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North & South magazine - cost of living

North & South magazine - cost of living

Old Mar 15th 2013, 10:44 pm
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Default Re: North & South magazine - cost of living

Originally Posted by shocked kiwi View Post
Yes I would move back to the Uk if I could. I have been back in Nz 10 years and thought it my obligation to give it a good go here, and since the financial crisis of 2007 it has got harder.I loved the atmosphere in Auckland when the Rugby World cup was on as the pubs were full of people and is was so much fun - when you go out here on other times, the pubs/bars are really empty. You should come back for a short term and see if you like it first maybe before settling.
Although when I was 10 years younger I enjoyed the busy social life here, now I have a fairly quiet social life (it's hardly wild in Cheshire - though Liverpool and Manchester are close), eating out in the local pubs and restaurants or around to friends houses. Maybe I wont notice it so much .

If our children had left home then we would have considered a shorter term, but the youngest still has 3 years of high school left, so we need to put down roots for a few years. In the future, if money were no object (not likely), and I had a really flexible job, I would love to split my time between NZ and the UK. Best of both worlds?

How have things changed in NZ since the financial crisis? I can see prices are really high, but have wages stayed stagnant? In the UK wages are stagnant, but prices have risen - especially gas/electric and fuel. Whenever I am in NZ I always notice the empty shops and "high street", and the lack of people carrying shopping bags. On the UK high street, even in this economy, the shops are heaving and lots of people are carrying bags. When my sister came over she wondered why there were so many people buying, like it was Xmas shopping in NZ, but it was just a normal weekend. Xmas is madness, and Oxford Street is bedlam even in July. Is the crowds and bags just because of the sheer population in the UK that makes it seem like everyone is buying? Or do kiwis spend less time and money on retail shopping? NZ does seem to have a lot of cafe's though. I always miss them when I come back to the UK. I really struggle to find a good one here, that is not Starbucks etc.
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Old Mar 15th 2013, 10:53 pm
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Default Re: North & South magazine - cost of living

I think the UK has embraced a culture of personal debt and there's a tendency to spend now and worry about paying tomorrow. The banks, of course, love this.

NZ is a little more restrained. If times are hard, you don't bury your head; you tighten your belt, instead.

I have seen figures which suggest very little change in IT salaries (and contract rates) for nearly 10 years.
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Old Mar 15th 2013, 11:13 pm
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Default Re: North & South magazine - cost of living

Originally Posted by gcr View Post
I think the UK has embraced a culture of personal debt and there's a tendency to spend now and worry about paying tomorrow. The banks, of course, love this.

NZ is a little more restrained. If times are hard, you don't bury your head; you tighten your belt, instead.
Good point - retail spending is due to different behaviours not just the population size. I am bad enough with a debit card, so I steer clear of credit cards. If my OH didn't have an almost pathological dislike of debt, perhaps I would be bad! But they are always trying to sell you store cards here, so it is still being encouraged. The economy here is dependent upon consumption within the UK. Every blip in retail spending is poured over. So on the one hand the economists are worrying about the level of personal indebtedness and on the other hand worrying about people not spending on retail.
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Old Mar 16th 2013, 1:24 am
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Default Re: North & South magazine - cost of living

People shop more in the UK because things are cheaper! It's not all becasue they're using credit cards. If you have Primark, H&M or loads of other shops, then you can buy a t-shirt or dress that doesn't cost the earth or is the cheap rubbish you get here for the same price. You can delight in looking at the shoe shops, quality food in Tesco, Sainsbury and Waitrose and know that you can afford many things in those places and have treats to bring home without breaking the bank.
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Old Mar 16th 2013, 1:37 am
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Default Re: North & South magazine - cost of living

Originally Posted by whitesand View Post
People shop more in the UK because things are cheaper! It's not all becasue they're using credit cards. If you have Primark, H&M or loads of other shops, then you can buy a t-shirt or dress that doesn't cost the earth or is the cheap rubbish you get here for the same price. You can delight in looking at the shoe shops, quality food in Tesco, Sainsbury and Waitrose and know that you can afford many things in those places and have treats to bring home without breaking the bank.
Moment of revelation - maybe i don't feel it here cos I never really buy owt apart from day-to-day essentials, where I find the comparison much of a muchness frankly...

