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NZ - kids' heaven or kids' hell?

NZ - kids' heaven or kids' hell?

Old Mar 9th 2009, 12:30 pm
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Default NZ - kids' heaven or kids' hell?

Just wondering how much there is to do for kids. Not too bad at the moment as ours are 4 and nearly 8 but obviously they will need a bit more going on in the future. At the moment they are happy in soft play places (don't know if there are any on the North Island?). Everything seems geared up to outdoor stuff and also there are plenty comments about how much rain there is, so I'm wondering what kids do when the winter and bad weather come?
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Old Mar 9th 2009, 6:25 pm
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Default Re: NZ - kids' heaven or kids' hell?

Hi
Loads of things to do my 8 yr old has never been so busy, indoor rock climbing, sports facilities, heaps of fun swimming pools with wave machines etc, cinemas. Considering DD had never been away from home he has been this year on 2 camps one with cubs and one residential they do not worry about the weather he has been kayaking, archery, etc
The other to note there are loads and loads of playgrounds geared for all ages very clean and fun
Children are children here for much longer and certainly have fun! (we are based in Wellington btw)
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Old Mar 10th 2009, 5:35 am
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Default Re: NZ - kids' heaven or kids' hell?

Originally Posted by Lorrielou View Post
Just wondering how much there is to do for kids. Not too bad at the moment as ours are 4 and nearly 8 but obviously they will need a bit more going on in the future. At the moment they are happy in soft play places (don't know if there are any on the North Island?). Everything seems geared up to outdoor stuff and also there are plenty comments about how much rain there is, so I'm wondering what kids do when the winter and bad weather come?
For ours it has turned out to be Heaven compared to what they had back in rural Cornwall! Mind you it seemed to rain non-stop there for month after month after month ...

Our eldest 2 teenagers are out and about all the time. It makes no difference to them what the weather is. In summer they are over the beach. In winter they are at the cinema, friends and shopping malls! They are also members of a local gym with pool.

The younger 2 who are 10 and 6 are out and about too. We live in a quiet cul-de-sac with about 40 kids so they are constantly in and out of each others houses/gardens/pools. Summer again mainly spent over the beach. Winter there are the hot pools, cinema, rock wall climbing, snow boarding/skiing, basketball, duathlons and my 10 year old races go-karts come rain, hail or shine - something he'd never have got in to in the UK!

Yes, there are indoor play areas, I can think of one in Hamilton, central NI called Lollipops playland or something or other ...
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Old Mar 10th 2009, 5:54 am
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Default Re: NZ - kids' heaven or kids' hell?

Originally Posted by Am Loolah View Post
For ours it has turned out to be Heaven compared to what they had back in rural Cornwall! Mind you it seemed to rain non-stop there for month after month after month ...

Our eldest 2 teenagers are out and about all the time. It makes no difference to them what the weather is. In summer they are over the beach. In winter they are at the cinema, friends and shopping malls! They are also members of a local gym with pool.

The younger 2 who are 10 and 6 are out and about too. We live in a quiet cul-de-sac with about 40 kids so they are constantly in and out of each others houses/gardens/pools. Summer again mainly spent over the beach. Winter there are the hot pools, cinema, rock wall climbing, snow boarding/skiing, basketball, duathlons and my 10 year old races go-karts come rain, hail or shine - something he'd never have got in to in the UK!

Yes, there are indoor play areas, I can think of one in Hamilton, central NI called Lollipops playland or something or other ...

I guess it depends where in NZ you live. However I can say that Palmerston North like many, many other places (I am sure) in NZ life for kids is wonderful. We have a library akin to an adventure playground, four swimming pools, 27 parks and reserves and sooooooooooooooo much more to do here, endless toddler groups for the littlies, girl guides, scouts..its never ending. I am so happy my kids are in Nz. They are welcome everywhere in Palmy..bloody marvelous!!!
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Old Mar 10th 2009, 7:06 am
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Smile Re: NZ - kids' heaven or kids' hell?

Originally Posted by Genesis View Post
We have a library akin to an adventure playground...
Or 3D maze, actually finding the book your looking for can get difficult.

