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I love NZ but why am I in a pickle!

I love NZ but why am I in a pickle!

Old May 2nd 2006, 1:16 pm
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Default I love NZ but why am I in a pickle!

They did say the first 6 months would be the hardest but I have had everything thrown at me in my first 3 months and if the next 3 months are as trying then Auckland International Airport here I come.
NZ is a great country and its people are even better but it can be a very tough place to be if you have not done your homework.
The cost of living .V. average wages can be quite nasty and how a lot of the locals survive is to be admired.
If you arrive in NZ with a few bob.....you will flourish. If you arrive with less than $200,000 and or a mediocre job then stay in the UK as you will be better off. Dont believe all this pish about the lifestyle. You need money to live and survive and NZ is no exception.
Good luck with whatever you are planning to do and I dont wish to sound too negative. Like I say, I really like NZ and intend on staying but I know quite a few who have found it not to their taste and have returned to Blighty.
And when so many return you tend to question your own judgement.......
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Old May 2nd 2006, 1:48 pm
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Default Re: I love NZ but why am I in a pickle!

at least the exchange rate is improving, 2.87 of hifx today. my nephew went to nz 3 years ago with nothing and has done very well for himself bought his own house etc, it's not so bad surely
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Old May 2nd 2006, 1:55 pm
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Default Re: I love NZ but why am I in a pickle!

Originally Posted by brackley
at least the exchange rate is improving, 2.87 of hifx today. my nephew went to nz 3 years ago with nothing and has done very well for himself bought his own house etc, it's not so bad surely
Thanks for that, that has cheered me right up. I changed my money up at 2.43 :scared:
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Old May 2nd 2006, 4:55 pm
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Default Re: I love NZ but why am I in a pickle!

oh dear, sorry
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Old May 2nd 2006, 8:41 pm
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Default Re: I love NZ but why am I in a pickle!

Guys - some of us coming here don't have Sterling and when we got here we got $1.60 for a Euro We had nothing like the smell of $200k. Lenny, if it's not for you I know you probably feel it was an expensive way to find out but it's not the end of the world. Have you read the article on culture shock? It could be as 'simple' (for want of a better word) as that but if it's not then there's no harm in deciding that NZ is not for you. "If you want to know me, come live with me" is an old saying and no number of visits or theory will make up for the practicalities of actually living the life.

Good luck to you - I hope it works out whichever way you decide.
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Old May 2nd 2006, 9:06 pm
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Default Re: I love NZ but why am I in a pickle!

Originally Posted by Lenny the Lion
Thanks for that, that has cheered me right up. I changed my money up at 2.43 :scared:
That makes two of us...ours got changed at $2.41, and there wasn't anywhere near the $200,000 mark. I totally agree with you on the 'needing money to live'....no amount of scenery is gonna pay the food bill etc.
Best Of Luck,
Sue
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Old May 2nd 2006, 10:38 pm
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Default Re: I love NZ but why am I in a pickle!

IMO "The Lifestyle" is something that happens when all the bills are paid and the food is on the table. You're right - it is hard to live here on lower wages, things don't look so cheap anymore once you are earning kiwi dollars. "The lifestyle" is an advertising concept used to attract skilled migrant workers to NZ and is little more than a smokescreen for paying them low wages. Why can't people have "the lifestyle" and decent wages? They are not mutually exclusive.

Like you many people love living here. But they are forced home because they cannot afford it, then spend years longing to come back and feeling bitter that they couldn't make ends meet.

You're feeling much the same as many others who have arrived in NZ so you are not alone in your frustration. This may be one of the reasons why there is such a high turnover of staff in your field of work - they either return home or find better paid employment.

One thing that is progressive about NZ is that people are very creative about making money, there may be other lines of work out there that will pay more and you can put your existing skills to good use, or learn new ones. Or you could set up a business as a sideline to your exisiting job.

