The good and bad things about living in New Zealand.

I’ve always wanted to go for an extended visit to NZ.

Is there an age restriction for anyone thinking of emigrating?

From what I’ve seen on their immigration site, you must be under 56 to qualify as a skilled migrant, above that, you need to be a family member of a migrant. There is a 25 point spread between 29 and 50 years of age (you need 140 points to qualify), which is large, but with a job offer, anybody under 56 should still have enough points. 20 years appears to be the lower limit for workers.

I don’t know where the jobs are specifically, but most of the geothermal activity & power generation in New Zealand happens in the central North Island, around Taupo and Rotorua.

Any of the NZ dopers live south?
When I went on vacation there, I fell totally in love with Dunedin. Admittedly, I was only there for a ridiculously short time, but it felt like I place I should move to someday.

As noted, the main geothermal energy projects are based around Taupo and Rotorua in the central North Island, with some smaller facilities dotted around (the pulp/paper/timber mills at Kawerau in the Bay of Plenty use geothermal generation units).

The education system has changed significantly over the past few years. The focus has moved away from an exam based system:
School Certificate at 15-16,
University Entrance (which most people passed via internal assessment) the following year
Optional Bursary/Scholarship (but often required for University course entry) subjects in the year after that

to the NCEA system:
This is a unit based approach, with students selecting units to attempt, and being required to get a certain number of units with a certain level of achievement to get a passing grade in a subject. Universities set specific units (and marks) in specific subjects for entry requirements. Assessment seems to be a problem, as is the range of available units.
The whole thing has been a bit wooly, even for a country overpopulated with sheep, and I get the impression that no-one understands or likes the system. Most of the private schools use Cambridge Exams, UK A-Levels or the International Baccalaureate.



The geothermal areas may be based around the central plateau (Taupo/Rotorua etc) but the offices will still be in Wellington.

Buyer’s market for housing, but that’s coming off a hugely overpriced bubble. No idea where the house prices will be at when **Marmot **gets here.

Public schools are rated on a ‘decile’ system. Decile 1 & 2 schools being in poorer areas and heavily subsidised and decile 10 schools having higher ‘voluntary donations’ (school fees) from the parents and usually a much larger range of activities available *outside *the govt set curriculum. The donations are very much needed to make up the difference between funding and actual costs - they differ from around $40 per year per child to $200 pypc within Napier. This seems a typical range for most urban areas.

Private schools are available in most fair sized cities. Once you get to that decision, they’re easily searched for your area and will have fees on their websites.

I don’t have time to read all of the replies to this post so forgive me if this has been said already.

I seriously considered emigrating to NZ after the 2004 debacle. We visited NZ and I went job hunting. I was given a job offer in my profession – but at a 60% cut in salary from my US wages.

I’m a software engineer living in Silicon Valley where wages are high, as well as cost of living. I was expecting, and willing to accept, a 30% to 40% salary cut and was quite surprised at the salary offered – and this at one of the premier technology companies in Auckland (Navman).

So you need to be sure what the standard salaries are for your profession and make your own judgment regarding the acceptability of the salary levels.

Other than the low salary, we found nothing else to discourage us from moving there…


Bad = IceWolf, Loaded Dog and all my other Kiwis live in NZ

Good = They’s mah frens anyway.

Couldn’t let that one go by…:smiley:

As you were. :wink:


I went to a State (ie non-private) school and I got a pretty good education out of it. But, like anywhere, there are good schools and not as good schools. Overall, the NZ Education system is pretty good, IMHO.

The short answer is “It doesn’t.”

New Zealand is a fairly secular place, with a strong freedom of religion. Lots of people go to church. Most people don’t.

If you’re a religious person then you’ll be able to find a local church to attend and mix with fellow Faithful. If you’re not a religious person, then you non-religiousness will have absolutely zero impact on your life in NZ. Religion and Politics are NOT mixed, and it’s regarded as extraordinarily bad form to try and make political arguments (or take a standpoint) based on what The Bible says. There’s a Religious Political Party but they aren’t really taken seriously by many people.

It’s also Extraordinarily Bad Form to ask someone if they’re religious; if they mention they go to church or whatever that’s fine, but you NEVER say, “So, Which Church do you go to?” as an Icebreaker. Most people in NZ do not attend Church, except for Weddings and Funerals, and even if they do, there’s no social status to be gained from it.

It’s totally unlike the US, in other words.

There’s also a lot of Earth Mother and Healing Crystal and Wiccan types in NZ too; but that’s generally a Lifestyle Choice.

