9 Years...

Old Oct 21st 2014, 3:04 am
  #1  
Happy in Wellington
Thread Starter
 
RobClubley's Avatar
 
Joined: Mar 2005
Location: Tawa, Wellington, Aotearoa
Posts: 2,286
RobClubley has a reputation beyond reputeRobClubley has a reputation beyond reputeRobClubley has a reputation beyond reputeRobClubley has a reputation beyond reputeRobClubley has a reputation beyond reputeRobClubley has a reputation beyond reputeRobClubley has a reputation beyond reputeRobClubley has a reputation beyond reputeRobClubley has a reputation beyond reputeRobClubley has a reputation beyond reputeRobClubley has a reputation beyond repute
Default 9 Years...

Oops this is turning into a massive and rambling essay. Ah well it'll keep you busy for a while.

This time nine years ago we were doing the last of our packing, getting ready to leave the house (which we had sold) behind, packing the cats off to Golden Arrow, dropping off the car in Liverpool for shipping, saying goodbye to friends, workmates and family, wondering what we were doing!
I still remember the feeling, a combination of excitement, fear, doubt, sadness, happiness, disbelief that it was happening.

Life is somewhat different now!

Do you want the full story? Well I'll give it a go.

In the UK, in Leeds, I worked in IT, my wife worked as a materials manager for a manufacturing company. We lived in South Leeds in a back-to-back terrace. We had a rented house behind us and had just got a nightmare noisy neighbour evicted after 18 months of dreading to come home to his madness.
We had paid 4 years of a 10 year mortgage (on a GBP 34k house) so had a bit of equity but not much. Cleared the credit card, paid off the 18 month old car etc., 13k in moving expenses and stuff. So we landed with about $32k cash, a house load of stuff and a car on the way.

We qualified for permanent residency based on my IT job and degree and the skills shortage list. I started contacting NZ IT recruitment agencies a few months before and had a couple of interviews lined up for our first week.

So off we flew from Manchester. Teary goodbye with family, weird empty feeling after going through the check in gate.
We had a few days in Hong Kong on the way, saw some sights, went to the brand new Disneyland, great stuff! Then it was off again towards Auckland.
We arrived November 1st, picked up our bags, had a chat with the friendly bloke giving out free cups of tea, who most people ignored. Did the dash across to the small domestic terminal and finally landed in Wellington.

We'd booked a single night in a hotel in central Wellington. After a day's sightseeing we extended it to two nights and started looking for somewhere longer-term (and cheaper) to stay. We found a small apartment on Leeds Street(!) and booked that for a week.

We then hired a car and started looking around for rental properties. We looked at some real dives, 70s wallpaper, damp, 50s bathrooms and kitchens, crappy locations, etc. Then an agent in Lower Hutt suggested a property he was about to list but wasn't quite ready. We went for a look and chatted to the owners who were there painting it ready to rent. We persuaded them that our two cats wouldn't destroy the place and agreed then and there to rent it. It was clean, dry, had a huge garage, nice garden, nice street. The only disadvantage was it was on top of a 300m tall hill and got hit by all of the Wellington winds. And was occasionally in the clouds!

The same day I had an interview and was offered a job, starting the following Monday. The next day we collected our cats from the airport, were greeted ecstatically then thoroughly told off, then we dropped them at a cattery for the few days until the house was ready.

We bought a futon to sit and sleep on, the kitchen basics we needed from The Warehouse, and a washer, and moved into the house. My new boss lent us a TV, so we were all set!

So a pretty good start I think.

Over the next few months our stuff arrived (better than Christmas!), my car finally arrived after 3 months, the cats settled in and discovered grass for the first time, and mice.

I settled into work, made some good friends both Kiwi and pom. My wife's brother moved over to work in Rotovegas and we spend a great Christmas together, took a trip up there, he came to us. We had barbies and enjoyed what NZ has to offer.
He eventually went back to the UK because he missed his mates and the pub culture, and Rotorua is pretty much dead after 6pm unless you like pokies, or at least it was then.

My wife had a very hard time getting a job. She was pretty fed up because she didn't drive and the bus was a fair walk away. She applied for a lot of jobs and had several interviews but was constantly fobbed off with excuses such as "No Kiwi experience", "Overqualified", and the best was Fletcher building who said she wouldn't have been comfortable working with all the blokes. She was one of two women at a 100 person manufacturing company in Leeds, she knows how to work with blokes!

Eventually she applied to the Commerce Commission and got a permanent job there where she was busy but it wasn't particularly challenging.

