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Thread: Moving from Toronto, Canada

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
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    Canada
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    Default Moving from Toronto, Canada

    Hi, I want to thank you for taking the time to share your experiences. My wife and I are looking to relocate from Toronto, Canada where I have lived all my life. My wife is from Hamilton NZ and was working as a nurse before she left. There are three things I dont seem to get a good answer on.

    1. Weather Im looking to leave Toronto because of the winters. I hear the same of the winter over there but that seems to be a problem only in the south island. Is the north manageable?

    2. Jobs It seems as though its really hard to find a job unless you are there on the ground. I work in IT sales and do see quite a few of the big companies there like Yahoo, Expedia. Is the job market reasonable and what do you think is a reasonable salary I should be expecting.

    3. Good Family Income We have a baby and wanted to get an idea of what a middle class family income would be. No one seems to have a clue on that number. $120k NZ dollars to be comfortable?

    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    36,408

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    The weather. Scroll down on this page http://www.wunderground.com/weather-.../Hamilton.html till you see the 'History' square in the bottom left-hand corner. Click on the calendar page, and you can go back through the whole year and see what a whole range of aspects of the weather were like, every single day of the year. That way, you'll KNOW the objective facts, and you won't be relying on anyone's subjective view.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    New Zealand
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    9

    Default

    Hi. I wouldn't do that if I were you. First, if you're planning to move to Hamilton the weather at winter could be pretty harsh, especially with NZ houses quality. Most of them were built in 80th-90th and they are pretty cold and even humid. The other problem is to find a decent IT job if you're really qualified professional. Otherwise, I don't know nothing about IT sales but for developers you could find something for 45-65K per year building Wordpress websites or Magento stuff. Just look for offers on SEEK website to get the right idea. Or search for a job before you arrived here.
    Anyway, when you move, I assume you'd prefer to stay in Auckland, that's where all jobs are. If you have like NZD500K-1million to spend on a new house, you're welcome. Or if you can allow yourself to spend around NZD600-700 per week on decent rental property. Otherwise for NZD450-550 per week you'd get not the best house where you'll be suffering the whole winter until October, almost guaranteed. If you're planning to move to Auckland it's literally saturated by immigrants and the job market is not the best at the moment. What I've discovered from my friends' experience who came before me, it never was. I used to work in IT at management position until I moved here almost two years ago. What I'm getting now are mostly Front-End small scale job offers for some design agencies. Salaries are rarely cross the barrier of 90K per year, if you're really lucky. I doubt that from the start you'd get combined income more than 100K, again if you're lucky. It all depends on your level of knowledge and also if you're prepared for a local market. Which is pretty different from Canada or USA. The companies are smaller, most of them are start-ups and life cycle of any NZ IT company is rarely crossing the 3-5 years barrier, when they are normally getting sold to Australian or American software giants.
    Just my experience. And I wish you best of lucks.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Essex, UK
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    2,235

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    Quote Originally Posted by eugene3d View Post
    If you're planning to move to Auckland it's literally saturated by immigrants and the job market is not the best at the moment.
    "Literally saturated by immigrants"? What does that even mean? I'm all for realistic assessment of opportunities, but that sounds a bit harsh.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    Essex, UK
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    Quote Originally Posted by kparmar View Post
    Hi, I want to thank you for taking the time to share your experiences. My wife and I are looking to relocate from Toronto, Canada where I have lived all my life. My wife is from Hamilton NZ and was working as a nurse before she left. There are three things I don’t seem to get a good answer on.
    Weather: Surely your wife from Hamilton will be able to compare the two places the best where the weather is concerned?

    Jobs: yes, easier on the ground. I don't think anyone will be able to tell you what salary to expect as it very much depends on your personal circumstances.

    Good income: if you've searched a bit on the forum, you will find numerous threads with the same topic. The reason why there don't seem to be any good answers is possibly because there aren't any. There are so many variables that it will be almost impossible to judge what you will be comfortable on (rent or buy, location, etc)

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    New Zealand
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    Default

    It doesn't sound harsh, this is the reality. When you come to see the new house for rent, there's like 5-10 persons applying for this rent, and 90% of them are not kiwis. Don't go on me with this, I'm for a quite while here, and I know how this works. It won't be easy to him to get a job especially if he wants 120K per year. I would say in sales it's almost unreal. My friends here are mostly kiwis, and even for them it isn't that easy to get a decent job. For an immigrant even from English speaking country it would be challenging, unless he is a millionaire. Realistically, he will enjoy it first six month and then real life will get him "on the ground" and he will be running from one company to another looking for any more or less decent job. That what happens here. This is the country with 25% of returns, a highest rate amongst developed countries according to New Zealand Stats itself. And I would suggest to search not a "success stories" but rather failure stories which are much more frequent. I can consider myself lucky but I'm against telling people fairy tales. He might get lucky, but most probably he won't. Recently one of my friends, absolutely brilliant accountant had to return to UK because he was "unlucky" here. Immigration is harsh, and this is not a joke to move with the whole family and found yourself looking for a job for months.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    9