One thing I will say: As you’re an American, if you even breathe something about Jesus, people will assume you’re one of those annoying Fundamentalist American God-Botherers they’ve seen on TV; at least until they get to know you, anyway.

To be fair, most of those aren’t found in civilised areas of Australia, you know.

Dunedin is a very, very weird place. It does things to people who live there too long; honestly, the less time you can spend there, the better. Unless you’re a Student (scarfie); but even then, the day your course finishes you really need to look at moving. The whole city is just depressing, basically.

Seconded. It’s this weirdly bipolar student town, oscillating wildly betweem boofhead smalltown rugby fans whose idea of a good time is setting sofas on fire in the street, and pale, skinny shoegazers whose idea of a good time is starting a band called the Jean-Paul Sartre Experience. Dunedin is the murder-suicide capital of New Zealand; Christchurch, for - or perhaps because of - its pretensions to a faux-English gentility - is the prostitute strangling capital of New Zealand; and Auckland just wants to be Sydney when it grows up.

That’s another thing to bear in mind about New Zealand: it is very small and very new. The whole country is the size of a average city abroad, our oldest building is mid 19th Century, and our Pavlovian salivation at the words “The Lord of the Rings” aside, there is little besides sports to hold the attention. Those who can leave as soon as they can, partially for the money but mostly because of the feeling that nothing of value or worth happens here, and that if you want to see anything beyond a bunch of blokes chucking a roundish bit of leather about, you’re going to have to go and see it in London, Tokyo, or to a lesser extent Melbourne.

We come back as soon as we mate and spawn, of course, because the truism about New Zealand is that “it’s a great place to bring up kids”: barring an odd national penchant for putting toddlers into tumble driers, this is largely true, since like many things which are great for children, there are no sharp edges, no harmful toxins, and no bits to break off and swallow. We are a Play-Doh nation.

Sorry Quasi, pretty sure TheLoadedDog lives in Australia.

Yeh, I know. Tried to get back in to correct (edit) but didn’t make the time-cut. Of course I know that Dog lives in Oz. Please forgive!

Based on what I have seen of your posts, this seems to be the problem: Oklahoma sucks. There are plenty of places right here in the US that would be major improvements over where you are now. No need to go all the way to New Zealand. :slight_smile:

True that. What interests me about New Zealand is that the government has a stated goal of achieving 1% annual population growth just through immigration. To me, that sounds like an opportunity. If there was any city or state in the USA that said “We need skilled workers!”, I’d be all for it. Also, I wanted to know what was behind the life satisfaction and freedom rankings. And, you know, it’s cool to hear about how people live in far away places. All this information has been illuminating.

But I do see your point and as it is highly unlikely I would be able to get the same kind of compensation in New Zealand as here, there is little chance I could afford to move there. More research is needed.

Suppose I wanted to retire there? I didn’t see anything on the immigration site that covered that situation. If you have a sufficient guaranteed pension, could you immigrate?

I’ve only been there once at the end of a great cycling trip but this is from today’s NZ Herald.

I came, I saw, I chundered - toga parade turns into drunken rampage

What do locals think of gays/lesbians? Just curious …

How hot are the lesbians?

A friend’s said that although Sydney’s much more the gay capital of the region, he felt less outside the mainstream when he was living in Auckland.

That said, he’s not what you’d call flaming. If you’re looking to be out-RAAAAY-geous or FAAAAAAB-ulous, Enzed’s probably not for you.

I knew quite a few bisexual women when I lived in NZ, but it was bisexual in the “Sex with women is fun too!” way and not as part of some over-arching Sexual Identity thing. (and FTR, yes, they were generally pretty attractive IMHO.)

Things might have changed now, but when I was living in Christchurch, there was no problem with people being gay, provided they didn’t make a big deal of it. As in, it was OK to BE gay (like, “normal” in all other respects except [del]Buttsex With Guys[/del] Preferring The Intimate Company Of Other Men), but not OK to try and make it a political issue/wear women’s clothes & makeup in public/be a flaming queen about the whole thing.

Regrettably, a small number of people were beaten up for being Gay in Christchurch, but that was 10 years ago and from what I gather things are a lot better there, although being Liberace Gay is still frowned upon.

Oh, yeah - he also said that he was surprised at how many of the subcultures didn’t really exist in New Zealand. If you were a bear/twink/muscle mary/whatever, he told me that you usually left for Sydney shortly after high school or university and never looked back.

I have no idea how accurate that is.

On the other hand, he told me that there was an unusually high number of farmers who were butch dykes.