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Old 09-28-2008, 09:16 PM
 
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My family have been thinking of a relocation from the southeastern U.S. to th land of the Kiwi, was wondering if anyone on here had any advice as to th best cities to consider. We've already been on the immigration websites and qualify highly. We are a 10+ year married, white couple with a 10 year old son, into sports and love the outdoors. Like the idea of a slower paced way of life and from what I've been told crime rates and racism are very low. We are big into hockey, my wife is big into landscape photography and I'm just an old country boy who grew up out in the stix around the farms. I'm a journeyman carpenter(17yrs) and my wife is in insurance(QA 9yrs). Looking for a city with close rural areas but in or near the city with quality school systems, my son gets high marks and I don't want to hurt his progress. Love the U.S. but we're fed up with the politics and crooked gov as well as a terrible tax system as I'm sure everyone on here is well aware of so we are checking our options. We've narrowed it down to Australia or New Zealand, either sound great to me but the wife likes the fact that NZ doesn't have all the venomous snakes and crocs which sound awsome to me and my son but if the wife isn't happy, well........ It's only a short hop over from NZ anyways I hear. Any input would be greatly appreciated. Ya'll have a good'un now.
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Old 09-28-2008, 10:44 PM
 
Location: Melbourne, Australia
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I'd take Australia, higher wagers plus a few other things people will go into more detail. NZ is good for a holiday from Australia, if I were to consider moving to NZ I would pick either Auckland or Christchurch. The schools arn't the greatest over here.

In all Aussie probaly gives more oppurtunities due to its size but NZ is only a quick 3 hour flight if you're keen for a holiday. I'd give you a bit more info but I'm stretched for time.
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Old 09-28-2008, 11:02 PM
 
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First thing I would recommend to anyone who wants to immigrate is to actually visit the country first and travel around before making a huge financial commitment. Get beyond the pretty pictures and brochures and get to know the people and culture and find out what it is really like to live there. For me it is easy to move around because I keep my personal property to a minimum and I am single, but I have heard from families that have relocated down under or vice versa it's an expensive undertaking to start up a home in another country. You really do want to know what you are getting into.

I've spent some time living in NZ and usually spend at least a month there every year, but I usually find myself drawn back to the USA. The reality with NZ is the taxes are higher, plenty of corruption in political circles, crime is dramatically increasing due to the rise in the use of meth and the police are practically neutered, job opportunities are limited, pay is low, housing costs high and anything that you buy that is imported is expensive. Internet, electric, roads are 10-30 years behind the times. Houses are cold and damp as many are concrete block with no insulation to speak of. They don't believe in central heating in NZ.

I had a more Utopian point of view about NZ even though I was aware of the above, but having lived there and still going back, Reality Bites. Just some things to think about.

Cities by American standards are small with only Auckland being close to what I would term a big city. I think you'll find rural NZ is within easy reach of any town/city you live in because population centers are just not that big. It would all depend on what size town and city you would want to live in? Auckland is over a million, Christchurch and Wellington over 300,000, then you have a few towns/areas around 100k in population.

I'm more of a South Island person, but some parts of the North have won me over. Probably if I could pick where I wanted to live in the north it would be Taupo, in the south either Wanaka or Te Anau. If I had my choice in cities it would be Christchurch as it is more my pace. I like the downtown. It's easy to get around the city. You've got the beach in Sumner. You've got the Port Hills and Akaroa. Has kind of a feel of England, but also of Denver Colorado with the mountains in the west. I like it.

Wellington you've got to be a mountain goat to live there and everything is crammed together. Not my thing. Auckland I find a bit bland and because of the topography it's hard to get around.

Sports wise, I've never heard of anyone playing hockey down under. But there is plenty of rugby, cricket and motor sports to follow and plenty of the usual outdoor activites.
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Old 09-28-2008, 11:05 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mattyj46 View Post
if I were to consider moving to NZ I would pick either Auckland or Christchurch. The schools arn't the greatest over here.
Good point. I have a few kiwi girlfriends that have worked as teachers in the New Zealand school system and they hate it. All of them quit. You can't punish children anymore and the education bureaucracy is a mess. Private schools are better if one can afford them.
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Old 09-29-2008, 04:47 AM
 
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Coming from America, it can be hard to wrap your head around how small things are in NZ, and how being in an isolated place with a small population, miles by sea from anywhere, restricts what goods, amenities and opportunities are available, and how this can affect every aspect of your life.

The hockey/ice rink thing is a good example. New Zealand only has a few ice rinks - I think there are two in Auckland and then a couple somewhere on the South Island -- Dunedin and Christchurch, maybe? None in Wellington. In the Chicago area, where I grew up, there were four ice rinks within 10 miles of my house. Here, there just isn't the population to support that -- even if ice hockey were as popular as rugby is here. The Chicago metro area alone has twice the population of NZ.