I guess I should reserve judgement until I buy a house (in jafa-land)...
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Old Mar 16th 2013, 5:38 am
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Default Re: North & South magazine - cost of living

Originally Posted by gcr View Post

NZ is a little more restrained. If times are hard, you don't bury your head; you tighten your belt, instead.
I don't agree. NZers are no better at all for getting into debt,using the plastic & HP. They are also quite bad at saving.
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Old Mar 16th 2013, 6:54 am
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Post Re: North & South magazine - cost of living

I'm going to make some very boring, dry and factual points here.

Debt growth is as high as it's been since 2008 but that may be to do with the Auckland and Christchurch property bubble and very low current NZRB rates.

Last time I looked inflation was still increasing at a higher rate than median income meaning effectively people are paid less in real terms (which has been ongoing since 2010).

Current as of 2012:
Those 15 years of rising household incomes followed a period, 1988 to 2004, the years of root-and-branch economic reform, in which household incomes fell, for all but the top 10 per cent.

The fall was steep: a double-digit percentage decline for 70 per cent of households and 20 per cent at the low end of the distribution.

It took 20 years for real household incomes at the median to return to where they were in the early 1980s, and 25 years at the low end.

Over the past 30 years real incomes have grown four times faster at the high end than at the low end of the distribution.

One standard measure of income inequality, the Gini coefficient, rose sharply in the latest annual report, to its highest level in 30 years.
...
The impact of the economic downturn on incomes after housing costs is even more stark.

After housing costs, real household disposable incomes fell across the board between 2010 and 2011. At the median the drop was 4 per cent and for three of the lowest four deciles the fall was more than 7 per cent.

By this measure, "from a longer-term perspective, in 2010 the incomes of the bottom 30 per cent of the population were on average only a little better in real terms than their counterparts almost 30 years ago in 1982".

By contrast a household 10 per cent down from the top is 40 per cent better off in terms of real disposable income after housing costs than its counterpart 30 years ago.
...
The Ministry of Social Development's incomes report says that in 2011 a quarter of the population lived in households in which housing costs swallow up a high proportion, defined as more than 30 per cent, of income. That is up from one in five in the mid-1990s and only one in 10 in the late 1980s.

And the age of the population with high housing costs has been rising relentlessly, to the point that more than one in five people aged between 45 and 64 have housing costs of more than 30 per cent of their income, compared with just one in 20 back in 1988.
Less real income and a less egalitarian society really. Of course I'm a massive socialist with only factual information to support my case for higher and more extensive taxes and spending. It would therefore be a good idea for someone to speak for the blue corner to perhaps comment on the state of the nations finances, inequality and stagnant income growth in support of the redress direction they propose.
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Old Mar 16th 2013, 9:32 am
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Default Re: North & South magazine - cost of living

Originally Posted by Charismatic View Post

Less real income and a less egalitarian society really. Of course I'm a massive socialist with only factual information to support my case for higher and more extensive taxes and spending. It would therefore be a good idea for someone to speak for the blue corner to perhaps comment on the state of the nations finances, inequality and stagnant income growth in support of the redress direction they propose.
As a "blue"? Although I'd say I blur the lines somewhat...

Could never agree with higher taxation and increased public spending (unless its for investment in projects that bring long-term reward - i.e. putting a train line from the city through to Orewa?).

Simple truth is, people are spending beyond their means - hence the world wide problems of the last few years. In my opinion, some of the banks should have been allowed to collapse - people need to learn. Governments should not go on spending peoples money willy-nilly. Control and restraint is key.

Giving people money is not the solution. Welfare is too high, people need to take responsibility for themselves and any kids they bring into the world. If you cannot afford to provide for kids at the time you want them, you really shouldn't be having them.

At the same time you have to encourage hard work and growth for those who strive to do well. There is a limit though, i.e. allowing people to own 20+ properties (like our current landlord). Its nothing but pure greed. Its people like that which our pricing the rest of us (even those of us on relatively average-good salaries) out of the market. Capital gains tax? Second/Third/Fourth Home Owner taxes? If anything its starting to seem worse than the past, at least Lords in the past were war heroes and somewhat more worthy landlords than these capitalistic greed-merchants who are rife in Auckland today. We really are going to a system of a few rich people owning houses and the rest of us peasants owning houses. That's supposed progress!

