5 yr plan to move to NZ permanently- some questions :) - Mothering Forums

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Old 04-06-2010, 05:11 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi mamas,

My dp and I are planning to move to NZ in five yrs' time. Today we wrote down everything we'd need to achieve here in order to do that. Our plan comes up shy of five yrs, but we're giving some leeway for all of the life things that we cannot anticipate.

One thing we're curious about is how much cash we should have at our disposal for supporting ourselves initially, purchasing a vehicle, and travel along with freight for things we cannot part with. The travel and freight are pretty straight forward, and we cannot really account for fluctuations in pricing, so we're erring on the side of having a lot more than we may end up needing.

These things considered, we figured we should have about CAN$50,000 to make the move (excepting $ for purchasing property).

Is that a realistic amount for our family size (7 people)? The exchange rate now is quite favourable to us, but we want to plan for it to be par so that we're covered.

Canadians who have done this, would you be willing to share how much in liquid cash the settling ended up costing you, minus the purchase of property?

Obviously this amount is important for many reasons, but it's been tough finding out how much things really cost and how much families really spend to move from Canada to NZ. A friend of mine moved to Canada from Germany, and minus property, it cost them CAN$65,000. They have a larger family and had expenses we will not, but that figure is now a decade old as well.

Anyway, I had read from a few people from here who moved to NZ, that they were fine with $2000 in the bank and finding temp. work right away, but we are not in a position to play fast and loose with 5 children, so that figure, even as a per-person estimate seems way too low to me, for us.

Also, we don't plan to settle in a city, but on the outskirts, so a vehicle will be necessary straight away. Dp will be practising psychology in some form- probably counseling- and I will be a wahm entrepreneur (dp will be completing his educational requirements here before we move). We will have seamless income during our move, though not a full amount adequate to live on, but with our savings will be just fine.

Once there, the cost of living is very similar to where we are presently (remote north territory, 61st parallel) as far as I can tell. We're used to exhorbitant shipping costs and limited availability, so we know how to cope with that and all that comes with it.

Another question: we want to homestead and become self-sufficient, but not farm for profit. We will need to be able to grow and raise enough for all of us. Would it be better to look to the north or the south island? It seems that the north would be more conducive to this, but again, I've read a lot of mixed reviews on that and I can't tell if they are because of profit-farming issues that wouldn't affect us or not.

It would be lovely to go and spend a few months there figuring this out, but we can only muster a week-long trip at the most or we'll have to re-plan and take significantly longer to get there and we're very eager (longer would extend schooling and work issues would make it a problem right now, though these things may change).

We really want to live in the warmer climate if possible, and one that would allow us to spend a lot of time outdoors. We're really tired of being cooped up for 9 months of the year!!! And I want to grow fruit.

So what do you think and what were/are your experiences? Also, anything else you found notable that you'd be willing to share would be much appreciated! TIA

Well, I've been absent for 8 months, and during that time, it turns out that I have completely transformed. You are all precious. Thank you for being here and sharing your lives. You are truly a gift. namaste.gif Jan. 23, 2012

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Old 04-06-2010, 05:22 AM
 
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This caught my eye in the new posts... sorry I can't help you with your questions, but I'll be interested to see what replies you get! Moving to NZ has been a long-time dream of ours too - not really top of the list anymore, but I bet we will spend time there at some point

What have you found out about immigration, work permits, etc? I remember years ago when we were researching there was some kind of points system, based on your age, occupation, etc etc etc and you had to come up with a certain number of points to be eligible for immigration and to be able to work there. I don't remember the specifics though.

Good luck! I'm excited for you!
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Old 04-06-2010, 07:15 AM
 
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Wow, I've lived in NZ for my whole life, and I have no idea how to answer your questions!!

I hope someone else can help!

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Old 04-06-2010, 07:35 AM
 
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Same as Jade, I've lived here my whole life but have no idea on how to convert living costs to any other country sorry.

Re buying rural land - I can't be sure, but I know friends who immigrated from Australia weren't legally allowed to buy land in certain areas due to it being kept for NZ citizens only, so one thing to consider (I didn't know anything about that myself until she mentioned it).

Depending on where you settle, public transport is an option - just thinking of the fact that I live 45mins north of Wellington and there is a main train line providing regular services into the city.

Re self sufficiency, I'm sure there are pockets of people in both islands doing this. Too far south and it does get snow in winter though (and around central north island). I know of a few permaculturists a bit north of me and seem to do well growing grains, plenty of water, able to raise meat for their own use etc. I think there is a lot of self sufficiency north of Auckland though which is much more rural and of course has the warmth for a much longer growing season.

I find our winters fairly mild (no snow and last winter maybe half a dozen frosts). Definitely colder than up north though. We spend a lot of time outside when we can even in winter when it's not raining - one benefit of being where I am is that the rain rarely lasts more than 2 days at a time whereas up north it can rain for a week at a time!

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Old 04-06-2010, 07:53 AM
 
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we're currently in Wellington, NZ, and I love it. we're only here temporarily, as it's too far from our families and friends back home, and we'd just never see a lot of people ever again, and not enough of our family. I wish I could drag NZ closer to north america.

that said, it isn't some magical fairy tale place, and does have it's issues. I feel like it gets super romanticized in a lot of ways, and while it is a great, beautiful country, it has its' drawbacks. I don't find it particularly "crunchy" here (though I've spent 10 years parenting in vancouver, bc, which is very crunchy) but people are very 'live and let live' so you won't get any flak for anything, really. the main drawback for us is that it's so far away from anything else, it's hard to travel anywhere without it costing an exorbitant amount of money. that said, there are a lot of amazing roadtrips to be found within NZ, so travel for the sake of travel is there, it just feels a little like I'm stuck on a remote island sometimes, because I can't just drive a few hours to go see family and friends like I did when we lived in vancouver and my family was all in california. I miss that. and good mexican food, I miss that too. taxes are really high (higher than canada I think, but could be wrong) and groceries are expensive! if you farm, though, you wouldn't be as affected by that...

If I were going to do what you're doing, I'd live on the north island, because the climate is a little warmer. That said, I love Nelson (northern town on the south island) and there is a lot of good agricultural land around there I think... in fact, I might change my vote and say buy land around Nelson, because the Abel Tasman region is just fabulous. and I think that area gets more sunshine than the rest of the south island. sorry, I'm rambling now... I'll be back when I'm not so tired and can form a more coherent thought...

I can't even imagine having $50,000 CDN, PLUS money to buy land, so I can't really help you there. we didn't ship anything over because we knew we were here temporarily, and arrived with one suitcase each and a box with our computer and sleeping bags. our flights were paid for and we were given a small relocation bonus, and dh started work right away, but you would be fine with far less than that amount I would think... you could make that your goal, because these things are always more expensive than you think they will be, but if you don't have that much by your 5 year mark, you'd probably be able to move here with a lot less.

good luck!!

We're Tiffani , Mark , Lucy (9/99) , Dexter (8/01) ,and Zachary Marvin (3/07) and Naomi Rose (6/09), home 11/10, by way of Ugandan adoption.