Racism, well, I tend to think it's quite high, although it is probably on par with some of the more backward parts of the US. I've heard a lot of things that have made my jaw drop. Also, Americans are not particularly well-liked and you may come across some discrimination in employment, and you may get charged higher prices for services. Kiwis, like some of the more insular people in the US, seem largely unable to tell the difference between a government stance and an individual person's stance. (Like, just because I'm an American doesn't mean I support the war in Iraq.)

If I had kids, I wouldn't be happy sending them to school here. There seems to be a lot of bullying that goes unpunished, and because immigrant children are different, they are more likely to be targets. Also, the culture doesn't teach kids to be all they can be. There is a culture of mediocrity and low expectations here, which I find quite depressing.

You'll find different people with different opinions. I am leaving NZ as soon as I can, returning to the US. Despite its faults and weirdness, I'll be happy to be in the US again.

I think Australia is somewhat better than NZ in that it has higher wages, lower taxes, balmier weather and more diversity. The fact that 33,000 Kiwis have fled NZ for Australia so far this year already tends to support this observation. Also, I don't think Australia's economy is in a recession or housing slump, like NZ's is.

Last edited by pukeko; 09-29-2008 at 05:02 AM.. Reason: Added content
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Old 09-30-2008, 06:13 PM
 
11 posts, read 32,670 times
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Default Thanks for info.

You have to love these sites. I was thinking Australia myself since it's a far larger country although NZ seems to be beautiful. We are planning a trip sometime late next spring and would not be making a move for at least a year. I figured that such a small country would be a risk in the economic factors, Australia seems like a much better choice as I've known several Aussies and they are all super folks who recommend Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. We were gonna shoot for 4-5 days in Sydney and a 2-3 in NZ since it's so close. My wife isn't wild about all the critters but being a southern boy I'm used to snakes, gators, bugs and such, she's just being a typical lady in that area. We're all used to those shrieking calls of " come kill it!!!" How are the true goings on in those areas, I'd rather hear it from locals then on the web, books or media. As it's been said, I've never met an Aussie I didn't like and vice versa. Even if it's just for a few years to have a change of pace we are both ready for a change and want our son to be more cultured, once you see home from a different perspective yours changes also. Please, keep any comments or recommendations coming, thanks.
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Old 09-30-2008, 06:43 PM
 
161 posts, read 489,643 times
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My husband is Australian and we're currently living in the USA. Australia's economy and housing market is doing exactly what the USA's market did about 5 years ago...they are peaking...Homes are unaffordable...it's crazy! BUT A great place!

The first time I visited Australia...our dollar was 2 to 1..it was GREAT! Painful coming back though!

I agree you should visit. IF you've never traveled that far before, you will need to experience that long journey. It can be quite taxing..especially on small kids.

Simple things...like the difference in the actual currency will take a bit of time to get used to...as well as the "Queen's English" is a bit different!

Having said all that...........YOU WILL LOVE IT! It is heaven on earth!

My husband is from the West Coast..Perth! Most ppl don't venture that far...but it is truly beautiful!

Safe travels!

Last edited by tkhk3746; 09-30-2008 at 06:44 PM.. Reason: stated incorrect fact.
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Old 09-30-2008, 09:57 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tkhk3746 View Post
The first time I visited Australia...our dollar was 2 to 1..it was GREAT! Painful coming back though!
Yes the good ole days in 2002 when the aussie $ was around 0.50 and the kiwi dollar around 0.39. Recently the aussie was almost 1 for 1, but is now down to .79 and the kiwi down to .66. Still too high in my estimation. When I was last in NZ in Nov/Dec last year it was around .78 and it was financial agony for me.
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Old 10-01-2008, 09:48 AM
 
Location: Texas
718 posts, read 2,248,263 times
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Our family is also in the process of beginning the relocation process to the area. We love New Zealand (spent most of our summer there in 2005), but after visiting Australia earlier this year, we have decided job opportunities are better in the Sydney area for my husband. Our immigration attorney in Sydney has given us a breakdown of the fees, which are not readily available on most immigration websites.

Here is he says it will cost (on average for family of 4):

Total visa costs :

$5000 - $7000 - Visa application fees (government and professional fees)
$800 - $1000 - Costs related to application
$Airfares - Family of 4, estimate $5000 (more or less, depending on season)
$4000 - $7000 - Average cost of moving 3 to 4 bedroom house
$Initial expenses for first year in the country

On average, it will be about $30,000 to $40,0000 (Aus dollar) to relocate a family of 3 - 4.

You also have to consider pets, their airfare and keeping them quarantined for 30 days.
Registering children in public schools is expensive as well, average $5000. Once you and your family have become citizens, I do not think you have to pay.
One would want to sell their electronic equipment and buy new appliances once there. Most small appliances would be fine the step down converter, but most would be better to work on 220 volt electricity used there.

Here is the website we were referred to:

Migration Costs - Costs of migration to Australia
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Old 10-01-2008, 10:22 AM
 
2,421 posts, read 6,630,939 times
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Australia/New Zealand uses 240V AC/50Hz and uses a 3 pin flat blade plug

240V power datasheet

It's easier just to buy new appliances?

Last edited by Kangaroofarmer; 10-01-2008 at 10:37 AM..
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