Stick it out a while longer yet, there may be an element of culture shock here but you need to get the finances sorted out to have any real chance of success.

Wishing you all the best.
 
Old May 2nd 2006, 11:56 pm
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Default Re: I love NZ but why am I in a pickle!

Hi all

We have been here 4 months and hate it we are now going back to the UK
it would take forever to write a post to describe what we like and dislike so i will put it in points

we love the weather in Hawkes bay, the people here are fantastic they have so much more time to spare they are not in a rush like the UK, the banks shops pubs etc have time and as such give their customers first class customer service unlike the UK. We also like the sausages and most of all the scenery is spectacular the best I have seen in the world and I am well travelled

But.......... The House prices are unreal in particular this area, you here people say " you can get a fantastic house for $400,000" well if you want a wooden shack with no garden; because the kiwis have cottoned on to the fact you can subdivide and build a house in your back garden and sell it, as a result you have small houses with no garden that i wouldn't even put my dog in
the shops are few have very little choice and all in all it all looks a bit run down
people say the kiwis are not materialistic, the simple reason THEY CAN'T AFFORD TO BE they are a nation of people living on credit the cars are all old, their clothing is shabby
If you have a baby like us then it's even harder the quality of children's clothes are poor and most of the things here are the same price as the UK but the wages are not this goes for food shopping, clothes e.t.c

As far as crime is concerned they have the highest prison population per capita of population than any country in the western world except for the U.S.A ask yourself why? read about the Mob, black power,and all the other gangs in NZ, I felt safer in the UK

1 in 5 kiwis have mental illness, the driving is poor and as a result lots of kids die on the roads, they have a very big problem with drink drive

I could go on and on but i know what this site is like, people are just waiting to shoot you down all I'm saying is don't rush into finding that pot of gold at the end of the rainbow because for us it was not there and its made us appreciate what we had

We came from a lovely village in Kent we had good jobs,cars, house etc, so if life for you in the UK is not very good then you might like it here but if you had what we had then think again

We also came here with lots of money and have family here, there are lots of people returing to the uk that you don't here about

Cheers all

K9

By the way if you think i am negative and a whinger then read my other posts
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Old May 3rd 2006, 6:56 am
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Default Re: I love NZ but why am I in a pickle!

well done K9's for giving your thoughts and experiences - here are ours.

We've been here for 6 months, we arrived with 2 young children age 4 and 2, we had no jobs lined up - but both on long term shortage list, we have family on the north island but we'd decided to settle in chch, we had a holiday home booked for the 1st month, we were in the position to bring cash (not lots but enough to get us by for about 4-6 months, with a view to then buying with a smallish mortgage), we'd visited before back in 2003 for 3 weeks - our experience - we love it!!!
Hubby got a job within 2 weeks of arriving - the wages are crap but we knew that they would be, however the people he works for are wonderful, have bent over backwards to help us settle and are really flexible. The children settled very quickly. I got a job after about 3 months - working full time which wouldn't be my 1st choice, but the work pace is slower, the people I work with are great and it has helped me immensely to settle in. We bought a house (crap exchange rate - 2.5) which we love and yes we do have a mortgage but a relatively small one.
We are still amazed at how settled we feel, we obviously miss family and friends but we have started to make some new friends which have the real potential to be great.
I would definately agree that if you are struggling financially this country gives you no real breaks, and I have heard stories of people who've had a really rough time so I know that it does not come up trumps for some however I did want to put forward a positive experience.
Vicki
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Old May 3rd 2006, 8:33 am
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Default Re: I love NZ but why am I in a pickle!

We arrived in 2003 with $30,000... with that, we got a $240K mortgage, a car and a mediocre job... I only earn $45,000 and I've got to pay for childcare out of that ($250 a week!). Hubby's on an apprenticeship scheme and that only pays $11.42 an hour... gross...

Coming here with $200K will indeed, make NZ more affordable. However, it is entirely possible to do it with less. The catch? You have to go native.

