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  #1  
Old 01-13-2008
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where to live in New Zealand

I would like to hear from those of you who have lived and sailed in NZ.

My wife and I are considering moving to NZ. We have gone so far as to complete the first step in the immigration process and have gotten initial approval. What we are trying to decide now is where would be the best place in NZ for us to live.

I've heard good things about Wellington and I think that I have a pretty good chance at getting a job offer from there. (Computer Networks and Information Security) The size of Wellington would probably be more to our taste than Auckland.

A concern I have is if it would be a good place to extend our sailing experience. One goal we have in moving is getting somewhere where we can get more experience sailing and hopefully even buy a boat. Living here in Iowa our experience has been limited to a couple seasons on our Catalina 22.

Your honest opinions and suggestions are appreciated.
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Old 01-13-2008
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sailaway21 is just really nice sailaway21 is just really nice sailaway21 is just really nice sailaway21 is just really nice
I'd be less than enthusiastic. New Zealand has some tough immigration laws. I just read of a man who was denied entry, he already had a job there with his company, because he was obese. And they're looking at the size of his wife too!

The Wombat will probably wander by after a bit and give you some insight on the matter. He's an international fugitive with a fondness for sheep and therefore an impeccably reliable source of information. (g)
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Old 01-14-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailaway21 View Post
I'd be less than enthusiastic. New Zealand has some tough immigration laws. I just read of a man who was denied entry, he already had a job there with his company, because he was obese. And they're looking at the size of his wife too!

The Wombat will probably wander by after a bit and give you some insight on the matter. He's an international fugitive with a fondness for sheep and therefore an impeccably reliable source of information. (g)
Ah me, taking the name of Wombat in vain again. Hiya Sway.

Look, I've not spent a lot of time in NZ but would like to. From what I know the South island is a gem but except for the Marlborough Sounds area it's not a great area for cruising. North Island has two main areas worth consideration, Auckland because it is within striking distance of the Bay of Islands which has to rate as one of the world's great cruising areas. Wellington , on the other hand is a lovely small city although it's not called Windy Wellington for nothing. From Wellington it's a relatively easy passage (keeping a careful eye on the weather cos it can turn nasty) to the Marlborough Sounds area which is another outstanding cruising area and not as busy as the Bay of Islands.

Were I able to fund it I'd go for Nelson but workwise obviously Wellington or Auckland are the places to choose.

That said, you should only take heed of what I say if you are prepared to accept the word of a waffly old bleeding heart liberal.

ps - I know nothing of NZ's immigration laws.
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Last edited by tdw; 01-14-2008 at 04:07 AM.
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Old 01-14-2008
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Do some proper research

before making sweeping comments.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sailaway21 View Post
I'd be less than enthusiastic. New Zealand has some tough immigration laws. I just read of a man who was denied entry, he already had a job there with his company, because he was obese. And they're looking at the size of his wife too!
We moved from South Africa to New Zealand 5 years ago and from an immigration perspective it was a totally painless experience. I suspect that the man who was denied entry probably has some enduring medical issues and very few countries will take immigrants who are going to, from Day 1, apply pressure on medical services provided by taxpayers.

One thing that I will say is that until you have a permit to work in NZ, very few employers will offer you a job. If you have skills that are in short supply (and network engineers are clearly amongst them) you'll walk into NZ on a red carpet. Let me relate a story.

My son-in-law came to NZ to visit us on holiday with absolutely no intention of staying. When he got here he put his CV into the market "just to see what happens" and in two weeks he had three job offers, all of them with top companies. He chose the one he wanted and is still with that company and has no intention of ever leaving NZ. He never even went back to SA. His parents sold his home, packed the contents and sent it to NZ. He is a network specialist and works for a law firm, earns a very respectable salary and has an employer who treats him like royalty.

People who say that NZ is difficult to get into either have nothing to offer or have done it wrong and been burned. NZ is definitely not a walk-over, they know what they want and won't accept second best. If you think you're a worthy employee, you'll do well. If you're an opportunist, rather stay where you are.