In the meantime we had been looking around at houses to buy and happened on one that we loved, in the sunny valley of Tawa
We had just about enough cash left for the deposit, made offers, had them rejected. Said that was our highest the they grudgingly accepted.
We had our own kiwi draughty shed!
It was a 140 sq m 3 bed house with garage underneath and a good old kiwi 1/4 acre section.

We had to advertise the rental and find new tenants to take over, or pay out the 6 month contract. We got that sorted and moved into the new place with the help of a rented van and several of our new friends.

Over the next couple of years we added loft insulation, wall insulation, double glazing (metal frames, ah well), underfloor insulation, a wood burner and heat transfer kit, had the house painted and once that was done it was a warm and pleasant place to live.

We definitely struck lucky with the house. We had no idea how important sun was to wooden houses, hadn't heard of leaky buildings, etc etc/ The house gets good sun, is made of Rimu, and is tool old for any of the leaky stuff

Over the next few years we got a spoodle puppy, we went to an SPCA open day and came back with a kitten, we eventually got three chickens, and one is currently sitting on six eggs which we hope will all hatch and turn out to be girls

My wife left the ComCom, did a one year teaching degree and became a primary teacher, teaching in Waitangirua - one of the roughest local areas!
I got headhunted by another company, left for a decent rise, got bored there after a while and moved again, and worked for the same company for seven years!

For Christmas 2009 we rented a bach on the shores of Lake Taupo and had a lovely holiday. Eight months later, on Father's Day, Elizabeth Marie was born. That was a pretty terrifying experience for me and I was mostly just watching!!

So after that life changed a lot for us! Libby is now four and a little cheeky monkey! She wants to be a paleontologist!!

I worked from home a lot after Libby was born. It was all remote on servers in Auckland, with a team in Auckland and Bangalore, so the same from home as anywhere.

After surviving four rounds of redundancies, working from home all but one day a month, picking up the slack for the overseas team, and doing too much (paid) overtime, I eventually realised I was rather stressed and also somewhat bored with the work I was doing, so I changed jobs, and strangely I now work for the Commerce Commission. It's somewhat more chilled here than it was at my last place, and I'm getting used to that. The $15-20k of overtime I earned will be missed though

So my wife took a few months off work after having Libby then re-trained as a kindergarten teacher, working part time and gradually going to full time. The kindy where she works is closing at the end of this year so she's going to take some time off, do some supply teaching and work on our garden, which we're in the process of transforming into a proper veggie garden. She passed her driving test a couple of months ago so can be more flexible now.

We have been back to the UK a few times. We went to to a mate's wedding, and to my brother-in-law's wedding (fun was had when the cases got lost and got to the hotel 40 mins before the wedding). I went on my own for six days to a mate's wedding, mainly on the air points from the previous two trips. And My wife went over with Libby when Libby was about 14 months old, paid for by her mum.
When in the UK we didn't feel like we belonged any more. It felt crowded and busy and dirty. We were glad to come home to Wellington.

We have had visits from the two friends whose weddings we went to, and from each of my wife's parents and their partners. Awesome NZ trips were had each time. I don't think my parents will make the trip - they won't do a 24 hour flight.

Financially we're okay. Between us we have earned over six figures for most of the last seven years (with some gaps) but we've hardly paid off any mortgage, have no savings to speak of and are still paying off some credit card debt from the gaps in my wife's earning to study and have Libby. I find this a bit of a concern as we're hardly living an extravagant lifestyle. The cost of things has shot up in the last nine years. I'm talking about the basics that everyone needs like food and other groceries. Wages have not. We run two cars, pay for childcare, have the odd trip out and more takeaways than we should, but other than the house that's pretty much it.

I love it here. I love the scenery, the relative cleanness. Though a lot of that is down to low population not the clean green image portrayed.
I love the low population and quietness that can be found.
I love my family and animals, our home and garden, and what we're doing with it.

General frustrations include Poor driving, people who don't give a stuff about others or their property, the price of goods (and what appears to be price gouging by retailers), the poor standard of press writing and reporting.

But there's a lot of stuff that I can't do anything about, so why get hung up on it? We're taking steps to sort out the issues we have. We're paying off our credit card, we're putting a big effort into converting our garden to grow fruit and veggies, using as much recycled or free material as we can to do it. We're getting involved in our local community and trying to work with and help out our neighbours, share garden produce, give things away, help to do stuff, even create a community garden. Hopefully this will bring people together, and also sets a good example to our daughter!

We buy goods online when they're a lot cheaper than local. I'd like to buy locally but if something can be individually bought for half the cost, packed and posted thousands of kms then someone is taking the mick.

