Close
Follow all our news on Facebook!

fed-up with South africa , concidering New Zealand. Any info?

Im living in South Africa but want to move to New Zealand , would like some info on the living conditions , possibilities.

Very little work in NZ and wages are low.
Many Kiwis leaving to work in Australia.

A lovely country to live in though.

I was there in December visiting in-laws , loved it and the people. There are so many South-Africans immigrating to NZ and Aus that I ask myself the question whether the Kiwis and Ausies don't feel we are invading their space and taking jobs they could have had - more so in NZ. To us the wages in NZ is very good , you can even pay rent , live of their minimum wage which is not possible in South-Africa on Minimum wage.

Hi renierlummis and welcome to Expat.com!

Your thread has been moved to New Zealand forum for better visibility.;)

Harmonie.

Hi my sister has lived there now in  NZ Queens Town QT she went travelling all over the world and when she arrived in QT her and her boyfriend never came back, she told me its the best place she travelled to and 12 years later and she now has residency. I went for 6 moths again only to QT and its was beautiful you can live off the wages but yeah Australia is better when its comes to the money to live off, its a beautiful country i would recommend it to anyone good luck x

Does anyone know how I can find out which Diploma's / degree's obtained in South Africa is recognized by New Zealand? Also I've read a post of someone complaining about the police service , any bad experiences? Thx

Now I am stressing. Reading through the posts I would like some info on a few questions - positive or Negative.

1) Has anyone made kiwi friends? On my holiday in NZ I've seen many people ( young and old ) in groups , I cant think of a reason why the kiwi's wont let an expat into their group of friends? Has anyone had a conversation with a kiwi about this subject?

2) Is the drinking really that bad , someone mentioned a seminar that said NZ has the highest rate of domestic violence? Is there really that many incidents?

3) The government : How often do they have elections and is there strong opposition parties ( how often does the ruling party change in government ).

4) Employment - How strong are the labour laws in NZ , if you can maybe send me a link where I can find their conditions of employment acts etc?

5) In South Africa the main objective in life is more centralized around having a nice car , house etc. Didn't see much of it in NZ. Are they more focused on holidays or another reason( how do they spend their money )

6) Building of houses - I saw that the majority of houses are build from wood panels , and uses dry walling as interior walls - any reason for this? How does the prices compare to building with bricks?

7) I didn't speak to many kiwi's while on holiday but they seemed quite positive people - is this the general consensus? From this blog I gather that about 50% of expats is unhappy , I think this can be due to personal financial situations  but then again I may be wrong?

8) I feel like an outsider in South Africa due to government policies and general attitude from some people , wouldn't like to live in a country where it will be more of the same. How does the Kiwi's treat expats in general , do you think they will eventually accept an expat as one of their own?

9) How does the medical system work. Apart from hospitals in major city's , is there hospitals in smaller town's like whangerei etc? Do they have private and public hospitals and what is the standard of care in public hospitals - will a Doctor attend to you or will you have to be content with a professional nurse? How does the Doctor care and knowledge compare to other countries like South Africa , USA ( dont think NZ will compare to USA on this front but maybe close to ? ) etc. Does the care between private and public hospital differ much?


Forgive me for the many questions but If anyone can answer some of them I would really appreciate it. This is a big decision we must make and don't want to regret it later on.

We would likely move to the North island if we go over.




One last thing , I would like to read from a Kiwi's perspective on the questions as well - Are there any on this blog and if not does anyone know of another site where i can get their perspective as well?


Thank you
Renier

Thanx for your reply Katstephenson! Any reason why they only recieved residency after 12 years? If I may ask , in which section/line/department does your family in NZ work?

There is are least two Americans who are resident in NZ on this forum: internationalman.com/im-forum
They are also quite well informed and I think would be inclined to give advise.

renierlummis :

Now I am stressing. Reading through the posts I would like some info on a few questions - positive or Negative.

One last thing , I would like to read from a Kiwi's perspective on the questions as well - Are there any on this blog and if not does anyone know of another site where i can get their perspective as well?


Thank you
Renier

1) No reason. In fact most are very friendly if you get to know them
2) Only in the fringes of the society, stay away from certain areas

3) One of most democratic nations in the world. Election held every 3 years.

4) google it

5) family oriented. best place to bring up family

6) wood panels are cheaper and faster to build, warmer and dryer too. another good reason is due to earth quake prone, wooden house are safer and not easily cracked even the earth moves.

