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New Zealand families.

(75 Posts)
Greatnan Mon 11-Mar-13 05:11:48

I know several members have family in New Zealand and I would love to know where they are and how they have settled in. My daughter, son-in-law and three of her six children live near Nelson and they all absolutely love it here. This is my third long visit (six weeks each time) and as I am retired and have no other commitments ( my other daughter has broken off all contact with me) I will probably move here permanently in a couple of years.

GadaboutGran Mon 11-Mar-13 06:53:42

I arrived in Nelson 2 weeks ago & I could easily retire there.No chance as my only 'relatives' here are my DiL's Mum & her new step-father and all their extended families. I have a firend with all her kids & grandkids in Npier & Taupo & they love it. My friend & husband have applied to emigrate but it can take 2 years or more for the papers to come through so they are hping nothng gos wrong with their heath. I hope you enjoy the rest of your stay. We love Abel Tasman & Marlbrough Sound. God luck with your decision to emigrate.

moomin Mon 11-Mar-13 11:49:39

My DD, SiL and 2 GDDs live on the North Shore in Auckland on the North Island. They have lived in NZ for over six years, have settled well and absolutely love it. I have been out for extended visits on six occasions from 6 to 12 weeks at a time and think of it as my second home.

They have no intention of settling back in the UK, although they may have to come back briefly for career purposes (it'd be great to have them "home" for a while - selfish me!), for them though, their home is definitely New Zealand.

When I spoke to my DD on Sunday they had spent the day at the beach (2 miles away) and watched the girls boogy boarding with the other kids, then came home for a BBQ, she said it brought back memories of our holidays as a family in France years ago, but it was right there on her doorstep.

grannyactivist Mon 11-Mar-13 12:03:24

My daughter and son in law are working in Auckland and their house overlooks Paturoa Bay. They have no children, but three lively dogs and enjoy living in the countryside and beach walks etc. They lived in Cornwall before they emigrated. I haven't yet visited due to time and financial restraints, but hope to do so within a couple of years. I think they're happy there, but they work very long hours and never seem to have much free time.

harrigran Mon 11-Mar-13 13:13:17

Two of my Dad's aunts went to NZ in 1909 and 1912 and stayed for the rest of their lives. Dad's cousin is still alive and lives Porirua, north of Wellington. Originally the whole family lived in Christchurch when they first arrived. I believe another cousin lives in Nelson, sadly they do not wish to mix or have any kind of communication so we have lost touch.

positivepam Mon 11-Mar-13 20:19:13

Hi, my DD, SinL and 2 DGC live in Tauranga in the North Island, they have been there for about a year and a half and really love it. The pace of life and lifestyle are so good and so family orientated. They are coming over for a month later this month and I am so looking forward to it but, of course we will have to go through the parting again and as I am sure you who have been through it will understand, I am definately not looking forward to that part of the trip. I have heard it isn't that easy to move there as a retiree and can actually take up to seven years for the process to go through, unless you are financially loaded ha ha. If anyone knows of a quicker way, I would love to know please. I think it looks a beautiful place to bring up children and is definately a more laid back place to be. smile

Greatnan Tue 12-Mar-13 08:53:34

PositivePam - I have been told I qualify as a Tier 1 parent, as my guaranteed lifetime income (from UK government pensions) is over N$29,000 and my son-in-law earns well over the minimum for sponsors of some NZ$60,000. For Tier 1 Parents, the waiting time is only about six months. Tier 2 applications are taking seven years. My daughter and her husband have to be resident for three years. I plan to emigrate in 2015 or 2016, as I want to see many more places in Europe before I go.
So you don't have to be loaded, just have enough income to qualify. NZ does not want anybody who is going to be a drain on resources. I will have to take out total health insurance, at a cost of about 240 pounds sterling a month.

positivepam Tue 12-Mar-13 23:17:23

Thank you so much for this info Greatnan, I think that has given us some hope because I feel we would probably fit into the Tier1. I understand why NZ wouldn't want everyone moving and being a drain on resources.. Sounds like you have it all planned out and I really hope it all goes well. I think when my DD visits later this month she will realise why she wanted to move there. Have a wonderful time and enjoy your stay. smile

