Advice about NZ(10 Posts)
I appreciate you taking the time to read this. We are seriously considering moving to NZ. My pay would be similar to UK pay but the working conditions would be better or so I am led to believe. My husband works in IT and so I guess we would need to be near a big city. I have 2 children a 3 and 1 year old.
I am after some general advice. I don't think our money would go far in Auckland but I think most IT jobs are based there. We are also both in our early 40's. But I think if we don't move now we never will.
Can people give me some general advice. Do they know of places were IT jobs would work. What is it like with kids etc. Cost of childcare etc. What you wished you had known.
I work on a retail IT event in Australasia and I know that they struggle to get good IT talent in Australia and NZ. The biggest online retailers here tend to recruit and seek talent from the UK and USA. I only know about retail but I assume that other verticals are the same. I am often told by senior CIO's that they can't get the talent here. I'm talking Sydney/Auckland.
Salaries here are higher than the UK. Cost of living in NZ is lower than the UK too. That's my experience anyway.
I'm in Perth now but previously lived all over NZ. I love it Down Under but that's only because of the lifestyle and access to sports. Big house with a pool, easy access to the beaches, watching the surfers do their thing. I love the beaches. I find the Kiwis and Aussies to be friendly but they are a closed bunch. I play a lot of sport - every day, in fact. The only girls that are up for coffee and chats after are the Brits. But that's fine with me. I feel at home with that.
If you want more info, go to Britishexpats.com. Search for the NZ board. They are a bit jaded though.
I'd say go for it. My DD was 12 when we moved here from her exclusive private school in Oxford where only the top girls got to play netball in the A team. Here, she plays 4 times a week and has blossomed into a different person. She loves it here and her life is filled with sports, beach and adventure. I love England. And I miss it. But life is about more than cosy pubs with a fireplace. (which is what I miss most!).
I am a kiwi in the UK, I am not in IT but I can give you some general advice. Now I grew up in the lower South Island and haven't lived there for 11 years so this may not be entirely right but the general gist is...
Start school at the age of 5, generally around your 5th birthday which means there are in takes all throughout the year, your dc most likely go into year 0 but may go straight into year 1 if born at the start of the academic year, i.e between Jan-March (our academic years runs from Jan-Dec with 3 sets of two week holidays throughout the year, followed by a 6 week summer holiday). Finish Primary at the end of year 6, do Intermediate school in year 7&8 and start High School in year 9 and start our High School Qualifications (NCEA) in year 11 until year 13. Private schools do intakes at year 7&9.
House prices in Auckland are ridiculously expensive, they are rising faster than London. I would try and move somewhere else if you could but my personal opinion is that AKL is not the greatest place to live, although I didn't grow up there so my view may be skewed. Sure there are some nice suburbs but they uber expensive and crime is super high in Auckland as well. Although AKL has lovely weather (be prepared for a lot of rain and humidity though), easy access to the UK, very multicultural and nice beaches.
RE childcare, ballpark figure would be $60 per day (may be higher in AKL), though once you DC turns 3 you will get 20 hours free.
Some general info: Healthcare isn't completely free, be prepared having to pay for GP fees and out of hours doctors. Not many houses come with central heating, food is more expensive - generally a more expensive standard of living
OP, just a couple of thoughts - living in NZ can be quite isolating, it almost killed me growing up which is part of the reason I now live in the UK. Say goodbye to cheap European breaks, its 2 hours to Melbourne alone. And in my personal opinion the NZ current Gov't is utter shit, it truly is rich out of the rich and there is not a lot of welfare support (there isn't even a child benefit!) and they chuck money away like no tomorrow
yes I am looking at $26 million of taxpayer money spent on a flag referendum
I am not wanting to be all negative OP, NZ is an amazing place to live and I had an amazing a childhood growing up which I feel sad that my own DC will most likely never experience, I am just saying it's not all green space and barbecues on the beach.
The IT demand thing is curious - seems to be ageist, just as it was in the UK. My very experienced software developer DH has been unable to find work here in Auckland. He's 65. Stay well clear of the big cities, and major centres within 3 hours of Auckland - the house prices are absurd. Smaller, rural towns are a good bet, though you might find them a little isolated if you are used to crowds. You have to remember that the population of NZ is only 4.5 million, of which well over 1 mill are in Auckland. That means a lot of space to go around, even if much of the country is mountainous. We have retired to Northland, having last year bought a place with a magnificent sea view, across the road from the water-for 100k (pounds, not dollars). We've spent around 50k on renovating and improving, and turned it into a little palace. But we're 4 hours from Auckland, 11 kilometres from the nearest village...about as isolated as you can get - but we love, love, love it.We plan on being self-sufficient in food production, water harvesting and heating/cooking. The community is very warm and embracing. I don't know that we'd do it with children, though many do, some home-schooling and living off-grid. My Mancunian husband, however, thinks he's died and gone to heaven.
Another thing to consider is that there are so many Kiwis here in Australia for one reason: jobs.
I often ask them why the came to Australia and the reason is always for better opportunities.
NZ is very beautiful, but is very isolated - 2 hours to Sydney, your nearest neighbour.....I spent 3 years there, and was going a bit stir-crazy by 18 months! We lived in Wellington which is a cool little city/large town, but it can be a bit lonely, kiwis are friendly, but they are very much set in their friend groups already, so you have to work very hard to wriggle your way in. Having kids isn't an automatic route to getting friends.
Go live there for a year if you can before committing to it - and remember that if something happens with family back here in the UK, it's over 24 hours and lots of ££££ to get back.....
We moved to Wellington nearly 16 years ago with our two DC then aged 9 and 6 yrs. DH is in IT and has been contracting for more than 10 years and only ever out of work when he wants to be (i.e. over the summer months!!). There is plenty of IT work here and house prices are lower than Auckland although rising fast. The suburbs are more affordable but still within easy reach of the city. Not sure on childcare costs as my two are now grownup but there are lots of Kindergartens and childcare centres around. Kiwis can be hard to get to know and seem to have their own friendships already formed, in some cases from primary school or younger. It is possible though to make friends especially through play dates etc. I wasn't prepared for how homesick I would feel and still do sometimes as parents are now quite elderly and the guilt is setting in. On the whole it has been a good move for us and the DC had a very relaxed and free childhood Hope this helps
I was going to say wellington for IT. Not many IT jobs elsewhere.
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