What were your reasons for emigrating?
I married a kiwi in 1990 and we had our children in the UK. Having reached the magical age of 40 and deciding I wasn’t happy with life I needed to make changes.
Occupation: Complimentary Therapist
How many emigrated: 6
Emigrated from: Southend-on-Sea, England
Moved to: Temuka, South Canterbury
When did you arrive in NZ: January 2005
My Story Written: January 2006
What were your reasons for choosing New Zealand:
It was my husband’s place of birth and we’d visited family previously so I had a good idea of what there was to offer. We chose the South Island as neither of us knew anyone there and it seemed fairer on us both. Another bonus was mother-in-law was a good distance away, being in the North Island!
Temuka, South Canterbury
What differences have you noticed between your NZ town and your home town:
People are much friendlier but the shops close too early.
What do you like best about New Zealand:
Again, the friendliness of most people and a less stressed feel generally. People have the time and inclination to talk to you. The scenery is great and it’s a wonderful place to bring up children. I feel safer and I have no worries letting the children go off on their own. There are many clubs to join locally and people tend to support their children in the various activities much more than in England.
What don’t you like about New Zealand:
No passenger trains in the South Island apart from the scenic ones!
What do you miss from your home country:
I miss not being able to visit castles and stately homes. I also miss Centerparcs and the pubs aren’t a patch on English ones. The children miss Alton Towers!
How easily did you find work in New Zealand:
There seem to be lots of jobs advertised but many people applying for them. I ended up starting my own business.
How does your working life in New Zealand compare with your previous work experiences:
I was a Customs officer in England and intended to continue with my career in New Zealand but I would have had to commute to Christchurch which was too far to travel on a daily basis.
What is your daily commute time:
How does your standard of living in New Zealand compare with your previous country:
We’re earning less than in England which I thought would be comparable with outgoings but I’m surprised how much more grocery shopping is than expected and the electricity bills seem really high.
How does your quality of life now compare with your previous country:
We’re no better off financially but life is less stressful and we feel more relaxed than in England. We made friends quickly and the children settled into school extremely well. They were accepted without any problems.
Do you have any other personal experiences or observations that would be useful for people considering immigrating to New Zealand:
The first year was hell and I fell into the yo-yo category, going back to England for a month half way through the year. I needed to touch base with old friends and make sure I’d made the right move. Coming back was much easier and I’ve felt more settled recently. I still have bad days missing family etc. but it’s getting better. I don’t think you realise what a massive thing it is to leave your country of birth and I can understand why people give in and move back. Having said that I love it here and hope to stay.
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