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Our experience moving to NZ 18 months in

Our experience moving to NZ 18 months in

Old May 29th 2019, 9:05 pm
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Default Re: Our experience moving to NZ 18 months in

Thanks for all the responses, I didn't mean to distract from the OP but guess the work/life balance ties in with the good/bad of life in NZ. All responses are helpful for people weighing up decisions and it is always dependant on different areas people are living/different situations/careers and what is important to individuals so it is good to hear different perspectives!
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Old May 29th 2019, 9:53 pm
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Default Re: Our experience moving to NZ 18 months in

Originally Posted by Clappy View Post
I have come to the conclusion that the idea of a better 'work-life balance' has been misunderstood by British people as meaning spending less time at work and more time doing what they want. .
This may well be so. To me it is quite a new phrase or perhaps it is a phrase peddled here in NZ and which is then misconstrued in the way you describe.

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Old May 29th 2019, 10:56 pm
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Default Re: Our experience moving to NZ 18 months in

I think most people see balance as perhaps less time away from work, less stress and more time doing what you want to do (be it hobbies, time with family or both).

I dug into this a bit with my employer in the interview, I was assured of the relaxed atmosphere at work less pressure blah blah.

For me it is quite simple and a mistake on my part, it said in my contract I signed 40 hours per week over 5 days and 20 days leave. In black and white that says I'll be at work more than I was in the UK. As for the 10 days Christmas shut down, nobody told me about that until I got here. Although I do have no balance here in that regard I will say that the more limited time I do have to myself is spent doing better things than in UK made available simply by being in NZ (the weather, free family events, great beaches and outdoors opportunities).

In hindsight my employer was very much in need of people doing what I do and couldn't source them in NZ hence the UK drive. Had I known that at the time I could have easily negotiated more money, less hours and more annual leave. Perhaps my advice for others is have a look at which industry you're in and if you're in strict need play your cards right and you might just find that balance.
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Old May 29th 2019, 11:04 pm
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Default Re: Our experience moving to NZ 18 months in

Originally Posted by WBHB View Post
I'm with you totally on this, the balance thing you see on those TV shows and the UK's perception of the 'balanced lifestyle' is total and utter BS unless you come over with so much money you can get away with working part time
I really disagree with this comment. It has absolutely nothing to do with being cashed up (I'm not) and everything to do with personal outlook and attitude. I work shifts, sometimes 7 or 8 in a row and yet every time I get days off I spend time doing the things I like, sometimes thats outdoors, either at the beach, by a river or exploring the stunning Otago trails and beauty spots, or visiting friends, motorcycling, I even do the occasional bit of gold panning On top of this I can find time for diy, walking my dogs, going to the pub and just relaxing at home. I also have options for cyclingh, hunting, kayaking, fishing. The list is endless. Having a balance doesn't need to be hard work, it's about finding things that give you pleasure and pursuing them. Sometimes I do little more than sit on my deck with a wine and admire the stars and milky way, it's a great way to chill out.
You can either make time to do the things enjoy or you can spend that time complaining that you have no time and that work gets in the way
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Old May 29th 2019, 11:11 pm
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Default Re: Our experience moving to NZ 18 months in

Originally Posted by Justcol View Post
I really disagree with this comment. It has absolutely nothing to do with being cashed up (I'm not) and everything to do with personal outlook and attitude. I work shifts, sometimes 7 or 8 in a row and yet every time I get days off I spend time doing the things I like, sometimes thats outdoors, either at the beach, by a river or exploring the stunning Otago trails and beauty spots, or visiting friends, motorcycling, I even do the occasional bit of gold panning On top of this I can find time for diy, walking my dogs, going to the pub and just relaxing at home. I also have options for cyclingh, hunting, kayaking, fishing. The list is endless. Having a balance doesn't need to be hard work, it's about finding things that give you pleasure and pursuing them. Sometimes I do little more than sit on my deck with a wine and admire the stars and milky way, it's a great way to chill out.
You can either make time to do the things enjoy or you can spend that time complaining that you have no time and that work gets in the way
hahaha typical comment. Your idea of balance is not the same as mine. For me and others who have young kids working "7 or 8 shifts in a row" for me would mean not seeing my little girl or wife for perhaps 8 days on the trot. What ever you do on that 9th makes no difference to me if I'm not a present father. each to their own though.

Perhaps my 'attitude' is wrong and I should not value time with my family as much?

