What is it like to live in New Zealand?

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This article was written for people who want to live in New Zealand. It’s a collaboration by people originally from the UK, USA and Germany who now live happily in New Zealand. We have interviewed 15 expats living in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and everywhere in between to answer the question what it is really like living in New Zealand?

You might be worried about moving half way round the world – hell, we were! Hopefully, these stories will help you to address some of your concerns ahead of taking the plunge and moving to New Zealand.

Questions we’ve asked tease out the following information:

  • What they would do differently – if they knew what they know now.
  • How they made friends and settled down.
  • Whether they plan to stay in New Zealand.
  • And importantly, what their quality of life is like here in New Zealand.
 We had quite a few recurring responses as well! Recurring comments such as:
  • The grass isn’t always greener;
  • But if you don’t try you will never know.
  • You will make friends and create networks when you least expect to.
  • And if you struggle there is a great app called Meet Up.
  • From the people, we have spoken to they appreciate the lifestyle  and opportunities NZ has given them and their families
  • Their lives are fuller because they have moved out of their comfort zone into the unknown.

And of course, a big thank you to: Zoe, Paul, Deborah, Dan, Rhonda, Anne, Leanne, both Helens, Heather, Jason, Gaynor, Penny, Lynda, Kerri & Nathan for taking the time to contribute!

 


Name: Zoe Carr, 26Goingnz

Website: livingabikinilife.com

“In reality, no matter what country you are in, if it’s new or you have lived there all your life, there are always going to be life problems.”

Originally from: Suffolk, England 

Now living in: Auckland

1) If you could give your old self some advice (before you moved to NZ) what would it be?
To take every opportunity as it comes, whether it is good bad or indifferent. I had no intention to stay long term in New Zealand but after my friend went home after a week of arriving and being completely alone and unprepared I put a lot of pressure on myself to settle, to get a job and find a flat that feels like home.
I was hard on myself when my first job didn’t work out when I made the wrong decision to stay in the CBD and I felt like nothing was simple. In reality, I was doing more than fine, I was wanting perfection. I would tell myself to let go, chill out and enjoy the journey. Embrace the things you can’t control!
2) How did you find friends and a support network in NZ and how long did it take you?
I was very lucky with my second job and third month in New Zealand to join a company with a bunch of amazing supportive people. I knew they had my back no matter what and in them initial months when I wanted to go to the movies or go out for dinner someone was always willing. I did find that I needed to expand out of the work circle and moved from a flat in the CBD to a house with flatmates in Mission Bay. To be able to come home and talk to people about my day and have people who wanted to go for walks to the beach at the weekend made an awful difference to my happiness. It wasn’t until the 8-month mark that I decided to branch out more and join adventure groups and expat groups.
Meetup has been my social bible since then. They have groups for everyone and every interest. To reading between the wines, girls mingle, hiking groups, art groups, girls adventure groups I have made some brilliant friendships. People from all over the world who are new to New Zealand, returning to New Zealand or just relocating, they are all so welcoming. Highly recommended and I wish I had known about this sooner. But if like me you don’t do it for a while it’s all about baby steps and moving forwards.
3) Do you call New Zealand home? And if not, how long do you think it’ll be until you do?
It’s not home yet; I am still useless at pronouncing town names, I still laugh at the use of the words “rad” and “sweet bro” and I’m yet to say “Eh” at the end of a sentence!
It is however somewhere I have grown to love and somewhere I would like to stay. I have just extended my visa for another 18 months and in this time I am pretty sure this will be another home.
4) Would you say your quality of life has improved since moving to NZ and if so in what way?

My whole outlook on life has changed thanks to New Zealand and oh my gosh I would not have it anyway. I think the biggest improvement in terms of quality of life is health and well-being. The emphasis on an outdoor lifestyle has made me rethink my lifestyle. I walk through the bush or on the beach most weekends or weeknights in daylight savings. I want to surf, snowboard, skydive, and kayak all at the same time! I buy local food, as the traders at the farmers market are so lovely, why would I not want to buy from them! I respect the environment, hardly anyone litters, I have seen people stop in the street to pick up someone else’s rubbish and take it to the bin!