NZ is a great place for kids but once they've finished school it may be a bit dull so they'll want to live and work else where. Which is fantastic as well because it provides them with a good reason to move a long way away from you, to a place where you can visit them on holiday .
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Old Mar 10th 2009, 9:26 am
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Default Re: NZ - kids' heaven or kids' hell?

Originally Posted by Charismatic View Post
NZ is a great place for kids but once they've finished school it may be a bit dull so they'll want to live and work else where. Which is fantastic as well because it provides them with a good reason to move a long way away from you, to a place where you can visit them on holiday .
Now that is an optimistic way of looking at the Kiwi OE.

All the above is true - kids can be kids for longer - not everywhere has Wellington's relatively high sunshine hours though. When it does rain, it really rains and going outside isn't an option i.m.v. but then there's tenpin bowling or the cinema or the computer etc etc

The indoor play centres only really go up to age 8/9 - most are aimed at much younger kids.
There's a reason NZ is so sport obsessed and that reason is there's not much else to do at weekend....because of the relative internal isolation, you can't easily drive off into the sunset wherever takes your fancy for the day, so most families with kids, fill their weekends with early morning sports commitments which is very healthy but cheats me out of my weekend lie-in. A high proportion also cheat themselves out of a Sunday lie-in and go to Church.

The other factor to consider is the danger from the sun...it really is very strong and bright here...so if you are going to spend time outdoors, you need to put cream on, cover up etc etc but so many don't seem to bother.
Some kids also get a bit scared about being in an earthquake zone too.

Many expats like the laxer attitude to health and safety here....but the downside to tjhis is the 20 month old kids who keep getting killed by cars reversing into them at 7.30pm at night in a recent case in Napier. ACC can't bring your child back.
Was that balanced enough?
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Old Mar 10th 2009, 9:30 am
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Default Re: NZ - kids' heaven or kids' hell?

Ahem...like ...what do they do in the wet in England LOL. They play, read, get bored, traipse mud through the house.
Don't stress..this will be the least of yr worries..they will find something to do. The bush is good in the rain depending on where you are.
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Old Mar 10th 2009, 11:41 am
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Default Re: NZ - kids' heaven or kids' hell?

Originally Posted by luvwelly View Post
N
Many expats like the laxer attitude to health and safety here....but the downside to tjhis is the 20 month old kids who keep getting killed by cars reversing into them at 7.30pm at night in a recent case in Napier. ACC can't bring your child back.
Not sure what the point if that statement was and can't work out what it has to do with health and safety. Kids being run over in driveways is a tragic accident, unless every single car is equipped with sensors and rear visions cameras, kids are made to wear hi-vis vests and there is a legal requirement for a second adult to watch the car as it's being reversed I cannot see at all how lax health and safety laws contribute to this. I'm sure it happens in the UK, it probably just doesn't get reported as much.
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Old Mar 10th 2009, 2:29 pm
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Default Re: NZ - kids' heaven or kids' hell?

Originally Posted by luvwelly View Post
Some kids also get a bit scared about being in an earthquake zone too.

Many expats like the laxer attitude to health and safety here....but the downside to tjhis is the 20 month old kids who keep getting killed by cars reversing into them at 7.30pm at night in a recent case in Napier. ACC can't bring your child back.
Was that balanced enough?
Have NEVER come across a child who has even mentioned living in an earthquake zone here ...

I have no idea how A 20 month old child (note not "the 20 month old kids") getting killed by a car reversing in their Granny's driveway directly relates to a "laxer attitude to health and safety here"?
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Old Mar 10th 2009, 4:17 pm
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Default Re: NZ - kids' heaven or kids' hell?

Thanks all for your comments. The comment of them moving on when they're older is a valid one and one I can understand. My kids aren't particularly sporty, so that was a concern. However, this is based on us both being too bloody idle to take them anywhere so I'm sure that would change if we had more time on our hands to become a family, which is not what we currently are (own business so OH works 7 days per week, 11 hour days blah, blah). I'd be inclined not to mention earthquakes to my daughter as being a whoos, she would go girly and start panicking. It's easier not to mention things like this to her, but I guess it does come up in conversation over there.... a lot! The isolation is one thing that does concern me, so I think I'll start another thread as well to get other peoples' opinions on if/how it concerns them. Cheers again. Lorraine
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Old Mar 10th 2009, 7:51 pm
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Default Re: NZ - kids' heaven or kids' hell?

