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A Year in New Zealand

A Year in New Zealand

Old Jul 7th 2015, 10:51 pm
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Default A Year in New Zealand

Hi There
I'm hoping you guys can give me some advice.
Last Christmas myself, my wife and our 2 kids spent a month in NZ visiting friends, going to a wedding, and exploring both islands.
We had an amazing holiday, but since we've got home I've not been able to ignore the pull I've felt about moving out there.
Everyone I spoke to including friends, locals and expats all confirm what I'd gone out there thinking. It seems to be a simpler way of life, less hurried, less emphasis on working, and better weather.
I came home wanting to move out there but my wife is really against the idea.
In England we live in a nice village with great friends, we both enjoy our jobs and our kids are happy and also have great friends. Also both our parents are in their twilight years.
I know you're thinking, be happy with what you've got !!
I am but I can't ignore the fact I feel as strongly as I do.
Has anyone else been in this situation or had friends that have been ??
I think if pushed my wife would move out there for a year in which time I'd hope she would come round to the idea, or I'd get the whole idea out if my system.
Is it feasible moving your whole family out there for 12 months ??

Am I being selfish asking my family to put their lives on hold for a year to indulge me.

If I'm honest the whole idea is scary, but what's also scary is living with the underlying feelings and looking back 20 years from now and regretting not stepping outside of what's comfortable.
It's getting easier to deal with it , but after 7 months it's still sitting there inside my consciousness, and to be honest it's driving me a little mad.
Any advice would be greatly appreciated
Thanks in advance.

John
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Old Jul 7th 2015, 11:24 pm
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Default Re: A Year in New Zealand

This strikes shivers through my soul for you and your wife.

So. OK people of this lovely little NZ forum. What do we think ? It's a risk assessment after all.
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Old Jul 7th 2015, 11:29 pm
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Default Re: A Year in New Zealand

holidaying is completely different to actually living here.
the weather is warmer but also can be colder, dependant on where you live, to cover all the possible weather criteria it is more extreme. And of course you have the added bonus of earthquakes.


the cost of living is a lot higher and there is less choice. The cost to fly out to anywhere is extortionate so can you see yourselves just holidaying within the country.? The cost of coming over for a year, if you can actually uplift a visa, is going to be a lot and you seriously need to have your wife on board as that money is not refundable but if you have a spare £10,000 that you can afford to give away then hey why not.

I have an agreement with my OH if I am still not settled after 5 years then we would return or look elsewhere and to be perfectly honest at times it seems like an awfully long time and at times I am unsure I can make it. A year is going to fly by and it still won't give you a true picture of living here as the first 3-4mths will be a honeymoon period with you doing all the touristy things and if you come over in the summer just enjoying the difference in humidity. the next few months will be just settling into "normal" life and seeing how that goes, then you have nearly made 12mths and it is only just seeming like normal, if it is not working at that stage is it just the area or the whole thing. If it is the whole thing do you then have enough money to move back?? or will you have to try and save and how long would that take and can the person not happy actually cope well.

all this is conjecture as you would need to see if you can actually move and live here first. and if you can can you "push" your wife into going.

what visa would you be looking at getting?

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Old Jul 7th 2015, 11:36 pm
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Default Re: A Year in New Zealand

Originally Posted by Johnnyboyrevell View Post
Hi There
I'm hoping you guys can give me some advice.
Last Christmas myself, my wife and our 2 kids spent a month in NZ visiting friends, going to a wedding, and exploring both islands.
We had an amazing holiday, but since we've got home I've not been able to ignore the pull I've felt about moving out there.
Everyone I spoke to including friends, locals and expats all confirm what I'd gone out there thinking. It seems to be a simpler way of life, less hurried, less emphasis on working, and better weather.
I came home wanting to move out there but my wife is really against the idea.
In England we live in a nice village with great friends, we both enjoy our jobs and our kids are happy and also have great friends. Also both our parents are in their twilight years.
I know you're thinking, be happy with what you've got !!
I am but I can't ignore the fact I feel as strongly as I do.
Has anyone else been in this situation or had friends that have been ??
I think if pushed my wife would move out there for a year in which time I'd hope she would come round to the idea, or I'd get the whole idea out if my system.
Is it feasible moving your whole family out there for 12 months ??