I am conscious of palm oil, harmful chemicals in my shampoo, what my exfoliator does to the ocean… If you would have asked me these things 18 months ago I wouldn’t have even considered them. In turn, this has just made me appreciate life so much more, it’s the simple things that make all the difference. Thank you, New Zealand!

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Name: Paul Nash, 40goingnz-expat

“Literally, within weeks of getting off the plane, I made the effort to build friendships and network which is so important to make it in a foreign land.”

Originally from; Bath, England 

Now living in; Auckland

1) If you could give your old self some advice (before you moved to NZ) what would it be?

I’m really not into looking back only forward.

2) How did you find friends and a support network in NZ and how long did it take you?

Luckily I am married to a Maori with a huge family which welcomed me with open arms, helps that I am an engineer who’s happy to fix anything and by crikey there are a lot of things to fix!!!!, I also landed a cracking job working for a local security company with a great social environment (people are so welcoming), so literally within weeks of getting off the plane I was building friends and that network which is so important to make it in a foreign land.

3) Do you call New Zealand home? And if not, how long do you think it’ll be until you do?

Most definitely been here 11 years now I have a black passport!!!!, Don’t worry after 11 years I still struggle to call a vacuum a vacuum, not a Hoover.

4) Would you say your quality of life has improved since moving to NZ and if so in what way?

100% the weather got to be the No.1 it makes so much difference to everything work, play and social. It also helps that the big things like housing, fuel, and cars are considerably cheaper than the U.K.

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Name: Deborah Carter, 49

goingnz expat

“I met a kiwi through my husband but then met a group of girls from Yorkshire THROUGH MY HAIRDRESSER!”

Originally from: Yorkshire, England 

Now living in: Auckland

1) If you could give your old self some advice (before you moved to NZ) what would it be?

Research in-depth the area that you are going to live in and check out prices of things like central heating and kitchens… cheaper to bring in your container.

2) How did you find friends and a support network in NZ and how long did it take you?

I met a kiwi through my husband but then met a group of girls from  Yorkshire THROUGH MY HAIRDRESSER! I recommend joining your migrant or expats group we had neither here and as much as I love my kiwi friends they would be first to say they don’t always get me. Be inviting and open and invite people for coffee or wine.

3) Do you call New Zealand home? And if not, how long do you think it’ll be until you do?

Straight away I felt at home. Loved the lifestyle. It’s actually now after 10 yrs I am feeling restless and homesick.

4) Would you say your quality of life has improved since moving to NZ and if so in what way?

New Zealand is an amazing place to bring up a family, and there are so many beautiful places to visit.  Houses are much more affordable but career wise interesting, to say the least However it’s harder to travel and you need to understand it’s not like having Europe on your doorstep.  For now, it’s perfect but in the future, there’s a big world out there.

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Name: Dan Smith, 29

“I do think that my quality of life has improved since moving to NZ. The work/life balance that is instilled in much of the NZ culture allows for more free time.”

Originally from: Mount Airy, Maryland 

Now living in: Auckland

1) If you could give your old self some advice (before you moved to NZ) what would it be?

Be prepared to have patience. Things tend to take a little longer in NZ and generally move slower (at lease slower than the part of the US that I am from). Many people tend to be more laid back in NZ.

Expect to spend more money than you think. Everything seems to be more expensive in NZ, including rent prices (let alone the “competitive” rental market). If you have the opportunity, save as much money as possible before moving to NZ so you can enjoy the similar luxuries that you may already be accustomed to.

You will generally get further with people if you are calm, nice and patient, instead of being demanding and take the “my way or the highway” approach. This is regardless of whether you are dealing with a business, cashier, neighbour, friend or a stranger.

