What were your reasons for emigrating?
Could not work around the corruption and we saw no future for our sons.
What were your reasons for choosing New Zealand?
Friend recommended Auckland.
Occupation: Graphic Design
Number Emigrating: 4
Emigrated from: Richards Bay, South Africa
Moved to: Auckland
When did you arrive in NZ: February 2008
My Story Written: May 2009
Daily Commute Time: 1 hour
What differences have you noticed between your NZ town and your home town?
Auckland is far safer and the pace is slower. It is clean and services are generally good. The weather is not great but not as cold as we thought and the summers are great. There is a lot to do here and there is definitely a better attitude towards older folk.
What do you like best about New Zealand?
The safety is great and the social activities are varied. Cars are cheap and food is resonable. There is law and order and the police are generally very helpful. Little or no corruption and people find value in everything they do. People here are aware of civic responsibilities and do their bit to make the country work.
What don’t you like about New Zealand?
Housing is fairly expensive and properties are built on top of each other. Immigration is difficult because you are powerless and in the hands of individuals who can make fairly arbitrary rulings that can affect you dramatically. Local people tend to be patronising without having a real understanding of the outside world. Children here are pretty unmannered. Everything is VERY PC sometimes to the point of being just crazy.
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Streetscene from Mount Eden, Auckland
What do you miss from your home country?
The weather and the wildlife and friends left behind.
How easily did you find work in New Zealand?
Easily, there is plenty of work but it is not finding work that is difficult – it is getting the permits that take a long time and waiting for every little thing while you must survive without earning. Few employers want to take you on when they hear the word “Immigration” because they know that they are in for general nausea and a long wait.
How does your working life in New Zealand compare with your previous work experiences?
We have to work harder than locals to prove our worth because Kiwis assume that foreigners are not as good at anything as they are. Everything here is about “New Zealand experience” as if things here are completely different here to anywhere else in the world – it can be quite funny at times. Generally if you work hard and are tactful it is not difficult.
How does your standard of living in New Zealand compare with your previous country?
Much higher. We have seen our earnings go much further and been able to start again quicker than we expected.
How does your quality of life now compare with your previous country?
It is much better – especially for our children. There is a lot to do here and life in general is pretty relaxed. We go out more and are far less stressed even in the face of some difficult new challenges.
Do you have any other personal experiences or observations that would be useful for people considering immigrating to New Zealand?
Auckland is a great place to be and the people here are very nice albeit a little naive. Make sure that you find a good immigration consultant because the Immigration services are very unhelpful and you can get conflicting information and waste a lot of time. If your skills are not on the shortage list, be prepared for some general abuse from them – they don’t really want you here! When buying anything (from your phone service to a car) check around for bargains – there are plenty. You need to register with a doctor before a need arises and the GP must be in the area where you live so a good idea is to find someone you like before you settle so you are registered – otherwise its Hobson’s choice!