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NZ Move - IT worker/Outdoor enthusiast

NZ Move - IT worker/Outdoor enthusiast

Old Nov 8th 2012, 1:32 pm
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Default NZ Move - IT worker/Outdoor enthusiast

Hi guys.

First posting on the forum, from the limited number of threads I've read so far everyone seems to be incredibly helpful and encouraging.

Just to give a bit of background, one of my best friends emigrated out to NZ around 5 years ago and is due to get his residency next year. I travelled out in 2009 and spent some time staying with my friend and travelling independently - in total I spent around 8 weeks in the country and had a great time.

Part of my original visit was to scope New Zealand out with a view to potentially making the move myself with my partner at the time. Unfortunately my partner went off the idea and the idea never came to fruition.

Since then my circumstances have changed and I found myself thinking about making the move again whilst doing some decorating last night

I'm 33 year old single male, financially solvent with no kids or commitments.

My main interests are in the outdoors - running, cycling, walking, climbing, kayaking, triathlon, adventure racing and therefore NZ has a very obvious pull.

Job wise I work in ecommerce running the IT Operations for a high street retailer and have over 12 years experience in IT/Project Management/Technical Team Lead capacity for a number of UK retailers.

Recently I've considered trying to take the next step in my career logically this would mean looking at IT Director/Technical Director roles however this would also require a move to London and a drop in overall standard of living and ultimately mean I'm much further the hills and mountains in England/Wales.

For many of the reasons mentioned above my friend is at great pains to emphasise just how much NZ has to offer someone in my circumstances.

Certainly from what I saw on my trip to NZ then its obvious that lifestyle wise NZ has a bit more to offer.

One of my biggest concerns at the moment is the career aspect of such a move. NZ is obviously lagging quite a bit behind Europe/Oz in terms of ecommerce and therefore I'm wondering where this would leave me work wise. I'm guessing either at the top of my game, or scrabbling for work...

Does anyone have any experience in this sector? Or possibly any info on specialist NZ IT recruiters I may be able to contact?

Its obvious that any work would be centred around Auckland or Wellington. On my visit I travelled through Auckland a few times and enjoyed the milder climate however I'm wondering whether Wellington would be better placed for trips to South Island etc.

Apologies this has turned in to a bit of a brain dump, but hopefully someone will be able to see where my thought process is going and be able to offer some pointers/thoughts.
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Old Nov 8th 2012, 3:13 pm
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Default Re: NZ Move - IT worker/Outdoor enthusiast

Hi Mikehow!

Sounds like you will get on well with your hobbies in NZ.

My OH and I are in a similar situation. He is looking at IT work in NZ at the moment. We recently went to an "IT in NZ" expo at NZ House, London. It was very helpful so keep an eye on when the next one is being held. It had lots of info on visas, shipping companies and jobs. My OH works in a different field of IT - technical support, server support etc. I'm not an expert on ecommerce but here are some IT agencies in NZ that my OH has found helpful:

www.seek.co.nz
www.absoluteIT.co.nz
www.trademe.co.nz
www.canle.co.nz
www.dewinter.co.nz
www.itec.co.uk
www.itfutures.co.nz
www.mtr.co.nz
www.radiusnz.co.nz
www.sabrenz.co.nz

The IT sector is booming in NZ at the moment. There's lots of jobs going and expats are regarded in the field of IT. As you mention NZ is a little behind with IT systems and wants to progress, which is why they look at expats from overseas to come in and help out with it all. They seem to value overseas experience (particularly from the UK) as we are quite up to date and on the ball in IT. The good news as well is that IT is one of the best paid jobs in NZ. Although I must add in here that you are much more likely to get offered interviews and a job once you are in NZ. This is the response my OH has been getting, a kind of "we love your skills set, contact us when you get to NZ." I can understand your resistance to moving to London. We are based in London at the moment and we're itching to get out of the rat race.

