Moving To Hamilton, New Zealand

What were your reasons for leaving your home country:

The cost of living, the crime rate, drugs, weather, cost of housing becoming impossible for our kids to ever own their own property, amongst other things.

Name: James and Ann
Age: 39 & 46
Emigrated from: Chorley, Lancashire, UK
Moved to: Glenview, Hamilton
When did you arrive in NZ: July 2002
My Story Written: March 2005
What were your reasons for choosing New Zealand:

Been here on holiday four times previous, liked the country, the cleanliness, the weather, laid back attitude, the cost of living etc.

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

Many! Both good and bad. Firstly the streets here are much cleaner and safer for our kids, but the shops are fewer and much less choice here.

What do you like best about New Zealand?

The mild weather in winter, the clean streets, the laid back attitude, the beaches, dining out which is inexpensive, good choice of restaurants, house prices and the size of houses!

What don’t you like about New Zealand?

The employers and Immigration staff attitude!! This would be an epic if we had the space! If you are very professional at your job, the Kiwis do not like to be shown up and will stop at nothing to discredit you! The chocolate, the Indian curries (awful!), lack of choice in shops, the police and their traffic fines! Education system, to name a few.

What do you miss from your home country?

ASDA!! Chocolate,sweets, decent curry, motorway network, free eye test and dental treatment (other than fillings) for kids under 16, and of course family.

How easily did you find work in New Zealand?

At first easy, getting the job is no problem, keeping it if you don’t do it the ‘kiwi way’ is impossible. Then the ex employer makes sure that if they can’t keep you, you wont get work elsewhere. We have experienced lies being told against us behind our back, illegal salary cuts, being both mentally and physically abused by one former employer who was then protected by his daughter running the company. We could go on…and on….

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

It doesn’t! Basically the Uk is far more superior to NZ in certain industries but NZ wont accept that. Some kiwi attitude is that they are by far the best and most superior country in the whole universe and us Brits need educating to do it ‘their way’. It is either their way or not at all. However, recently our skills have been recognised and some large companies are now using our system and appreciating it but it has taken 3 years.

What is your daily commute time:

3-4 hrs

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

Well, we expected a rise in our standard of living but we have to say that over the years, the NZ prices have risen like housing, food, fuel etc. In truth, we had a better standard of living in the UK as wages were higher, and certain things here we find have to be paid for which were free in the UK. So when you weigh it all up, you are actually worse off here.

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

Some things are better here like there is more freedom and I feel that the government here do actually listen to its people (sometimes). I would say though that quality of life was better in the UK, we had regular trips to USA and NZ and Europe. Here we haven’t been able to afford a holiday yet to anywhere!

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

I would say to all, please get your Residency sorted in your own country BEFORE you sell up and leave. The Immigration staff here have been terrible. We have been passed from pillar to post, submitted our Residency 3 times, had 3 lots of medicals and police certificates, it has cost us around $30,000 so far with huge mistakes being made by Immigration and wrong advise. Anybody thinking they can just up and leave and arrive here, get work, get Residency and it will be easy will be in for a shock. Be also prepared to find that here you pay for school subject fees each year in Intermediate and High schools, school dentist is free but treatment other than fillings/teeth removed is not free. Eye tests too for under 16’s and glasses are not free either. Schools also force you to pay a donation of around $100 each child per year. So our advise is… do your sums, do NOT leave your country UNTIL you have Residency, that is a must, otherwise you could be in for a costly and emotional ride! Be prepared for a culture shock too, NZ has lots of poverty that the Government do not mention in their glossy ads!

Read more recent 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 – Kymberley
Tauranga – Dianne and Paul
Wellington – Richard and Olivia
Wellington – Stephen

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