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Should we emigrate to NZ? Looking at Christchurch.

Should we emigrate to NZ? Looking at Christchurch.

Old Nov 8th 2012, 6:49 pm
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Default Should we emigrate to NZ? Looking at Christchurch.

Hi all, was hoping for a little advice regarding emigrating to New Zealand? Maybe a little of our background would help first....Well basically to cut a very long story short we've been contemplating emigrating for many years now. I am a 36 old year electrician and my partner (33) works with young children in a forest school. We have two small boys aged 5 & 6. We currently live near Canterbury, Kent, England. Anyway....around 5 years ago we were again chasing the emigration idea. We decided back then that Nova Scotia, Canada seemed the ideal place so went for a brief visit (2 weeks). Although beautiful in its own way, we hence decided that it was probably not for us. Also during the research process it gradually dawned on us that without a house to sell (we were then renting) or a lottery win the financial cost of emigrating was going to stop us in our tracks! So....(sorry about this), we took a gamble and moved out of rented accommodation, bought a huge 2nd hand caravan, moved in (kids n all), and spent 2 long years shivering, sweating and saving! Anyway it worked and we managed to scrape together a deposit for a dilapidated house in a local village. The next 3 years were spent pulling the place apart and gradually putting it back together! Anyway now its pretty much done, the place has shot up in value and hence the emigration idea has once again resurfaced, but this time with more punch!
We're thinking of trying for New Zealand for a few reasons. We both love the great outdoors and everything that goes with it. We're accustomed to roughing it and feel that we're not cut out for the rat-race! Its quite a struggle here now, and I cant see it getting much easier for our boys when they grow up.

Although I've been working as a qualified sparky for 15 years I also hold a university degree in Biodiversity conservation, which is where my real passion lies. My partner also holds a similar degree, has considerable work experience in that field and is now working as a forest school leader.

We're thinking specifically of Christchurch, NZ as I have a mate already there (bricklayer). He reckons that since the earthquake there is loads of work out there and I should be able to find something.

Anyway what is Christchurch like? What is new zealand like?! A good place to aim for? What are the schools like? House prices? Arrrr!!!

Do we really need a pre-visit? We've almost come to the conclusion that it might be better to just jump!? It would cost us thousands to fly us all out there and back again, and would we really get a true feel of the place in only 3 or 4 weeks? Timing is another issue due to the schools. Do we go during the English summer holidays or the NZ summer holidays? Do we aim to start work in christchurch straightaway or travel around the country for a while with 2 small boys out of schooling??? Is it worth using an agent, or maybe save money and apply directly to immigration?

As you can see we're in quite a pickle, and would really appreciate any info to help us clarify a plan....There are obviously many others who have gone before us who must have faced and dealt with the same problems...
Any comments or help much appreciated, thanks, Steve & Becky.
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Old Nov 8th 2012, 10:24 pm
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Default Re: Should we emigrate to NZ?

Hi Steve

Welcome to the NZ branch.

Yes NZ is for some people, a real outdoorsman paradise and Christchurch is a good location to have access to these type of activities.

Sounds as if you are quite handy as well, so lots of opportunities to add value to property.

I am sue some closer to Christchurch will be around soon to give you the low down, but sounds as if you have the right skill set to be able to find some work.
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Old Nov 9th 2012, 12:31 pm
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Default Re: Should we emigrate to NZ? Looking at Christchurch.

Hi Steve,

I'm not in NZ so can't help with your query but I just wanted to pop by and say hi. So pleased that you have come back on BE again and I hope you enjoy your stay

Please let me know if you get stuck on anything on the site.
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Old Nov 9th 2012, 1:28 pm
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Default Re: Should we emigrate to NZ? Looking at Christchurch.

Hi Steve!

I enjoyed reading your adventures living in a caravan so that you could save for a deposit! I admire your hard work and determination

The OH and I are going to make the move in April 2013. We went to NZ over Christmas last year for 7 weeks in total. To be more specific we toured the south island and used the OH's aunt and uncle in Christchurch as a base. We unexpectedly fell in love with the place, hence the plans to move back out next year. We never really considered the thought of NZ as most people in the UK seem more set on Australia. We loved the lack of traffic, the ample and free parking, the space, the scenery (wow!) and the outdoor lifestyle. You're never too far away from being able to kayak, hike or a game of tennis. The south island has a slower pace of life compared to that of the north island, which we love. We were during NZ summer and the weather was beautiful for about 5 out of the 7 weeks we were there. The 2 weeks of bad weather was when we went over to the west coast where it tends to rain a lot!

We are living in London right in the thick of the rat race and want out too. Unfortunately we are tied into a one year lease with our flat and can't get out of it until April 2013. No big deal, it'll give us time to save more money and make better preparations etc. We once loved London when we were younger but we want something different now and it feels like cost of living is increasing when wages aren't.