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    To get the idea on housing prices just go to Trade Me Properties or any other real estate agencies websites (Harcourts, Barefoot & Thompson etc). Look for the property which might suit you. Start search a job from there, register on the job websites and just look for the occupation that is yours, pay attention to salaries and the quantity of offers. Most popular are SEEK and Trade Me Jobs. Then you have employment agencies, quite a lot of them. Study Immigration Statistics, pay attention to the numbers and salary levels. Forums and message boards are not the best source of objective information. I found NZ Stats website extremely useful to get real numbers and real picture. New Zealand is beautiful but it's challenging and quite expensive, especially if you're planning to move from North America. Good luck.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Essex, UK
    Posts
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    Quote Originally Posted by eugene3d View Post
    Barefoot & Thompson .
    Barfoot. They have shoes.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    Quote Originally Posted by eugene3d View Post
    Don't go on me with this, I'm for a quite while here, and I know how this works. It won't be easy to him to get a job especially if he wants 120K per year.
    Well. As I said, I am all for being realistic, but found you turn of phrase rather unfortunate (and yes, harsh).

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    New Zealand
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    1

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    Hi kpamar,

    I'm from Toronto and have lived in Queenstown for 18 months. Though Hamilton and Queenstown are entirely different places, there are some commonalities to all NZ locales you should know about....

    The winters in NZ are milder, yes, but much of the housing is substandard. You will find yourself half frozen inside your cardboard box of an apartment or house just trying to stay warm during the winter evenings. If you are wealthy enough to buy a very new home that has double glazed windows and insulation, you'll spend a small fortune on heating costs as even the newer houses are not very energy efficient. The housing is also very expensive, even by Toronto standards. Get used to spending more of your income on housing..... and while we're on that topic....

    Your income will more than likely be lower than in Toronto. That's if the dollars were equivalent, which at the moment they're not, so take another 16% off that reduction. I personally make about 45% less than I did back home when all the numbers get crunched. So I have a lot less money to spend, which is unfortunate because everything here is sooooo.........

    EXPENSIVE! Cars, electronics, clothing, furniture. Get used to shopping at the Salvation Army from now on. Actually, the Salvation army is more expensive in NZ than some clothing shops back in Canada. But I can buy all my gear in Canada when I go home for summers. And I've contented myself to having crappy furniture and a crappy car. But the two things you can't escape in NZ are the high cost of gasoline and FOOD! Food is ridiculously expensive in NZ. In my small expensive mountain town the supermarkets are currently charging $5 for one red pepper. No I am not joking. Fruit and veg can be 500%+ higher in price here. Dairy and meat is about 50-100% more expensive (NZ meat and wine products are cheaper in Canada than in NZ) and most other items (baked beans, bread, peanut butter etc) are about 50-100% pricier in NZ. Out at restaurants and bars, a decent pint of beer or liquor will likely cost about 20% more, and wine and food about 50% more. Foods that are cheap and ethnic in Toronto (mexican, asian etc) are less available and often priced at fine dining in NZ. And liquor stores charge about 50-100% more for the same bottle of Jack Daniels or Smirnoff than the LCBO will. (EDIT- I realized that this is incorrect, it is not the "same bottle of Jack Daniels...".... in fact most hard liquor products in NZ are sold at 37.5% alcohol in 700mL bottles, where everywhere else outside of NZ/Australia they are 40% 750mL bottles)


    So you ask.... why move to New Zealand? Well..... once you get over the terrible quality of products and services and the extortionate cost of living, you realize how great everything else is! The people are warm and friendly (just stay away from bogans after they've had 3 drinks), the scenery is incredible, the climate quite livable, and here's the big one: the work/life balance is much better. At first it might be tough being on the other side of the world away from family and friends, but then you appreciate being away from all the traffic and the rat race. Just stay away from all the wanky JAFAs and you'll be alright!

    I hope none of what I said scares you off moving there, but you should be aware of these things.

    At the very least, it's worth having a look!
    Last edited by TO>QT; 24th June 2015 at 08:40 AM.

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