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Tia B

What are the good and bad points of living in New Zealand?

When considering moving from the UK to New Zealand, what are the good and bad points that should be taken into account?

This would be a family move for two 40 year old adults, one 16 year old moving up to college and two younger children aged 14 and 12.

Thanks for your time.

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Drew B
If you've not yet moved there - DO IT!

There will always be bad things you don't like, but these will be far out-weighed by the good things.

NZ is totally family friendly and you'll have a better life there than the UK.


Rubix Cube
I use to live in New Zealand and now live in Australia.

New Zealand is a beautiful country.

The Good points: Fantastic scenery! Everything feels so nice and neat and perfect lol. Pretty good beaches in summer. Nice clean air. Clean drinking water. An outdoor type lifestyle which is perfect for kids and families. There are heaps of fit people going for runs and keeping nice and healthy. Lots of sport eg. Rugby. Good schools which will bring out the best in your kids. Very very friendly people who most of the time wave at you even if you don't know them. Good snow and skiing!

However there are a few cons.

1. The amount of graffiti the country has for its size.
2. Out of control youth. Whilst there I witnessed kids brawling in the streets and police cars constantly chasing the kids who have stolen cars, speeding etc.
3. The petty crime rates are pretty high. I have heard of some horrific stories while there although I have never been to England so I'd imagine that NZ is pretty tame compared to England.
4. The country is rather quiet and sometimes boring, but this can be seen as a good thing!
5. Lots of car crashes as the drivers there are awful! (no offence. That and the weather (rainy) makes the roads wet.

So yeah.

New Zealand is a good place to live! I'm pretty sure you'll enjoy it.

Have fun and good luck with moving!

Thanks for the question :)

Been looking into this myself as my better half and I are planning to retire out there (we are roughly the same age as yourselves), have spent several months out there and love the place.

Space! being a country that is 10% bigger than the UK and having roughly the population of Manchester there is plently of land to go around - hence its cheap, if you live say an hours commute away from one of the big population centres (Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch) a couple of hundred thousand (UK) will buy a large house with several acres of land, unless you go right into a city you wont find houses crammed in together as most are here.

Roads, crashing through potholes on roads jammed solid with cars just doesn't happen in NZ, even in cities traffic flow is reasonable, its not all roses where driving is concerned (i'll get to that later) but at least they drive on the same side of the road as us and all the roadsigns are the same - oh and both cars and petrol/diesel is significantly cheaper than it is in the UK (no surprises there though!). Get away from the cities and the roads are virtually empty, our record for driving along and not seeing another car in either direction during the day is 25 minutes, that was going from Ohakune to Wanganui on the North Island.

Scenery: Theres a reason that quite a lot of films are made out in NZ, the landscape is just breathtaking and if that sort of thing floats your boat then you'll be in heaven.

Standard of living: Crikey where to start! ok, firstly there is very very little petty crime even in the cities so you pretty much always feel safe, this mainly happens because the people are totally different out there, they have a different outlook and mentality and i've yet to meet someone out there who's not been really friendly - not just people in hotels/bars/shops etc. but just people in general that you meet when out and about, they seem to like the Brits as well, far more than Americans or Australians. Typical example of what its like (sounds odd but bear with me) we were out and about on the coast at a place called Waiheke Island and stumbled across a public gas powered barbecue, didn't cost anything you just fired it up and it ran for 2 hours, the 2 stainless steel pans were spotless as the last people to use it had obviously cleaned it and it showed no signs of vandalism - how long do you think that would last over here? people look after it because its a public thing and your average NZ'er has a much stronger sense of community and fairness - in short they are much more decent all round.

Leisure: There are MASSES of crazy things to do out there in your spare time, lest we forget they invented bungie jumping - you can still go and jump off the first ever bridge it was done from courtesy of AJ Hackett bungie, but thats nothing, freefall jump off a 600+ foot structure - the Skytower in Auckland, 200+ foot drop then a 600 foot swing over a valley - Canyon Swing in Queenstown, the list goes on and on - for adrenaline junkies NZ is like Mecca, if its dangerous, mental and likely to make you fill your underwear - its probably in NZ! Of course its not all screams and terror, want to go and stroke a lion cub? then Paradise Valley in Rotorua is the place to go, or theres whale watching from either boats of helicopters in Kaikoura - again the list goes on and on.

OK then bad

Driving: The locals drive quite frankly like lunatics, the national speed limit is 100km but you'll be hard pressed to find anyone even close to it, drive at the limit and your mirror will constanly be filled with some impatient local trying to get past. Now normally i'd be the same but unlike them i'm not going about my daily business - im on holiday! so i'm dawdling around taking the scenery in etc, that said they wont be flashing headlights and waving getting irate, they'll wait for a spot to pass and be on their way, if you get over to the left as far as you can they'll usually give you a wave - they know the score, the senery doesn't matter if you're late for work!

White goods: This is an odd one, for a country where everything is generally much cheaper, if you search the forums about going there to live people will tell you to take as much furniture/white goods out there as you can - they are far more expensive out there - but its about the only thing that is, it means that you have to way up the cost of replacing it all versus shipping it all out there (and waiting 3 months for it at the other end!)

