Moving To Wellington

What were your reasons for leaving your home country:

I wanted to work in the public service but the thought of having to join the ‘old boys’ club and move to London was not appealing. Also wanted to get on the property ladder and houses were shockingly expensive. And the usual: shoddy weather, too much crime, too crowded, sharing what passes for air with millions of others, traffic jams, fog, football….

Name: Marie-Claire
Age: 27
Occupation: Brand Manager
How many emigrated: 2
Emigrated from: Langport, England
Moved to: Wellington
When did you arrive in NZ: March 2001
My Story Written: December 2005
What were your reasons for choosing New Zealand:

Felt like a country where you could make a difference – small enough to be noticed and have an impact. No rat race, with people asking you ‘what do you do’ as one of the first questions when you meet. Wide open spaces, water everywhere, an attitude of working to live, not living to work.

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

Same community feel which is nice. The houses are different – I thought tin roofs was a bit wierd, but its just different. The obvious different plants, flowers, bird song to get to know. Wider streets – and everything is a lot younger (New Zealanders think 100 years old is ancient!)

What do you like best about New Zealand?

The choices. I can do whatever I set my mind to here, no matter what my surname, race or gender is. The opportunities are massive, there’s so little ‘baggage’ with the country that its all about the future. I love coming to work past the beautiful harbour, every day looking different, and spotting dolphins or orcas. I love the Kiwi hospitality – you’re friends with people you’ve met once, and you’ll get invites to dinner, days out on the boat, nights at the beach house at that same meeting. There’s little snobbery, basically if you’re ‘a good sort’ you’ll be well liked.

What don’t you like about New Zealand?

People complain about the salaries being lower, I haven’t found that. I earn maybe 1-2 thousand less than I would have in England. And a little less holiday – though the attitude to work is much more cruisy, even in my management position there’s little evening or weekend work. I don’t like the over political correctness, people bend over backwards to accommodate the Maori issues which seem to force them into a cycle of dependency and inferiority.

What do you miss from your home country?

Pubs (just bars here, really, but its amazing how quickly you get used to ordering a Sav instead of a bitter). Family. But that’s about it.

How easily did you find work in New Zealand?

I had work before I arrived – I looked at the online websites, applied in the usual way, had a video conference interview and was offered the job. I have a degree and had a couple of years work experience but its all about the attitude, come ready to try things out and take on a new culture (because it is different, despite driving on the left hand side and speaking English, mostly) rather than impose an English way of doing things..

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

Cruisy, the community feel extends to work. Still commercial though, New Zealanders are conscious that they need to work hard to be taken seriously on the world stage, so there’s plenty of attitude.

What is your daily commute time:

25 mins.

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

Much better, my partner is a pilot (something he never could have done in England, too expensive to learn), we have a lovely property with native bush in a private lane in a lovely community. Large enough to build our own house on the back of. I have more friends than I know what to do with, the sea only 20 mins away and a summer that lasts for four months, not four weeks.

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

See Above!

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

Be prepared for it to be different, make an effort to try things out and visit places. Take on board the Maori issues and try to understand rather than impose a colonial point of view. Relax and go with the flow, and seize all the opportunities that NZ provides. Don’t expect it to be the same, have an adventure!

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

Your own experiences? Share them. Or read more stories.

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