“NZ vs UK – not all it’s cracked up to be. Is it just me?” and NZ is a “broken shit hole”

work life balance

Finding the right balance can be hard for many migrants in New Zealand

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Here’s some of the things people say about New Zealand, some of them from the forum at Trademe.co.nz:

It’s not about hating, it’s about informing. I too, struggled with 37.5 hrs of work being 40 here and having a house that was under-insulated. It just didn’t occur to me to think that is miss the central heating – NZ’s hot, right? I still miss the UK – I miss it’s history, it’s closeness to Europe, Christmas in winter, all the wonderful consumerism (tic – but the shopping is limited here). It’s all about letting potential migrants know not to look through rose tinted glasses when they consider shifting across the world. Some people live a challenge, others don’t.

or

BTW, I love NZ dearly and will never say a bad word about it. But, I don’t approve the lies that lure the would be emigrants. It is unethical and dishonest and creates misery for all.I wonder if the mis-information side of this, should be approached as I agree. I have known English people to sell up everything to come here and they buy places NZer’s wouldn’t touch like low lying land and places with little sunshine and NZer’s don’t warn them and no authority’s do either. A lot of immigrants regret the move but that is why sites like this is important to them. Tell the hard truth. Tell it like it is. NZer’s are not that particularly nice. Look at our statistics in suicide and violence…there is the plain cold facts.

or

I wonder if the mis-information side of this, should be approached as I agree. I have known English people to sell up everything to come here and they buy places NZer’s wouldn’t touch like low lying land and places with little sunshine and NZer’s don’t warn them and no authority’s do either. A lot of immigrants regret the move but that is why sites like this is important to them. Tell the hard truth. Tell it like it is. NZer’s are not that particularly nice. Look at our statistics in suicide and violence…there is the plain cold facts.

or

I had to move back here and while I had been told of the differences, I don’t think I really believed it until I was actually here. Knowing and actually comprehending things are totally different I think.

I left a job in the US that, on a good week, could pay nearly $2,000 after bonuses. That same job in NZ MIGHT pay $430/week with no bonuses. So what was a career choice (a job I loved) in the US, where I could save and have plenty of money to play with after paying my bills, is no choice at all here in NZ. Is it my fault for not thinking ahead? Well, maybe, but then I never ever planned to move back to NZ.

The reason why NZ is so slow to improve is because it’s residents are willing to settle. Instead of expecting more bang for their buck they have the whole “harden up” “she’ll be right” mentality.

Personally the one thing I despised most about moving here was being told to harden up. How insulting.

or

It’s just about a catch phrase here, though halo….hard men in rugby…hard farming life…..new country so the blood and tears of our early settler families runs thick and fast in our veins. NZ is not a place for the faint hearted and I think we are hard on immigrants as well as our EX pats returned. If anything we are getting worse. I am well travelled and as much as I love NZ, I know it takes a certain type to take to the lifestyle and that type is a unique blend of easy going, hard working, can blend in and does not rock the boat type…anything else is fodder

or

I think the important thing is to not have blinders on. And I think many kiwi’s have a “she’ll be right” attitude to many things.

The basic fact is, NZ is way more expensive, the quality of stuff here is appalling, food is extremely expensive, the roads are terrible, the standard of housing is shocking, heating is backwards…the list is endless.

Many people would find that if houses were insulated and had double glazing, many houses wouldn’t need to be heated to any great extent. There wouldn’t be mold, dampness and health issues. Just because you’ve lived with it before doesn’t make it right. As for renting? I lived right in Atlanta, Georgia USA and had an apartment in a very good area and my rent was $400USD a month, not a week, a month. My power bill was $80USD in the middle of winter. That’s using dryers and having heat on 24/7.

I say all this and I am a Kiwi. And to be 100% honest, if I was able, I would leave tomorrow and go back to the US. That doesn’t make me bad or wrong. It’s just that I know that I had a far better standard of living over there than I do here. Over there I could save. Here it’s a struggle to make it from one week to the next.

And I agree with many on that website…meet a kiwi abroad and they are extremely friendly. Come here to NZ and they are reserved, private and suspicious. I’ve been back for 8 years and still only have family as friends.

I love NZ and have lived here since 1973, but having just read the unhappy American story, much of what they say I find myself agreeing with, unfortunately.

or

Tend to agree with them that our cost of living is ridiculous as a food providing nation.Our food can be bought cheaper overseas.It’s all just big a rort, ripping off the locals for as much as they can get away.with-with Govt backing

or

We have travelled through Europe, America twice, Asia, Australia and are heading to Bali next week. I’m open to all cultures. I’m not living in a shitehole at present. Yes the economy is taking a hit but life here is still way better than the one we had in nz. We meet lots of nz’ers here and to be honest, every one of them is here to get ahead. They all run down this country and it’s people but when I say “why be here, go home ” they all say the same, Low wages, long hours, damn government, welfare state, can’t get ahead. You can put me down all you want but facts are facts. I’m not bagging out nz, I’m saying it how it is. Granted there’s lots of people in nz doing really well but the gap between the rich and the others is getting wider and wider. My sister-in-law in nz is a deputy principal with a degree and is paid less than me, a factory worker, seriously that is just plain wrong. We’re not all about the money but it does give us the option to live better. Nz has beautiful scenery, racing through the gorges of the south island and down the west coast on a motorbike is world beating but the scenery in other countries is still beautiful, just different. The harsh reality is you need to work to live, balance of quality of life is very important and living in nz didn’t give us that, living here does. Scenery doesn’t pay bills. Someone asked me why would I leave the beautiful scenery of nz? I said “if you live in paradise where do you go for a holiday?”

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 This should be a land of plenty,but houses,accommodation is pricey,jobs are few and not well paid unless you’re fortunate to be in the upper crust that looks after itself very nicely.

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Lol, looking at one website about leaving the UK to come here, it’s all “minutes from the beach”, city apartments, lifestyle blocks etc. Nothing mentioned about different quality of housing (insulation etc), higher food prices, longer hours.

or

Yes he points out NZs faults and yes NZ does have many faults
No country is perfect and while the life stye suits some its not the life syle overseas people want or expect
There are many places in the world better than NZ it’s just what are your needs or life stye you seek
Pity there is not one country that has the best of all countries in one place

or

When it comes down to it, there were no lies on that website.
We have to WANT to to live here. Let’s face it, there are disadvantages but then there are advantages.
But in the end run, the place is is a broken shit hole. But it is our broken shit hole and we love it.
I know where I want to bring up my kids .

or

I agree with everything you say, just found the website funny.

Similar to the ads we used to have about going dairy farming in NZ. Smiling happy dad coming back to smiling wife and kiddies on a glorious summers day. Not like my in laws who were always shattered!
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Welcome to our Migrant Tales series – first hand accounts of the migrant experience of New Zealand taken from places around the net.
Today’s tale was first published on a British expats immigration forum. The author and his wife moved from Scotland to New Zealand, he works in engineering and moved to Christchurch to work in the reconstruction.

He found that the work life balance in New Zealand isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, this is something that many people are saying and he’s not alone in this.

He says the cost of living in NZ is very high, his living accommodation is worse than in Scotland and life isn’t too good even though he’s earning a bigger salary than in Scotland and his wife no longer works.

His wife (ex cabin crew) has struggled to find work, with a baby on the way is it worth staying in NZ so far away from family back home?

NZ vs UK – not all it’s cracked up to be. Is it just me?
Hi,
I wanted to get other people’s opinions on their new life in New Zealand vs their old life’s in the UK. Before I begin, this is my opinion. Everyone is different and I don’t want to offend anyone. I am just wondering if my experience is the same as other people’s or are we alone.
My wife and I moved here 14 months ago from Scotland. I had an engineering job in Scotland and was earning around $60,000. My wife was cabin crew for a local airline and was earning around $28,000. We had a 3 bed victorian terrace in Dundee on the east coast of Scotland. I worked around 37.5 hours per week. My wife worked around 30 hours per week. Our family lives in Dundee and we used to see them regularly.
Due to the economic climate I felt my job wasn’t very secure and we began to explore options about moving overseas. A friend of mine had emmigrated to New Zealand a few years before and he was living in Christchurch and I had obviously heard about all the work going on as part of the rebuild so I contacted him to enquire if there was work out here. There was and after a few months and a couple of interviews I was offered a job and we moved out here.
I am working in a similar engineering role as I was back home, although I am working 45 hours a week. I am being paid around $90,000 though so with more hours comes more money. The thing is though, I was always told the work life balance in New Zealand was better than in the UK. I am working a day extra every week more than I was working back in the UK. I also get less holidays than I did in Scotland and more of my holidays here are determined by the company. I have to take 2 weeks at Christmas here whereas I only had to take 4 days leave at Christmas when I was at
home. That only leaves 2 weeks leave for the rest of the year which isn’t that much.
The cost of living here in Christchurch seems to be very high in comparison to Scotland. We are living in a 1 bed flat in the city which is only 25% cheaper than our 3 bed victorian terrace in Dundee. The quality of housing here is poor and a lot of houses don’t have double glazing or any sort of heating. They are also lacking in insulation which causes damp in the properties.
Fuel is only around 10% cheaper here than in Scotland. Second hand cars are a lot more expensive, although they do seem to last longer because they don’t salt the roads.
Food and alcohol is a lot more expensive than in Scotland. A 15 pack of beer will cost around $35 compared to around $20 in the UK. Food prices are very dependant on what’s in season. Recently tomatoes were $12/kg! Peppers (capsicums) are around $3 each. You can pick up a 3 pack in Tesco for $4!
If you want to go for a pint you are looking at paying around $8-$10 a pint. In Scotland I would be paying around $5-$6 a pint.
New Zealand is a beautiful country and I can see why people move here. It is a giant playground and because of the better weather people spend more time outdoors than they would back in Scotland. The thing is though, all the things we do here, we could do back home. Tramping, mountain biking etc. We feel that having more sunshine just isn’t enough to want us to stay here. Scotland is also a beautiful country with lots of beautiful places to visit. It does rain more often but you just learn to deal with the rain.
We are also starting to feel that it is just too far from home to stay permanently. We went home for a friends wedding in May and it cost us $10,000 for 3 weeks. There is no way we could afford to do that every year so we would maybe only manage to get home every 2 or 3 years. We would love for some of our family to move here but everyone is settled there and not everyone is earning enough money to be able to come out here every year.
We also miss having concerts or plays or shows to go and see. There isn’t a lot coming to the south island. We did go and see mumford and sons last week and it was amazing. It would be nice to have more things like that here.
My wife has struggled to pick up work since coming here and that has also been difficult. We have met some new friends but that has also been more difficult than we first thought. All our friends are expats. We find Kiwis, as friendly as they are when you initially meet them, are very reserved and private. Maybe this is just our experience or maybe this is just Christchurch, I don’t know.
My wife is now 4 months pregnant and we are at the point where we are not sure whether to stay here or go home and be closer to our family so we have support for the baby coming. We would love for our baby to get citizenship here so it had options when it was older but we don’t want
to sacrifice our happiness in the process.
Are we the only people who feel like this? Have other people been through similar feelings/emotions when moving here? How did you get through it or did you decide that it wasn’t for you? We were just surprised because we had heard so many wonderful things about NZ before we came and when we got here it wasn’t the same as we thought it would be.
Thank you in advance for your comments. I look forward to hearing all of your experiences and how you dealt with the massive changes involved in moving overseas.