Last edited by WBHB; May 29th 2019 at 11:13 pm.
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Old May 30th 2019, 12:10 am
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Default Re: Our experience moving to NZ 18 months in

6-2 shifts = even more time at home everyday to spend with loved ones
night shift= collect sons from school, spend time with them, put them to bed at night and take them to school in the morning

I've raised two very happy sons with once using kindy / nursery / before or after school childcare. I see parents now dropping kids off at kindy at 7.30 and picking them up at 5.30. The kids have a longer working day than their parents, it's disgusting. Don't assume shifts are a bad thing and neither is a positive and flexible attitude to life balance. Because someones experience doesn't suit your situation doesn't make it a bad thing and maybe a change of attitude might not do you any harm
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Old May 30th 2019, 12:24 am
  #22  
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Default Re: Our experience moving to NZ 18 months in

Originally Posted by Justcol View Post
6-2 shifts = even more time at home everyday to spend with loved ones
night shift= collect sons from school, spend time with them, put them to bed at night and take them to school in the morning

I've raised two very happy sons with once using kindy / nursery / before or after school childcare. I see parents now dropping kids off at kindy at 7.30 and picking them up at 5.30. The kids have a longer working day than their parents, it's disgusting. Don't assume shifts are a bad thing and neither is a positive and flexible attitude to life balance. Because someones experience doesn't suit your situation doesn't make it a bad thing and maybe a change of attitude might not do you any harm
That's great for you, you've found balance. Fact is most people out here haven't. Attitude has nothing to do with it, social and professional norms do - and what is dictated to you. In my industry we can't just say I'm working x hours and working these hours when ever suits me, the 'norm' is people working from 7:30 until at least 5 on 5 days a week (sometimes 6) which for all of these people means not seeing kids in the morning and getting back just in time for bed time for kids. As I eluded to in my first post this isn't isolated to my industry. Perhaps there are an army of people out there that have different experiences but I've not met them yet.

I could change industry right? Find a unique job that has that balance, my question is why should I have to? All I'm saying is my experience and that of everyone else I know don't have balance at all.

I will agree with you however that the out of work activities here are far better than back home in the UK. Saying that perhaps my attitude back home was wrong and I could have got out and done these things despite the weather etc (there wasn't that much stopping me really)
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Old May 31st 2019, 1:06 am
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Default Re: Our experience moving to NZ 18 months in

What it boils down to is that in order to work less / live more you need to make a life changing decision to change your job significantly and plan to work less, work for yourself, take a simpler job and earn less, or live in a quieter place where you don't have to commute hours and hours per week. If you are swapping from a 35 to 40 hour job in the UK for similar one in NZ in one of the main centres then most likely you will work more hours (at least 40 for any trade or office job) and likely will have less leave (4 weeks is the standard) and less control around when you take that leave (most likely office will shut down for two weeks over Christmas).

Unless you can make a substantial change to your work and commute hours then NZ does not magic up extra hours or dosh for you to go out and play and have a wonderful time. I try very hard to maintain my paid 40 hours of work but most times it's impossible and there's a great amount of pressure to be seen on the floor and be in the office all hours. Kiwi work mentality and piss poor Management means there's always some crisis or another, or something got stuffed up which means people have to stay super late to meet a deadline.

There are people that I work with that have no life; they are in the office at the crack of a sparrows fart in the morning to 'avoid the traffic' and still there when I leave at the end of the day 'to avoid the traffic' but that's not to say they are working hard during that time. I think this is the Kiwi meaning of 'work life balance' LOL
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Old May 31st 2019, 1:17 am
  #24  
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Default Re: Our experience moving to NZ 18 months in

Originally Posted by Bo-Jangles View Post
What it boils down to is that in order to work less / live more you need to make a life changing decision to change your job significantly and plan to work less, work for yourself, take a simpler job and earn less, or live in a quieter place where you don't have to commute hours and hours per week. If you are swapping from a 35 to 40 hour job in the UK for similar one in NZ in one of the main centres then most likely you will work more hours (at least 40 for any trade or office job) and likely will have less leave (4 weeks is the standard) and less control around when you take that leave (most likely office will shut down for two weeks over Christmas).