Get ready for a more “worldly” perspective on life. International concerns are commonly talked about and reported on.

2) How did you find friends and a support network in NZ and how long did it take you?

In my experience, most Kiwi’s are very friendly and generally nice people. It can be, however, difficult to have Kiwi’s “break out of” their group of friends whom they may have attended school/University with. I have found that many expats tend to be drawn to each other, possibly due to the fact that they may be having similar experiences. Most of my partner and my friends are co-workers, neighbours or other expats whom we have randomly met in bars/restaurants, etc.

3) Do you call New Zealand home? And if not, how long do you think it’ll be until you do?

I think this depends on one’s definition of the word “home” and whether you can have more than 1 home. I consider NZ to be my home for now, but since I do not have residency/citizenship in NZ and have spent most of my life in the US…I would consider the US to be my first home if I had to choose between the two.

4) Would you say your quality of life has improved since moving to NZ and if so in what way?

I do think that my quality of life has improved since moving to NZ. The work/life balance that is instilled in much of the NZ culture allows for more “free time”. Utilizing vacation leave is encouraged and sometimes required in some companies…and there is no shortage of amazing places to see within the country.

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Name: Rhonda AlbomGoingNZ Expat Series

Website: albomadventures.com

“We have more family time now, a safer neighborhood, and a generally more relaxed attitude. I think New Zealand is a fantastic place for children to grow up.”

Originally from: Hibiscus Coast, USA 

Now living in: Auckland

1) If you could give your old self some advice (before you moved to NZ) what would it be?

Bring less, although keep warm clothing, rent before you buy, be open minded and immerse yourself in the community.

2) How did you find friends and a support network in NZ and how long did it take you?

We found making friends here more difficult than we expected. Like anywhere else, the best way to meet people is to immerse yourself in community activities. After 13 years here, I can still say that over half of my good friends are also expats.

3) Do you call New Zealand home? And if not, how long do you think it’ll be until you do?

Yes, I call New Zealand home, although I will always be an American as well. I think it took only about 3 years for me to start feeling like this is home. Our girls are fully integrated and consider themselves Kiwi. They were 3 and 5 when we arrived.

4) Would you say your quality of life has improved since moving to NZ and if so in what way?

Yes. For us (coming from San Francisco 13 years ago) the cost of living in NZ is lower. We have more family time, a safer neighborhood, and a generally more relaxed attitude. I think New Zealand is a fantastic place for children to grow up.

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Name: Anne Baumscheiper, 29anne goingnz

“I have definitely learned to relax and enjoy my living environment more :-)”

Originally from: Steinfurt, Germany 

Now living in: Auckland

1) If you could give your old self some advice (before you moved to NZ) what would it be?

Stay calm and don’t worry so much about how to sort the little things – there will be a solution for everything. Prepare documents you need well in advance and estimate delays.

2) How did you find friends and a support network in NZ and how long did it take you?

Luckily I have been in New Zealand before so a few of the people I met when I arrived here for the first time are still around. We stayed in touch even when I was back in Germany for some time so coming back was easier. I found most of them due to my work and the others through my homestay, current flatmates and some common friends in Europe.  I can’t really say how long it took me – I think it was a process of a few months until I realized that I have quite a good support network here.

3) Do you call New Zealand home? And if not, how long do you think it’ll be until you do?

I do actually. But I also call Europe home. I know the proverb is cheesy but “Home is where your heart is” definitely fits for me. My heart is here where I feel welcome and enjoy the relaxed way of living but it also is back in Germany where my other friends and especially my family lives.

4) Would you say your quality of life has improved since moving to NZ and if so in what way?

It has for me. I find the work-life balance here way better –  I didn’t even realize how much calmer you can get when you live close to the beach/ocean and can easily get there after work even if it is only for an hour.  I realize also that I am traveling even more than I did before over the weekends – to be fair I skipped that a bit in winter –  but the next few weekend are already planned again.  I have definitely learned to relax and enjoy my living environment more 🙂

Name: Leanne Dilnotgoingnz

“There is a great app called ‘Meet Up’  which I would recommend to anyone moving over.”