Am I being selfish asking my family to put their lives on hold for a year to indulge me.

If I'm honest the whole idea is scary, but what's also scary is living with the underlying feelings and looking back 20 years from now and regretting not stepping outside of what's comfortable.
It's getting easier to deal with it , but after 7 months it's still sitting there inside my consciousness, and to be honest it's driving me a little mad.
Any advice would be greatly appreciated
Thanks in advance.

John
Hi John,

Much like you, we were all happy in the UK. Had a great house on a great estate with great neighbors. Lived in a semi-rural village with excellent links. Both had great jobs. Well paid. Saved heaps each month and had no debts other than the mortgage. Had many great friends and socially wise couldn't fit in an extra day in to the calendar, BUT we both felt the pull to go on an adventure for a while. To live somewhere else in the world longer than a 2 or 3 week holiday. We considered the UAE earlier on but a possible opportunity just didn't come off so then looked at Australia but discounted it for a number of reasons and then settled on NZ.
You are very correct about what you experienced here. It is a simpler way of life, less hurried, less emphasis on working, more family orientated, way more secure, less serious crime, less people, less cars and better weather. It was a massive leap of faith going from all that we had to virtually nothing other than the promise of a job.
It was very hard at first and my Mrs missed home terribly - cried daily for weeks and was pretty solemn for the first month, but slowly she started making friends and eventually when our boy was in pre-school and she started back at work she was settling quite well. I settled almost immediately and decided quickly that I didn't want to return to the UK. We came here to give our boy the best chance in life and the option of living in either NZ, AUS or the UK when older. We wanted a more outdoorsy life for us all and near to a beach, less crime and more secure etc and it hasn't disappointed.
We spent the first 2.5 years in Wellington and although it was a great place and a great experience we both knew it wasn't the place for us to settle. We wanted to live further North in the Bay Of Plenty after visiting a few times, so set about making the move. Luckily I managed to get a work transfer so we moved to Tauranga last November 2014 and absolutely love it here, so much so we have sold up in the UK, transferred our pensions and the next step is to buy a home here

We do miss family and friends back in the UK obviously and we miss the oldness of the UK, old pubs, old villages, decent fish & chips, decent chinese & indian food yada yada but we don't miss any of the other garbage like the masses of people, the traffic, the ease of which immigrants can just enter the country and take over, the serious crime reports on the news daily etc.

I'd say 12 months is just not long enough. 2 years then yes. It's only when you've spent approx 2 years here that you can honestly say you've give it a try. It's defo not an easy move. Salaries are in the main less in NZ for the same job, the cost of living is higher, property rent/mortgage is higher as interest rates are higher, the cost of goods to buy is higher, there aren't many things that are cheaper here as nothing to note is manufactured here. Everything is imported so carries a fee for that. It's certainly a challenge and an adventure but we only get one chance!

I don't think you are being selfish, but you have to consider your family's thoughts, hopes and dreams as they have to consider yours so make a compromise and meet in the middle.

I completely understand your fears of regret. That is exactly what we said when we seriously thought about emigration and we decided it was something we had to do or we would regret it for the rest of our lives. We just made sure that we always maintained the option to go back home in those first couple of years as that possibility eased the pain on relatives and friends and also ourselves even though it was quite evident in that first year that we wouldn't be heading back.
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Old Jul 7th 2015, 11:51 pm
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Default Re: A Year in New Zealand

If you really want to make this happen first you need to be sure that your wife is downgraded from being "really against the idea".

Without meaning to be melodramatic the worst case scenario is that if one was to proceed on this against her wishes it could split a family apart even beyond you, your wife and kids.


The first things you should do is work out if you and your wife can get a visa to stay here;

https://www.immigration.govt.nz/pointsindicator/

There is no point in this driving you mad if there's not much chance of getting visa any time soon.


Aside from that it sounds like you've thought this through quite well, you're willing to commit.

There's nothing wrong with being a bit selfish and wanting to seek more, but make sure your wife is behind you. If that can't or doesn't happen you'll have to accept it and perhaps re-visit the idea periodically with her.

