Moving to Wanganui, New Zealand

What were your reasons for emigrating?

Schools, affirmative action putting people who are “trainable” in top positions at amazing salaries, corruption, crime and the excitement of being brave enough to do it!!

Name: Martie
Age: 40
Occupation: Self-employed (Holiday Park owner)
Number Emigrating: 4
Emigrated from: Windhoek, Namibia
Moved to: Wanganui
Daily Commute Time: We work at home (actually eat & sleep at work!!)
What were your reasons for choosing New Zealand?

Canada was not an option – when we saw a photo of a waterfall in summer that turns into an “iceberg” in winter we knew that we had to find somewhere else! Australia was very hard to qualify for and was apparently going to take at least 2 years. New Zealand was the easiest option, which made our decision final!

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

The weather!! Wanganui has very mild weather and not as cold in winter as we thought it would be, summer is really nice with max temperatures around 26 – 27 degrees C – what a pleasure compared to 35 degrees C and higher!! It can get very wet at times. No snobs here who are concerned that they must be seen driving the right cars, living in the right suburbs, shop at the right supermarkets and know the right people with the right qualifications! Shopping centres in NZ do not compare to the lovely SA shopping centres.

What do you like best about New Zealand?

The lifestyle is much more relaxed, people accept each other the way they are and do not pretend in any way. If you mail something this morning, the recipient will have it by lunch time tomorrow – amazing!!!

What don’t you like about New Zealand?

Too many laws, rules and regulations! There is hardly anything that is not controlled by some or other law. To comply to some of them can cost a lot of money! 
Being in business, we find the welfare system works against small employers us who are trying to find good employees – many unskilled people prefer to sit at home and get paid by the government to do nothing, and the system actually “motivates” them to do just that. Young girls get pregnant to go on the “benefit” – shocking. Children have way too many rights and hence have no respect for parents and older people.

What do you miss from your home country?

Our nanny!! Yes, even though she was sometimes late and our family consumed a lot more sugar, rice & flour than what was possible for 4 people, she was a true darling!!! It is not a pleasure to do the cleaning, washing and ironing, cooking and washing the dishes, washing and cleaning the car, while you also have to take the kids to school and sport. We have, however, decided to get an Au Pair to help with the household duties – a lovely girl from Germany who was worth her weight in gold. I would recommend this to any family who will be happy to accept a stranger into their home – we have not had any regrets and it was wonderful to have her around. We will do it again without thinking twice. Cheap labour – there is no such thing in this country!!!

How easily did you find work in New Zealand?

We bought our business and did not have to find work.

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

We live in a house that is a lot smaller, but we are actually very happy (helps with the cleaning!) Our children go to a very good school and we do not have any reason to believe that we would have been any better off if we stayed in Namibia.

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

Although we are very busy in a 24/7 business compared to a “Monday-to-Friday” life in Windhoek, we love our new life and would not give it up for anything. It is amazing to wake up in the middle of the night and not have your heart throbbing in your throat because you are worried that somebody may be breaking in to your house or walking around inside with a firearm – it will most likely be the cat walking on the roof that woke you up!! We do not have burglar bars and we do not even worry about it!

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

If you do not believe that everything is going to work out and that you are doing the right thing, don’t do it! Emigration is not easy, but the day that you have a NZ passport in your hand you are on top of the world and will never look back.

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.


  1. Thoroughly enjoyed reading this, so glad i came across it 🙂 as i am looking for a job now on that side of the world too 🙂 thanks for sharing!

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