Moving to Tauranga, New Zealand

What were your reasons for emigrating?

I never felt warm in the UK. I would put on a pair of shorts in the the few days of summer we had and then have to go and change as I was cold. I hated the amount of rain we had and stupid things like not being able to hang my washing out in the fresh air very often. Too many people in such a small space, which resulted in people not smiling or saying hello unless you knew them well. The safety and freedom of my children was a ‘biggy’. Too much traffic, politically stupidly correct politicians. I have always wanted to live by the sea, and I wanted to work to live and not live to work.

Name: Kymberley Paige
Age: 42
Occupation: Hairdressing Tutor and Author
Number Emigrating: 5
Emigrated from: Farnborough, UK
Moved to: Papamoa, Tauranga
Daily Commute Time: 30 minutes

What were your reasons for choosing New Zealand?

Tauranga has a fairly constant temperature all year round. No snow although only a 4 hour drive away to snow if you’re into skiing, lots and lots of sun. We could afford to live near the sea. Beautiful scenery, little traffic and fairly safe for the kids.

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

We have all the doors and windows open 10 months of the year. I wear short sleeves 9 months of the year, and when it’s cold in the winter, by 10am there is not a cloud in the sky. When we do get rain it doesn’t rain for days non-stop. Shops are empty unless having a huge sale. New Zealanders spend a lot of time outside.

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Streetscene from Papamoa, Tauranga
What do you like best about New Zealand?

The weather and the laid back lifestyle. Easy to start your own business, although the government screws you for tax even when you try to put all profits back into business.

What don’t you like about New Zealand?

It’s very hard to earn a decent wage in Tauranga especially. The cost of living isn’t much different to UK as far as food, eating out and home-ware is concerned.

What do you miss from your home country?

Asda and the variety of shops. No big shopping malls here unless you go to Auckland. But saying that we used to shop more in the UK because there was nothing else to do. I miss my family, but at least they regularly come over for our sunny Christmas. Christmas is very hard to get used to. I miss the decorations and the Christmas themes, but not the mad shopping rush and cold dark weather.

How easily did you find work in New Zealand?

It was easy for me as I had an offer before I left. My husband found it very difficult as although he had worked in higher management he didn’t have anything on paper – i.e. recognised qualifications. They like you to have a trade, here or they don’t pay you very well.

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

I only work 4 days a week 8.30 to 4.30 and then I’m down the beach with the dog by 5. What can I say? it’s great, I used to work 6 days a week and 2 evenings in the UK just to be able to get away abroad twice a year for some sun.

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

We built and designed our own house. We live 2 houses back from the beach opposite a beach access, so that’s perfect. Don’t have a lot of disposable money at the end of the month, but have 3 teenagers who play sports and activities. We don’t spend much on material things and clothes, and the food choices are limited. We have still managed to go abroad twice this year and then have the sun here too, so pretty good. Don’t have any savings, but then we didn’t in UK either. Financially I think it is harder here, interest rates on mortgages are so much higher than the UK.

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

Much better, much healthier, less stress which was another reason we came out here. We wouldn’t go back that’s for sure.

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

Make sure you have work at least one of you with a good wage. As the population is small it is very much who you know not what you know when finding employment. Jobs are taken by a friend telling a friend about a friend. If you’re not known they are unlikely to consider you unless a wanted trade or a dreadful wage. Sheets, bedding, electrical equipment and furniture is expensive so bring your own. Most older UK TVs don’t work here. If you like upright vacuum cleaners bring your own, theirs are useless and if you want to buy a Dyson you will pay a lot more than in the UK.

Read more UK to NZ Reviews

Hawkes Bay – Ruth
North Shore, Auckland – Alison
Franklin District, Auckland – Alison and Matt
Christchurch – James
Invercargill – The Hart Family
Invercargill – Kat and Bob
Tauranga – Dianne and Paul
Wellington – Richard and Olivia
Wellington – Stephen

You can write up your own thoughts at My Story. Or read more experiences in NZ.

What say you?
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