I just moved to Napier, NZ in December. I love it. Pros
The weather is wonderful - I was sick of the weather in Boston, ie too cold in winter, too humid in summer. Here the summers are lovely and hot, but not humid, so it doesn't feel hot. And the winters are chilly and rainy, but NO SNOW.
Universal health care - in the States we were paying over $1000/month for our family insurance. Here kids under 6 are entirely free, and older kids and adults only pay about NZ$25 per visit. Since we're generally healthy, we spend a LOT less money on healthcare here.
Cheap locally grown fruit and veggies.
Friendly people, slower pace of life. There seems to be less fear here.
Gorgeous landscape for all activities. Hiking, boating, cycling, etc.
The exchange rate is great from the US right now.Cons
High housing costs relative to salaries.
Lower housing standards, ie no insulation, no heat.
No Whole Foods. Harder/impossible to get a wide range of organic products.
TV sucks. I miss a lot of the shows I used to watch in the States.
Books are ridiculously expensive. Like NZ$30 for a paperback that costs US$7 in the States.
Far from family and friends in the States.
That's a brief list. I don't feel isolated here. The internet connects all! I videochat with my Mom in Boston almost every day. News from the rest of the world is just a click away.
I haven't been here long enough to make any friends yet, but I'm sure that'll happen naturally given time. There are a LOT of expats from different countries here. Mainly the UK, but also the US, Canada, India, Asia so it's more diverse than I thought it would be, which is great.
It's been harder for my 5 year old to adjust than we hoped. But she's getting there, and it's only been 3 months after all. She occasionally mentions wanting to be back in Boston, which is really tough to hear. The local public school we started her in wasn't a good fit for her, she's VERY attached to me and is bordering on having separation anxiety disorder. The teacher had an attitude of "harden up" and admonished her for crying. We switched her into a Montessori program at a different public school and she's doing much better now, because they're letting her take the time she needs to adjust.
My 3 year old seems to have had fewer issues with moving. She just started preschool here, and cries occasionally there, but I think that would have happened anywhere when being away from her parents for the first time ever.
Feel free to ask anymore specific questions, or PM me if you want! Wellington is wonderful, but we decided on Napier in the end because I didn't like the idea of having to navigate those hills on a daily basis! And we wanted smaller, quieter, rather than just another city. Napier is lovely, a seaside city as well. Not sure how flexible you'd be in terms of area you'd move to, but you should check it out.
I have a immigration blog, but I haven't been updating it too regularly:http://kiwishavewings.blogspot.com/
Oh, and my tumblr:http://kya.tumblr.com/