Christchurch is starting to re-build after the earthquake in Feb 2011 meaning plumbers, electricians, builders etc are all in demand so sounds like you wont have any worries about finding work. Not saying it'll be a walk in the park as finding a job rarely is but you shouldn't have too much trouble.

The thing to be careful with in NZ is cost of living. Wages are lower and certain things can be expensive. Although renting and buying seem to be quite low for what you can have. Check out www.trademe.co.nz for properties. From speaking to my cousin in Christchurch if my OH was to get a job on $60K NZD we would be able to live fairly comfortably. Not luxurious by a long shot but enough to be able to afford what you need and to have a little fun and that's not even taking into account my wages.

I can't answer questions on schools as we don't have any littluns, sorry!

A visit over is a good idea but clearly an expensive one! Perhaps just you or your wife could go over and then report back? It could be good for you to go and research potential employers, schools, housing, things to do etc and possibly even arrange interviews.

As for travelling around before you settle, it could be an option. Although most companies will want you to start work soon. You could always start work and then explore NZ at weekends or annual leave.

Well look at that, I've written an essay! That usually happens when someone gets me started on NZ!

Good luck with it all and feel free to ask anything else...
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Old Nov 10th 2012, 12:01 am
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Default Re: Should we emigrate to NZ? Looking at Christchurch.

Check out Trade me and realestate.co.nz for house prices and also to give you an idea of the styles of house available down here
I think your Caravan experience might stand you in good stead when it comes to kiwi houses (nah!! they're not all bad)
Also look on Trade me and seek for jobs. I had never been to nz before I came over (although my ex wife had been for a 3 week look around).
and it didnt bother me in the slightest and to be honest I think it helped as I had no preconceptions of what the place was like.
There is certainly a huge demand for electricians in Chch at the moment. Kiwis are very proud of their country and I think, should you
choose to switch, you would find something that fits with your degree.
While we only a population of 4 million we do still have all the same social issues as the uk, however, the media here are not
from the same vulture mentality as the uk so they are not rammed down your throat. I personally dont read any newspapers
and seldom bother with the tv news so I live in happy ignorance of all the nonsense that goes on every day, others choose to
devour every bad story and negative comment and spend all their time working themselves up and spouting off on here (each to their own I suppose)
Lots of expats complain about the nz education system but it has seem both my sons up to uni standard so I have no complaints.
The same goes for the health system, again I have no complaints but I would recommend private health insurance if you can stretch to it.
If you come with the right attitude, nz is a great place to live. You'll probably never get rich here but theres more to life than money.
Look through the forum, theres plenty of stuff on here that will help you make up your mind as to whether its the right place for you.
cheers and good luck
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Old Nov 10th 2012, 4:08 am
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Default Re: Should we emigrate to NZ? Looking at Christchurch.

Just a quick observation on rentals. Back in March 2012 there were 770 rental properties on trade me in Chch. Today this stands at 679.
We've been here for nearly a year and love it. There are lots of businesses restarting, new bars popping up and some small shoots of progress.
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Old Nov 10th 2012, 7:30 am
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Default Re: Should we emigrate to NZ? Looking at Christchurch.

Go to Australia, far more opportunities, good infrastructure and economy and no anti - foreign sentiment (well not on the same scale as NZ anyway.)
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Old Nov 10th 2012, 8:00 am
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Default Re: Should we emigrate to NZ? Looking at Christchurch.

Originally Posted by tweetweet View Post
Go to Australia, far more opportunities, good infrastructure and economy and no anti - foreign sentiment (well not on the same scale as NZ anyway.)
A good balanced opinion as always.... not. I don't understand why you hang around in the NZ forum and jump at the chance to make negative comments towards people looking at emigrating. If you do feel that way then elaborate a little more, enlighten us all to why you didn't do so well in NZ. It's always good to see the good and the bad when moving somewhere new...
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Old Nov 10th 2012, 8:46 am
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Default Re: Should we emigrate to NZ? Looking at Christchurch.

Originally Posted by Pom_Chch View Post
A good balanced opinion as always.... not. I don't understand why you hang around in the NZ forum and jump at the chance to make negative comments towards people looking at emigrating. If you do feel that way then elaborate a little more, enlighten us all to why you didn't do so well in NZ. It's always good to see the good and the bad when moving somewhere new...
I have spoken at end about my experiences in NZ - look at all my posts.
Potential immigrants must not have the wool pulled over their eyes.
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Old Nov 10th 2012, 8:51 am
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Default Re: Should we emigrate to NZ? Looking at Christchurch.

Originally Posted by tweetweet View Post
I have spoken at end about my experiences in NZ - look at all my posts.
Potential immigrants must not have the wool pulled over their eyes.
their not going to look through all your posts when they are asking for specific advise. like the post where someone was asking on best place to look for accommodation costs
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Old Nov 10th 2012, 8:53 am
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Default Re: Should we emigrate to NZ? Looking at Christchurch.

