Going Home to NZ - What do I need to know?

(29 Posts)
wahine12 Mon 08-Nov-10 09:09:47

We left NZ in 2003 and are heading back because we now have one kid and one on the way and want to be close to the family.

What's changed? What do we need to know? How much is a flat white? Can I breastfeed in public at a cafe or will people expect me to sit in the 'family room' at the shopping centre?

I'm also having our 2nd child in Masterton (where my parents live) and really don't know what to expect. First child was in France - highly medicalised and very perfunctory service. My mum rang the doctor who told her just to come in when I arrived in the country - all seemed very casual and friendly after France. Anything I should be doing now to organise further? Do they still do Plunket visits/clinics? How do I meet other mums?

We leave in December and I'm looking forward to the peace and quiet. But also, as I don't have a job or contacts in my current field (I changed careers overseas), it's a bit daunting.

What do I need to know?

OP’s posts: |
charmander Mon 08-Nov-10 09:14:26

Well I have only been here since Jan so can't say what has changed. But where I am breastfeeding is very popular and no one seems to bat an eyelid which is lovely.

Plunkett still going strong. You might be able to meet people at playcentre I should think. I started full time work when I got here and younest child is 4 and in daycare so not an option for me, but playcentre seems v popular.

Good luck

Weta Mon 08-Nov-10 09:19:53

I'm a bit out of touch as we moved to France from NZ in 2005, but I would say you can definitely breastfeed in public in a cafe, no problem.

I had my first in NZ and second in France, and I think you will find NZ much more mother and baby orientated and much less medicalised, with more options available (but possibly less luxurious hospital facilities and a shorter hospital stay!).
You register with a midwife who follows you throughout the pregnancy (home visits), comes when you are in labour and decides when you should go to hospital, accompanies you in hospital and then visits you for 6 weeks after the birth (much more continuity and pastoral care than in France).

I think you will be fine to go to GP when you arrive and then you will need to register with a midwife and work out where you will be having the baby.

As to whether you need to do anything now, the only thing is that some midwives do get booked up quickly, so depending how far along you are you may wish to start finding one already. Maybe your mum can ask around for recommendations?

When I was there you could enrol for antenatal classes (I did them through Parents Centre but I am sure midwife can give details), and then after the birth the midwife visited for 6 weeks and then they transfer you to Plunket. Plunket organised a 4-week course for new parents in the local area although in my case this was when baby was 4 months old.

There are loads more groups etc than in France, honestly it is all much easier! There are baby yoga sessions, baby swimming (after 6-9 months I think), music groups (Mainly Music), story/rhyme sessions at public libraries etc.

Good luck with it all and kia kaha...

wahine12 Mon 08-Nov-10 09:21:40

Thanks for the comments.

Funny how going home is somehow a bigger deal than moving to another country at the moment...

OP’s posts: |
wahine12 Mon 08-Nov-10 12:27:31

Weta - France was a nightmare in terms of getting organised for the birth and afterwards. Everything is typically 'opaque'. I remember the PMI lady telling me off because I turned up on the day they advertised on their website and I should have known that they would be shut then. confused

There are about 3 options for Midwives/obstetrician GPs in Masterton and I'll be turning up at 7 months pregnant, so not really a lot of time to bond. I just need competence. I feel a lot more confident than for the first birth. However the first birth didn't go that well so hoping for more mother-centred care in NZ.

I guess after France, I am suspicious of how easy it all seems. No one has asked me for a justificatif de domicile wink.

OP’s posts: |
Weta Mon 08-Nov-10 20:34:50

Don't be suspicious, just enjoy
It's actually quite a big culture shock moving back there (I have been back and forth a few times!) so you may as well make the most of the good bits...

NoMoreChocBiscuits Tue 09-Nov-10 17:34:21

I went back to NZ for a year when pg with DS. All I can say is start looking for a midwife now. There is a shortage of midwives back home (although it does differ from region to region). I was lucky and found a lovely midwife (in Chch though sorry) and spent several days in the maternity hospital post birth. I'm going to miss that here in Britain with DC2.

Can't tell you how much a flat white costs, though I do recall the cost of eating out seeming astranomical. How ever I never had a problem breastfeeding in public.