Originally from: West Yorkshire, England 

Now living in: Wellington

1) If you could give your old self some advice (before you moved to NZ) what would it be?

Don’t bother wasting money going through an agency.  For us, it was a big waste of money and the support or advice really wasn’t there like they had promised.  Had we looked into it ourselves more closely we would have been able to save a lot of money and stress doing it ourselves.

2) How did you find friends and a support network in NZ and how long did it take you?

It’s taken a year to get a close friend also from England and a few friends who we enjoy spending time with when time permits.  Also from England.  As we came over on my partner’s job status I had to find a job before I really met anyone.  Funnily enough, I’m self-employed now and pretty much work solo so you need to step outside your own boundaries to meet people.  There is a great app called ‘Meet Up’  which I would recommend to anyone moving over.  The events and clubs are hosted by volunteers but it’s a great way to get out and about and mingle with people.

3) Do you call New Zealand home? And if not, how long do you think it’ll be until you do?

When I’m in England I refer to NZ as home. When I’m here I refer to England as home.  Haha! I’m not sure, ask me again in 5 years!

4) Would you say your quality of life has improved since moving to NZ and if so in what way?

Yes! It’s a relaxed environment.  Very outdoorsy,  even if you’re not that way out in England I guess you slot in.  So many things to do. All the time. I’m not a parent, but after traveling a lot this place certainly is a great place to bring them up!  Kids can be kids here. It’s great!

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Name: Helen Lingardgoingnz

“You may work harder in NZ (sometimes) but the lifestyle is far more relaxed.”

Originally from: Wales 

Now living in: Wellington

1) If you could give your old self some advice (before you moved to NZ) what would it be?

Same advice I’d give my old self Love yourself, Follow your heart… Travel the world.. and the Grass isn’t’ greener – You take YOU with you 🙂

2) How did you find friends and a support network in NZ and how long did it take you?

I went with my partner so I first made friends with his family and then I moved out and got myself a flat, work and made friends that way. When my marriage split up once again I had to make friends. So I used to go to my kid’s school and go up to people and just introduce myself. Plus there’s tons of Meet Ups. Lots of things to do 🙂  It takes as long as you let it 🙂 Like anything 🙂 Just do it.

3) Do you call New Zealand home? And if not, how long do you think it’ll be until you do?

Currently, my kids (grown up) are back there and I have a house there, so it’s always going to be my home and I very much appreciate my adopted home too.I’m not sure I really appreciated it until I came back to the UK. I love the UK too – very blessed to have two homes !! 🙂

4) Would you say your quality of life has improved since moving to NZ and if so in what way?

I remember when we first arrived in 1999, (back after 6 years away) and realizing it was OK to l let my kids walk up to the park on their own…   I think it’s swings and roundabouts… You may work harder in NZ (sometimes) but the lifestyle is far more relaxed. I bought my house, as a single Mmum  – it has a beautiful view of the sea and it’s an old house, would never have got that in the UK, so I am very blessed.

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Name: Heather Wilson, 36expat goingnz

“My quality of life has improved, as far as not living in built up crowded areas, less stress, less crime.”

Originally from: Cambridge, England 

Now living in: Wellington

1) If you could give your old self some advice (before you moved to NZ) what would it be?

If having sold a property in UK and buying in NZ and funds are good, buy into investment properties, at least one.

2) How did you find friends and a support network in NZ and how long did it take you?

That was pretty hard, the kiwis where I moved to are very polite etc on the outside but not very welcoming in inviting you over the threshold…so I just got to know people slowly through working but still, they weren’t very sociable.

3) Do you call New Zealand home? And if not, how long do you think it’ll be until you do?

Yes its home now, don’t like the way the UK has gone, can never see me returning there unless I was stinking rich and lived on a big country estate lol

4) Would you say your quality of life has improved since moving to NZ and if so in what way?