7) Most people unhappy have different expectation of NZ. NZ has a very small economy so don't expect to make big bucks but lives are cosy and easy.

8) about 50% of aucklander are overseas born or born to overseas bron parents

9) NZ has a very good health care system if you are a residence. However, it is always good to have insurance. Yes Whangarei does have hospital. All accidents are covered by the state even if you are a tourists.

Hi guys. What is a decend living wage in Aucland , ideally I would like to have a nice car and living a nice house while still saving for vacations etc. I did receive one offer but I don't know wheter I can live of it.

Check this website which gives cost of living in many cities worldwide.  www.numbeo.com

I live in New Zealand, and I would have to disagree with the overly positive comments. To get a balanced perspective, you should check out expatexposed.com, e2nz.org, or escapenz.com. There are good reasons why 25% of the Kiwi population chooses to live abroad, why more than 50,000 kiwis leave the country almost every month, and why these three (and probably other) websites have cropped up just to warn others about moving to New Zealand. New Zealand has very good brand marketing, but you really should try to look beyond the hype before moving to this remote location. I wish I could recommend the place, but I can't. However, everyone's perspective and experiences are relative, and you may find it to be a much better place to live. There are many South Africans here, and they generally acclimate well and are more accepted. Brits and Americans - not so much.

>>Hi guys. What is a decend living wage in Aucland , ideally I would like to have a nice car and >>living a nice house while still saving for vacations etc. I did receive one offer but I don't know >>wheter I can live of it.


I think the average home price in Auckland is about 600k - and rising. Rentals are very hard to come by and the property market is very inflated and constrained. A decent used car will cost you 5-10k; a new one 20k+. Groceries and restaurants are more expensive here compared to the rest of the country.

Auckland's cost of living is fairly high, and to meet your implied expectations, I would estimate that a salary of at least 85k would be required to have a decent lower middle-class lifestyle.

www.dol.govt.nzer,

Im a born and bred Kiwi, and I'm more than happy to answer any questions you might have from a local's point of view. As to the questions you have already asked:

1) Has anyone made kiwi friends? On my holiday in NZ I've seen many people ( young and old ) in groups , I cant think of a reason why the kiwi's wont let an expat into their group of friends? Has anyone had a conversation with a kiwi about this subject?

Personally I believe it can vary depending on your age, where you live and a host of other factors. I would like to say that New Zealanders are welcoming to outsiders and friendly, and most are, however there are certainly plenty who are closed minded, predjudiced and rude just like you will find in any country. I love to meet new people, especially those from overseas and would never hesitate to make them feel welcome, and Im sure the large majority of my friends would be the same. I do think that age can influence this fairly strongly.

2) Is the drinking really that bad , someone mentioned a seminar that said NZ has the highest rate of domestic violence? Is there really that many incidents?

we do have a fairly strong drinking culture here, and horribly, we do have a high rate of domestic violence, more common but certainly not restricted to lower socio economic areas of society. People may not like my observation on that point but I'm just trying to be honest and I feel that's the truth. Would I think that it would be a reason not to move here? Not at all.

3) The government : How often do they have elections and is there strong opposition parties ( how often does the ruling party change in government ).

Democratic government, the strongest two parties being the National government (currently in power) and the labour government. We have elections every 3 years and it seems to change between labour and national every 2 elections or so. Sometimes more often, sometimes less. There are other parties with a strong political presence however these generally do not receive enough votes to govern alone and most governments are formed by coalition groups of several parties together.

4) Employment - How strong are the labour laws in NZ , if you can maybe send me a link where I can find their conditions of employment acts etc?

Yes, I believe that out labour laws in New Zealand provide a lot of protection for an employee and many allowances that people from other countries might see as being generous e.g. four weeks paid annual leave each year. You can get more info about our labour laws from the Department of Labour website: www.dol.govt.nz

5) In South Africa the main objective in life is more centralized around having a nice car , house etc. Didn't see much of it in NZ. Are they more focused on holidays or another reason( how do they spend their money )

I couldn't say. I think 'quality of life' in general is the aim here, although how people judge a good lifestyle would vary dramatically from person to person.

6) Building of houses - I saw that the majority of houses are build from wood panels , and uses dry walling as interior walls - any reason for this? How does the prices compare to building with bricks?

Again it depends on where you are living, some areas you will predominately see low cost wooden plank type housing and other areas will be predominately brick/concrete style housing. It also depends on how new the buildings in the area are, e.g. new subdivision vs established older neighbourhood. Christchurch for example, being quite cold in the winter, brick homes would have been popular, but after our earthquakes I get the impression that many may change to weatherboard.

7) I didn't speak to many kiwi's while on holiday but they seemed quite positive people - is this the general consensus? From this blog I gather that about 50% of expats is unhappy , I think this can be due to personal financial situations  but then again I may be wrong?

I think in many cases, not all but a large percentage of this dissatisfaction may come from false expectations of what New Zealand is like before they get here. Yes we have a great outdoors, its pretty safe etc etc however its not the land of milk and honey that it seems to be advertised as, we have our problems like anywhere else. I think the more realistic your expectations, the more likely you are to be happy here.

8) I feel like an outsider in South Africa due to government policies and general attitude from some people , wouldn't like to live in a country where it will be more of the same. How does the Kiwi's treat expats in general , do you think they will eventually accept an expat as one of their own?

Again, I would like to say that everyone is welcomed however unfortunately that is just not the case. There are certainly people with a negative attitude towards immigration in general however I would like to think these are the minority and not the norm. I do think in general, folk from South Africa are generally well received here, there is a large ex pat South African community. My best and closet friend is South African, she and her family moved to New Zealand from Rustenburg when she was a teenager for a better life, and said it was the best decision they ever made.

9) How does the medical system work. Apart from hospitals in major city's , is there hospitals in smaller town's like whangerei etc? Do they have private and public hospitals and what is the standard of care in public hospitals - will a Doctor attend to you or will you have to be content with a professional nurse? How does the Doctor care and knowledge compare to other countries like South Africa , USA ( dont think NZ will compare to USA on this front but maybe close to ? ) etc. Does the care between private and public hospital differ much?

We have socialised 'free' public health care in hospitals for Residents, but you have to pay additonal fees to see a doctor in a local GP office. I have never had to go private, all of my medical needs have been more than adequately provided for in the public system, so I couldn't really compare the two. Yes a doctor will attend to you in a public hospital, how quickly you will be seen by one will depend on the nature of your situation however, e.g. emergencies will take priority over non urgent conditions. When presenting to a hospital emergency department you will generally be 'triaged' by a nurse first to determine how urgently you need to be seen. This obviously wouldn't apply if you were taken in with a suspected heart attack, you would be seen straight away. If you understand what I mean

Please feel free to go ahead and ask any other questions you would like me to answer :)

You are so right hey,South Africa is so expensive to live in and the way it is being run is rather scary which is why I want to move and study in New Zealand

Hi Nomawezi . I'm studying in SA at the moment but concidering to continue my studies in NZ , do you want to imigrate permanently?

Hi there I have a question regarding the Universities in New Zealand,I would like to know what curriculum do universities use and what must one do and is knowing the Maori language compulsory?

Yes,I am planning to immigrate permanantly after I get a job bt only once I have my P.H.D Degree at a University in New Zealand

Yes,I am planning to immigrate permanantly after I get a job bt only once I have my P.H.D Degree at a University in New Zealand

Hi Nomawezi. Hopefully a kiwi on the blog will answer your question I don't think Maori language is compulsory however I can't say that with certainty.

Hi Nomaswazi,

No Maori is definately not compulsory, English is the most widely spoken language here. :)

Oh alryt thank you,but here is another thing I need to know is it possible to have a diploma from where you come from and further your diploma to a degree and higher in New Zealand or do u have to start from the the undergraduate stage?

Oh alryt thank you,but here is another thing I need to know is it possible to have a diploma from where you come from and further your diploma to a degree and higher in New Zealand or do u have to start from the the undergraduate stage?

Sorry I dont know the answer to that question but hopefully someone else can help you!

I would also like to know how is the cost of living in Wellington in terms of housing,groceries and the average price of new used cars

Hey Nomaswazi , I did some research and as far as I can gather it all depends on the type/field of degree/diploma obtained in SA. It is a similar system to furthering your studies at another institition in SA , you apply to confirm whether your qualification is recognised by the New Zealand education department and from there you write a bridging exam in order for your qualification to be recognised. You can then apply to a college/univeristy and your current qualification will carry credits to further your studies. I'd suggest you visit the New-Zealand education department website.

Hope this helps

Thank so much it helps alot

My advice is only come to NZ if you have a high paying job - such as medical doctor or other high paid professional jo, earning at least 100k or you will not be able to cover your rent and living cost requirements. In the last 5 years the cost of living has gone through the roof. My salary has not increased in 5 years and I used to have plenty of money left over for clothes, holidays and going out, but now have nothing left after paying the ordinary bills!!! That's the main reason many people are leaving - the jobs are there but the median salary of 40k does not cover your living costs.

Rents are very expensive as Nz has a housing shortage. The average house price is approx 1 million nZ dollars for something modern and livable and rents are approx $500 per week for a nice house. You can live in a cold dump for less than this. Don't expect to have a social life - as one drink in a pub costs $10 nzd for one wine.

Im sorry Jozie but I have to completely disagree with almost everything you have said.
You can buy a home for under $500,000 in any city or town in New Zealand. Million dollar home? Only if you want a mansion or a family home in the nicest suburbs of Auckland!
If you are only supporting yourself, then you should easily be able to live on a salary of $40,000 per year. If you are supporting children that may be different.
A wine does not cost $10 plus! A glass of house wine in your averagr bar or pub would more realistically be priced between $7-8. Either you only drink in fancy bars or you drink expensive wine!!
Im sorry If this is rude but your comments are so very misleading and paint a picture of New Zealand that is completely incorrect.
You DO NOT have to be a highly paid doctor or lawyer etc to get by in this country at all.

Well this is my experience living in Auckland - I agree with you that if you live in a small city or town that it will not be as expensive - that is true but one third of the population live in Auckland. Auckland has a higher living cost than London now - so it is best that people are aware of this fact now and be honest. One of my sth african friends finds it so weird how people pay so much here to live in homes that are so close together so that you can see into the next door neighbours living room and put up with their loud parties etc as she said that in Sth africa you have an ensuite bathroom and large houses with grounds and security which is better in SA. I am a kiwi by the way so have no reason to be untruthful.

I have recently returned from the Uk and have been horrified by the expensive food in supermarkets here - it is twice as expensive here for groceries. 90% of all the food that Nz produces is exported to other countries so we have to pay world prices here and Nz products are less expensive overseas. And Yes I do go to nice bars/cafes - I am not into bogan grotty biker type bars so $10 per drink is quite conservative - in the viaduct Auckland one wine is $18 per glass. It is about twice as expensive in Nz for everything compared to the UK, however if you have a high salary you will be able to cover the costs. Sim cards for cell phones, electricity, rates, petrol, car prices etc all through the roof. You will need to have savings initially to set yourself up or life will be really hard.

Hi Alana

Could you please post five listings from TradeMe of houses that cost less than $500k in Auckland that are within a 30-minute commute to the CBD that you yourself would purchase? Preferably a 2-3 bedroom house in an area where you would allow your children to play outside, or where you can go for a walk in the evening after work? To make it interesting, let's say you're not a rugby player, but are diminutive and Asian-looking, or have dark skin, and/or are young and pretty - where could you safely live alone or with a young immigrant family?

Now, to test your $40k salary proposition, the after-tax amount would be $34k per year according to the IRD website, for a fortnightly salary of $1,300, or $650/week. Could you please help us by listing a realistic budget that a young, single professional can live on in Auckland? Please include food, transportation, clothing, entertainment, mobile phone, Internet, and, of course, housing. Sky TV would be nice as well - you may want to watch the telly to improve your English proficiency and to learn more about kiwi culture, and you might be staying home a lot depending on your budget. It would be helpful if you could provide links to TradeMe rentals that you would recommend to a new immigrant female to safely live in - without flatmates. Let's assume the ideal situation where the property owner/ rental manager will not discriminate against you and that you have an equal, fair chance of getting the rental.

Very interested to see what you come up with.

Ahhhh I see,  so your comments are all related to Auckland. The most expensive city in the country, I can see now why you said what you said.

My point is, you can't say the whole country is like that.

In Christchurch, you would pay $8 for a house wine, and you certainly wont be in a bogan bar!!

(Response to Jozie)

Wombat Fred.

I cannot give you listings for properties within a 30 minute commute to central Auckland under $500k, because there aren't any. Obviously!!

If your benchmark for 'living in New Zealand' is a 2 or 3 bedroom home, in the most expensive neighbourhoods, of the most expensive city in the country, then obviously you are going to run into trouble.