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117 thoughts on ““NZ vs UK – not all it’s cracked up to be. Is it just me?” and NZ is a “broken shit hole”

  1. Born kiwi to, these statements are true New Zealand can be a very depressing place if you’re on a low income but having Australian cost of living or even more in some cases. But worked in the U.K. Couldn’t stand it and the wages were pretty crap and far to many people, now live in Vancouver Canada so much better but houses cost a fortune here too with Chinese overseas buyers.

  2. Hi, we are born & bred kiwis and are currently living and working in Dubai. My wife & I are both primary teachers and we moved to Dubai for the financial benefits. Being physically out of the country we have been able to get a different perspective. I think the bottom line is if you move to another country whether it’s NZ, Scotland or USA you will generally (not always of course) miss your home country because you have simply grew up there and you are used to its way of life plus missing all your family and friends. Yes NZ’s cost of living is high but I think overall it’s a pretty good place to raise a family. We are on holiday in London at the and it is a beautiful city but to get to work (commuting) cost of houses, weather etc you have to weigh up all those factors to see the big picture and it’s great for a holiday not to live long term. So to all those people who have made mostly negative comments about NZ I personally think it’s because they miss their homeland rather than they don’t like NZ.

    • E2NZ, in my comments I mention NZ does have a high cost of living so yes we did leave to better ourselves financially but home will always be home so we will be back sooner rather than later. We also left NZ also because we wanted the opportunity to travel, so it’s not all about the money. We made our own choice to move overseas just like all the other people that have written on this post have, I’m guessing they weren’t forced to come to NZ?

      • I would add that NZ is not really open to constructive criticism so this site to me, provides an opportunity to unload from time to time. NZ has an excessive corporate brand that many people buy into. Everyday we are bombarded with adverts, Godzone , special country, special people, happiest country etc etc However, you don’t have to look too far and see a lot of people are in the shit and are not living in the branded happy utopia. I do think that things are opening up a bit. Problems that were brushed under the carpet, like youth suicide and domestic abuse seem to have in the last couple of years made it into the mainstream public debate which is good to see.

    • Hi E2NZ

      Could you please delete all my comments regarding the above topic.

      Thanks Tim

      • Probably because the comments demonstrate:
        1. poor grammar (“you will generally (not always of course) miss your home country because you have simply grew up there”)
        2. a question made as a statement (“Could you please delete all my comments regarding the above topic.”)
        3. wrong use of the word (“We are on holiday in London at the and“).

        Not a good look for a teacher.

  3. I have been here since 1984 and arrived as a ten year old. I was told that we would go for holidays every weekend and that life would be fantastic. In reality you work really hard for little money. Basic living essentials such as houses, food, power etc are over priced so you end up with very little disposable income. People are nowhere near as friendly. You have many acquaintances but it’s difficult to get close to people. I live in Auckland so it’s difficult to see friends in Auckland after work and on weekends due to the traffic problems. I don’t feel any safer in Auckland than in England although I think the police do a great job. The scenery is beautiful but so is the English scenery when you haven’t seen it for awhile. It’s beautiful but in a different way and you have cheap travel to more beautiful countries in Europe just on your doorstep. There is so much more to do in England and in my town once you’ve made a friend you’ve made it for life. I definitely plan to go back to England and should have done it years ago. If you’re thinking of living in NZ think what do you value. If it’s family and friends don’t go. If it’s beaches then go, but remember if you don’t have a lot of money you have to work which eats up most of your time. The weather is not all it’s cracked up to be (in Auckland anyhow). We get a lot of rain and we can have four seasons in one day just like England. The houses are very cold so New Zealand winters actually feel a lot colder than they actually are with most people only heating one or two rooms of the house due to expense. Please think really seriously before moving over to New Zealand. You will still have the same problems in New Zealand – the grass is always greener on the other side. Life is what you make it and unless you live in a third world country there are no benefits, unless of course you want to escape from your family and friends. If you have no family in New Zealand it is very difficult when at times you may need support. New Zealanders tend to like to keep to themselves and most neighborhoods are not neighborly.

  4. We moved here just over a year ago from the UK and we have already decided to move back. Just like many young people we were drawn across by the promises of a better work life balance, better weather, cheaper houses and living costs and a greener society. We were very disappointed with the reality.
    Houses are only cheaper compared to expensive areas of the UK, I am from northern england and prices here are more than at home. Add to that the quality of housing. ‘Glorified sheds’ is the best description I have heard. They have no insulation, central heating or double glazing. Even though winter was much milder I was permanently cold.
    The cost of living is significantly higher. Food, drink, clothes, bills, cars, furniture – everything costs so much more. Healthcare is not free at the point of entry, doctors visits incur a charge as do ambulances! There is no state subsidised dental care for adults available, compared to NHS dental practices at home.
    I am a vet and the pay here is significantly lower. I get paid approximately 10gbp per hour and work a 45 hour week. My partner struggled to find work here and ended up as a casual farm worker. There is no personal tax exemption here as in the UK and so since august he has paid 1,500 gbp in tax which would have been 0gbp in the UK. Annual leave is also 4 weeks instead of 6.
    The roads are the most dangerous I have encountered outside of greece and Eastern Europe. We had heard it was mostly due to tourists however it is DEFINITELY due to kiwi drivers. They are incredibly dangerous. Undertaking is commonplace, merging is not understood and dangerous overtaking is the norm. I have witnessed a fatal crash and at least 5 other crashes since being here. The figures are widely available and clearly show you are more likely to be involved in a fatal accident in nz. Over the Christmas period this year there were 19 fatalities on nz roads compared with 19 fatalities on UK roads, astounding when you take into account the difference in population size.
    The warrant of fitness for cars is also not equivalent to an MOT at home. There are vehicles here on the roads from the 80s which definitely wouldn’t pass an MOT. After 9 months of owning our japanese import we were notified that infact the passenger airbag had been disabled before import! I also know someone whose car just passed its WOF despite not having a passenger side wing mirror!
    I am from the Lake District and find the outdoor opportunities here disappointing in comparison. Walking trails are more limited and as such busier, trails are very boring and in most of north island dogs are banned. Many campsites also ban dogs. It is very different to the UK as a nation of dog lovers.
    Animal welfare standards are also much lower here. The SPCA here does not compare to the RSPCA back at home. In my area the spca recently shut down due to lack of funding, leaving hundreds of people and animals in a desperate situation.
    Finally the notion that NZ is a ‘green’ country is questionable. I have witnessed tyre burning many times since being here. The waikato river recently claimed to be amongst the 5 cleanest in the world however I highly doubt this. Farming practices are far from environmentally friendly and eutrophication is worse than in the UK. Nitrate application by farmers appears to be far less tightly controlled. Cars are poorly maintained and much older compared to the UK and as such have very questionable emissions. Recycling is at a similar level to the UK and certainly not superior. Poor insulation means poor energy efficiency in homes, and since every house relies on wood burning stoves air quality is compromised in winter, and the amounts of wood needed to heat the average house are not sustainable.
    All in all I would recommend an extended trip to NZ before committing to a life here. I feel information supplied for potential immigrants is misleading and needs to be rectified.

    • Farewell New Zealand
      Time to move on from the struggle, 13 years of adopting and changing to the Kiwi life. It ain’t that bad, alas it ain’t so good.
      Why is New Zealand so boring. It has a climate, land mass that is pleasant. Different classes of people.
      White NZ
      Brown NZ
      Asian NZ
      Island NZ
      The most sad fact of living here has been the racist view from people. My son goes to a school, were the role is made up off 55% Asian children. And sadly i have seen white NZ become more opposed to these children. If you invite immigration, you have to accept the people who arrive.
      What is sad in all this, is that i have twice taken NZ companies to court and won both times for discrimination at work. I an British, white and speak 4 languages. Have lived in numerous countries and have my faults.
      Learning to adopt and deal with a country that struggles to change has not been easy. What happened to my work life i put down to bad eggs and the kiwi Tall Poppy syndrome.
      Yet in the last 3 years, i have seen and heard comments that have made me realize that New Zealand has a core fault of, ‘you ain’t one of us and never will be. ‘
      That brings all sorts of problems, listened in this forum.
      A lot of people move to New Zealand because they are running away from something.
      i have friends here, expats that moved here to escape the life of their home land. South Africans, who hope that their kids have level playing field.
      British/ Irish running from the rat race.
      Europe mainland, lack of work, taking the chance.
      What i have seen are those that come from small places adopt better, they want a private life and have little interaction with others.
      I see New Zealand is the Elephant grave yard, if you just want to exist and wait for death it is ideal.

      The big problem for New Zealand now, is immigration being Asian, as white Europeans don’t see New Zealand as a better opportunity anymore.
      This will bring even more racism and in the not too distant future, most school children will be Asian.
      So if i can return in 100 years and see New Zealand a happy place because the existing poor attitude is removed by the new immigrants, i would stay.
      As for now its farewell, to all the lies, the make believe No 8 wire folklore. Who cares, she be right, f…k off to your own country. list is endless
      New Zealand has little respect for any other human experience if it is not trapped in their own mind set.

      ENJOY THE LIES

    • Hi, I find your negative assessment of NZ seriously inaccurate. For example to state that the Waikato river claims to be the 5th cleanest river is like comparing it to the Thames. Any NZlander would find your comments hilarious!

  5. Kiwis suffer from the “harden up” attitude. “What doesn’t break you makes you stronger”.
    Kiwis often see asking for help as weakness. Weakness to be exploited like a piglet in the bush.
    Men especially cultivate a very macho image sometimesfor their own protection. AKA Once Were Warriors. All racial backgrounds can adopt it.
    Trouble is they act it so often they become the character.
    Kill partners and sometimes themselves.
    If you bring children to nz be aware they can go to the dark zone.
    Nice scenery though.