I have just recently bought a very up to date book by David Hampshire about living and working in NZ. It has a wealth of info and has been very useful to us. It has pointers in there that we never even thought about! I got my copy from Amazon for around £15.

If/when you make it to NZ a visit to the South Island is highly recommended! The OH and I took a 7 week road trip and had an amazing time. Since getting back to the UK in Feb we are now looking at going back out to NZ around April 2013. Can't come soon enough!

Good luck with it all
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Old Nov 8th 2012, 3:49 pm
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Default Re: NZ Move - IT worker/Outdoor enthusiast

Hey

Thanks for the info I'd already found the seek.co.nz but the rest are totally new to me. I'll have a trawl through the others over the next few days and get a bit more of a feel for the jobs market.

I'm fairly realistic that I'm unlikely to land a job on this side of the pond, and am more than prepared to job hunt once I'm over in NZ. However finding an IT specialist with knowledge of the industry to cast an eye over my cv before making the jump would atleast alleviate some of my concerns.

I spend a reasonable amount of time in London with work, its ok for a couple of days but its always a welcome train getting on the train back up north!

Spent a lot of time on the South Island but still plenty more that I'd love to see.

Best of luck with your move as well!
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Old Nov 8th 2012, 3:59 pm
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Default Re: NZ Move - IT worker/Outdoor enthusiast

Good idea, being in contact with agencies has put our mind at rest. We were a little apprehensive about giving up our jobs in the UK only to go over to NZ and not be able to get work. I guess two jobs in the UK is better than no jobs in NZ (maybe?!)

There's a great thread on here about CV writing in NZ. I'm not sure if you've already done so but Kiwi'ing your CV will help you with job searching. They tend to be more lenient with length and there's no strict 2 pages like in the UK. They also pay attention to sections on hobbies and interests a lot more that in the UK. In fact my UK CV doesn't even have a hobbies section, I wrote it especially for NZ employers!

Best of luck
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Old Nov 8th 2012, 6:11 pm
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Default Re: NZ Move - IT worker/Outdoor enthusiast

my husband found it really hard to gain IT work whilst still in the UK despite all that the agencies were saying to him. He even got told he was being put through for a position and heard nothing back for a while. On questioning another employee at the agency he was informed that the agent he was working with had since moved and the fact that she had not asked his permission to submit his CV to the named company (apparently they have to tell you the names and background of the company they want to submit the CV to before doing so) meant that the agent hadn't actually done it so that was a 2 week waste of time.
He got so fed up with the agencies and potential employers telling him to "pop in for coffee when he was over here" that that is what he did. He popped over and didn't pop back and hence we are now here.
IT culture isn't just about having the right credentials here its about how you will fit into the existing environment and staff so my best advice is boots on the ground.
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Old Nov 8th 2012, 6:58 pm
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Default Re: NZ Move - IT worker/Outdoor enthusiast

The annual Coast to Coast race in the South Island seems right up your alley. Next one is in Feb 2013.

http://www.coasttocoast.co.nz/
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Old Nov 8th 2012, 8:06 pm
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Default Re: NZ Move - IT worker/Outdoor enthusiast

Did exactly the same as you in 1996 (was 30 then),was/am an IT professional and went for a new challenge and had similar outlook on how I would spend my spare time.
Had a whale of a time on the whole. But everyone kept saying 'if you like it here,just wait till you see Oz' so that was the holy grail.
For me,Oz didn't stack up to all the hype,preferred NZ by a country mile.
I won't be able to advise on your IT speciality as I'm a Hardware engineer (old IBM dinosaurs) but what I will say is you will most likely find yourself in a small team of people with a lot of responsibility.(we had 4 engineers covering Auckland area which meant standby every 4th night/day. And you DID get called out !!) You may find that you don't get a lot of support and you'll feel that the buck always stops with you ! (not necessarily a bad thing). This can also mean work takes over your life and free time more than in the UK and the tail ends up wagging the dog.
Just some random thoughts I got left with.
Good luck if you decide to go for it