And there is always Playstations, Wi, Tv, Internet same as the Uk
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Old Mar 10th 2009, 10:18 pm
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Default Re: NZ - kids' heaven or kids' hell?

Originally Posted by Am Loolah View Post
Have NEVER come across a child who has even mentioned living in an earthquake zone here ...

I have no idea how A 20 month old child (note not "the 20 month old kids") getting killed by a car reversing in their Granny's driveway directly relates to a "laxer attitude to health and safety here"?
Because a 20 month old has no road safety awareness and some people here don't seem to realise that....they shouldn't be roaming around cars at all. But here everyone just calls these things tragic accidents - they are not neccessarily. Plural because there were two cases last year on the kapiti coast in the same Church car park on a Sunday morning..and everyone just said 'how tragic it was' not how dumb the adults were in not supervising such young kids properly around moving cars.
In the UK, such incidents do happen of course often with reversing farm tractors and the like.....it is a tragedy if the child breaks free from a carer's endeavour to keep them safe..it is less so and more negligence if the child is unsupervised in the first place. The younger the child the more negligent it is.
ACC cover seems to encourage a laxer attitude to safety..there is less traffic here but it only takes one single car to injure/kill a kid. And yes on your own driveway you should be taking extra precautions when your kids are young.

Last edited by luvwelly; Mar 10th 2009 at 10:34 pm.
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Old Mar 10th 2009, 10:20 pm
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Default Re: NZ - kids' heaven or kids' hell?

Originally Posted by Lorrielou View Post
Thanks all for your comments. The comment of them moving on when they're older is a valid one and one I can understand. My kids aren't particularly sporty, so that was a concern. However, this is based on us both being too bloody idle to take them anywhere so I'm sure that would change if we had more time on our hands to become a family, which is not what we currently are (own business so OH works 7 days per week, 11 hour days blah, blah). I'd be inclined not to mention earthquakes to my daughter as being a whoos, she would go girly and start panicking. It's easier not to mention things like this to her, but I guess it does come up in conversation over there.... a lot! The isolation is one thing that does concern me, so I think I'll start another thread as well to get other peoples' opinions on if/how it concerns them. Cheers again. Lorraine
Best be honest about earthquakes - they can't avoid it..it is in school safety drills..in Wellington anyway.
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Old Mar 11th 2009, 12:18 am
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Default Re: NZ - kids' heaven or kids' hell?

Originally Posted by Lorrielou View Post
My kids aren't particularly sporty, so that was a concern.
If they arent sporty, what are they gonna do then? Play drums?

I cant imagine my or my kids lives without being sporty.
And if I wasnt sporty or outdoorsy, I certainly wouldnt want to be here.
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Old Mar 11th 2009, 12:30 am
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Default Re: NZ - kids' heaven or kids' hell?

UK kids.....

I think kids in UK have had far to much, all those bloody theme parks, zoo's soft play areas and so on and on, and when they get over here, they dont know what to do with themselves, kids seem to stay kids longer here, we try and get outdoors as much and have stayed in basic cribs and gone fishing ect, our daughter seems to play ourdoors more, i suppose thats down to low popualtion and less crime or dodgy people about, when we stayed at fishing lodge the kids went off on their own and played down by the river and you didn't have to worry about them, even school play grounds are proper playgrounds, none of this wrapping them in cotton wool like UK, even most schools dont have fences around them like uk ones did, especially junior schools.

Kids do seem to make their own entertainment in NZ, when we went back to UK this Christmas all the kids we went to see seemed to all have X box, Wi or some form of electronic gadget to keep them happy, and whent the family goout on weekends it usually involves spending money to keep kids happy, in NZ you have to be more inventive and thats gets you out and about more, and there are no theme parks down here on SI, we have cinemas and all sorts of other things but if wages in NZ are lower than UK some peoples dispossable income can effect kids being able to go where others are going if it costs alot $$.

NZ is what you make it and if you can get your kids to play outside more then thats a bonus.
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