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Cate135 Oct 25th 2013 12:31 pm

New-job offer salary concern
Hi, new here apologises if posting in wrong section.

Husband has been offered a job with NZ government in Devonport Auckland starting in January 2014, he received his contract this morning as well as employers letter explaining him getting job over other applicants and they have filled out there part on the visa form, he has been advised to apply for INZ 1015 ‘Work Visa Application’ Essential Skills category via London.

The salary is $100k, relocation of $25k, they are paying all visa and medicals costs, flights, car and rent for four weeks for the both of us and will give him his first month salary on arrival.

We currently make between us in UK with me working part time £80k, we have no children(4 miscarriages) and a dog which family will look after until we are settled. We have a mortgage although my parents will be moving in as they have sold there house, so will only be sending over a small amount off roughly £700 a month.

I will be looking to work full time so I thought we would be ok, however having spoken to friends in Auckland they have basically said unless husband asks for more salary we are practically going to be slumming it and will be worse of than in UK, we don't live a lavish lifestyle, husband works offshore so we have occassional dinner/lunches out, cinema and weekend breaks, are quite good with money and don't struggle monthly.

I have looked on numerous websites and a bit shocked at rental property considering what you would be paying a week, we would need to life in a studio/unit which is not what I was expecting, so not sure what we should do, husband is just going to ask for more money and aim for around $125k and looking at admin jobs I could be earning between $25k -$45k.

I normally have a laid back attitude and usually just go for things and then thinks about them but with this offer I am actually getting a bit stressed.

We are happy to live in an apartment then move to a house eventually and I realise that we are better looking once we are there but I am a it worried that we could end up in studio and be struggling monthly which is not what we want.

So if anyone could please advise on what roughly we would be looking at cost wise I would be very grateful, I have had a look on websites and have a rough idea but apart from friends(they earn less than what we would be on and a bit fed up I think) it would be helpful, mainly rent, gas,electric, council tax, water, internet, mobiles, tv, dentists, medical and car hire, public transport costs.

Thank you :)

MrsFychan Oct 25th 2013 6:57 pm

Re: New-job offer salary concern
Hi Cate

Always worth asking for more money whats the worse than can do ? say no.
Do please remember that you will be taxed on ever cent you get

Devonport is lovely, only visited for a day but that was the impression I got. But as you say its not cheap so you may have to look further out and hubby commutes. Look on google maps for area around and then check on trademe for cost of rental/to buy. As you may see from a rather large thread Auckland is overpriced on it housing market so unless you have a really good deposit wouldn't be thinking about buying any time soon, you'll need to get a feel for area's anyway.

Cost of shopping just do a "shop" via countdown on line and that will give you a rough estimate. Utilities can vary, depends if you have gas piped on site or gas bottle or are completely electric. again rates I would imagine that Devonport would be quite high but you could look at the local council sites for that.

As for your relocation costs, we didn't actually get anything from husbands employer just his bonus was paid at the start and they managed to put it through with out tax being taken from it. I'm sure others who have had relocation costs paid for will be able to say if the sum quoted is the actual sum or if tax needs to be taken off.

Do remember there is no NHS here you need to pay for all visits to Dr's. and those costs can vary also. If not funded our surgery bill is $80 odd per session, now we are funded it $48 per session.

Cost of bring your dog over will be anything form £2-4k. it will need all sorts of vet checks and injections so thats something to be saving up for.

Internet and mobiles like the UK depends on the provided and you really do need to research the mobile providers. Some work better in particular area's.

JaneRiley Oct 25th 2013 7:16 pm

Re: New-job offer salary concern
Hello there! You are very fortunate to be getting such a good pay offer and a relocation package! We lived in a little 2 bed rented flat in Stanley Bay for a year - the rent was astronomical but work paid for most of it, thank goodness. Devonport, Cheltenham Beach, Narrowneck Bay and Takapuna are lovely places to live if you are a millionaire! The only negative thing about Devonport is the one road in and out (Lake Road) which can get very busy and congested at certain times of the day. If you don't mind that commute then you could look further north to Brown's Bay etc. If the job is at the Naval base then you could qualify for housing or help with rent/mortgage. You could go across to Auckland side via ferry but you'd be no better off. I cannot understand why people go from UK to Auckland - it's like swapping one overcrowded place for another. Good luck.

