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New Zealand mamas! Info please! :) - Page 2

post #21 of 72
hi there
I'd definately go with Lu's recommendations, if you want a smaller community Napier/Hastings and Nelson have a strong organic feel to them.....

Wellington is my home but it's a city like everywhere pop 500,000 and has a big city feel but a small size and is very compact. I love wgtn cos it's got a fair amount of choice and variety and the cafe's and restaurants are extensive but it doesn't have that vastness of a big city (I have lived in the UK for a while).

But in terms of smaller communities, Nelson (particularly Golden Bay) and Napier/Hastings are smaller and more close knit. Only problem would be getting a job there...........

Never heard of doulas, could you retrain as a midwife? There is a national shortage and you could work anywhere?
post #22 of 72
What a great thread!! My dh and I have been wanting to move away from the states for years now and NZ is on the top of our list. We are still in college though, so it will be awhile before that happens. But our youngest daughter's name is Paikea so she should fit in well there
post #23 of 72
Personally i prefer palmerston north (great college/uni's there btw ) and christchurch. They both have very close suburbs attached to them, christchurch has become sort of americanised with its street system so now its kinda like a mini auckland.

We lived in the outskirt towns around palmerston north for over 10yrs and i loved it, they are very freindly, depending on your neighbours you can become very close knit communitys.

I also second retraining as a midwife, NZ's births are mostly done by midwifes, we dont have doulas.
post #24 of 72
Originally Posted by 5gifts

So of these places offered to us, what do you think?
Napier, Rotorua, Hamilton, Wellington, Greymouth
Sorry to jump in -- hope you don't mind.

I moved to NZ from Houston almost 7 years ago and it was the greatest choice and so empowering. The food, I must say, is fantastic!! Everyone asks what's the best part about NZ and well, it's a lovely place but OMG -- the food tastes so CLEAN and so GOOD. And the water! So clean!!

I lived in Hamilton for 4.5 years and loved it. To me it's a nice sized city but it is humid and the mosquitoes can be really, really nasty and I do believe they're doing spraying in Hamilton for various Moths.

But I loved it there and it's a very nice place to stay. There's a lot of choice and variety without the too big feel of Auckland or Wellington. I do miss it.

We have moved further South and live in a nice community but I do miss the size and choice in Hamilton. For one thing, homebirth isn't an option here and is dissuaded by the medical community whereas in Hamilton there are so many homebirth options.

I really enjoyed visiting Rotorua but I can't imagine living there. The sulphur smell to me was far too much and I don't think I liked the area as a place to live. That said, I've met 2 American families here that lived in Rotorua for years and their kids just loved it.

Wellington might be in the cards for us but it is SO expensive to live close to the city and commuting is a nightmare. I have a SIL who lives there and she even hates how hard it is to live and drive everywhere.

I've never been to Napier or Greymouth so I give Hamilton a big .
post #25 of 72
I should of read the replies too!!

I LOVE Nelson as a place to live. Very nice but a bit pricey and out of our reach. We live 90 minutes East of it in Blenheim and it's just lovely.
post #26 of 72
Thanks for the replies!

I'm so glad to hear about the food & water! I've heard people use alot of herbacides/pestacides like considering round-up to be mild: Hope its not sooo true.

I'm hoping to have some options for homebirth. My last 2 have been unassisted HB simply because it was either that or the hospital with all the 'fixins'. My labors are all very smooth & if I wasn't afraid of being 'messed with', I'd be glad to have a midwife or even a birthing center.

After 2 months of waiting for them to say they actually want to give us an offer, we waited 2 weeks for them to get back with us...gave them a call last week & were told 'sure, we'll get an offer together for you next week - its just been on the back burner.' I'm hoping....but I'm not holding my breath! From what I hear, its par for the course - no sense of urgency like you find in the US!

Ok so I'm a lazy typer - this next bit I posted on an immigration forum - gives an idea of what I'd like to know of the area. Of course I have yet to get hold of anyone who has lived around there - not many immigrants there I suppose ! If any of you NZ moms know of any homeschool or AP stlye moms (even on other more NZ boards) that live in the Westland area...I'd love it if you could point me in their direction! I'm not as savy on these boards as some - I found a homeschool NZ group on Yahoo, but you MUST live in NZ to get registered. We hope to be there Oct/Nov.