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Old 04-07-2010, 01:37 AM - Thread Starter
 
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What have you found out about immigration, work permits, etc? I remember years ago when we were researching there was some kind of points system, based on your age, occupation, etc etc etc and you had to come up with a certain number of points to be eligible for immigration and to be able to work there. I don't remember the specifics though.

Good luck! I'm excited for you!
Thanks! From what I've read so far, the points system is really practical, as in they give points for what benefits the country. That makes sense to me, and this is one reason why dp is upgrading his education. The list of essential skills is probably more helpful initially, at least- for planning. Then the points make a difference. The site I've been relying on for this is the gov't site for immigration to NZ. It's surprisingly informal with very little legalese jargon; amazing for a gov't!

I did read that even if you have an essential skill and could be eligible to immigrate, a job offer has to be established before you can go. I haven't seen that on the gov't site, but there are so many links on there that I've been following that I may have missed that info.

Something else that really surprised me was how accommodating they are. There seems to be exceptions and exemptions for anything that doesn't suit the applicant whose skill-set or plans would benefit the country. For instance, if we went for dp to finish his schooling there (which we won't because international tuition there is more than twice the cost of doing it here), he could apply for a study visa, which doesn't allow working while we're there, so we'd have to come with enough money to support ourselves for 9 months at a time. But if he wants to work while studying, he can apply for an ammendment to the study visa so that he can work. It seems that every type of visa has ways to customise the process.

It's like "this is the rule, but if that doesn't suit and we want you, then you can apply for this exemption, and if that isn't enough, there are other exemptions to allow you to do what will make it possible for you to be here- if we want you." This is why I end up following so many links in every section of the immigration site; I keep losing track of where I started reading...

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Originally Posted by *Jade* View Post
Wow, I've lived in NZ for my whole life, and I have no idea how to answer your questions!!

I hope someone else can help!
Thanks

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Originally Posted by nathansmum View Post
Re buying rural land - I can't be sure, but I know friends who immigrated from Australia weren't legally allowed to buy land in certain areas due to it being kept for NZ citizens only, so one thing to consider (I didn't know anything about that myself until she mentioned it).

Depending on where you settle, public transport is an option - just thinking of the fact that I live 45mins north of Wellington and there is a main train line providing regular services into the city.

Re self sufficiency, I'm sure there are pockets of people in both islands doing this. Too far south and it does get snow in winter though (and around central north island). I know of a few permaculturists a bit north of me and seem to do well growing grains, plenty of water, able to raise meat for their own use etc. I think there is a lot of self sufficiency north of Auckland though which is much more rural and of course has the warmth for a much longer growing season.

I find our winters fairly mild (no snow and last winter maybe half a dozen frosts). Definitely colder than up north though. We spend a lot of time outside when we can even in winter when it's not raining - one benefit of being where I am is that the rain rarely lasts more than 2 days at a time whereas up north it can rain for a week at a time!
This is very helpful info! Thanks! I have forgotten what it's like to have rain for days on end; it is very dry where we live now, but where I grew up, there could be rain for weeks at a time. I think it's a small price for being able to provide food for my family, though. My dp is excited about rain; his background is English and he loves grey rainy days (as long as they don't go on forever). We spent an entire spring and summer with only 6 rain-free days a few years ago (different remote north location in Canada); that was hard even for him.

Is the train system throughout the country? We would love to be able to rely a lot less on our vehicles. It would be awesome to be able to travel without them.

I'm going to check out the areas north of Auckland on the 'net tonight. I really want to live in the warmth. I'm so excited that people are able to fully sustain themselves there; in our area, nobody can do that who is not traditional-living First Nations.

Thanks for the tips!

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we're currently in Wellington, NZ, and I love it. we're only here temporarily, as it's too far from our families and friends back home, and we'd just never see a lot of people ever again, and not enough of our family. I wish I could drag NZ closer to north america.

that said, it isn't some magical fairy tale place, and does have it's issues. I feel like it gets super romanticized in a lot of ways, and while it is a great, beautiful country, it has its' drawbacks. I don't find it particularly "crunchy" here (though I've spent 10 years parenting in vancouver, bc, which is very crunchy) but people are very 'live and let live' so you won't get any flak for anything, really. the main drawback for us is that it's so far away from anything else, it's hard to travel anywhere without it costing an exorbitant amount of money. that said, there are a lot of amazing roadtrips to be found within NZ, so travel for the sake of travel is there, it just feels a little like I'm stuck on a remote island sometimes, because I can't just drive a few hours to go see family and friends like I did when we lived in vancouver and my family was all in california. I miss that. and good mexican food, I miss that too. taxes are really high (higher than canada I think, but could be wrong) and groceries are expensive! if you farm, though, you wouldn't be as affected by that...

If I were going to do what you're doing, I'd live on the north island, because the climate is a little warmer. That said, I love Nelson (northern town on the south island) and there is a lot of good agricultural land around there I think... in fact, I might change my vote and say buy land around Nelson, because the Abel Tasman region is just fabulous. and I think that area gets more sunshine than the rest of the south island. sorry, I'm rambling now... I'll be back when I'm not so tired and can form a more coherent thought...

I can't even imagine having $50,000 CDN, PLUS money to buy land, so I can't really help you there. we didn't ship anything over because we knew we were here temporarily, and arrived with one suitcase each and a box with our computer and sleeping bags. our flights were paid for and we were given a small relocation bonus, and dh started work right away, but you would be fine with far less than that amount I would think... you could make that your goal, because these things are always more expensive than you think they will be, but if you don't have that much by your 5 year mark, you'd probably be able to move here with a lot less.

good luck!!
That's really good to know- that if we come up shy of our $ goal, we'll be okay. We've never saved that amount before either, but this year for the first time, we've decreased our living expenses and increased our income! What a switch! So, if we can keep at this pace, then we should be able to save enough for the move, and we have plans beginning this summer for added income to save for property purchase. So, we really have little money now, but this is changing right now too. I'm not in any ivory tower, that's for sure!

Our plan for money savings is lofty for us, but if we cannot even intend it or believe we can do it, then it's certain that we won't. It just so happens that the area we live in, with all of the bonuses and very high paying jobs makes it possible for us to do this; anywhere else in Canada likely doesn't offer this, but like every remote place up here, the trade off is isolation. We don't feel isolated because we enjoy this type of life and the low population, but for most people it is too far a stretch and too limiting (hence the low population).

Taxes are high in NZ? I am going to look into that. Probably most places in Canada pay higher taxes than we do presently because we're in zone A, so that's a hit we'll just accept, I guess.

I'm also going to check out Nelson; it came up in another thread in this tribe as suitable for similar goals. It may have been you who recommended it.

Is there snow in Nelson ever? I think I've seen more snow than my mediterranean constitution was ever meant to endure. We are indoors for 9 months of the year because it is not just snowy here, but cold which tapers at either end of the season from the -45 mid-season to +35 in the summer. But the snow is still around sometimes in June. I have pics of my children in shorts in the middle of June playing in the snow banks on our front lawn. They are now getting to the end of their ropes with it as well; today they all but threw themselves on the floor because they just wanted to go outside without a jacket on. We have two months at the most when we can walk outside in normal day clothes (sweaters and pants included).

