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Tips for the first weeks in Auckland (and in NZ)

Tips for the first weeks in Auckland (and in NZ)

Old Oct 22nd 2005, 4:42 pm
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Default Tips for the first weeks in Auckland (and in NZ)

Hello all,

I am a newbie on this great forum and after having scrolled quite a few topics (this is a great one :http://britishexpats.com/forum/showthread.php?t=331986), I would very much appreciate some specific tips and tricks for settling in Auckland.

We are a family of four and our arrival in NZ is scheduled for the end of November. Hubbie will start a job as soon as we get there, but we'll have to manage with a brutto income of 56 KNZD until I'd get a job. Our stuff will follow in a container, so we won't be obliged to start our installation from the scratch.

Our daughters (4 1/2 and 6) have already been admitted to a primary school which looked convenient to us, in Ponsonby.

My main concern is about housing and getting around. None of us currently drives a car (we always managed without, in the four European countries we lived) but it seems we'll urgently need to pass a driving licence in order to decently live in Auckland.

If anyone is keen to write about their first weeks in Auckland... or to give us some tips about the good areas to live with kids (not too far from Ponsonby) , suggestions on where to do the basic shopping Is there any online shopping availabe at good prices ?) , about renting's traps, ---etc... this would be very helpful.

Many many thanks,
Dora
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Old Oct 22nd 2005, 5:24 pm
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Default Re: Tips for the first weeks in Auckland (and in NZ)

Originally Posted by Dora
Hello all,

I am a newbie on this great forum and after having scrolled quite a few topics (this is a great one :http://britishexpats.com/forum/showthread.php?t=331986), I would very much appreciate some specific tips and tricks for settling in Auckland.

We are a family of four and our arrival in NZ is scheduled for the end of November. Hubbie will start a job as soon as we get there, but we'll have to manage with a brutto income of 56 KNZD until I'd get a job. Our stuff will follow in a container, so we won't be obliged to start our installation from the scratch.

Our daughters (4 1/2 and 6) have already been admitted to a primary school which looked convenient to us, in Ponsonby.

My main concern is about housing and getting around. None of us currently drives a car (we always managed without, in the four European countries we lived) but it seems we'll urgently need to pass a driving licence in order to decently live in Auckland.

If anyone is keen to write about their first weeks in Auckland... or to give us some tips about the good areas to live with kids (not too far from Ponsonby) , suggestions on where to do the basic shopping Is there any online shopping availabe at good prices ?) , about renting's traps, ---etc... this would be very helpful.

Many many thanks,
Dora
Well good luck...nail biting stuff if I recal at this stage...

Lots of buses for getting around,so you wont be stranded....Ponsonby is a very expensive area...is this where your husband is working ? also what sort of travel time distance are you happy with...this will then enable you to look at areas..

Bus company web site https:reservations.coachbookings.co.nz this is for around town and long distances.

Lots of the supermarkets can deliver, Foodtown, Woolworths...dont know costs,but sure if you look them up you will be able to find out

Not sure how else I can help realy, hope you get the info you need,loads helpful people on here, maybe you couldsay what for or rental price you are looking at paying...that would help with suggestions in areas
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Old Oct 22nd 2005, 6:11 pm
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Default Re: Tips for the first weeks in Auckland (and in NZ)

Originally Posted by melting pot
Well good luck...nail biting stuff if I recal at this stage...

Lots of buses for getting around,so you wont be stranded....Ponsonby is a very expensive area...is this where your husband is working ? also what sort of travel time distance are you happy with...this will then enable you to look at areas..

Bus company web site https:reservations.coachbookings.co.nz this is for around town and long distances.

Lots of the supermarkets can deliver, Foodtown, Woolworths...dont know costs,but sure if you look them up you will be able to find out

Not sure how else I can help realy, hope you get the info you need,loads helpful people on here, maybe you could say what for or rental price you are looking at paying...that would help with suggestions in areas

Thank your very much, Melting Pot, for this first answer.

My husband will work in CBD (Uni) but accessing Ponsonby is a must because of girls' school (to make their transition as smooth as possible, they will go to a French-English bilingual school..they speak French and German but no English).

In terms of travel distances, I think 45 minutes door to door is a maximum I can stand. Having hubbie work not too far from Ponsonby (half an hour school-to-office) will certainly help.

About renting prices I think that as long as I don't have a job, we couldn't afford more than 325 to 350 NZD a week ; and from the real estate websites I cannot really figure out the quality of the housing one can get for this price.

I found Foodtown quite a nice store but I think is also amongst the expensive ones, isn't it ? It is certainly more expensive than the average food store in Berlin .
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Old Oct 22nd 2005, 8:50 pm
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Default Re: Tips for the first weeks in Auckland (and in NZ)

Originally Posted by Dora
Thank your very much, Melting Pot, for this first answer.