The current government of NZ is only repeating the past mistakes that Thatcher made in the UK, i.e.
a) Part-privatising and selling off state assets
b) Selling off council houses (will lead to a more expensive welfare bill)
c) Maggie Barry and her rich mates stopping much-needed housing from being built, thus grossly inflating house prices and making the young go to Australia or back to the motherland.

Anyway, rant over. Auckland is expensive, I think we are finally heading out of here!
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Old Mar 16th 2013, 11:29 pm
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Default Re: North & South magazine - cost of living

I used to think you should only have the kids you an afford. Then I got a BOGOF and salaries stagnated while childcare, and everything else, skyrocketed.

One average salary is not enough to keep 3 mouths. So then children only become an option for above average earners? That's only 30% of the workforce. Hello dwindling population.

I'll admit, mine is probably a simplistic view.
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Old Mar 17th 2013, 12:42 am
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Default Re: North & South magazine - cost of living

When I look back to 1986 when I left NZ, the cost of living (rent, electricity, food) was low, as were wages. Most other things were expensive for the same reasons that exist today for high prices of non essentials. In those days poor people could at least get the basics and if you wanted any more you worked hard and got yourself educated. To give a real life illustration, a colleague of mine told me her story...

She is married to a qualified tradesman who has a good job. When they had kids about 14 years ago she got work as a part time cleaner on the minimum wage. His pay was for essentials, hers was for those little extras and treats like toys, holidays, Sky tv etc. Today they need her salary to survive and there are no extras (Sky has been cancelled). These people planned their family and their budgets, but the rise in the basic cost of living has now lowered their quality of life.

People like John Key talk about having a flexible workforce and how businesses need to drive down costs and make efficiencies. All this is shorthand for keeping wages low. So we have a political justification for low wages, and further political justification for high prices (regulation stifles innovation so rich people must be free to make more money then we'll all be better off, see?). What this really means is that the only money floating around in the economy is floating around the top. So the stockmarket is flourishing but the high street is falling over. For every business failure you hear of on the news, there are dozens of small ones failing as well. Even less money flowing through the economy. Business leaders used to realise that you needed people spending at the bottom to make money at the top (trickle up), but now they can make money on the financial markets they don't need to worry about keeping consumers happy.

IMO.
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Old Mar 17th 2013, 9:21 pm
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Wink Re: North & South magazine - cost of living

Originally Posted by trafford View Post
Although when I was 10 years younger I enjoyed the busy social life here, now I have a fairly quiet social life (it's hardly wild in Cheshire - though Liverpool and Manchester are close), eating out in the local pubs and restaurants or around to friends houses. Maybe I wont notice it so much .

If our children had left home then we would have considered a shorter term, but the youngest still has 3 years of high school left, so we need to put down roots for a few years. In the future, if money were no object (not likely), and I had a really flexible job, I would love to split my time between NZ and the UK. Best of both worlds?

How have things changed in NZ since the financial crisis? I can see prices are really high, but have wages stayed stagnant? In the UK wages are stagnant, but prices have risen - especially gas/electric and fuel. Whenever I am in NZ I always notice the empty shops and "high street", and the lack of people carrying shopping bags. On the UK high street, even in this economy, the shops are heaving and lots of people are carrying bags. When my sister came over she wondered why there were so many people buying, like it was Xmas shopping in NZ, but it was just a normal weekend. Xmas is madness, and Oxford Street is bedlam even in July. Is the crowds and bags just because of the sheer population in the UK that makes it seem like everyone is buying? Or do kiwis spend less time and money on retail shopping? NZ does seem to have a lot of cafe's though. I always miss them when I come back to the UK. I really struggle to find a good one here, that is not Starbucks etc.
To give you an idea, everything has basically doubled in price since the financial crisis whereas wages have either stayed the same or dropped. Nz is in the doo-doo financially as a nation as there have been so many natural disasters here - a series of major earthquakes in chch(costing the govt 30 billion) and the biggest drought in 70years which is going to cost 2 billion plus to the country and Nz is a farming nation. In a country of only 4 million you can see this is not great. Yesterday there were 2 small quakes in Auckland and this is kind of rare for Auckland. There are volcanoes that could erupt potentially anytime - it is a known civil defence risk in Nz that this could happen. Most insurers have put up cost of insurance now for Nz citizens and changed the rules of how far they will insure you now since the chch quakes.Also culturally you will find Auckland very different - you will not find a smaller version of Britain now as Nz is now in a post-colonial stage and looks instead to China as the new mother city so therefore you will find Auckland very Asian. Nothing wrong with this but just different from how it was. Auckland is going to build many new 20story apartment blocks to accommodate this in the next 10 years. Lots of people move here and love it tho so just so you know what its like. Also the nz govt since 2010 does not govt guarantee any savings you have like the Uk or Australia govts do, so what has happened in Cypress where the term deposit holders had 10 % of their savings "haircut" by the banks is also legal to happen in Nz. Cheers.