  6. Funny I laughed about the 40 hr week meant to be 37.5..Kiwis in construction industry seem to have a hero mentality I’ve seen loads working 70-80 hr weeks and I ask them why they put up with it. I’m paid for 40 but that ends up being nearer 50. The good news for some of these kiwi workers is that they’ve now moved to Brisbane. After a year in Oz, one ended up doubling his NZ salary probably because he was such a great worker. If you’re thinking of moving to Auckland and aren’t coming here with huge equity from your UK home I’d think twice about the move. I moved here in 2005 alone and got on the housing ladder. It was a modest 2 bed unit (nice damp red brick and tile unit (like a terrace house but bungalows in 4s to 8s or more) was purchased for $300k and is double that now. High level of migrants to Auckland / global challenges etc have depressed salaries which haven’t improved much since 2005. My salary was $58k in 2005, same job would perhaps be $70k today. So that property would be 8-9 times your salary now and thus unaffordable. Basically Auckland is now like the London I left in 2005 and I’m afraid I couldn’t recommend Akl for a young single person starting a new life as I did in 2005. Work has always been tough here but I guess thats the same wherever you live..As they say here “get over it” or “she’ll be right” lol. The next time I hear that I shall respond, yes she may bloody well be but I won’t lol. Also they’re a serious bunch over here, just needs another 500,000 Irish to introduce “da craic” I. e fun and not the ‘P’ as its known here. Theres no work in rural NZ, I’m stuck in Akl as feck all work in Tauranga / Mt Maunganui. Chch screwed, Wet and Windy Wellington. Hamilton is an option Aucklanders are moving to and they say Tauranga but everyone I know is constrained there due to work. Australia maybe better in that respect there’s more options for work Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide and Perth..Good luck would be migrants. The mysterious, beautiful and wonderful Aotearora as its sold by NZ Immigration means “land of the long white cloud”. We’d say it rains a lot in the UK and our weather is crap but the kiwis put a positive spin on it all, so be warned but hey you get a nice summer for 3-4 months of the year weather wise. Hottish for us pommies.

    • Hi Shaun,

      There are actually aspects of NZ I enjoy, I like walking and the country offers me plenty of walking tracks for example. It gives me easy access to a couple of other sports as well. However, I have found that you are constantly bombarded by people and the media telling how wonderful the country is, how special the people are and why it is better than everywhere else. I found it odd that I could see all sorts evidence to the contrary and thought it was just me. It was a revelation for me to stumble on this website and discover that other people had independently made the same observations as me. Sometimes NZ can feel a bit like a cult and anyone who criticises the cult is in for a very unpleasant time. Hence the need to come on here and let off a bit of steam. In the old days I would go to the pub with my mates and talk about this stuff. Over here, I have friends who are nice people but I just can’t have a conversation with them about any of the topics you see on here. It feels very subversive to criticise New Zealand.

      • HI George
        I too stumbled on this site after a google search on’missing home’ . Thank god I have found a site that is realistic! I have been here 2 months, after following my partner who came in January. I have been on holiday a couple of times but it is so different actually living here. I have kept things to myself as you can’t criticise any aspect of nz life out loud, and think your description of a cult is very apt. At first I found it very ‘stepford’ but the underbelly is beginning to show, I was particularly appalled at older people living in house buses, not for the hippy traveller lifestyle but out of necessity. I am an outgoing social person but have found it hard to make friends, even a kiwi admitted they are a closed group. Everyone is ‘very nice’ but keep you at arms length. We found it very difficult to rent a reasonable house but even this is cold, has raining inside windows and outdated facilities – heat bulb in the bathroom! Luckily we haven’t sold up in the uk and feel that the house prices are way overpriced . I think it will only be a matter of time before we decide to give up on the nz dream and go back home.

        • Hi Carol,

          Like you and many others here, I stumbled across this site, and have found it to be of great help. As George has mentioned above, this site made me realise that it wasn’t just me being on a “downer”, and feeling homesick (we moved here with my two kids and Kiwi husband in December 2016), and that I wasn’t concocting reasons for not wanting to be here. Before we moved here, I had been many times on holiday so I thought I knew what I was letting myself in for, and I thought I had a realistic view of the country. At the same time I knew it wouldn’t be 100% perfect, that settling would have it’s difficulties but even with this “less-than-rose-tinted” view of what life would be like here, I have been overwhelmed at how different life actually is here.

          I am really struggling – to the extent that I have needed medication to help me get through! – and I just hope that I can very soon persuade my husband that we should go back to the UK. New Zealanders have got to be the best marketeers in the world! Life is so different compared to how it is portrayed! Here’s what I struggle with on a daily basis (not in any particular order):

          1. The cost of living. Food, clothes, travel, rent….. we moved from London and life was much cheaper / better value. I’ve been to the supermarket this morning and paid $4.49 for a single red pepper (which was grown here!). I could buy this in Tesco’s for 52p (I checked on their website). An NZ grown cucumber set me back $5.49 – 45p in Tescos! A 2l bottle of semi-skimmed milk (Value brand!) cost $6.69 compared to £1.50 in the UK… I even saw 125g of NZ grown blueberries on sale in Countdown the other day for $9.99!!! People are having an absolute laugh here!!! I could understand if these were prices for imported goods but they are home-grown!

          2. Availability of products – such a poor choice of goods. So many people shop online from the UK as a result but I just think this is taking the whole “No. 8 wire fence” mentality to the extreme… why live like that when the benefits don’t outweigh the negatives??

          3. Media (another case of “No. 8 wire fence” living)…. I’ve got to the stage where I don’t turn the TV or radio on such is the quality of the content…. mundane, badly communicated, uniformative, trashy and to put it very bluntly, extremely crude. One example heard on ZM radio on a Tuesday morning whilst sorting breakie for the kids – a jingle saying “It’s Tuesday! Who gives an F? Let’s just get through it!” Why???????? I now listen to UK radio online and subscribe to a UK newspaper.

          4. Education system… lack of safeguarding (my son suffered a severe injury which required hospitalisation with possible life-long implications and the school’s response has been nothing short of shocking! They would have been chewed up and spat out in the UK – I know as I used to work in a school), lack of breadth in the school curriculum (my son in Year 7 doesn’t learn history or geography now… his teacher’s reason being that it’s “hard to get something for them to get interested in”!), Very NZ centric teaching, poor teaching of the basic building blocks of a primary education – my daughter’s Year 4 teacher said that they don’t bother teaching timestables in themselves and quite happily said that some kids leave Year 8 not even knowing their timestables! But rather they focus on “strategies” to help kids calculate things like 72 x 6…. “cart before horse” springs to mind! Run-down schools badly in need of a funding injection – my kids have commented since starting school here that their state school in the UK was more like a private school by comparison! Lack of respect and poor behaviour – witnessed while taking part in a school trip – the kids don’t know how to keep quiet and listen, and no-one seems to give a toss!

          5. Health system – widely experienced due to my son’s injury mentioned above – he had to wait over 30hrs for his operation as he was injured on a Friday. The hospital (in Lower Hutt which services Wellington so not anywhere completely in the sticks!) only had one operating theatre open on the weekend – this was also being used for C-section births… don’t those in authority appreciate that babies are born as much on weekends as on a weekday, and that probably more injuriies happen on weekends requiring plastic surgery??? Also numerous cock-ups as a result of under-funded, over-worked staff.

          6. Housing…. poor quality, lack of heating, mouldy, built on top of one another with not much outdoor space (I’m talking about Wellington) – we saw so many properties in our rental search which had less outdoor space than our 3 bed semi in London!

          7. Activities… if you’re in to tramping and mountain-biking you’ll be fine but if you want something more then you’ll struggle. I moved to Wellington thinking I’d have more choice in terms of entertainment seeing as it’s the capital but that was clearly a huge misjudgment. If there’s anything going on (and it’s limited anyway!), it’s more likely to be happening in Auckland or even Christchurch rather than here.

          8. 100% Crude New Zealand (rather than 100% Pure New Zealand)… if you want to shield your kids’ ears from bad language and prejudices don’t come here!! Foul language is really commonplace and no-one seems to care much about reining it in in front of kids (see also comment above about Media). How people speak about people with special needs or different races is staggering. I have heard the word “retard” used in numerous places (in front of my kids, in fact directed at my kids as a joke!, in the workplace…) And they say travel broadens the mind!?!?!?!?

          9. Haves and Have Nots…. NZers are very proud of their apparently classless society but it’s just divided up differently into those that can afford to eek out a relatively decent lifestyle here and those that can’t! But don’t dare suggest it’s anything similar to a class-based society (see point 11 below)

          10. Green, 100% Pure New Zealand image…. people in the UK are more environmentally aware and proactive than here! Yes, the air does feel cleaner and fresher but simple things like plastic shopping bags are still being handed out left, right and centre in supermarkets.

          11. And perhaps the point which winds me up the most given all of the above…. God forbid anyone criticises a Kiwi, or dares to suggest that perhaps an aspect of life might be better elsewhere!! Kiwis do not take criticism well nor deal with confrontation. And I think this is probably the biggest hurdle for anyone trying to settle here. Like so many of you have mentioned, you don’t feel able to speak freely about how you feel. I am from the UK, I know it is far from perfect but as a nation I think we will freely admit that. I am sick to death of being told that I am so much better off here… and sometimes this is even from people who’ve never been to the UK, or at most, have spent a few weeks there on holiday!

          Anyway, I feel better now for getting that all off my chest so thank you for providing this forum. New Zealand is not going to change, at least not in a hurry. People think they are forward-thinking and progressive here but that is without them delving too deeply. People talk about it taking a few years to settle here… I reckon that’s because it would take that long to “switch off” from being annoyed by the likes of the above and to allow yourself to get used to it. I don’t want to become the type of person who is prepared to put up with this…. not when I can have a fulfilling, exciting, fun life elsewhere. I am mid 40s and do not want to feel like I’ve moved to a retirement home just yet! Nor do I want for my kids to grow up in a country with so many issues. People say it’s a great place to raise kids…. but what happens when they become teenagers, and they can see more for themselves what they’re missing out on, and what life is really like here? Luckily we can afford the ridiculously high priced food for now but how could they afford it (and housing or some sort or another) when they leave school and are in their first job? NZ has the highest suicide rate in the world for 15 – 24yr olds and I suspect the issues I’ve listed here are all part and parcel of that…. I don’t want that for my kids!

          • New Zealand has had some amazing sporting achievements but you will notice after a while that the Rugby losses and grievances around those losses matter more. This year is the 10th anniversary of “the forward pass”. I guarantee the Cardiff 2007 anniversary will be a big deal come October. and there will be a lot of hate spewed on social media towards Englishman, Wayne Barnes. An English journalist called Mark Reason lives in New Zealand and seems to really enjoy winding up Kiwis, so I expect Mark will enjoy October.

    • Well if you hang out with these soft-cock poofter retard wankers its no wonder you feel down. Harden up mate and she’ll be right.
      PS I’m taking the piss and mimicking the vitriol you can expect to hear in NZ if you complain about NZ’s ultra poor health and safety index’s.
      These are statistics, not opinions and speak for themselves, count yourself lucky to hear it here.

    • I’ve been here 18 years, I’m from Birmingham, and I just haven’t had the experience some of there people have had

    • Take note of it because nz is definitely not all it’s cracked up to be. The weather this year in Tauranga has been no better than southern England as regards rainfall. I’ve been here since 2010. We first visited in 2004 and boy have we seen it go downhill. Violent crime, fuelled by drink and drugs is up and traffic is no joke, especially in Auckland. We’re retired and came to join our children and grandchildren so I’m not in a position to advise on work opportunities. We have a brand new house with double glazing and insulation but it’s still cold. We live on our uk pensions and I resent having to pay tax on the whole lot – no tax free allowance. Scenery you can find anywhere in the world, Britain has wonderful scenery, history and lots more. Think carefully, read the nz herald online before committing to the move. I’d go home tomorrow but my family is here.

