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Thread: Move to NZ...

  1. #1
    Formerly Carlos9
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    Move to NZ...

    My wife and I are seriously considering moving the family to NZ. We need a change and fresh start and have always been fascinated by the beauty of the islands and culture. Obviously it would be done legally and will take some time, effort and money to accomplish but in the meantime, could any Kiwis give me some basic recommendations (other than don't bother!) about decent areas to live, work and play? I know its a broad question with many unknowns but we love the outdoors, my wife is a beach girl, I like the mountains and biking anywhere and everywhere. She's a nurse, I'm a journeyman Painter and Decorator with a lot of management experience. We have 4 kids so good schools would be important, along with a little culture, maybe a few decent restaurants etc. Ideally we would be outside a larger city or town but within an hr or less of the beach/mountains.

    Also, any advice on the immigration process would be greatly appreciated. Shes a US citizen, I'm a dual national with US/British citizenship and we would be moving from the US.

    Cheers in advance.

  2. #2
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    Not too many kiwis would tell you not to bother it's a fantastic country and most of us love it to bits.
    I am born and bred here so can't help with immigration but nurses are sought after so you should be able to find enough points to get in.this website might help

    Immigration New Zealand

    Almost anywhere in the country meets your criteria so take your pick. I have lived in many parts of NZ ..given that you have some skills that our mangled Christchurch needs and is a place abundant in mountains, beaches and MTB opportunities it would be one recommendation, the capital Wellington and surrounds also fits the bill. Auckland is a nightmare for some and a mecca for others not much in the way of mountains or good MTB IMHO but fantastic beaches and lots to do.
    Smaler places like Rotorua, New Plymouth, Nelson and so mnay more all offer what you are looking for. Come over and and have a look....then decide

  3. #3
    Formerly Carlos9
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    Quote Originally Posted by tahic View Post
    Not too many kiwis would tell you not to bother it's a fantastic country and most of us love it to bits.
    I am born and bred here so can't help with immigration but nurses are sought after so you should be able to find enough points to get in.this website might help

    Immigration New Zealand

    Almost anywhere in the country meets your criteria so take your pick. I have lived in many parts of NZ ..given that you have some skills that our mangled Christchurch needs and is a place abundant in mountains, beaches and MTB opportunities it would be one recommendation, the capital Wellington and surrounds also fits the bill. Auckland is a nightmare for some and a mecca for others not much in the way of mountains or good MTB IMHO but fantastic beaches and lots to do.
    Smaler places like Rotorua, New Plymouth, Nelson and so mnay more all offer what you are looking for. Come over and and have a look....then decide
    thanks mate, just the kind of answer i was looking for. i actually looked into christchurch and it did seem like a place that fit the bill. i have a mate from home who lives in whangarei now, as well as a lot of rugby friends from all around. but as mountain biking has now taken over, i figured i'd see if i could find a biking point of view!

    and when i said "don't bother", i figured most people would say stay away, we don't want you here!!!

    thanks again.

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    Wellington - or the South Island at a stretch. I would have said Christchurch but now that it's an active earthquake area, I'd probably avoid it.

    In Wellington you've got culture, dining and mountain biking all around the city. Makara Peak is an awesome MTB park near the city. Beaches are ok around the city (it's a harbour) but if you want long sandy beaches, you can head about 30 minutes north and you have kilometres of it up the Kapiti Coast.

    I'd recommend you head over to Vorb: Home: New Zealand, Mountain*Biking, Road*Cycling, Downhill*Racing, Dirt*Jumping*(MTB), Road*Racing and ask there.

  5. #5
    Carbon & Ti rule
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    Well I would say Tauranga were I live, 10 km to one of the nicest beaches in NZ.
    65km to Rotorua were the Redwoods for MTBing I think it has just been rated in the top 5 MTB parks in the world.

    Approx 120.000 people & growing fast,

    Has a big hospital

    Plenty of building happening here 1 of the new big sub divisions has has 5000 sections.

    It's alot warmer here than the South island.

    3.5 hours drive to the snow in the mountains

    The council are building a 5000 Acre fun park with lots of MTB tracks 30km out of town & 2 MTB parks on the out side of town.

    Approx 65 km of walk/ MTB tracks within the town for training.

    Water ways for Kayaking, Harbour for water sking, Hills for tramping/ MTB

    Good schools & Polytech

    + much much more

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    Just don't go to Auckland.

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    Quote Originally Posted by muzzanic View Post
    Well I would say Tauranga were I live, 10 km to one of the nicest OIL COVERED beaches in NZ.
    There, fixed it for ya

    Anywhere apart from Auckland would be ok IMO. South Island is arguably more laid back, friendlier, and lower crime rate than most North Island areas, but colder .

    Nelson is a nice sunny area, good riding, not far from great beaches and one of the most popular walking tracks (Abel Tasman).

    As said, Christchurch may not be the place to be (central at least), and house insurance is extremely hard to get if you don't hold a policy woth an insurer already.

