NZ dilemma

Old Feb 3rd 2016, 6:51 pm
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Default NZ dilemma

Hi there,
Really hoping I can get some advice here please.

We started thinking about emigrating to NZ recently but have read a few negatives which are making us second-think. We were planning to take a trip in the next month or so to Aukland (this is where my husband's business would need to be) but it's such a lot of money for family of 5, that if NZ is a no-go, I'd rather save £12k+. My children are too young to appreciate the trip now, so if we don't move there then we'd be better holidaying in NZ when they're a bit older.

So, our main concerns:
1. Education system - some research states it's up with the best in the world; other stories suggest it squashes talent, creativity etc & bullying is rife.

2. Bully culture - this is a big deal. I'd hate for my children to either be bullied or to grow up believing that bullying attitude is acceptable. I've read that bullying in the workplace is commonplace & kiwi manners can be bullish.

3. We'd need to be based in Aukland. I'm a country chick so would need to live as far out in the suburbs as my husband could manage to commute. If anyone has any experience / advice for settling in Aukland, we'd appreciate it. Guess I'm worried that relocating around the world to end up living in a huge town with no / limited outdoor space would seem somewhat pointless.

Any advice / reassurance would be appreciated,

Many thanks in advance.
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Old Feb 3rd 2016, 7:05 pm
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Default Re: NZ dilemma

Originally Posted by Lucyinthesky View Post
Hi there,
Really hoping I can get some advice here please.

We started thinking about emigrating to NZ recently but have read a few negatives which are making us second-think. We were planning to take a trip in the next month or so to Aukland (this is where my husband's business would need to be) but it's such a lot of money for family of 5, that if NZ is a no-go, I'd rather save £12k+. My children are too young to appreciate the trip now, so if we don't move there then we'd be better holidaying in NZ when they're a bit older.

So, our main concerns:
1. Education system - some research states it's up with the best in the world; other stories suggest it squashes talent, creativity etc & bullying is rife.

2. Bully culture - this is a big deal. I'd hate for my children to either be bullied or to grow up believing that bullying attitude is acceptable. I've read that bullying in the workplace is commonplace & kiwi manners can be bullish.

3. We'd need to be based in Aukland. I'm a country chick so would need to live as far out in the suburbs as my husband could manage to commute. If anyone has any experience / advice for settling in Aukland, we'd appreciate it. Guess I'm worried that relocating around the world to end up living in a huge town with no / limited outdoor space would seem somewhat pointless.

Any advice / reassurance would be appreciated,

Many thanks in advance.
Reversing the question, why do you want to migrate/what do you expect to get from NZ (the grass isn't greener just different :-)

Why bring young kids on an exploratory trip, aside from the cost they will just slow you down.

Last edited by Kotare; Feb 3rd 2016 at 7:08 pm.
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Old Feb 3rd 2016, 7:24 pm
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Default Re: NZ dilemma

Hi,
Good point. Children too young to leave with grandparents (2.5yrs &6 months)
We live in a small rural village near a spa town. We used to love heading into town, to the park etc but over recent years the town (& country generally) has gone downhill and is now overrun with unemployed / benefit claiming Brits & migrants. I'm not at all xenophobic but feel we are being pushed out.
Also the weather is rubbish here - we've had so many aborted days out. We strive for an outdoorsy life for our children.
Does that all make sense?
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Old Feb 3rd 2016, 7:25 pm
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Default Re: NZ dilemma

I think your estimate of 12K for the move is far to low.

What visa are you going to be applying for?

As for schools they are different to the UK system, personally the first primary school I sent the kids to was just plain dreadful and it was a school within a above average income sector, so decile 10. We had to move to be able to get the youngest into another school and eldest moved on to secondary/high school/college a year in advance - where the system is more like the UK system and suits her better and she is seeming to do very well, the reason was bullying which the school swept under the carpet, but I got the Education ministers office involved and new procedures were put in place and thankfully the Principal has now left and gone in a different direction so she cannot **** up any other childs life. But you get bullying in every country its just the actions that are taken are down to the individual principal and we just happened to have the wicked witch of the west who didn't want to blot her copy book and hide evidence and denied conversations.
My worry for her is the lack of jobs opportunities when she has finished her education.