Anyway, a lot of people love that, and I'm not complaining; the views and the wilderness here are breath-taking, but my grandparents probably should never have crossed the ocean given that absolutely none of the people who came from them (either set) have become acclimated to the cold in any area of Canada (other than southern BC- but only a few have settled there; then a few more have moved to Arizona or spend vast amounts of time in Florida and Nevada). Anyway, we do have two babies that seem to have a much higher tolerance for he cold than the rest of us- both having spent their infancies in the remote north- but the rest of us just suffer (cheerfully, but suffer nonetheless ). We really need a warmer climate.

The majority of people who live and grew up here cannot stand anything higher than around +20; when it's +1, people are out in shorts. I'm still in my winter jacket for a couple of months. Obviously there are people who are made for this climate or who acclimate very well, but I am not one of them, and neither is dp or two of our children, and the other two hate being fully covered in order to go out, so they complain about that, and can't go out for most of the winter anyway because exposed skin will freeze.

Even farming here is very risky. Some people we know just had a cow calf yesterday. This is wonderful, but that wee baby will not be out to pasture with its mum for a long time; there's not going to be any exposed grass for months yet, which is just as well while it nurses, but bizarre because the animals are having babies and it's still very cold. I guess that makes them hardy, but it's weird. "Spring" is a week that happens sometime in June. Autumn arrives at the end of August or beginning of September, and we're back in snow again in October- full snow. Ugh, writing about this is depressing.

Anyway, sorry for the sob-story (yeah right ). We are really looking forward to being able to live the way we really want to in NZ. The sorts of limitations that you and others have mentioned as coming up there are freedoms or experiences we have not even had given where we've lived in Canada. Also, given that Vancouver is arguably the most progressive city in Canada, and it takes the rest of the major cities nearly a decade or more to try what's already being done there, I'm going to take your crunchy-factor assessment as an encouragement!

To explain a bit- to others if you already know this- things that are taken for granted in Vancouver- thriving arts culture, environmental programs, social equality, etc... are just beginning to be found with some consistency in Toronto (though the arts have been established for a while, the freedom of expression in Vancouver is much greater than in T.O.) and nowhere to be found within two hours of it in any direction. The majority of the central and eastern provinces are still functionally operating on 1950's cultural mentalities. There are small pockets of more progressive people, but in general, the west coast is decades ahead of the rest of Canada. At least that's been my experience so far. Montreal has an exemption from my assessment; it's pretty unusual as a Canadian city as well.

So if NZ is not quite up to Vancouver standards, then I'm still in for some mind-opening/aligning community experiences, and that's awesome!!!




Any other insights and experiences you'd be willing to share will be met with cheerful anticipation.

Thanks for taking the time to reply, mamas!

Well, I've been absent for 8 months, and during that time, it turns out that I have completely transformed. You are all precious. Thank you for being here and sharing your lives. You are truly a gift. namaste.gif Jan. 23, 2012

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Old 04-07-2010, 03:11 AM
 
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There is a trainline that goes through the north island but it is just one main trunkline - so doesn't go beyond that line as far as I'm aware. There are a lot of tour busses though.

with the self sufficiency, the people who I know who get pretty close to doing it also rely a lot on the local community they are within to trade with rather than doing it all themselves.

some areas do get a drought over summer - up north being one of them
(my in-laws live there)! As well as the East Cape side - I have friends who have recently moved there to do the self sufficient thing, build a straw bale house etc but I think there too can go into a drought over summer. Nice and warm, but can be lacking in water. I'm not sure where the optimal place would be unfortunately.

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Old 04-07-2010, 03:36 AM
 
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check out areas around the coromandel peninsula too, it's beautiful there, and probably good farming.
NZ is very accommodating and sensible in most ways. I have found that in north america, if there is a policy in place, that is the way it goes, even if it doesn't make sense, or your particular situation is a little different -- here you'll find that people are willing to work around policies and rules, and do what makes sense, not what the rule tells them to do. I like that a lot.

on the crunchiness issue, I didn't want to say that NZ is "behind" because that's kind of rude, but it is similar to how you compare vancouver to the rest of canada -- "not as progressive" . at the same time, people aren't judgmental about differences, and the spirit of 'live and let live' is alive and well. I like that in a lot of ways, but I find that sometimes the kids here are not as kind and polite as in Canada, and the parents are not quick to step in if kids are having social trouble with each other -- I know that is a HUGE generalization, but kiwis have a "harden up, kids will be kids" mentality, and my sensitive child has definitely hardened up here, though it took a while and was a little rough at times. In Vancouver, parents sometimes "over parent" but here kids are often left to their own devices, and bullying is a problem in a lot of schools, I've heard -- our kids are homeschooled, so they are mostly around kids whose parents are right there and engaged if problems arise, which they rarely ever do. at the playground, however, kids are pretty quick to sort of tease and taunt -- it's almost like how they play together, and maybe that's normal outside of Vancouver!

on the topic of food, you'll find that when you go to a kiwi kids birthday party, there HAS to be fairy bread, which is white bread with butter and "100's and 1000's" (sprinkles) and bright pink cocktail sausages (called cheerios) and sausage rolls... compare that to the birthday parties in vancouver with the veggie trays and the sugarless spelt cake with goat cheese frosting, and you'll start to see a few of the differences. the kids in our neighborhood "go to the dairy" for candy or ice cream just about every day, which is awesome good fun for them, but just really different than our friends in vancouver. we have a 'when in rome' mentality about being here, because we know it's temporary, and we were never super hardcore about that kind of thing anyway. you won't find a wide array of healthy snack foods or organic convenience foods like you do elsewhere -- especially in the US -- but you're probably not used to those anyway, being where you are now. I miss being able to go to the store and buy whole fruit popsicles and annie's pasta and veggie booty -- you either go hardcore and make your own everything, or, if you're lazy and having a crazy year like us, you just buy more junk processed stuff than you EVER would have before, and rationalize that your kids will survive.

so that's the extent of my complaints about NZ. It truly is beautiful here, and very laid back. It's not crime-free, it's not hugely crunchy, and the cost of living can be very high, but as long as you're realistic about the pros and cons of living here, then you'll probably love it. I'm so glad that we've spent 18 months here, and would love to come back someday!

hope you make your dream a reality!

We're Tiffani , Mark , Lucy (9/99) , Dexter (8/01) ,and Zachary Marvin (3/07) and Naomi Rose (6/09), home 11/10, by way of Ugandan adoption.

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Old 04-07-2010, 03:50 AM
 
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on the topic of food, you'll find that when you go to a kiwi kids birthday party, there HAS to be fairy bread, which is white bread with butter and "100's and 1000's" (sprinkles) and bright pink cocktail sausages (called cheerios) and sausage rolls... compare that to the birthday parties in vancouver with the veggie trays and the sugarless spelt cake with goat cheese frosting, and you'll start to see a few of the differences. the kids in our neighborhood "go to the dairy" for candy or ice cream just about every day, which is awesome good fun for them, but just really different than our friends in vancouver. we have a 'when in rome' mentality about being here, because we know it's temporary, and we were never super hardcore about that kind of thing anyway.
I'm LOL, coz that's so true! In saying that I live in crunchy-central because there is a Steiner/Waldorf school in the neighbourhood and I have several friends who go there - so I feel "at home" when around them and I belong to an organic co-op that some of the Steiner mums set up. My kids don't have all that stuff at their parties since we eat gluten free and mostly sugar free even though most of our guests would be non-crunchy. Crunchy isn't even a word here lol (applied in this sense).