Last edited by shocked kiwi; Mar 17th 2013 at 9:25 pm. Reason: spelling error
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Old Mar 17th 2013, 9:26 pm
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Default Re: North & South magazine - cost of living

Originally Posted by shocked kiwi View Post

To give you an idea, everything has basically doubled in price since the financial crisis whereas wages have either stayed the same or dropped. Nz is in the doo-doo finacially as a nation as there have been so many natural disasters here - a series of major earthquakes in chch(costing the govt 30 billion) and the biggest drought in 70years which is going to cost 2 billion plus to the country and Nz is a farming nation. In a country of only 4 million you can see this is not great. Yesterday there were 2 small quakes in Auckland and this is kind of rare for Auckland. There are volcanoes that could erupt potentially anytime - it is a known civil defence risk in Nz that this could happen. Most insurers have put up cost of insurance now for Nz citizens and changed the rules of how far they will insure you now since the chch quakes.Also culturally you will find Auckland very different - you will not find a smaller version of Britain now as Nz is now in a post-colonial stage and looks instead to China as the new mother city so therefore you will find Auckland very Asian. Nothing wrong with this but just different from how it was. Auckland is going to build many new 20story apartment blocks to accommodate this in the next 10 years. Lots of people move here and love it tho so just so you know what its like. Cheers.
NZ has it's fair share of problems, earthquakes and all.

Sadly though the biggest problem is that of history repeating itself. Anyone over 40 who has paid some attention to the UK and what it has been through over the last 40 years will see NZ making exactly the same mistakes.

The bigger question is why those perpetrating this are seemingly so unaware. Perhaps blinkers made from $100 notes are helping their blithe ineptitude.
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Old Mar 17th 2013, 9:52 pm
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Default Re: North & South magazine - cost of living

Originally Posted by shocked kiwi View Post
...so what has happened in Cypress where the term deposit holders had 10 % of their savings "haircut" by the banks is also legal to happen in Nz.
Stangely this is actually true, so if you hear a bank is in any sort of strife or government has obligation they can't meet make sure you are first in line to pull your cash. Also banking with larger banks will give you more leverage since it takes a big bank longer to collapse.

It may sound far fetched but if the music stops suddenly on the property bubble here or in Australia all bets are off.
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Old Mar 18th 2013, 4:31 am
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Default Re: North & South magazine - cost of living

Originally Posted by shocked kiwi View Post

To give you an idea, everything has basically doubled in price since the financial crisis whereas wages have either stayed the same or dropped.
Any facts to back up that assertion? I can't think of a single thing that has doubled in price since the GFC (late '08). On the other hand, average wage growth has been in the region of 2% per year:
http://www.stats.govt.nz/tools_and_s...e-changes.aspx

Originally Posted by shocked kiwi View Post
Also the nz govt since 2010 does not govt guarantee any savings you have like the Uk or Australia govts do, so what has happened in Cypress where the term deposit holders had 10 % of their savings "haircut" by the banks is also legal to happen in Nz. Cheers.
Another strange assertion. It is not, to the best of my knowledge, currently legal for the government of NZ (or any other country) to take 10% of people's savings. This would require new legislation in NZ (as it would in Cyrpus I think)
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Old Mar 18th 2013, 4:43 am
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Default Re: North & South magazine - cost of living

Originally Posted by shocked kiwi View Post

To give you an idea, everything has basically doubled in price since the financial crisis whereas wages have either stayed the same or dropped.


Example please.

Houses in Auckland dont count.
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