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Straight from the horses mouth ...

Straight from the horses mouth ...

Old Jan 14th 2007, 7:51 pm
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Default Straight from the horses mouth ...

Finally got round to phoning some friends last night who left the UK in October with their 2 kids on a working visa to settle in Tauranga - having sold their house and never been to New Zealand before!

It was great to speak to them and fin out how they've found the first couple of months. Thought I's briefly outline some of their thought/experiences as they are literally living through what many of us will be over the coming months;

Flights - they flew direct (fuel stop off in Singapore) with 2 kids age 7 and 9. They literally left Cornwall on the Saturday morning and arrived in Auckland on the Monday afternoon. They do not recommend this!!!!
On Arrival - They landed after monster journey, picked up hire car and drove to the Bay of Plenty to their furnished rented bach. They felt like the living dead for 4 days and remember nothing about the drive and have no recollection of first impressions!!!
Furnished Rental - This was arranged through a company called "book a batch?" and was not a good experience. The property was leaky, cold, beyond basic and infested with slugs ... they wrote a list of faults for the landlord who replied it had been ok the last time they had been to it?! They went into unfurnished.
Unfurnished Rental - After 9 weeks of sleeping in sleeping bags they were all bordering on depression.
Employment - He's not happy with his job. He was employed by a builder/developer as a master carpenter. He reports they are actually a husband and wife team who do up properties - badly. They got an order for something wrong so he has only worked 1 week out of the last 3? He's getting $20/hour.
ASB Bank - Fixed up a mortgage for them quickly and professionally.
Cars - Crap in his opinion and majority automatics!
Shopping - For a family of 4 their average weekly shop comes to $260, they haven't found quality to be a problem but have noticed a lack of choice compared to the UK.
Meeting People - Everybody, Ex-Pats and Kiwis have been warm, friendly and helpful. The kids have settled into school very well and made lots of friends. Lots of Ex-Pats have confirmed that it's normal for the kids to be vile to each other - which his are being. All the stress and upheaval and picking up on mum & Dad's stress and anxiety makes them teasy.
Lifestyle - To them, having the beach across the road is no great novelty as they are from Cornwall and were only 12 miles from the beaches here - plus they went most weekends here anyway. But to others they have met, mainly from Liverpool, Manchester, Birmingham and London - they rave about the beaches!
Christmas - It was very strange and different and they missed family. But they got through it ok, no tears, even managed a walk on the beach!
The Weather - Currently a bit of a disappointment!!

There's more, but I'll bore you all to death if I go on!

Are they happy? Yes
Is it all they thought it would be? They're reserving judgement on that one!
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Old Jan 14th 2007, 8:02 pm
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Default Re: Straight from the horses mouth ...

That sounds pretty typical of most people's first experiences here and I hope things get better for them.

If you don't mind me asking which bits are they happy with?
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Old Jan 14th 2007, 8:07 pm
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Default Re: Straight from the horses mouth ...

Originally Posted by Nerine View Post
That sounds pretty typical of most people's first experiences here and I hope things get better for them.

If you don't mind me asking which bits are they happy with?
Really happy with the school the boys are in. Plus she has managed to get a job in the school, whereas ironically, wasn't working here in the UK!

Everyone they have met have been lovely and so helpful. Like nothing is too much trouble, which they have found really refreshing.

They have had more free time and family time - but this could be due to the work cock up and may not pan out to be the case!!

They have a bigger house than they had in the UK for significantly less money and it's a stones throw from the beach. Here they lived in a not so desireable part of town in a not great house! The house they have bought does need alot of work doing to it though! But I think they feel they have moved up property wise.
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Old Jan 14th 2007, 8:19 pm
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Default Re: Straight from the horses mouth ...

wow right... so you reporting this 2nd hand and labelling it at straight from the horses proverbial makes it distinct in what way apart from hearsay?
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Old Jan 14th 2007, 8:19 pm
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Default Re: Straight from the horses mouth ...

It's important that the kids are happy so that's really good, also if she's working it's an extra source of income coming in, which they may need if work slackens off for her husband over the winter and for when the first fuel bills come rolling in.

Having a trade such as his is very useful if they're doing up their own place, labour can be expensive so if that's one thing they don't have to pay for it'll be a bonus. But anyway if their house cost less than the one they used to have they should have a bit of cash in reserve. Advise them to hang on to as much of that as they can - it's the savings that make people feel more comfortable than they really are and when they're gone people really start to feel the pinch.

I wish you friend and her family every success in making a new life for themselves. His job may have turned out to be a bit of a let-down but there is other work out there to be had in NI.
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Old Jan 14th 2007, 9:12 pm
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Default Re: Straight from the horses mouth ...

hi AL, hope you don't mind if i add a few bits

Finally got round to phoning some friends last night who left the UK in October with their 2 kids on a working visa to settle in Tauranga - having sold their house and never been to New Zealand before!

