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Structural Engineer maybe coming to Christchurch - Any info please

Structural Engineer maybe coming to Christchurch - Any info please

Old Sep 10th 2012, 10:21 am
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Default Structural Engineer maybe coming to Christchurch - Any info please

Hi people,

Well I'm in the process of interviews with a company to come to Christchurch as a structural engineer.

I received a phonecall out of the blue with a +64 code last week and I had a bit of a phone interview last night and if it's all well I may be over there in the very early new year.

It's something I've never really thought about to be honest and I have a few questions.

1) Generally what is the weather like over in Christchurch - some people say it's similar to the UK and some people say it's a lot nicer?
2) Is the cost of living generally the same as the UK - I don't plan on coming over there to become a millionaire but just to be comfy.
3) If I was looking to rent/buy somewhere are there any places I should stay away from?

Hope to hear from one of you soon!

Thanks

John
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Old Sep 10th 2012, 11:13 am
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Default Re: The Christchurch thread

1) Generally what is the weather like over in Christchurch - some people say it's similar to the UK and some people say it's a lot nicer?
Some days can be similar to the UK but in general it is nicer. Winter's days can often be quite warm when the sun comes out and there are blue skies. Hence the big north facing windows in houses.

2) Is the cost of living generally the same as the UK - I don't plan on coming over there to become a millionaire but just to be comfy.The cost of living is high, there are numerous threads on here about this. You have to look at cost of living compared to income in NZ$ and not just convert costs into £. It all depends on what you'll be earning, try and relate this amount to what you'll spend over here. Is it just you?

3) If I was looking to rent/buy somewhere are there any places I should stay away from?Not really though some areas are rougher than others as in any town or city. The east was hard hit during the quakes so choose your area carefully if looking over that side. Most areas to the west of the CBD fared well during the quakes. Another thing to consider is the availability of insurance if buying.
Best thing would be to have some areas in mind, stay in a motel for a couple of weeks to get the feel of the place. Alternatively pick out some areas and we can say good, bad or ugly
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Old Sep 10th 2012, 11:21 am
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Default Re: The Christchurch thread

Originally Posted by Persephone View Post
1) Generally what is the weather like over in Christchurch - some people say it's similar to the UK and some people say it's a lot nicer?
Some days can be similar to the UK but in general it is nicer. Winter's days can often be quite warm when the sun comes out and there are blue skies. Hence the big north facing windows in houses.

2) Is the cost of living generally the same as the UK - I don't plan on coming over there to become a millionaire but just to be comfy.The cost of living is high, there are numerous threads on here about this. You have to look at cost of living compared to income in NZ$ and not just convert costs into £. It all depends on what you'll be earning, try and relate this amount to what you'll spend over here. Is it just you?

3) If I was looking to rent/buy somewhere are there any places I should stay away from?Not really though some areas are rougher than others as in any town or city. The east was hard hit during the quakes so choose your area carefully if looking over that side. Most areas to the west of the CBD fared well during the quakes. Another thing to consider is the availability of insurance if buying.
Best thing would be to have some areas in mind, stay in a motel for a couple of weeks to get the feel of the place. Alternatively pick out some areas and we can say good, bad or ugly
Thank you for your comments.

When I have spoken to the recruitment guy he said I would be looking at minimum $70k and top end of $150k a year - I know that's a big difference but if we base it on around $85k (this is to be compared to me earning £27k now in Manchester) as I am above a trainee structural engineer and that's not including what my partner would earn as well? How would I be with that?

At the minute I am paying £500 a month mortgage with obviously all the bills - so if I'm paying similar to what I am now that is fine!

I have seen a 3 bedroom house in New Brighton that looks pretty decent for $300 a week rent - whether or not that's a good area I don't know?
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Old Sep 10th 2012, 11:45 am
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Default Re: The Christchurch thread

$85K should give you a reasonable standard of living I would say though it depends on what you spend your cash on-do you drink tap water or only the finest champagne..., do you have expensive hobbies etc etc

We spend about $300 a month on bills [electric/gas bottles/phone/sky], $1800 a year on rates, approx $100-120 a week on supermarket shopping. I spend about $90 every 3-4w on petrol [not sure about him-he drives further!]
Not sure how much all that will help you though?

