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Planning to migrate within the year - Page 2

post #21 of 37
Thread Starter 
Lots of things to think about!!

So, it's not completely socialized medicine. How much does an adult pay for things like dental or a regular visit to the doc? Is it the same for a naturopath?

Is it more humid by the sea or inland? Where is it warmest near wellington? How about wind...where is it the least windy around wellington? Is there a "bad" neighborhood near wellington that i should be aware of when looking at neighborhoods? How are the schools?

My 14 year old wants to know if boys are all "full of testosterone" there...he's not an athlete, but is very musical, does choir, plays bagpipes, banjo and guitar. He's not into being teased for not being tough... And of course, these are the things he wishes to know about NZ kids....

Thanks for your help!!!
post #22 of 37
Hmm, dental can be expensive (for adults, kids go free, except you have to pay for stuff like braces here, in Sweden they are free), but it is expensive in Sweden too, despite being social democracy and welfare territory. We didnä t find it cheaper there, actually. A visit to the Dr is about NZD50 (ca 37 USD) for us, I think, because we're in the one age group that isn't subsidised: parents. Middleaged people are subsidised, as are people in their twenties, kids and retires, so it is abut half price for them, less for kids, some drs treat the for free.

Naturopaths aren't subsidised, the one I went to (before DD was born) charged NZD80 for an initial visit, and NZD70 for subsequent ones. But as is quite common here she understood that we couldn't afford to pay for many visits, so after the initial one, she let me be in touch with her via e-mail, and she gave recommendations, answered questions etc., and I could ask her to order more of a supplement I'd run out of.

A lot of things are subsidised in various ways. You can get a community services card if you're income is very low, and then drs visits and plenty other stuff is heavily subsidised. And it isn't unusual that if you tell them you can't afford it, they may be able to arrange a lower fee, our play group teacher does, for example, and I know schools do too.

For humidity I'll have to ask my husband when he gets home. I think NZ is just quite a humid climate. But, on the other hand, I've been to Florida in winter, and it isn't anything like that, no oppressing, heavy air. The wind around here actually makes it better - even in mid-winter you can dry your clothes outside, if it isn't raining! The only ways you notice humidity is in houses that aren't well ventilated (especially closets and bathrooms) and warm. And I notice it because my straight hair gets flatter and heavier here.

Wellington is windy. If you go up into Wairarapa, and inland, there will be less wind. But they suffer from droughts on the other hand (and a lot of Wairarapa is defined between fashionable small-towns and down-and-out areas). Lots of vineyards. Kapiti coast, not sure if that is any less windy, possibly. It is usually slightly warmer.

Good and bad neighbour-hoods. Yes there are bad neighbourhoods, mostly in the Hutt and Porirua. (And up in Wairarapa). There are some areas that might be best to avoid, because they have a strong gang presence (crime, weapons and drugs). With schools it is very divided, a lot of schools have a high reputation, others have bad one, many are in-between. And some schools, especially primary schools, may be very low decile (government ranking, due to lots of immigrants, Maoris, low-income and low education parents), but be fantastic schools. I volunteered for several years at an inner city school that was like that. Though some "bad" areas are just areas with high unemployment, and not necessarily bad. You're welcome to ask me specifically if you have a look around, and wonder about a particular area, and I'll find out.

The teen I've met in the un-school group seemed to be the opposite to "full of testosterone", gentle boys who are happy to help my 3 yo on the Flying Fox, a bit shy some of them, and passionate about things like playing the violin. Generally in society, sport is big here, most families with school age kids seem to spend their weekends on the sports field. But schools also encourage non-sport ativities, cultural clubs, music, drama, and as far as I understand, it is fine to excel at that, not sport (as long as you support the NZ teams, especially against Aussie! - very important to NZ kids, I've found!)
post #23 of 37
Thread Starter 
So funny! I just had to laugh about having to support NZ against Australia. I laugh because when we were talking about migrating, Australia was mentioned and ALL our boys said "NO WAY! WE ARE NOT MOVING TO AUSTRALIA! ANYWHERE BUT AUSTRALIA!" They seem to have an internal ready made kiwi bias already. ha ha ha!

Thanks for all the information!