Last edited by Droidling; Nov 8th 2012 at 8:34 pm. Reason: Extra bumpf
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Old Nov 8th 2012, 8:38 pm
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Default Re: NZ Move - IT worker/Outdoor enthusiast

Pom_chch those links are exactly what I have been looking for, very helpful.
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Old Nov 8th 2012, 8:59 pm
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Default Re: NZ Move - IT worker/Outdoor enthusiast

Try Hays IT as a recruitment specialist, I had never worked in IT before and now I'm in the deepest darkest depths of it - Hays got me the job. We run software for major clients in NZ, Thailand, Kenya and a massive one in the UK so we must be doing something right technology wise!

Good luck!
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Old Nov 9th 2012, 7:41 pm
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Default Re: NZ Move - IT worker/Outdoor enthusiast

Thanks all for the positive comments.

I had a bit more of a google for software development manager/technical architect roles yesterday and have the name of few recruiters with those type of roles on their books.

I totally understand the comments re: kiwi culture and company fit, in terms of responsibility it doesn't sound much different to my current employer so doesn't really phase me.

@waikatoguy - thanks already know about the 'coastie' and planning to enter in 2014 with my friend out in NZ.

Timing wise I'm in the middle of a house renovation at the moment, and don't envisage finishing it until March/April. I'd thought about lodging an expression of interest early next year and if/when I'm successful begin the process of applying for a skilled migrant worker visa with a view to tieing that together with a trip out to NZ in early 2014 for the coast to coast and potentially sitting down with some prospective employers for a coffee.
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Old Nov 10th 2012, 3:09 pm
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Default Re: NZ Move - IT worker/Outdoor enthusiast

Apparently ACC is looking for IT people, not sure exactly what roles they want to fill though.
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Old Nov 10th 2012, 3:43 pm
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Default Re: NZ Move - IT worker/Outdoor enthusiast

Hi MikeHow,

Your experience looks very much the same as what I have from an IT outsourcing background. I'm planning to move around May next year, initially on a work visa so that I'm able to start a job quickly once I get an offer. We then plan to apply for PR at pretty much the same time.

We have had the house valued and have all our shipping quotes and paperwork in order and ready for the applications so that we can just crack on at short notice.

We are heading out in 3 weeks time for a big old holiday, which culminates in a full on job hunt from Mid Feb onwards. I'm not returning to the UK until I get an offer, or my tourist visa expires!

So far I have been making contacts and expanding my network into NZ. I have also spoken and skyped with recruiters from agencies and companies directly. The message is definitely that we need to be out there to get an offer. The other message I got was that they want to fill open roles in 4 to 6 weeks. 6 weeks is what it could take to get a work visa!

On the CV front mine sits at just under 4 pages and is based on advice from recruiters and from forum. Your CV is your brand so it is best to be selective about how much your pass it around given that the market in NZ is small. It is also a good idea to select no more than about 3 agencies to work with along side contacting companies directly.

That's where I'm up to and hopefully you'll find some of that useful for your plans.

Cheers For Now
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Old Nov 11th 2012, 9:30 am
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Default Re: NZ Move - IT worker/Outdoor enthusiast

You're right in that most IT work will be in Auckland and Wellington, with limited amount in Christchurch.

Certainly wise to get clued up, NZ tends to oversell it's pure green image, it's rivers are amongst the most polluted.

You mention a career move in the UK might mean a move away from hills and mountains, be aware that Auckland ain't close to any hills and mtns either. Indeed if you're in to mtn biking, the opportunities in Auckland aren't great, sure the there's manufactured trails at Woodhill and the like, but they're no match for their UK equivalents (Glentress/Coed y Brenin etc.) whatever the locals insist. Outside of that little else, certainly none of the bridleway trails that make for great routes in Peak, Dales, Wales etc.
Yes, there's some good mtn biking at Rotorua and Taupo, and outside the trail centres too, but these are not a return day drive away.