Why does it have to be within a 30 minute commute? Is more than that considered a hard ship for you?

A single female can easily live on $650 a week!  I have done it myself for years. BUT not in her own apartment/property without flatmates! I think thats unrealistic. Can you honestly tell me other countries where a single female would be able to find a decent apartment, within 30 mins of the central city, (e.g. The most expensive neighbourhoods) and be able to live on her own on average salary? I doubt there would be many, that is not unique to New Zealand.

Until recently I WAS a single female so here's my budget, living in a NICE safe Christchurch neighbourhood, in a modern, warm, two bedroom two level townhouse with one flatmate. The rent and utilities are split.

(Weekly)
Rent $150
Power $30 (in winter, less in summer)
Phone & internet $15
Sky $15 (includes sky movies & sky sports)
Food $120
Petrol & car maint. Or pub transport $50
Insurances $20 (car & home contents)
Mobile phone $30
Misc e.g doctors fees $30
Entertainment $100
Clothes $40
Savings $50
Easy.

So I say again, New Zealand is not just Auckland. And because you can't live in the expensive neighbourhoods of the most expensive city doesn't make the whole country unaffordable. If i was to move to Australia, I wouldn't think I would be able to afford to live in the Sydney inner city neighbourhoods in my own apartment! Unrealistic.

Here is an example for you: my mother lives in Auckland with my stepfather, and four of my siblings. They have a lovely 4 bedroom home, with two living areas (one living and one kids playroom), a huge back yard, and a spa pool. She can quite safely go for runs/walks at night, the kids can safely play in the front yard or walk to the shop on the corner. It only takes about 30 or 40 minutes to drive to central Auckland for work from their home. The kids have a great new school about a 10 min drive away.
The price of their home? $469,000
Their suburb? Papatoetoe South Auckland.
Although I imagine you think thats the worst place you could live, when its far from it.

Alana, no offence but your budget is like something from before the financial crisis and the earthquakes. I am from chch and now live in Auckland and cannot move back to christchurch as there are no houses available for rent, and those decent ones that are available are even more expensive than Auckland. My advice to anyone wanting to move to Nz is DON'T unless you are desperate and have no other alternative. ALL my friends that are not stuck here are trying to get jobs in Auz or Europe. Millions of  welathy immmigrants from Asian countries are flooding in to Nz, replacing the original kiwis - so if you are rich it is an option. Its not if you are not rich.

And alana at $120 per week for groceries - ??? You must eat out a lot.

Papatoetoe in South Auckland is in a poor part of Auckland, so naturally the house prices are less. South Auckland is really rough. graffeti etc and lots of dropouts and winos - not that I am saying that your family is in that type of area - as not all of south auckland is like that so not meaning to offend.
The commuute would be approx 60-80 minutes into centre of city - in rush hour it is gridlocked although their is a train - unreliable though and not frequent as it has just started up. Petrol costs would be huge - $200 per week most likely for a trip there and back - not to mention parking costs of approx $30 per day.

Yes many parts of South Auckland are like that, and plenty of areas there you wouldn't catch me in for a second, but there are many that are not, both my parents and grandparents live in nice neighbourhoods. You have to know the area, which admittedly is not knowledge a new immigrant would have.

Re petrol - im sure the petrol costs to commute are high in Auckland, I only quoted a papatoetoe house price to show that you can get a house in Auckland for under $500,000. If I was a new immigrant that was only earning $40,000 per year I wouldn't choose to live in Auckland in the first place.

Re $120 a week groceries, no I hardly ever ate out, and $120 a week was enough for my weeks grocery needs. I brought meat in bulk, pre made meals and froze them as I was only cooking for one. Other grocery items I always made sure I brought on special and don't buy brand name unless its something I particularly like.

Re my budget - no that was my budget up until 4 weeks ago. So definately not pre financial crisis.

Oh and if were to live in Auckland - I sure wouldn't be paying $200 a week on petrol plus $30 a day parking! I'd be catching the train!!

New topic

Expatriate health insurance in New Zealand

Free advice and quotation service to choose an expat health insurance in New Zealand

Moving to New Zealand

Find tips from professionals about moving to New Zealand

Travel insurance in New Zealand

Enjoy stress-free travel to New Zealand

Flights to New Zealand

Find the best prices for your flight tickets to New Zealand