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Hubby wants us to move to NZ

(14 Posts)
Romans8v30 Sun 14-Sep-08 21:04:29

As the title says really, he has family there and reckons we could have a great life, but I love living in Scotland and ALL my family is here.

We have just had our first child and if we are going to do it I know it makes sense to go before we have to pull dd out of school.

I love living in big cities, where there is tons to do, we were thinking of moving to Auckland, (his family are in the north island), so what I am asking is what is there to do or will I be dissapointed? I am into art/music/great food, great wine, oh and great architecture...Is there any lovely townhouses to live in?

Sibble Mon 15-Sep-08 00:52:32

Hmmmm imo (I'm from London and love cities too) Auckland is hardly a metropolis (apologies to any born Aucklanders). I have been here for 6 years now and seriously struggled when I first arrived, actually for the first 4 years wink.

If you live in some of the central areas Parnell, Ponsonby, Mount Eden etc...there are great cafes and resturants within walking distance. I live 30 mins south and we also have a good selection of fantastic places with sea and rural views. Food and wine has improved geatly since I first visited 10 years ago when you couldn't even buy bottled water, let alone carbonated (Perrier etc). NZ wines are up there with some of the best in the world, Aussie imports are often cheaper and for a price European favourites are available. Food is very seasonal which can take some getting used to but means it tends to be fresh and taste fresh. Of course there are also art galleries, the museum, concerts, theatre and the usual...but nowhere near on the scale you would expect in a major city at home or in OZ. Many people travel to Oz for decent shopping or concerts and some artists tend not to come here.

TBH I wouldn't come to NZ for cultural and definately not for architecture, it's a new and emerging country but once you get over that and appreciate what it does have and what you can't get at home easily, I at least started to enjoy it more. We do eat out alot, go to the theatre and concerts but we spend more time learning to surf, play tennis, swimming in our outdoor pool, walking and generally doing outdoor things with the boys.


ghosty Mon 15-Sep-08 01:03:21

Hmm, I agree with sibble - I love NZ and am very very fond of Auckland - Great food and wine, definitely but not a lot in terms of the arts etc (it is growing however). And when you mention 'lovely townhouses' are you comparing them with beautiful Edinburgh type townhouses? No, you won't get them in NZ ... NZ is a very young country and a house built in the 1920s is considered very old ... I personally LOVE the colonial architecture that NZ and Australia has - the old wooden villas are beautiful (they do need a lot of care and upkeep) but you won't find anything very solid in NZ to be honest. Melbourne (where I live now) is older and more 'solid' in terms of old architecture ... there are some buildings in the city that were built in teh 1830s shock grin
Like I say, I love NZ but it is more for the scenery, the outdoors, the beaches etc etc ...

Romans8v30 Mon 15-Sep-08 09:10:52

Thanks for your replies,

Ghosty- Yes I was meaning Edinburgh type townhouses, thats what I want to live in one day. Im gutted I thought there might have even been a few. I am used to Glasgow and Edinburgh(have lived in both) and all the hussle and bussle with things like the Edinburgh festival to go to. Is there not any cities in the north that have a bit more culture?

I am not a huge out door person, this is what I was afraid of, hubby isnt really either but I think he would like to be. We had talked about moving to OZ but he has been put off by the beasties. (Are they really that bad?)

As for the architecure, I am an architect I dont think I could ever get over the lack of old different styles.

Sibble Mon 15-Sep-08 20:28:20

You will struggle with lack of architecture. One of the first things I do is wander around London looking at buildings, architecture etc when I get home. Dad's a stonemason so grew up with old buildings smile. As for houses old villas have a charm of their own. When we arrived I was adamant I wanted to live in one so we rented. tbh unless you are loaded and can renovate or buy one that has been renovated you might as well live in the stick house the 3 pigs built - they are freezing, absolutely no insulations and nothing between you and the winter elements than a few bits of wood shock.

You do however learn to get a taste for modern architecture and dh and I are in the throws of designing our new build house that we hope to build one day soon using primarily glass, natural materials for texture and along eco lines.

Romans8v30 Mon 15-Sep-08 22:29:28

Oh Im jealous, would love to build our own place, Ive got about 30 different designs (it would all depend on the plot). Ive got a taste for modern architecture, I just think it sits beautifully along side older styles.
Is it any cheaper to build from scracth than it is here? And have you looked into how skilled the work force is etc.

katiek123 Mon 15-Sep-08 22:54:44

hi there - i lived for years in both glasgow and edinburgh so i understand what you love about both cities. i adore edinburgh in particular and still miss it.
we spent a year in perth, australia (2005) then a year in dunedin, nz (2006) and got back to the uk (to a new area to us) early 2007. it was exhausting, wonderful, stressful, exciting, dismal, fantastic by turns. certainly interesting - not to mention challenging, with a 3 yr- and 18-mth old in tow (one of whom turned out to hate, but hate change of any major kind like this!!!). i grew up abroad (brussels) so have always loved to travel.
oz-wise i have to say the beasties thing is massively overstated, so don't let that be the thing that puts you off! i wouldn't live in perth again myself - beautiful place and very kid-friendly but thousands of miles from anywhere (there is only so many times you can go down to margaret river of a weekend) and rather materialistic (as is australia becoming generally, on the US and UK model). NZ is rather much less so. very authentic and down-to-earth. however, definitely a (lack-of-)culture shock in store after glasgow and edinburgh so you are right to be worried about that aspect. the most stunning country and scenic beaches galore and that's what i miss most.
architecture-wise there are some great houses, auckland and wellington have good variety and there is much more imagination displayed in modern housing than over here. so it's not all bad.
the downside - ohhh the distance!!! i just missed my pals SO much, and the kids missing out on seeing their cousins made me sad. and a lot of what is gorgeous about NZ can be found in beautiful britain - if you know where to look! the climate in nz is a plus of course (tho it's nothing like oz, obviously) but still, i often found myself thinking, yes this is another astonishingly pristine beach/mountain/lake, but i could accept a 10% reduction in pristinity (just made that word up, kinda like it) as a trade-off for proximity to friends and family. and if you are in scotland you're near some gorgeous stuff as you well know. as am i now in rural herefordshire.
but if you do decide to go let me know bcs a good pal recently emigrated to tauranga with her family and is gradually adapting and pretty happy - much better house and more space and good school nearby and kids in surf club and she runs on beach with new mum-chums etc etc so is really making a go of it!