Atitude: Right, i'm going out on a limb here - this could just be me (as a bit of a grumpy old git) but I see this all the time, NZ is a relatively young country and boy do they like to big themselves up! everywhere you go you'll get told how this is the biggest in the world or the oldest etc. etc. oh and they like to ignore things that beat them (like us at rugby) take the Skytower in Auckland its not the biggest structure in the world - hmm so we'll ignore half the world and say its the biggest structure in the Southern Hemisphere. One thing I do have fun with is a bunch of shops selling All Blacks merchandise, the shops have 'Champions of the world' over the door, mainly because they were opened just before not the last rugby world cup but the one before (yes the one we won) and I took GREAT delight in going in there with a Union Jack t-shirt on and reminding them that 'Actually sheep botherer - WE are champions of the world' I got the kind of 'yes we've heard that a million times but we'll laugh like its the first time we've heard it to not insult you look'. Thing is though, they were so convinced they were going to win that they did that before the event - oops! The whole thing of being constantly told that this is the biggest/smallest/best/oldest of whatever tends to wear me down after a while - its kind of like you're walking around a giant showroom and are being sold to by a pushy salesman, its odd because it seems so out of character with most of the other people you meet - might just be me but after 5 or 6 weeks of it im ready to deck the next person that tells me that 'actually this rock is the oldest known rock in my back garden - maybe even the street!

But dont let a miserable sod like me put you off, NZ is a fabulous place to be and the minor (and they are minor) niggles are FAR outweighed by the positives.

we don't have kangaroos but theres lots of sheep on farms. there really isn't that many jobs going at the moment, depending on where you move to i guess. i suggest you try get 1 b4 u come over. every1s friendly and its a beautiful fun place but the pay is **** unless you are in a trade or a very good job where you get a good hourly wage.

I saw a programme recently on NZ- they are desperate for people to go and live there - they have lots of jobs on offer and not enough skill to fill them so opportunities should be great. Plus sides, higher standard of living, re. property and lifestyle etc. Better opps. for kids and yourselves. Low crime. Downsides, very long journey to UK - NZ is also quite quiet - but that could be a plus point!

Its agreed unilaterally that Doris is an idiot and probably a child molester. NZ is great.

high taxes. probably the only negative thing, very high taxes.

First of all the unemployment figures are the lowest they've ever been in our history so no idea what the person saying jobs are scarce, is talking about. Likewise with the person talking about crime. I know someone from Leeds who laughs at half the stuff we have on our news here. For a start it's way less violent here than the UK, we don't have soccer hooligans & people wandering around housing estates looking to smack people over or "glass" them. We have state house area's (our version of housing estates, but they are individual houses with their own backyards, etc & it's just not like the UK situation).

You just use your common sense & don't walk through parks at night anywhere. If you're walking through a state house area beware of the fact people keep unfenced vicious dogs so you're better to not walk through those areas. House burglary & theft from and theft of cars is high here. House burglary is high because we have an outdoor lifestyle so most burglaries are during the day. Just have an alarm, locks that are approved by your insurance company & you'll be fine. Personally I've never been burgled here but was many times in Sydney, Australia.

There are loads of UK people here & always have been, but due to alot of NZers moving to Australia (more are going now than ever) we have shortages in some areas of employment so more & more UK people are arriving. So there won't be any shortage of UK friends to make if that's what you are wanting.

You don't say where you are in the UK so it's hard to comment but people from London think our shopping pales in comparison to London but I guess there's always online shopping where you can get stuff shipped here anyway (but the courier charges from overseas to here can be high as we're so far away). You also don't say where you plan on settling in NZ so again it's hard to comment. Auckland & Welllington are better for jobs & the nightlife/entertainment. Wellington is really social & friendly, very easy to make friends there, they are used to a constant stream of strangers moving there & going re people coming from other parts of NZ & overseas for Government jobs as it's the capital & our Parliament is there. It's downfall is the terrible wind (to be experienced to be believed) & it's winters are terrible. A summer day is great though & I'd happily live in Wellington. Auckland is good but as the largest city it's a bit cliquey re trying to fit in. Also the traffic is a nightmare & even locals hate the public transport system, let alone what the people from overseas think about it! You're best bet is to live on the North Shore & get a job in the city & take the ferry across (only 10 minutes). But hard to comment as no idea what you guys do for a living so maybe a city job isn't an option for you.

Weather is great here compared to the UK, not too hot, not too cold. Stunning scenery everywhere all over NZ. Over 100 beaches in and around Auckland. Great bushwalking & harbour for watersports/sailing/ferry trips. Great islands in Auckland harbour to visit on day trips/weekends, etc.

Also it was just on the news re the latest list of the top cities in the world to live in re quality & cost of living, Auckland was no. 5 in the world & Wellington was no. 12. So not bad going at all as the UK & USA don't even have any cities in the top 30 countries on this list, which I assume is because of crime, high housing costs & pollution.

Get a lonely planet guide before you come.

weather -

jobs - will show you what's available & where & sometimes states the salary.

train trips round NZ (Auckland to Wellington one takes about 12 hours though!) -

cheap bus tours -

Don't they have sheep and kangaroos everywhere? Glad I live in America.

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