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Thread: Cost of Living in New Zealand - what's the real deal?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
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    Default Cost of Living in New Zealand - what's the real deal?

    Hi All,

    I'm new here and currently in the initial stages of my application as a skilled migrant. Same as everyone else, started doing my research (and eventually found this forum). I have read this article:
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post...s-return-to-NZ and now have doubts with regards to how high exactly cost of living could get?
    Is it really that high? I tried looking at house/rent prices at Auckland suburb and it seems a tad bit pricey. Was it always like this? The reason why I'm looking at Auckland is given my field ( IT ),
    Auckland will be the place where I can get a job.

    Thanks for your insight.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    35,958

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    One thing that immediately strikes me about this lady's shopping, as she describes it, is that she's making the classic immigrant mistake of trying to buy exactly what she would have bought where she came from. It's perfectly possible to eat well in Auckland, not paying the earth, but you need to eat what is available, and in season, or on special offers that week, and learn from the locals where the good/cheap suppliers are.

    I do wonder why 'ordinary' cheese is so expensive in NZ, though. I guess there isn't a big variety locally made because not enough people are asking for it, and obviously, if you buy imported, you're sharing the transport costs with the very few people who feel the same way you do.

    About the article - don't forget, she's a journalist who's sold a think-piece. She's got to have an angle. It wouldn't interest anybody to read, 'I moved back here and didn't have any problems.' Everyone in that situation is going to have adjustments to make, but she's bound to have played them up.

    Practically speaking, there are old threads on here where people talk about costs. Your own interests and priorities will make a difference to how tough things seem to you. Whereabouts have you been thinking about living?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
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    Auckland is an expensive place to live compared to our home town in south east of the UK. I recently found our monthly budget from the last time we lived here back in 2008. I compared that to what we spend now and the biggest increase is food. I would suggest its gone up by about 30% in those 4 years. Rent was the next biggest increase by about 20%.

  4. #4
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    Jun 2008
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    S'pore-2-AKL again
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    If you are in the initial stages of your application, then you still have a long way to go and will have enough time to save up for migrating to NZ if your application is successful. Cost of living can be high but it also highly depends on how you live and your budget for expenditure in relation to your income of course. If you live simply, don't spend too much on expensive unnecessary entertainment, luxuries and meals, then you would have a decent living standard. Food here is fresh, good and seasonal so it can be quite cheap/reasonable. Rents in Auckland are higher than most parts of the country but it is the price you pay for living in the business centre of NZ and if you do land a position in IT the salary should be more than reasonable to pay for a decent life in Auckland.

    I am Singaporean myself with all the benefits and privileges that come from being a citizen of the country but I much rather prefer to be in NZ and have made plans to return again in a few years. Given your tagname you are a Filipino (I am guessing) so I am wondering if you are comparing Singapore to NZ, and would you rather prefer to be earning and living in Singapore, or in NZ. You have to make the decision and compare the difference in standards and cost of living in both countries. If you find that life in Singapore is harder, by all means try to migrate. If life in Singapore is better, then stay. You can only truly find out by experiencing it for yourself.

  5. #5
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    Singapore
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    Hi JandM ,

    Thanks for your insight, i did more digging and all and it seems its not that bad. The initial impression I had was it was cheaper (housing wise) given where I'm now (Singapore) but I guess that is if you won't be staying near the city area.

    Cheers!

    Quote Originally Posted by JandM View Post
    One thing that immediately strikes me about this lady's shopping, as she describes it, is that she's making the classic immigrant mistake of trying to buy exactly what she would have bought where she came from. It's perfectly possible to eat well in Auckland, not paying the earth, but you need to eat what is available, and in season, or on special offers that week, and learn from the locals where the good/cheap suppliers are.

    I do wonder why 'ordinary' cheese is so expensive in NZ, though. I guess there isn't a big variety locally made because not enough people are asking for it, and obviously, if you buy imported, you're sharing the transport costs with the very few people who feel the same way you do.