  7. I moved to New Zealand when I was 16 I’m now 50. I loved New Zealand from the day I arrived, but lately somethings have started to change… My opinion is New Zealand has caught up with the rest of the world. We were once a sleepy backwards little country on the edge of a planet. We are now a major player in a much much smaller world. I believe New Zealand offers nothin special for me anymore we are no different to the US or the UK. I would be on the next plane home if it wasn’t for my son ( well his mother not letting him go with me he loves the uk too). The bottom line for me is New Zealand is still probability a great place to live but others places now offer the same with much much more. People have changes with immigration New Zealand is becoming like the UK we need doctors and nurses not taxi drivers And dairy owners New Zealands immigration policy or lack of one is about to bring the country to it knees and that is a crying shame that didn’t take notice of the warning signs. Good luck New Zealand I think your going to need it. I’m goin home…..

  8. One of the problems I found in NZ was the insularity and lack of culture. After 3 years I decided the most cultured thing in the place …. was perhaps — me.

  9. There was a change we noticed in about 2002. A local “jack the lad” drug dealer surfer type was badly injured in an accident.
    After that gang members from different gangs were seen regularly at his place. It was obvious that a few tinny sales had become major league organised crime.
    The drug dealer became owned by a gang. The fear and intimidation acute.

  10. I so agree. I’m a New Zealander and have lived here all my life. I wish I could afford to leave. NZ is finished. We used to have one of the highest standards of living in the world. Now we are fast declining, with one of the highest gaps between rich and poor, child poverty, high crime figures, a high prison population, homelessness and a mentality of money before people. Our politicians only care about themselves and any good ideas such as the supercity seem to all go wrong. NZ is declining fast. I know other countries aren’t perfect, but they don’t go around wearing rose-tinted glasses claiming we’re the best country in the world at the same time as people are dying from respiratory problems caused by mouldy homes because they can’t afford proper ventilation. Politicians refuse to provide free lunches in schools for hungry kids yet give themselves pay rises or waste taxpayers’ money on trying to get pandas for Wellington Zoo. I would say that in a hundred years or so, NZ will be like another Syria. Sadly, this web page says only the truth.

    • Bronwyn,

      I’d agree about the rose-tinted glasses, particularly in regard to NZ’s economic situation. It’s very difficult to convince some Kiwis that their country has been in decline relative to Australia for the past 30 years. They seem to think that here in Oz we’re all envious of NZ’s performance. Of course some right wing politicians present NZ as a success story, but that’s really propaganda.

      Btw, I’m not suggesting that Australia isn’t facing a difficult economic future, but perhaps Australians are more realistic.

      • There are couple of shrewd steps I noticed in the past few weeks:

        If you have to market a beach with just over 10% of the budget on hand then give it to NZ government, it will make sure to put it as a public litigation, give it prime time coverage, wind up a kiwi’ana story around it and wallah! there will be a $2M beach which no one knew existed in the country. Hey there will be tourists thronging to this new piece of paradise which has just been discovered by the governments PR machinery.
        un-Real estate: One of the simplest way to increase the land value evenly across the whole country was to first pump in as many new immigrants as possible into Auckland, then create an artificial shortage of properties (glorified sheds) , then let the people who made millions by selling their sheds move to outer regions and then increase the properties in those regions – these so called new regions do not have jobs at all !! So my dear friends, the local lot have so much if immigrants/outsiders money that they can play around as they want.

        I don’t see the local NZ news coverage any less than the N Korea’s propaganda news.

  11. Homophobia aside I agree with you about rugby. Where this obsession by a few enforced on the majority is sad: nz is a relatively small population and produces scientists, opera singers, talented chief executives etc etc and all the media says is that we in nz are rugby. There are people who see Changing the flag as an opportunity to brand nz with the silver fern on black precisely because this symbol is used by the team.
    Kiwi Kids grow up thinking sport is everything and the pinnacle of life is to be an all-black. Many are not suited physically and can only be adding physical and brain injuries to an often already disadvantaged start in life. This is insane.
    I agree that to me rugby looks stupid. That is just my opinion.
    However the damage that it does to kids bodies and aspirations is well recognised by many with special investigations into the effects of rugby concussions. It goes on because “that is who we are”.

  12. Go home. Alien culture on violence with extremely high baseline of acceptance of coercion intimidation and revenge. I don’t know quite why. LEAVE NZ. Things are getting worse in my experience.
    Kindness Rulz

  13. the midwifery profession here is absolutely amateur and fake, I was an older mum after having two teenagers, and was treated like a randy old cow that should be put out to pasture, unnecessary blood tests, over use of scanning which appeared to be to make me drive out of my way receive the scans for baby. Lastly the lack of cohesion between my midwife and her assistant, lead us to driving to the wrong hospital (on the relief midwifes suggestion). After a panic filled rush to a hospital that take us at least 30min to out of our way I almost gave birth in the car. Through out this whole process phone calls where going on and arrived at the hospital before the midwife!! For pain relief even though it was expressed in black and white in my nursing notes I would have strong painkillers should I require it. It was noted obviously on my birthing plan book, pethedine, gas and air or even an epidural if necessary could be permitted. Thank goodness baby was ok with such a harsh and sudden totally unnecessary entry into the world. The hospital staff offered me nothing but PANADOL do you realise what birth is I was thinking, or should I say groaning, bleeding and screaming in a basic shower stall of a birthing unit. The medical profession appears to not really help patients here. I began to think of some friends I know that have lost their children with out explanations in our medical field. N.Z trumps itself out to be a lot more “clean, green and healthy” than it really is. let alone safe, the infant mortality rate is to high for the population here, which must lead to a horrible incompetence with in the mid-wives ranks!! A safe place to raise kids, then how come a astounding number of morons each year run there kids over “accidently” in the drive way per year. Per head of capita that’s a high score. As for the child poverty, you only need to check those figures! over it what first world country offers the most basic analgesic for child birth!! Wake up New Zealand how nasty can you get!

    • There was something in the news a couple of years ago that NZ had the second highest rate of accidental deaths for children in the developed world. At the time the driving age was 15 and the Government reluctantly moved it up to 16 last year. The powerful farming lobbies tried to block the age increase. Another area of debate was 20 children killed in 10 years on Quad Bikes on Farms. The Farm Lobbies managed to shut down debate on that one but can you imagine the fuss if 20 children had been killed in school play ground accidents.

    • When my son was born, we arrived at the hospital, with my partner in labour. The person looked at her, due as she was and ready to give birth and asked: “Are you pregnant?”

      What kind of sham of a medical system is it, when a woman in labour is asked such a brain dead question?

  14. This is what I have noticed from some New Zealand forums, they do not like it one bit when the real face of New Zealand society is exposed, as for trade me, its a vile message board where people do not like the real face of New Zealand being exposed, they get very bitter over it

    • Oh man TM is a hellhole. Though I do find most of what I read around the internet is people do accept the high level of violent crime here. It seems to be the other stuff they want to blame everyone else for, like lack of jobs, housing etc. Do you follow Sensible Sentencing Trust? They seem to have the right idea about what’s going on and what needs to change.

      I spent almost an hour the other day talking with a Chinese guy I know who owns a store here, about the recent beating of that Chinese girl at the Papakura train station. I told him to tell everyone he knows in the Chinese community how dangerous this place really is. He totally agreed so hopefully this can save some people from future violence but overall won’t change the thinking here.

  15. Interesting site.

    I’m a Kiwi who’s been living in London for 18 months, lived in Germany for 3 years, and I’ve recently decided to go home next year around May. Hence I found this site whilst trying to draw up a list of pros and cons.

    I agree with many of the comments in this thread: the quality of houses in NZ is very poor (although in London it’s not much better from my experience), the living costs very high, and my salary won’t be what I’m earning now in London. I can’t comment on education since I only have experience with NZ schools and university. Luckily I have rarely needed to go to a doctor, so I really cannot comment on that either.

    John Key in general worries me a lot, and I’m proud to say that I did not vote for him. Let’s just leave it at that!

    I am looking to buy a house, and the prices in London are just ridiculous. Paying £400,000 for what I’d like in Brentwood, for example, compared to $550,000 NZD for what I’d like in NZ. Okay, interest rates are much higher in NZ, salaries lower, but you can actually buy something near to where you work. That’s quite appealing to me right now, too.

    I have to admit that the Brits have been very welcoming to me in London. I hope that we are the same to them, although this thread has me reconsidering that. I have very much enjoyed my expats years, especially getting to know a lot of people from a lot of different backgrounds.

    Obviously there are pros and cons to everywhere and nowhere is perfect. For example, I cannot wait to be able to drive to work again after 18 months’ tube experience. The public transport in London is dreadful compared to Frankfurt, Stuttgart, and Berlin… where I lived in Germany. However, obviously it’s lightyears ahead of anything in NZ. I will miss being able to pop across to Iceland/Sweden/Romania to visit friends for the weekend. However, I cannot wait to get back home to friendlier people and open space.

    I should also add that being on a work permit in the UK (and indeed 3 years in Germany) has worn me down. My career has not quite gone to plan since I do not have full access to the job market. I am thankful for the opportunities I have had in the UK and Germany; however, I just can’t keep going with limited opportunities. Having full access to the job market, and, indeed, starting my own company are more reasons to go home.

    • I think I am reasonably happy with my lot in the South Island. I have been drawn to this site because it discusses issues that people generally don’t want to talk about that might reflect badly on Brand New Zealand. If we for example live in a country with some of the highest rates of child abuse in the world my inclination is what can be done about that. A wealthy Kiwi expat called Owen Glenn wanted to do something about it and it was very interesting to see what happened to him in terms of smearing his reputation when he did try. It doesn’t compare to the NRA in America or Financiers in London but at a lower level there are still all sorts of vested interests that try and block out the truth on certain issues.

      • Yes, there are many issues in NZ that we need to be talking about. Suicide, child abuse, and domestic violence to name a few.

      • As I see it, I’m not sure anything can be done. I’m a support worker and the limits are insane. Social workers have even more power yet they can’t do a damn thing. Everything has to be evidenced based and that doesnt work. There’s no prevention, because that’s money spent on a ‘what if’. The ambulance at the bottom of the cliff, clean up duty, that’s all it is.

      • I have to disagree with that. I have applied for jobs in the UK — I work in information security, a growth area in general — for a total of 1 year over the last 18 months. (Nine months to find my current job in London, during which time I only had 2 interviews, and now 3 months of searching again with no interviews.) I have little problem getting HR/recruiters to call me after I’ve applied. However, it all ends when I tell them that I need a work permit. (It would also help if they actually read my cover letter, which clearly explains that…)

        The job market is obviously more diverse here in the UK, no doubt about it. However, based on my experience that I’ve outlined above, I simply do not have access to it because of my work permit requirement. I obviously never had these problems in NZ; I know people in the industry back home, and I’m confident that I’ll find something.

