New Zealand mamas! Info please! :) - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 72 Old 01-07-2006, 03:20 AM - Thread Starter
 
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DH is VERY interestd in moving to NZ. He has been asking if we can for a year and a half now. I don't know anything about it so I can't say yes or no yet. Tell me everything about living there! Convince me to say yes!!!! If I agree to it the move would possibly be within the next year. I'll take any and all information! What do you think of it? What do you not like about it? What's the economy like? What's the average diet like? Is it easy to live naturally/organically there? Tell me everything.

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#2 of 72 Old 01-11-2006, 05:52 PM
 
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Wow, thats alot of information you want!

I love New Zealand, I feel so lucky to have been born here.
I'm not sure about what I don't like about it, probably how (no offence) Americanised it seems to be getting.
I find it quite easy to live naturally here. Unless your living right in the centre of a city, nearly all houses have room for a vege garden. Its quite easy to find shops that specialize in organic food, also most supermarkets stock a small amount of organic food as well.
I'm not sure about the average diet, it used to be just a basic diet, but now that the fast food industry is spreading all over NZ people are eating out more. Fast food is a bit different here (but not alot!) the servings are smaller that the USA and I think there are more options. New zealanders are very high consumers of meat and dairy, are suppose because those a some of our biggest industries.
The economy is pretty strong at the moment, which of course means that all the experts are predicting a slump pretty soon, but i don't know how accurate those people tend to be.
The system of Government is MMP, this link will explain it better that I can http://www.mmp.org.nz/mmpfpp.html. Hospital healthcare is free, but doctors are very expensive, although it is free for under 6 year olds to see a doctor. At the moment it is very easy to get natural health products, but the government is trying to bring in a policy of joint regulation with Australia which will mean that some natural health products will only be sold with a prescription. (Which basically means that you'll have to see a doctor to get a presciption, which they probably won't give because pharmacuetical companies have doctors in their pockets - but I'll save that rant for another time!) So lets hope that it doesn't come through.


I'm not really sure what else to say. Anything alse you want to know? I'm happy to answer any other questions.
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#3 of 72 Old 01-12-2006, 01:00 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Ahhh never mind. I'll just pm you instead!!

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#4 of 72 Old 01-25-2006, 04:17 PM
 
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I'm subscribing to this thread! My dh has been wanting to move to New Zealand for a few years now. I actually interned and taught at a school in Florida that is based on New Zealand schools. Our principal spent a year there studying the system before our school opened. I loved that school! It had a great educational environment that I haven't seen in any other US school. I'll be reading this thread with great interest.
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#5 of 72 Old 03-11-2006, 04:13 AM
 
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Hello Mamas,
I would encourage you to follow your dreams. My family and I are moving to NZ in a little over two weeks. I'm new to this community and find it fascinating. We simply find that our cultural and political differences with the US make it impossible to stay here. I am at home with my twin two year olds and we are very excited about the move. Any advice from any and everyone? I can sense that the boys are getting anxious. We are going to stay 7 months on a solar-powered organic village at Karuna Falls. Does anyone know of this village? After our stay there we hope to aquire residency but I'm wondering if this is possible. My partner works in the field of sustainability and I hear there is a much better job market there for his line of work. I would love any advice or info as well. :
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#6 of 72 Old 03-11-2006, 10:55 AM
 
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twinmamakat,

That's so cool! My family and I are planning on moving to NZ in a few years, and we plan on building ourselves a solar powered, eco-friendly place to settle. We're actually making a trip over in February to look for land to buy. I don't know much about getting residency (DH is a Kiwi, so we don't have to deal with that) but I hope everything goes smoothly for you.

I've never heard of Karuna Falls, it sounds really neat. What part of the country is it in?
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#7 of 72 Old 03-14-2006, 09:09 PM
 
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Hi, I lived in NZ for a while. I would suggest a long (at least a month) visit before you commit to anything. It's a beautiful country but very, very different from the States. The organic selection of foods is quite limited, although getting better. You can email me if you want to "talk" more/want more info.
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#8 of 72 Old 03-20-2006, 04:59 AM
 
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Hello!

I grew up in Hawaii but have lived in Los Angeles, California, Seattle, Washington and currently Las Vegasm, NV with my partner of 11 years, Jesse and our children, Iolana 9y/o and Marcus 5y/o. We are so disgusted with America and it's government. I just can't fathum the thought of staying here much longer. Bush is driving us into the ground, our country is full of deep seeded racism and everyone walks around with a grudge. Living in the here and now is not a common theme. Living for MORE, MORE, MORE is. I don't want my children to grow up in this country any longer. Although there are wonderful things about America....the only thing I would really miss would be my in-laws, my grandma, friends and Trader Joe's. But, none of that is enough and out weighs my children's well being....and my sanity.