I had this discussion with two girlfriends at the weekend and the upshot was you cannot have a European lifestyle on NZ wages. End of story. However, you can have a NZ lifestyle on NZ wages... Its your choice!
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Old May 3rd 2006, 9:14 am
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Default Re: I love NZ but why am I in a pickle!

Originally Posted by K9s
Hi all

We have been here 4 months and hate it we are now going back to the UK
it would take forever to write a post to describe what we like and dislike so i will put it in points

we love the weather in Hawkes bay, the people here are fantastic they have so much more time to spare they are not in a rush like the UK, the banks shops pubs etc have time and as such give their customers first class customer service unlike the UK. We also like the sausages and most of all the scenery is spectacular the best I have seen in the world and I am well travelled

But.......... The House prices are unreal in particular this area, you here people say " you can get a fantastic house for $400,000" well if you want a wooden shack with no garden; because the kiwis have cottoned on to the fact you can subdivide and build a house in your back garden and sell it, as a result you have small houses with no garden that i wouldn't even put my dog in
the shops are few have very little choice and all in all it all looks a bit run down
people say the kiwis are not materialistic, the simple reason THEY CAN'T AFFORD TO BE they are a nation of people living on credit the cars are all old, their clothing is shabby
If you have a baby like us then it's even harder the quality of children's clothes are poor and most of the things here are the same price as the UK but the wages are not this goes for food shopping, clothes e.t.c

As far as crime is concerned they have the highest prison population per capita of population than any country in the western world except for the U.S.A ask yourself why? read about the Mob, black power,and all the other gangs in NZ, I felt safer in the UK

1 in 5 kiwis have mental illness, the driving is poor and as a result lots of kids die on the roads, they have a very big problem with drink drive

I could go on and on but i know what this site is like, people are just waiting to shoot you down all I'm saying is don't rush into finding that pot of gold at the end of the rainbow because for us it was not there and its made us appreciate what we had

We came from a lovely village in Kent we had good jobs,cars, house etc, so if life for you in the UK is not very good then you might like it here but if you had what we had then think again

We also came here with lots of money and have family here, there are lots of people returing to the uk that you don't here about

Cheers all

K9

By the way if you think i am negative and a whinger then read my other posts
You're not a whinger at all - you're just being honest and open with people, no one should slate you for that at all, shame on them if they do.

Your comments reminded me of things that I've posted on here in the past http://britishexpats.com/forum/showt...3&#post3250963 the system has been in a mess for a while now and you, unfortunately, have been on the sharp end of things.

http://britishexpats.com/forum/showt...6&#post2667476
I remember how postive you were on this thread and in your other posts, so I believe you when you say you're not wingeing.

Are you dead set on returning or would you consider giving it a shot elsewhere in NZ, maybe in a different sort of work and in a location that is a bit more affluent and with more facilities? (NZ is a country of 2 halves - Auckland and the rest of NZ)

Don't let it beat you - your reasons for leaving the UK are still valid.
 
Old May 3rd 2006, 9:19 am
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Default Re: I love NZ but why am I in a pickle!

Originally Posted by dlmckay
We arrived in 2003 with $30,000... with that, we got a $240K mortgage, a car and a mediocre job... I only earn $45,000 and I've got to pay for childcare out of that ($250 a week!). Hubby's on an apprenticeship scheme and that only pays $11.42 an hour... gross...

Coming here with $200K will indeed, make NZ more affordable. However, it is entirely possible to do it with less. The catch? You have to go native.

I had this discussion with two girlfriends at the weekend and the upshot was you cannot have a European lifestyle on NZ wages. End of story. However, you can have a NZ lifestyle on NZ wages... Its your choice!
Totally agree with you here about becoming a Kiwi and needing to adapt.

This is not the UK and anyone arriving thinking it'll be the same as home but a bit warmer and more mountains is in for a shock.

Do your research. Be flexible. Embrace the changes. Have a backup plan. Work hard.