Good luck and I hope it all goes well for you, just don't be surprised how weird the kiwi accent sounds when you first get back grin

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iamthegreensheep Wed 10-Nov-10 08:13:37

Flat white costs between $3 and $4 depending on where you are - recent GST rise means some cafes put prices up, others didnt. Muffin or choc brownie about the same ($3-$4)

No one will stare at you for BF in public, it's quite accepted.:-)

Plunket are still going and are great, they often run playgroups as well. Your midwife or gp will refer you onto Plunket (generally) when they have finished seeing you - usually at the 6 week check, sometimes before.
Other stuff:
Doctors visits are free for under 6 year olds
Kindy is still pretty much the same!
But sorry no idea about Masterton.

Good luck, hope it all goes well, sadly even the PM has started saying Nu Zillid.

iamthegreensheep Wed 10-Nov-10 08:18:20

Books are horrendously expensive, book depository will become your best friend! Stock up before you come back.

Although has to be said the PM occasionally says New Zealand and then Nu Zillin in the next sentence.
Trying to expand his voter base?
Some weird PR think tank idea?

thelittlestkiwi Wed 10-Nov-10 08:28:31

Bring shoes. Lots of shoes. They are horrifically expensive.

If you read a lot get a kindle and register it in the UK so you can buy books at UK prices.

You can breastfeed anywhere. But the shopping centres have amazing facilities.

I found having a baby in NZ to be a great experience- although I have nothing to compare it to. There is a lot of support and there are lots of babies here so things are just more kid orientated.

WhatSheSaid Wed 10-Nov-10 08:36:10

I agree having babies here has been fab.

Bf both dds (not at the same time!) out and about and everywhere and the only attention it has ever attracted is little old ladies coming up and congratulating me for bfing smile.

Book Depository is indeed great. Quite a lot of UK clothes shops now deliver here if that is an issue.

As others have said, loads of baby groups/playgroups/playcentre etc around. My older dd has just started kindy too which she loves.

Oh and it's lovely and sunny at the moment, December a great time to arrive

wahine12 Wed 10-Nov-10 19:30:17

Thanks for the tips. I get the impression(from my last visit in 2009) that things had got a lot more expensive. We kept going into shops for something small and coming out having spent $20. With the strong NZ dollar, it's not as affordable as it used to be.

I also remember going to cafes and lots of them had play areas/changing facilities that you definitely don't see in other places. (Paris is notoriously unchild-friendly)

Definitely looking forward to the weather - can't wait for a good kiwi summer barbeque...

OP’s posts: |
PenguinNZ Sat 20-Nov-10 04:49:18

Having been here for a year, I have to say that NZ is soooo much more expensive that I expected. Even silly things like tampons (lucky I'm pregnant then grin). So I would strongly suggest treating yourself before you come back, get a supply of your fave lotions and potions, and the kindle idea is one I have been mulling over too. Same with clothes and shoes.

Plunket great. Toy library great. Playgroups and kindegartens and even cafes so friendly compared to the UK. Most playgroups and kindies seem to have a pretty active social side for Mums too.

buzzybee Tue 23-Nov-10 11:28:18

I'm in Wellington and have seriously contemplated moving my family up to the Wairarapa so they can go to school there, enjoy the better climate, beautiful scenery, easy biking, great food and wine etc. Have sadly reached the conclusion it would be too difficult to commute and couldn't take the risk of not getting home for the DDs (am a single parent). If I did move there I'd but a cottage in Greytown but use the school buses for the kids to go up to Masterton (post primary anyway). These days Greytown is almost an extension of Wellington with the best french bakery in the country (IMO!) and a lovely village-y feel. Masterton hasn't changed much from when my Mum went to school there but does have a new leisure centre (mums and bubs swimming classes, creche and gym etc) and the most fabulous kids playground built from wood by the community right across the road.
Plunket organises "Plunket in the Neighbourhood" (PIN) coffee groups for new Mums. In Greytown there's a playgroup every Monday morning and you can just turn up. You won't have any problem meeting other mums!

charmander Tue 23-Nov-10 17:15:12

Wahine, I have found goods more expensive but labour cheaper!
For example we paid someone to change the plugs on our electrical appliances. When we got the bill I had a panic and thought I should have done it myself. However when I looked at the break down the labour was a surprisingly small amount, it was mostly for the plugs.
Same for the major car repairs we have had done. Mind you the worst thing about the car was everyone telling me that I should not have an English car (Ford??)but a Japanese one. Lesson learnt.smile

wahine12 Wed 24-Nov-10 09:04:58

buzzybee - every time I have visited Mum and Dad the Wairarapa seems to get more trendy. Greytown and Martinborough are gorgeous little towns. Mum and Dad moved to Masterton in 2000 so things were different then and they were looking for a bigger centre for retirement (good hospitals, etc.). I think they have a great lifestyle as it just seems to have so little stress. They love it too.