Re cost of living - we live on a very average retail manager wage (mid-$40k) - single income and do manage to get by quite well, own our own home, have the chickens in our backyard, have a typical 1/4 acre section (not so common these days though) with permaculture garden but do live frugally without going without.

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Old 04-08-2010, 02:48 AM - Thread Starter
 
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There is a trainline that goes through the north island but it is just one main trunkline - so doesn't go beyond that line as far as I'm aware. There are a lot of tour busses though.

with the self sufficiency, the people who I know who get pretty close to doing it also rely a lot on the local community they are within to trade with rather than doing it all themselves.

some areas do get a drought over summer - up north being one of them
(my in-laws live there)! As well as the East Cape side - I have friends who have recently moved there to do the self sufficient thing, build a straw bale house etc but I think there too can go into a drought over summer. Nice and warm, but can be lacking in water. I'm not sure where the optimal place would be unfortunately.
Hm, that's interesting. I am in awe of the amazing diversity of climate there. Canada obviously has some diversity given it's enormous land mass, but NZ is like a taste of nearly everything the earth has to offer, it seems. I suppose it might be much better to do as suggested then- to move there and take the time to roam around and see what area would be best rather than making any hasty (and uninformed) decisions. In Canada, in terms of climate, it's not a big stretch to choose somewhere on the other side of the country and be pretty familiar with what it's going to be like before actually arriving. It doesn't seem like that's very likely there.

On the self-sufficiency thing, I'm never sure how to label what we want to do. We really want to be (moderately or somewhat) involved in a community, and also able to support ourselves, so that if it works better for everyone that we supply a few families with eggs and they supply us with lettuces or whatever, then that's wonderful! BUT we also really cherish our privacy and independence as well, so communal living or too-involved community farming would be emotionally exhausting. I think a co-op might be the best way to label what we anticipate would likely work out best for us and others like us, but again, I guess we'll have to feel the place and the people out to figure out how things will best benefit everyone.

I'm excited about the train too!

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check out areas around the coromandel peninsula too, it's beautiful there, and probably good farming.
NZ is very accommodating and sensible in most ways. I have found that in north america, if there is a policy in place, that is the way it goes, even if it doesn't make sense, or your particular situation is a little different -- here you'll find that people are willing to work around policies and rules, and do what makes sense, not what the rule tells them to do. I like that a lot.

on the crunchiness issue, I didn't want to say that NZ is "behind" because that's kind of rude, but it is similar to how you compare vancouver to the rest of canada -- "not as progressive" . at the same time, people aren't judgmental about differences, and the spirit of 'live and let live' is alive and well. I like that in a lot of ways, but I find that sometimes the kids here are not as kind and polite as in Canada, and the parents are not quick to step in if kids are having social trouble with each other -- I know that is a HUGE generalization, but kiwis have a "harden up, kids will be kids" mentality, and my sensitive child has definitely hardened up here, though it took a while and was a little rough at times. In Vancouver, parents sometimes "over parent" but here kids are often left to their own devices, and bullying is a problem in a lot of schools, I've heard -- our kids are homeschooled, so they are mostly around kids whose parents are right there and engaged if problems arise, which they rarely ever do. at the playground, however, kids are pretty quick to sort of tease and taunt -- it's almost like how they play together, and maybe that's normal outside of Vancouver!

on the topic of food, you'll find that when you go to a kiwi kids birthday party, there HAS to be fairy bread, which is white bread with butter and "100's and 1000's" (sprinkles) and bright pink cocktail sausages (called cheerios) and sausage rolls... compare that to the birthday parties in vancouver with the veggie trays and the sugarless spelt cake with goat cheese frosting, and you'll start to see a few of the differences. the kids in our neighborhood "go to the dairy" for candy or ice cream just about every day, which is awesome good fun for them, but just really different than our friends in vancouver. we have a 'when in rome' mentality about being here, because we know it's temporary, and we were never super hardcore about that kind of thing anyway. you won't find a wide array of healthy snack foods or organic convenience foods like you do elsewhere -- especially in the US -- but you're probably not used to those anyway, being where you are now. I miss being able to go to the store and buy whole fruit popsicles and annie's pasta and veggie booty -- you either go hardcore and make your own everything, or, if you're lazy and having a crazy year like us, you just buy more junk processed stuff than you EVER would have before, and rationalize that your kids will survive.

so that's the extent of my complaints about NZ. It truly is beautiful here, and very laid back. It's not crime-free, it's not hugely crunchy, and the cost of living can be very high, but as long as you're realistic about the pros and cons of living here, then you'll probably love it. I'm so glad that we've spent 18 months here, and would love to come back someday!

hope you make your dream a reality!
Okay, so I just checked out the Coromandel Penninsula. We love to barefoot and do so as soon as the weather permits; some of those places are our feets' paradise!!! Or maybe all of them. I'm going to see where people settle there. From the sites I've seen, there's a lot of tourism (fine with us). I'm going to search for the farmers! WOW! Thanks for the tip! So beautiful!!!

It's funny about how children are sort of left to their own there. I think where we are there's a mix and we're probably of the 'let them sort it out' type in general, but our children receive a lot of guidance from us in that, so that when they are with other children and their parents become concerned initially when we don't run interference immediately, we delight in sitting back and watching as the tension in the place disappears because our boys are so adept at conflict resolution. The teasing and being rude thing, though, I'm feeling a bit apprehensive about as I read your description... We've encountered some of that here, and our boys were dumbfounded; they truly didn't understand why someone in real life would be rude without provocation; they really think that behaviour is reserved for fictional characters who end up resolving their issues or having them resolved for them in the story...

I guess we'll have to deal with that when we need to; it's pretty hard to do any pre-emptory work on that without making it seem scary: Now when people shout at you and call you names, just tell them that they may speak to you kindly or not at all.

Our boys are sensitive, and also fiercely loyal to one another, and a few children have learned that when they didn't realise that an attempt to ostracise one of our boys would result in them being alone; being four, our boys tend to make up a significant portion of children wherever there are groups. There are not a lot of children overall here. Our boys don't abide cruelty at all; we've never had to coach them in that- they know this innately or at least through their own brotherly interractions, and they remain respectful of others even those children who seem to be unaware of the reality of cruelty.

I guess it will be interesting to see how things go; I am a little baffled about a cultural acceptance of children treating one another cruelly though. I'm not really sure howto prepare myself for that even. Maybe Canada really is a polite nation. Lots of children say and do mean things here, but I don't know any adult who thinks that's okay- even if they don't actually do anything about it. Hmmm...

For food, how long do the farmer's markets operate? Are there many of them? Not having access to real food is very upsetting to me, but if I can get a hold of a few whole ingredients and some pastured meat and eggs, then I can feed us well. Of course, I recognise that it may take a while to locate sources. It took a little over a year to find everything we need here, which is very fast, imo (and considering that the seasons make all the difference in finding local food), but I did a lot of 'digging' and we happened to meet one of the organic farmers who organises the market and works in cooperation with all of the other organic farmers here on our first day, so that helped.