All the best - if you try and edge towards this goal it is likely to be a long process both in discussing this with your wife and getting the relevant documentation that allows you to live and work in New Zealand.
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Old Jul 7th 2015, 11:57 pm
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Default Re: A Year in New Zealand

Firstly, how old are the kids???

Secondly, why only a year?

Year visits, i'd recommend for working holiday peeps. Families etc, I'd tend to favour they go for a minimum of 2 years at least.
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Old Jul 8th 2015, 2:00 am
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Default Re: A Year in New Zealand

Firstly, unless your wife has a change of mind and heart then yes, getting your family to uproot from a life they enjoy and are happy with so that you don't live with regret later in life is pretty selfish, imo (sorry). You are taking a risk where the odds are not stacked in your favour until/ unless your wife has the same yearning to try it. If you persuade/ coerce her, you are saying that her discomfort at leaving a life she enjoys, her family, and friends is a lesser issue than your discomfort at dealing with the yearning now and the potential for regret later.

It's hard when you want something because you can only see the positive outcomes from pursuing that want - we can all point out the potential negatives but they won't resonate with you in the same way. NZ is a long way from anywhere else and this is reflected not only in consumer goods but in the media and the arts, etc.; crime is alive and well here; it's tough coming to terms with the slow severing of family relations; the weather is in some ways better and in some ways worse (microwave sun and humidity in some parts will make you long for the gentle British sunshine); working here isn't just "more relaxed" - the other side of that coin is that the work culture here is very different and that may not pan out so rosily for you. But the chances are none of that will have as strong an impression on you as if I tell you that you can live near the sea here without being a millionaire and that winter is only a few months and that the pace of life is slower and that childhood (outside of the main urban areas) seems much longer.

I did see one family come for a year and have a great time but they came for a year not with one partner having the intention of persuading the other to stay for good. They went back to the UK with no regrets - much less regrets now it's been 7 years than those of us in the friendship group who came for good.
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Old Jul 8th 2015, 3:32 am
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Default Re: A Year in New Zealand

Hi John

I understand where you are coming from. I was 32 when on paper, everything was good, good career, good friends, nice house....but I had a wonderlust itch that I had been denying for years, when I thought "Sod it, I am not getting any younger, its now or never". Best decision of my life and after three years wandering around the world I ended up in NZ and been here ever since.

The thing is, I did not have a wife and kids to worry about!

Now after 11 years I have settled down, we have a lovely family. I work from home, get to go fishing/diving and all the cool stuff I always wanted to do. And its awesome, very different to the UK, way less stress. But it has not always been easy, we have struggled at times, my wife (who I met when travelling) was very homesick for a while (trip back home cured that), jobs and money have not always been secure. Be careful what you wish for!

So, if you really feel strongly about this, then you need to sit down and have a heart to heart with your wife. But before you do, you should consider somethings.....

What is it about NZ that is so "special" to you? Can you have this lifestyle somewhere else, like Spain or Portugal?

If you are planning to be here a year (which would be a very expensive exercise), what happens if this only reinforces both your positions?

If you are going to take a year off, why not take the whole family around the world? Settling in NZ may not be your wife's cup of tea, but she might consider such a trip.

Hope that helps! Good luck!

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Old Jul 8th 2015, 12:09 pm
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Default Re: A Year in New Zealand

Originally Posted by MrsFychan View Post
holidaying is completely different to actually living here.
the weather is warmer but also can be colder, dependant on where you live, to cover all the possible weather criteria it is more extreme. And of course you have the added bonus of earthquakes.


the cost of living is a lot higher and there is less choice. The cost to fly out to anywhere is extortionate so can you see yourselves just holidaying within the country.? The cost of coming over for a year, if you can actually uplift a visa, is going to be a lot and you seriously need to have your wife on board as that money is not refundable but if you have a spare £10,000 that you can afford to give away then hey why not.