RedDragon2008 Oct 25th 2013 11:10 pm

Re: New-job offer salary concern
I would put your housing concerns to the employer.

Within the north shore areas you can find cheaper options if you are happy to ignore being waterfrontage and having views.

Higher accommodation cost will be largely offset by lower transport costs.

lardyl Oct 26th 2013 3:13 am

Re: New-job offer salary concern
Devonport - my old boss on his one and only visit to NZ summed it up well - "Harrogate by the Sea"
As Jane says one road in and out makes it a pain to commute to the Shore or Auckland from but not so bad in the other direction......???
However, living down there is going to be pretty expensive and reasonable rentals at the moment are very hard to come by. Going north or well inland will help but some areas are rather more ropey ;)
Doubt this is going to get better in the next few months as lots of the first home buyers will be looking to rent rather than buy - due to the new loan to value restrictions.
I love the phrase "as first home buyers" it sums up NZ, where you save for retirement by buying as many homes as you it's their first of "get ahead".
We lived on about $110k (gross) combined (further out and north of the North Shore) in a rental with young 2 kids back in 97 and 98. But rental then was $330 or so a week. Nothing saved then but we managed the odd holiday in NZ.
Good luck :thumbup:

pippalonghorn Oct 28th 2013 9:12 pm

Re: New-job offer salary concern
Hi Cate. All I can say is that my hubby, myself and our 5 year old daughter live on around half of what youre husband will be earning. :) Although things are not ideal we do not go hungry, we pay our bills and have a little car. It all depends on how you live and how you spend your money. I would be over the moon with $100K per year. :)

But we have not had to visit the Dentist or the doctor yet. Not sure where that money would come from. :)

If you plan well you should be fine I think. Good luck with everything. :D

janeyk Oct 28th 2013 10:31 pm

Re: New-job offer salary concern
yes you can do and many do but look further afield like others have told you I commute from Torbay to Takapuna but have gone to Newmarket in the past, depending on you admin skills I would say your earnings should be a minimum of $40k and more like $55-$65k if the 2 of you can not live on $140k+ there is something wrong!
many families live on a lot less but it depends on your lifestyle, One thing to remember is NZ is not so materalistic as UK, many people drive old cars, buy only in sales, repair in stead of replace it is a totally different culture

most employers pay fortnightly and what has happended to us is we are paid alternate weeks so we literally get money comingin every week a bit of a difference from monthly pay!

if you are think of briinging you dog over get his rabies jab done now as he then needs to wait and get blood tests done and I think its 6 months after jab before he can travel

bearskin Oct 29th 2013 8:10 am

Re: New-job offer salary concern
A lot of people in NZ - even on the North Shore, would regard 100K salary as fantastic. I know a lot of people in general office work on half that. Add in your relocation etc and you ought to be quite comfortable.
I don't know much about Devonport, but it has the reputation of being expensive. Also, a lot of the North Shore is often regarded as being east of the motorway, but that's only half of it - really just the 'East Coast Bays' If you can bear to live west of SH1, then prices are less - it's both just a snob thing, but also proximity to the sea/beach, which kiwis are obsessed with. Glenfield has some nice bits and even some parts with sea views (View Rd for example) and is an easy commute across to Devonport.

davros1984 Oct 29th 2013 9:48 am

Re: New-job offer salary concern
100k is a good salary. However if you read threads that i have recently posted in,that salary is not sufficient to buy a house in auckland unless you have 150k nzd of cash for a deposit. then you have a chance of buying a house.

we bring in around 160k between us. we dont go short, but that is due to decisions we've made.we live in a cheaper rental towards birkdale (we pay 460 a week), i commute into the city on the bus each day and we have a small barina (corsa) between us for weekend trips and for my partner to commute to work 3 days a week. i wouldnt say we are flush with cash, we watch every dollar. this is mainly due to us trying to save for a deposit. we eat out once a month, very rarely drink (tend to do 2 beers once every 3 weeks). we occasionally spoil ourselves on a sunday to a 6 dollar thai green curry at the night market. since september 2012 i have been clothes shopping once. i bought 1 pair of shorts and 2 polo shirts for 100 dollars.

the majority of the things we do are free bar petrol, beach at weekends, the occasional walk and i used to waste a lot of time looking at and getting angry at overpriced tin rooved sheds.

sorry to go on, but i hope the above paints how different life is in nz to the uk.