I'm trying to think of any organic convenience foods that we eat now... I usually consider fruit convenience food... Milled flour (instead of whole grain-berries)...? BREAD! We buy our sprouted bread because I am pg and have wicked contractions if I knead bread or have to stir a very tough and gloppy mixture in a bowl. I am having the feeling that these might not be items that you are considering convenience foods. By then, I should be able to knead/stir my own bread though. I really can't come up with anything not plain and whole that we buy. I make lots of convenience foods with it though!

I'm reading my post and thinking that I either seem like a total back-country pioneer woman or holier-than-thou. I'm really not either!!! I think we'd both be laughing if we were talking in person. It must be the subject matter...

I really like the way you described how people view policies/legislation there. It's very much like that here too, which was a major drawing point for us. I really cannot stand meddling and 'protect them from themselves' mentalities, which is how we ended up in the west having come from Ontario where it seems that many/most people think the highest calling they have in life is to make sure their neighbours are adhering to petty legislation. The amount of court-decided cases about how high (to 1/2 inch increments!) a garden arbour or privacy fence can be is a testament to that. No thanks. I am definitely of the live and let live variety!!!

During our trip into town today, dp and I were talking about driving there, on the other side of the road, and how hard it will be to change ingrained and habitual actions like checking for cyclists and turning through large intersections, or worse, switching sides to drive standard. Are the vehicles automatic or standard there? We drive both, and prefer standard overall, although I do appreciate having a hand free with children in the vehicle because I can pull over and put it in park, deal, and then drive. When we drove children in a standard, it took just a bit longer because we'd have to turn off the car if we needed to stop, and of course, being pg, I like being able to eat with one hand. But, no biggie either way; just a point of interest.

So reading your posts makes me wonder why we didn't move to Vancouver from the first! Veggie trays at birthday parties??? That's awesome! That doesn't happen here either, but we combat it by making sure we arrive after lunch and we stuff our boys full of good food so that they end up eating only a small-ish amount of junkfood. It's not the worst thing on occasion, to have them eat something that is half sugar by volume and half white flour... they end up having a pancreatic crash and then sleep through the night, which almost never happens otherwise. Birthday parties are dp's and my "What are we gonna do tonight when the children actually sleep?!" nights. They are infrequent and a really nice break. I'm a horrible mother

Tomorrow we start on our first step in our plan!

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I'm LOL, coz that's so true! In saying that I live in crunchy-central because there is a Steiner/Waldorf school in the neighbourhood and I have several friends who go there - so I feel "at home" when around them and I belong to an organic co-op that some of the Steiner mums set up. My kids don't have all that stuff at their parties since we eat gluten free and mostly sugar free even though most of our guests would be non-crunchy. Crunchy isn't even a word here lol (applied in this sense).

Re cost of living - we live on a very average retail manager wage (mid-$40k) - single income and do manage to get by quite well, own our own home, have the chickens in our backyard, have a typical 1/4 acre section (not so common these days though) with permaculture garden but do live frugally without going without.
This is very encouraging. Nobody could do that in most places here without some really wonderful luck and unusual circumstances (we have friends who fall into that category, so it does happen, but it's very rare; land is very expensive). It is more expensive here in general than what you're describing, but I guess I cannot account for the actual buying power of the dollar in relation because I don't know how much things actually cost there. Maybe it is the same or close.

That amount of supportive people would be absolutely adequate for us. We love to have friends, but we're not what some would call 'joiners' and we like to enjoy social gatherings, but infrequently. It is too much for us otherwise. Ideally, we love to live near friends and have a very informal relationship so that we just drop over or they do (ideal for me tending four children) and we just find ourselves in company for the afternoon or all day or whatever. Arranging social gatherings just doesn't happen for us, but perhaps that will change as our children grow out of this very intense stage in their lives.

I was considering what amount of friendship support or community I need to feel content and fulfilled. Right now, given the intensity of relationship with our children at their ages, I am very happy to have one or two friend sets- couple or family- and about two acquaintances sets- couples or families. That's my saturation level presently. I imagine that will change though. So saying, it seems that my social needs for now are pretty easy to meet.





In five years, our children will range in age from 11 yrs to 5 yrs, and there will be five of them and dp and me. Our plan has built-in flexibility to accommodate the changes we cannot yet anticipate as our children grow. In every case though, homesteading and free-learning describe our lifestyle of choice. I think it's likely that we'll be able to find someone who is at least open to that, if not also doing it; does that seem reasonable or likely to you? (please say yes... Jk, I do want to be prepared, so have at it. )

We've been content with 'open to' here because there is nobody doing what we're doing. There are homesteaders, but they either don't have children, or send their children to school.

Thanks so much again for all the information and experiences you shared, mamas! Dp and I are loving reading what you've shared and learning as we read about the country and accumulate others' personal stories about what it's like there.

Well, I've been absent for 8 months, and during that time, it turns out that I have completely transformed. You are all precious. Thank you for being here and sharing your lives. You are truly a gift. namaste.gif Jan. 23, 2012

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Old 04-08-2010, 03:23 AM
 
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Maybe I overstated the teasing thing -- it's pretty frequent at playgrounds for many boys to be doing that competitive, I can climb higher than YOU! and sort of jovial, button pushing, but it isn't outright cruelty as much as just a more brash, slap on the back conversational style. Our kiwi friend who lives in canada now described it that two kiwi guys might get in a big fistfight and then go out for a beer afterwards, no hard feelings. I don't think it's the kind of thing you HAVE to get involved in, but I remember on one of our first outings here there was a parking dispute between a bunch of big men and they almost came to blows -- lots of shouting, etc, but all the onlookers (at an outdoor pub) just laughed and carried on, it wasn't a big deal at all. My son is more of a "why does he hate me?" kind of kid if someone is deliberately trying to get a rise out of him, so I probably notice it a lot more than the average person. I also find, though, that it's pretty easy to just say "hey, we're all here to have fun and be friends, and it's hurtful when you try to antagonize someone -- you don't need to do that, D is your friend" -- a lot of it, I think, is just school culture, more than kiwi culture, and here we're around a lot more school kids because there are fewer homeschoolers than in Van. It's not at all a culture of cruelty, it's just not as polite and sensitive as Canada. it's not a bad thing, just takes a little getting used to for kids who aren't used to it.

and barefoot? NZ is your place.

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Old 04-08-2010, 03:47 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Awesome about the barefooting!

Okay, so that doesn't seem like as big a difference as I was anticipating. I would describe where we live now as having much more rugged or straight-forward people than other places we've lived- maybe less polite in some ways, but so much more genuine. In most cases, we know exactly where we stand with others. I like that.

The parking lot thing had me laughing, but honestly, I would not enjoy witnessing that; I can accept others being fine with it though. My dp's heritage (*********, England) tends toward that sort of communication too. I'm sure he'll be fine with it. His grand-dad threw a guy off a roof for insulting his nana's sandwiches. And

And then they kept working.