Will look out for things through the Plunket as this seems to be a good starting point. I also want to find some pre/post-natal exercise classes as these are the kind of things I just wasn't able to do with DD1 as I had no one to mind her and in Paris you needed to sign for 400 sessions ten years before you were pregnant.

Only two weeks' to go and I am so looking forward to getting on the plane...

OP’s posts: |
buzzybee Wed 24-Nov-10 10:36:58

wahine12 have you looked at the website for the leisure centre www.clmnz.co.nz/masterton/ Did you know that Plunket rent car seats if you don't want to buy one?

wahine12 Wed 24-Nov-10 12:45:53

Thanks buzzybee. I have been voyeuristically looking for anything about Masterton/Wairarapa I can find on the net over the last wee while. I had spotted this gym and it looked so awesome. I am really looking forward to a trip swimming with DD and maybe something for me too...

OP’s posts: |
furrybootsnotjandals Sat 04-Dec-10 10:42:03

Hi there, I am also in France but returning to NZ in January (we left NZ 6 months ago for France). Buzzybee, as far as I know you can still rent Plunket car seats, and Wahine, have you checked out NZ mums websites- Mums on Top is one and there are others promoting slings and breastfeeding etc..I've never had any issues breastfeeding in NZ it is encouraged with so many more women breastfeeding in NZ (and for longer) than in Europe. Lattes and flatwhites are around $4.00-$4.50 and many cafes have signs saying they encourage women to breastfeed their babies!
Prices have all gone up and you will find things seem really expensive in comparison to France (furniture, good clothes etc)
Also I gave birth in a wonderful maternity unit that was like a hotel, I didn;t want to leave as they were feeding me little snacks like paninis with flat whites every couple of hours, had my own private room and bathroom, it was excellent! (But I don't know if they will have this in Masterton- we were in Hamilton and had 2 maternity centres like that!)
Good luck!

RoadArt Mon 06-Dec-10 21:32:58

You mention you have a baby on the way, so I would buy everything you want in the UK.

Car seats, especially. They dont have the same standards in NZ and the seats are not - do not appear - to be as safe. There seems to be alot that is a big chair that the main belt goes over but doesnt attach to the seat.

You dont have the choice of shops to buy what you want for babies, but obviously everyone gets by with what they do have.

If there are any toys you want your kids to have, develop into etc., then look around the UK. Choice is limited or not available and expensive.

Its very expensive. And prices have increased dramatically, especially for day to day living.

White goods are atronomical, choice limited, and quality is poor.

thelittlestkiwi Tue 07-Dec-10 07:49:19

Would agree, buy up some baby stuff if you are shipping. You can compare prices on www.babyfactory.co.nz or kiwibaby.co.nz

We just got a new rear facing car seat for DD which will do her from 1 to 12 but it was $500. Gulp.

But the choice is very limited. I get lots of stuff posted from M and S.

savoycabbage Tue 07-Dec-10 08:05:02

I just bought an 'illegal' carseat from e-bay to use here in Australia as they are so expensive yet shit here.

HowsTheSerenity Tue 07-Dec-10 08:50:50

You think Australian car seats are shit? Why?
You do know that Australia has one of the strictest laws for car seats and child restraints.

RoadArt Tue 07-Dec-10 08:54:52

"You do know that Australia has one of the strictest laws for car seats and child restraints."

New Zealand doesnt

savoycabbage Tue 07-Dec-10 09:11:14

What I don't like is those clips that you have to put on the seatbelts, to hold them together. I don't know what they are called. They are like a rectangular figure of eight.

So my youngest (4) was in a seat with a five point harness and one of those clips on the seatbelt. I know that it is anchored in the back but if that is not on really tight, the clip, then the seat is not in properly. And my oldest (7) was in one of those highback boosters with a harness, also with one of the clips on the seatbelt and also with the anchor.

I really struggled with getting the clips tight enough to keep the seats from moving. Also if somebody else needed the carseats to transport my children it seemed to be a big ordeal. You almost always have to let out or take in the anchor strap to fit in another size of car and then kneel on the seat to fit the clip.

Now, I didn't mind doing all of that, but because it was such a hoo-haa I found that people are more willing to not use a seat or not fit a seat properly because it is so difficult.

When my dd turned 4 and grew out of her seat height wise I bought a seat from Germany. I have now bought the same seat for my 7 year old.

I can fit it in seconds and it is totally secure in the car. I can pop it out and shove it in someone elses car before they know what has hit them.

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