Romans8v30 Mon 15-Sep-08 23:11:25

Katie, thats where hubbys folks are. They love it out there, they havent quite had the life they expected(big house etc) but that was due to bad money management. We are heading out for christmas, so it will give me a chance to see if I could make a go of it. As my family are all here in Scotland, and the thought of not seeing them, albeit every other month, breaks my heart. Can I ask why you moved back? Did you find it hard moving back to the uk, after such a relaxed lifestlye?

CostaRicanCod Mon 15-Sep-08 23:22:10


that IS the mmiddleof nowhere

Sibble Tue 16-Sep-08 01:34:08

Hi, dh is in building so I only have his word to go by. He says there are so many rules and regulations surrounding new builds in the UK it makes it very hard. Here, of course you have health and safety, but new builds are very common so much easier to do. As with anywhere and everywhere there are both good and bad builders and tradespeople - I don't anticipate on finding some good ones either through dh's contacts or word of mouth.

Where are your dh's relatives living?

Sibble Tue 16-Sep-08 01:35:42

of course I should have said 'I don't anticipate having any problem finding a good one!!!' - read posts before clicking wink

katiek123 Tue 16-Sep-08 08:06:40

costa - exactly! herefordshire is as close to NZ as england, at least, gets!! we absolutely love it. we live surrounded by beauty and i walk my kids to school along country lanes each day looking over towards the black mountains...but cities lie only a short train journey away and my friends are so much nearer.

romans - am so pleased you are going for xmas for a recce! excellent. you will love it i am sure. it is a fab country. if ever we migrated again (not impossible, maybe when the kids are older and more independent) we'd go back to NZ.

we moved back for two reasons - 1/ people - i (and it is mainly a girl thing, i've observed! lots of ex-pats' moves back are fuelled by the woman rather than the bloke) couldn't hack the distance (not only was it 4 planes to get home it was 32 hours!! that was from dunedin admittedly) from friends and family, plus there was a lot of strain on us family- and also couple-wise not having any help at all with the kids. for instance it's taken us 7 years to get away for a weekend without the kids!!! and 2/ proximity to europe. i just love being so near the continent from britain. since we got back we have taken the kids to paris, portugal, are planning to go to berlin...i have a renewed enthusiasm for the variety and contrasts within such a small continent after the (relative) homogeneity of NZ/australia.i also love my city breaks since moving to 'the middle of nowhere' ! we've also been to mull and iona this summer which reminded me how much i love the scottish islands/highlands.

Re coming back: we chose carefully!! herefordshire is dismissed as backward and out of touch but that's why we are happy here- it's too far for commuters to choose to live in - and so it has lots of the good aspects of NZ without the distance.

i deplore lots of things about britain (lack of social cohesion, obsessive health and safety aspects to school and leisure, congestion, weather!!) but i love the british countryside, i love seeing friends and family at weekends, spending xmas with them, seeing my kids and their cousins get to know each other. and i love being able to pick up the phone anytime to call people (i hated the 12 hour disconnect between NZ and the UK on that front). as you can see i am a bit of a needy cow on the people front (but, interestingly, didn't really know that about myself until i went away, so you do learn from these Big Experiences!!)

we may well go back eventually so it's nothing against NZ itself, it is a stunning country with amazing opportunities for kids. see what you think and let me know!!

Romans8v30 Tue 16-Sep-08 12:34:57

Sibble- My hubby folks are in tauranga, heading out there for the whole month of December so no doubt we'll do a bit of travelling when we are there. I am looking forward to getting to see the country, and make up our minds first hand.

Katie- like you I love being near Europe, there is just so much to see and do. A couple of years ago we went to Riga for New Year (last minute thing) and I just know there is no way that we could do that if we were in NZ, due to the lack of interesting(IMHO) places to go. I def think that this trip will make our minds up.

katiek123 Tue 16-Sep-08 13:52:01

sibble - your comments re NZ olderstyle villas resembling living the three pigs' stick hut made me chuckle heartily - when we got to dunedin we were completely charmed by such places and really wanted to live in one -until we started visiting new friends in theirs and noticing the need to eg keep one's fleece on at the dinner table...dunedin's climate not being that much better than scotland's we couldn't believe the lack of central heating!! also the need to constantly keep logburners on the go was a bit of a 'mare - my pal said hers was like having a third child, so much attention did it require!we soon went for a modern-style property instead but it was gorgeous, natural larchwood w corrugated roof (hm i realise that doesn't sound great but it was easier on the eye than that sounds!)...still didn't score any heating though. i was so crap at tending to the fire that when my husband was on call (he's an anaesthestist) i just piled on the jumpers like in my glasgow student days and put the kids to bed under an extra blanket!

romans - if you want another tauranga contact let me know, my friend moved there a year ago and has two kids (7 and 5), so far so good car a bit of homesickness and some issues with the not-very-academic schools (which are brilliant in other ways however).

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