom cold damp villa in the less desirable part of Mt Eden (near the CBD but no where near the beaches, bars or restaurants) But saying that its a while since I looked at rents so I could be wrong.
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Old Jan 16th 2015, 11:16 pm
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Default Re: I am I making a horrible mistake - Auckland?

Originally Posted by blueuk808 View Post
Current household income in UK is circa £5.5k a month take home (after tax) - and we have a fairly cheap mortgage so we are lucky to be able to go off and do our thing.

I think the thing I'm worried about is that if we want to go exploring when we do get free time, I'm just not convinced that we'll have enough spare if we wanted to live fairly comfortably in a nice neighbourhood.
OK, I am NOT a financial advisor - this is just my thoughts. Although the exchange rate might make 5.5kGBP after tax look broadly similar to $160k before tax, over the years this forum has thrashed out the cost of living debate and a multiplier of 2.5-3 seems to be more commonly agreed on for middle bands of income (which yours is in both countries). That's cos you will earn and spend in NZ$. Multiply 5.5kGBP pcm by the more modest 2.5 and you get 165k per annum. By 3 and you get 198k. The true figure is probably somewhere between those two. Exclusive of any tax credits you might get (doubt you'll get any) you'll pay an eye watering 43k tax of that 160k. So your current UK after tax salary has spending power of about 165-198NZ$, whereas you are looking to earn approx $120k here and pay more in housing costs. To get a realistic feel of the money take the mortgage off your UK income and the rent you expect to pay off the NZ.

You could come and have a great year, especially if you can negotiate unpaid leave from your current employer so you have the security of home and job to come back to. In that time you could probably visit a lot of NZ if you are a bit more careful with money than you are accustomed to, especially if your partner can find work. But, unless your partner lands a job earning decent money, I doubt you'll be exploring further afield than NZ. Still, in your shoes, with the above provisos, I'd come for the experience; it's an amazing country
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Old Jan 17th 2015, 12:18 am
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Default Re: I am I making a horrible mistake - Auckland?

you say you have a great life style in the UK and you just seem to want a change for a while. If you could still hold onto what you have in the UK and come over as you say for a year or two, why not?

Can you prove that your relationship has been a committed one for over 12mths?, if not that may impact on your partners visa options. Also have you looked at whether your partner will be able to gain employment, if so do they need to get qualifications assessments done as that would add to your visa costs and overall immigration costs.
Also remember that you will not get free health care and you will pay tax on every cent you own, holidays are roughly just 4 weeks a year and some places expect you to take that time when they say, usually around Christmas, so going holidaying may be a little restrictive, also air fares are fairly costly and lots of people hanker after the ease of holidaying from the UK.
We came over with the hope of holiday in the likes if Fiji, Oz etc and it has not really worked as we just cannot afford it and MrF is on a fairly good wage, no where as good as that offer but above average and will be even harder now as I am no longer working p/t as the conditions were awful and took its toil out of me health wise.

But as I said if you have the ability to move to and back without to much problem then why not?
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Old Jan 17th 2015, 1:52 am
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Default Re: I am I making a horrible mistake - Auckland?

I think you need car in Auckland as the transport is not all that good apparently but the traffic can be quite bad. Depends on where you are though.

Cars are not as good as in the UK and more expensive and less choice although Auckland has decent cars compare to the rest of the country and many people buy cars from Auckland as there is more range as there are more people.
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Old Jan 17th 2015, 6:47 am
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Default Re: I am I making a horrible mistake - Auckland?

I am an old migrant so my views don't represent many on here but think if you think of the trip as an adventure things are easier - take a 6 month rental initially to see if you like the area.
Viaduct area at bottom of town on the harbour is a popular eating and drinking area

Eastern suburbs beaches are fun - Mission Bay has lots of cafes and bars - just remember NZ bars are not like English pubs

Mission Bay Kohimarama St Heliers are by the beach and easy bus commute to CBD- lot of people bike along the waterfront to work-it is very flat Meadowbank and Glendowie are sited behind them but not too far from the sea.

Traffic is an issue from further suburbs and Auckland real estate prices are absurd but if you come with an open mind you could have fun. My English cousin on a trip commented that NZ is confusing because a lot is familiar and everyone sounds familiar but it is DIFFERENT.

Trademe.co.nz real estate as many rental listings to look at

Can be possible to get a flat you can afford - have a look at these as an example - you probably don't need a palace t first

Eastern Bays
Saint Heliers, 2 bedrooms, $575 pw | Trade Me Property

Kohimarama, 2 bedrooms, $600 pw | Trade Me Property

As said above eventually you will want a car but can get by if live near CBD initially

There are many negative posts about Auckland on this site it but can be a great place to live

City
City Centre, 2 bedrooms, $550 pw | Trade Me Property

City Centre, 2 bedrooms, $775 pw | Trade Me Property
City Centre, 2 bedrooms, $570 pw | Trade Me Property

Hope this helps, just remember everyone's experience of moving half way round the world is different but hope yours is great
Kia ora
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