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Make the move? take the risk - honest opinions sought

Make the move? take the risk - honest opinions sought

Old Mar 27th 2015, 5:31 am
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Default Make the move? take the risk - honest opinions sought

Hi there, I am looking for advice from expats who are recently moved to or away from Auckland, NZ.

I have been an expat for quite a few years, living in Africa, Dubai, Hong Kong, Asia etc. and have been offered a really good job in Auckland, with a company I think I could get along with, however reading various web site I really get mixed reviews on the quality of life in Auckland and negativity relating to incomers.

For me this move would be long term with property purchase and personal investment.

I was hoping to get some honest feedback on the high cost of living scenario in Auckland and real opinion on quality of life there before I make a decision. Moving there would be a substantial drop in salary but worth if for the quality of life and my daughters future.

Also - after reading through this forum, there definitely is negativity towards non-kiwis, which doesn't bother me, but I am afraid for my Indonesian wife and 2year old daughter.

Am heading down to Auckland in April at the invitation of the company, before I have to make a decision so guess I will see a little first hand then.

very emotive all this and thanks for the interest


NZ to win the Cricket?
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Old Mar 27th 2015, 7:22 am
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Smile Re: Make the move? take the risk - honest opinions sought

Originally Posted by Enginner 1 View Post
there definitely is negativity towards non-kiwis, which doesn't bother me, but I am afraid for my Indonesian wife and 2year old daughter.
We're all boat people here mate, that's how we found the place.

Originally Posted by Enginner 1 View Post
NZ to win the Cricket?
We don't want Australia to be humiliated at the MCG with a billion people watching and the nation following ball by ball, onlooking their piers who have won 4 times before knowing this is the opportunity of a lifetime if these boys are any good, ...mothers queueing at the super market talking about how proud they are of their little Warner or Maxwell playing tonight, the weight of all these expectations falling on one mans shoulders. No pressure at all son. No pressure at all.
- Is what I'm sure Ronchi will be whispering to batsmen he is standing behind.
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Old Mar 27th 2015, 11:42 pm
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Default Re: Make the move? take the risk - honest opinions sought

Ignore the negative nonsense towards non kiwis, it pretty non existent
and blown out of all proportion by the media. In real life no one cares.
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Old Mar 28th 2015, 12:11 am
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Default Re: Make the move? take the risk - honest opinions sought

Originally Posted by Justcol View Post
Ignore the negative nonsense towards non kiwis, it pretty non existent
and blown out of all proportion by the media. In real life no one cares.
As Col says its all media rubbish, nothing much happens in NZ so they have to write about something. Every year it's another set of problems blamed on another group of people. This years it's been tourist drivers, before that it was Chinese people buying property, Muslims were getting it before then, Islanders and Maoris get it occasionally and there's always some anti English sentiment then there's the negativity about Aussie companies but in the real world no one really cares.

My advice, don't read the readers comments on stuff.co.nz

As for moving to Auckland. I'm guessing you earn a pretty decent whack, if you're not thinking of moving there forever and you're on a decent wage you'll enjoy the place.
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Old Mar 28th 2015, 1:46 am
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Default Re: Make the move? take the risk - honest opinions sought

Hello,
I would do as much research as possible, it can't hurt and it can certainly give you a better idea of what to expect. I wouldn't ignore any comments, especially if they're given by Kiws giving their experience and attitudes. In fact, I urge you to start reading the New Zealand newspapers and all kinds of forums. The major daily, The New Zealand Herald, only invites comments on an small select number of article, which in itself is revealing. Notice the quality of writing, how in-depth the articles are (or aren't). There is an idea that nothing worth reporting happens here, but I have to disagree. It's just not in the culture to air dirty laundry, or to question things too much. Investigative journalism is minimal therefore you'll have to do a lot of your own research.

I'm of mixed heritage and have experienced a disturbing amount of prejudice because of it, also because of my American accent. I also hear plenty of anti-American comments because no one expects me to be American because of the way I look, so people have been less likely to censor what they say within my earshot. I'm actually not American by the way. I can't predict how much difficulty, if any, your wife will experience because of her heritage. There are quite a few Indonesians in New Zealand, just as there are a considerable number of Asians of all nations in Auckland. I can only give you an honest appraisal of my experience. I can tell you that my New Zealand family is rabidly anti-Asian, and I've heard plenty of similar attitudes over the years. Doesn't mean that your family will necessarily be surrounded by the worst of the small minded people, as New Zealand, like anywhere else, has people who are ignorant and bitter, and people who are not.

I cannot really comment on quality of life, as this is way too personal a assessment. In my opinion I don't think New Zealand and Auckland in particular, offers a superior quality of life, certainly not as far as good quality, affordable housing, good infrastructure, or good education. If you do research you'll find plenty of opinions, but many people will concur that if you are looking for varied cultural activities and vibrant city life as you might find in the large cities of Europe or many other places, Auckland really isn't the place to be.