I have an agreement with my OH if I am still not settled after 5 years then we would return or look elsewhere and to be perfectly honest at times it seems like an awfully long time and at times I am unsure I can make it. A year is going to fly by and it still won't give you a true picture of living here as the first 3-4mths will be a honeymoon period with you doing all the touristy things and if you come over in the summer just enjoying the difference in humidity. the next few months will be just settling into "normal" life and seeing how that goes, then you have nearly made 12mths and it is only just seeming like normal, if it is not working at that stage is it just the area or the whole thing. If it is the whole thing do you then have enough money to move back?? or will you have to try and save and how long would that take and can the person not happy actually cope well.

all this is conjecture as you would need to see if you can actually move and live here first. and if you can can you "push" your wife into going.

what visa would you be looking at getting?

I'm well aware that living there is nothing like a holiday.
Everything is fun, you almost have money to burn, and your on an escape from reality for a few weeks.
I'm not sure I'd like to be stuck in one country for holidays as you say.
If we were to go my plan would be to save money for a couple of years to fund it and rent our house in England whilst we're away.
As for the visa I think I'd need a 12 month working visa, but also with a job offer in NZ as without that I don't have enough points.
Thanks for your thoughts
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Old Jul 8th 2015, 12:26 pm
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Default Re: A Year in New Zealand

Originally Posted by escapedtonz View Post
Hi John,

Much like you, we were all happy in the UK. Had a great house on a great estate with great neighbors. Lived in a semi-rural village with excellent links. Both had great jobs. Well paid. Saved heaps each month and had no debts other than the mortgage. Had many great friends and socially wise couldn't fit in an extra day in to the calendar, BUT we both felt the pull to go on an adventure for a while. To live somewhere else in the world longer than a 2 or 3 week holiday. We considered the UAE earlier on but a possible opportunity just didn't come off so then looked at Australia but discounted it for a number of reasons and then settled on NZ.
You are very correct about what you experienced here. It is a simpler way of life, less hurried, less emphasis on working, more family orientated, way more secure, less serious crime, less people, less cars and better weather. It was a massive leap of faith going from all that we had to virtually nothing other than the promise of a job.
It was very hard at first and my Mrs missed home terribly - cried daily for weeks and was pretty solemn for the first month, but slowly she started making friends and eventually when our boy was in pre-school and she started back at work she was settling quite well. I settled almost immediately and decided quickly that I didn't want to return to the UK. We came here to give our boy the best chance in life and the option of living in either NZ, AUS or the UK when older. We wanted a more outdoorsy life for us all and near to a beach, less crime and more secure etc and it hasn't disappointed.
We spent the first 2.5 years in Wellington and although it was a great place and a great experience we both knew it wasn't the place for us to settle. We wanted to live further North in the Bay Of Plenty after visiting a few times, so set about making the move. Luckily I managed to get a work transfer so we moved to Tauranga last November 2014 and absolutely love it here, so much so we have sold up in the UK, transferred our pensions and the next step is to buy a home here

We do miss family and friends back in the UK obviously and we miss the oldness of the UK, old pubs, old villages, decent fish & chips, decent chinese & indian food yada yada but we don't miss any of the other garbage like the masses of people, the traffic, the ease of which immigrants can just enter the country and take over, the serious crime reports on the news daily etc.

I'd say 12 months is just not long enough. 2 years then yes. It's only when you've spent approx 2 years here that you can honestly say you've give it a try. It's defo not an easy move. Salaries are in the main less in NZ for the same job, the cost of living is higher, property rent/mortgage is higher as interest rates are higher, the cost of goods to buy is higher, there aren't many things that are cheaper here as nothing to note is manufactured here. Everything is imported so carries a fee for that. It's certainly a challenge and an adventure but we only get one chance!

I don't think you are being selfish, but you have to consider your family's thoughts, hopes and dreams as they have to consider yours so make a compromise and meet in the middle.