It was great to speak to them and fin out how they've found the first couple of months. Thought I's briefly outline some of their thought/experiences as they are literally living through what many of us will be over the coming months;

Flights - they flew direct (fuel stop off in Singapore) with 2 kids age 7 and 9. They literally left Cornwall on the Saturday morning and arrived in Auckland on the Monday afternoon. They do not recommend this!!!!


having flown with the kids (the 4 &2) with a stopoff for a night & flown by myself direct , i would agree that a stop off would be good if it can be done. i managaed ok by myself on the direct flight but can imagine that the kids would struggle

On Arrival - They landed after monster journey, picked up hire car and drove to the Bay of Plenty to their furnished rented bach. They felt like the living dead for 4 days and remember nothing about the drive and have no recollection of first impressions!!!

we had a couple of nights at a hotel in Auckland which helped us get over jet lag & chill before having to sort ourselves out with our new lives

Furnished Rental - This was arranged through a company called "book a batch?" and was not a good experience. The property was leaky, cold, beyond basic and infested with slugs ... they wrote a list of faults for the landlord who replied it had been ok the last time they had been to it?! They went into unfurnished.

can't really comment on this as we stayed with freinds , but we did find that looking for a decent rental was harder than we had anticipated. i would say if you can stay somewhere like a motel for a week or two then you can get to have a good look around for rentals. we rent a new house (we had a crappy one in uk) as we decided it would help us settle (ie would not be thinking 'i hate this crappy house blah blah blah) although it does cost slighly more.

Unfurnished Rental - After 9 weeks of sleeping in sleeping bags they were all bordering on depression.

we had 4 weeks in our house before our stuff arrived & that was just about enough , even the kids wanted their 'proper' beds, but it was quite novel & at least theres no housework to do . but i would think 9 weeks would drive you nuts!

Employment - He's not happy with his job. He was employed by a builder/developer as a master carpenter. He reports they are actually a husband and wife team who do up properties - badly. They got an order for something wrong so he has only worked 1 week out of the last 3? He's getting $20/hour.

took hubs nearly 5 mths to get work (& he was on the skills shortage list) the job he now has has clipped his creative side but its money coming in (not a lot admittedly, but a jobs a job ) & its zero stress.

ASB Bank - Fixed up a mortgage for them quickly and professionally.
we saw mortgage advisor on a tues evening , buy thurs lunch time we had a mortagage approved

Cars - Crap in his opinion and majority automatics!

we got hondas which seem ok. the cars here do seem to last forever though, our friends had hers for 20 yrs & just sold it!!!!!!!
i never thought i wanted an automatic but yu get used to it & i think it suits the slower pace here. when i returned to UK i kept forgetting that my mums car had a clutch

Shopping - For a family of 4 their average weekly shop comes to $260, they haven't found quality to be a problem but have noticed a lack of choice compared to the UK.

we spend max $200 a week, this week it was $170, but it does intale a lot of 'specials' & knowing who does what products cheapest, & i do cook from scratch. yes there is a lack of choice esp with fruit & veg compared to say tescos, have yet to find fresh baby corn, sugar snap peas blah blah , but i manage
quality generally ok had the odd poor item but had crap stuff from supermarkets in uk too.


Meeting People - Everybody, Ex-Pats and Kiwis have been warm, friendly and helpful. The kids have settled into school very well and made lots of friends. Lots of Ex-Pats have confirmed that it's normal for the kids to be vile to each other - which his are being. All the stress and upheaval and picking up on mum & Dad's stress and anxiety makes them teasy.

we too have found everyone friendly, my kids settled well , no probs , infact none of us have had any probs settling but then our kids are younger so maybe that helps. my sons confidence has gone through the roof here , but that may be due to his age - who can say . both my kids love the freedom here & i think my mum found it strange when she visited that they can run around & make noise & noones really bothered by it , i think people here enjoy seeing kids having a good time

Lifestyle - To them, having the beach across the road is no great novelty as they are from Cornwall and were only 12 miles from the beaches here - plus they went most weekends here anyway. But to others they have met, mainly from Liverpool, Manchester, Birmingham and London - they rave about the beaches!

we are a 10 min walk from the beach (uk - 2hrs away) so still a bit of a novelty, but its good to go down after school & let the kids run on the beach. i find kids are like dogs - need a good run every day
theres also plenty of playgrounds & the ones i have seen are well kept.
my dad commented on how clean & tidy NZ was even compared to OZ (they've been a few times ) & definatley compared to UK.


