Expat In Christchurch Post Quake

Continuing our series of Migrant Tales, first hand accounts of the migrant experience of New Zealand taken from places around the net.

Today’s tale comes from an emigration forum and it was posted in response to a query from an intending immigrant about present living and working conditions in Christchurch.

Life is far from normal there, something that isn’t getting across to well in other countries. Perhaps, in no small part, to New Zealand being anxious to protect its tourism, immigration and education industries.

Just a quick update about Christchurch for you. The city has nowhere near recovered yet, sorry to say. The CBD is still cordoned off and I would guess it will remain this way for ages yet. Many of the buildings have, and still are being demolished and the city centre will never be the same again. I work just on outskirts of CBD in Merivale and this used to be regarded as a lovely place to live, along with many other areas such as Riccarton, Fendalton, St Albans etc etc but I have to say I wouldn’t like to be living there just now. The after shocks are still quite strong and may continue to be so for a long time. However if you need to be in Chch I would definitely stay away from areas on the east near the coast!

We live near Rangiora which is about 30 mins drive into work and there are plenty of good schools around here for your children if you didn’t want to take them back into Christchurch everyday. Being ‘country bumpkins’ we love it round here but that isnt to say it will suit everyone. We do still feel the aftershocks here but they feel nothing like as bad as they do in the city.

Please don’t underestimate the consequences of the quakes – they are quite disturbing at times and can be very emotionally draining and upsetting – so for you and your childrens benefit, choose your area wisely! I’m not trying to put you off at all – we really do love it her and arent thinking about moving even if we could, but we are really glad we don’t live near city right now.

Rental places are fairly hard to find but there are a few. We were looking only yesterday at places available and there are quite a few in Kaiapoi and Woodend that look quite nice but personally I wouldn’t want to live there either. They are lovely little towns too, but with all rumbles still happening, both are too near to the coast for our liking. Check out realestate.co.nz & trademe.co.nz.

If I were you I wouldn’t take on a long let until you have been here for a while and you have had time to have a good look around.