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Thread: One year in NZ- My Story

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    India > Auckland
    Posts
    393

    Default One year in NZ- My Story

    We completed a year in NZ recently, and thought sharing my experiences would provide an idea of things to folks who are thinking of coming to NZ for work or living. So here we go-

    Background

    We are a family of three with a small kid, from India. I work in IT with a Big4 Consulting Firm. Wife is a homemaker and kid has just started kindy.

    NZ was not on our radar 2 years back. For me, it was just a tourist destination where LOTR was shot. In fact, I was never serious about living outside of my home country. But I was always hungry for new experiences and to work in a multi-cultural environment. So, around mid of 2011, this opportunity to work in NZ office presented itself and they were looking for somebody of my skillset. I thought "why not!" and went for it. I, basically, took it as a personal and professional challenge.

    Next 6 months or so were spent in researching about NZ, arranging Visa and co-ordinating with NZ office. We applied for 'WTR- Accredited Employer' visa and it took around a month for it to get processed. Things were delayed a bit due to Christmas/New Year shutdown of Embassy. Next we knew, our stuff was getting wrapped by Movers and we were on Bangalore-KL-Auckland flight.

    Arriving in NZ

    We arrived at Auckland IA on 1/2/12 and it was almost 2 AM by the time we reached our service apartment. Next two days were a daze, as we recovered from severe jet lag. After somehow managing to keep our eyes open, we accompanied our Relocators for rental search. This is when the fun started! As per my 'research' good rentals should have been available at $350-ish/pw, but in that range we did not like what we saw. Maybe photos on TradeMe were deceiving!
    So, finally, after extending our temporary stay by 3-4 days and budget above $400/pw, we settled on a nice apartment near to CBD. We are still in that apartment, and do not plan to change.

    Early Days

    I was used to visiting other countries, mainly EU and UK, but it was a first experience for my Wife. She was thrilled by the beauty of the place, cool weather and system which simply works. This was very different from our experience in India. Kid was too small to notice any difference but we felt it was a good place for children.

    It took us some weeks to know how things work here, from shopping for groceries (which supermarket? why prices are different everywhere!!? which brand to buy? why milk is so expensive? and million other questions) to traffic rules (navigating roundabouts was a major headache!). But things were fast settling down and my prior homework/research helped a lot. I think within a month, we were confident that we were buying our stuff from the best places (read most economical). By that time, cold weather had started and it was our first winter here.

    Things were smooth in office, except may be pace of work (too relaxed/slow) and Kiwi accent, which took some time to get used to.

    Winter

    For us, winter was when temperature dropped below 20 degree. So in NZ it started sometime in March and lasted up to end of October. Some days I felt as if I am in an ice box, in spite of layers of clothing. Insulation in house was good, and we survived the months on a 7-fin heater. It was just that outside was really cold for us!

    Prices of veggies skyrocketed,it was dark when I left for office and dark again when I came out....in short, depressing!

    But by the end of August, we were used to it and eagerly waited for summer or at least temperature to rise again.

    End of year

    End of year was spent on India vacation, and we missed the Christmas and New Year festivities here. May be this year we will get to witness it. By this time we had a small circle of new friends, most from Indian community and few from other nationalities including Chinese and Kiwi.

    Looking ahead

    My contract is of two years and there is a good chance it will get extended. If that happens, we will seek PR and hopefully, by that time we would have decided if we want to stay longer/permanently/move back to India or some other country.


    Overall, a positive experience and lots of new experiences for the entire family. NZ rocks in terms of clean environment,natural beauty and transparent system. But cost of living is high and career-wise, not a great place.

    Thanks for reading this long post and welcome all inputs!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Lincoln, UK to Rotorua, NZ
    Posts
    492

    Default

    Great reading, congratulations on your 1st Kiwi birthday

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Wellington
    Posts
    894

    Default

    Nice update Otaku - great to hear that your family are settling in well and you are enjoying your new experience.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Takapuna
    Posts
    464

    Default

    If you think below 20 is cold, it's a good thing you didn't get a contract in Edmonton!

    Nice summary... Agree with you on $350/pw rentals!!!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    36,294

    Default



    And oh, yes, you can't unreservedly believe estate agent/TradeMe photos - they can be cunningly angled to leave out any closely neighbouring sewage-treatment plant, main road, tower block, etc., and often will!

    (That said, it's amazing how many go to the other extreme, and the people haven't even made the bed, or tidied away the dog's breakfast leavings, before taking interior shots. I seem to remember we had a thread with some links to choice examples a while ago.)

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    UK to Christchurch
    Posts
    497

    Default

    Congratulations on your 1 year anniversary.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Auckland
    Posts
    172

    Default

    Congrats on your first aniversary and interesting reading

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    IND-AUS-NZ-AUS
    Posts
    536

    Default

    Good to know that you have completed one year in NZ.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    India > Auckland
    Posts
    393

    Default

    Thanks to all for their kind wishes!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    San Francisco to Auckland
    Posts
    626

    Default

    Great summary of your experience. Glad it is going so well for you. Cheers.

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