New Brighton is ok though maybe not the most affluent, parts are looking a bit rundown and the shopping area is definitely a bit worse for wear and tatty and not just due to earthquake damage. The library is excellent, I spend many a long lunch break there or sitting by the sea people watching. There are areas nearby that are nicer I think, if you want to be near the sea. Personally the area is not for me, it does have a bit of a 'English seaside town on the decline feel to it'. I apologise if that sounds like snobbery, it isn't meant to; hell, I'm not in the nicest area of the city by any stretch of the imagination but I like it where I am!
Maybe think about where you'll be working and where your partner may be able to get a job and look at what your commute times may be?
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Old Sep 10th 2012, 11:57 am
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Default Re: The Christchurch thread

Nah no expensive hobbies - don't smoke and not a massive drinker but a beer every now and again at the weekend will do me fine (I don't drink in the week - a little rule I have for myself ha ha).
Based on $85k at approx. 2 to 1 that's approx £42.5k in English money which £15.5k a year more that I'm on now so surely I'll be ok over there plus as I said it doesn't include what my partner might bring in?

Where I will be working is (if I choose to accept or if they want) - 1 Brynley Street, Hornby, Christchurch but when I look on Google maps there is nothing there?

I'd like to be between there and the beach - surely I'm not asking for too much ha ha!
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Old Sep 10th 2012, 12:14 pm
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Default Re: The Christchurch thread

Originally Posted by johntmanic View Post
Nah no expensive hobbies - don't smoke and not a massive drinker but a beer every now and again at the weekend will do me fine (I don't drink in the week - a little rule I have for myself ha ha).
Based on $85k at approx. 2 to 1 that's approx £42.5k in English money which £15.5k a year more that I'm on now so surely I'll be ok over there plus as I said it doesn't include what my partner might bring in?

Where I will be working is (if I choose to accept or if they want) - 1 Brynley Street, Hornby, Christchurch but when I look on Google maps there is nothing there?

I'd like to be between there and the beach - surely I'm not asking for too much ha ha!
I try not to drink during the week but it doesn't always work out for me
You should be fine on $85K but it doesn't translate to £42.5K as the cost of living is higher and also the exchange rate is at its highest at the moment so comparisons are tenuous. Best not to think of being on that amount in £ [we all do it though]
Now that address; looking on Google maps puts it where the Clock Tower is. This is a building which has been renovated but it has been closed for months and is yellow stickered [ie quake damaged] I know a bit more about this but can't really say anything. However there are shops and buildings next to it which appear to be open so presumably you'd be working at one of these. Not sure of their addresses though.
I live very close to there so if you want me to check anything out then PM me.

Just reread this, I'm not implying anything dodgy about that work address!!!! Wonder if it's behind the Clock Tower. Looked on Streetview: the empty field on one side of the road is now a big supermarket, DIY centre and carpark. The square boxy building is the clock tower and 1 Brynley St

I occasionally work in New Brighton so would be doing the opposite commute to you if you choose to live there-takes 35-40 minutes in the morning at rush hour. Coming back along the motorway after 7pm takes me 25-30mins. I vary my route depending on time of day.

Last edited by Persephone; Sep 10th 2012 at 12:40 pm.
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Old Sep 10th 2012, 12:30 pm
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Default Re: The Christchurch thread

Just as long as I can comfortably survive off that I'm happy with it! As I said I'm not looking to become a millionaire or anything just to be comfortable and enjoy life! (God I sound like an old man ready to retire).

Thanks for the offer of PM'ing you - if I think of anything else I will ask you if that's ok?

And the company is a massive company that are hiring, they are all over the world so I can't see it all being a con? But there is talk of the first batch of people going over in 6 weeks so maybe they'll have something sorted by then?

About a half hour commute is fine by me - at the minute im doing around about an hour from Wigan to Manchester so any saving on that is a good one! I presume that it would be a 9am - 5pm job as well but I'll find out the finer details over the next week or so?

P.s. I've only just googled it but how beautiful is it on Governors Bay Road?
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Old Sep 10th 2012, 12:38 pm
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Default Re: The Christchurch thread

Originally Posted by johntmanic View Post
Just as long as I can comfortably survive off that I'm happy with it! As I said I'm not looking to become a millionaire or anything just to be comfortable and enjoy life! (God I sound like an old man ready to retire).

Thanks for the offer of PM'ing you - if I think of anything else I will ask you if that's ok?

And the company is a massive company that are hiring, they are all over the world so I can't see it all being a con? But there is talk of the first batch of people going over in 6 weeks so maybe they'll have something sorted by then?
Road?
You'll be ok! PM me if you need to.
I'd added to my last post before this came up so please read it again. I realised it sounded like I was implying something dodgy when that wasn't what I meant it to sound like. I'm just not sure how far the clock tower site [ie No.1] extends to. I know the actual tower is damaged and hence no company is operating out of it anymore.
Sorry for any misunderstanding, I put it down to it being well overdue my bedtime
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Old Sep 10th 2012, 10:52 pm
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Default Re: Structural Engineer maybe coming to Christchurch - Any info please

Moved the chat so it isn't lost in the general ChCh info thread.

