Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 14

Thread: 2 Years in Christchurch

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Wellington, NZ
    Posts
    166

    Default 2 Years in Christchurch

    My wife and I first arrived in NZ back in October 2007 on a WHV. We spent 3 fantastic months touring the country and it was a toss up between settling in Wellington and Christchurch for the next 9 months. We had family in Christchurch and we enjoyed the scenery of the South Island over the North - not by much but there were more positives to make us spend the remainder of our time in Christchurch.

    We had some difficulty finding work and mostly picked up short-term stints through agencies. I think this was largely due to our being on a WHV and not having knowledge or experience of networking and knowing the right contacts but we made enough to pay rent, buy shopping and enjoy ourselves for the most part. Aside from these negatives, we made some great friends, travelled around the South Island and enjoyed our time - enough for us to apply for residency.

    Unfortunately our time ran out whislt we were in the pool and we decided to check out Australia so we got a WHV and spent the next 6 months in Sydney. I loved living and working there and the weather was fantastic but neither of us could see us wanting to live there as we would never be able to afford the house and lifestyle we wanted.

    During this time we ran over the timeframe for our EOI without getting any further so we visited Melbourne and toured around Tasmania before heading back to Northern Ireland. It was quite a gutting experience after spending 18 months away and of course, your friends have largely moved on despite initial delight at your return and we always wanted to get back to NZ.

    Cue montage music, 18 months of a relatively glum existence being back in NI, another EOI and finally we were chosen for a 9 month WTR Visa. We decided to go for it and if we only got to spend 9 months back in NZ, so be it.

    Shortly before we left, Christchurch had a 7.1 earthquake and we arrived a few weeks after this. Largely there was minimal damage to buildings and of course miraculously no one had died so there was no fear coming back to Christchurch because for the most part everyone thought this big one would be last for another 100 years or so.

    This time around with a good network of friends and family and some good experience from work back in the UK, I was offered a permanent position in a company I still work for and love. It is the best job I have ever had and my colleagues are fantastic. However, we were not sure it was enough to warrant PR and to be brutally honest, our Case Officer was terrible and was not forthcoming with any further information.

    Cue 3 months later and on 22nd February Christchurch had a devastating earthquake. We were lucky enough not to work in the CBD and in a 2nd storey building so escaped a lot of the trauma. However, my wife was working across town and it was a while before we made contact and breathed a sigh of relief that our friends and family were safe. I'll not say any more as it's been talked about so much elsewhere.

    After a month or so we had heard that people in Christchurch on Visas were getting extenstions and so we updated our Case Officer on what jobs we were working at and asked for an extenstion, not really sure if it was possible. She informed us that my job and time worked in it was sufficient to get PR. We were ecstatic and also frustrated that we did not know this information from our Case Officer but did not question the outcome.

    Cue final montage and we've been in Christchurch for just over 2 years now and seen Christchurch at it's best, worst, on it's knees and reaching for greatness with the new Blue Print. I have not met anyone who doesn't think the plan for the city is fantastic and I am genuinely excited about where the city is going over the next few years with the rebuild underway.

    My wife and I have just bought a house after much wrangling with insurance to get full replacement cover and are settling in nicely. We have a huge back garden and I have big plans to put in raised beds and grow vegetables and have our friends over for BBQs. We have made so many great friends over the last few years, our new neighbours are delightful and we have no thoughts or desire to return to NI for at least a few years now that Christchurch and NZ is our home. We love it here.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Epsom-Auckland
    Posts
    115

    Default

    wow
    congrats to you Twunky
    wonderful post it gives us much courage to have our new lifes start in NZ got residance visa flying by January 2013 .

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    35,989

    Default

    Thanks, and all the best to you both.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Christchurch
    Posts
    250

    Default

    Great post Twunky, we are coming up on 6 years and been through all the shakes.
    There is something about this place that makes you want to stay.
    Cheers

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

    Default

    Well done Twunky and congrats...it is true you just want to stay here.

    Like you we have recently bought through the insurance nightmare, but just love it.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Blenheim
    Posts
    1,545

    Default

    What a journey! Congratulations on your 2 years and all the best for the future!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    uk
    Posts
    202

    Default

    What a great story! Best wishes for the future

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Pilipinas->Auckland NZ
    Posts
    299

    Default


  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    58

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Twunky View Post
    We have a huge back garden and I have big plans to put in raised beds and grow vegetables and have our friends over for BBQs. We have made so many great friends over the last few years, our new neighbours are delightful and we have no thoughts or desire to return to NI for at least a few years now that Christchurch and NZ is our home. We love it here.
    That sounds absolutely fab. What are you planning to grow in christchurch? Anything unusual?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Wellington, NZ
    Posts
    166

    Default

    Thanks everyone!

    Christchurch has a lot of heart and all the services are still here and flourishing in the suburbs - just not the CBD - yet!

    For anyone thinking about making the move, the city is just ideally situated half way down the south island and you're only an hour to great beaches, wineries, lakes etc etc and a few hours to other fantastic places. I'd never have thought about driving 5 hours somewhere on a long weekend in the UK/Ireland but it's not a problem here and is a pleasurable experience on the open roads.

    We try and plan a getaway around once a month and have already booked New Years in Mapua, the Blenheim Wine Festival in February and my wifes parents are planning a visit in March so we'll take off south to Queenstown, Dunedin, Milford Sound etc etc
    It's great having something to look forward to and re/visiting locations old and new.

    As far as growing vegetables James, everything seasonal. My brother is a vegetarian with his own vegetable beds so I will be inviting him over for some advice and put him to work!

    Mamee, I was reading with great interest about your house purchase and the major issues you had with insurance. If we couldn't have got full replacement insurance, I think we would have started seriously considering leaving Christchurch had it been a ongoing concern but it worked out in the end and fingers crossed, this insurance business is going to become a little easier for new purchasers.

    If anyone has any questions about Christchurch, I'd be happy to answer as honestly and openly as I can, from my experience.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •