What Do I Need to Know When Moving to New Zealand?

This is a post by guest blogger Katherine Peters

Photograph by Paul Bica

Photograph by Paul Bica

Moving to a different country is a momentous life decision. Wherever you choose to relocate, it’s crucial to thoroughly research your chosen destination prior to emigration. The same should be said for those planning to up sticks and settle in New Zealand.

Despite being an English speaking country, New Zealand will still be an entirely different environment. Situated in the south west of the Pacific Ocean, the country constitutes the North, South and several smaller surrounding islands.

Being quite literally isolated in the middle of the Ocean, the country’s economy is largely dependent on exporting goods overseas. Therefore, anything that can’t be sourced from home shores has to be shipped in.

Importing goods considerably ratchets up their cost, making the cost of living a key consideration; particularly for those dependent on the familiarity and comfort of certain consumables from home.

Not only are New Zealand’s seasons the opposite of those in the Northern Hemisphere, the country’s climate is also vastly different; even varying between the two main islands. The North Island is classed as subtropical whereas the South, which is closer to the Arctic, can present extremely cold temperatures particularly during the winter months.

While in general terms the weather can be considered mild, some areas do encounter considerable rainfall. However, unspoilt scenery, vast vistas and awe-inspiring landscapes offer endless opportunity for enjoyment and exploration.

Moving to New Zealand will constitute a variety of practical considerations.

Depending on where you choose to settle, the standard of housing may vary from the UK Furthermore, the National Health Service does not extend beyond home soil. New Zealand’s health system operates differently and healthcare can be expensive.

Both the legal and school systems vary to the established standards with what we’re familiar in the UK. This may affect your family or impact on a child’s transition to a new school. However a more laid-back and less hierarchical working environment may reduce pressure and allow for more quality family time.

Visiting family and friends may not always be affordable,absence and intermittent contact can be an emotional experience. However, focusing on the potential opportunities for you and your family afforded by this incredible country will help to smooth the process of resettlement and can make moving to New Zealand a worthwhile endeavour for those looking to embrace pastures new.

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