        Again, I am thankful for the opportunity to work in the UK. I knew all of this before I moved here. However, for me it’s clear that I will have far more opportunities in Auckland. Starting my own company — something I am not allowed to do here on my work permit — is quite appealing to me.

        • I can sympathise, I went back to the UK a few years ago with the intention of making some money and hit a brick wall in London and ended up being out of work for months with savings taking a big hit. The Agencies kept saying that I had stepped out of the London market for a few years and my experience wasn’t current. Absolute bollocks I thought, so we eventually ended up moving back to NZ where it took me about 2 days to get a job. I am English and didn’t need the paperwork like you. This isn’t an NZ issue. I have mates who have moved out of the London employment market to other countries and haven’t been able to get back into the London market. I would also say that in London you are considered too old at a quite a young age. That is just my experience but I would certainly advise Brits moving offshore to think through the long term implications.

        • I hope you do realize that, people who are working in NZ (on a Work Permit) also face similar challenges, they are also not allowed to open company or do consulting work on their own.

        • Can you not get a permanent resident visa, precludes the necessity of work visa/permit [tied to a company]? Don’t you need a work visa/permit for any kind of “over the table” work?

        • George, I’ve heard that about the London market. I guess I won’t find that when I’m back in Auckland, although I might run into tall poppy syndrome.

          AA, yes, of course I realise that. I’m not complaining; I’m simply stating that it’s one of the reasons why I’m heading back to NZ next year.

          carpentaro, no, there’s no way to get a permanent work permit under my circumstances. I need to be sponsored again to change jobs. Or stay another 3.5 years in my current job working for Evil Bank, which I hate (both the job and the bank).

    • Now that you’re, presumably, back in NZ, how have you found it. Driving to work in Auckland is now a nightmare and even in Tauranga peak periods are getting beyond a joke. Are you glad to be home and has it changed much in your opinion.

  16. Hiya,

    I’m in the planning stages of moving to NZ. My husband is a Kiwi and we have 2 daughters born in the UK. He’s going to continue running his online UK business, which has clients across the world, so not a huge issue finding NZ based work. So in our individual case in terms of cost of living, we will be much better off in NZ, so I think it really depends where you are moving from.
    Here in the West Country we have a 4 bed Victorian Terrace house. We have renovated it, as originally it had horrendous damp problems, no heating system, broken single glazed windows and a dodgy roof (ie this problem exists in plenty of UK homes too). We still have a mortgage of £115k but with the equity we have in this house we can buy a 3-4 detached house almost anywhere in NZ (barring Auckland) so I am confused by the many comments about how expensive NZ houses are. I know the UK property market very well, as I have renovated bought and sold a few houses, and after trawling NZ property sites, they are considerably cheaper when compared to the South or Middle of the UK. What am I missing here?

    Average cost of UK detached house in 2015 is £329,600 (according to the beeb http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/shared/spl/hi/in_depth/uk_house_prices/html/houses.stm).

    Average NZ house in 2015 is £216,403.8 on today’s exchange rate (http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/money/73611190/qv-average-new-zealand-house-now-500000).

    Both stats take into account regional variations.

    Now I read that the debt to income ratio is waaaaaaay higher in NZ than UK. NZ is in the top 5 for high debt to income ratios, where as, in some charts, the UK doesn’t even make top 20 internationally. I can only assume that Kiwi’s have huge mortgages?

    I have also looked at wages. Some are less, some similar, some more… so I guess that is also dependent on individual circumstance. Rent in NZ seems very high when compared to house prices. And mortgages are clearly higher than in the UK, where they are LOW LOW LOW (1.15% fixed 2 years with the Post Office!!).

    When I visited in 2010, I was shocked by the price and poor quality of the food compared to the UK. So I totally agree with those comments but house prices? People are way off. Also, eating out in NZ was often cheaper, which I can’t get my head around. I will hope to grow some of my own!

    On my visit I did struggle with homogeny of the culture as I toured the North Island. Auckland was unbelievably dull and soulless. But I loved Wellington. I thought it was a very cool and fun little city and certainly lots of culturally interesting things going on, theatre, opera, museum, exhibitions. “Hobbiton” had me spitting feathers though. Tolkein had the Cotswolds in mind when he created and described Hobbiton…. he did not have any NZ town in mind hahahahaha. Hence why Peter Jackson had to make a fake oak tree.

    Initially we were planning to build our own house in NZ as that is what my parents-in-law have always done, but after looking at costs, it doesn’t work out all that economically. And i’ve heard about “Pom-pricing” So would plan renovate something.

    The big question is…. why are NZ house so damp? Rising/ground level damp and penetrating damp are relatively easy to address (lower ground level, improve drainage etc), so I can only assume that similarly to the UK, most damp issues are actually caused by condensation? This is an ever increasing problem because we use labour saving devices that also produce much more water in our modern lives (kettles, tumble dryers etc). Is there higher air humidity in NZ? I hear that North facing houses don’t have damp which would indicate that the problem is condensation settling because of cold internal temperatures and insufficient ventilation, North facing houses get more sun, are therefore warmer and hence no damp. Surely some rads and a few extractor fans wouldn’t be all that hard to muster? Rather that than bloody lung infections surely?

    • Hi Ciderdrinker,

      My experience from living in the South Island is that we have spent a lot of money on upgrading with double glazing, heating systems and insulation etc and when it comes to sell it just doesn’t add any value and then we buy another house and it back to square one. I am reluctant to buy another property as I know it is going to blow a hole in my pocket to make it liveable.

      • Really? That’s certainly, at the least, very odd. Anywhere else in the world, if you improve a property (especially with stuff that makes a house warmer!!) then people will pay for that because who doesn’t want to feel warm in their house? Why wouldn’t Kiwis want to pay more for a warmer house?

        We are not planning to emigrate till later in 2016 but the NZ property market does leave me scratching my head.

        Plus there is also the HUGE bubble looming.

        I’m still reeling from the average construction costs. We will certainly consider building our own house, just to assure central heating and good insulation. And I know there aren’t the economies of scale in NZ that other nations might have but I really think there must be some price fixing going on for the costs to be sooooooooooooo high.

        • I live in the lower South Island. I have stunning views from my house which would probably be worth a fortune elsewhere in the world. However a 20 minute car ride into the City is considered a big commute here so the area isn’t quite so desired by the locals. Therefore plenty of Brits, Americans, Germans in the area. Wages levels haven’t increased in this area much in recent years so people have been borrowing off of increased property values. Despite what the Government are saying I think the housing market has been driven by offshore buyers. 2 million middle class Chinese people are interesting in buying investment properties in NZ according to a recent article. There has been a tightening up on the rules recently related to offshore speculators.

        • Hi Admin,

          Yes I agree, I am certainly not anti Chinese. I live in a flat real estate market but if I moved out of this area we would have limited equity so would have to borrow astronomical sums to buy in Auckland for example. We tried to move back to the UK but had the same problem in South East England so gave up on that and came back to the South Island. I came out here in my 20s (Married a Kiwi) and didn’t have the foresight that moving back to my part of the UK wouldn’t be economically viable in the future.

    • Hi Ciderdrinker
      If you have a preference for moving to wellington – you might be in a for bit of a shock wrt house prices.

      http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/73625044/wellington-house-prices-rise-some-apartments-down-in-council-revaluation

      The average price for the area is dragged down by cheaper housing in the hutt valley – Stokes Valley being notorious for the mongrel mob, Wainuiomata having been built on drained swamp land (risk of substantial damage in an earthquake)

      http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/news/4797707/Liquefaction-and-landslides-Wellingtons-quake-risks

      If you’re considering renovating an existing house you may be disappointed by the resultant benefit. Money Pit springs to mind.

      http://www.beaconpathway.co.nz/existing-homes/article/what_is_the_papakowhai_renovation_project

      As for the cost of installing central heating which practically no house has.
      http://www.centralheating.co.nz/wp-content/uploads/Cost-Comparison-Sheet.pdf

      Good luck in finding a competent plumber after that.

      Bear in mind that the reticulated gas network is limited to parts of the North Island only. No network exists in South Island.

      You may be also interested in the earthquake hazard maps.

      http://www.shakeout.govt.nz/wellington/

      http://www.arphs.govt.nz/Portals/0/Health%20Information/HealthyEnvironments/HealthyHousing/HealthyHousing-Ch6-92004.pdf

      http://www.refreshrenovations.co.nz/advice/how-much-does-it-cost-to-renovate-a-house-in-New-Zealand

      Auckland and many respects a good bit of the rest of new zealand is looking a lot like Ireland 2007 prior to the Housing Crash. You may want to factor in a decrease in house prices and subsequent currency devaulation – if you ever decide to move back to the UK.

      • Hi Brian Boru,

        I’ve been looking at asking prices and sold prices in Wellington. Obviously some areas are much more expensive than others.

        My biggest concern is how many financial analysts are suggesting that NZ property is overpriced. Some state that it’s up to 30% over priced (which would mean we’d be mad to buy in that climate).

        What will happen to the NZ economy if house prices have that big of a downward adjustment, when cost of living and income to debt ratios are amongst the highest in the world already? It’s quite scary really. Does the average Kiwi have awareness of how precarious their financial situation is right now?

        And random question but if gas central heating isn’t really done in NZ does anyone install underfloor heating? And what about solar energy? Here in the UK, huge numbers of people have had solar panels installed and more often than not, they have a surplus of energy that they sell back to the grid. The UK government subsidised a great deal of this investment over the past 10 years. NZ has a reputation for being environmentally friendly so is there a trend there for renewables? Do folks get solar panels etc?

        • Hi Ciderdrinker

          30% overvalued is an underestimate in my Opinion – looks increasingly like the Republic of Ireland circa 2007. Dublin house prices subsequently fell 53% from peak to trough.

          Note: Dublin loan to income multiples at peak were substantially less than Auckland today.

          An example of the madness is the following NZ Herald article “Houses earn more than Aucklanders”

          http://m.nzherald.co.nz/property/news/article.cfm?c_id=8&objectid=11530463

          Remember the 4 main NZ banks are owned by the 4 main Australian banks. Australia is also experiencing a massive housing bubble, particularly in Sydney, Melbourne. It’s likely any NZ housing bust will occur in tandem with one across the Tasman.

          The following blog
          http://blog.australiaboomtobust.com/
          provides some useful info on how precarious the Australian banks’ situation is. Some are probably more heavily leveraged than Lehman Brothers (yeah that one).