We're leaving for the reasons above, but most important for us these days is the quality of the schools. We don't feel our child is getting the best kind of education now, and certainly not in the future as far as higher education goes. In our opinion, there is way too much emphasis on sports as compared to academics. There is also the "harden up" attitude that pervades schools, and the greater culture as well. It suits some people, it's not for us. Also, children benefit from good cultural amenities as much as adults, at least I think so.

I suggest you do research on:

Housing quality and affordability

Cost of living

Incidence of crime, and the types of crimes committed most frequently

Quality of the environment, especially studies not done by those trying to promote New Zealand immigration or tourism. New Zealand markets itself as some kind of pristine paradise and there's a lot of money at stake to promote the claim, especially govenment and large business interests.

Cultural attitudes, especially "tall poppy syndrome" and xenophobia.

The education system, especially NCEA. Schools here do not provide lunch rooms, and the children sit on cold concrete in the winter to eat their food. Also, the quality of most schools is similar to the quality of the homes, meaning they're poorly insulated and heated, unless they're newer, and even then they're not up to par.

Variety and price of food and goods.

New Zealand is a very remote country with a small population. They promote themselves heavily to attract migrants, and New Zealand has traditionally had a very high rate of emigration, especially to Australia. In recent years immigration has increased, with the majority of people coming from various Asian countries.

I would also recommend the Trade Me (sort of the eBay of NZ) forums to get an idea of what real Kiwis think and what they like to talk about.

I leave you with this excerpt from an "Advice to Intending Colonists" written in the 19th century by a man named Wakefield who was instrumental in driving immigration to New Zealand. It was written after there was some talk that New Zealand was being sold in a dishonest way, with much more promised than could be delivered. Wakefield was a politician and propogandist. Have things changed much since then? Good question. I would say it's almost as true today as then, except that the cost of living is probably higher in New Zealand than many other English speaking countries.


The pamphlet explained:
(a) Those who should venture to emigrate should be strong and of good constitution and be prepared to ROUGH IT, work hard and can live and thrive on those things that are cheap to buy. Men of speculative tendencies, good business habits, and sufficient money to get them started in some business. Tradesmen of all types, the hard working class, for wages are better than in the old country and food is cheap.
(b) Those who should never venture out: Well to do ladies and gentlemen from high class families - this class of person is utterly useless in the colony and will suffer great hardships. People on low incomes from England whose money will not go far in the colony, for 30/- a week would be no more than £1 a week at home. Food is cheaper but everything else is dearer. Others, whose characters are not suited to colonial life, are those who are sympathetic, imaginative, poetic and refined in their tastes. These will be the ones who will pine for home and the companionship of their life in the old country.
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Old Mar 28th 2015, 5:16 am
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Default Re: Make the move? take the risk - honest opinions sought

Originally Posted by Justcol View Post
Ignore the negative nonsense towards non kiwis, it pretty non existent
and blown out of all proportion by the media. In real life no one cares.
Absolutely agree 100%.
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Old Mar 28th 2015, 7:30 am
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Default Re: Make the move? take the risk - honest opinions sought

Originally Posted by Justcol View Post
Ignore the negative nonsense towards non kiwis, it pretty non existent
and blown out of all proportion by the media. In real life no one cares.


General consensus is as long as you aren't a dick or up yourself you'll be fine
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Old Mar 28th 2015, 7:53 am
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Default Re: Make the move? take the risk - honest opinions sought

depends if you can hack the cost of living and property prices. It's a great place to live if you can afford it but you need to be bringing some cash and earning a good wage.
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Old Mar 28th 2015, 4:16 pm
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Default Re: Make the move? take the risk - honest opinions sought

Just make sure that the NZ lifestyle really fits you.....long term!!! There is nothing else, no alternative. My experience with German immigrants who have been living in NZ for a long time: there is a good chance that boredom will set in. It is a small country. Not much alternatives to the Kiwi lifestyle.

I left NZ and returned to Europe. Main reason family. I also wanted more diversity and opportunity. I was disappointed with the nature in NZ too. The North Island is like a green desert. Total destruction with a few pockets of nature left. I absolutely love it back here in Europe. Wouldn't never return to NZ. But of course this is a very personal opinion.

Enjoy your visit in April. I hope it will help you to make a decision.
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Old Mar 28th 2015, 9:21 pm
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Default Re: Make the move? take the risk - honest opinions sought

Originally Posted by desmondo84 View Post
depends if you can hack the cost of living and property prices. It's a great place to live if you can afford it but you need to be bringing some cash and earning a good wage.
I think this is one of the most important pieces of advice you will get on this forum - especially if you are planning to live in Auckland!

