What were your reasons for leaving your home country:
Our family moved to the US for a short time and had the choice of going back to the UK or moving to NZ as my husband already had NZ residency. We wanted to raise our children in a safe country, with more space and freedom than we had in the UK.
Emigrated from: North Yorkshire, UK
Moved to: North Shore, Auckland
When did you arrive in NZ: February 1999
My Story Written: August 2005
What were your reasons for choosing New Zealand:
My husband had been raised in NZ and was able to make a balanced choice about whether NZ was a better place to raise children. He knew the systems and the country and was able to obtain work easily.
What differences have you noticed between your NZ town and your home town?
What do you like best about New Zealand?
NZ has a safe atmosphere. It’s OK not to lock up, the neighbours are friendly, people are polite, relaxed and happy. They have a fabulous pre-school concept known as Playcentre, where parents get together to raise kids as a co-op. This is a great way to make friends. There is so much space, the beaches are near, the sea is warm and clean. Heaps of outdoor stuff to do. Houses are bigger, great for big families. Great mix of different cultures.
What don’t you like about New Zealand?
Some government policies, lack of considerate driving, exchange rate makes it expensive to holiday in the UK, materialism creeping in, some dangerous drug/substance abuse, unable to get decent teabags, some people are lazy.
What do you miss from your home country?
What do you miss from your home country: Family, Marks & Spencer, Cathedrals and old buildings, queuing (that’s a joke!) Sometimes you feel very distant, especially if there’s a crisis at home in the UK. Christmas will never be Christmas again, but sunbathing on Christmas day isn’t too bad.
How easily did you find work in New Zealand?
Easy if you speak English and are white, much harder for those with coloured skin and strong accents, despite quals.
How does your working life in New Zealand compare with your previous work experiences?
There doesn’t seem to be any urgency about anything – it’s like everyone is on holiday. Can be frustrating if you’re a “mover and shaker”.
How does your standard of living in New Zealand compare with your previous country?
If you can get over the wooden weatherboards and tin roofs, inside your home you will find every mod con to make home life easier with twice the space. Gardens are bigger.
How does your quality of life now compare with your previous country?
When you can relax and feel secure in and around your home, your health and quality of life is fantastic. I could not go back now.
Do you have any other personal experiences or observations that would be useful for people considering immigrating to New Zealand?
It’s a big step. You have to leave people behind, which isn’t easy, and you have to commit to at least two years to ensure the homesickness has gone and then you can truly start to enjoy your new life. You also need the reassurance your family and friends will come and visit too. Rent a house first and get to know your area, schools, communities and amenities before you settle. Find a friend who has already “walked in your shoes”.
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