Top Tips for moving to New Zealand
Moving To New Zealand – Things To Consider
New Zealand is considered one of the top expat destinations and it’s not hard to see why, with its stunning vistas, wide-open spaces and superior quality of life. But the reality is there’s more to expat life than the great outdoors and a different way of living. With this in mind, here we look into some of the less obvious aspects to think about when relocating to New Zealand, so you can be sure you’ve got all bases covered, beyond buying your ticket and arranging your visa.
First and foremost when you’re moving abroad you’ll need to find somewhere to live. A good place to start is by renting first. This will allow you to get a feel for different areas and spend more time checking out the real estate market.
If you are buying a house, you can do so without residency, but unlike some countries, the Sale and Purchase agreement is legally binding, so once it’s signed you can’t back out. Always seek legal advice before you get to this stage and be doubly sure this is the right purchase for you.
If you’re moving from the UK, you’ll be used to the good old NHS, which is state funded and readily available, but head to New Zealand and it’s a whole different ball game. You never know when you might need medical attention, so make sure you have health insurance to cover it and be prepared to pay for doctor’s appointments, prescriptions and even ambulances.
If you’ve done some research you’ll know that New Zealand lies between the Pacific and Australian tectonic plates and is often subject to earthquakes and tremors. The locals tend to just go with the flow and often don’t notice minor ones, but it’s worth knowing about shakes in the area you’re moving to, so you can be prepared.
Generally life in New Zealand is relaxed, which is what makes it so appealing to many expats, but when it comes to working it can take some getting used to. Bear in mind that work environments will be a lot more relaxed with very little working hierarchal structure either, so if you need pressure and structure to keep you going, this might not be the place for you.
The overall cost of living in New Zealand is quite high. As an island nation anything that can’t be sourced on the island is going to be expensive to get hold of due to the cost of importing it, but if you adjust your mentality to living off local produce, recycling and reusing you can easily save yourself a few bucks.
Have a long hard think about where you want to be and what type of weather floats your boat. New Zealand has numerous climates from subtropical in the North to Artic in the South, so depending on what you’re into choose wisely.
If you’ve relocated to New Zealand or you’re planning on doing so, please feel free to share your stories so others can learn from your experiences too.