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Thread: Two months in

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Christchurch from Scotland
    Posts
    2,226

    Default Two months in

    Yesterday marked the end of a hectic week and the two month mark of our life in NZ.

    So what have we achieved?

    We now have a rented house, up a steep hill with a fantastic view of the Pacific. It is not exactly big, but the view sold it to us. It was the first house we saw, had no sign of damp, mould and had been empty for a couple of weeks! Since moving in here we have been warm enough with our log burner (lucky enough to have one we can use until 2012) and heat pump. Though on going to bed I am glad about my present from my OH before leaving of an electric blanket.

    The boys have started school here and are very happy with a more energetic style of schooling. From their school their home learning is more rounded than the academic approach that their school took in the UK. One is still needing more challenge but that is no different from UK. Both enjoy school far more here and in my opinion if you enjoy school learning will follow and you will develop lifelong love of learning rather than seeing it as a chore.

    Things are more expensive, particularly on the food front, but it is winter and we are getting a lot better at finding the specials and working out a different diet. I think that the cash difference in the shopping will fall as we get used to the different products on offer and change our buying habits. We no longer do a one shop in a superrmarket and find some of the fresh produce stores offer better value.

    Work....ahhh..landing in a recession when the market it quiet is interesting. We decided early on that I would have the better chance of finding work quickly so I have been a lot more aggressive in my job search than OH. At first it was "no NZ experience". Therefore I actually moved back into the area in which I have more expertise and hoped that my skills would show, rather than having development needs.

    It is also necessary keeping a close eye on the recruitment agencies here as they all tend to be chasing the same few positions. However I eventually met an Agent with a lot of experience in the NZ market, who has helped greatly, and have applied directly for roles advertised on seek, in business, rather than in a Chartered Accountancy Practice, which I had originally been told had the greater skills shortage and would be the easier option for placement.

    The result of this has been 3 interviews in 24 hours this week, a second interview yesterday and the Agent tells me that he has had good feedback from another and is expecting that to be another 2nd interview next week, along with hitting the long list at the start of the process for another position. So I am now feeling useful again after a brief feeling of panic. The good part about it is that my confidence is now growing again, so feel that it will be easier even if I am not successful immediately. I count each interview as more experience, and am hopeful that my rusty interview skills are improving!

    What didn't help the concentration this week was the fact our belongings finally arrived at our house on Monday. Everything apart from a wooden nativity came through the MAF inspection OK, and I told MAF to get rid of the Christmas decoration. The fees for the inspection were high but then we had brought a huge amount of camping gear, bikes, garden equipment and outside furniture. The car finally cleared the MAF inspection after yet another steam clean and vacuum, passed it NZtransport inspection with flying colours and is back on the road here with a new set of no plates! After the variety of charges and cost of RFL it was really nice to fill it at the garage for under 30. It is a diesel and does incur a lot of separate tax charges, but the shocked look on the attendant's face in the garage as he bellowed to me that I was starting to fill the car with diesel was quite funny! Diesels are not so commonplace here! And I only nearly stalled it once when I forgot the clutch while braking, ...but remembered as it started to judder I was not in the automatic!!

    We are slowly building up contacts with people and I had a nice evening out at the PTA Cheese and Wine. I have joined the gym and am using this time to get fit (to try and counteract the effects of a sedentary job) and also increase my work skills level. I occasionally miss my friends, back in the old country, but love the country here and sometimes think that I am in contact with my family more than before with facebook and skype.

    So settling slowly, happy and still with no regrets..

    Sorry that this has been so long if you have made it this far!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    35,997

    Default

    Great post! Congratulations on your family's good start, and all good wishes for the next phase.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Earth
    Posts
    139

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Mamee & Co View Post
    Yesterday marked the end of a hectic week and the two month mark of our life in NZ.

    So what have we achieved?

    We now have a rented house, up a steep hill with a fantastic view of the Pacific. It is not exactly big, but the view sold it to us. It was the first house we saw, had no sign of damp, mould and had been empty for a couple of weeks! Since moving in here we have been warm enough with our log burner (lucky enough to have one we can use until 2012) and heat pump. Though on going to bed I am glad about my present from my OH before leaving of an electric blanket.

    The boys have started school here and are very happy with a more energetic style of schooling. From their school their home learning is more rounded than the academic approach that their school took in the UK. One is still needing more challenge but that is no different from UK. Both enjoy school far more here and in my opinion if you enjoy school learning will follow and you will develop lifelong love of learning rather than seeing it as a chore.

    Things are more expensive, particularly on the food front, but it is winter and we are getting a lot better at finding the specials and working out a different diet. I think that the cash difference in the shopping will fall as we get used to the different products on offer and change our buying habits. We no longer do a one shop in a superrmarket and find some of the fresh produce stores offer better value.