Christmas - It was very strange and different and they missed family. But they got through it ok, no tears, even managed a walk on the beach!

yep it was strange & different but not as rushed it think, not as much pressure.

The Weather - Currently a bit of a disappointment!!

yes but its been quite warm recently , ok not very sunny , & a bit windy but the weather doesnt bother me

There's more, but I'll bore you all to death if I go on!

Are they happy? Yes
Is it all they thought it would be? They're reserving judgement on that one!
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Old Jan 14th 2007, 9:17 pm
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Default Re: Straight from the horses mouth ...

Originally Posted by Am Loolah View Post
Really happy with the school the boys are in. Plus she has managed to get a job in the school, whereas ironically, wasn't working here in the UK!

Everyone they have met have been lovely and so helpful. Like nothing is too much trouble, which they have found really refreshing.

They have had more free time and family time - but this could be due to the work cock up and may not pan out to be the case!!

They have a bigger house than they had in the UK for significantly less money and it's a stones throw from the beach. Here they lived in a not so desireable part of town in a not great house! The house they have bought does need alot of work doing to it though! But I think they feel they have moved up property wise.

we have more family time too , hubs get about an extra 2 hrs a day with the kids (& he commutes into welly every day!!)
we too will probaly end up with a bigger house for less money too but as were still looking i'll let you know- but if we could buy our rental (which is within budget but not for sale) than it a 3 bed nut the rooms are much bigger & theres more space
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Old Jan 14th 2007, 11:05 pm
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Default Re: Straight from the horses mouth ...

That's lovely to hear that your friends are settling in well, and would love to hear more info on how they find things there...you won't bore me as love hearing others stories.

so keep the info coming
Take care Mandie
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Old Jan 14th 2007, 11:09 pm
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Default Re: Straight from the horses mouth ...

Originally Posted by SecretSquirrel View Post
wow right... so you reporting this 2nd hand and labelling it at straight from the horses proverbial makes it distinct in what way apart from hearsay?
Oh, please, go away ...?

Was trying to be helpful - go forage some acorns ...?

Last edited by Am Loolah; Jan 14th 2007 at 11:13 pm.
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Old Jan 14th 2007, 11:14 pm
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Default Re: Straight from the horses mouth ...

Originally Posted by Am Loolah View Post
Oh, please, go away ...?
nicely said...if people don't want to read then they can go to another thread. I've also been a believer in if you can't say anything constructive then don't say anything at all.

I'm very interested in hearing what 'YOU' have got to say about your friends journey...so please 'DO' carry on!!!
Mandie
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Old Jan 14th 2007, 11:21 pm
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Default Re: Straight from the horses mouth ...

Originally Posted by Mandie.H View Post
nicely said...if people don't want to read then they can go to another thread. I've also been a believer in if you can't say anything constructive then don't say anything at all.

I'm very interested in hearing what 'YOU' have got to say about your friends journey...so please 'DO' carry on!!!
Mandie
Thank you Mandie - you are after all to blame - it was your Phone Cheap/Cheap Phone in the really useful thread that made me call them!!!
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Old Jan 14th 2007, 11:27 pm
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Default Re: Straight from the horses mouth ...

Originally Posted by Am Loolah View Post
Thank you Mandie - you are after all to blame - it was your Phone Cheap/Cheap Phone in the really useful thread that made me call them!!!
Ha Ha...glad to be of assistance. it's great isn't it, it's soooo cheap you can spend twice as long on there (in true Margery Daws styli)...and if you don't watch little britain then you won't get the joke!!!

I phoned two friends in NZ the other night, must have been on there an hour and no clock watching in sight. And with no worry what the bill will be at the end of the month
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Old Jan 14th 2007, 11:42 pm
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Default Re: Straight from the horses mouth ...

Originally Posted by Mandie.H View Post
Ha Ha...glad to be of assistance. it's great isn't it, it's soooo cheap you can spend twice as long on there (in true Margery Daws styli)...and if you don't watch little britain then you won't get the joke!!!

I phoned two friends in NZ the other night, must have been on there an hour and no clock watching in sight. And with no worry what the bill will be at the end of the month
I shall keep you updated coz one's friends will tell it like it is and I just wanted to pass on their experiences as very recent!!

I thought it might be helpful!!!
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Old Jan 14th 2007, 11:43 pm
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Default Re: Straight from the horses mouth ...

Originally Posted by Am Loolah View Post
I shall keep you updated coz one's friends will tell it like it is and I just wanted to pass on their experiences as very recent!!

I thought it might be helpful!!!
Yep very helpful...ta luvvy
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Old Jan 14th 2007, 11:47 pm
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Default Re: Straight from the horses mouth ...

Mandie

What you doing up too???

You suffering from insomnia
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