The quality of life has improved, as far as not living in built up crowded areas, less stress, less crime. But I’m poorer living here I have to say, but then I’m a single parent now…the joys. But I still wouldn’t give up my life here.

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Name: Jason Kennedy, 46jason-expat

“Kiwis can take some time to warm up but once they are their friendship can be very rewarding.”

Originally from: Durham, England

Now living in: Auckland

1) If you could give your old self some advice (before you moved to NZ) what would it be?

Be patient as things won’t happen overnight. It takes time to settle into a new country and find a compatible if not better job, friends and social like. So don’t be despondent, good things happen to those who wait and are willing to work hard for them.

2) How did you find friends and a support network in NZ and how long did it take you?

I think with being in my early 40s it was probably a bit harder to find friends and a support network. You just have to put yourself out there and get involved with your local clubs, sports, and events. Kiwis can take some time to warm up but once they are their friendship can be very rewarding.

3) Do you call New Zealand home? And if not, how long do you think it’ll be until you do?

Yes, I do call NZ home but I can’t tell you how long it will take for me to switch allegiance to the All Blacks.

4) Would you say your quality of life has improved since moving to NZ and if so in what way?

I think my quality of life has improved in some ways but not others. I am better off financially and with living in the city it is so much easier to get around and see events, I have been to more concerts in the last 5 years than the previous 20. There are also so many varied and good spots to spend weekends and it feels like you are on holiday. On the downside, it is tough to travel to different countries and hard to replace those lifelong friendships that you have left behind.

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Name: Gaynor Gemmillhouse goingnz

“You will probably be drawn to people from the same country as you, as they’ve gone through the same journey as you, and that’s okay.”

Originally from: Cardiff, Wales 

Now living in: Christchurch

1) If you could give your old self some advice (before you moved to NZ) what would it be?

Research everything. In fact, have a research holiday!  Get the feel for where you’d like to live. While here price up food, rentals, houses, furniture etc. it’s more expensive here.  Find a friendly rental agent if you’re going to rent for a while, and get her contact details. They’re harder to contact from UK. Tell her the kind of rental you’ll be looking for. The more info they have the better. You don’t want to end up in a filthy damp moldy place.  Take all your belongings with you -it’s cheaper in the long run. Get recommendations for good international movers. Ours were terrible.  Make sure they know exactly how much stuff you have or they will underestimate the size of the container and you’ll end up leaving stuff behind and having to negotiate the cost of them sending it over.  They have the upper hand as they have your stuff.  NZ is not Australia. We have seasons just like

Take all your belongings with you -it’s cheaper in the long run. Get recommendations for good international movers. Ours were terrible.  Make sure they know exactly how much stuff you have or they will underestimate the size of the container and you’ll end up leaving stuff behind and having to negotiate the cost of them sending it over.  They have the upper hand as they have your stuff.  NZ is not Australia. We have seasons just like UK. Warmer in the North Island though. I had several holidays here with my Kiwi husband which helped but I have lots of British friends who had never been to NZ and then moved out. Nothing will prepare you for the isolation you feel. The thought that if something happened to you while out shopping, no one would know who you are. The loneliness. You miss your friends and family and skype is not the same. It takes two years at least to settle and get to know people and you will probably be drawn to British people too as they’ve gone through the same

Nothing will prepare you for the isolation you feel. The thought that if something happened to you while out shopping, no one would know who you are. The loneliness. You miss your friends and family and skype is not the same. It takes two years at least to settle and get to know people and you will probably be drawn to British people too as they’ve gone through the same journey. Know this is exactly what you want and you’re not running away from something.

2) How did you find friends and a support network in NZ and how long did it take you?

I found my first friend while working, shes’s British too, and she introduced me to lots of people as she did Zumba classes and had parties.  Join Brits of New Zealand on Facebook, it’s great.  You can find fellow Brits in your area and meet for coffee.  Join things through community centers that you enjoy. You’ll meet people when working although not necessarily become friends but just that social interaction is better than being home alone. It takes about two years before you really find friends.