I have no regrets about coming here. I think we have a very different life than we would have had in the UK, and so will our daughter. We've grown in a different direction and are happy with where we're heading. We're probably financially worse off than we would have been, have seen less shows and bands than we would have, definitely have less foreign travel. Probably have less "stuff" (though my wife seems to be on a mission to fill the entire house )

I do have much guilt laid on my by my parents. They are definitely not happy with our choice to move here and it's worse as they get older. I have an older sister who has learning difficulties, who lives with them and needs 24/7 care. The question of what will happen as they all get older keeps coming up. My dad recently had a bad stomach bug which knocked him out for two months and put him in hospital for weeks. It was scary and made me feel helpless and distant.
And of course they have only met their grandchild once. I guess it's a bit easier that way but they're missing out. And so is she.

so as always there are ups and downs, pleasures and frustrations.

I don't think I'd want to live in the UK, or if I did I'd want to go somewhere out of the cities. From what I see from here, news and Facebook posts etc, it seems pretty much as it was when we left but there seems to be a lot more public resentment of things like immigrants, anyone different etc. The rise of UKIP is a concern, for example.

But wherever you choose to live there will be things you don't like because people live there. Everyone is different, has different opinions, prorities etc etc.

I'm glad we came here, we're still building a life here and I'm loving it.
RobClubley is offline  
Old Oct 21st 2014, 2:49 pm
  #2  
Forum Regular
 
Charlie Paynter's Avatar
 
Joined: Feb 2007
Location: Market Harborough, East Midlands
Posts: 190
Charlie Paynter has a brilliant futureCharlie Paynter has a brilliant futureCharlie Paynter has a brilliant futureCharlie Paynter has a brilliant futureCharlie Paynter has a brilliant futureCharlie Paynter has a brilliant futureCharlie Paynter has a brilliant future
Default Re: 9 Years...

Originally Posted by RobClubley View Post
The rise of UKIP is a concern, for example
I was thinking a good post, until I read the above!
Charlie Paynter is offline  
Old Oct 21st 2014, 8:36 pm
  #3  
Happy in Wellington
Thread Starter
 
RobClubley's Avatar
 
Joined: Mar 2005
Location: Tawa, Wellington, Aotearoa
Posts: 2,286
RobClubley has a reputation beyond reputeRobClubley has a reputation beyond reputeRobClubley has a reputation beyond reputeRobClubley has a reputation beyond reputeRobClubley has a reputation beyond reputeRobClubley has a reputation beyond reputeRobClubley has a reputation beyond reputeRobClubley has a reputation beyond reputeRobClubley has a reputation beyond reputeRobClubley has a reputation beyond reputeRobClubley has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: 9 Years...

I think the best description I have read of Farage is "Swiveling Loon"
RobClubley is offline  
Old Oct 21st 2014, 10:25 pm
  #4  
*********
 
Catchafire's Avatar
 
Joined: May 2008
Location: Up in dem hills.........
Posts: 1,456
Catchafire has a reputation beyond reputeCatchafire has a reputation beyond reputeCatchafire has a reputation beyond reputeCatchafire has a reputation beyond reputeCatchafire has a reputation beyond reputeCatchafire has a reputation beyond reputeCatchafire has a reputation beyond reputeCatchafire has a reputation beyond reputeCatchafire has a reputation beyond reputeCatchafire has a reputation beyond reputeCatchafire has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: 9 Years...

Great post Rob and congratulations to the three of you. Working from home and having a wee one to be with is a priceless experience (Can stop work from getting done at times!).
Catchafire is offline  
Old Oct 22nd 2014, 10:02 am
  #5  
BE Enthusiast
 
Perry Groves's Avatar
 
Joined: May 2005
Location: Bay Of Plenty
Posts: 797
Perry Groves has a reputation beyond reputePerry Groves has a reputation beyond reputePerry Groves has a reputation beyond reputePerry Groves has a reputation beyond reputePerry Groves has a reputation beyond reputePerry Groves has a reputation beyond reputePerry Groves has a reputation beyond reputePerry Groves has a reputation beyond reputePerry Groves has a reputation beyond reputePerry Groves has a reputation beyond reputePerry Groves has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: 9 Years...

Sweet as
Perry Groves is offline  
Old Oct 23rd 2014, 7:41 am
  #6  
.
 
Snap Shot's Avatar
 
Joined: Jun 2010
Location: Peterborough, Cambridgeshire
Posts: 2,744
Snap Shot has a reputation beyond reputeSnap Shot has a reputation beyond reputeSnap Shot has a reputation beyond reputeSnap Shot has a reputation beyond reputeSnap Shot has a reputation beyond reputeSnap Shot has a reputation beyond reputeSnap Shot has a reputation beyond reputeSnap Shot has a reputation beyond reputeSnap Shot has a reputation beyond reputeSnap Shot has a reputation beyond reputeSnap Shot has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: 9 Years...

