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Thread: Two (or so) weeks in...we love it here!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Northland, New Zealand
    Posts
    144

    Talking Two (or so) weeks in...we love it here!

    Hi everyone! I landed the 17th of Jan & thought I owed an update to the forum since I surfed around and snitched so much good info from others who have posted here....

    1. The application process: Though it took me 6 mos to gather medical and FBI criminal history, etc, once I submitted the extremely complete application, it was approved in 2 days (Partner sponsor)! go NZ govn't! very efficient and easy to work with from the start!

    2. The Container: We shipped our stuff October 20th (from Arizona/USA) and it was delivered to our house Jan. 15th. One patio table slightly cracked (I'll let you know how the claim goes), but everything else arrived safe & sound. MAF destroyed only one item -- a fake Bamboo Plant! We didn't love it anyway and wasn't worth $240 to "treat" (?). No other glitches & MAF looked at everything -- we had Tents, Camping Gear, Kayaks, Scuba, Fishing, Bikes, a whole box of spices, boxes of canned goods and BBQ Grill. We used a power washer to clean it all ahead of time & so it ended up worthwhile & as for food -- just didn't bring any peppercorns & nothing with any honey (brough dijon mustard but no honey mustard products)! we paid $13,500 U.S. to get our 40 ft container here (includes maf & insurance & trucking it up 5 hrs North of Auckland), but we don't regret the expense -- the fishing gear, 3 kayaks, cordless power tools, scuba gear alone would have been 3 x's that price to replace here, never mind the furniture. Everyone's situation is unique, I imagine though...By the way, we shipped boxes of "stock the house" stuff since that's an expense you outlay 3mos prior to arrival (if you ship your stuff before you land) and when you arrive, since you're bleeding money, it was nice not to have the additional expense of stocking up the canned goods and bathroom supplies, etc. I flew Air Pacific and checked two 50 pound bags + a small suitcase meant as a carry on. It was $160 in baggage fees. (side note -- yikes was that plane small!!! I have never felt so cramped in my life on such a long flight and I'm not large and normally sleep the whole way. Cramped seat; baby crying in front of me & snorer on my right side). But it was hundreds less than Air NZ -- let the buyer beware). Also had my internal flight cancelled so we were escorted via Van ride from Auckland up the 5 hours north....long journey but worth the wait)

    3. The Dogs: Aggggh! this caused the most pain and discomfort -- the separation anxiety that we had and the expense, but ...now that it is done, I wouldn't have it any other way & the dogs are SOOOO happy running around 2 acres and we take them to the beach and so many new smells & critters & plants to check out! They stared at a concrete block wall back in the City in Phoenix, so this is heaven for them. quarantine went OK (30-days) but our Boxer went on hunger strike in there so was scary thin when we picked them up. Now he's fatter and happy!

    4. The house: Building a house here "ain't" cheap! Especially on a new street when you have to add infrastructure basics...but we have a gorgeous house & no mortgage, so we'll just enjoy and stare at the views...

    5. The bugs: We are up on a hill and there is a constant breeze. I have not been bit by anything until earlier tonight when we visited some new friends who live down closer to the water. My legs were eaten alive!!! At night up here on the hill, we get flying buggies but we opted to suck in RAID Automatic MicroMist spray all night and by morning all the bugs are dead... I'm just kidding about sucking in the spray all night -- I may be wrong, but I understand the main ingredients are Pyerethrins? (natural?) ...and the "dispensers take 2.5 days to release the same amount as a handheld aerosol releases in just one 5 sec spray". We have one spray can mounted on a shelf that serves the whole house. We love the open air windows and doors! No screens! (again,... perhaps an individual choice)

    6. The prices: Yes, prices are higher on MANY items that we are glad we shipped (holy stromboli! don't buy hiking gear here -- at least not where we have window-shopped so far!)....BUT, prices and selection on day to day items like food & produce and -- well, things you eat and consume as long as you eat and consume like a local. If you want a taste from home, it will be shipped in and you pay that premium. So far, I've enjoyed all the new foods and products better than what I shopped for at home. Countdown rocks...(including for cheapest wine I've found so far); The Warehouse in KeriKeri is fantastic for cheap household things; The roadside produce stands are dirt cheap and deeeeeelicious. It's cute, many are "honor system" -- you take the fruit or veggies (or hot chilli peppers!!) and leave the coins in a box/slot.

    7. Internet & Phone: Ended up with Vodafone home wireless & mobile wireless hotspot - $200.00 for the 3 equipment/ $40 per month for home phone & 2GB internet (a promo taking it to 4GB right now). It's unlimited national calling land lines & for international caps you at $5.00 max per call up to 2 hours...hang up just before 2 hours and you can start all over again if you need to call again. For mobile phones we have a $39.95 / mo plan "Texter 60" that might end up being overkill, we'll see, but the Free phones are much nicer than the freebies in the States. Have a touch screen Android-ey thing that I'm still learning to drive...