3) Do you call New Zealand home? And if not, how long do you think it’ll be until you do?

Yes and I also call Cardiff home. I have two homes and they both have things I love. Ideally. I would put all the things I love together in NZ and then be fully content.  You will always feel drawn to your country but as time goes on you establish a peace with it.

4) Would you say your quality of life has improved since moving to NZ and if so in what way?

Yes and no.  It’s been very hard financially. We got here 5 days before the February earthquake in Christchurch and that made things even harder. I feel the Kiwis tend to prioritize Kiwis for jobs first.  I’ve been here five years and we now have a franchise in the renovation.  It’s very hard work, you’re starting all over again after all.

Having said that I feel more content here. Fewer crowds, less traffic and I can’t complain about immigrants anymore as I am one.  Our house is nearly three times bigger and in a lovely area. We know we’d never have that in the UK unless out in the middle of nowhere. I also enjoy the traveling as the “motorways” are quieter.

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Name: Helen

“NZ still feels like a secret little paradise at the bottom of the globe. I love it!”

Originally from: London, England 

Now living in: Auckland

1) If you could give your old self some advice (before you moved to NZ) what would it be?

Do a lot of shopping before you come. Clothes for the next 5 years. Toiletries. Underwear. More toiletries. It’s really expensive to buy those things here and the choice is limited. Plus NZ is so fab you don’t wanna be spending your money on boring things like cleanser and knickers – you want to be camping every summer weekend and going to the snow in winter.

2) How did you find friends and a support network in NZ and how long did it take you?

I inherited a great bunch of mates through my sister who was already here so it was easy for me. Plus I’m in Auckland and there are heaps of migrants here. Took a few years to really have close friends of my own, like the ones I left behind in the UK.

3) Do you call New Zealand home? And if not, how long do you think it’ll be until you do?

Yes, I do. When I go abroad, it feels good to come home to NZ. Still feels like a secret little paradise at the bottom of the globe.

4) Would you say your quality of life has improved since moving to NZ and if so in what way?

Yes for sure. My life is not so commercial, I have no idea about the latest phones or gadgets or clothes etc. I go to the most beautiful beaches and there are no apartment blocks or shops or restaurants right there. I live in the busiest city in the country but I can still have a swim in the sea just 10 mins up the road. And when I’m out of Auckland, you suddenly remember that there is hardly anyone here. So totally different from Hackney!

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Name: Kerri & Nathan

“The people here are generally very upbeat, positive and incredibly friendly, which is very refreshing.”

Originally from: Newcastle, England 

Now living in: Rotorua

1) If you could give your old self some advice (before you moved to NZ) what would it be?

Immigrant sooner. Things that you think would never be accepted into the NZ by customs/MAF will be e.g. cleaned garden tools. Best to bring everything and discuss it with MAF once your container arrives. The cost of living in NZ is higher than the UK, but odd things are sometimes vastly cheaper.

Relax, this is New Zealand, things just seem to work. The art of customer service still exists here and oddly, at least in our experience, the governmental services seem to work very efficiently! The housing market (buying or renting) is extremely competitive, so be aware.

2) How did you find friends and a support network in NZ and how long did it take you?

Thought work and school/daycare friends parents for the kids. Facebook groups. Generally getting out there and talking to people who you meet. Within about 3 or 4 months you should have a group of people who you can count as friends.

3) Do you call New Zealand home? And if not, how long do you think it’ll be until you do?

Not as yet, we have only been in the country for 7 months. But hopefully, in the not too distant future, we will. But neither my wife or I, have any desire to return to the UK to live. Which is a promising sign given everything we have read suggests the first 18 months will be the most difficult and the biggest strain.

4) Would you say your quality of life has improved since moving to NZ and if so in what way?

