Kiwi Lifestyle In Winter. Part 1

During the long winters the ‘Kiwi lifestyle’ becomes one of keeping warm and struggling to pay heating bills.

Here’s a thread from the Trademe forum, in which people from around the country talk about the cold weather. The first entry is dated 27 June 2010.

We’ll be watching ‘cold weather’ threads over the coming months to see just how severe NZ winters are and how long they go on for. Immigrants often find winters intolerable in NZ because so few homes are properly insulated and fully heated, Kiwis tend to just heat the main living area because of the expense but will sometimes put expensive oil heaters in children’s bedrooms to take some of the chill off.

Heating, where it exists,  is mostly polluting solid fuel (coal and wood) portable gas heaters and electric heating:.

  • OT…..brrrrrrrrrrrrrrr its cold… how bout you? *last 3 days we have had the most awesomest frosts… total whiteouts…. and the clearest bluest days……. but boy is it cold at night… shiver shiver shake..HOWS YOUR WEATHER BEEN???? as always deep down south its totally gorgeous…. ( jealous??P)
  • Hamilton here, so rather foggy in the mornings with the occasional frost & white grass!! Rather bitterly cold from anything from midday onwards lol… the odd day being 24/7 bitterly cold… We rely solely on a portable gas heater & I make the 9kg bottle last TWO weeks, going on low each night only…. definately NOT freezing, but definately not so hot that I can take layers off LOL the PJs & dressing gown is THE most warmest thing to wear in the entire wardrobe… hahaha. Oh and I almost forgot the trustworthy electric blanket!! I would be lost without mine!! (or dying of hyperthermia) LOL…/
  • ChCh has been revolting for weeks. Pellet fire going 24/7 & even when the sun makes a rare visit it’s still yuk. Feel sorry for everyone further south.
  • Dunedin here – it’s about 5deg at present. We’ve had some cold mornings but glorious days lately. It’s when the wind comes up as well that it is unpleasant. We’ve survived the weekend with no gas (heater and stove top) because of an order error by the company. Great what you can do with a wall oven and microwave – and takeaways.
  • Taranaki here – mountain in glorious white splendour top to base – but oohhh sooo cold! Heading for a gorgeous day, I hope
  • Still is yuck weather in Christchurch – I hate that fine drizzle that can soak without you realising & that knife-like cutting wind. Brrrrrrr! Got my trusty heater on. Power bills are getting up to $300 again for a month. Gotta find a way to cut that down a bit without getting too cold. We had carpet cleaned twice last month (the first did not get some of the stains out!) on the wettest weeks you can get, so had a dehumidifier constantly going to help dry it out. I was gutted when we had to have it done again! That would not have helped!  I am using a laptop in the lounge now, so only heating that room, and about once or twice a week in the back bedroom, use a convection heater on low to chase the chill away & ward off the damp.  Right now I’m having difficulty feeling my toes.
  • Not to bad here in the Manawatu, fire going well.
  • After another wet weekend the sun is trying to show..on new last nite(sun) alexander had a high of thats cold
  • last mths power bill was $357..but then im running 2 dehumidifiers and 2 oil heaters in kids rms at night..about same as last winter
  • Ouch. You should chase up that govt subsidy and get your place better insulated (I’m guessing its not particularly much) and a heat pump.
  • Anyone using gas bottles for heaters, fill them up before Thursday, as LPG is going up $1 a litre on 1st July. That will make it about $39.00 to fill up! A tip from my friendly Service Station, mustn’t forget to do that myself, as I cook on gas.

4 thoughts on “Kiwi Lifestyle In Winter. Part 1

  1. In winter in New Zealand, the housing is so bad: unlined walls, no central heating, unlined floors, poor ventilation, expensive heating, means that most people spend their entire time, when not at work, at home in bed to try and stay warm

  2. I believe what people do, a least based on what my husband’s family does, is dry their clothes indoors. It does an excellent job at increasing the unhealthy damp in the poorly insulated and poorly heated houses!
    I also noticed that when someone does have a dryer, it’s usually a smaller capacity than the washer! I guess it’s just too expensive to get a proper sized one, even for some the wealthier class.
    In the end, the thing that Kiwis do not like to acknowledge is that they live in a relatively poor country, and it’s people make do without comforts most the rest of us from the developed world take for granted. If you do emmigrate here, please be warned that you will likely be forced to lower your living standard considerably, and the damp and lack of proper indoor heating will give you more respiratory illness than you’ve ever had before! Even if you have lots of money, finding a properly insulated house will prove difficult, as rich Kiwis are almost as likely to live in discomfort as everyone else! Building codes and standards are as backward as the rest of the culture. If you want to build yourself and do it properly, it will cost you enormously. Why waste your money and live in such a place?

  3. Wow…so that explains why most of the rentals I visited when flat hunting didn’t have driers. I was shocked as well and thought to myself how these people can dry their clothes in winter, when is cold, wet and no sun at all…or maybe they don’t wash ’em at all…I’m also shocked at the low quality of life in general, the place is a glorified slum.

  4. Indeed, the cold weather will bring on the cold weather threads on the expat forums.

    I was in one town last week, where there was a fibre arts exhibition. I noticed cute knitted cosies on a cluster of palm trees in town. There was a bold surveillance sign in addition to ensure that thieves did not pinch the palm cosies. One would presume this was to prevent vandalism, but could it be the cold? XD

    Not to mention the rain. One might wait for a couple weeks for a day sunny enough to dry your laundry. Kiwis do not use clothes drying machines, generally, unless they are wealthy. Laundrettes are for backpackers. Drying machines add too much to the electric bill. To think of what we took for granted back home. The feeling of pulling fresh warm dry laundry out of a machine! Mmmm. It is no wonder Poms and others are accused of whinging. The drop in lifestyle is a real shocker. Nothing imho that compensates, either.

    Yes, don’t start on the FO’s. We will leave as soon as we are able. 😉

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