Cost of living is higher and choice is less, yes you have the great out doors, if you are into that, but you could easily get similar nearer to the UK or even within the UK.
How will you cope with being away from family members and your children not seeing grandparents, aunts, uncles,cousins?

Lots to think about
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Old Feb 3rd 2016, 7:48 pm
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Default Re: NZ dilemma

thanks MrsFychan.
The £12k would just be for the exploratory holiday! Then we'd need to get visas; sell our house; ship furniture & belongings etc etc, so yes, costs would be much higher than £12k.
Thanks for the school info. It's a real worry. We have lots of good state schools around us now and of course the independent sector. Would you say that kiwi's typical conversation can be aggressive / bully-like?

Our plan would be to eventually relocate my mum. My husband would get an entrepreneur visa, and after 2years of operating well that can be converted to permanent residence. At this point we could sponsor my mum on a parent visa. So yes, likely to be periods where we wouldn't see her (we hope she could come out on a long-term tourist visa for 18months) but then she would join us permanently. We would look to buy a property jointly, somewhere with a granny annexe / potential to build an annexe. We have other family members but not as close.
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Old Feb 3rd 2016, 8:27 pm
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Default Re: NZ dilemma

The nz education model is different to the UK which seems to anger many British parents
I think the nz model is excellent, if, you are the type of parent who takes an interest
in your child's schooling.

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Old Feb 3rd 2016, 9:48 pm
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Default Re: NZ dilemma

I am totally biased as I grew up in rural NZ (a lot of years ago) and had a fantastic childhood on farms etc, total freedom, good but reasonably relaxed schooling.... I would say there is no better country for kids.

Now the caveats:
-central cities eg Auckland can suffer from similar problems to UK so you might want buy your house near a good school.
-if you go the rural route (unlikely in your case) teenagers will want a full social life, activities etc which will be limited in the country.
-if you want the creme de la creme for your kids tertiary education (a long way off) NZ can't compete with Oxford/Cambridge (except perhaps in Agricultural science).

I was at an A&P show a few days ago watching the 6 year olds leading the calves, lambs etc around the show ring and wished my UK grandson could grow up in this environment :-(

On the brash/aggressive front. Heavily generalising, Kiwis tend to be less reserved than the English and more prepared to tell you what they think. Not so much class/income differentation, more friendly overall, time for a chat, laid back generally.
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Old Feb 3rd 2016, 10:48 pm
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Default Re: NZ dilemma

Originally Posted by Justcol View Post
The nz education model is different to the UK which seems to anger many British parents
I think the nz model is excellent, if, you are the type of parent who takes an interest
in your child's schooling.
really not happy with this comment

I am very interested in my kids education which is why you could find me at the previous school at every outing, the first one my kids went on I decided to go to see how it was organised then vowed my kids would never go on an outing with that school again without me being there. This new primary school has better measures in place for outings so I am generally happy for them to go without me but I do try and go to as much as possible to help the school out.
If you are not used to the UK system then you will not have a comparison but having a daughter who was 10 when we came over, could not work with unstructured manor of learning whereas my youngest who was only 6 didn't know much of the other way so, now he has moved schools who has more of a similar system to the UK, is doing ok.

The best thing you can give your kids is the best education you can which is why we lost money on a house sale to give them access to a better school.

Last edited by BEVS; Feb 3rd 2016 at 11:27 pm. Reason: fix quotes
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Old Feb 3rd 2016, 11:05 pm
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Default Re: NZ dilemma

Originally Posted by MrsFychan View Post
Originally Posted by Justcol View Post
The nz education model is different to the UK which seems to anger many British parents
I think the nz model is excellent, if, you are the type of parent who takes an interest
in your child's schooling.
really not happy with this comment

I am very interested in my kids education which is why you could find me at the previous school at every outing, the first one my kids went on I decided to go to see how it was organised then vowed my kids would never go on an outing with that school again without me being there. This new primary school has better measures in place for outings so I am generally happy for them to go without me but I do try and go to as much as possible to help the school out.
If you are not used to the UK system then you will not have a comparison but having a daughter who was 10 when we came over, could not work with unstructured manor of learning whereas my youngest who was only 6 didn't know much of the other way so, now he has moved schools who has more of a similar system to the UK, is doing ok.