I completely understand your fears of regret. That is exactly what we said when we seriously thought about emigration and we decided it was something we had to do or we would regret it for the rest of our lives. We just made sure that we always maintained the option to go back home in those first couple of years as that possibility eased the pain on relatives and friends and also ourselves even though it was quite evident in that first year that we wouldn't be heading back.
Thanks for all that.
You sound like your were in a similar position to what we are now.
The only and big difference being that both you and your wife both felt the need to go on an adventure.
Whereas with us, it's me that wants to go on an adventure.
My wife is perfectly happy where we are now in our lives.
I don't want to push her abroad as I don't think it would work, but at the same time she's never liked change and is happier to take life as it comes as opposed to grabbing it by the horns.
Not that she's not adventurous, but she knows what she's comfortable with.
Another thing is I'm a self employed joiner working completely on my reputation, which after 20+ years gives me a nice lifestyle. This is what would be funding our trip.
In the flip side I'm sure I could easily find work I think I'd be taking a pay cut of at least a half or two thirds.
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Old Jul 8th 2015, 12:34 pm
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Default Re: A Year in New Zealand

Originally Posted by Tom H View Post
Firstly, how old are the kids???

Secondly, why only a year?

Year visits, i'd recommend for working holiday peeps. Families etc, I'd tend to favour they go for a minimum of 2 years at least.
Our kids are 10 and 8, the eldest ready to start high school in the next 14 months.
I know that's not an ideal age but what is, the older they get the more ties they have back here.
The reason I've only looked at a year is because I think that's what my wife would agree too.
I really don't want to push her, but sometimes situations need a little push.
Id hate to push too hard though !!
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Old Jul 9th 2015, 3:27 am
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Default Re: A Year in New Zealand

Personally if I were in your situation I'm the UK. I would have not moved out here.
We moved out here because we had nothing to loose. Thankfully things have worked out well here.
I just couldn't risk it if I had what you have in the uk.

When I say things have worked out I mean there's light at the end of the tunnel. Iv been here nearly a year and boy have we struggled. I think it'll be worth it in the long term for us and our young children.


P.s moving was all my husbands idea he ground me down until I agreed to move LOL

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Old Jul 9th 2015, 11:56 am
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Default Re: A Year in New Zealand

Originally Posted by Johnnyboyrevell View Post
Thanks for all that.
You sound like your were in a similar position to what we are now.
The only and big difference being that both you and your wife both felt the need to go on an adventure.
Whereas with us, it's me that wants to go on an adventure.
My wife is perfectly happy where we are now in our lives.
I don't want to push her abroad as I don't think it would work, but at the same time she's never liked change and is happier to take life as it comes as opposed to grabbing it by the horns.
Not that she's not adventurous, but she knows what she's comfortable with.
Another thing is I'm a self employed joiner working completely on my reputation, which after 20+ years gives me a nice lifestyle. This is what would be funding our trip.
In the flip side I'm sure I could easily find work I think I'd be taking a pay cut of at least a half or two thirds.
If it's any consolation, when we lived in Wellington we made friends with three particular families who were all ex. pats.
All of them have gone home now for one reason or another and only managed 18 months / 2 years in NZ but in all three cases it was the husband who was the instigator of the move. Not that it was held against them by their other halves in any way but in one case the wife just never settled here.
With one family the wife never wanted to live in NZ but agreed to 2 years only. She just didn't settle. She stayed at home looking after their child every day until she started school then just shopped every day whilst hubby worked. She could have worked but didn't go to work. In our opinion she never wanted to even give NZ a proper try. They went home for a visit after 15/16 months here which is never a good idea and as soon as they returned he put his resignation in and they left a couple of months later. They put it down to family problems stating her dad was ill but I'm friends with him on Facebook and he looks ok to me
With another family, the hubby had dreams of a better life. They are from my home town so can relate to how they felt but it was him that wanted to try life in NZ. His wife wasn't keen and wanted to stay near relatives and friends and they were a young couple with a young child. They came out with the intention to stay 2 years at least and he loved it initially but the Mrs wasn't happy then after about 12 months their roles changed. He started not to like it and she started to like it as she had friends and worked. Funny how things changed. Anyways they decided to go home on 18 months and have gone straight back into their old life in the UK, however when we speak to them now they feel they've made a mistake and they should have stuck it out longer and they regret going back home and would like to come again one day.
With the last family the hubby wanted to come here as he was promised reduced hours at work and a better home/work balance. He was offered a job so they came out to try it. Initially his job hours was great but it quickly turned into 60/70hr weeks just like his job in the UK with the wife at home with the baby and not working. They then had another child whilst here and made the decision to go back home just so they had family support. They left June 2014 after 2 years here and I've still got his car
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Old Jul 9th 2015, 12:09 pm
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Default Re: A Year in New Zealand

Originally Posted by Catchafire View Post
Hi John

I understand where you are coming from. I was 32 when on paper, everything was good, good career, good friends, nice house....but I had a wonderlust itch that I had been denying for years, when I thought "Sod it, I am not getting any younger, its now or never". Best decision of my life and after three years wandering around the world I ended up in NZ and been here ever since.