Our whole point in moving to NZ is to experience/see a new place with lots of narural beauty and outdoor activities. So...looking at the map, it seems the SI is where we want to be. As far as main cities go, of course Nelson looks ideal. But we aren't really city people anyway, and the branch in Greymouth gave us an offer - which it turns out has OH working just north of Westport. From the map, living around there looks good to me - and cheaper to live than Nelson (one of the links I found on here put rent in that area for 4 bedrooms at $200 week)

Does anyone know what its like there - and other than it having poor job prospects for most people - would it be a pretty neat place to live with kids?

OH will work 5 days & have 3 days off as his rotating shift - work about 50hrs. He'll earn $70-$75k NZD. We plan on renting & don't want much yard work or upkeep. We want to be off riding bikes, camping, hiking & riding down rivers! I'm hoping to have somewhere we can swim regularly, and access to a good library (the kids read so much I have to restrict their reading at times!) Things that I would also like to find are dance, music, & soccer lessons and a scouting group for the boys.

Do you think we'll find what we want in Westoprt (or in a spot nearby)?
post #27 of 72

NZ pregnancy- US citizen

hi everyone...i find myself in a bit of a prediciment & i thought i'd post on here to see if anyone could help me out with it. i just found out yesterday that i am pregnant. i'm only in my first month (ish) & this is my first pregnancy (i'm 26). my gut feeling is of deep happiness & excitement, but i'm a bit caught up with sorting through details! you see, i've spent the past 10 months travelling in NZ & during the last three i fell in love with a kiwi & lived with him until my visa was up. i've been back in the states for 3 weeks now only to discover that i'm pregnant! we were already missing each otehr deeply & discussing me coming back so that we could be together, so this is just urging things along a bit.

does anyone happen to know if i would be eligible for any of the amazing free NZ healthcare/midwifery services if i am not yet a resident, but my partner & baby-to-be are?

also, i would be moving to ahaura (west coast, near greymouth), so i would love to be in touch with any eco-conscious mamas out there!
post #28 of 72
Hi dzwozony!

congrats! I've never been to NZ - but I hope to go to the west coast soon! I would love to hear what everyday life is like around Greymouth/Westport. What are the towns like? And what is there offered for kids? What type of attmosphere do you think its like for raising kids - yk, the *type* of people & families there are to hang out with (and the influence on the kids)? Well, I guess I'm assuming that you lived around there Which you may not of LOL!

I do know that you qualify for Med if you have PR, talent visa or work visa for at least 30 mths. I don't know what it would take to get PR through your partner...but here is a great place to ask

Where are you at now?
Good luck!
post #29 of 72

thanks for your reply. i was actually mostly travelling all around NZ..spent 10 months doing the Willing Workers On Organic Farms (WWOOF) program and,well- ended up falling for one of my hosts about 7 months into it! he lives in ahaura, which is about 40 minutes NE of greymouth, & i stayed with him for my last 3 months in NZ. (yes, our relationship is very new)

to be honest, i had been working with infants & toddlers for the past 4 years (teaching/nannying) & was taking a break while i was in NZ. while i'm usually super aware of all things relating to them, i felt this strong urge to just step back & regather myself before i had my own kids...which, honestly, i wasn't at all planning right away, but apparently my urge to take that break was well founded! so i don't know a whole lot about what there is for them to do in the area quite yet.

i guess the basis of why i think NZ is such a good place for kids is the amazing beauty of nature. just to be somewhere where they can run around & get muddy & play on beaches & in the bush is important to me. plus, the people in general are really friendly. the culture is just so much more laid back than the states. sure, you have your hunting blokes who are crazy about rugby, but i still find them heaps friendlier than US frat boys! it's just different there.