Greatnan Wed 13-Mar-13 01:44:39

Pam - if you google 'New Zealand immigration categories' you can find out all the relevant information.
Another gorgeous day here - my daughter took me to Matueka and we had lunch - seafood chowder - which has now become my favourite meal.
She is now off riding and when Patrick comes home from school she will take him to swimming lessons. Last night was Sea Cadets and on Sunday he goes to the Warhammer group in Nelson. I am feeding the hens and the new chicks and gathering a fresh crop of tomatoes every day. I have never seen my family so happy and I know I will be happy here too.

absent Wed 13-Mar-13 07:17:43

They must have changed all the rules for immigrants into New Zealand. There was no such thing as Tier1 or Tier 2 parents, no questions about our income, only that of our sponsors, and no mention of health insurance when we applied. Average waiting time for a decision was up to 2 years but, in our case, was longer because of a lot of to-ing and fro-ing about Mr absent's health. Still, I don't care – we have our precious visas pasted into out passports and I have booked our plane tickets for May 10.

Greatnan Wed 13-Mar-13 07:22:26

Yes, I think the rules have changed, but I telephoned the immigration dept and they confirmed that I would qualify under Tier 1 as a Parent. They don't insist on health insurance - that would be for my own peace of mind, but my daughter's friend had to wait several months for surgery because she did not have private cover.

Greatnan Wed 13-Mar-13 07:27:39

Greatnan Wed 13-Mar-13 07:55:29

I think the requirements for sponsored parents are less onerous than I thought - the following link seems to say the immigrant must either have a guaranteed lifetime income or the sponsors must have a certain level of income - I had assumed both conditions needed to apply.

JessM Wed 13-Mar-13 08:24:26

My son lives on the Kapiti coast north of Wellington. He had excellent treatment from the health service there when he was ill. He seems fairly settled there although he misses friends and relations. Locals are very friendly - and so is he. But he finds it difficult to meet women. Young Kiwi women often emigrate for better pay and prospects elsewhere. They also seem a bit wary of men - that DS2 charm seems to work on other nationalities but not on Kiwis. Who can say what they future holds - but my DH would like to move there in a few years time if possible. It is not an affluent country - the other side of that coin is that they are nothing like as materialistic as UK and kids are content with far less "stuff".

positivepam Wed 13-Mar-13 17:58:22

Hi Greatnan and thanks for putting that link on about tier 1 immigration. It is really interesting and helpful and obviously things have changed as Absent has also stated. And lucky you Absent, I hope everything goes well for you, I bet you are really excited and can't wait for May 10th. I am looking forward and cant wait for March 30th when DD and family visit here for a month. Wonder if I could hide in her suitcase when she has to go back to NZ ha ha. I know they say the world is a lot smaller now but when your children are away, it still feels pretty big to me. smile

Greatnan Wed 13-Mar-13 19:07:24

You are quite right, Jess, I have noticed that the children here are far more relaxed and my grandchildren have friends from all backgrounds. Nobody is worried about having the latest fashion (fashion? in NZ?) or the newest bike.
It is not paradise - there is still racism and poverty, not only amongst the Maoris and Islanders. My lovely gd, Lara, who is the kindest person you could hope to meet, was told by one 'white' patient that she would not accept treatment from her because she was British. However, my daughter has not met any hostility and in fact has made an astonishing number of friends in a short time. Volunteering at Riding for the Disabled was a real ice-breaker.
My only problem has been understanding some people who have very strong Kiwi accents - the newsreaders seem to speak more in a monotone than UK broadcasters, but I hope that will be solved next week when I get my hearing aid.

JessM Thu 14-Mar-13 12:55:13

There is a bit of a tendency with some kiwi accents to make all vowels sound the same.

POGS Thu 14-Mar-13 19:45:28

Forgive me intruding, I don't have any children/grandchildren who live abroad. I have just spotted this in a book, written by children about their grans. Thought you all might like the simplicity of it.