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Old Mar 28th 2015, 10:11 pm
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Default Re: Make the move? take the risk - honest opinions sought

Although Auckland specifically and New Zealand in general are quite expensive places to live, the cost of living is not why we're leaving. In fact, it's not a factor, apart from resenting paying so much for housing and goods compared to many other places. It's quite possible we'd be financially better off in New Zealand, because our salary will be considerably diminished by the subsequent currency conversion. We're not alone in wanting to leave despite having sufficient funds. Several people I know have already left, and it wasn't money worries that drove their departure.

All the issues that are driving our move are not influenced by lack of money - the schools, the lack of opportunities for our child, the lack of amenities and quality in general. More personally for us is the isolation from my family. Our Kiwi family don't live near us, which is probably a good thing, as we feel their attitudes about race and their xenophobia is quite unsavoury and unwholesome, and not something our child should be exposed to frequently.

I think if most people thought New Zealand offered a "great lifestyle" (whatever that means) the place would have filled to the brim a long time ago. It's OK for a short visit, though. I have to agree with Assanah, about the devastated natural environment. It's disappointing if you're coming here thinking you'll see a huge amount of native flora and fauna. There's some left of course, but most of it has been destroyed, with dairy farms and pine plantations in their stead and general deforestation all around.

Saying all this, there's been quite a lot I like about living here, as I think I would find in any place really. All places have their inherent charms, and there's always interesting stuff to do. It's just taking it all into the greater scheme of living the day to day workaday life. Quality of the more mundane aspects of living are extremely important if you're to consider any "quality of life" in the long term.
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Old Mar 28th 2015, 10:31 pm
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Default Re: Make the move? take the risk - honest opinions sought

Where would you be moving to Weezer?
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Old Mar 28th 2015, 10:46 pm
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Default Re: Make the move? take the risk - honest opinions sought

Originally Posted by McLeod View Post
Where would you be moving to Weezer?

I'm not sure that's the important question here .

The post is about where Weezer is moving from. which is their NZ life & why.

Where they move to is a place in the future & we simply hope they find a better fit for all their family.

I suppose we none of us walk in each others shoes , so what is a good fit for one , will be a bad or uncomfy fit for another.

There are just so many factors to consider.

The OP appears to have lived and worked in many countries. We have no idea what monies he may have to invest in property here. He may well be able to buy outright for all we know. We also have no idea of his NZ salary for Auckland and his current family lifestyle.

For those that live in the Auckland area, would the OPs wife incur any probs ? Is there a good Indonesian community and clubs? Much might depend on language ability.
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Old Mar 28th 2015, 10:47 pm
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Default Re: Make the move? take the risk - honest opinions sought

Originally Posted by McLeod View Post
Where would you be moving to Weezer?
Hi, we're moving to where my family live, on the east coast of the US. Not our first choice of preference, but that's where family are. The cost of living there is quite affordable compared to New Zealand, which takes the sting out of the currency exchange. Also being close to NYC there's lots of stuff to do. If you're familiar with that part of the world, you'd know there are many, many wilderness areas, large and small. It's a good place for the hiker and nature enthusiast. Lots of beaches, and skiing in the winter, cross country and downhill. There are aspects of life there I prefer to NZ, also plenty of things I prefer in NZ. It's a matter of finding the right balance, which is quite a personal choice, so I can imagine it would be difficult to make the decision based on a complete stranger's advice. We all have different priorities and tastes in recreation and companionship.
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Old Mar 29th 2015, 4:12 am
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Default Re: Make the move? take the risk - honest opinions sought

Some statistics, courtesy of google, relating to this thread. POPULATION : 1 million (1900), 3.3 mil (1990), 4.5 mil (2015). IMMIGRANT COUNTRY OF BIRTH (2013 census) : 256,164 - UK, 96,441 - China, 67,176 - India, 62,712 - Australia, 54,279 - South Africa. NATIVE FOREST : 24% of NZs land area is covered in native forest. On top of that I would guess 20% to be covered with the snow capped mountains of the Sth I, or the desert landscape of Tongariro, meaning more than 40% of NZs landscape remains untouched from pre human days. In regards immigration, Mr Google says there wasnt a policy other than allowing Brits and the occasional Dutchman in until 1987, when an open policy was introduced to accept immigrants from all countries. Since then, immigration numbers have been at peak, on average, and allowing for yearly variations. Population could be 20 million by now, im sure, if immigration was not managed. Also while Weezer concentrates on what she believes to be negatives about some things relating to NZ, nowhere does she mention any of the advantages of the same element. For example, the remoteness and smallness of the country, besides the negatives, also has many positives, in my opinion. It also means we are more isolated from the big problems of the world. Plus the only way of getting here is through the airport, hence illegal immigration is not an issue. We can always find a quiet spot on a beach somewhere, and often without another person in sight. And so on, and so on. You may think there is some sort of govt conspiracy to keep the population uninformed about the monster in the closet. If so, Im happy to remain blissfully ignorant
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