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Thread: Pros and cons for a young family in NZ

  1. #11
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    Feb 2011
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    northland, nz
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    We moved to NZ from the UK, as you say it's not straight forward visiting family and food is bit more expensive ... but not too much.

    Education is good. My son is 6 and he is expected to put more effort into his school day than in the UK. His reading and writing have improved 10 fold since we arrived 5 months ago, teaching in the old faashioned 3 R's does seem to be more rigorous here. My husband is a High School teacher and has commented many times on the high levels of respect shown by pupils and their good behaviour - much better than in the UK.

    Overall, we came for the lifestyle. Beaches all very close, lots of things to do that do not anything. Kiwi's are on the whole far less uptight than the English, very friendly - albeit very bemused as to why so many people want to move to NZ. We have been shown so much kindness by local people, it would never happen in the UK.

    Tell them to ship their entire house contents over, make sure they have good water proof coats and they will love it

  2. #12
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    Nov 2010
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    NZ to US to NZ. Opua
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    Thanks for your replies! It's hard for me to see NZ from your perspective as I don't have little kids and don't have to worry about things like schools, etc...and the NZ schools that I knew are LONG gone!

  3. #13
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    Nov 2010
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    Quote Originally Posted by kiwihusker View Post
    Dell, we live in CA and the reason we want to leave is that it is such a rat race here. WE are tired of working all the time, and spending the money to send our boys to private school, because our school district isn't good. We too want to let our kids be kids for longer, and hopefully spend some quality time with their Papa and Nana.

    As for furniture, if they decide to ship a container over, they can buy their furniture ahead of time at IKEA or wherever else they choose. Or we have found some great deals for furniture, cars etc. on Trademe.co.nz. So, I think there are reasonable deals out there if you spend the time looking.

    I am definitely not concerned about the colder houses, but that can be an issue. We live outside of SF, CA and we don't have central heat and our house is drafty and always cold. It was built in 1925 so I can't expect much. But we just bundle up and put on a fire in the wintertime etc. We also bought oil column heaters for our bedrooms, which helps a ton. And they can always buy heat pumps, we have looked up those and they aren't that expensive at all.

    And there is always skype for keeping in touch with family and friends if flights are too expensive.
    Good luck.
    Funny - my daughter in law loves the 60's furniture - she'd love the furniture you see in every NZ motel! And like you, they live in an old house without central heating. They use a gas stove (looks like a wood stove) and the oil-filled radiators that you see all over NZ so this won't be much of an adjustment for them. We live in Northern Arizona so it does get pretty cold here.

    If (and this is a big 'if') it turns out that they move to NZ - and IF the timing is right, we could share a container.

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
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    Arizona, USA ---> Christchurch
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    I'd add the mandatory 4 weeks holiday per year you get in New Zealand to the 'pros' list. I didn't know anyone in the US who had 4 weeks' holiday per year. That counts for something in my book!

  5. #15
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    Jun 2008
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    UK to USA to Waikato, NZ
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adventurefamily View Post
    Hi Dell,
    We are still in the US - in the process of coming (hopefully) to NZ. We have 2 kids -12 and 9.
    Let me add some of the reasons( in no particular order) we are choosing to leave the US...
    1.Safety/Gun control - Middle school shooting next town over from us - one 13 yr old shot another - not fatefully thank goodness. We are in the Midwest - not your stereotypical big crime ridden city. There will never be real gun control in this country. "Unconstitutional" and the NRA are way too powerful.
    2. Health Care - Huge deal in our minds. Regardless of insurance or not - it is the #1 cause of bankruptcy in the US!! disgusting in my humble opinion. Again personal opinion but Health Insurance companies and the large pharmaceutical companies have way too much power - health insurance for all doesn't stand a chance.
    3. Economy - land of the rich getting richer, bigger divide between the have's and the have not's. Greed and convenience in spite of the common good/environment.
    Feel like we are riding the "Financial Titanic".
    4. Education - huge cutbacks, falling standards - have your family check out the international countries rankings - pretty sad. OH is secondary school science teacher so we have frontline experience with this. Families with money will send kids to private schools, state schools being gutted. Again the divide. Lots of kids will be falling through the gaps - so what does that do to the communities we live in?
    5. Politics - need I say anything?
    6. We think NZ offers kids the chance to be kids for longer, less commercialization, less brand awareness, more outdoors time, better quality of life and appreciation of what life is about - quality of life, family time. Rather than collecting "stuff".
    7. Its Beautiful!! Mountains, beaches, less extreme climates. EQ excluded
    8. Litigation! - love the Accident insurance thing! over here - just Sue if you get hurt! regardless of whether its your fault or not!
    9. No Palin - Ok had to throw 1 little political thing in - sorry!
    Anyway Dell - just my thoughts - all my own opinion - I am quite sure there may be some disagreement on some of my comments. Trouble is - America is so vast, that all experiences are not going to be exactly the same but some of my points I would argue for the country as a whole.
    Good luck persuading your son I know how tough a decision it is for them, but our children's future is truly what is driving us. (Plus the mountains for ski-ing!!)

    I totally agree! The NOVA area is fast, materialistic and fake. Everyone is in to their cars, Mc Mansions etc. I have to say the school system here is very good but the rest you can have. I work in the ER as a nurse and am tired of the messed up health care system that forces people to use the ER as their primary care and the entitiled attitude of some people+ litigation issue.

    We are moving as I do not want to bring my kids up over here. I am looking for a safer, slower, less materialistic way of life. We have only visited (moving in August) but the kids loved it!

  6. #16
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    Oct 2005
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    Quote Originally Posted by lindreth View Post
    I'd add the mandatory 4 weeks holiday per year you get in New Zealand to the 'pros' list. I didn't know anyone in the US who had 4 weeks' holiday per year. That counts for something in my book!
    4 weeks of leave and public holidays on top of that. Yeah that is sort of a big one in my book too.

    Most people are lucky to get half of that in the US.

  7. #17
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    Apr 2011
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    USA
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    If they are looking for better education and quality of life, they aren't likely to find it in California, especially not in L.A. We live in live in northern CA - have to agree with kiwihusker about the quality of life here.

    I have lived in the Los Angeles area and wouldn't recommend it to anyone, let alone people with kids. It's smoggy, ugly and expensive...and that's not even accounting for the hellish traffic and self-absorbed people.

  8. #18
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    Jun 2010
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    Ōtepoti, Aotearoa
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    Quote Originally Posted by TJH View Post
    4 weeks of leave and public holidays on top of that. Yeah that is sort of a big one in my book too.
    Opposite for me; I had up to 6 six weeks annual leave in Central Europe; plus public holidays.

  9. #19
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    Nov 2009
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    I have come to NZ from the UK with a young baby. all the things people have talked about are true - but I would add don't forget that if you really want to get away from commercialisation, self absorption etc. then you also will leave behind fashion, fast moving culture that stems from neuroticism, global political analysis on the news. As a Londoner I really miss it but then that's me.

    My point is that whilst your family may want to get away from the perceived ills of the US, if they are metropolitan, urban types they should be prepared to leave some of the more positive aspects of that life behind too.

    It is truly good for kids here though.

  10. #20
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    Nov 2009
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    I should also add that UoA is a perfectly excellent University and particularly in certain areas.

    If a university which has been in the world top 50 is not good enough then I would argue that they don't really want to get away from the competitive go getting US at all!

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