Well, I've been absent for 8 months, and during that time, it turns out that I have completely transformed. You are all precious. Thank you for being here and sharing your lives. You are truly a gift. namaste.gif Jan. 23, 2012

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Old 04-08-2010, 04:03 AM
 
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I haven't noticed the teasing thing so much for ourselves, but then we home(un)school and it's not prevalent in our small group and haven't noticed it at playgrounds or my son's Keas (scouts) group. I'm sure it's out there, but I would think more of a school mentality from hearing of it through school friends.

There certainly aren't a lot of homesteading/homeschoolers around I don't think - well, less choice for finding likeminded if that makes sense. Out of our small unschooling group (5 families) I would be the more radical for living the lifestyle we are (but then we're not rural anyway), but certainly not too unusual since the others do it to certain degrees as well. I can't say I have found another family doing a similar thing as us with kids similar ages as well as unschooling where I live (my kids are quite a lot younger than the rest of the unschoolers). Even the Steiner families who we know are fairly radical in mainstream society but see the homeschooling thing as more radical again lol.

I think you'd be best to move here and then suss out the place you'll buy. Pick maybe 5 places and visit each to get a feel for it. There are (un)homeschool yahoo groups you can join and maybe pose your questions there too - so at least it takes care of finding homeschoolers and then you're just seeking the self sufficient lot to get their take and the benefit is that several of the groups are national rather than just regional.

With the food - we eat pretty much all whole foods (except breads - we just don't even eat breads anymore - too expensive to buy gluten free ready-made and sourcing bulk flour isn't something I have found out about since it wouldn't be available in my town and not sure about Wellington?). I just buy most of our supplies at the super market. All our meat here is pasture raised and free range (except pig and chickens), I buy free range chicken at the supermarket as well as eggs if my chickens aren't supplying enough. we don't eat a lot of organic these days as we're finding it expensive for us. Most places have fresh produce markets year round and there are organic vegetable delivery places as well (I tend to get a box delivered when our garden isn't producing and the company delivers all around New Zealand).

Cars - both auto and manual equally available.

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Old 04-08-2010, 06:57 AM
 
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driving: you get used to driving on the left really quickly. it's hard for a few days and then you're onto it. it looks strange to me now when we see people on tv or in movies driving on the right.

bread: oh how I miss sprouted grain bread! I haven't found any decent gluten-free bread here in Wellington that doesn't cost an arm and a leg (or tastes good), and we don't eat a huge amount of bread, so we just buy Vogels, which is whole grain(ish) but in Vancouver we always bought only sprouted grain or spelt bread, and I don't think that exists here in NZ at all... could be a good business for someone!

we don't eat a lot of convenience foods either, but in Vancouver (and especially in california where I'm from originally) there are lots of convenience foods that are actually FOOD, with no additives, etc, and here there just aren't. I have never really gotten into a good cooking swing here in NZ, and our diet has gone downhill. at least the meat and butter are good quality! and the avocados are

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Old 04-08-2010, 11:17 PM - Thread Starter
 
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This is very encouraging, mamas. Thank you so much for taking time to respond.

It is funny how people's experiences are generally relative to their previous ones. It's a little like when I listen to mums describing how they perceived their labour experience and how while they experienced it as tense, stressful, and full of pain and fear, my first labour, coming after two non-labour caesarian sections, was glorious; I was so grateful the whole time (9hrs after 4 weeks of nightly prodromal labour, 2 water breaks and being dilated 4 cm the whole time), for every twinge and every change because I was learning about myself and marveling that my body was capable of doing that work so readily (imo). Both totally valid experiences, but different and relative at least in my case, to what I'd experienced before.

From your descriptions, it really does seem like there are more options and more choices for us there than where we live presently, and we've been very content to live here; we wouldn't even consider leaving except that we just don't seem to be acclimating to the climate and we're near the end of our fifth winter this far north. We don't want our boys to spend their childhoods indoors. Neither do we want to spend the rest of ourlives indoors!

So when we arrive there, we will be facing a relative wonderland! I'm actually reconsidering what we'll do when we arrive and to settle because there are more options for us than we'd considered initially, erroneously assuming a similar set of options as we have presently.

We love the freedom and ruggedness of here- the people and the land, and we've gladly traded typical city-living options for that, so it seems that we'll be recovering some of the options there, while retaining the ruggedness of the land and people. That's even better than we had thought!

I'm glad it only takes a few days to drive comfortably; that was a bit concerning to me, admittedly.

Realistically, it will take us (hopefuly no more than) two years once we're settled to have a producing homestead, so sources for food are going to be of paramount importance right away and for a while. It's really great that there are organic boxes delivered! We don't have that here, and during growing season, we travel around grabbing a box of this and a box of that from various farm gates and then the one farmer's market on Thursdays. It's not very efficient.

We are very intrigued by the Coromandel; we watched videos about it and looked at pictures. It's amazing. Perhaps if we don't end up living there, we may find ourselves spending a bit of time there, wandering around in our bare feet. We have had a hail storm all day today; I'm already feeling impatient about leaving, and those pics aren't helping!!!

I did find a homeschooling site too. It seems very similar if not the same as here in terms of regulations.

My dp takes about 5 minutes to pick up his family's accent (he doesn't have it because he grew up in Canada, but everyone else has it) and then he cannot stop for about a week. I'm guessing that's about how long it'll take for him to sound like a kiwi. I'll take about a month or less; we both can't resist accents for long...

I've been reading glossaries of kiwi vocabulary. That is going to take some getting used to. When we were looking at homes and prices, there were entire sentences that we could not make any sense of at all. And they are in english!!!


Well, I've been absent for 8 months, and during that time, it turns out that I have completely transformed. You are all precious. Thank you for being here and sharing your lives. You are truly a gift. namaste.gif Jan. 23, 2012

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Old 04-08-2010, 11:41 PM
 
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honestly, you'll love it here, it's beautiful. I would stay here forever if it weren't so far from north america.

the barefoot thing is not just an outdoor summertime thing, people at my husband's office (Weta digital, makes movies, so somewhat 'arty') are barefoot, you see people in the grocery store barefoot -- my daughter rarely wears shoes anymore at all. the only places I don't think you'd be received well being barefoot would be in nicer restaurants. today I saw a guy waiting for the bus in shorts and a t-shirt, no shoes -- you see that all the time, but he kind of looked like he had just rolled out of bed, so he caught my attention. it's just really, really laid back here.

and no matter where you end up living, the entire country isn't all that large, so it's really easy to drive anywhere on the island you're on -- for example, we're in Wellington, and saturday we're driving to Auckland, and returning on Monday. we just did this same trip a couple of weeks ago too. the ferry to get from one island to the other is pricey, but you can also get really cheap airfare within NZ, so if you were up near auckland and wanted to check out the glaciers, you could find fairly inexpensive airfare and car rental here is pretty cheap too -- cheaper than canada, anyway.

now that we're getting ready to move on, I'm loving NZ more and more! it's nice to know that we can come back in the future if we want.

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I've been reading glossaries of kiwi vocabulary. That is going to take some getting used to. When we were looking at homes and prices, there were entire sentences that we could not make any sense of at all. And they are in english!!!

LOL, like what?