          For gas heating – gas ducted heating (warm air) is certainly more widespread than gas fired radiator heating. For radiator based / under floor heating (I’m assuming you mean warm water heating) – you may be able to use a diesel boiler or hot water heat pump as the heat source

          Note: you’ll need to substantially increase the size of the radiators if you want to use a heat pump though

          http://www.centralheating.co.nz/

          New Zealand does not have anything like the ‘UK Renewable Heat Incentive’
          http://www.rhincentive.co.uk/
          http://www.seanz.org.nz/Resources/Government-Incentives

          As for feed in tariffs / electricity companies buying solar generated power – there is no Government mandated feed in tariff. In fact the electricity companies have heavily cut back on what they pay for electricity generated by their customers (as in the radio nz article below)

          ‘Outrage’ at solar power buyback cuts
          http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/258787/'outrage'-at-solar-power-buyback-cuts

          If you’re thinking of using solar for water heating I would recommend reading the following

          https://www.consumer.org.nz/articles/solar-water-heating

        • Hi guys I’m no economist but NZ Migration policy has a huge impact on Akl housing, I’m rusty with details but 45,000 to 50,000 migrate to NZ per annum. At least 50% stay in Akl. Assuming migrants come cashed up and plonk that into housing, Akl will always be a hotbed (for as long as the floodgates are opened up to us migrants) I recall sometime from 2007-2009? The NZ government reduced or stopped skilled migration for a year, that hurt The housing mkt big time – this was under labour from memory. So any hopes of a crash in Akl are dependent on migration policy. The Chinese have of course flooded Akl, the very clever ones prior to the Chinese stock mkt collapse. John Key was a money trader a very clever man and is happy to let the Akl mkt go silly and unaffordable like Sydney, London etc. Although Akl is a rare international city with very very very fecking poor Infrastructure. Rail and public transport are 100 yrs behind London and the UK. The lady whose husband runs an Internet biz is onto a winner coming to NZ as she can live anywhere. Most folk like me are stuck in Akl – as where can I get work and a beach nearby. Wellington is a windy old place and on a fault line – not for me. Good nightlife in Welly but Akls is as good you just have to know where to go. NZ is certainly not a great place to work, very backward in most sectors and now migration has reduced salaries and I’ve suffered like hell for years. Like my migrant friends coming from London I was hoping for an easier life haha..sure it’s not frenetic like London but boy work ain’t easy-all very complex. I’ve totally changed how I work, from 90% donkey to 10% problem solver in London, 80% of my role is now as a problem solver – this is NZ – the number 8 wire thing as they say. All said and done NZ is wonderful from Dec to March / April. The country shuts down Virtually from 20th Dec to 10th Jan. small businesses force holiday and I even work for a corporate construction company and I see I have 8 forced days holiday at Xmas this year..that’s good and bad. So if ure looking to move to NZ come loaded up with cash! I now want to leave Akl but am trapped by work and nice places to live. Tauranga is a target area buts it’s finding that job, get yourself on seek guys http://www.seek.co.nz
          I have kids now, I migrated as a single man and found Akls wild nightlife back in 2005 to 2007 or 8, boy I have some crazy stories, wilder than London haha. Anyway I’m looking at a change now and was looking at a small sunny city called Nelson – tip of the SI and one of the sunniest spots in NZ. I think I found one sales job paying a salary $20k less than currently the last I looked. On a final point Akl folk seem to be moving to Tauranga, Hamilton, Hastings and Taupo and are now driving up prices in these areas. http://Www.qv.co.nz or is it com.. is a great place to get to grips with NZ housing and some free reports. Having a job is a great place to start with NZ, it’s just taken me 6 months to find a new role, it can take 12 months. The migration agents and NZ government won’t tell u this..Aoeterroa or however you spell it means “land of the long white cloud” they don’t tell u this on the fancy migration websites hey.. Akl and Welly must be rainfall capitals of the world. It may not be cold but it’s wet. Plus side, ure pretty much guaranteed a summer though. I remember one changeable summer in the last 10 stretch! PS only the seasoned traveller seems to visit NZ (so you won’t get to see much of ur family and friends from overseas) ..the time difference is very challenging.

      • House prices aren’t the only consideration in Wellington, location counts for a lot as does earthquake risk, orientation to north and leaky building propensity. Homes are cheap for a good reason in NZ and migrants are easy to con because of their naivety.

    • Houses are damp because they are a tradable commodity ,it doesn’t matter if they are good or bad just where they are located and the market at the time,many houses here were just built directly on the dirt below them

    • Don’t think you can renovate in NZ and make any money… did you know, you can’t move a toilet, install or replace a wood burner, install a shower ( are you a registered waterproofer ??? ), do any external changes to the walls, has the material been BRANZ approved and are you certified ? Oh no, you’ll have to call in an ” expert ” think pomtax, stealth, kiwis want to earn $1000 for a short days work out of you, cos they’re qualified and you aren’t and aren’t ever going to be… so you go ahead and just do stuff, then when you want to sell, you get hit in the nuts hugely as this is used as a lever, very well trodden path, to drive your sale price down.

      Forget trying to build, no chance of getting materials at anything sensible, that is reserved for the ” local ” market. Been here 7 years and it frustrates me hourly. Don’t try and import directly, I’ve done that and customs, maf and anyone else will make your life hell.

      Upsides. scenery and walking is great, weather is awful except Jan and Feb. Don’t try and introduce anything new, no chance and don’t think you’ll make out of property, I came here to build houses and businesses and have had a guts of it. Best of luck, there’s no opportunity here for a small entrepreneur…

  17. Hi All, we are new to the forum.
    This post struck a chord with me, we moved from the UK and have been in NZ for about 21 Months and we are struggling big time.

    It has been a life long dream of mine to live here and with family here (fathers sister moved her a long while ago) we thought that we would be well placed to fit in and settle into a new life.

    Boy how we are wrong, we never hear form our family and have a limited number of friends. We struggle to hear from people back home too so its like a double whammy.

    Had we known what we know now we would not have come. The standard of housing makes life hard, although we have a lovely house we long to upgrade to double glazing! central heating would be a dream.

    We thought we wanted the quiet life after years of working in London but until you live here i dont think you 100% realise how isolated and out of touch with the rest of the world NZ really is. We struggle hugely with the lack of culture and cannot wait to return to Europe worts and all.

    Sadly we have lost a lot of money on this venture – selling our UK home just before the prices started rising and buy here just before a recession is about to hit – transferring money last year and only getting $2 to the pound….. i could go on. I guess they are the chances you take but where i used to dream of NZ shores now my dreams are filled of the English country side.

    moving to the other side of the world is hard, harder than anyone realises. I don’t think anyone will ever be able to empathise unless they have done it themselves.

    • Hi all, interesting stuff. Having lived here for 10 years I hear your comments, the best advice I can give is to probably return home. I cannot do this now with a family settled and the kids schooling is all lined up. Plus I married a Kiwi gal. If you have a good family support network in the UK plus good friends all the more reason to go back. I’m finding the changing the flag debate very emotive for me and feel very unwelcomed and offended by this. Perhaps time to get every British person in NZ to vote against this, cheers Emmett

      • Hi Emmett,

        I have had the same feelings from the flag debate and waves of anti English sentiment coming out over the Rugby World Cup have really touched a nerve with me. There is something very anti English in the media at times and it is very unsettling. I don’t normally take this stuff to heart but I go on online newspapers and read the comments and there is a lot of comments expressing anti English sentiment even when say the article is about the All Blacks Vs France game. I can’t get my head around it to be honest. I don’t encounter this in my day to day encounters with people so is more of a media thing.

        • “There is something very anti”
          Just leave it at that.
          I think that it makes them feel better if they can bash anyone else. Like pushing someone down elevates them.

  18. My mothers family left dundee in the 60s to live in NZ her married name was Forbes her maiden name was Begg we have retired to new zealand and would like to know if we have any relations in nzAileen Connor

  19. I moved to NZ from the UK stayed for a few years, moved back to the UK then moved back to NZ. What I found was that living in NZ 1st time around changed me and I didn’t notice that change until I moved back to the UK. There are pro and cons in both places. Kiwis always say how crap the weather is in the UK and so I came to believe it was true but when I moved back it was a pleasant surprise to find out how nice English summers are. The hardest aspects of moving back to the UK, a big drop in living standards (trading a 3 bedroom house for a one bedroom flat) and earning less money, the travel times to work, the crowds. The worst aspect was getting a job as my years of work in NZ were considered worthless. There was an imperial arrogance in certain quarters that the UK is better than everywhere else. Therefore I hit a brick wall with a young family, economically in the shit so we had to move back to NZ.

  20. I can not comment on the specifically mentioned “UK” aspect, but I do know that the cost/benefit for the US is quite drastic. In NZ’s favor; health insurance, auto insurance, ah, well that’s about it. Almost everything else is worse/more expensive, all forms of energy [fuel, electricity…], variety/selection/availability of goods, food, housing, wages, roads/infrastructure.
    I hope that your return is not a case of “rose tinted” nostalgia.

  21. Careful Gavin, I agree with admin, you’ve been away a LONG time. Much has changed since you left. Cost of living/house prices in the Auck/Well/ChCh being key examples. I have come across many disillusioned Kiwis who returned after prolonged absence and are seriously disappointed with their lot and regret leaving behind good lives abroad and had no technical reason to leave, just a rose tinted view of Aotearoa would be like.

    Do your research. Just what job will you do? What’s that labour market like? Are you a competitive candidate? With 15 years of absence, you won’t be considered a local against current local candidates which will put you at a disadvantage. Beware the tall poppy thing. You may be unfairly viewed as thinking that you are a big shot because you’ve been abroad. What are house price prices like where you’re planning to live? Rates? Food? Utilites? I have no idea of your financial position, what I’m saying is don’t just turn up. Get the information 1st. Too many of the guys I know just showed up expecting to find what they left behind when they left years ago.

    Good luck.

    • Hi Olly,

      Thanks for the reply and concern, I have researched the labour market and have been interviewed and offered jobs in my chosen profession paying 3-4 times more than I earn at the moment 120-140k mark. I have enough savings to hit the ground running with, plus I am aware of the living costs and when I crunch the numbers are still alot cheaper than living in the West-Country. I have just returned home from 2 months leave and the first thing I did was my research. Maybe I might be disappointed, maybe I won’t but at the end of the day my priority is to be around my family (mums getting older) and being on the other side of the world makes that harder.

      All the best
      Gav

    • Very true ,they still play the music from the best times in N.Z on the radio,the 80s ?Not much else has happened here since the cream of the crop from an entire generation left here in the early 80s through the 90s we left and the fools took control ,they are still in control ,very small country full of awkward weird suspicious ass wipes with no social skills ,the refuse of the mass abandonment .

  22. I am a kiwi living in the UK for over 15 years. When I first arrived in Europe, I had the same ‘look at me I’m a NZer’ mentality thats has been part of our culture for decades. Yes we are small, proud, aggressive and self righteous bunch, rather like a smaller version of the UK and I guess coming to these neck of the woods makes us even more annoyingly patriotic. Now I believe I have earned the right to comment on the UK, having served 9 years in the British Army, with the finest individuals I have ever met. During my time here, I have come to appreciate British humour and sarcasm because … well its funny as hell. Having settled down in the West country, I found a little place of NZ on the steps of Dartmoor. Recently I returned home from a visit back to the motherland and have decided to go home permanently in 2015. Yes many mock our education system, but I believe it is better than the UK system (I have degrees from both NZ and British universities), the cost of living is cheaper at home and the salaries pay better. Others may disagree with this latter point, but if you are a professional, you can earn up to 3-4 times more salary than I would get for my current job here. Ok, food is expensive boarder line ridiculous sometimes, however I think that is the result of people trying live an extravagant lifestyle based on life in the UK. Remember NZ is in the back neck of the woods and doesn’t have access to the markets that are available to Britain.