    About the article - don't forget, she's a journalist who's sold a think-piece. She's got to have an angle. It wouldn't interest anybody to read, 'I moved back here and didn't have any problems.' Everyone in that situation is going to have adjustments to make, but she's bound to have played them up.

    Practically speaking, there are old threads on here where people talk about costs. Your own interests and priorities will make a difference to how tough things seem to you. Whereabouts have you been thinking about living?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Singapore
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    Hi batgirl,

    Yes, I'm a Filipino, Singapore PR for 6yrs been in Singapore for almost 10 yrs now with wife and kids. I love Singapore. Safe, peaceful, efficient, clean and with law respecting/abiding citizens. Although it's getting a bit too overcrowded and I don't know what will be the governments plan further down the road. I think if someone loves city living, then Singapore is a nice place to live in imo.

    We are still weighing options so yes I have compared it to cost of living here in Singapore. Thanks a lot for your insight!


    Quote Originally Posted by batgirl1001 View Post
    I am Singaporean myself with all the benefits and privileges that come from being a citizen of the country but I much rather prefer to be in NZ and have made plans to return again in a few years. Given your tagname you are a Filipino (I am guessing) so I am wondering if you are comparing Singapore to NZ, and would you rather prefer to be earning and living in Singapore, or in NZ. You have to make the decision and compare the difference in standards and cost of living in both countries. If you find that life in Singapore is harder, by all means try to migrate. If life in Singapore is better, then stay. You can only truly find out by experiencing it for yourself.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
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    Wellington, New Zealand
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    I've been here since October and I can't work out whether it's more or less expensive than London. We pay a little less in rent and have a 3 bed house with a balcony and a lovely view as opposed to a 1 bed flat. In terms of groceries certain things are more expensive, but others are cheaper. I tend to see what veges are in season/cheap and buy that rather than sticking slavishly to combinations I would have brought in the UK, where things tend to be the same or a similar price all year round because of the larger volumes imported. Dairy is more expensive, but not as expensive as the article suggests. We buy a large block of normal decent quality cheese (for sandwiches etc) when it's on offer and it isn't necessarily that much more than in the UK. Fish seems pricey to me, but then again it did in the UK and if you buy when things are on offer it's fine. We don't eat meat so I can't comment on that, but tofu is cheaper and there's so much more choice. Some toiletries do seem to be more - shampoo and conditioner and skin care products are a bit more, but things like toothpaste, deodorant, shower gel are about the same.

    I tend to find, across the board, that if I buy on offer or in season it's mostly as cheap or cheaper than in UK. JandM hit the nail on the head - you need to be flexible and eat/buy like kiwi's do. If you try and live in exactly the same way as you did in your previous country it will be expensive and inconvenient. If you adapt you'll be fine. I've actually really enjoyed eating different things and it's expanded my cooking repertoire!

  8. #8
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    Jun 2011
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    San Francisco to Auckland
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    First rule of thumb don't believe everything you read. Do your research and get others opinions like you are on this site. This journalist is trying to sell newspapers. For our family certain food items are more expensive. Limes are crazy expensive, so we only buy them when they are on sale or use lime juice. We love Mexican food and guacamole and you need limes to make it authentic and taste yummy. So we compromise sometimes. It works for us. Good luck.

  9. #9
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    Feb 2008
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    Lauralocks, about fish being pricey, where are you buying it? There are various markets right on a shoreline, for instance http://www.afm.co.nz/contact.php, which my son pointed out to me. And if you ask around, very often neighbours or colleagues go fishing and will be willing to cut you in on the catch for VERY little. Delicious...

  10. #10
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    Jan 2012
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    Wellington, New Zealand
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    Thanks, I'll investigate properly! I've only really looked in the supermarket to be honest. A colleague recommended a good fishmonger in Wellington CBD which I'm going to check out. I also may see what the fish is like at the Harbourside Market when I'm down there at the weekend too.

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