Living in Wellington, New Zealand

What were your reasons for emigrating?

I had been working in central London for the past 3 years, leaving the house at 5.30am and getting back after 8.00PM almost every day. I have young children and was going days without seeing them even though we lived in the same house. My wife felt like a single parent during the week and by the weekend we were too worn out to do anything fun!

Name: Mike
Age: 41
Occupation: General Manager
Number Emigrating: 4
Emigrated from: London, UK
Moved to: Eastbourne, Wellington
When did you arrive in NZ: April 2006
My Story Written: November 2008
Daily Commute Time: 25 minutes
What were your reasons for choosing New Zealand?

We chose New Zealand for all the classic reasons; better life:work balance, cleaner, greener, safer etc.

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

All the shops closing at 5.30PM even though Wellington is the capital city!The choice of food and clothes is limited and relative to earnings, quite expensive.

What do you like best about New Zealand?

We loved being able to go exploring on the beach with the kids and being the only people there! Very open people who are welcoming and straight forward. People dont judge you for your car or clothes as they do in England. Fantastic scenery, the best looking country in the world. Beach to forest to lake to mountain in one journey.

Eastbourne, Wellington
What don’t you like about New Zealand?

The cost of living relative to earnings really caught us out. We had no mortgage and I was earning three times the national average but we went out for dinner maybe once a month. You have to wait for the sales to buy clothes. Dont expect to live a luxury lifestyle unless you have a huge amount of capital. We found the education level at primary school very different and both my children went backwards.

What do you miss from your home country?

The usual: friends and family and choice.

How easily did you find work in New Zealand?

I was lucky in that I have very good contacts already in New Zealand and had two job offers prior to moving there.

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

In some ways, a lot easier. I found the average New Zealand customer much more tolerant than in the UK. The expectation level was not elevated, I guess because of the distance and time taken to import goods from overseas. In other ways, much harder. The work ethic was, in my opinion, a little backard. In my company, everyone stopped for a tea break, all at the same time.No one arrived a minute early, no one stayed a minute late.

How much do you plus partner earn in New Zealand:

$80,000 per year.

How much did you pay for your house:

$590,000. Three bedroom, modern (with insulation but still freezing cold as it’s made of wood)

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

Much lower in material ways, housing, cost of food, choice and cost of clothes. More pressure on making the money last through the month.

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

Much lower work pressure, better family life.

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

We only stayed in New Zealand for 1 year. For us, it was the wrong country. However, I had plenty of work colleagues from the UK who loved it. Go, if you like fishing, camping, hiking and barbeques. Don’t go if you’re expecting to be wealthy and enjoying frequent meals out or up-market holidays.

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.

What say you?
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