Nice one. You and your wife have got results from your efforts.

We've been here three and a half years. Like your wife, I've been fobbed off with one excuse after the next when getting yet another turn down for a job. Well, those that can be bothered. Usually it's a straightforward, 'not successful on this occasion' with or without interview. All very disheartening. I've only been able to get temporary work. No one wants to employ me on a permanent basis, in New Zealand at least. There are more jobs in Wellington in my line of work, i.e. admin, so whilst I daydream about moving there, I believe we would be running very fast to stand still. We would spend every penny of our joint income to achieve more or less what we have here. We might as well stay where we are, in provincial NZ and just go with what we've got.

I've filled in the gaps between temporary jobs on my cv with voluntary work. Otherwise I would go mad with boredom. This not being able to claim unemployment benefit because I'm married and my husband is in paid employment galls me as well. I don't expect unemployment benefit to fund me while I do voluntary work, either - just for the avoidance of doubt. I'm taxed as an individual when I am in paid employment though. NZ Bro.

We've been to see concerts whilst here, and been on holiday. We came here to live and we are determined to do just that. If we were just getting by we would return to Britain. We're not going to let our standard of living go down the toilet. Our house is bigger than what we had in Britain. I question whether it is better.

New Zealand is not significantly better than Britain and it is not significantly worse IMO.

Good luck to you in your further adventures in New Zealand.

Last edited by Snap Shot; Oct 23rd 2014 at 8:07 am. Reason: Wellington
Snap Shot is offline  
Old Oct 23rd 2014, 7:52 am
  #7  
BE Forum Addict
 
Joined: Jul 2008
Posts: 1,446
fulwood has a reputation beyond reputefulwood has a reputation beyond reputefulwood has a reputation beyond reputefulwood has a reputation beyond reputefulwood has a reputation beyond reputefulwood has a reputation beyond reputefulwood has a reputation beyond reputefulwood has a reputation beyond reputefulwood has a reputation beyond reputefulwood has a reputation beyond reputefulwood has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: 9 Years...

I am Brit who moved to US 30 years ago but starting to read other posts like yours. Your life story thus far has been interesting. Seems you have been thru a lot in NZ but in the end it's home for you. Your parents.. they need to have a plan in place for your sister. Your parents have lived their lives (not saying theirs is over) but it's your time now and your life.. Was it ever discussed that you would take your sister once you parents passed?
fulwood is offline  
Old Oct 23rd 2014, 8:25 am
  #8  
Happy in Wellington
Thread Starter
 
RobClubley's Avatar
 
Joined: Mar 2005
Location: Tawa, Wellington, Aotearoa
Posts: 2,286
RobClubley has a reputation beyond reputeRobClubley has a reputation beyond reputeRobClubley has a reputation beyond reputeRobClubley has a reputation beyond reputeRobClubley has a reputation beyond reputeRobClubley has a reputation beyond reputeRobClubley has a reputation beyond reputeRobClubley has a reputation beyond reputeRobClubley has a reputation beyond reputeRobClubley has a reputation beyond reputeRobClubley has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: 9 Years...

Originally Posted by fulwood View Post
I am Brit who moved to US 30 years ago but starting to read other posts like yours. Your life story thus far has been interesting. Seems you have been thru a lot in NZ but in the end it's home for you. Your parents.. they need to have a plan in place for your sister. Your parents have lived their lives (not saying theirs is over) but it's your time now and your life.. Was it ever discussed that you would take your sister once you parents passed?
Yep they have plans in place, but there was always a kind of unspoken expectation that I'd be there for her, hence the guilt trip.
RobClubley is offline  
Old Oct 23rd 2014, 9:07 am
  #9  
BE Enthusiast
 
dannigirl's Avatar
 
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 696
dannigirl has a reputation beyond reputedannigirl has a reputation beyond reputedannigirl has a reputation beyond reputedannigirl has a reputation beyond reputedannigirl has a reputation beyond reputedannigirl has a reputation beyond reputedannigirl has a reputation beyond reputedannigirl has a reputation beyond reputedannigirl has a reputation beyond reputedannigirl has a reputation beyond reputedannigirl has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: 9 Years...