Now, I have one more question (for now...) We are watching with great sadness the events occurring in Japan right now in the aftermath of their horrible tragedy. With the Nuclear issue, is that a concern for New Zealand in terms of oceanic contamination, atmospheric contamination? Or...contamination period? It's all just so horrific.... greensad.gif

Hoping your having a beautiful day...or....I guess it would be night there! Goodnight! redface.gif
post #24 of 37
We're really quite far away from Japan. DH had a look, and he thinks you're closer to Japan than we are. But in the long term, I guess potentially a lot of the earth could be contaminated?
post #25 of 37
Thread Starter 
I heard on the news that our coast lines were expected to see some nuclear issues within the week. I just assumed that because NZ was in danger of the tsunami, that your coastlines would be affected as well. We don't live on the coast. But...I've always wanted to. Before this horror show in Japan...now....I'm a little worried.

Sending warmth and clean water thoughts your way! goodvibes.gif
post #26 of 37
Thank you!

We haven't heard anything about that here (and Kiwis really do not like nuclear anything, and are very proud to be nuclear free). I really can't see the government trying to cover anything up, simply because people wouldn't panic. (Or panic, depends on what you mean, I guess there was panic a few years ago with the flu scare, when everyone was stocking up on Tamiflu. But I'd call that a very calm panic!).

With regards to water, we live in a city. Neither DD or we ourselves go swimming around the Wellington peninsula. The harbour is far to dirty, and there are waste outlets all around the coast. Sometimes they recommend no swimming, usually after swimmers have discovered contaminated water. But of course, they have levels they decide are safe, and we may not entirely trust that. And at any time, they may just not have been alerted to a problem yet.

We've been swimming in Golden Bay, and I'd really like to go up Kapiti Coast, as the beaches there are lovely (we just haven't been there when the weather's been great in Summer).
post #27 of 37
Thread Starter 
You know...New Zealand just sounds better and better. No nuclear. No big agendas. Pretty beaches. Beautiful countryside. Nice people. Ahhhhhhhh.

Do you happen to know anyone who has a hay bale house in NZ? My husband was talking about maybe buying some land and building a hay bale with solar. Safely inland a bit...but not too far from the beach. Just far enough to avoid tsunamis in the future. heh heh.

I just found out that my eldest son and his girlfriend are having a baby. I'm trying to feel supportive. I don't really feel supportive. But...I've been trying.
It does trip up our plans a bit...but only a bit. We will see what happens. I think he wants to move too...but...he's going to have to wait a little longer if he's to figure out how to move his new family....it won't be as easy as it would have been for us to move first, and then, sponsor him as a single male. Now...he's going to have a family. A different deck of cards.

Is there a small city near golden bay?

post #28 of 37
Congratulations to your son and his girlfriend! I hope this will bring all of you lots of joy!

Oh, yes, there are strawbale houses here, even a couple of companies who specialize in it! It is our dream, one, day, to build a strawbale house, too. It isn't too difficult to be close to a beach, and still higher up. Everywhere in NZ is fairly close to the sea. However, being a mountainous country, a lot of them there are very high hills or cliffs right by the beach. We are 10 min by car from a beach one direction, an 15 from beaches in two other directions, but we're 200 metres above the sea.

Yes, Nelson is some hours away from Golden Bay. It is quite alternative (plenty of homebirth and EC and babywearing), and lots of artists. The whole area is quite expensive, as it is popular with artists, lifestylers, retirees and people on holiday/holiday homes etc. More jobs in Nelson of course, being a small city. We love that region!
post #29 of 37
Thread Starter 
Ah yes...I remember looking at Nelson on the web....Seemed like a nice place. Would love to live outside of it...just enough so DH can get a job, but just far enough away that I feel...peaceful.

Thanks for the congrats....I'm trying to feel cheerful about it. My son has a brain injury and is bi-polar...and he's not big on children...so.....I figure I need to educate the lass so she can have the best start possible. I'm not sure she'll be getting enough support from him emotionally. I am hoping for the best.

It keeps snowing here...it's as if Montana doesn't know it's supposed to be spring! It makes me yearn for a warmer place...... blowkiss.gif
post #30 of 37

Hi! I see this thread is a bit old, so I'm not sure if you've made your decision yet or not, but here's my input. We just moved to Wanganui (south west coast of the North Island) from North Carolina. We absolutely love it here. There is a HUGE homeschooling community here with a very active group that does gym classes, swim classes, park days, cookouts, playgroups and lots of field trips. The parks here are amazing (Google Kowhai Park). There are wonderful beaches within a 15 minute drive that are kid heaven. We have 3 children and, from what we've experienced, people here are much more open to large families. There is a large Maori population in Wanganui and extended family seems to be very important in Maori culture, so perhaps that helps the perception. I've not had a single negative comment about having 3 (whereas I got them ALL the time back in NC). Honestly, I've mostly had grandmas tell me how blessed I am and that I should keep on having babies :)