You may find this post and thread somewhat useful as well, it was our cost of living about 5 months ago and its still fairly accurate:

Cate135 Oct 30th 2013 2:15 pm

Re: New-job offer salary concern
Hi, thanks for all your replies, we have decided just to go for it and have accepted the contract.

We will start the application process next week when husband returns from offshore and see what happens.

There is a chance that he my be moved to Australia with the same company so we will not be looking to buy until we know what is happening so it will be renting, we will be looking to save especially if bringing dog but the in-laws are going to keep him in the meantime until we know.

Neither of us are bothered about material stuff etc here so the same will apply in NZ so I think we will be fine and will hopefully spend most time out and about walking/beaches etc.

We are now just looking into everything and a bit unsure regarding cars, my husband will have a hired car for four weeks from work but after that we are on our own, it looks like we will need to buy which husband is not keen on and would rather lease/hire a car but how easy is this.

We got rid of credit cards here as we didn't use them, so not sure how hiring would work re credit/authorisation, the company suggested we just bring over proof of credit references from UK to use but not sure how this would work.

Also rented accomodation is being paid for 4 weeks and the relocation may include the bond on a new rental(this has to still be confirmed) but how easy would it be to find a rental in four weeks, it will mainly be me looking and relying on public transport so may be a bit slower than if I had a car.

Bank accounts - can the process be started here if visas are offered and then followed up once over.

Job hunting me - I will be looking for a job as well as rental and again how easy would this be, I know CV's are different to UK and I have started to do a NZ style and looked at SEEK for jobs and realise that I will need to apply once over but just wondered how to prepare and have everything ready, I will be flexible so temp/contract/agency I'm happy to do any office/admin/retail/banking as I have experience in all. If anyone has any pointers it would be very grateful.

Sorry for the long spiel but it's getting a bit nervy with everything going on and I appreciate all the advice so far and would be vey grateful for any further.


janeyk Oct 30th 2013 6:49 pm

Re: New-job offer salary concern
Hi Cate
We have been back 6 weeks, we now have 2 cars, a rental that takes a dog not easy, both in jobs although mine was sorted like your OH before I came, son in school and also his next school sorted and gained out of zone place. Last time round we even had purchased a house within this time frame!

There are thousands of 2nd hand cars for sale here, even if you get a small run around it is handy for shoppping etc unless you plan to live in CBD also not all jobs may be in CBD so it helps. I live and work on the shore my job involves going different days to Orewa in the North, Takapuna, & Browns Bay as well as the city not easy to do this without a car! Also you can see far more of beaches etc
Your UK credit scores will not apply here, if you have PR or a 2 year work visa getting credit etc will be ok, you can apply on line to several banks we did with Weestpac but you need to be on the ground to activate it here (this was our first job when we arrived )

Depending on what you class as material stuff you will find the price of household items expensive here and not as good quality look at prices on freedom furniture, Harvey Norman and briscoes to give you an idea, it would be a lot to start from scratch,

Good Luck

Warrington1978 Nov 7th 2013 8:16 am

Re: New-job offer salary concern
you will be fine on that wage - might want to consider living somewhere other than Devonport though as it costs a lot to live there and (as a 35 year old) I think it's a touch dull. Worth it if you're older, but you can get somewhere really nice in any of the bays for less.
We are in a similar ballpark money-wise and do absolutely fine. Bought a very nice house In Browns Bay, live an active life, get out and about in the city a lot and have plenty of holidays. Sounds like you just need to get over here, try a few places out and see what works for you. Travel on the shore (by bus) is excellent compared to the rest of Auckland, so you will have plenty of choice. Good luck to you.

Cate135 Jan 8th 2014 3:23 pm

Moving soon can believe it
Just got our visas today after only putting in paperwork on the 27th December to London office, valid for three year's which is what we hoped for and look like hoping to be in Auckland by mid February. Got to start looking at bank accounts and jobs for me. So excited can't wait :D

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