Unless you can make a substantial change to your work and commute hours then NZ does not magic up extra hours or dosh for you to go out and play and have a wonderful time. I try very hard to maintain my paid 40 hours of work but most times it's impossible and there's a great amount of pressure to be seen on the floor and be in the office all hours. Kiwi work mentality and piss poor Management means there's always some crisis or another, or something got stuffed up which means people have to stay super late to meet a deadline.

There are people that I work with that have no life; they are in the office at the crack of a sparrows fart in the morning to 'avoid the traffic' and still there when I leave at the end of the day 'to avoid the traffic' but that's not to say they are working hard during that time. I think this is the Kiwi meaning of 'work life balance' LOL

Couldn't agree more
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Old Aug 1st 2019, 8:09 am
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Default Re: Our experience moving to NZ 18 months in

Tbh my work life balance is much better in Dunners than it was in the UK - we worked full time, hubby was travelling two hours commuting, and I was commuting 3 hrs if there were no delays. I now do a round trip of about 40 minutes from Port Chalmers into the City.
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Old Aug 3rd 2019, 11:27 pm
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Default Re: Our experience moving to NZ 18 months in

Originally Posted by Princess_Buttercup View Post
Tbh my work life balance is much better in Dunners than it was in the UK - we worked full time, hubby was travelling two hours commuting, and I was commuting 3 hrs if there were no delays. I now do a round trip of about 40 minutes from Port Chalmers into the City.
Hi there,

I think as a few have eluded to the move to NZ and whether you find that balance or not will largely depend on a few things which will be different for everybody but some of those things for me include:

-Where you lived in the UK
-How many hours you worked in the UK compared to here
-Which part of NZ you moved to and it's comparable way of living to where you came from in the UK
-The industry you work in
-Your salary here in comparison to the cost of living in the NZ region you're in

I'm currently in the process of changing employers within the same industry and job role, I've purposefully and very carefully selected the company I went with for their culture of using modern tech, having exciting work and company culture whilst having a gained a pay bump. So instead of simply moaning about it I'm going to make an active change and see what it's like somewhere else, this may improve my outlook on things here in NZ and also provide some more income to enjoy the times outside of work more and do more travel etc.

Anyway things crossed and if it's no better I'll open a florist shop or bugger off back home I think having had a blast for 3 years, seeing this stunning country and side of the world and having gained a greater perspective of things in general.
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Old Aug 3rd 2019, 11:47 pm
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Default Re: Our experience moving to NZ 18 months in

Originally Posted by WBHB View Post
Anyway things crossed and if it's no better I'll open a florist shop or bugger off back home I think having had a blast for 3 years, seeing this stunning country and side of the world and having gained a greater perspective of things in general.
Can you do me a mixed bouquet for around $75.. 😉😁
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Old Aug 4th 2019, 6:47 am
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Default Re: Our experience moving to NZ 18 months in

Originally Posted by WBHB View Post
Anyway things crossed and if it's no better I'll open a florist shop
Maybe not such a great thought

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Old Aug 5th 2019, 12:00 am
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Default Re: Our experience moving to NZ 18 months in

Originally Posted by Justcol View Post
Can you do me a mixed bouquet for around $75.. 😉😁
Will need to charge at least $400 per bouquet to pay my food bills
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Old Aug 7th 2019, 4:58 am
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Default Re: Our experience moving to NZ 18 months in

Originally Posted by JaneRiley View Post
I'm sorry but this old chestnut needs to be buried six feet under! In my experience (myself, my husband and friends) the work-life balance is not better in NZ. I worked 8 til 5 plus commute (same as UK) My OH works 7.30 til 7 plus commute. He often works weekends and gets one day off for two worked. I have a friend who leaves home at 6.20am and is home about 7.30pm each day. This is not unusual. All that stuff on Wanted DownUnder about finishing early to take the family to the beach etc is hogwash unless you work part time. In my humble opinion (and experience) people work as long hours as UK. Yes, you might get invited to a sausage sizzle on a Friday but frankly most people just want to go home and get on with their personal lives. The only people I knew who enjoyed out of work socialising were those working for international companies who seemed to support expat staff well, e.g. US companies. ( Should I now stand back and wait for a barrage of abuse? Sometimes I wonder why comments on this forum attract so much anger. I keep telling myself to stay away!)
I agree entirely about the work/life balance in NZ. We've been here 10 years and are retired but have a large family here and it seems to me that they all work pretty hard just to keep afloat, so no abuse from me. I believe it's a myth, just like the one about endless sunshine and the outdoor life-style.
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