My husband will work in CBD (Uni) but accessing Ponsonby is a must because of girls' school (to make their transition as smooth as possible, they will go to a French-English bilingual school..they speak French and German but no English).

In terms of travel distances, I think 45 minutes door to door is a maximum I can stand. Having hubbie work not too far from Ponsonby (half an hour school-to-office) will certainly help.

About renting prices I think that as long as I don't have a job, we couldn't afford more than 325 to 350 NZD a week ; and from the real estate websites I cannot really figure out the quality of the housing one can get for this price.

I found Foodtown quite a nice store but I think is also amongst the expensive ones, isn't it ? It is certainly more expensive than the average food store in Berlin .
Firstly food prices are quite expensive..we spend approx $300 a week,but you wont have nappies,and other people are able to live on $200 dollars a week.

We live on the North Shore and it takes hubbie 40 mins to get to Queen Street in the CBD,so Birkenhead,All the North Shore Bays, are within this distance,and is all families up here, so certainly found this easier transition for settling in.

I dont know the areas within central Auckland,but I am sure someone will comeon to the forum with a better idea....
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Old Oct 23rd 2005, 5:42 am
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Default Re: Tips for the first weeks in Auckland (and in NZ)

Originally Posted by Dora
Thank your very much, Melting Pot, for this first answer.

My husband will work in CBD (Uni) but accessing Ponsonby is a must because of girls' school (to make their transition as smooth as possible, they will go to a French-English bilingual school..they speak French and German but no English).

In terms of travel distances, I think 45 minutes door to door is a maximum I can stand. Having hubbie work not too far from Ponsonby (half an hour school-to-office) will certainly help.

About renting prices I think that as long as I don't have a job, we couldn't afford more than 325 to 350 NZD a week ; and from the real estate websites I cannot really figure out the quality of the housing one can get for this price.

I found Foodtown quite a nice store but I think is also amongst the expensive ones, isn't it ? It is certainly more expensive than the average food store in Berlin .
Re: Supermarkets...Countdown and Pak 'n' Save are usually the cheap ones...but i'm not sure that they deliver (didn't when i was there).
Foodtown and Woolworths are a bit pricier but have internet shopping and home delivery available.
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Old Oct 23rd 2005, 10:08 am
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Default Re: Tips for the first weeks in Auckland (and in NZ)

My husband has been in Auckland for about a month. He is working in Ponsonby but currently staying with my family.

Renting is very expensive (we have budgeted around 450 NZ$ per week for a two bed place unfurnished) but even for this amount you don't get much. Be aware that Auckland is very expensive for just about everything, from food to children activities / hobbies.

PM me if you wish to know anything specific, we are going over in December.

Good luck with everything!
Lisa T
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Old Oct 23rd 2005, 11:43 am
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Default Re: Tips for the first weeks in Auckland (and in NZ)

Originally Posted by Lisa T
Renting is very expensive (we have budgeted around 450 NZ$ per week for a two bed place unfurnished) but even for this amount you don't get much. Be aware that Auckland is very expensive for just about everything, from food to children activities / hobbies.

PM me if you wish to know anything specific, we are going over in December.

Good luck with everything!
Lisa T
Thank you Lisa T, Kelvynd and thanks again, Melting Pot !

It would be interesting to know what does one get (in terms of renting a 2 bed-rooms hause/unit/whatsoever) for 350 et 450 respectively... if anybody passed through this experience recently that would definetely help me.

About spending 200-300/week for food, I suppose it's for a family of two ? We spent a few days in Auckland when hubbie had his interview and our basic shopping was about 170 dollars twice a week .

North Shore would be interesting for us as well (we loved Devonport) but I don't think we'll afford it right on arrival. Moreover, I suppose the 45 minutes to CBD is by car ?
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Old Oct 23rd 2005, 11:29 pm
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Default Re: Tips for the first weeks in Auckland (and in NZ)

Originally Posted by Dora
Hello all,

I am a newbie on this great forum and after having scrolled quite a few topics (this is a great one :http://britishexpats.com/forum/showthread.php?t=331986), I would very much appreciate some specific tips and tricks for settling in Auckland.

We are a family of four and our arrival in NZ is scheduled for the end of November. Hubbie will start a job as soon as we get there, but we'll have to manage with a brutto income of 56 KNZD until I'd get a job. Our stuff will follow in a container, so we won't be obliged to start our installation from the scratch.

Our daughters (4 1/2 and 6) have already been admitted to a primary school which looked convenient to us, in Ponsonby.

My main concern is about housing and getting around. None of us currently drives a car (we always managed without, in the four European countries we lived) but it seems we'll urgently need to pass a driving licence in order to decently live in Auckland.

If anyone is keen to write about their first weeks in Auckland... or to give us some tips about the good areas to live with kids (not too far from Ponsonby) , suggestions on where to do the basic shopping Is there any online shopping availabe at good prices ?) , about renting's traps, ---etc... this would be very helpful.