I wake up everyday grateful for the little things in life like:
Having a less stressful job.
Spending lots of time with my kids each day.
Having views of the bush, sea and Kapiti island every day.
Being able to walk the dog along the local riverbank or beach every day.


Stuff like that keeps us happy.
Not expensive.
No playstations or flash cars involved. Simple food to eat - no designer clothes etc.
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Old May 3rd 2006, 11:12 pm
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Default Re: I love NZ but why am I in a pickle!

Originally Posted by Biddy
Stuff like that keeps us happy.
Not expensive.
No playstations or flash cars involved. Simple food to eat - no designer clothes etc.
To buy 'designer clothes' you need to earn mega bucks (e.g. a Louis Vuitton handbag will cost you around about $2,5000) I seriously doubt that people coming over from from the UK expect to buying buying this type of gear but most would not expect to be buying crap from the Warehouse either (quality is appalling). Likewise it is unlikely that people would be intending to buy a Merc or a BMW upon arriving in NZ most would just be looking for a reliable family saloon. The idea that people who struggle financially in NZ and end up disliking the place because of it, are seeking to live an extravagant materialistic lifestyle is just crap. And the idea that loads of people in the UK live like this is equally proprosterous.

NZ is hard financially for a lot coming over from the UK and to live 'like a Kiwi' to many is not remotely an attractive proposition - nothing to do with designer this or tha. If you had a pleasant enough life in the UK than living on the breadline in NZ no matter how pleasant the scenary is is not going to cut it. Immigration for the majority of Europeans is about improving your life style not down grading it.
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Old May 4th 2006, 12:09 am
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Default Re: I love NZ but why am I in a pickle!

Originally Posted by hubbard
NZ is hard financially for a lot coming over from the UK and to live 'like a Kiwi' to many is not remotely an attractive proposition - nothing to do with designer this or tha. If you had a pleasant enough life in the UK than living on the breadline in NZ no matter how pleasant the scenary is is not going to cut it. Immigration for the majority of Europeans is about improving your life style not down grading it.
When you move from one of the richest countries in the world with 60 million people to a much smaller economy with four million people it is unlikely that you will improve your monetary lifestyle. The wages in NZ will be lower, and unless you have niche skills/entrepreneural nous then you will find that your monetary lifestyle will be lower.
However, if improving your lifestyle means a change to your life/work balance, commuting times, space for children to play, etc etc, then choosing the place that you live in NZ, and having employment that you are happy in, then you may find that your lifestyle is enhanced, not downgraded.
Anyone that moves to Auckland and is having difficulty may find that leaving Auckland provides the lifestyle that they wish, providing of course, that employment is available.
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Old May 4th 2006, 1:23 am
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Default Re: I love NZ but why am I in a pickle!

But the majority of migrants end up heading to the three main cities particularly Auckland because that is where the work is. And if you live in Auckland you are going to have many of the same issues that you were migrating to get away from topped off by the fact you do not have a financial cushion. We lived in Auckland for three years and found it of limited appeal (yes I know it is ranked whatever in the top most liveable cities in the world list) but if you are hoping to get away from:
Proximity of neighbours - parts of Auckland are sub division hell
Expensive houses vs wages
Traffic congestion
Holiday road chaos whenever a bank holiday aproaches and Aucklanders attempt to get away for a few days - check out the traffic jams to the Corramandel, and the route up North, absolute hell, very reminiscent of the South East of England.

And yes most world cities have these main gripes but in alot of Western cities you have a better balance between wages and cost of living and this helps to ease the negatives - not by enabling you to rush out and buy a Prada coat in your new Merc but enabling you to ensure the best education for your kids, save properly for your pension, take early retirement, enjoy more exotic hobbies (skiing, diving, horse riding, mountain climbing, flying, gliding etc), provide robust health care insurance for your family, take yearly trips back to the UK to aged parents. This is what a better financial situation does.
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