    Work....ahhh..landing in a recession when the market it quiet is interesting. We decided early on that I would have the better chance of finding work quickly so I have been a lot more aggressive in my job search than OH. At first it was "no NZ experience". Therefore I actually moved back into the area in which I have more expertise and hoped that my skills would show, rather than having development needs.

    It is also necessary keeping a close eye on the recruitment agencies here as they all tend to be chasing the same few positions. However I eventually met an Agent with a lot of experience in the NZ market, who has helped greatly, and have applied directly for roles advertised on seek, in business, rather than in a Chartered Accountancy Practice, which I had originally been told had the greater skills shortage and would be the easier option for placement.

    The result of this has been 3 interviews in 24 hours this week, a second interview yesterday and the Agent tells me that he has had good feedback from another and is expecting that to be another 2nd interview next week, along with hitting the long list at the start of the process for another position. So I am now feeling useful again after a brief feeling of panic. The good part about it is that my confidence is now growing again, so feel that it will be easier even if I am not successful immediately. I count each interview as more experience, and am hopeful that my rusty interview skills are improving!

    What didn't help the concentration this week was the fact our belongings finally arrived at our house on Monday. Everything apart from a wooden nativity came through the MAF inspection OK, and I told MAF to get rid of the Christmas decoration. The fees for the inspection were high but then we had brought a huge amount of camping gear, bikes, garden equipment and outside furniture. The car finally cleared the MAF inspection after yet another steam clean and vacuum, passed it NZtransport inspection with flying colours and is back on the road here with a new set of no plates! After the variety of charges and cost of RFL it was really nice to fill it at the garage for under 30. It is a diesel and does incur a lot of separate tax charges, but the shocked look on the attendant's face in the garage as he bellowed to me that I was starting to fill the car with diesel was quite funny! Diesels are not so commonplace here! And I only nearly stalled it once when I forgot the clutch while braking, ...but remembered as it started to judder I was not in the automatic!!

    We are slowly building up contacts with people and I had a nice evening out at the PTA Cheese and Wine. I have joined the gym and am using this time to get fit (to try and counteract the effects of a sedentary job) and also increase my work skills level. I occasionally miss my friends, back in the old country, but love the country here and sometimes think that I am in contact with my family more than before with facebook and skype.

    So settling slowly, happy and still with no regrets..


    Sorry that this has been so long if you have made it this far!
    Congratulations on your two months, glad to hear you are loving it!!

    My girls loved school in Christchurch, and can't wait to go back!

    If you get a chance, go to Raewards! I used to go to the one near the airport as that was closer to me, but there is one on Ferry road if you are out that way, try it, I found I saved a bit each week by going there..

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Scotland to Wellington
    Posts
    1,454

    Default

    Hello,
    Good to hear that you are settling in well and that the boys are getting on fine at school.
    Good luck with the job hunting, it sounds as if things are falling into place eventually and at least you have all your things back now. Our car needed steam cleaning too, mind you it was filthy underneath after the removal people drove it back to their depot from our house. Enjoy yourselves, spring is on the way!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Christchurch from Scotland
    Posts
    2,226

    Default

    Its funny you should mention Raewards moz, coz that is where we have been shopping since we moved to Sumner, prior to that we were using Marshlands Produce. It is cheaper than the supermarkets.

    Thanks Girlwithanewf...I am looking forward to spring...I am already in a tshirt and barefoot with sandals...But my Scots brain thinks this is summer! Don't know how I am going to get on when it gets really warm!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Nelson
    Posts
    163

    Default

    Hello, congratulations on having made the move and getting settled so quickly. It's good to hear that your boys are enjoying school. Good luck with the interviews and thanks for a really interesting post.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Lower Hutt, NZ
    Posts
    251

    Default

    Thanks for sharing your experiences with us!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    in my own little world...
    Posts
    532

    Default

    well done Mamee, sounds like you are adjusting well to life in Christchurch. good luck with the interviews too.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Earth
    Posts
    139

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Mamee & Co View Post
    Its funny you should mention Raewards moz, coz that is where we have been shopping since we moved to Sumner, prior to that we were using Marshlands Produce. It is cheaper than the supermarkets.

    Thanks Girlwithanewf...I am looking forward to spring...I am already in a tshirt and barefoot with sandals...But my Scots brain thinks this is summer! Don't know how I am going to get on when it gets really warm!
    Great, glad you found it, I didn't know till I was in CHCH 6 months till one of my friends told me about Raewards! I usually go to Countdown at Riccarton for my food shopping, as I found the range extensive there, especially their international section, I could get everything I can get in Sydney..but the quality of fruit and veg, and even poultry etc, is better in the markets..

    I am glad you love Sumner, such a great place!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Poole, UK to Chch, NZ
    Posts
    2,064

    Default

    Thanks for sharing You shall have to show me this Raewards place, whenever we get there!

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