Continuing in our series of Migrant Stories: first hand accounts of migrant life in New Zealand, taken from locations around the net.
Today’s story is taken from an emigration forum frequented mostly by British people.
“I am married to a kiwi and also lived there for 2yrs. Even my husbands fills with dread at the thought of living there again!! He says he has outgrown it, which is the case for many NZers!
I also felt as if i was in gods waiting room. Good humour is not one of their strong points, and a fair few of them can be extremely narrow minded. I suppose being so isolated fromt he rest of the world might have somehting to do with it. OH says that once he had left NZ and seen what the rest of the world has to offer, he really couldnt live there again, no matter how pretty the view from your window is!
reply: Hi we’ve been in NZ about 21 months now. Its several things for us. The very high cost of living just to buy everyday groceries, also huge power bills (over 600 – 800 monthly) because we’re still living in a rental that has no heating to speak of but is a five bedroom home, also no insulation so the place is like a bloody freezer in winter and an oven in summer.
The price of buying a house that is poorly built in terms of insulation, glazing & heating etc. etc. We feel the houses are just not worth what agents are asking for them. I swear its warmer outside right now than inside our house!
We love the scenery and living close to the beach and going fishing etc. We’re just back from a few days skiing and that was great but again it cost a fortune. I agree with the previous posters who said that to do the outdoorsy quality of life thing is really only possible if you earn lots of money. Also the lack of proper health care facilities and the way you have to pay for absolutely everything unless of course its a sporting injury (ACC) and then no redundancy safety net or welfare state to speak of as well.
Our main worry though is the standard or lack thereof in education. Our two boys are in the latter stages of primary school and to get a reasonable high school education we would either have to be in the right catchment area in Wellington or send them both to residential private school. We can’t afford to do the latter and don’t want to be without our kids; we might as well have stayed in UK if we have to live in a city for the former. My kids rarely get homework and when they do it is ridiculously simple stuff. They seem to spend a lot of time on art, music, maori lang., sports, RI and minimal time on Maths, English & Science. There are only two teachers in the school with any science background at all, the rest are all arts. Our school is thought of as one of the best here in our area…Goodness knows why. Sorry to whinge on a bit but hard to stop once started.
We hope to return to UK so that our eldest can still retrieve some knowledge from the last year of Primary education in Scotland.
Not so simple though as they’re are not any suitable jobs in my husband’s field available right now unless we’re willing to go to London or Manchester. We really want to be somewhere in Scotland again. So here’s hoping a good opportunity comes up in the next couple of month
reply: I have only been here 6 months….not long I know. My hubby came out around 6/7 months before me. I had to stay in the UK to sort out our house over there. I said before we came we need to give it a minimum for 12 months before we made any decision but I think we’ve made up our minds.
I have to be totally honest and say I don’t really miss my family and friends that much. For us it’s financial and work reasons. We knew before we came we would be worse off financially but hoped the “improvement” in our lifestyle would make up for it. As you say you need money to achieve that. I have found the cost of living shockingly high, add that to the shockingly low wages it doesn’t make good sense to stay. Yes the views are fantastic, I drive the kids to school and think wow look at that but at the end of the day, (like lots of people said to me before we came) views don’t pay the bills. Our work life balance has also suffered greatly. We spend less time together as a family than we did in the UK.
Lots of people are telling me to give it more time but I think I could give it all the time in the world but the two main things (work & money) will not improve. I could go on and on but don’t want to be a whinge!!
We are looking into the possiblility of getting our old jobs back…..fingers crossed if everything goes OK we will be moving back towards the end of the year/early next year.”