Many many thanks,
Dora
Firstly congrats on the new job...
If you dont have a driving license at all you will need to do this pretty soon. We managed for about three months in Akl without a car, but looking at rental properties is a hassle without a car........

If you are going to be looking for a job, have references ready, even if they are overseas. My wife was asked for references and had to scramble to get contact numbers etc for them.

We got a pay as you go mobile phone so we could leave a contact number straight away.

In terms of areas to live, Ponsonby/ Grey Lynn/ Herne Bay are quite expensive. We started renting in Grey Lynn in a nice 1 bed unit in a development complex, for ( i think 350) a week. Areas not too far from Ponsonby that are less expensive include Point Chevalier, Mount Albert, St Lukes, Westmere, Te Atatu, Kingsland or even Mt Eden/ Onetree Hill. Quality of properties are a bit hit and miss, varying a lot street by street, neve mind suburb by suburb, so yuo never really know what youre getting untill you see the property.

The rental market has cooled down so renters should have a slightly better choice possibly than a year ago. The real estate agents often tell you to go look at a property first from the outside and only if youre interested call them for an appointment to look inside. That turned out to be a nightmare for us without a car.... However, we found a place within three (stressful) days with our marriage still intact.

Almost all properties are unfurnished, but many come with whitegoods (fridge, washing mashine etc)

End of Nov should be an ok time for renting.

Good luck
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Old Oct 24th 2005, 12:36 am
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Default Re: Tips for the first weeks in Auckland (and in NZ)

Originally Posted by Dora
Thank you Lisa T, Kelvynd and thanks again, Melting Pot !

It would be interesting to know what does one get (in terms of renting a 2 bed-rooms hause/unit/whatsoever) for 350 et 450 respectively... if anybody passed through this experience recently that would definetely help me.

About spending 200-300/week for food, I suppose it's for a family of two ? We spent a few days in Auckland when hubbie had his interview and our basic shopping was about 170 dollars twice a week .

North Shore would be interesting for us as well (we loved Devonport) but I don't think we'll afford it right on arrival. Moreover, I suppose the 45 minutes to CBD is by car ?
No this is by bus from the Browns Bay area, so much of the North Shore is open to you to look at
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Old Oct 24th 2005, 5:25 pm
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Default Re: Tips for the first weeks in Auckland (and in NZ)

Originally Posted by melting pot
No this is by bus from the Browns Bay area, so much of the North Shore is open to you to look at
Thanks for these good news. Melting Pot.
and thank you for the advice about referees, NewKiwi !

I can hardly understand how kiwis manage to live decently whilst a rent turns around 450 / week... that's more expensive than most of the cities in Switzerland. (over there we used to pay 350/week/2 bedrooms/75 squared meters in a 1900 4 stories hours...but with a double salary that what we'll have in Auckland...

and the deal seems quite clear to me : either you get a decent house, properly insulated or you pay plenty in electricity for heating... am i right ?
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Old Oct 24th 2005, 6:47 pm
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Default Re: Tips for the first weeks in Auckland (and in NZ)

Originally Posted by Dora
Thanks for these good news. Melting Pot.
and thank you for the advice about referees, NewKiwi !

I can hardly understand how kiwis manage to live decently whilst a rent turns around 450 / week... that's more expensive than most of the cities in Switzerland. (over there we used to pay 350/week/2 bedrooms/75 squared meters in a 1900 4 stories hours...but with a double salary that what we'll have in Auckland...

and the deal seems quite clear to me : either you get a decent house, properly insulated or you pay plenty in electricity for heating... am i right ?
Hi Dora, I don't think the New Zealand house prices (Auckland in particular) are going to hold up for much longer.

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/section/st...ectID=10350254

It looks like rents are falling as well ( don't forget to negotiate a discount! ).

Good luck in Auckland, I love the city, Ponsonby in particular. My husband was a student at the Uni and then a tutor/lecturer as well and really enjoyed it.
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Old Oct 25th 2005, 11:44 am
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Default Re: Tips for the first weeks in Auckland (and in NZ)

Originally Posted by ginaf
Hi Dora, I don't think the New Zealand house prices (Auckland in particular) are going to hold up for much longer.

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/section/st...ectID=10350254

It looks like rents are falling as well ( don't forget to negotiate a discount! ).
Thank you Gina. hope it will move reasonably quickly (err..before we're ruined .p ).However, I am a little skeptical, the house prices are gong up worldwide in areas next to the sea shores... an average of +30% over the last two years (read it somewhere but didnt keep the reference )

I am considering launching a topic where each could describe his or her corner of Auckland ...what do you think about this idea ? I have the guide 'where to live in Auckland' but human experience is far better

What do you think about this idea ?
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