Brilliant update! Not an easy situation regarding your sister, it's very difficult to weigh up everyone's needs isn't it, and something I think we all face as immigrants.
dannigirl is offline  
Old Oct 23rd 2014, 9:14 am
  #10  
BE Forum Addict
 
j19fmm's Avatar
 
Joined: Jan 2008
Location: Pakaraka
Posts: 3,264
j19fmm has a reputation beyond reputej19fmm has a reputation beyond reputej19fmm has a reputation beyond reputej19fmm has a reputation beyond reputej19fmm has a reputation beyond reputej19fmm has a reputation beyond reputej19fmm has a reputation beyond reputej19fmm has a reputation beyond reputej19fmm has a reputation beyond reputej19fmm has a reputation beyond reputej19fmm has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: 9 Years...

Excellent update, thank you for taking the time to write it down. Good luck with the next 9 years x
j19fmm is offline  
Old Oct 23rd 2014, 8:26 pm
  #11  
Happy in Wellington
Thread Starter
 
RobClubley's Avatar
 
Joined: Mar 2005
Location: Tawa, Wellington, Aotearoa
Posts: 2,286
RobClubley has a reputation beyond reputeRobClubley has a reputation beyond reputeRobClubley has a reputation beyond reputeRobClubley has a reputation beyond reputeRobClubley has a reputation beyond reputeRobClubley has a reputation beyond reputeRobClubley has a reputation beyond reputeRobClubley has a reputation beyond reputeRobClubley has a reputation beyond reputeRobClubley has a reputation beyond reputeRobClubley has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: 9 Years...

Some random photos

The Good Life?











RobClubley is offline  
Old Oct 23rd 2014, 8:29 pm
  #12  
Happy in Wellington
Thread Starter
 
RobClubley's Avatar
 
Joined: Mar 2005
Location: Tawa, Wellington, Aotearoa
Posts: 2,286
RobClubley has a reputation beyond reputeRobClubley has a reputation beyond reputeRobClubley has a reputation beyond reputeRobClubley has a reputation beyond reputeRobClubley has a reputation beyond reputeRobClubley has a reputation beyond reputeRobClubley has a reputation beyond reputeRobClubley has a reputation beyond reputeRobClubley has a reputation beyond reputeRobClubley has a reputation beyond reputeRobClubley has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: 9 Years...







Penguin by the waterfront in Wellington


Sunrise
RobClubley is offline  
Old Oct 23rd 2014, 8:33 pm
  #13  
Happy in Wellington
Thread Starter
 
RobClubley's Avatar
 
Joined: Mar 2005
Location: Tawa, Wellington, Aotearoa
Posts: 2,286
RobClubley has a reputation beyond reputeRobClubley has a reputation beyond reputeRobClubley has a reputation beyond reputeRobClubley has a reputation beyond reputeRobClubley has a reputation beyond reputeRobClubley has a reputation beyond reputeRobClubley has a reputation beyond reputeRobClubley has a reputation beyond reputeRobClubley has a reputation beyond reputeRobClubley has a reputation beyond reputeRobClubley has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: 9 Years...



Cannonball Run!




Not in NZ
RobClubley is offline  
Old Oct 23rd 2014, 8:44 pm
  #14  
Happy in Wellington
Thread Starter
 
RobClubley's Avatar
 
Joined: Mar 2005
Location: Tawa, Wellington, Aotearoa
Posts: 2,286
RobClubley has a reputation beyond reputeRobClubley has a reputation beyond reputeRobClubley has a reputation beyond reputeRobClubley has a reputation beyond reputeRobClubley has a reputation beyond reputeRobClubley has a reputation beyond reputeRobClubley has a reputation beyond reputeRobClubley has a reputation beyond reputeRobClubley has a reputation beyond reputeRobClubley has a reputation beyond reputeRobClubley has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: 9 Years...





Gravity Canyon Flying Fox




Ta moko


Tawa



Okay I'll stop now
RobClubley is offline  
Old Oct 23rd 2014, 9:03 pm
  #15  
Somewhere rather noisy .
 
BEVS's Avatar
 
Joined: Oct 2003
Location: Below
Posts: 37,475
BEVS has a reputation beyond reputeBEVS has a reputation beyond reputeBEVS has a reputation beyond reputeBEVS has a reputation beyond reputeBEVS has a reputation beyond reputeBEVS has a reputation beyond reputeBEVS has a reputation beyond reputeBEVS has a reputation beyond reputeBEVS has a reputation beyond reputeBEVS has a reputation beyond reputeBEVS has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: 9 Years...

I love all the updates. I really do. I have to say that is one of the best I have ever read.
Thanks so much Rob for thinking to put that here on this teeny BE NZ forum. It's just so down to earth and inspirational.
BEVS is offline  

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.