    Queenstown is great if you like the smaller tourist type town, lots of snow in winter, great riding (gondola access) in summer, and surrounded by spectacular scenery, but more expensive for housing etc. Nothing wrong with the schooling up until tertiary level, however, your wife would need to get used to cool clear fresh water, rather than that salty stuff.

  8. #8
    Carbon & Ti rule
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    [QUOTE=kavika;8579706]There, fixed it for ya

    Ha ha.

    That has been cleaned up already & he is talking a year or 2 away anyhow.

  9. #9
    Formerly Carlos9
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    thanks again all! i must say i like the look of tauranga! shame to see that oil spill in such a beautiful area. funny how it doesn't even make the news here despite it being mentioned as being nz's worst environmental disaster...

    out of interest, where is nz's "mecca" for mountain biking?

    also, i've been checking out the nz immigration site and my wife looks like a pretty good candidate for an invitation to apply for residency... hopefully they'll let me, the kids and my bikes tag along!

    please keep the advice/info coming. the more the better

  10. #10
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    Mecca? Depends on preference and style of riding, but in no particular order, tops for me would be Nelson, Queenstown, Rotorua, Wellington. Wellington = windy, Queenstown = cold and expensive, Rotorua = smelly, Nelson is a good compromise.

    In all honesty, probably the best thing you could do is a trip around the country visiting potential areas of interest, and go from there. I am biased towards the Sth Island, but the North has some great riding spots. I just like the fact that, in the area I live, I don't need to lock the car or house when I head out for a couple of hrs (at this stage anyway).

  11. #11
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    kavika, where do you live? i like all kinds of riding but probably prefer swoopy fast trails with some technical bits thrown in... any ride is a good ride!

    does the whole of rotorua smell bad?! theres a couple of places here in colorado that have hot springs and after an hr or so, you get used to it... but every now and then you'll catch a whiff that knocks you back a bit!

    is there a huge difference in weather between the north and south islands? obviously there would be from the top of the north to the bottom of the south but how different is say aukland to christchurch?

    we're going to ring nz immigration tomorrow to find out about getting the ball rolling. need to get some finances in order before the wife and i can afford a trip out but thats in the plans too. thanks again.

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    The stink in Rotorua ..you don't notice it after a few minutes and the geothermal mud and stuff is quite cool.
    The weather in NZ is as random as it gets. if you are coming from Colorado you will find it extremely wet. Most parts of NZ get high rain fall and unpredictable weather, there are a few exceptions being Malborough (top of the south island) and Hawkes Bay in the North Island but in general it's not that cold by Colorado standards anyway!
    The further south you go the colder it gets so winter in Auckland is cold and wet but no snow or days at freezing point ..the lower end of the country will experience snow etc but nothing like you will used to. You can ride all year round pretty much the limiting factor can be mud.
    Nelson is a great suggestion but it is also overpriced and not that many work opportunities as it is so popular.
    Anyway good luck we visit Colorado each year as we have a son living in Eagle and I have to ask why would you leave? I would swap NZ for Colorado any day esp as it's so dry and the riding is so fantastic (so much better than anything NZ has although I hate to admit it)

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    As tahic said, you get used to the smell of Rotorua. I live in Blenheim, at the top of the Sth Island, and find it great. Mtbing is limited in the area, and the better tracks are in Nelson (1 1/2 hr drive or so).
    Job wise, cities are definitely going to offer more opportunities, but I've always preferred the smaller Sth Island areas, where people in general are friendlier, and the lifestyle is more laid back. Although, in saying that, I nearly suffered from road rage in a traffic jam here in town, was stuck waiting for almost 1 minute at a roundabout! (still don't have a single set of traffic lights here)

    Weather in the top of the south is fairly good, with a lot of the bad weather heading around us. Winter temps rarely go below -3, and is usually up to 2-5 by mid morning. Nelson temps are usually a little higher from memory.

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    Personally, I chose the Sth Island for the more laid back lifestyle. Dunedin sealed it for me. I did not like Christchurch (even pre-EQ). Dunedin has some great riding, is very close to Central Otago, has the University and hospital (so plenty of work) and, as I said, is more laid back.

    The weather was a little bit of a trade off for all of the above, but you get used to it. I have lived in colder places, so it could be worse.

    Wellington would be my other pick, if I had to choose.

    And as has been said, there are plenty of places to ride - Rotorua, Wellington, Nelson, Queenstown etc. All reasonably accessbile, either by car or plane.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by tahic View Post
    The stink in Rotorua ..you don't notice it after a few minutes and the geothermal mud and stuff is quite cool.
    The weather in NZ is as random as it gets. if you are coming from Colorado you will find it extremely wet. Most parts of NZ get high rain fall and unpredictable weather, there are a few exceptions being Malborough (top of the south island) and Hawkes Bay in the North Island but in general it's not that cold by Colorado standards anyway!
    The further south you go the colder it gets so winter in Auckland is cold and wet but no snow or days at freezing point ..the lower end of the country will experience snow etc but nothing like you will used to. You can ride all year round pretty much the limiting factor can be mud.
    Nelson is a great suggestion but it is also overpriced and not that many work opportunities as it is so popular.
    Anyway good luck we visit Colorado each year as we have a son living in Eagle and I have to ask why would you leave? I would swap NZ for Colorado any day esp as it's so dry and the riding is so fantastic (so much better than anything NZ has although I hate to admit it)
    don't get me wrong, i love colorado. leaving here would be the hardest part. but the us is in a horrible state right now and i don't see it improving in the foreseeable future. going home to england isn't any better of an option. i have 4 kids that i want brought up in a society that is closer to what i knew 30 years ago and i think nz is my best option... am i completely misguided?!?!

