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-   -   Whangarei or Christchurch for a move for mother and teenage daughter (https://britishexpats.com/forum/new-zealand-83/whangarei-christchurch-move-mother-teenage-daughter-923750/)

UktoNZ19 Apr 1st 2019 3:13 pm

Whangarei or Christchurch for a move for mother and teenage daughter
 
Hello, First time posting here - although I have been looking through some of the threads over the past few months. Me and my daughter are considering a move to NZ later this year/ beginning of 2020. We have never visited NZ but always thought about it or me working over there for a short time. It has come to a point where we are "just wanting to go for it" on a two year work to residency visa and see how we find it. Giving us chance to return for my daughter to sit GCSE's in England if we do not settle (or continue in NZ if we do!) I have spoken to employers informally and have formal interviews lined up. I could really do with some advice about different areas and what it is like living there. My daughter is 13 so access to a good high school and welcoming community is very important - she loves dancing and swimming (also does syncronised) and would be good for her to continue with this. We would like to be close to beaches but overall just hope to embrace a more laid back and outdoor focussed lifestyle. However, it would be good to be in easy reach of shopping, resturants and cafes, as we often like to do these things on a weekend also.
At the moment there are job possibilities in Whangarei and Christchurch - it would be really helpful to hear more from people who have lived there

leandra21 Apr 1st 2019 4:09 pm

Re: Whangarei or Christchurch for a move for mother and teenage daughter
 

Originally Posted by UktoNZ19 (Post 12664203)
Hello, First time posting here - although I have been looking through some of the threads over the past few months. Me and my daughter are considering a move to NZ later this year/ beginning of 2020. We have never visited NZ but always thought about it or me working over there for a short time. It has come to a point where we are "just wanting to go for it" on a two year work to residency visa and see how we find it. Giving us chance to return for my daughter to sit GCSE's in England if we do not settle (or continue in NZ if we do!) I have spoken to employers informally and have formal interviews lined up. I could really do with some advice about different areas and what it is like living there. My daughter is 13 so access to a good high school and welcoming community is very important - she loves dancing and swimming (also does syncronised) and would be good for her to continue with this. We would like to be close to beaches but overall just hope to embrace a more laid back and outdoor focussed lifestyle. However, it would be good to be in easy reach of shopping, resturants and cafes, as we often like to do these things on a weekend also.
At the moment there are job possibilities in Whangarei and Christchurch - it would be really helpful to hear more from people who have lived there

Hi,my in laws live in Whangarei.It is a small town compared to Christchurch and it doesn't offer as much as a big city like Christchurch or Auckland (I don't think there is a syncronised swimming club for example).Whangarei is nice,clean,plenty of coffee shops and restaurants to give residents plenty of choice.It is well served by a good library and a cinema plus supermarkets and big box stores like KMart and the Warehouse.The best beaches are 20/30 minutes drive.If you are looking for a more laid back lifestyle it could fit the bill!

UktoNZ19 Apr 1st 2019 7:40 pm

Re: Whangarei or Christchurch for a move for mother and teenage daughter
 
Thanks for your reply lendra21! I thought the syncronised swimming might have been a push for Whangarei. Haha. Does Whanagrei/Northland feel a bit remote compared to the rest of NZ and do you think there will be enough going on for a teenager, especially as she gets older?

MrsFychan Apr 1st 2019 8:17 pm

Re: Whangarei or Christchurch for a move for mother and teenage daughter
 
I would check that if you do want to return to UK that your daughter would still be eligible for funded schooling, being out of the country for a number of years may take that opportunity away from her and she may be have to pay overseas fees to continue her education. I believe at the moment its 3 years but with Brexit, who knows....

leandra21 Apr 1st 2019 9:27 pm

Re: Whangarei or Christchurch for a move for mother and teenage daughter
 
I don't think it feels remote and the last time we were there (last April) we noticed an influx of younger families...probably escaping the horrendous house prices of Auckland! It could be OK for a teenager ,my 12 years old son loves the place!