The best thing you can give your kids is the best education you can which is why we lost money on a house sale to give them access to a better school.
Mrs F
I think you are blackening all NZ schools by your personal experience (yes I accept that is all you have to go on). There are good/bad schools in any system and yes it is up to the parents to sort it out.

Totally agree ref childrens education which is why my children went to the best uk schools money could buy. As I don't have the kind of income needed for that now - IF I had the choice I would send my grandson to a NZ school rather than UK one.

Last edited by BEVS; Feb 3rd 2016 at 11:28 pm. Reason: Fix quoties
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Old Feb 3rd 2016, 11:59 pm
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Default Re: NZ dilemma

Hello there,

First off £12k for a holiday/reccie is extortionate, considering if you have a six month old you wouldn't need to pay for a flight for them.

I'll try and answer some of your queries. I am a kiwi, lived in the UK for 10+ years, now living in NZ.

1. Education. I am of the view that education for the most part is very good in NZ but I can see the limitations. IMVHO primary school is excellent for most children here. There are definitely bad schools, you still need to research to find the best school to suit your child. Most schools are zoned so you would need to be in the right zone for the school. I would say that there is not as much pressure on teachers here, most schools are allowed to teach as they see fit. It is becoming a bit more UK like, in that there are now National Standards but there is simply not the hand wringing, worry and stress that there seems to be in the UK. Nor is there the constant monitoring of teachers and/or changes in curriculum as often, although it still does happen. I think the media in the UK has a lot to answer for also. The reality is in the UK, I think resources are a bit tight and teachers are under a lot of stress, but the system is not failing most children. NZ has a very wide gap between rich and poor and this is very evident in lots of schools. We are in a brilliant school, great teachers and very good head teacher, but word on the street is lots of parents don't approve. He is very strict, high expectations but very nurturing and engaging. Personally, I think it says more about the parents. The curriculum is very NZ centric (understandably) but not as wide as the UK system i.e very few Primary school do science in Primary School. I personally love the Primary system as I think it nurtures the whole child. They are not just at school to learn, they play sport, do Kapa Haka, socialise, PLAY and have fun!! Most schools have very good facilities. I do understand how people from the UK are wary of the system and how it might not meet all their needs.

High School - no direct experience other than going through a NZ High School. In Auckland I think you may well find yourself worrying over zones, or if you are rural you might not have any choice and will just have to go to the local High School. Universities here are not as highly regarded as say some UK ones but you have to remember that plenty of young graduates do absolutely fine in the big, wide world with a NZ education. Also you may need to prepare yourself for your children leaving NZ in search of their big OE. Lots come back after a couple of years, lots remain overseas. I spent 10 years in London and I don't think I will ever completely be settled anywhere again, there is always a compromise. NZ is a small country and the reality is there are not enough jobs for all the young graduates, so they leave in search of better money, experience and travel.

I think the feeding the lambs analogy is so overused in NZ and so cringey. I'm afraid rural NZ can be extremely parochial and insular. I think kids are actually better off visiting museums, learning about the world outside of NZ than feeding animals. The reality is that most of NZ is pretty rural, apart from Auckland, Wellington and to a certain degree Christchurch. The rest are in UK terms, very small cities/big towns, which is fine as long as you are aware of that. We have amazing scenery but not sure we've done great on the whole building cities thing.

Anyway, I digress....Bullying. I don't think it is any worse or any less here that what I observed in the UK. It is just very different culturally. Not sure if you have heard of "tall poppy syndrome"...I don't see much evidence of this here but I think it can be an issue for some people. I see NZ from two perspectives, it can be innovative and cutting edge in some ways, but in other ways it can seem backwards and laid-back. I would be very careful of getting into the cycle of leaving the UK because you feel you are being "pushed out". You will be an immigrant in NZ, there are plenty of immigrants here and not all are liked by kiwis. Auckland has a massive Asian population which can at times cause tension. Brits are not always made to feel welcome all of the time. You may experience what some migrants face in the UK.