    as great as the riding is here, my schedule doesn't allow me to enjoy the best of it. i get up to the front range trails [i live just south of denver] whenever i can but often i'm riding local trails that i'm sure don't equate to stuff in nz.

    either way, its still just a dream!

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by kavika View Post
    As tahic said, you get used to the smell of Rotorua. I live in Blenheim, at the top of the Sth Island, and find it great. Mtbing is limited in the area, and the better tracks are in Nelson (1 1/2 hr drive or so).
    Job wise, cities are definitely going to offer more opportunities, but I've always preferred the smaller Sth Island areas, where people in general are friendlier, and the lifestyle is more laid back. Although, in saying that, I nearly suffered from road rage in a traffic jam here in town, was stuck waiting for almost 1 minute at a roundabout! (still don't have a single set of traffic lights here)

    Weather in the top of the south is fairly good, with a lot of the bad weather heading around us. Winter temps rarely go below -3, and is usually up to 2-5 by mid morning. Nelson temps are usually a little higher from memory.
    yeah, i suspect we'll focus on living in the suburbs. my wife is probably going to be the main person on the application so its also going to be dependent on where she can find work.

    and as far as your road rage, i feel your pain. thats a minute of your life you'll never get back!!!

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by carlos9 View Post
    don't get me wrong, i love colorado. leaving here would be the hardest part. but the us is in a horrible state right now and i don't see it improving in the foreseeable future. going home to england isn't any better of an option. i have 4 kids that i want brought up in a society that is closer to what i knew 30 years ago and i think nz is my best option... am i completely misguided?!?!

    as great as the riding is here, my schedule doesn't allow me to enjoy the best of it. i get up to the front range trails [i live just south of denver] whenever i can but often i'm riding local trails that i'm sure don't equate to stuff in nz.

    either way, its still just a dream!
    Not misguided. I think NZ is one of the few places where that dream can still hold true. Although, as usual, there are exceptions all around the place. Finding them, though, is the problem. But on the whole, I have found the South Island to be most like what things were like a few decades ago.

    Whatever you end up going with, good luck!

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shalom View Post
    Not misguided. I think NZ is one of the few places where that dream can still hold true. Although, as usual, there are exceptions all around the place. Finding them, though, is the problem. But on the whole, I have found the South Island to be most like what things were like a few decades ago.

    Whatever you end up going with, good luck!
    shalom. where did you move from?

    and thanks for the well wishes

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    Quote Originally Posted by carlos9 View Post
    shalom. where did you move from?

    and thanks for the well wishes
    Came from South Africa. But have also lived in the US and Europe.

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    Quote Originally Posted by carlos9 View Post
    . i have a mate from home who lives in whangarei now, .
    That where I live, great little town! Might even have seen him out biking as well, has he ever mentioned Glenbervie forest? Just about anybody who rides MTBs in thei place rides there.

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    I live in Wellington, it is a great place for riding and enjoying life. I grew up in Taupo which is a small tourist town with decent trails, and not far from the mtb heaven of Rotorua. No matter where you live in NZ, you won't be far from the great outdoors

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kiwiplague View Post
    That where I live, great little town! Might even have seen him out biking as well, has he ever mentioned Glenbervie forest? Just about anybody who rides MTBs in thei place rides there.
    he loves it there! i don't think he rides much anymore, although at 6' 6" he'd be hard to miss! he's a detective and works in dargaville i believe, which is coincidentally where a lot of the rugby friends i have come from.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by PeloNZ View Post
    I live in Wellington, it is a great place for riding and enjoying life. I grew up in Taupo which is a small tourist town with decent trails, and not far from the mtb heaven of Rotorua. No matter where you live in NZ, you won't be far from the great outdoors
    wellington is one of the areas we are looking at a little more closely... the whole country is so beautiful its hard to narrow it down!

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    As mentioned your skills will make getting work in Christchurch alot easier and you will probably find employers willing to sponsor you to get you in the country, as far as your wife the health board has a couple of billion dollars to build a new hospital so I'd say she'd be in a similar boat.
    Coming from Christchurch I really don't see the Earthquake as a reason to not come here as at the end of the day we've had it now and given the billions they will be spending here is going to be a great place going forward.
    As far as all the rest it does tick the boxes, I'd do as mentioned and come have a look for yourself but you can drive from the beach in the morning to the mountains in the afternoon and pretty of great mountainbiking.

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