the west coast has a lot less people than the rest of the country, so it seems that networking for hippie minded folks might take a bit of effort, but i'm sure they're around somewhere, especially when you start to inch up north towards nelson & golden bay (i love golden bay, spend lots of time there! specifically takaka...& catch a show at the mussell inn). my partner has friends in christchurch (the closest city- about 4 hours away & on the east coast) who i get on with quite well, but we're hoping that when i move out there we'll meet some folks that are closer. especially since i'll be raising the baby way out there & will be on my own while he's off working. so i'm definitely eager to meet other mamas in the mindset of mothering magazine on the west coast. but i'd say the main negative aspect that we would struggle against would be the prevelance of hunting & general animal exploitation, which is unfortunately quite common in NZ. we're both veggies & that's a big focus of ours.

i'm not specifically fond of greymouth & westport, but i'm also going through a phase where i prefer to be far away from concreate & cars & shops. i prefer to be a bit futher out & just come in for running errands! they don't generally have much character to them, in my opionion, but NZ isn't about it's towns as much as it's land.

so, i guess even though i've spent time there, i'd be as new as you would be when it comes to parenting resources! i'd love to swap whatever either of us find though.

i just got back into the states about a month ago...spend 2 weeks in SF (where i lived before NZ) & am currently in chicago visiting family. i have some friends i want to spend time with in ohio (where i grew up) & will hopefully get some kind of job there for a couple of months (if my morning sickness decides to make that possible) before flying back. i'm going to apply for a working holiday visa since i'm under 30 & have already expired my visitor visa capacity for the next 7 months or so.

anyways, thanks for the link! when are you planning to come to NZ? you definitely should!

love & light,
post #30 of 72
I live in Auckland, and I like what it has to offer. We are a homeschooling family, and there is a lot of support for homeschooling in Auckland.
However, I would much rather be living in the South Island. It is so beautiful down there. I especially love the Central Otago lakes and Fiordland areas.
post #31 of 72
Hi again!

Well, I wish I could just hop a plane & go check out the SI right now! Not so easy to do with a big family, though. Now, it doesn't look like we'll be going any time soon All of our momentum for selling everything & winging it out there faded while waiting for the employer to get things together...and now its like they just dropped off the face of the earth - we've heard nothing after they got everything lined-up & went so far as to say they'd have a package ready for us in a week - that was 4 or 5 weeks ago. I couldn't keep us all in limbo any longer... so for now I'm saying forget it!

On one hand I wanted to shed us of 'things' so that we can travel & enjoy the world. But on the other hand, we finally have a nice home with many good & educational 'things' that I have gathered through the years. And I have little kids that still will use them - so I hate to get rid of everything. We live in a safe, fairly rural area yet there is great community & alot of activities and oppertunities for the kids... so I'm terrified of realizing how much we might *loose* ofter we've gone. That I might realize we realy have it made here, and didn't appreciate it, kwim?

Hopefully we can at least plan a trip for next year. Then maybe when my kids start to have homes & families of their own, I can pass on to them for their homes what I can't bear to part with - then dh & I can ditch the house and travel/live abroad to my heart's content!

But then again, with the major see-sawing that's been going on around here lately, we could get all excited for a move to NZ next spring - who knows! This whole thing started because dh was miserable at his job, though now he is happy...so I guess he just has to get grumpy again & we'll apply for PR ourselves as skilled worker....and just nail down the job when we get there! Have to catch me on one of my more *gutsy* days, though !

Oh, and today I was rash - dd talked me into adopting a mommy dog & puppy from the pound: Talk about adding on excess *baggage*!!! I DON"T want to emmigrate with pets!

Oh, well....I've had quite a ramble! I do look forward to hearing how it all goes for you if you do move to the west coast. And who knows, maybe I'll meet up with you out there one year!
post #32 of 72

the excitement & nervousness of big choices

well, i'm sorry to hear you're in such an intense limbo! that can be frustrating & i can certainly empathize.

i think you should definitely at least visit NZ before moving there. everyone is different & you really won't know how you vibe with the place until you go there. i realize that's easier said than done when young children are involved, but like you said- you'd be leaving behind a home & community that work quite well for you. so you'd probably feel a lot better about what you were getting into if you saw it for yourself first! NZ is not very big & while it doesn't quite do it justice to rush through, you could easily visit all the places you were considering moving to in a short trip. but, it's fair to say that this is coming from someone who quit her job & left all friends & family behind to move to SF without ever having been there first! and it was actually the best decision i could have made for myself at the time. it was really amazing the way things fell into place after taking such a huge risk. so in the end, who knows!

