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Thread: 1 year in

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    Manchester > Now Tauranga
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    4,393

    Default 1 year in

    Only 3 months since the 9 month post http://www.enz.org/forum/showthread.php?t=32996

    So first off, sorry, but this is going to be a fairly upbeat post. NZ (and TGA) is working out OK for me/us. So if you want a tale of damp homes, tall poppies and the fruitless quest for stylish footwear, then this isn't the post for you.

    Brief recap - I flew out to a job I'd got lined up beforehand, and my OH stayed in the UK until the house sold and arrived in January this year. That was tough for a number of reasons, but we saw it as a stepping stone for our move over here.

    Well lets start with work. Clearly every office/company is different, and so my work life isn't going to be the same as others. But this is a me me me post, so what I can say is that it's interesting, challenging, and mostly really really busy. In many ways it's the same as my UK company around 2000 when the economy was booming. Will this continue over here? How will work change when it's not booming? Who knows, but for now then work over here is really good. That's a positive for me. Salaries seem to be a big concern/point of interest for people thinking of making the move. I'll admit that life over here has been made easier by both of us being on good salaries. Both equivalent to the exchange rate in the UK.

    And on that subject then the OH had a couple of offers for fixed term contract over here before she came, and she's just heard that she's being made permanent. Her role means that she needs to travel up to Akl quite frequently, and may mean more travel elsewhere, including Aus later in the year so that's not too different to the UK (trips to London and elsewhere). And really it doens't make that much differenc which city the hotel is in, it's still a hotel that you're staying in for work.

    Housing. We've rented a really nice place. We were very lucky. The rental process was a really painful thing for us, having to fill in loads of detailed sheets for no reason to beg agents to show us places at their convenience. I know this is going to sound stunningly pompous, but if I'm paying for a service then I want it to be to make my life easier. We were looking at places at the top of the rental market round here, and not at $150pw. Clearly they were going to be rented to people with jobs, and jobs that pay well. So there is a gap in the market for an agency to provide a service to cater for people with more disposable income than time when it comes to finding places. But we're in now, so hopefully the landlord won't want to sell in the near future as I can't face going through the rental (or removals) again for a long time.

    Play. I got the chance to cycle round the East cape at xmas and was suprised, stunned and scared in varying proportions. Not sure if it's a trip I'd do again in the same way, but was an amazing and memorable xmas. Not sure if I'll ever get used to xmas in the middle of summer with fake snow, but there you go. I love that it's expected that people will do leisure activities before/after and even during work time. That even on a weekend most people are up and out at 7am to go running, swimming, sailing, fishing, kayaking, cycling, etc etc etc.

    Shopping. I wasn't a brand fiend in the uk, and shopping was normally for essentials. But I'm struggling with getting some things fixed. My bike that was damaged in the move was a real pain. My wedding ring could do with re-sizing and there isn't a Niessing dealer in NZ (or even OZ). Trying to find a new mobile phone is depressing beyond words after I drowned the one I bought in the UK to bring with me. And the food mixer (see later) I'm after is $1700 here instead of 390 in the UK. About the worst I've seen for here/vs there comparisons. And as odd as this sounds I never want to see / hear about another sale in my whole life. Especially the non sales that seem to be everywhere all the time. So if any of them did have a genuine sale I'd never know.

    People. More mixing. Possibly this is where the Tall Poppy is more visible IMHO. No-one cares if you work on the refuse collection or are a lawyer. But bragging about stuff from the outset will not speed your integration.

    Family. Was hard being on my own at Xmas. But other than that, skype has been good. Some stress with teaching parents how to use skype/email, but we're managing. Buying a decent webcam is essential, trying to save case on a cheap ne is a false economy. Spend 70 / $150 on a good one and it will make life easier and more enjoyable all round. Later this year will be our first test as the OH's Brother in Law is getting married. But we'll get a webcam set up in the room, and be up at daft o'clock to be part of it anyway.

    Random observations.
    Sun. Sun block is provided by work for site visits, and when you go to events then there are frequntly pumps set up around the place in the same way as there are bins. Very odd, but good to see, and essential over here.
    Lunches. I miss M&S sarnies. Even sainsbury/Tesco Metro.
    Time. Where does it go? We're so much busier on a weekend / night over here than we were in the UK. And it's not sight seeing. It's social, sport, fun stuff.
    Salt. Any prepared foods taste really salty to me.
    Sugar. I thought I sued to have a sweet tooth, but even I struggle with the caramel / ginger slices in most bakeries.
    Home baking. Very popular over here, and I'm enjoying my baking.
    Adverts - all tv/radio adverts seem to have to sing the company name. Except heat pumps, where they need to have some sportsman lounging around being warm. Or Dr No strangling a cat in front of the heater. I'v enot got my head around either the sportsman or Dr No thing yet.


    So in summary, for now then I can't believe a year has gone by. But so far for me, and us I think if I can speak for 'er as well, then a good choice. And I look forward to the next year and beyond.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
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    IND-AUS-NZ-AUS
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    Default

    Great summary , We are here for now almost 3 months and we have very similar experience.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    North Canterbury to UK
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    2,755

    Default

    Nice one Duncan

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Dunedin, NZ
    Posts
    19

    Default

    Nice read Duncan. I've only been here 4 1/2 months but so much rings true. Infact, Dan Carter is floating across my tv screen as I type.
    I'm also glad that I'm no longer a sports freak because I like to cycle sometimes or go for an occasional run. I want a new mobie 'cos the cheapo one I bought in desperation when I arrived is soooo awful, but can't bear to pay many hundred dollars for a decent one ... and then have to pay a massive contract bill as well. And as for slices, they look so good, but blimey, you can feel your teeth melting as you eat them. Haven't figured out if genuine Kiwis actually prefer them like that.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Manchester > Now Tauranga
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    My OH genuinely can't eat the slices as it effects her vision for about 3 hours after eating one. 100% true.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Ōtepoti, Aotearoa
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    Default

    Good read! Enjoy the next year(s)!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Auckland NZ
    Posts
    55

    Default

    Thanks for the honest observations which I'm sure ring true for many of us new migrants!!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    uk
    Posts
    13

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    Excellent insight for those of us who are still in the planning stages of our move, ironically when we get there my husband and his nephew will be running a mobile phone shop, any requirements you guys have? I don't know a lot about what he is planning but I know you are paying a fortune for the same as we pay peanuts for over here. Any suggestions really appreciated.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Manchester > Now Tauranga
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    Default

    The problem over here is partly due to the networks - different frequencies, and so XT phones cost more as they aren't the same as used in most of the world, and that in turn means that vodaphone can push up their prices for handsets and of course then the independants can charge jsut a bit less than Vodophone / XT - why would they be competitive with Uk prices....

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    36,002

    Default

    Thanks, Duncan - interesting update.

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