Wanganui is incredibly temperate - the coldest it has been here is just above freezing. We've woken up to frost on the grass 2 or 3 times this winter and it's always melted by about 8am. It snowed once, but didn't really stick. The summers are brilliant. You know those wonderful spring days in the States where it's about 73 degrees with a lovely breeze and you think "If it could just be like this every single day..." well...that's how every single day is during the summer here :)


I can't say enough wonderful things about Wanganui! We love it here and will be incredibly sad to go back to the States when our visa is up.


As for cost of living...I think there are some things that are less expensive and some that are more. If you want to grow your produce and get some land that has mature fruit trees, buy raw milk (it's cheeper than grocery store milk - and yummier), and have some chickens for eggs, I think food will be very comparable to the States. Electronics and housewares are more expensive, I guess because they have to import most of those things becasue they aren't manufactured in country. Housing seems to be VERY reasonable, and even less expensive than what we'd see in NC.

post #31 of 37

vallere - what brought you to move from NC?  Are you working?  What type of visa did you get?  Wanganui sounds amazing!!

post #32 of 37
Originally Posted by imgr8ful View Post

vallere - what brought you to move from NC?  Are you working?  What type of visa did you get?  Wanganui sounds amazing!!

We are here on a 1 yr work visa. My husband is a physician and is doing a locums at the hospital here. We just decided to have an adventure year instead of settling down into a career back home. How we specifically got to Wanganui is acutally an amazing testimoney story for us, and I'd be happy to share it if you are interested :) So he's working full time (which is actually normal work hours...8:30-5...maybe once a week he stays till 6) and I'm homeschooling the kiddos. Because he has a work visa, I automatically got one (so if I did want to work, I could). The children just have family visas.


post #33 of 37

I just applied for a job in NZ. This is a great thread! NZ sounds like a dream. . .  That sounds like just the right amount of winter too..

post #34 of 37
Originally Posted by beautifulnm View Post

I just applied for a job in NZ. This is a great thread! NZ sounds like a dream. . .  That sounds like just the right amount of winter too..

Awesome! What part of the country are you applying in? The winter differs depending on where you're at. The upper North Island (north of Auckland) is very rain-foresty and sub tropic. We're on the southern end of the North Island, and it's incredibly temperate here on the west coast, but on the east coast, down by Wellington, it seems to get a bit colder. The South Island is cooler, with the Alps pulling a lot of snow. The southern South Island can be downright cold from what I hear. It's pretty far south - quite close to Antartica like southern Australia, but the island climate makes things different - some areas are very temperate and "islandy" and others get blasted by the polar winds.


post #35 of 37
Auckland for testing but after that they will put me where they need me. I havent seen snow much in the past 6 years. I miss tromping around in boots.. Darn I guess not having an idea of where I go if selected limits the rest of my questions. I was wondering about markets.. I'm sure you guys have awesome 'farmers' markets..
post #36 of 37

I've had no trouble finding farmers markets and local produce stands. In fact, we rarely ever buy produce at the grocery store - it's cheeper and tastier to just buy straight from the growers. *some* things we do get at the grocery, like bananas, but other things we never even have to pay for, like lemons - everyone around us has lemon trees and can't give them away fast enough! Before we moved here, I'd never seen a lemon tree in person, and now I see tons of lemons just rotting on the ground! Same with grapefruits. We've passed fruit stands on the side of the road selling avacados for $.50 each. One other thing I love is that ingredients are so much more healthy here. I've yet to see ANYTHING made with HFCS - even softdrinks are sweetened with sugar or glucose. And it's very easy to find candy with no artificial colors or flavourings, and they cost the same as all the other candies!


Living here has kinda been like stepping back in time...we go to the dairy to get milk and eggs and yogurt (so fresh my milk has still been warm a couple of times), we go to the market to get our veges, we go to the butcher shop to get our meat, I buy flour from a farmer who stone mills her own. It's been really amazing and I'm feeling spoiled - not sure how I'll adjust when we have to go back Stateside.

post #37 of 37

That sounds wonderful.. I'm about to take up a critical skill just to ensure I can migrate. haha.. I keep feeling itchy and that the US just isn't the kind of place I want to raise my son. .  

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