    I can only apologise to those who have gone to NZ and feel disheartened by their experience, as kiwi, I would hope that our country and people have been hospitable and welcoming to you. If not then I am embarrassed for them and can only wish you had a better, enjoyable experience. When I go home, I will take with me cherished memories and friendships which the Brits have shown me. Yes I have some bad times, met some right dodgy characters, earned low wages and just survived on my salary month to month. However these bad times have been far outweighed by the generosity and kindness shown by people I have met and experiences I have had. NZ isn’t perfect and neither is the UK, and trust me I have seen some far worser places with the travels in the British Army (Middle East?????).

    • Time will tell, maybe its the nostalgia of being home. Having re-read the comments about our education system, I have based my facts on my university experience in the 1990s, so I will eat humble pie if I am wrong. Who knows if it is as bad as some make it out to be then maybe I will grace the shores of Aus or maybe back to blighty, but I will cross that bridge when I get to it.

  23. Hi, I am in the exact same situation as u, I am 3 months pregnant and feel I just want to go back but my husband doesn’t wNt to so it’s causing some problems, I’d live to know how u got on and what u decided?

  24. My understanding is that it is illegal to buy meat from a farmer at the ‘farm gate’ and it is illegal to buy fish from a fisherman, lest the government don’t get their cut :\

  25. I think June did answer your questions the first time round, maybe not the answer you wanted though.

    Just came across this site on my bookmarks, I posted a comment a few months ago highlighting the positives of NZ vs UK and it was deleted as it didn’t fit in with your anti-NZ manifesto.

    It was deleted because it breached the comments guidelines. Opening with an ad hominem attack on the other people already engaged in the thread wasn’t going to get you published. Admin

    I think you should therefore rename the site to avoid confusion as the vs part of the title would suggest you wanted posts from people who had emigrated from UK and had an opinion about both places. I mentioned in my previous post that growing vegetables and buying meat directly from the farm gate was cheaper than the supermarket in NZ and suggested this as an option rather than complaining about food prices, but it was deleted as apparently that constitutes as trolling.

    See above.
    Actually you said “I’m in the same boat, been here 10 years and in the midst of making the decision to stay or go back home to England. My choice would be based purely on missing my family and nothing to do with the drab picture you lot paint of NZ. If beers too expensive then drink wine, if capsicums are overpriced then grow your own… we don’t move to the other side of the world to replicate our old lives” No mention of farm gates.
    Admin

    How about renaming your site “don’t E2NZ” and that would be a fairer term for what your site represents. We live in a time of economic colonisation and NZ is a small island in the Pacific Ocean that is dictated to by the world economy, that’s why prices are high, not because Kiwis don,t speak up.

    Then why are prices for New Zealand produce cheaper in other countries than in New Zealand? Have you been reading this thread on r/newzealand, perhaps that explains your sudden re-appearance on this site?

    Don’t like what we have to say? Our stock response is “if you don’t like what you read here the solution is yours: don’t read it. Close the page or move away from the screen.”

    How about you delete E2NZ.org from your bookmarks and leave it to the people who like it just the way it is.

    Enjoy your beer. You’re not welcome here and your ban remains in force. Admin

    • Because it was flagged as a troll post and held back, your questionable status was confirmed by later (unpublished) comments you made, the latest of which contained a threat.

      Please be advised we have a zero tolerance trolling policy. See the comments guidelines: using other countries’ shortcomings to justify NZ’s, ad hom attacks (in “Migrant Tales, try before you buy”), threats, and pimping Kool-Aid.

      Want to troll? try r/newzealand, or stick to Facebook.

      p.s. quiet night at Transpower NZ?

  26. It annoys me to hear Kiwis extol the virtues of their mediocre education system just as they praise the other mediocre aspects of New Zealand life. The typical exponents of the “New Zealand has a great education system” mantra are typically some of the most ignorant of the New Zealanders. None of them know a foreign language or can write properly in English, but they feel so smart because they can say a few Maori words. Similarly, they know nothing about the world around them, cannot do basic sums without the aid of a calculator, and they cannot fix anything. It is a pity that evolution by natural selection has not removed them from the gene pool. Someone must study the deleterious effects of natural selection in New Zealand whereby the better Kiwis tend to leave whilst the most stupid among their lot stay behind to procreate more idiots like them.

    • Many of them genuinely believe they have an excellent education system, because they’re told they have and they have nothing to benchmark it against.

      Here’s a start – the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study – New Zealand fails to make it into any the top ten countries for any of the academic year groups in either math or science http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trends_in_International_Mathematics_and_Science_Study

      Excerpt from our Education and Children’s Issues Wiki:-

        Education Standards in “Absolute Freefall” : PISA and TIMSS results

      Labour’s education spokesman Chris Hipkins says New Zealand international PISA result for 15 year olds for maths, science and reading are in “absolute freefall”source

      “In the 2011 Trends in Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) published a year ago, New Zealand 9-year-olds finished bottom-equal among developed nations. Half were unable to add 218 and 191.” source. Furthermore, “University and polytechnic engineering schools have also complained they cannot fill their places with local students because most lack basic maths skills and need extensive remedial help” source.

        Teachers Lack Confidence to Teach Maths Properly


      New Zealand’s education is lagging behind according to the latest TIMMS and PIRLS studies. 76% of Year 5 students (aged 9 and 10) are lacking some or a lot of the necessary background knowledge for maths lessons.

      Far from being among the world leaders in educational attainment we learn that

      Being underprepared and not getting enough sleep are reasons why New Zealand school children are lagging behind their international counterparts, research has found.

      Maths is a particular problem area, with more than two-thirds of primary school children lacking the necessary background knowledge for lessons – and their teachers admitting a lack of confidence to teach the subject.

      The findings are contained in a Ministry of Education analysis of global education rankings known as the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) and Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS). Source

  27. I note that you’ve lived in NZ for 14 years and you think the education system is “good.” Do you have any basis for comparison to the contemporary education system in Scotland? Or is the Kiwi system the only one with which you’ve had experience. I ask because one of the top reasons we’re leaving is we are not impressed at all with the education system in NZ. Too much emphasis on sports to the detriment of academic lessons, the tall poppy business, and the fact that the schools, like most Kiwi homes, are poorly heated and cooled, meaning it can be quite uncomfortable and UNHEALTHY for the children. There is more, but I was just wondering what you thought was so “good” about it.

    I’d like to point that Kiwis are always complaining of the cold because their houses are cold, and often colder indoors than the outside temperature. They get little relief in the winter, unless they’re in Christchurch for example, then they can visit the public library, which on a cold winter’s day is packed full of people looking to spend a few hours in a free heated space. You can always try to heat the poorly insulated houses, but it costs lots of money to heat a house with single glazed aluminium windows and no wall insulation. What I never understand is why the bathrooms are inevitably unheated, or barely heated, too. A cold bathroom is quite unpleasant.

    • Reply to William Boot…..

      I was educated in Scotland and moved out to NZ aged 30.  My three children now attend primary & intermediate schools in Auckland. I disagree with you that the emphasis is on sport to the detriment of academic lessons.  Yes, sport is a key focus in schools which I think is brilliant but most of this is done as an extra curriculum activity after school and does not impact on the daily academic school day. The schools that my children attend and all heated & ventilated very well and do not have any negative impact on the health of the children. I cannot comment on Seconday schooling here as we haven’t reached that stage yet. I do agree that the standard of housing in NZ is quite pathetic, no double glazing or central heating, it certainly is no fun having to leave the house in the middle of winter to get warm (as we have done several times before buying our home here). I hope that answers some of your questions.

      • June please answer the questions that were put to you earlier.

        How much that doctor’s visit cost you and how much does your childrens’ school ask for in “donations” every term?

        What brings you to this site?

        Be advised we have a zero tolerance trolling policy.

      • Yeah, my child’s school, a decile 10 school, also has heat pumps in all the rooms. Problem is, they tend to leave the door open in the winter, and it’s never all that warm. Also, they install heat pumps in poorly insulated structures, so they’re really inefficient. The school bathrooms are in an unheated area. The classrooms still smell of damp. My poor child has to suffer the stench of damp while sitting on the carpeted floor. It’s very noticeable to my child, but not to the others because no doubt their houses have condensation and damp. Kiwis will deny it; they can’t smell it because they’re so used to it. Also, it’s not like the school’s administrators are all that concerned about keeping it really comfortable. After all, hardly any teacher or administrator would live an a really warm comfortable home themselves. And no, the middle class and wealthy do not live in comfortable homes, at least the great majority do not. It’s partly the inadequate heating and insulation in the homes, but it’s also a problem of the “harden up” attitude. I’ve lived in NZ 10 years, have looked at countless houses in more upmarket neighborhoods, have spoken to real estates agents about many more. When a Kiwi, or long term resident says they live in a well insulated, heated home, you must take it from their perspective, not from the perspective of someone in the US or the UK for example. Inevitably you’ll find there’s no heating in the bedroom or bathrooms, the windows might be double glazed, but they’re in aluminium frames which greatly reduce the thermal efficiency and also weep condensation. If the house has the rare central heating, the walls and windows are inadequately insulated. Schools suffer from the same problems.

        I think the longer you live in NZ, the more you forget what it’s actually like to live in a REALLY properly built warm comfortable home. Your standards slip down to another level.

        For those good people out there who are not aware what “decile 10” means. Schools in NZ are given a decile rating by the Ministry of Education to determine the amount of gov’t funding each school should receive, on a decile rating of 1 – 10. Decile 10 refers to schools in an area where the population earn wages on the higher end of the scale. Decile 1 schools are in areas where people earn relatively low wages. The lower wage and lower decile schools get less contribution from parents in the form of school “donations” hence the need for additional government assistance. It’s not meant to be a way to rank the quality of schools, but that’s exactly what it’s become.

  28. I have read with interest all comments made about NZ v’s UK. I am Scottish and moved out to NZ 14 years ago, mainly because I met my Kiwi husband in London and ultimately ended up here out of interest. I think it is very hard to compare everything because things are so very different out here and to be happy living here you have to learn to accept that there will always be differences. It’s just whether you can be happy living with those differences or not.
    All my family are still in Scotland and I only get to visit them every few years, because air fares are not cheap once you throw children into the mix.
    I would like to put down some pros & cons about being here:
    PROS:
    * Good education system
    * Great weather….I say that but it does depend on where you live. I’m in Auckland and we have lovely long Summers where BBQ’s are a regular occurence and the winters do not get that cold (although the Kiwis will complain that it’s freezing!).
    * Can get a doctor’s appointment on the same day if needed. When I was in Scotland over Xmas I had to wait 10 days to see a doctor…ridiculous!
    CONS:
    * A long way from anywhere. Closest places to visit are either Australia, Fiji, etc. All lovely but not the same as a quick jaunt over to Europe.
    * Very expensive housing. It is very hard to get on the property ladder even if you have a relatively good salary.
    * Only 20 days annual leave per year and as most have said a lot of companies close down over Xmas where you’re forced to take more than half your leave and it leaves you virtually none for the rest of the year.
    * Food costs are more. I realised this most when I was in the UK just last week and found my supermarket shopping cost much less than here in NZ.

