Life in Auckland

What were your reasons for emigrating?

I was offered a good job with a company in Auckland. It was an opportunity to travel and advance my career at the same time. We were also looking to leave NYC and weren’t very excited about the prospect of living elsewhere in North America.

What were your reasons for choosing New Zealand?

The job was here.

Name: Dan
Age: 34
Occupation: Transportation Consultant
Number Emigrating: 3
Emigrated from: Brooklyn, New York
Moved to: Grafton, Auckland
Daily Commute Time: 30 minutes walk
What differences have you noticed between your NZ town and your home town?

Auckland is a much slower, quieter, and cleaner town than NYC. You could eat off the roads. The parks are something out of Star Trek – no broken glass, cigarette butts, mounds of trash and everyone is reasonably healthy, prosperous, and civil. On the downside, there’s less real tolerance of other races among Kiwis. Your white neighbours and property rental agents will not be shy telling you what the problems are with Chinese and Indians.

What do you like best about New Zealand?

Most things are simply much easier and cheaper here. Trips to the doctor don’t entail two hours of paperwork and a $40 co-pay. Most hassles can be squared away fairly quickly with ONE phone call (no automatic messages sorting your call by options. one person always answers as if they have been waiting for you.). Day care is cartoonishly cheap (and we get a partial reimbursement!). For such a small country, the infrastructure is wonderfully developed and there is a healthy sense of civic duty among people to chip in and keep it that way.

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Grafton Bridge, Auckland
What don’t you like about New Zealand?

People are too averse to making a fuss. Part of this is being laid back, I think. Part of it is a silly “She’ll be all right” mentality that things will magically sort themselves out. Part of it is not wanting to be the guy who draws attention to himself (not very Kiwi). It does lead to landlords and businesses trying to take advantage of you because they think that you won’t fight back.

What do you miss from your home country?

Doritos; and the energy of NYC. There were always people out, always something going on. Auckland is a quiet, mostly suburban town that does not take kindly to noise or pedestrians and prefers socialising in private. I also miss the seasons.

How easily did you find work in New Zealand?

I had a job waiting for me, but my spouse had a difficult time. Compared to Australia and Canada, getting NZ visa (residency) was very easy.

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

It’s roughly the same type of work but here the pay is better and the living is cheaper.

How much money did you bring with you:


How much do you earn in New Zealand:

$90K/Year combined

How much did you pay for your house:

$1400/month. We looked around on TradeMe before arriving so had an idea of where we wanted to be and what we wanted to spend.

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

With the exception of food, clothes and internet (which is strangely expensive) everything else is cheaper here.

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

Some things are much better: government service provision, recreational opportunities, friendlier neighbours (again, if you’re white), quality of food. Some things are worse: public transit (good for CBD commuting but little else), low density sprawl, unheated buildings. On the whole, the pluses outweigh the minuses.

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

Statistically, this is a very safe place filled with active and healthy people. Income taxes are actually lower than in the States (after factoring in health care and individual state taxes) but here you actually get a lot to show for it. There isn’t a lot of hustle here (presumably the young and ambitious are all on OE), but things run smoothly and you’re never far from some fantastic park or beach. You can’t avoid the lifestyle aspect of this place even if it is not your goal in relocating. It is an island country after all.

Should I Move to New Zealand?

8 must-knows before you even THINK about moving to New Zealand

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 personal experiences.

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