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Old 04-09-2010, 04:42 AM - Thread Starter
 
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LOL, like what?
"This four bedroom home has a chippie in the kitchen on a wetback and a firebox in the lounge so this home is nice and cosy in the winter time."

So the firebox, we can figure out, but what the heck is a chippie and a wetback???! I read this aloud to dp while he was making tea and he looked at me like I had two heads and just laughed. I didn't let on; I read it completely dead-pan.

And more:
"huge rumpus, large conservatory" What the heck is a rumpus? And is it good to have a huge one in NZ? Is a conservatory a sunroom for plants and sitting/relaxing? I have to re-consult the glossary I found because I don't remember these words!
"easy flow" -figured out based on photos, I think anyway...
"whiteware"- figured out with more ad reading

I also think it's funny that there's a specification for a shower over the tub. I haven't ever seen a shower-less bathtub except in very old heritage homes with those beautiful claw-foot bathtubs. And I had to look up 'bench' in kiwi because I couldn't figure out how the kitchen bench figured so prominently in real estate ads (or why anyone would care what it's made of). Our benches are pine and we sit on them. Now I know. We won't sit on the kitchen benches there.

It cracks me up too that the dates for availability are so random- the 4th, 17th, 21st, 27th, whatever... Here, everything happens on the 1st of the month. It would be difficult to arrange leaving one place on the 6th and moving into another on the 19th, but I guess camping is actually an option there.

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honestly, you'll love it here, it's beautiful. I would stay here forever if it weren't so far from north america.

the barefoot thing is not just an outdoor summertime thing, people at my husband's office (Weta digital, makes movies, so somewhat 'arty') are barefoot, you see people in the grocery store barefoot -- my daughter rarely wears shoes anymore at all. the only places I don't think you'd be received well being barefoot would be in nicer restaurants. today I saw a guy waiting for the bus in shorts and a t-shirt, no shoes -- you see that all the time, but he kind of looked like he had just rolled out of bed, so he caught my attention. it's just really, really laid back here.

and no matter where you end up living, the entire country isn't all that large, so it's really easy to drive anywhere on the island you're on -- for example, we're in Wellington, and saturday we're driving to Auckland, and returning on Monday. we just did this same trip a couple of weeks ago too. the ferry to get from one island to the other is pricey, but you can also get really cheap airfare within NZ, so if you were up near auckland and wanted to check out the glaciers, you could find fairly inexpensive airfare and car rental here is pretty cheap too -- cheaper than canada, anyway.

now that we're getting ready to move on, I'm loving NZ more and more! it's nice to know that we can come back in the future if we want.
There's that Beatles song that goes, "It's getting better all the ti-i-ime. Better, better, better." And that sums up my feelings about what you just wrote. A WHOLE COUNTRY OF BAREFOOTERS??!! I think I'm going to faint. I'm a little annoyed that we've not looked into NZ before. I was also annoyed that we hadn't looked into the far north before we did too...

I keep thinking like a Canadian- as if I have to carefully consider the time and distance to the places we'd like to go or spend time. I was in P.E.I. for a week and I loved that no matter what I had in mind for the day, I could just go do it, and it didn't matter that it was on the other side of the island. I became accustomed to that very quickly so that the trip back to Ontario seemed longer than the trip there just because it took so long to get anywhere.

NZ is so much smaller than Canada; I will really enjoy that. Our first remote northern location was 5 1/2 hrs from where we had to do our shopping, so we'd go grocery shopping twice each month and it took all day with 11 hrs of driving. Now (and for 2 yrs) we're 35 minutes to a grocery store; at first we really didn't like it because it just didn't seem long enough to warrant dressing up and buckling everyone in for such a short ride.

We have an unusual situation with family, but it's nice that it benefits us at least in one way- that it really doesn't matter where we live. They are all scattered all over and we haven't lived near anyone for nearly five yrs now. I think my brother might actually visit when we're in NZ; he and his wife love ecotourism and she writes travel reviews for a magazine, so they travel a lot, just not to the remote north of Canada. Same with dp's mum and partner; they'll come more often too. Weird. But nice.

Well, I've been absent for 8 months, and during that time, it turns out that I have completely transformed. You are all precious. Thank you for being here and sharing your lives. You are truly a gift. namaste.gif Jan. 23, 2012

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Old 04-09-2010, 04:59 AM
 
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"This four bedroom home has a chippie in the kitchen on a wetback and a firebox in the lounge so this home is nice and cosy in the winter time."

So the firebox, we can figure out, but what the heck is a chippie and a wetback???! I read this aloud to dp while he was making tea and he looked at me like I had two heads and just laughed. I didn't let on; I read it completely dead-pan.

And more:
"huge rumpus, large conservatory" What the heck is a rumpus? And is it good to have a huge one in NZ? Is a conservatory a sunroom for plants and sitting/relaxing? I have to re-consult the glossary I found because I don't remember these words!
"easy flow" -figured out based on photos, I think anyway...
"whiteware"- figured out with more ad reading

I also think it's funny that there's a specification for a shower over the tub. I haven't ever seen a shower-less bathtub except in very old heritage homes with those beautiful claw-foot bathtubs. And I had to look up 'bench' in kiwi because I couldn't figure out how the kitchen bench figured so prominently in real estate ads (or why anyone would care what it's made of). Our benches are pine and we sit on them. Now I know. We won't sit on the kitchen benches there.

It cracks me up too that the dates for availability are so random- the 4th, 17th, 21st, 27th, whatever... Here, everything happens on the 1st of the month. It would be difficult to arrange leaving one place on the 6th and moving into another on the 19th, but I guess camping is actually an option there.
Chippie - hmmm, not too sure? Are you looking at old houses? In which case I'm thinking it would be a Chip-heater which I think is just a very tiny woodbox thing that only small "chips" of wood go in? Maybe even boil a pot of water on it?

Wetback - a system where you are able to heat your hot water using the fireplace. I think they run water pipes behind the fire or something. Once again, not all that common but more common in farmhouses or older homes I would think.

Rumpus - large family room that's not the primary family room/lounge. Perhaps like a basement - we don't really have basements here in NZ but I think a rumpus often gets used for extra storage but is often a comfortable enough area if not furnished with out of date furniture lol (well, that's what I think, I've never lived in a house with a rumpus). So bigger = better = teenage hang out spot or a pool table or a room that generally might lead out onto an outdoor bbq area.

Conservatory - yep, sunroom for relaxing in, pot plants, casual sitting area I suppose. Usually full glass sides.

Easy-flow - indoor-outdoor flow. No awkward rooms and areas I guess.

Whiteware - yep = washing machine, fridge, dishwasher etc.

Bathtub - hmmm, most places I have lived in there is no shower over the bath. We usually have separate shower stalls here. That's not to say you don't get shower over bath, but I can see why they specify. I doubt it would put people off buying (unless they had a disability where climbing over the side of a bath for a shower would be hazardous).

Re the dates - yeah, things can happen whatever date. If it's a house sale, they usually happen on a Friday. There can be overlap, but I don't think many people have issues with not having a roof over their heads - I think things can be negotiated somewhat - you know, relaxed kiwi attitude stuff lol. You just can't move out later than the date specified.

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Old 04-09-2010, 05:30 AM
 
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pot plants
uh yeah, this one has a different meaning in canada too.