As far as where to live, that's obviously a personal choice totally dependant on what you want from your new life. I am a sailor before almost anything else. We live in Auckland, on the Hauraki Gulf. We have about 100 of the most beautiful safe anchorages within a few hours of easy sailing of our home. Auckland has a choice of 11 marinas, all of them world class. Where most cities see their executives playing golf on Wednesdays and Thursdays, in Auckland they race around the cans. It's a city of around 1 million people so it's not a monster.

Depending where you live, you can go sailing in the morning and snow skiing in the afternoon. Most of the extreme sports popular world-wide started their lives in NZ. Greenpiece started here. The first women in the world to get the vote got it in NZ. We have only one fossil fuel power station, the rest are hydro or wind farms. We were the first country other than the US to successfully defend the Americas Cup. The list goes on and on. It's a magnificent, friendly, peaceful, safe, progressive country. We gave up our South African allegiance in a heartbeat and took NZ citizenship.

So, in short, if you're less than enthusiastic you're probably better off where you are. NZ is a wonderful place to live.

Andre
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Old 01-14-2008
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Well I had a serious try to get to NZ. Their immigration regulations are almost as bad as the Australians. But no matter, if you are young, fit and well educated, you can get in, especially if someone offers you a job in advance. (If you are old, fat, lazy and unemployable, that's OK too, you just have to be very rich). Fresh air is part of the salary, of course, about 90% of it.

Wellington would be a good place to start but in NZ you will be spoilt for choice. I would check out the marinas first.
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Old 01-14-2008
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For employment in your field you are limited to Auckland or Wellington.
Be aware that wages are substantially lower, and many costs similar.
Auckland has very easy access to a wide range of sailing.
Wellington much less so as the harbour is smaller the winds strong and you have to cross the Cook Strait which can be very bad to reach cruising grounds.
Wellington is probably a nicer place to live being more concentrated, but has a weather problem.
House prices are high compared with US averages, particularly in Auckland where the median is roughly 560K or 420K US plus depending on the exchange rate.
Because Auckland is on an isthmus most places are relatively close to good beaches. However despite its being a relatively small city - about 2M taking the area as a whole (it is divided into 4 cities but is really one) but this causes sprawl and traffic hassles.
Boats are more expensive than in the US.
Forget snow, the nearest is about 4 hours from Wellington and five from Auckland.
Most comparisons depend on the specifics of your situation, but you are likely to find it more laid back and understated.
Australia is another possibility. It is more prosperous and perhaps more brash. NZ being green and a temperate climate is far prettier.
Forget the sheep stories. A farm park is the closest you will get in the cities.

Last edited by chris_gee; 01-14-2008 at 09:19 AM.
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Omatako,
Sounds like my statements weren't quite so "sweeping" after all. New Zealand does seem to have some tough immigration laws after all. Of course that is by way of differentiating it from the US which seems to have no law at all. (g)
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Old 01-14-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chris_gee View Post
Australia is another possibility. It is more prosperous and perhaps more brash. NZ being green and a temperate climate is far prettier.
Forget the sheep stories. A farm park is the closest you will get in the cities.
I've lived here (Sydney Australia) all my life and the place is going to the dogs. Too many people, too much noise, and too many spivs. It will probably always remain home to me but if I'd been clever I'd have either moved to NZ or if within Oz , Tasmania, 20 years ago.

As for the Sheep, don't believe him. Australians will even deny that there are Kangaroos hopping down the main street of Sydney. Of course there are, hundreds of the buggers. Chris is just trying to keep more of the cute widdle lambykins to himself. In Australia we shear sheep but you can never get a Kiwi to share one and that's a fact.
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I live in NZ and have done quite a lot of international recruiting of immigrants for positions here. The immigration rules are no problem if, like in most places, you are not too old, reasonably healthy, police checks are ok, etc and have a skill such as a trained tradesman (in the common trades such as electrical, engineering, etc) or are a professional (again in useful things). Like most places, you can also get in if you have a bunch of money to invest.

