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Thread: Why move to NZ from US or UK?

  1. #61
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    Iceland
    Posts
    1

    Default Moving from the other side of the globe - literally

    Thank you for this post Beachcombers, and also for this information that I stumbled upon here http://www.enz.org/8-must-knows.html

    Quote Originally Posted by Beachcombers View Post
    We have been here over eight years. I love this country, because its beautiful, our lives are so completely different to what I had experienced in the UK, I am my own boss, we have children here now, I make my own award winning wine, my wife gets paid to work with horses (her absolute dream job), we often barter for produce, our kids go bare foot in school, I fish and dive, you can ski a hours drive away, you can have a whole beach to yourself, I get to have a BBQ on Christmas day, teenagers say good morning to me, business is done on a hand shake, we have friends from many different nationalities, my eldest came home and did a haka last week, the stars at night always amaze me, there is always a new playground to explore, we have a world class trout river a kilometer away, our small and modest home is the best I ever owned, I feel like a rich man in everything except money.
    I have a few questions if you don't mind. We are a family in Iceland and now planning to make the move to NZ. It is the furthest we can possibly move so it is a big decision. Everything we've researched so far sounds good. The school system is good, it is a safe and beautiful place to live, even though some people say it is expensive it isn't for us since we live in one of the most expensive countries in the world So now I've joined this forum in order to learn a bit more about moving to NZ. Thank you for having this forum, moderators.

    But a couple of things caught my attention in your 8 things.
    One is the insulation and heating of houses. Is it difficult to find houses that are insulated? How much is the cost of getting central heating into the house? We are used to luxury here since our houses are very warm even though it is cold outside, and that is because of our good central heating.
    Is it difficult to get a job in NZ? Was it difficult to set up your own business? (lots of bureaucracy and hindrances?).
    We've read a lot about primary schools in NZ, but we don't find information about fees. Is it like here in Iceland, that the primary and secondary schools are free of charge?

  2. #62
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    36,519

    Default

    Hello.

    You may find that it is some time before answers come, because people may be busy with the New Year holiday. Meantime, I suggest you use the Search (top right above), or, better sometimes, go on Google and enter "site:enz.org" followed by keywords, such as 'heating' and/or 'insulation', and you'll find these issues have often been discussed on the forum, so you'll have plenty to think about till some specific replies come through.

    http://www.education.govt.nz/home/education-in-nz/
    https://www.govt.nz/browse/education...e/school-fees/

  3. #63
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Chch, NZ
    Posts
    2,218

    Default

    One is the insulation and heating of houses. Is it difficult to find houses that are insulated? How much is the cost of getting central heating into the house? We are used to luxury here since our houses are very warm even though it is cold outside, and that is because of our good central heating.
    Generally speaking, houses in NZ (even new houses) will NOT match the comfort of your homes typically found in cold (developed) countries. Without getting technical, houses in NZ are of different construction approach than your centrally heated houses for the simple reason ; NZ houses do not have air tightness construction vs your centrally heated mechanical ventilated home MUST rely on an air tight building envelope (because the performance of heating is a function of how well heat stays in the living space). It is not a simple matter of how much insulation is used in NZ built homes. After all, you could heat a new home (of today's current building code) to be as warm as your home in Iceland however, at a significant cost.

    For example. If living in Christchurch in an older house (built pre 1980) like my friend's place (a 2 story 300+m2 home), his electricity bill during winter months last year was between $800 - $1000 per month. I've yet to ask how much his electricity bill has come down after installing 2 heat pumps and added double glazed glass on the windows. Now if you chose a house in Auckland, to achieve decent heating would have considerably lower heating expense due to a much warmer climate.

  4. #64
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    NZ (Auckland; via Canada)
    Posts
    1,336

    Default

    Having been to Iceland--and coming from Canada myself--I can offer some context. As others have said, until recently NZ was under the misapprehension that this was a sub-tropical paradise and there's no need for insulation, double glazed windows etc. However, more and more homes are insulated here in Auckland: if not by the original owners, but someone who subsequently bought it. But don't let a house being uninsulated turn you off buying it--if it's otherwise well built, you might save a lot of money, more than enough to pay for insulating floors and ceilings and replacing any older windows. If you were to try and buy something in excellent shape in Auckland, you'll be competing with other buyers with very deep pockets; the more "work" a property needs, the fewer number of buyers interested.

    There are school fees, which while aren't compulsory are collected to offer more than the mandated curriculum. Families that can't afford the fees can get them waived sometimes...but new migrants would be assumed to be affluent. But there's no extra fees for school itself.
    Quote Originally Posted by Icelandic View Post
    One is the insulation and heating of houses. Is it difficult to find houses that are insulated? How much is the cost of getting central heating into the house? We are used to luxury here since our houses are very warm even though it is cold outside, and that is because of our good central heating.
    Is it difficult to get a job in NZ? Was it difficult to set up your own business? (lots of bureaucracy and hindrances?).
    We've read a lot about primary schools in NZ, but we don't find information about fees. Is it like here in Iceland, that the primary and secondary schools are free of charge?