We're Tiffani , Mark , Lucy (9/99) , Dexter (8/01) ,and Zachary Marvin (3/07) and Naomi Rose (6/09), home 11/10, by way of Ugandan adoption.

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Old 04-09-2010, 05:38 AM
 
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So what, do you call them indoor plants or container plants?

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Old 04-09-2010, 05:57 AM
 
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Being barefoot here is no big deal I go all sorts of places with no shoes on. I didn't even realise there was the term "barefooters" until recently on MDC . It's just something that we do and think nothing of it. I go to mall, gas station, local shop, around town etc all with no shoes in summertime.

Here are some of my suggestions of where to live.

Waiheke Island - I'd love to live here! It's an island in the Hauraki Gulf which is off Auckland pretty much. DH isnt keen on living on a island though. This area is probably as crunchy as it gets in the North Island
http://www.waiheke.co.nz/
http://waiheke.aucklandnz.com/

hmmmm where else....there's some places just north of Auckland that would get you the land you want, but are very pricey. Dairy Flat, Coatesville, Stillwater, Albany

Or you could go out rural West Auckland - Kumeu, Huapai, Waimauku

I've suggested around Auckland as this is where I live and I love it It can be quite rainy at times, although last month is the driest March in decades. Auckland is said to have Four Seasons in One Day. It doesnt get too cold, maybe a few frosts each winter. You can still venture out in the winter (barefoot even ).

I'll come back if I think of anything else

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Old 04-09-2010, 06:02 AM
 
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Forgot my hometown! I grew up in place called Raglan. It's on the west coast of the North Island, and it's beautiful!

http://www.raglan.net.nz/
http://www.raglan.org.nz/

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Old 04-09-2010, 09:34 AM
 
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So what, do you call them indoor plants or container plants?
we would call those potted plants. or house plants, if they were indoors. I had to laugh when our landlords said they'd come back in a few days for their pot plants.

we're going up to Auckland this sat-mon, I think we really need to do the ferry to waiheke island -- I'm not sure we can leave NZ without having done that... speaking of which, having a 10 hour drive tomorrow I really should go to bed!

We're Tiffani , Mark , Lucy (9/99) , Dexter (8/01) ,and Zachary Marvin (3/07) and Naomi Rose (6/09), home 11/10, by way of Ugandan adoption.

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Old 04-10-2010, 09:08 AM
 
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You should check out Hawkes Bay, it's the region in the center of the east coast of the North Island. I moved here to Napier just over a year ago, and I'm loving it.

There are 2 cities just 15 minutes from each other - Napier and Hastings - and between them they've got everything you'd ever need. But just 5 minutes out from each you can be very rural. It's a very agricultural area with lots of orchards and vineyards. You can grow year round here. Right now it's feijoa season. Yum. The kiwifruit in our backyards will be ripening in the next few months. Our citrus trees are packed with fruit year round. And in the dead of winter we'll be harvesting broccoli and leeks.

I'm not sure about homeschooling in the area, as we send the kids to Montessori. There is also Steiner schooling in Hastings which I think goes all the way up to high school.

My kids loooove the barefoot thing here. They'll even stay barefoot through winter. We can never get them to wear shoes.
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Old 04-12-2010, 01:41 AM - Thread Starter
 
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So dp and I have been obsessing and watching lots of youtube videos from NZ from all over. We live in a very beautiful area in Canada- probably the purest there is here (with people) or amongst the few purest places, and it is very easy to put together an amazing video of the wilderness and of some areas of town and some of a town north of us that would make many people drool, but even so, we are just in awe of NZ. Dp keeps saying, "Ugh, we're in the wrong place- again!"

We've been watching personal youtube videos people put up to get a feel for the humour and culture of the kiwis and we are now pretty sure that when our grandparents had the choice to go to Canada or to Australia, they picked the wrong hemisphere. If we'd been in Australia, it wouldn't have taken us so long to discover NZ. That and in talking with dp, it turns out that it isn't just my family that has never acclimated to the climate in the north, but also his. So, essentially we're two immigrant european families that live indoors most of the time and wish we didn't because we came from places that are far milder than in Canada. We're first generation Canadian-born, so our families have not been here long, but it seems crazy that we're all not comfortable. What's the point of that???

We are eagerly awaiting the release to North America of This Way of Life (trailer) and Boy. Those children in TWoL are really fabulous; they're so free and capable. I can't wait to see the film... but we have to since it's still just screening in NZ, so it'll be a long while before we can watch it here.

We watched an ad for L&P that had us in stitches too. And a neat guide to NZ by Liam Finn. And also one by Scribe that had a different feel, and was also enjoyable.

The variety and freedom of expression of people there is very appealing. It seems that overall, the reality of being- just being- is prevalent. It seems to be a 'slow' culture- as in relaxed, confident, human. I'm aching to go and wish it wouldn't take so long to get there, but dp and I laughed today as we realised that it'll take at minimum the same amount of time for him to finish up his schooling and our not-yet-born baby to be toileting independently. I had quipped that I would rather not deal with diapers during this transition, and it turns out that, ideally, I won't.

Thanks for all the new links and places to check out, and at the 'hot plants.'

Well, I've been absent for 8 months, and during that time, it turns out that I have completely transformed. You are all precious. Thank you for being here and sharing your lives. You are truly a gift. namaste.gif Jan. 23, 2012

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Old 04-12-2010, 02:02 AM
 
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I came over with a huge sense of national pride reading your post

You'll love it here.

This is another funny L&P ad. Reminds me of my childhood - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9crEwkyoHBw

This is a good one too - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dKnPS...ature=related"

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Old 04-12-2010, 02:44 AM - Thread Starter
 
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You can grow year round here. Right now it's feijoa season. Yum. The kiwifruit in our backyards will be ripening in the next few months. Our citrus trees are packed with fruit year round. And in the dead of winter we'll be harvesting broccoli and leeks.
This blew our minds. Sourcing food up here is probably equal to our difficulties with the climate. We can and have, but it is hard; the growing season is very short and the whole territory has run out of potatoes since March, and we won't have any again until BC begins harvesting. Picking fruit and veggies from the garden year-round would be revolutionary.

I have to look up feijoa; I have no idea what that is. Same with the ocean creatures there- no idea, except for things we have here too like lobster and cray fish.

Well, I've been absent for 8 months, and during that time, it turns out that I have completely transformed. You are all precious. Thank you for being here and sharing your lives. You are truly a gift. namaste.gif Jan. 23, 2012

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Old 04-12-2010, 02:59 AM - Thread Starter
 
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This is another funny L&P ad. Reminds me of my childhood - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9crEwkyoHBw

This is a good one too - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dKnPS...ature=related"
Those are great!

We really liked this one too.
AND we learned some more kiwi vocab!

Well, I've been absent for 8 months, and during that time, it turns out that I have completely transformed. You are all precious. Thank you for being here and sharing your lives. You are truly a gift. namaste.gif Jan. 23, 2012

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Old 04-12-2010, 03:03 AM
 
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Those are great!

We really liked this one too.
AND we learned some more kiwi vocab!
Ah yip the undies vs. togs one is very funny!

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