I am replying to the headline 'should we emigrate to NZ?' - AND my answer is NO because I have experienced terrible things in NZ, have met others who have too, having lived in 8 countries, I have to say that NZ ranks the lowest.

it is financially, socially, professionally a bad move to emigrate to NZ

I would not say it is a good place to bring up children

I recommend Australia

End of story aurevoir

Last edited by tweetweet; Nov 10th 2012 at 8:59 am.
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Old Nov 10th 2012, 8:57 am
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Default Re: Should we emigrate to NZ? Looking at Christchurch.

Originally Posted by tweetweet View Post
I have spoken at end about my experiences in NZ - look at all my posts.
Potential immigrants must not have the wool pulled over their eyes.
No thank you, it's the weekend. I am not about to sit around and read your posts about how "crap" NZ is. I'm not saying it's the land of milk and honey but it works for some people. You make out like immigrants are duped into going and end up hating it when many go over to NZ, set up a new life and love it. That happens in many countries - USA, UK, OZ. There will always be those who go over and it's not right for them, but then there are the others who stay and it becomes home. I do take on board the negatives to NZ. The posts I pay particular attention to are the well balanced and well thought out points, not people who enter a thread and drop the snide one liners.
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Old Nov 10th 2012, 9:24 am
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Default Re: Should we emigrate to NZ? Looking at Christchurch.

Hi Steve & Becky, I am a plumber who has moved to Timaru (2hours south of christchurch). We had been to NZ before but not to Timaru where I had managed to find a job. For me so far its the best move we've made. If you work hard which it sounds like you do then you will have no worries settling in. The work for me is a bit different and I imagine it would be for a sparky too but it wouldn't take long to get in the flow.
Its a big decision to move to the other side of the world without being here first. As has been mentioned before it might be worth one of you coming over for a recce and if you can arrange to meet potential employers all the better. It can be very hard to secure a job when your not here!! Took me 15months from starting to getting here. The lifestyle for us was a big draw and the opportunity to bring our young kids up in what we feel is a better environment is fantastic. We've not been here long and yes there are the same problems you will find in the UK or anywhere but for us so far it has been the right move.
Sorry its not answered many of your questions but just wanted to say my bit and wish you good luck with your decision.
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Old Nov 11th 2012, 3:49 am
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Default Re: Should we emigrate to NZ? Looking at Christchurch.

Hi Steve and Becky,

My OH and sons have lived in ChCh for just over 2 years and I am coming up to a year. We love it!
We love that we can afford season tickets for the Crusaders/Canterbury. We love living in a bigger (rented) house 10 min walk from the sea. We love that we can go shopping before 10am and after 4pm on a Sunday . We love that we can drive anywhere in ChCh in less than 30 mins. We love that parts of ChCh feel like you are in the country. We love that there are some amazing places that you can visit in a day. . We love the way they ask if you want your scones warmed .
We don't love the quakes/aftershocks. . My 19 year old doesn't like the lack of a central entertainment area (clubs/bars are re-opening fairly frequently though). I find it hard being apart from my daughter and Grandchildren in the UK (although that would apply if we or they had relocated within the UK - yes I know we would be able to visit more).
With regard to prices - we try not to convert to pounds. There is no point as we earn dollars and it doesn't matter that bread is 99p or a semi in Tonbridge is 250,000 because we are not buying those in NZ!
Schools in ChCh are going through a shake up at the moment. Some are earmarked for closure and some for merger. It's causing a lot of trouble right now, with people saying that the schools provided a constant in their childrens lives after the quake upheaval and that to take that away from them is not right. There are Primary, Intermediate and Senior schools here. They are all given a decile rating which actually just tells you how well off the parents are basically - 1 is lowest and 10 highest. I work in an Afterschool care programme based at a school with a decile 5 rating. All I know is that we have a mix of cultures, some parents are poorer than others but it seems a caring place and the children all seem happy to be there! Look at http://www.ero.govt.nz for reports similar to UK Ofsted.
I would recommend that you do not try and rent before you get here - you need to check out the area first and you need to check out the housing. Double glazing is still rare and central heating just about non-existent.
Although ChCh is still broken, there are many facilities available including public swimming pools, parks, playgrounds, cinemas, restaurants, shops etc.
We feel that it is an exciting place to be, with the rebuild starting, albeit slowly. Come with your eyes open, don't expect paradise. Realise that NZ doesn't owe you anything and you should be fine. On the other hand, you may hate it........!
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Old Nov 11th 2012, 4:20 am
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Default Re: Should we emigrate to NZ? Looking at Christchurch.

Originally Posted by tweetweet View Post
I have experienced terrible things in NZ
I have news for you - terrible things will have happened to individuals in all 8 countries in which you have lived. Its not fair, nor is it right - but nor is it necessarily the average, normal or typical experience of individuals in those countries.

One of your posts indicates you were the victim of date-rape drugs, if so that is awful - but I don't think attempting to put off every potential NZ immigrant at every opportunity is going to achieve much.

Perhaps some counselling would achieve more.
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