    8. Miscellaneous: Stamps for a letter from NZ to US $2.40....Sky Satellite TV is awesome and I can still see my favorite shows (Criminal Minds, CSI, The various cooking shows and Travel channel). I love the show "Heartland NZ". We're hosting a Superbowl party (and we hate US football, but ...what the heck, an excuse to party); Sky comes with a Tevo type thing but never used that function so not sure how it works (records shows); ...We have Catchment water and both our tanks are full after this last rain, so won't likely need water but we have emergency tap hooked to City water should we ever need it (last summer was drought); ....If you want to take stuff to the dump, you pay to drop off refuse but recycle items are no charge to drop off. It makes you think hard about what to throw away!!!

    9. Lastly...the people: We have found everyone to be so warm and welcoming and interesting to spend time with! You'll meet someone & they'll say, "stop in for tea later" -- next thing you know (like what happened today), "we're taking the boat out on Friday,...want to come diving with us?"....or "driving up to Matai Bay, why don't we carpool." People exchange veggies from their gardens (one has tomatoes, the other has the avocadoes)...it's such a community here & we really didn't have that in Phoenix. I don't completely assign this community feel to a "Kiwi" thing because most small towns have a similar network, but I sure do love it!!!

    OH -- and the views -- like, everywhere are phenomenal...

    Hope this is helpful to someone out there!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    NZ to US to NZ. Opua
    Posts
    1,470

    Default

    What a great post! Thanks for all the information. Hopefully, it won't be long before we can carpool to Kerikeri! It sounds like you're loving it.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Northland, New Zealand
    Posts
    144

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dell View Post
    What a great post! Thanks for all the information. Hopefully, it won't be long before we can carpool to Kerikeri! It sounds like you're loving it.

    Sending good house sale vibes your way, Dell!!!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Cornwall-WLG NZ-Cornwall-Auckl
    Posts
    943

    Default

    great post just need to change your location now!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    NoMansLand
    Posts
    226

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    I am glad that all is fine four you and the dogs. I'm about to begin my separation anxiety from my golden..it will last more than 6 moths..

    I think you can change your location now.
    Thank you for sharing.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Celaya, Mexico
    Posts
    368

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    By the way, we shipped boxes of "stock the house" stuff since that's an expense you outlay 3mos prior to arrival (if you ship your stuff before you land) and when you arrive, since you're bleeding money, it was nice not to have the additional expense of stocking up the canned goods and bathroom supplies, etc. !/QUOTE]
    What a fantastic post!
    Out of interest, how did you "ship" the stuff before hand? (US post?)
    Did you get charged duty on the stuff you shipped beforehand? (If not, what was the approximate $ value if you don't mind me asking?)
    The foodstuffs were just cans or did you ship sealed spices etc?

    Thanks

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Ōtepoti, Aotearoa
    Posts
    2,736

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    Congrats!!

    (Now you might also thin about changing your location )

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    36,513

    Default

    Lovely post - aren't you doing well? Long may it continue.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Northland, New Zealand
    Posts
    144

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shones View Post
    By the way, we shipped boxes of "stock the house" stuff since that's an expense you outlay 3mos prior to arrival (if you ship your stuff before you land) and when you arrive, since you're bleeding money, it was nice not to have the additional expense of stocking up the canned goods and bathroom supplies, etc. !/QUOTE]
    What a fantastic post!
    Out of interest, how did you "ship" the stuff before hand? (US post?)
    Did you get charged duty on the stuff you shipped beforehand? (If not, what was the approximate $ value if you don't mind me asking?)
    The foodstuffs were just cans or did you ship sealed spices etc?

    Thanks
    To everyone...yes! I should change my location now!! Good point!! LOL!..i'll do it in a few moments....

    To Shones, to answer your question, we shipped EVERYthing in the container (that shipped in October)...then we flew over in January when the container arrived and all the "stuff" mentioned was in that container. We did not get charged anything on the stuff b/c my OH is a NZ citizen & I have a 2Yr Visa (you WILL get charged if you have a Visa less than 12mos as I understand it, but don't quote me on that...). The foodstuff included canned and jarred foods, sauces, a big package of spaghetti /pastas of all kinds (from Costco)...sealed/new jars of marinara...a sealed/new jar of peanut butter (hee hee)...2 big bags of Coffee Beans that we declared and they determined no issue....a whole box of spices and the spices were a mix of new jars and already half empty ones that just had the lid screwed on. All ground spices -- just no seeds.

    does that answer your questions? Good luck to you!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Northland, New Zealand
    Posts
    144

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    Quote Originally Posted by anthony View Post
    I am glad that all is fine four you and the dogs. I'm about to begin my separation anxiety from my golden..it will last more than 6 moths..
    6 months...!!! argh!!!..I can't imagine! .... but he/she will be sooo happy to see you then!

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