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Anyone in Christchurch, NZ? Would welcome advice as moving there temporarily with 7 month old DS and nervous!

(10 Posts)
CarterGirl Mon 15-Oct-12 20:47:10

My DP is from Christchurch and after 6 months here in the UK (DP's visa expires soon so we are going out there during some of my maternity leave until he can come back to the UK again) we are going there for three months from November. I've been to Chch before, twice, but am nervous about this stay- I'll be with my 7 month old baby and leaving behind my family who have been INVALUABLE support, and all the (few) baby groups etc I've been doing here. DP has virtually no family there except for a sweet but useless father so there won't be much in the way of moral/ physical support so I'm keen to know where to look for baby activity groups/ coffee mornings etc. I will need to make some friends basically! I've met DP's friends, and their wives were nice, but a little reserved and there was no one I felt I 'clicked' with.. Although obviously that may well change.

I'm also quite worried about the aftershocks and the state of the city- I was there last Dec when there was a 6.2 and a whole swarm of shakes. Being pregnant it did get on my nerves a bit, and the whole place just seemed a little 'beat' - physically and emotionally.. DP brushes it all off so I can't really get an honest answer out if him about how things really are there (if that makes sense!)

Plus- really stupid question- what's the baby food like there?? I guess I'll be cooking a lot of his stuff but here obviously there's Ella's Kitchen/ Plum etc if you're out and about or feeling lazy and I just wonder if there are equivalents there?

I'm sure I have much more important questions than 'how's the baby food?' (!) but I guess first and foremost I'm wondering if there are any other MNetters there?

NotInGuatemalaNowDrRopata Wed 17-Oct-12 11:04:55

Hi, I'm a Christchurch girl but I haven't lived there for many years so I can't help with all of your questions, sorry.
There is a New Zealand board on here I think... I'll check and get back to you, because I know there were Christchurch based mums posting on it.
Re baby food, yes there are equivalents to Ella's kitchen so you'll be fine in that respect.
Christchurch is known to be quite cliquey and for that I apologise sad. I think the best way to meet people would be through school / playgroups / kindergarten (nursery equiv.) Im on my iPad so I can't scroll back to see how old your children are, but if very small, Plunket would be the best first port of call. They're the organisation that would be similar to health visitors here but a bit more of a one-stop-shop. It might be worth contacting them regardless of whether you have a baby because they'll know or be able to help you out with local groups. You will find people quite helpful if you ring them for advice.

NotInGuatemalaNowDrRopata Wed 17-Oct-12 11:19:26

Ok, had a search and there's a mumsnet local for Christchurch but only one post on it, so that's not going to be much help. There are bound to be others along who'll be able to help.
I see your baby is 7 months, so it'll definitely be Plunket who'll be there for you. Have a look and see if they have a website.
If there's anything I can help with, give me a shout. It's years since I lived there but I do get back regularly, so can help with where to live, etc.

CarterGirl Thu 18-Oct-12 21:21:15

Thank you so much NotInGuatemalaNow (grin at the Shortland Street reference!)
That's really helpful - I'll check out Plunket and hopefully this will be a gateway to various groups and things. I went to a nursery rhyme singalong thing at my local library today and was a bit sad to be so uncertain about what will be available to me in Chch.
My DP is based in Northwood so thankfully won't be looking for anywhere to live - that bit is sorted. It's just the 'where to go to do things' bit... esp as it's all complicated by the fact the city is so fractured by the quakes - when I was last there quite a few libraries (for eg) were closed down. But you'll know all of that of course.. I hope your family's area wasn't too badly affected.
Anyway, thanks again for responding. Much appreciated!

lollystix Fri 19-Oct-12 05:23:03

Carter - want to jump on our where's the best place to live in NZ. Newbees always welcomed - just got a couple in the last few weeks. I moved to Auckland 7 months ago with 4 little ones - youngest 4 months at time. I find the people here very friendly. I've been to every baby group going and now I can't seem to walk down the street without knowing people so it's easier than you think. Baby food crap IMHO - sorry but veg is cheap for boiling and mashing. But your baby will be on normal stuff by 1 so only a couple of months to go. wink

CarterGirl Fri 19-Oct-12 22:59:05

lollystix - thanks! I will go over to that thread and join in. I've been to Auckland, liked it a lot actually. Might be less fazed at the thought of going there than Chch. Glad you've settled in well. And will try and emulate that 'joining all groups' approach!
<digs out peeler, pan and masher>

Shells Sat 20-Oct-12 22:34:21

HI CarterGirl. I'm from Christchurch but living in Wellington. There did used to be some Chch mumsnetters. Its a funny old place to be at the moment but honestly, 3 months is such a short time. Just enjoy the lovely weather. Hang out at the beach and the botanic gardens. Some really cool cafes and bars have popped up in funny places. I go down every few months and really enjoy it.

juniperinNZ Wed 24-Oct-12 11:41:23

Hi CarterGirl, I live in Christchurch, been here about 10 months now, and have an almost 7 month old, 2 and 4 year old. I wouldn't worry about coming here, the city functions really well, and there are shops, parks, libraries, loads of free events, cafes etc and is incredibly child friendly. We have had a few smaller earthquakes since we've been here, and a few larger, but even the 5.3 just stopped my son watching tv for a few seconds then he carried on. My 4 year old didn't even notice it at kindergarten! We've hardly felt any over the last couple of months, so very quiet at the mo, although of course there could be another big one - but Christchurch is probably the safest place to be in NZ if there is one as all unsafe buildings have been cordoned off/demolished and they are always rechecking buildings. Yes the central city (the red zone is getting smaller though) is cordoned off, but the rest of the city is up and running. There are loads of malls to get shopping, and there are libraries everywhere that run baby singing times etc - there is a library in Redwood on Main North Rd which I think would be your nearest.
We have a fantastic time here, met loads of lovely people and lots of sightseeing to do. We go to the beach, parks etc all the time and I'm a member of a baby group that meet every week, and you'll find there are lots of expats out here! When you get here you can come and have a coffee here smile I live in St Albans, so not too far from Northwood.
I haven't looked at baby food as have just pureed my own as fruit and veg is great out here, you could look on Countdown's website to see if they have them on there.
Off to bed now, but any questions feel free to ask and I'll try and answer them!

Kircol Thu 08-Nov-12 10:15:53

Hi CarterGirl. Did you arrive yet? I've been here (from UK) about a month now and only felt one earthquake. Baby food her is fine but VERY limited in choice. If you have the option of bring Ellas Kitchen with you I would or baby will be having the same 3 things every week! I am in Avonhead with a 1 yr old if you get bored, let m know. Would love to meet up for coffee or walk or play date as finding it quite hard to make friends here.

juniperinNZ Sat 10-Nov-12 10:06:41

Hi Kircol, if you ever want to meet up let me know, I know it's pretty hard to meet people when you get here as most people already have their own set of friends. Just send me a pm anytime smile

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