I agree we kiwis can be blunt. Sometimes we don't have that filter or ability to not add our own opinion to something. I struggle here with the fact that no-one knows how to make small talk. Now I hate small talk but on the school run, going to the shops etc I'll speak to people, honestly sometimes they look at me like a crazy loon. Some (and I mean only some) people are very ignorant and poorly educated. (I totally accept you get that in the UK too, but I agree the layers of "class" are not here and I also feel there are less people in the middle - if that makes sense). I have never had an issue with bullying here, nor in the UK.

I think you really need to closely examine what you want to get from a move to NZ. It is an awful lot of expense to relocate to find out it's not quite what you expected. There is ample opportunity for families to thrive here, but whether it is luck or hard work or a combination of both - who knows. NZ does different things for different people, some find it isolated, some like the space and being away from crowds. It is definitely worth looking at the move but do a reccie with your eyes on living in NZ, not just being on holiday!!!
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Old Feb 4th 2016, 12:03 am
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Default Re: NZ dilemma

Originally Posted by Kotare View Post
Mrs F
I think you are blackening all NZ schools by your personal experience (yes I accept that is all you have to go on). There are good/bad schools in any system and yes it is up to the parents to sort it out.
.
I don't believe I am as I stated that the newer schools are performing better but if I had the option I would have my kids in UK education.
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Old Feb 4th 2016, 2:27 am
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Default Re: NZ dilemma

Originally Posted by Lucyinthesky View Post
3. We'd need to be based in Aukland. I'm a country chick so would need to live as far out in the suburbs as my husband could manage to commute. If anyone has any experience / advice for settling in Aukland, we'd appreciate it. Guess I'm worried that relocating around the world to end up living in a huge town with no / limited outdoor space would seem somewhat pointless.

Any advice / reassurance would be appreciated,

Many thanks in advance.
Danni has summarised my own views very well, so there is no need to repeat them. Re the Auckland question, what you are looking for is exactly what everyone else wants when they come to NZ (mostly). Thus it is very expensive.

Areas to the South of Auckland that I would recommend are Clevedon, Whitford, Karaka and other parts of Franklin. There are some lovely rural areas in these locations that are commutable to the CBD. Many drive to Papakura and get the train from there. However prices for properties in these areas are extremely high because they are so desirable. Therefore, unless you are rich you will have to compromise. I don't know the North of Auckland, but I suspect the situation is similar. How much of a compromise you are prepared to make is the question. The money you have to spend might be better invested in finding a better location in the UK. Don't get me wrong, I love it here, but I'm trying to be unbiased.
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Old Feb 4th 2016, 2:50 am
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Default Re: NZ dilemma

Hi Dannigirl

I think we agree on most aspects looking at our posts, but:

My wife was a science teacher in UK (and other countries) and although it is a cliche many of the primary kids had no idea where their food came from (other than Tesco) ie that milk/butter came from cows etc. I am all in favour of an earthy grounding that registers food sources and doesn't treat badgers/foxes as cuddly pets. Also the confidence gained by a 6 year old handling and showing a calf twice their size is fantastic IMO much better than shut in a room with a Playstation or wandering an NZ museum so no cringe here :-)

Agree ref itchy feet, though after a 40 year OE gap in over 10 countries guess where I have ended up (as most Kiwis do).

Peter

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Old Feb 4th 2016, 3:02 am
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Default Re: NZ dilemma

Originally Posted by Kotare View Post
Hi Dannigirl

I think we agree on most aspects looking at our posts, but:

My wife was a science teacher in UK (and other countries) and although it is a cliche many of the primary kids had no idea where their food came from (other than Tesco) ie that milk/butter came from cows etc. I am all in favour of an earthy grounding that registers food sources and doesn't treat badgers/foxes as cuddly pets. Also the confidence gained by a 6 year old handling and showing a calf twice their size is fantastic IMO much better than shut in a room with a Playstation or wandering an NZ museum so no cringe here :-)

Agree ref itchy feet, though after a 40 year OE gap in over 10 countries guess where I have ended up (as most Kiwis do).

Peter
40 year OE!!! I thought I was bad at 24 years.
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Old Feb 4th 2016, 3:09 am
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Default Re: NZ dilemma

Originally Posted by jmh View Post
40 year OE!!! I thought I was bad at 24 years.
You are obviously a mere youngster :-) I did come back for 3 years farming in Golden Bay a decade ago but cracked up under the pressure of Takaka social life and had to leave.

Peter
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