Vastly. The food and drink is far superior to that we had in the UK. The quality of life is far better, and we haven’t even been through an NZ summer as yet! The people here are generally very upbeat, positive and incredibly friendly, which is very refreshing.

As a family, we are excited by the prospects the country has to offer for recreation, activities and the general beauty of the place, all of which we want to explore thoroughly over the next few years. It’s a whole new world to explore.

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Name: Penny Scutt, 36

“We have a much more relaxed way of life here and to get to spend so much of our time outside….we are very lucky.”

Originally from: London, England 

Now living in: Auckland

1) If you could give your old self some advice (before you moved to NZ) what would it be?

Remember to think of the distance in days rather than miles. My Mmum gave me that advice. Be fully aware of what you are leaving behind and always remember that these days keeping in touch with loved ones is so much more accessible with the use of Skype, Facebook etc, the world is much more connected than it was 10 years ago.

2) How did you find friends and a support network in NZ and how long did it take you?

It took me a while to find a good circle of friends, to be honest, maybe 3-4 years, probably when my eldest started school, I met other Mums with similar aged children and became part of the school community. Before that, I wasn’t really aware of other groups for Mums such as playgroups and play centers. I was so happy to start meeting people it really helped to finally feel I belonged and that’s when NZ started to feel like home to me.

3) Do you call New Zealand home? And if not, how long do you think it’ll be until you do?

I absolutely call NZ home now. It did take a while, to be honest, but that was probably due to the loss of my Father when my daughter was born. I still have waves of missing my other “home” but know that this is where my children and I belong. I used to think if I ever got to go back to England (it’s been nearly 12 years… yikes) I would find it hard to leave but now I know if I ever got back then it would just be a visit and then I would be coming home to NZ… if that makes sense.

4) Would you say your quality of life has improved since moving to NZ and if so in what way?

My quality of life has improved for sure. Not just for me but for my children too. We have a much more relaxed way of life here and to get to spend so much of our time outside….we are very lucky.

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Name: Lynda Taylor, 61

“Things you shouldn’t do are to compare things with the UK or the country you have come from.”

Originally from: Manchester, England 

Now living in: Auckland

1) If you could give your old self some advice (before you moved to NZ) what would it be?

If I were to give myself some advice it would have been to commence this journey 10 years earlier. There is so much to do here but I am no longer brave enough at 61 to do them.  Ie bungy jumping…

2) How did you find friends and a support network in NZ and how long did it take you?

It’s easy to become lazy here. I was so knocked out with the beauty I was just wanting to explore as much if the country as possible.  This is great but its, still just me and hubby.  John joined a football club and we quickly made friends. I took a teaching job at the local college and made friends. During the summer there are lots of free events and they require volunteers. So we did that. Every weekend someone will be having a bbq and it’s odd to have to go to an stranger’s home but in the same way, you have to get out of your comfort zone and do it.  Just have to get out there and try new things….. we even went line dancing…. ha ha!

3) Do you call New Zealand home? And if not, how long do you think it’ll be until you do?

I called NZ home after about a year…I settled in quite quickly. Things you shouldn’t do are to compare things with the UK or the country you have come from.    Tomatoes are cheaper in UK. Chocolate tastes better etc. Stop this you have to embrace NZ and its lifestyle. I missed getting mail through the post as no one knows you here so you don’t get the post.  On the other hand, the anonymity means you can do things you wouldn’t normally do in case anyone sees you.  I.e line dancing dressed as a cowboy or roller blading down the road or dressed as a chicken on the side if the road.  We raised funds for charity and stretched ourselves to do things we wouldn’t get the opportunity to do.

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Have a question or something you’d like to say about moving to New Zealand?

We would love to hear from anyone looking to move to New Zealand and expats currently living in New Zealand. Please leave a comment below or drop us an e-mail directly: dawn@goingnz.com

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2017-05-17T02:18:00+00:00 Expat Life, Living in New Zealand|Comments Off on What is it like to live in New Zealand?