Similarly walking, the Waitakeres are on the doorstep and are scenic, but it's rare to get the distant views from hilltops amongst the trees and bush.
Though again further afield Ruapehu and Tongariro National Park are amazing.

Wellington has much nearer hills, and Christchurch too of course, and the tramping/walking (and mtn biking) opportunities in SI so numerous.

Workwise, hours are typically longer than the UK.

Not trying to be negative, just saying things aren't straightforward. I had a similar situation in the UK, lived in the north but often my work took me down south & London way a few days week.

I did alot of mtn biking and walking most weekends in the UK as well as in the evenings, virtually from the doorstep, as well as road cycling.

When I came to NZ I did more road cycling as I found the opportunities for the other two much less in & around Auckland. Road cycling's popular here, and plenty do it, but the drivers are as bad as I've seen anywhere (though I know Wiggins & Shane Sutton were both knocked off their bikes in the UK on consecutive days last week) including a few third world countries I've toured in. Sadly there's a fair percentage of NZ drivers with bad attitudes to cyclists and drink driving is also too common.

Also travelwise, there's not as much a short flight away from NZ as there is in the UK, with cheap flights to Europe on the doorstep.

There's a few of the cons, on the other side weather's is certainly warmer (though houses aren't) in Auckland, and cycling through winter, knee warmers are usually enough. Also sea kayaking can be a year end round activity, indeed it's something I'd done very little before, but that's now my main outdoors activity as health and knee problems have pretty much limited cycling and running.

Opportunities for sea kayaking in Auckland, most be as good as any major city in the world. Even when it's inclement, it can be sheltered from the prevailing westerlies and the Eastern Islands of Rangitoto through to Waiheke block some of the worst eastern winds too.
10 -20 mins from the office after work I can be out on the kayak, a couple of times last week after work I got out to Browns Island, great views to Rangitoto, to the city skyline and in the other direct distant Coromandel hills.
Also weekend opportunities for sea kayaking in Coromandel and at push Bay of Islands. Numerous opportunities further afield too.

I probably didn't do enough research before making the move, though I'd been on holiday to NZ before and had family out here. I won't deny there were times I've regretted the move, but not now, especially with sea kayaking being my main outdoors recreation, the opportunities for it would be much less in the UK.

I actually got my job in IT here, applying from the UK, and had a few skype interviews.
The contacts above useful ones, but I'd agree with JPA best to stick with just a two or three of them as NZ is a small pond they'll all being chasing the same fish. Note the NZ recruiters tend to expect a long winded CV rather than typical UK one.

Sorry to drawl on, good luck with whatever you decide.

Last edited by chocolate cake; Nov 11th 2012 at 9:39 am.
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Old Nov 11th 2012, 9:52 pm
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Default Re: NZ Move - IT worker/Outdoor enthusiast

As someone who got a job in I.T - big word of advice

Don't go via recruitment agencies

Have a look at working in and see what jobs they've got first

If not, go onto Immigration New Zealand and search the accredited employers. You've got a far better chance obtaining a job through an accredited employer as a migrant

Oh and go to New Kiwis.co.nz and get a cv done. They'll take your english one and produce a kiwi one for you free of service.
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Old Nov 12th 2012, 2:05 pm
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Default Re: NZ Move - IT worker/Outdoor enthusiast

Some more great information here thanks guys.

chocolate_cakes in particular its nice to read a balanced view of things - good and bad.

Whichever way I know that any move isn't going to be a like for like move, I'm spoilt where I live I can be out running on the fells straight after work, can cycle up to the dales at the weekend and the lakes are less than 2hrs drive.

Any move I make is going to be at the expense of one of the sports that I enjoy. At the same time I'm pragmatic that it should also open up some different opportunities as well such as sea kayaking or something completely new.

When all said and done Auckland has got to have some better weather to offer than the pennines have this year - wall to wall rain all year!
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