    I could go on & on. I think for those who are thinking about moving to NZ, don’t try to compare absolutely everything, enjoy the good points and tolerate the bad points. Nowhere is perfect.
    I get to travel to work on a ferry across a beautiful harbour, live in a great community, my kids love going to school. Yes, I miss home & I think I always will. But that’s what holidays are for and for the time being I’m happy being here.

    • Thank you, please share with our readers how much that doctor’s visit cost you and how much your childrens’ school asks for in “donations” every term.

      And so…what brings you to this site June?

      • To bring some dollar figures into the mix (as they are absent in June’s post), here’s an article from NZ Herald:
        (Current)my emphasis Cost of ‘free’ education in New Zealand: $35,000 or more a child
        http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11390477
        Cost of ‘free’ education in New Zealand: $35,000 or more a child
        Updated 11 min ago
        8:18 AM Friday Jan 23, 2015 by Jamie Morton
        Some children won’t return to school next week because their struggling families can’t afford to pay for basic items, says a budget adviser.

        The prediction comes as a report calculates a state-provided “free” education for a child starting school this year will cost almost $35,000.

        For a child born this year (for the next thirteen years) it will cost more than $37,000.

        My comment? Maybe some of them can become the success stories that will later say “Education doesn’t mean anything, only experience counts”

        • My doctors visit in the UK was free because I am a British Citizen.My children’s school donations are $325 per year, that’s a decile 10 school.  A lower decile school would be less. Hope that answers all questions.

          • I have just returned from a 6 week holiday to the UK and lots of conversations were had about living in both countries.  My curiosity on returning here and a google search led me to your site.

    • I’m from the UK and have been in New Zealand eight months and agree with a lot that has been said .I think if you plan on coming here long term its best to come on a shorter trip first and see if you like the lifestyle . Things are not that much different from back home apart from a lot less people and everything is a lot more expensive , also a lot of work here in the cities (mainly Auckland & Christchurch ) for people with a trade there’s a lot of money to be made . Personally even though I can make more money I actually find the place really boring almost a glorified version of Wales with less to do . Beer and cigarettes are insanely expensive at a pub 8-10 dollars is standard for a glass sometimes not even a pint . The people are ok some dont seem to get the pom sense of humour and if you are daring enough to criticise anything about their country the response is fu# off back where you belong ” . The social scene is so much different no going out culture or sports apart from rugby . Weekends consist of camping, fishing , surfing , BBQ and a lot of chilling out on the beach they have 3-4 weeks off to chill out at Christmas so most company’s don’t work over this period . I’m going home this year to the UK and can’t wait will actually appreciate all the good things we have got going for us !

  29. phillipalee:
    No place is perfect. With that out of the way, you need to consider if your life will improve or not.
    NZ does have its’ problems, the point that many on here will testify to is that none of NZ’s problems are wanting to be addressed by NZers. They are more than happy to leave things as they are, so no great improvement should be expected any time soon or ever.
    Low wage/high cost of living, poor quality housing that is expensive, high cost of power [electricity, fuel], tall poppey/anti-intelectual, suspect education system, dodgy judicial system…
    Shall I go on?

  30. me and my family are considering moving to auckland next yr!!! After reading some of these comments im not 100%! Our friends moved out march this yr and adore it! No negatives so far! But i want a better life for my girls and husband, i thought NZ was the place!!!!! What do i do now??? Ive looked in to it loads, schools, work, houses, places to visit, life in general!!!!! Do i stay or do i go?????????????????????

    • Wow thanks for ur comments! God its soooo hard to make the right decision! We have had mixes comments, positive and negative! Will show my husband these replya and take it from there!! We are very scared but ready for a change! Not sure if nz is the best option…..?

  31. Hey everyone. I’m a Brit ex-pat who has been in NZ now for about 12 years. I have to say that when I first came here it was great. Everything cheaper etc etc. However it has changed a lot over that 12 years and to be honest if it wasn’t for the Christchurch rebuild which is providing an awful lot of work for my husband at the moment, we would be out of here. I could earn almost double in Australia and afford a better house (plus if we went to Perth we would be that much closer to visiting relatives in Europe). My husband is Romanian and so we also would be tempted to move back to Europe. We cannot believe how much cheaper food/bills etc are in Europe now than here (whereas it used to be the other way around). Also there are so many things that NZ is behind in getting. My sister lives in UK and she’s always mentioning things which we either get about 10 years later or not at all!!! Also my husband is sick of the Kiwis he tries to employ who don’t seem to know what a hard day’s work is. I know a lot of hard working Kiwis, so I am not trying to generalise here, but the guys who are in that trade work (especially the young ones) do not seem to have any work ethic whatsoever. He now employs a young Cambodian guy who is absolutely awesome! I also do get a bit tired of the whole “Kiwis are so special” kind of mentality. There is certainly a “small country” syndrome here I think. Having said that I have met and am friends with lots of lovely Kiwis who I would miss if I left, but I don’t think I would miss the country itself.

  32. I wonder if any of you ever heard of the first female UK contract killer – a Kiwi lady. Had she been luckier, and not been caught, she’d have made a pile on her OE and been able to return to New Zealand to buy a house, pay off loans etc like the rest of them do. It was popular in Northland for Kiwi girls to go on their OE for a few years and work as hookers in foreign countries, and then bring their loot back home for a “new start” (sometimes they would bring back other things too). A few people told me it was one of those things people didn’t talk about, but they winked and nudged and hinted about this or that girl who had done it, in a spirit of carpetbagging approval, though of course there was “reputation” gossip. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/contract-killer-for-hire-price-from-pounds-1000-upwards-1285524.html

  33. That comment from Mr smith above about the defensive insecurity of kiwis is so true. The media grill any “celebrity” from overseas about what they think of Nz and if they say “Nz is such a beautiful country and I love it here” then it makes the front page story of the newspaper. Equally a british journo made a comment before the rugby world cup about what a rip-off Nz had become and his comments also make the front page of the paper – and then all these comments from readers damning him for saying such things and that he was a whinger and not welcome. Even now if you make small talk with someone about how expensive it is here – they will say “oh its the same everywhere in the world now” even if the facts state otherwise. It is so strange – and by the way I am a kiwi. The prices for a beer and a sandwich in a standard bar will make your eyes water but don’t say anything or you will get your head bitten off.

  34. I am a born and bred New Zealander, travelled and lived in Uk and I am really horrified by what has happened to my country particularly over the last 5 years. So many of the best people have left or are leaving as nz now has the most expensive living costs in the world. It is impossible to buy a house, and very difficult to eat properly.I am always jealous watching Jamie oliver on tv – all the delicious fresh ingredients he is able to afford. (I am working and on an average wage).
    The average wage is 25% higher in australia so many are going there.
    In Auckland people are bidding to rent a house – like an auction – so that whoever is prepared to pay the most rent gets to live there.
    Nz is entering a post-colonial phase and looking to asia. Globalisation and free trade deals have destroyed Nz in my opinion. It is really scary what is happening, so no you are not being unfair in your comments.

  35. My wife & I spent most of our working life in NZ. Have now returned to our roots.
    What did we love?:
    Our Wellington years. Eight of the very best. Great atmosphere, access to culture, made good friends. Also loved living in Taupo, lifestyle and really nice people.
    The laid back easy going attitude most of the time. The lack of stifling formality.
    Access to government & officials.
    The sun except when too hot
    Lifestyle, laid back and generally pleasant.
    NZ wines (the better ones).

    Dislikes:
    Being made to feel this really wasn’t really your country no matter how much you contributed, you were ‘privileged’ to be there. (We worked 35 years in the health service).
    It is even inferred by some that my children who were raised there & grandchildren who are native born are somehow secondary to Maori.
    Sick of hearing that being ‘Indigenous’ somehow made you not only different but somehow better than anyone else no matter how much those others contributed to the development of that society or how little some of the ‘indigenous’ contributed.
    The number eight fencing wire obsession. Real access to the countryside is from the outside looking in unless you are a keen tramper.
    The defensive insecurity by many Kiwis who tolerate no criticism no matter how valid.
    Excessive political correctness, no men or women only persons.
    Crap dangerous driving, roads that are not speed regulated according to their level of safety (country side roads which still have 100 kph limits).
    The barely suppressed aggression in many ‘Kiwis’ male and female. The violence particularly toward children and tourists.
    The lack of real city development outside of 4 or 5 main centers.
    Cloned small towns, one is much the same as another with stretches of boring driving between.
    Palmerston North. We spent some years their and hated the place characterless & introspective. So pleased to leave.
    Earthquakes.
    Finally the sheer distance from other countries.
    Be warned migrants from the Northern Hemisphere if you leave family connections behind in the UK. travelling 23,000 km is no fun.

    • Here, here, H Smith. We are in agreement with everything you say after 13 years in NZ ourselves. The drink/drug/child bashing culture especially bothers me.

    • Hi H.Smith, your dislikes of NZ are correct. After living 4 years in NZ i can confirm that you wiill always be treated as an outsider no matter how many years you live Nz. The people hete a re generally narrow minded, bigoted and xenophobic towards people from other countries. The countryside looks generally all the same, boring dilapadated towns and miles of boring empty roads. Only places worth visiting are wellington and auckland. The most bigoted and xenophobic
      people live in the countryside and enjoy killing animals and have strong psychopathic tendancies

      If you are from the UK do not move to NZ It’s simply not worth all the hype.. If you can get your kids into a good NZ school thats great, if you can’t i urge you do not move to NZ otherwise it will have been a very expensive and stressfull mistake. My kids are in a great NZ school, but NZ is still a boring isolated country of vicious Hobbits.

      • I am NZ born and bred. Unless we have broadened our minds and travelled most NZ people believe this is paradise on earth. Born of ignorance and brainwashing by governments and officials. In whole I agree with everything that is negative because it is the truth. We have the highest rate of all things bad throughout the western countries. Mostly we are an extremely violent country. Rape Murder Bashing to death elderly and children and babies. Drug culture is extreme. Crime and criminals keep the country in work, simple state of fact. New Zealand is a pit hole. I have had such a great laugh at this. “:NZ is a boring isolated country of vicious Hobbits.

        • I agree with your comments. It doesn’t really bother me about the broad minded thing. I come from the UK and we can be a bit like that, certainly in the town I come from. It is more the escalating violence and drug culture. People tend to deny the problem or say it is worse in places like LA or Glasgow. I don’t live in those places, I live here and want people to be more concerned about what is happening in society. I am raising a family here and it doesn’t really bother me if my kids think NZ is the greatest place on earth, but it does bother me when stories come home from school about suicide attempts, cutting, drugs, 13 year olds sleeping around, eating disorders, depression etc. It certainly wasn’t like that when I was at school.

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