Greatnan Thu 14-Mar-13 20:05:29

Of course you are not intruding, Pogs, and I like your quote very much!
I do ring the grandchildren about once a week and it is lovely to hear them say 'Love you, Nan' every time. Of course, it is even nicer at the moment as Patrick, my youngest grandchild, who is 14, is not too old to give his nan a big hug when he comes in from school. Holly, who is 15, is a bit more reserved - I think she would find it 'uncool' to be too demonstrative! Then once they are adults, they can go back to hugging - Lara is 21 next month and very affectionate.

Speldnan Thu 14-Mar-13 22:47:33

My DS and his wife went to live in Welllington 3 years ago and they love it-they've had a baby since they were there and she now goes to a day care centre while her parents are at work.
Plusses are: subsidised child care
close proximity to work and city
relaxed lifestyle
many country pursuits (cycling, running,walking etc)
sea side
cheap rent (though expensive food and clothes)
climate temperate all year round
minuses are
expensive cars clothes
away from family and friends
long journey home to UK
they say they won't stay there forever but I am aware that their lives are so much better than they were when they lived in London

annodomini Thu 14-Mar-13 23:14:26

It isn't just your hearing, Greatnan. My erstwhile BiL in NZ spoke in a monotone and there is a tendency towards the levelling of vowel sounds. Anyone for 'fush and chups'? Mind you, 'chups' are, as in America, crisps and chips are fries.

Greatnan Fri 15-Mar-13 00:30:39

I have been looking at both the rental and the sales market for housing and in fact there was a huge boom a few years ago and prices rocketed. I don't think I will be able to find anything for less than 100,000 pounds to buy, which I can't afford, unless it is leasehold. One agent warned me that landlords often put up ground rents every year, so that is not a good option. My grand-daughter is paying over 500 pounds a month NZ$1,000 or so, for a small 2-bed flat in the centre of Nelson on a yearly rental.
My best option would be for my daughter and her husband to find a property with more land (she wants horses) which had a small self-contained annex/shed/basement etc.
Food and clothes are much more expensive in NZ and meals in restaurants are also quite dear - a main meat course will be about NZ$28 or 32, which is about 18 pounds.
As there are no natural ores, everything metal has to be imported and building materials are very expensive. One man bought a van, filled it with rolls of lining paper, and shipped it out. He sold the van within a year which meant he had to pay import duty, but the made a killing on the paper! Hmm... possibility of doing some importing myself?
As I will have to take out complete health insurance, unless I am prepared to go on a waiting list ( as in the UK) I will have to budget about 140 pounds a month for that. If I want to live independently, I will not be as well off financially as I am in France, where I own my own flat and health insurance is only for hospital in-patient treatment, and costs me about 36 pounds a month.

For me, the relaxed lifestyle, the proximity to my family, the weather and the chance to visit exciting new countries will be worth some financial sacrifice. I think, watching 'Wanted Down Under', that some families are very unrealistic - this is not a high-earning economy, and house prices are more comparable to London than Lancashire.

JessM Fri 15-Mar-13 18:10:14

I think not all areas of NZ are having a property boom? Nelson is one of the most desirable areas as it has nice climate and facilities. There are lots of less desirable ones I suspect. But you don't want to live in those.
cars are expensive but driving is cheaper - the state meets part of the insurance cost for instance - you only insure the car, not the passengers.
Meat is not cheap is it? Considering the place is full of sheep and cows.

Orca Fri 15-Mar-13 18:54:31

Aren't there restrictions on 'foreigners' buying property in NZ. I thought there was a 2-year residency requirement? Or did I just make that up?

positivepam Fri 15-Mar-13 21:50:46

No I don't think there are any restrictions on buying in NZ, my DD and S in L bought in Tauranga after living and renting there for about a year. I think as far as cost of living it is swings and roundabouts and my DD has found if you buy in season it makes life a lot easier and cheaper. And don't try and eat and live like you do in the UK. You can get some things cheaper there but hey lets face it, the lifestyle , weather and views certainly can make up for a lot ay? smile