escapedtonz Apr 2nd 2019 6:54 am

Re: Whangarei or Christchurch for a move for mother and teenage daughter
 
Difficult one to call.
Have spent quite a bit of time in both, but trying to put myself in your shoes, for a 13 year old I'd go down the Christchurch route over Whangarei. In my opinion, just a bigger place, more people, more opportunities there and in the surroundings. Should be more clubs and other like minded 13 year olds to make friends. I'm sure Whangarei would feel a bit remote and isolated after a year or two living there. We felt those emotions living in Wellington for 2 years as if you feel the need to go elsewhere you only have the option of expensive flights out, expensive ferry to the South Island or a 2 hour road trip North on SH1 to get to anywhere remotely decent.

jayandbill Apr 2nd 2019 8:30 am

Re: Whangarei or Christchurch for a move for mother and teenage daughter
 
Whangarei. As the grandparent of 8 whose ages ranged from 3 to 15 when they moved to an Auckland suburb from UK, 15 years ago. I would suggest that a small town might be easier for a 13 yr old, with no other siblings, to settle. Moving to the other side of the world is a major upheaval and many teenagers struggle, as did my teen grandchildren. New school, new friends, new everything and no close family nearby. Christchurch is a lovely city but I would suggest the north Island if you decide to go for it, better weather too! We live in Tauranga.

Justcol Apr 2nd 2019 11:09 am

Re: Whangarei or Christchurch for a move for mother and teenage daughter
 
Christchurch

UktoNZ19 Apr 2nd 2019 7:28 pm

Re: Whangarei or Christchurch for a move for mother and teenage daughter
 

Originally Posted by MrsFychan (Post 12664420)
I would check that if you do want to return to UK that your daughter would still be eligible for funded schooling, being out of the country for a number of years may take that opportunity away from her and she may be have to pay overseas fees to continue her education. I believe at the moment its 3 years but with Brexit, who knows....

Yes that is another factor! High school is fine, but universities may charge international fees (but this seems to be at each university's discretion), if a student has not lived in the UK for the 3 years before starting a course.

UktoNZ19 Apr 2nd 2019 7:37 pm

Re: Whangarei or Christchurch for a move for mother and teenage daughter
 
Thank you everyone for your replies! Still seems a bit mixed, so difficult as they are very different places (both seem lovely but offering different things).However, it is good to just hear others thoughts!
Do people know much about the high schools in the areas - I have looked on school websites etc but not the same as talking to people with experience of or knowing people who have attended

Justcol Apr 2nd 2019 7:39 pm

Re: Whangarei or Christchurch for a move for mother and teenage daughter
 
UK Unis do charge international fees if you're away for a couple of years. My boy had issues with this.

jjg Apr 5th 2019 12:36 am

Re: Whangarei or Christchurch for a move for mother and teenage daughter
 
Christchurch has been great for us.
Are you after a co-ed or girls only school?

UktoNZ19 Apr 5th 2019 9:55 pm

Re: Whangarei or Christchurch for a move for mother and teenage daughter
 
That's good to hear jjg - I thought christchurch girls school looked good but my daughter is more keen on a co-ed school

jjg Apr 8th 2019 1:17 am

Re: Whangarei or Christchurch for a move for mother and teenage daughter
 
If you are looking at co-ed then I would look at Burnside and Cashmere personally.
You will likely need to be living in the school zone to get in to the schools.
Cheers

Mishclark Apr 8th 2019 5:22 am

Re: Whangarei or Christchurch for a move for mother and teenage daughter
 
Christchurch, but I'm biased, we are back after an absence of 9 years with one less daughter and just me, and 14 year old doggie. Daughter prefers here to Australia (she's 17) still has friends she made in primary in nz and has seen in our return visits in that time , and is happy being back with her bestue, although they go to different schools. Daughter loves it here.

I always loved it here, have tried to get back since 2011 but life kept getting in the way.

As a previous poster mentioned, Burnside is a good school, many of my oldest daughter's friends went there. I don't know much about other schools, my daughter's bestie goes to the girl's school. I know that zones are strict with enrolment.
I am loving the weather, was pretty much over the Gold coast heat (and I'm Australian!)

Good luck with your decision!

Michelle


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