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What to expect when moving to New Zealand

Hello everyone,

Is there anything you wish you had known before moving to New Zealand? For example, transportation, internet speeds, types of housing, aspects of the culture or social life.

In your opinion, what's the most important thing to know about New Zealand?

When would you recommend someone should begin planning their move to New Zealand?

What were the most helpful ways you found to get organised? For example, did you use a checklist, were there any particularly useful websites or apps?

What advice would you give to future expats preparing to move to New Zealand?

Thank you for sharing your experience.

Priscilla

I came back to New Zealand from Saudi Arabia in July 2014 to retire after being away from the country for just over 7 years. I was 66 at the time.  We had already purchased a house (sight unseen) in a small rural town a year before we arrived home.

The 1st thing to note from a budgeting perspective is that setting up a home from scratch will cost you more than you budgeted for. We had allowed $54k and spent $56k, Sounds good but we had not allowed for "unknowns" which cost us another $23k. This included "man shed" and gardening tools ($4.5K),  new stove  ($3.5K), replacement drapes ($5k) and what appeared to be hundreds of small but important items. For example, coat hangers, small safe ,cat stuff, extra heaters, padlocks, gum boots, log basket, picture hooks, smoke alarms, multi-plugs,CD holder etc.

Our new car budget($35k)  was separate from our setting up house budget.

For information: we used a typical insurance household insurance room by room checklist as a starting point for our budget.

The 2nd thing to note is that, because I was retiring I contacted Work & Income about how to go about obtaining my superannuation about a month before we left Saudi. That was a mistake as when they re-assess your income after year one of receiving you super they take into account your earned income for the year from that date (date of 1st contact). For me that included my final months salary in Saudi. I had not declared it as income at the time of completing my application for super as I (mistakenly) thought that my income review period would start from my 1st super payment. In the end I am now having to repay $4k of "over" payments to W&I. Be careful out there.

Related to NZ Super, do not expect to live on super alone. You will need at least additional income of $20k - $30k to live comfortably and enjoy life.

Other than that, settling back into a rural NZ has been relatively simple.

Hi Priscilla,
The thing i wish i had known about New Zealand before i moved and packed my container is that everything is more expensive in New Zealand.  I dont know why? I have tried to figure that one out ever since i have arrived eight years ago....the old "well it is an isolated island country does not wash any longer with transportation and shipping getting cheaper".  Anyway if you are packing your household goods in a container to ship to New Zealand, pack everything! Front loader washing machine, dishwasher, beds and mattresses, cutlery, crockery, ......it cost twice as much to buy it here in New Zealand.  Shoes and books three times as much!!!!!!!
Hope this helps.
Anna

dif your coming from england do not expect the locals to be as friendly. i have lived in tauranga for 4 years admittedly we live rural but our neighbours are not far away and i have no idea what they even looklike. i really miss the english humour too the country is amazing and i wouldnt go back to england but kiwis need to be a bit more welcoming and friendly

Have you gone across and spoken / introduced yourself to your neighbours

pammie007 :

dif your coming from england do not expect the locals to be as friendly. i have lived in tauranga for 4 years admittedly we live rural but our neighbours are not far away and i have no idea what they even looklike. i really miss the english humour too the country is amazing and i wouldnt go back to england but kiwis need to be a bit more welcoming and friendly

I woudn't second you but i also will not disagree with you either. I'm completing almost a year and already knowing plenty of fantastic local kiwis (Including my lovely neighbors). People may vary by situation, however, what I have noticed is, that the kiwis expect us to initiate the conversation and the first step of communicating. Once they get a familiarization, they get comfortable. i feel it justified as it is we, who have relocated here and we need to develop the relationship with everyone here including local kiwis.

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