There is also a Talent (Accredited Employers) Work Policy which regardless of your skill a position offered to you by an employer in this scheme will get you a work permit, as long as your police and health report is ok, and take you to permanent residence in 12 months (assuming that is unchanged from last time I recruited under the policy).

I have lived in both Auckland and Wellington, am a native of neither and have always had the choice of the one I wanted to live in so my choices have been entirely based on preference rather than some kind of allegiance. We live about 60 km north of Wellington on the west coast where the weather is much better (winter daytime lows rarely below 12C and summer highs rarely above 25C) with boat kept in Wellington. The choice between the two is really too personal to comment on.

Despite what has been said, Wellington Harbour is far bigger than Auckland Harbour which is in fact quite small. Auckland does have the Hauraki Gulf outside of it, however, whereas Wellington has Cook Strait so Wellington has much less immediately available sheltered waters. Wellington is also windier, and often compared with Chicago in that (but I have never been to Chicago to make the comparison myself ).

Across Cook Strait (which is only around 12 miles wide at its narrowest but the shortest sailing route is longer at around 28nm or so from Wellington Harbour Heads) are the Marlborough Sounds, together further around Tasman Bay. These are, by far the most extensive sheltered crusing grounds in NZ as a look at a chart or map will show. In the outer parts they can be quite windy and the attractions are more natural than man made. So if one is looking to sail from marina to marina or town to town one will be pretty disappointed. But if ones interests are any of fishing, bird and sea life, natural features, tramping, etc then one will be in ones element. Access to this sailing area is the main reason we live in Wellington and while we have a capable boat small, light boats do the crossing to South Island with no problems by picking their weather and tidal conditions.

We are not into winter sports but both Auckland and Wellington have easy access to sking with many taking off to the mountains for the weekends in winter. It is around a 4 hour drive from either but I guess we don't regard that as far even tho' a small country.

As said by another salaries are not high by many other western country standards (about 30% less than Australia) that being partly offset by cost of living (mainly in lack of hidden outgoings but also in many day to day things). The trick is to get a good paying job so then be reasonably well paid and have the lifestyle. I make this assessment from being a frequent visitor to Australia and less frequent to North America and Europe. I think the house prices have been overstated by another as the median in Auckland is actually approx NZD450,000 and a bit less in Wellington.

All my own family now live in Australia and my wife is not originally a NZ'er so we have no strong family ties here and have considered moving to Australia which has many attractions. Again, it is pretty much the cruising here that has kept us (plus it is green here ) but if into mainly day sailing in a warmer climate then Oz is best - but we like to cruise independantly for weeks at a time. Tasmania is probably the best location there for extensive independant cruising but there again one is out of the hotter weather.

I am not trying to push NZ but just try and provide some information as asked for. There are many great places in the world to live and many we would be happy living in. And, as always, such choices are pretty personal.
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Old 01-15-2008
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Three points.
1. Median house prices are subject to distortion depending on sales make-up at any time. Also they presumably include apartments which have fallen. The leading real estate agents report thus, "Barfoot & Thompson sells more Auckland property than any other real estate company, meaning its sales figures are a good indicator of the state of the market.

The company today release its annual sales statistics which show the average sale price achieved increased 12.01% during 2007. The average sale price for 2007 was $538,478, compared to $480,738 for 2006.


The 2007 year began with an average monthly sale price of $475,461 in January and climbed to $559,803 in December." So my 560K compares well with 559.8."

2. It is misleading to compare Auckland harbour with Wellington harbour. Auckland harbour is for buoys racing. The gulf is roughly 50 miles by 50 miles and contains several major islands with numerous anchorages and many others. I include the Firth of Thames because it is only 12 miles from other anchorages and has a wealth of cruising. I agree the sounds are great cruising, if you can get there and back within your timetable. This is reflected in the Auckland yacht fleet being vastly greater than the Wellington one. My guess would be 20x.

3. Bestiality jokes are an Australian anachronism.
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