The thing is, I did not have a wife and kids to worry about!

Now after 11 years I have settled down, we have a lovely family. I work from home, get to go fishing/diving and all the cool stuff I always wanted to do. And its awesome, very different to the UK, way less stress. But it has not always been easy, we have struggled at times, my wife (who I met when travelling) was very homesick for a while (trip back home cured that), jobs and money have not always been secure. Be careful what you wish for!

So, if you really feel strongly about this, then you need to sit down and have a heart to heart with your wife. But before you do, you should consider somethings.....

What is it about NZ that is so "special" to you? Can you have this lifestyle somewhere else, like Spain or Portugal?

If you are planning to be here a year (which would be a very expensive exercise), what happens if this only reinforces both your positions?

If you are going to take a year off, why not take the whole family around the world? Settling in NZ may not be your wife's cup of tea, but she might consider such a trip.

Hope that helps! Good luck!
The things I love about NZ are the fact that it's English speaking so no language barrier.
They seem to recognize and appreciate what they have, and are willing to share it with the rest of the world, but not at the cost of their own citizens or government. You have to bring something to the party as it were.
The country seems to run in common sense more than laws and red tape ( compared to the uk)
There's less people and there doesn't seem to be such a hurry.
For children it seems the country is interested in building a whole person, more than someone with a whole bunch of qualifications ready for the world of work.
All the above is what I surmise from talking to different people but I could be wrong.
The fact the majority of the place looks stunning doesn't hurt either but isn't my main reason for going.
With regard to my work comment above I'm not against work. I love my job and graft my balls off to get what I want out of life.
Truthfully I believe we're not here for a long time, and life isn't a practice and we're never ready to do the big stuff, you just got to plan as much as you can and then go forward having faith.
And if stuff doesn't work out as long as you've given it 100% and gone in all guns blazing, ce la vie.
We can always come home eh.
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Old Jul 9th 2015, 12:16 pm
  #15  
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Default Re: A Year in New Zealand

Originally Posted by escapedtonz View Post
If it's any consolation, when we lived in Wellington we made friends with three particular families who were all ex. pats.
All of them have gone home now for one reason or another and only managed 18 months / 2 years in NZ but in all three cases it was the husband who was the instigator of the move. Not that it was held against them by their other halves in any way but in one case the wife just never settled here.
With one family the wife never wanted to live in NZ but agreed to 2 years only. She just didn't settle. She stayed at home looking after their child every day until she started school then just shopped every day whilst hubby worked. She could have worked but didn't go to work. In our opinion she never wanted to even give NZ a proper try. They went home for a visit after 15/16 months here which is never a good idea and as soon as they returned he put his resignation in and they left a couple of months later. They put it down to family problems stating her dad was ill but I'm friends with him on Facebook and he looks ok to me
With another family, the hubby had dreams of a better life. They are from my home town so can relate to how they felt but it was him that wanted to try life in NZ. His wife wasn't keen and wanted to stay near relatives and friends and they were a young couple with a young child. They came out with the intention to stay 2 years at least and he loved it initially but the Mrs wasn't happy then after about 12 months their roles changed. He started not to like it and she started to like it as she had friends and worked. Funny how things changed. Anyways they decided to go home on 18 months and have gone straight back into their old life in the UK, however when we speak to them now they feel they've made a mistake and they should have stuck it out longer and they regret going back home and would like to come again one day.
With the last family the hubby wanted to come here as he was promised reduced hours at work and a better home/work balance. He was offered a job so they came out to try it. Initially his job hours was great but it quickly turned into 60/70hr weeks just like his job in the UK with the wife at home with the baby and not working. They then had another child whilst here and made the decision to go back home just so they had family support. They left June 2014 after 2 years here and I've still got his car

Every cloud has a silver lining eh.
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