Moving to Hastings, New Zealand

What were your reasons for emigrating?

The Netherlands is overcrowded, and has many very selfish people in it. We wanted to live in a place where there would be enough room to breathe, and enjoy life. We wanted to feel more humble, because we are only so small in this world.

Name: Sanne Slooten
Age: 28
Occupation: Sales assistant
Number Emigrating: 2
Emigrated from: Rotterdam, Netherlands
Moved to: Hastings, Hawke’s Bay
Daily Commute Time: 15 minutes

What were your reasons for choosing New Zealand?

After visiting twice, and our wedding in Napier in 2005, we made the decision to move here. We loved the outdoors, friendly atmosphere and ‘we can do it’ attitude.

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

Less people for sure. When going to the beach on a nice day, kiwis call it busy when there’s a 100 people enjoying the sun. We are used to up to 5000 on a small stretch. There’s more time for a smile, people are friendly and helpful.

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Hastings, Hawke’s Bay
What do you like best about New Zealand?

The ability to go out and be in the same country, with behind every corner a different view. The ability to breathe, and drive or walk somewhere without having to bump into other people all the time. The feeling that every week can be totally different, as opposed to Nl, where everything is planned.

What don’t you like about New Zealand?

The houses are pretty cold in winter. But that will eventually be sorted. (for us anyway) Because I don’t know too much about Pacific / Maori cultures, I find them a bit scary at times.

What do you miss from your home country?

My friends and family. (my husband has his parents and brothers who moved here to NZ in 2003) And the good food. There’s a little bit more variety there and some things taste better in Nl. But I guess I am a bit spoiled (Treats are not a necessity)

How easily did you find work in New Zealand?

After applying endlessly I found a job in a shop. I have studied Interior Design, and worked as a Window Dresser / Visual Merchandiser, but in Hawke’s Bay there’s not too much work in that. But I sort of knew that from the start. That’s why I am also going free lance, part time. My husband got a job quite quickly though, in IT.

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

The workload can be as much as you want it to be, but I do find that people don’t really mind to work 6 days, although I prefer 4 for myself. (Which is not possible with my current job.) Also nobody likes showoffs, or people that work too hard.

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

We can take less holidays with our current pay, but we do try to go away weekends every now and again, which is more affordable then in NL. Our rental is not bad, although I wish we were allowed a cat in the house. Food is quite expensive in comparison I find, but I like growing some of my own food, and that cuts down costs.

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

In many ways better; I try to take as much time as I can to go out and explore this beautiful country. Also I am doing my best to take every day as it comes, and not plan ahead, which is quite nice for a change. I find myself outdoors most of the time, which is exactly what I wanted.

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

It’s a beautiful country, but that doesn’t pay the bills. We found that lifestyle for us was more important then the paycheck. Also we had a lot of support of my inlaws, and have met some nice people, but after a year I can’t say I have made a lot of friends. Be aware that that might take a bit of time. And you have to be up for a challenge!

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 personal experiences.

What say you?
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