Moving to Temuka, South Canterbury

What were your reasons for emigrating?

Born in UK, moved to Johannesburg 1982. I experienced too much crime and heartache there,and became so scared I had to leave.Moved to my husband’s family home in Loerrach, South Germany. After 5 years of looking after my elderly in-laws,we decided we needed a life.

Name: Val
Age: 48
Occupation: Nurse
Emigrated with: 2
Emigrated from: Banbury/Johannesburg/Loerrach
Moved to: Temuka, South Canterbury
When did you arrive in NZ: November 2005
My Story Written: December 2006
Daily Commute Time: 20 minutes
What were your reasons for choosing New Zealand?

Age prevented us from applying to Australia.Canada was too cold. New Zealand is clean, green and friendly with a low crime rate.And they were willing to give us residency.

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

The pace of life is slower.People stop for a chat. The shops are open most days of the week, including public holidays. It is much cleaner than UK or SA, and about equal with Germany.

What do you like best about New Zealand?

The feeling of safety. Going away on holiday and knowing when I return home I havent been burglarised. The friendliest people I have ever met. The clean open spaces. Fantastic scenery. Feeling alive.

What don’t you like about New Zealand?

The weather has been a let down. Cold and wet most of the time. Frost most mornings. Sea mist/fog. Vegetables are expensive.

What do you miss from your home country?

Friends. I miss the sunshine and the wildlife from South Africa. I miss the history from UK. I miss the street festivals and pageants of Germany.

How easily did you find work in New Zealand?

I had a job to come to,and started work within 4 days. My husband ,however, applied for every vacancy advertised and it took him 12 months to find a job. He was too old,or over qualified.

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

The shifts are different:

7:00-3:30 or 3:00-11:00 or 11:00-7:00. I feel at work permanently, time off seems to be a luxury.

Also, a general hospital feels more like a cottage hospital, less intense. And the patients are all old.

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

We bought a house within 2 weeks. We are next to a deer farm and have wonderful views of the mountains. Ducks swim at the front and rabbits hop around in the back. It actually feels as if I am still in South Africa, but not afraid. The telephone, post etc are all marvellous. We were able to live on my salary for a year.

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

We are enjoying life more. Less stressed. We take every opportunity to travel around the countryside – it’s relatively cheap and very easy.

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

Bring everything with you. The container is not more expensive than replacing things here. There is a limited choice on furnishings etc. Preferably come for a holiday first. There is a big difference between North and South Island, people need to know which lifestyle they want.

Would you like to share your own experiences of living in New Zealand? You can do this at My Story. Or you can read more more about people’s lives in NZ.

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