~*Good Luck*~

p.s. mumof3- the fiordlands look amazing! i've only done the routeburn track, which is right at the very north of the area, so i got a slight taste of the landscape...but i'm definitely hoping that my partner & i will get to take some trips down that way once we're settled!
post #33 of 72
Sorry to bump this thread but it is very relevant to the queries I have. I currently work as an independent midwife in England which means my practise is predominantly in the homebirth scenario, my skills lie with physiological third stage, waterbirth, unmedicated labour etc.

Anyhoo, we are relocating to NZ next year. I have had interviews and one job offer so far and I am quietly confident that I will get a few more. My job offer is for Taranaki, working at the primary birthing unit with a view of building up my independent practice caseload, I am motivated by the fact that there is a strong homebirth movement there.

My other interview is for a domino midwife position in central auckland which means I get my own caseload of fifty women but do I really want to spend my time stuck in traffic? And it is very expensive to live there and although I will be earning $20k as a domino midwife, I wonder if that will make much of a difference.

I have been offered an interview with Blenheim as a caseloading midwife too, the same number of women on my caseload but a fair amount of travel. I loved the look of Nelson. Another interview that I have is with South Auckland with Middlemore Hospital.

So this is my circumstances. We have a large family - my husband and I have 6 young children under the age of 13 and we home educate. My husband is a househusband as we have decided that we want the children to have the consistency of one parent at home all the time with them. We are non-vaxxing, try to be green and ethical and really would loe space for the children to roam barefooted.

Any thoughts? I looked at Blenheim and discovered that there aren't many LMCs there, I wonder why they left?

Any opinions to what I have written?
post #34 of 72
Not sure what an LMC is?
We just got back (to Australia) from a two week stay about an hour outside of Nelson. We went to see if we really do want to move there because we went for a holiday and fell in love with it! The answer so far seems to be yes So I'm loving all the information in this thread. (Thankyou!)
To the OP. Say yes to your DH. NZ is, quite simply; awesome
post #35 of 72
Sorry, I meant lead maternity carer, or to be precise with regards to what I wrote, independent midwives.
post #36 of 72
Ah, I do know there is a shortage of midwives. I was under the impression that not many practised independently since the government funds homebirth. Maybe I was over-simplifying?
post #37 of 72
I suppose the benefit of being a self employed independent midwife would be that you will not be obliged to take a set amount of women in your caseload, i.e. you could take on a lot less, depending own your family commitment. Also, when doing homebirths, I am assuming being self employed means you will not be committed to following the local hospital's policies or guidelines.
post #38 of 72
Lotuseater - there is a dire shortage of midwives in NZ, due to a mini baby boom, you could probably get a job anywhere you like. :-)

The Nelson area is lovely, plenty of English people there also, funnily enough! It's got a nice, eco feel to it, plenty of likeminded people there.

Homebirth is relatively common here - it is funded by the government (meaning the women don't pay for the service, the govt pays the midwife for each client). I had homebirths with both my children, my midwife was an independent midwife, based at a birthing centre. She did about 25% homebirths, 50% in the birthing centre, 25% in the main maternity hospital - it all depended on where the women wanted to give birth. I was always under the impression that the vast majority of midwives in NZ were independent, with rights of access to various hospitals and birthing centres. Only the hospital employed midwives (working shifts rather than with their own caseload) would be different.

I would avoid Auckland due to traffic issues, personally. :-)
post #39 of 72
Yes we need more midwives!! Nelson only has 2 at the moment I think!!
post #40 of 72
I don't think it's because the LMCs left Blenheim! They were never there in the first place

TBH I think you'd be OK anywhere in NZ WRT work. But is the figure of $20 000 for a domino midwife with a full caseload in Auckland accurate? That's very low IMO.
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