My dad is from NZ but hasn't been back for 20 years. I would like us all to visit as inlovemama suggests. I would like to visit the midwives and find out about the natural birthing community. I am a doula and own a labor tub business. I wonder how easy it would be to work in the field. I also wonder how easy it would be for my partner to continue his field. He is a entertainment producer...ie, books bands for casino show, events coordinator, etc. It's more deep than that but he knows about everything involving theatre, concerts and night clubs.

Anyway, I would love to hear what others have said that have emailed privately.

Thank you!
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#9 of 72 Old 03-21-2006, 05:30 PM
 
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Hi Kachina
All maternity care in NZ is free (paid for buy the government) and practically everyone uses midwives and some choose to have a combination of midwife and doctor care. I'm not sure about doulas. I had never heard of a doula until a met a lady from the US who told us about them. I don't think doulas would get the government funding that midwives do, so it might be hard to find paid work. As for the birthing pool business, sorry I can't give any advice on that one, I do know some people who have had home water births, but I don't know where they got the pool from - I think they maybe hired it from the hospital.
The entertainment business in NZ isn't a very big business - due to the fact that this isn't a very big country I'm sure your partner would be able to find work in the bigger cities - Auckland, Christchurch, maybe Wellington. But It probably wouldn't be on the same scale as he would be used to in the US.

I hope this helps a little, let me know if you need any more info and I'll try and help some more!
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#10 of 72 Old 03-21-2006, 08:38 PM
 
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This is great info to know. Thank you so much. I actually am self employed so the families hire me to support them in labor and if they are having a homebirth they can hire my tubs as well. I am just starting to get into the hospitals with the tubs here in Las Vegas but it's slow going and lots of politics.

Anyway, what is the pay scale there? I don't think either my husband or I are really married to what we do for a living. We are easily adaptable and wouldn't mind doing other things. But, I would like to make sure that we could actually make a living, have a small home, a car that can get us from point a to point b and enough money left over to do fun things with our kids.

How would one even find a job before coming over. I have looked online but I don't think I am looking in the right places. I even looked at the classifieds in the NZ newspapers but not sure if that is the correct place. What would you suggest?

Thanks for your help.
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#11 of 72 Old 03-22-2006, 11:01 PM
 
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The best job wedsite (well the most well known one anyway) is http://www.seek.co.nz/
The pay rates here are alot lower than in other countries, but the cost of living is lower too. House and property prices are going up and its getting very hard for people on low incomes to buy a house these days. Cars aren't very cheap either, as they all have to be imported. Second hand Japanese inports are very easy to buy here - and cheapest.
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#13 of 72 Old 04-21-2006, 02:48 PM
 
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Hi!
We are planning a move to NZ from Georgia.
My hubby is a diesel mechanic & can get a job with a dealer that has branches in 16 cities there. We don't want to live in a Florida heat type climate - done that for 13 years!
We are looking for a climate not too extreme on either end, natural beauty around us, country type living - lots of bike riding/mountain biking, plenty of nearby places for outings/camping. We'd like to live within easy access to a community that has a real sense of community & belonging with things like a decent library, sports teams for the kids, music & art oppertunities & lessons.
We homeschool, we are laid back & don't watch tv or like to 'shop' much
We don't want to live somewhere 'busy'.

So of these places offered to us, what do you think?
Napier, Rotorua, Hamilton, Wellington, Greymouth
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#14 of 72 Old 04-21-2006, 08:23 PM
 
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From those choices I would probaby suggest Rotorua or Napier. I wouldn't reccomend Hamilton. Greymouth is quite small. I love Welington, but I'm not sure if it would have the 'community' feel that your looking for.
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#15 of 72 Old 04-22-2006, 06:20 PM
 
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From the places you listed I would pick Napier or Wellington. Rotorua is kinda nice, but really touristy and kinda smelly (because of the all the sulfur and geothermal activity). Hamilton is kinda boring and doesn't have too much outdoorsy stuff nearby, because it's almost all farmland. Greymouth is really small and pretty remote, but would be the best in terms of having mountainous activities nearby.

Wellington is a nice city, but it's still a city, one of the largest in NZ, so I'm not sure how much a community feel you'd get there. I'm sure some neighborhoods would have what you're looking for though. I'm just not sure which ones.