Cheers
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Old Sep 11th 2012, 6:09 am
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Default Re: Structural Engineer maybe coming to Christchurch - Any info please

I think that,s the Fulton Hoagan yard innit ? it,s definatly there but beware they will promise the earth but dont always deliver !!


Neil
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Old Sep 11th 2012, 6:21 am
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Default Re: Structural Engineer maybe coming to Christchurch - Any info please

Originally Posted by Jan n Neil View Post
I think that,s the Fulton Hoagan yard innit ? it,s definatly there but beware they will promise the earth but dont always deliver !!


Neil
Nope not the FH yard, and they don't employ Structural Engineers.
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Old Sep 11th 2012, 7:16 am
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Default Re: Structural Engineer maybe coming to Christchurch - Any info please

Thanks for moving this BEVS.

I don't know if I can put the company name up here or not? But they are a reputable company?

I'm in the waiting game now for what the company say as apparently they have a lot of applicants but the majority don't have English as their first language?

So I'll have to wait and see.

Just out of interest could I bring any of my electrical items with me?
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Old Sep 11th 2012, 7:21 am
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Default Re: The Christchurch thread

Originally Posted by johntmanic View Post
Nah no expensive hobbies - don't smoke and not a massive drinker but a beer every now and again at the weekend will do me fine (I don't drink in the week - a little rule I have for myself ha ha).
Based on $85k at approx. 2 to 1 that's approx £42.5k in English money which £15.5k a year more that I'm on now so surely I'll be ok over there plus as I said it doesn't include what my partner might bring in?

Where I will be working is (if I choose to accept or if they want) - 1 Brynley Street, Hornby, Christchurch but when I look on Google maps there is nothing there?

I'd like to be between there and the beach - surely I'm not asking for too much ha ha!
Comparing 27k in the UK to 85K in NZ works out reasonably well. But 85k is not equivalent to 40+k in the UK however, more around the equivalent of 30k in the UK.

Not too bad comparison wise.

Any ideas what your GF will be doing/ earning compared with what she is earning in the UK.

If nothing else and you are keen for a sense of adventure, and have a job lined up it should be a good experience. Might pay to keep your home in the UK for a while and rent it out rather than selling up at this stage, until you suss out NZ for a couple of years.
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Old Sep 11th 2012, 7:26 am
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Default Re: The Christchurch thread

Originally Posted by newkiwi View Post
Comparing 27k in the UK to 85K in NZ works out reasonably well. But 85k is not equivalent to 40+k in the UK however, more around the equivalent of 30k in the UK.

Not too bad comparison wise.

Any ideas what your GF will be doing/ earning compared with what she is earning in the UK.

If nothing else and you are keen for a sense of adventure, and have a job lined up it should be a good experience. Might pay to keep your home in the UK for a while and rent it out rather than selling up at this stage, until you suss out NZ for a couple of years.
Well if $85k is around £30k and everyone says that it is expensive in New Zealand should I hold out for more money as an approximate 3k pay rise is probably not worth me coming over and struggling with?

Well my girlfriend has qualifications in child care, has lots of retail experience, she will put her hands to anything if we get over there with anything that's going. She's not the sort of girl who can sit at home doing nothing.

My sister will be taking over my payments on the house and if it all goes well in NZ then I will just sign everything over to her!
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Old Sep 11th 2012, 8:49 am
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Default Re: The Christchurch thread

Originally Posted by johntmanic View Post
Well if $85k is around £30k and everyone says that it is expensive in New Zealand should I hold out for more money as an approximate 3k pay rise is probably not worth me coming over and struggling with?

Well my girlfriend has qualifications in child care, has lots of retail experience, she will put her hands to anything if we get over there with anything that's going. She's not the sort of girl who can sit at home doing nothing.

My sister will be taking over my payments on the house and if it all goes well in NZ then I will just sign everything over to her!
$85K is about GBP43K with current exchange rates, but the point is that it will cost you more to live here, probably, depending on your lifestyle.

I presume you have a BEHons? There is a current real need here for engineers here who have professional experience/training in modelling or designing built structures in concrete, steel or wood, for earthquake resilience. If you are still in the process of being offered a job, perhaps look at the Royal Commission discussions, or the IPENZ submissions to the Commission, as an awareness of the local environment would be helpful. I do know that there are so many structural professional engineers required in the short term that the solution is recruiting from overseas.

If you want to PM me, I could give you more info, I work in a very closely related area

Jan
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