Emigrating to Whangarei, New Zealand

What were your reasons for emigrating?

My husband was the driving force behind our move. He had become totally disillusioned with the UK and secured a job through an immigration agency as an HGV Driver.

Name: Michelle
Age: 36
Occupation: Office Manager
Number Emigrating: 2
Emigrated from: East Yorkshire, UK
Moved to: Whangarei, Northland
Daily Commute Time: 20 minutes
What were your reasons for choosing New Zealand?

A secured job offer, lower crime rate, climate, english speaking, drive on the same side of the road (although NZ has some of the worst drivers I have ever come across), scenery, laid back lifestyle, fresh food (especially fish and shellfish), wine and an overall sense of a slower pace of life.

What differences have you noticed between your NZ town and your home town?

Lack of public transport – meaning you have to drive everywhere. Lack of social facilities – take for granted the corner shop or your local pub. Closing times of shops, restaurants, bars etc is earlier than back home.

Whangarei, Northland
What do you like best about New Zealand?

Not as stressed! The Kiwi’s are very friendly and helpful and have really made an effort with us enabling us to integrate and settle more easily. Scenery and beaches – some fantastic scenery and when you visit a beach sometimes you are the only ones there. Good food and good wine.

What don’t you like about New Zealand?

Low wages and lack of holiday entitlements, the way New Zealanders drive, lack of retail therapy opportunities. Sometimes it takes so long to get things done. NZ Immigration Policy seems to change rapidly and without much open discussion/debate. They are not as animal friendly as the UK. Dogs beware!

What do you miss from your home country?

My family and friends. Walkers Cheese and Onion crisps and Thornton Chocolates. UK TV (although we complained about this, it is hugely more appealing than NZ TV).

How easily did you find work in New Zealand?

I found employment within the first 3 months although the employment agencies that I signed on with were pretty useless in finding even temporary work for me. I feel lucky though in finding this job as I believe I could have easily still been looking even now.

How does your working life in New Zealand compare with your previous work experiences?

I work longer hours for less pay and conditions of service but I am not as stessed as I was working in the UK and I don’t feel I have to prove myself all the time. My employer has been very appreciative of my skills and abilities which really does make a difference, something which UK employers take for granted.

How does your standard of living in New Zealand compare with your previous country?

We have been fortunate to have been in a position to buy our own home outright whereas in the UK we had a mortgage. We are fortunate to both work and be able to afford some luxuries, although eating out is not as regular as it was back in the UK.

How does your quality of life now compare with your previous country?

I would say this is equal in comparison.

Do you have any other personal experiences or observations that would be useful for people considering immigrating to New Zealand?

I would suggest do your homework and research NZ really well. As a country it has a lot to offer but at the same time can be quite a culture shock. Think carefully about why you want to move to NZ and keep these reasons valid after your arrival – it is worth all the effort you put in – even for me and I didn’t really want to leave the UK, but have since found living and working in NZ a challenging and invigorating experience.

Read more UK to NZ Reviews

Hawkes Bay – Ruth
North Shore, Auckland – Alison
Franklin District, Auckland – Alison and Matt
Christchurch – James
Invercargill – The Hart Family
Invercargill – Kat and Bob
Tauranga – Kymberley
Tauranga – Dianne and Paul
Wellington – Richard and Olivia
Wellington – Stephen

Your own experiences of living in New Zealand? Share them at My Story. Or you can read more personal experiences.

What say you?
Please do not ask us for immigration/visa advice - we cannot respond to such requests.