Napier is a smaller city, but has another small city, Hastings, right next to it, so together they'd have pretty much anything you'd need. I think it's got a really good atmosphere, because of the climate, its seaside location, and the architecture of the downtown, which is mostly art deco. DH was born and raised in Napier, his mum is still there. The climate in summer is gorgeous, not at all like GA! It's hot, but dry, with a nice breeze. But really, nowhere in NZ has weather like Florida, even the farthest north region doesn't have humidity like that.
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#16 of 72 Old 04-22-2006, 09:53 PM
 
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Great info! If we go through with this I don't know how we'll settle on where to live. We'll be going over sight unseen - and treat it like a 3 yr vacation!

DH is leaning toward the south island. We'll have to investigate from Nelson - Greymouth. I want to also consider between Napier - Wellington.

Is it like a rain forest around Greymouth? Is Reefton near there? Well, I Know nothing about this at all!! Gee, I need to get a decent map to look at!!

Another question, how are they on vax requirements? my 2 youngest have none.

Thanks again!
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#17 of 72 Old 04-23-2006, 09:38 AM
 
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Well shoot. If I had known Nelson was an option, I wouldn't have had to write out all that other info.

Move to Nelson! That's where we're planning on settling down, when we move back to NZ in a few years. It's on the South Island, which is a major plus for us, nearer more National Parks and places for backpacking. It's right near Abel Tasman National Park, which is GORGEOUS in the summer. Lots of golden sand beaches. It's beautiful in the winter as well, just a bit chilly. It's also close to the Marlborough Sound region, which IMO is the most beautiful part of the whole country. Nelson itsellf is a nice, small city, but not too small.

Greymouth is on the West Coast, so it is really rainy. Rain forest rainy, but it's not what you might think of when someone says "rain forest". It's not like the rain forests in Brazil, mainly because it's not warm. And even though it's on the coast, you can't really go swimming in the ocean there. The coastline is very steep/rocky along the West Coast, very beautiful, in a rugged, impressive way. Reefton is in the area, but not too close to Greymouth.

As far as I've heard, vaccinations are strongly encouraged, but there's no law that says you have to get them, even for school. My kids are unvaxed as well.

Oh, and I've only visited NZ several times. If anyone who actually lives there wants to contradict anything I've said, feel free.
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#18 of 72 Old 04-23-2006, 12:20 PM
 
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Hmm... now this is going to send me on a search of all things 'Nelson'. Yesterday I researched Greymouth like crazy, and got quite interested. Really low rent & house prices! Arial shot of the town looks neat. It has some beach area - rock, not sand! - I wonder how warm it is to swim in the summer?

I'd like to be near the national parks and such - anything cool to see and do outdoors, we want to see/do it!

Currently there's no openings for DH at the Nelson branch - oh well.
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#19 of 72 Old 04-23-2006, 12:58 PM
 
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I looked a bit, Nelson does sound & look REALLY tempting!

One of the Greymouth job openings is actually a resident mechanic at a mine operation in Westport. We could live near there & be in a 2hr driving distance of all that great stuff at the top of the SI. Maybe? DH wents to work for the CAT dealer, like he does here. They have branches all over, but we were just given openings in those 5 I first named

We could see the sights in one area & then transfer Were going to rent anyway!
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#20 of 72 Old 04-27-2006, 11:48 PM
 
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I'd have to agree with Castle - If I'd known Nelson was an option I would definately have suggested there as well!

As for vax, its a matter of 'informed consent'. Vaccinating is really pushed here, but its not a legal requirement, and you don't need to apply for exemptions or anything like they do in the States.
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#21 of 72 Old 05-18-2006, 11:46 PM
 
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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?
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#22 of 72 Old 07-30-2006, 05:52 PM
 
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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

Cari-mama to Eriq, Lile, Paikea, Kaidyn, and Mieke is here!! 2/9/10
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#23 of 72 Old 07-30-2006, 06:13 PM
 
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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.
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#24 of 72 Old 07-31-2006, 05:53 AM
 
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Quote:
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 .
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#25 of 72 Old 07-31-2006, 05:57 AM
 
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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.
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#26 of 72 Old 08-01-2006, 05:11 PM
 
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--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
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)?
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#27 of 72 Old 08-26-2006, 08:24 PM
 
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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!

mama to 2 busy boys (may 2007 & december 2008)
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#28 of 72 Old 08-30-2006, 07:31 PM
 
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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
http://www.emigratenz.org/forum/index.php?

Where are you at now?
Good luck!
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#29 of 72 Old 09-05-2006, 08:43 PM
 
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hello!

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,
*erin*

mama to 2 busy boys (may 2007 & december 2008)
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#30 of 72 Old 09-06-2006, 12:21 AM
 
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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.
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