  5. #65
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Russia
    Posts
    8

    Default

    I just fell in love with the country and the people here

  6. #66
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    81

    Red face

    Quote Originally Posted by AnnaDanishek View Post
    I just fell in love with the country and the people here
    Country... i cant say yet
    But people- seconding your thoughts !!! probably i will fall in love with NZ primarily because of people. They are very amazing and helpful. House's are cold but the heart's are warm

  7. #67
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    50

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Icelandic View Post

    But a couple of things caught my attention in your 8 things.
    One is the insulation and heating of houses. Is it difficult to find houses that are insulated? How much is the cost of getting central heating into the house? We are used to luxury here since our houses are very warm even though it is cold outside, and that is because of our good central heating.
    Central heating and good insulation is unusual here, but if you are going to live in Auckland you don't really need it IMO (especially coming from Iceland ). I lived in a tropical country all my life, and when I moved to Auckland the house didn't feel cold at all, except for 1-2 months in the middle of the winter. Even then we could just run an oil heater and keep the rooms at a comfortable temperature for about $300-$400/month in the coldest months. In spring and autumn I barely needed a heater at all. Damp is an issue though, so try to hold out for a place with good ventilation.

    If you are going to live in Christchurch or somewhere in the South Island then heating/insulation is a much bigger problem. On the flip side houses there are cheaper than Auckland with less competition, so it would not be as difficult to secure an insulated house.

  8. #68
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    1

    Default

    Hello. Like many others on this thread it seems, I am unhappy with the direction of the US. I am certainly not affluent though I and my two sons are comfortable. Can anyone give me a range (even a vague one ) for monthly expenses, including housing. We currently live in Florida. New Zealand has always fascinated me so any information would be helpful.

    Thanks,

  9. #69
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Christchurch from Scotland
    Posts
    2,226

    Default

    Hi The Wolfen,

    It really depends upon your lifestyle and diet. There are different ways of living.

    If you look at trademe.co.nz you can see property prices. These vary substantially - cities especially Auckland, are very expensive, but rural locations are cheaper. Food - look at the online prices at countdown.co.nz, but remember this is a supermarket and you can eat more cheaply by shopping in the "old fashioned" way and heading to specialist butcher and greengrocers who are cheaper.

    Unlimited broadband comes in about $100 per month.

    For a 3 bed house, family of 4 ( 2 teenagers ) we probably average about $400 pm in power costs over the year, gas for water, electricity and wood for log burner - higher in winter and lower in summer. We do not fully heat the house in winter, only the rooms we are using. Rugging up to watch to etc.

    Second hand car prices can be found on trade me and http://www.aa.co.nz/cars/ will give you an indication of running costs. Like many economies NZ taxes fuels so expect higher prices.

    GP visits carry a charge of c. $45 in my area and $5ish per prescription item. There is a public healthcare system, good for emergencies, but long waiting lists for elective surgeries so some people carry private health insurance for this, they not critical. Southerncross.co.nz will give a quote for different cover levels.

    School are more or less free, although there is an annual donation of up to about $300 which can be waived plus stationery and, in most cases, school uniform costs....which can be expensive! I'm lucky as my kids both attend schools with no uniform!

    That should give you enough to start to look at costs. It will be expensive compared to the US I have heard, but it depends what you are looking for in your life.

  10. #70
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Chch, NZ
    Posts
    2,218

    Default

    We currently live in Florida. New Zealand has always fascinated me so any information would be helpful.
    The biggest cost I find in NZ vs N. America is the price of food. The difference is so great that it's not even comparable. My wife flew over to Canada (BC) for 3 weeks and could not believe 1kg (2.2lbs) of blueberries for $4 CAD while in season in NZ, that would be $20 NZD. There is a huge reliance of buying produce when in season while in the US/Can, NAFTA covers most of the problems of price fluctuations throughout the seasons (ie. lettuce from California, Mexican limes, year round). So for a comparison, minimum wage in NZ is considerably higher than in the US, the level of difference can't simply compare to the buying power say a $1 USD gets in the US, despite minimum wage in NZ nearly $15/hour (if USD minimum wage is 1/2 of NZ, it certainly only buys a fraction of the US minimum wage equivalent). A quote from my wife says "People in N. America are SPOILED by choice".

    Costs like cellphones, TVs, appliances, don't really take a large bite out of the day to day living in NZ. They may be comparable in the US but really, $100/month for landline/broadband isn't a lot out of the bi-weekly pay cheque. The big costs such as mortgages (NZ residential rates around 4.25% p.a. - which is considerably higher than in N. American bank interest rates) are typically the biggest costs.

    Then there's the factor that "what you pay here in NZ isn't what you would get in USA". The quality of items for what you pay rarely matches. This even accounts for food - ie. citrus fruit - where NZ doesn't have a highly favourable climate to grow oranges etc.

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