New Zealand is one of the loveliest countries in the world. It has innumerable stunning landscapes that make for unforgettable experiences. The country has a low crime rate, there is very little corruption, its people are friendly, and it is a peaceful country, tucked away from the rest of the world. If you are planning to move to New Zealand, for whatever period of time, you need to plan well to make the most of your stay here. Many things can go wrong if you are not prepared. Here are ten mistakes to avoid when moving to New Zealand.
Not Prioritising the Objectives
You need a logical plan of action and list of priorities, depending on your circumstances. You may be moving for a job or to study; you might be a retired expat or coming to explore business opportunities. So, begin with the basics. Identify where you will live, whether you want to rent or buy a house, and what you will do for a job. You need to plan for the complete duration of your time in the country, especially if your move is a permanent one.
Not Comparing the Places
Of course, your place of residence will be determined if you have a pre-arranged job or have enrolled in a particular university. But for those of you who have the freedom of choice, such factors as employment opportunities, lifestyle, climate and accommodation costs will influence your decision. New Zealand is a small country, so careful consideration of options is critical. In general, the major cities, such as Auckland and Wellington, are the most expensive, though some of the smaller ones, like Tauranga, are fast catching up. How you intend to live, what kind of work you are qualified for, whether the location is conducive to your desired lifestyle, are just some of the factors you will need to take into account.
Not Studying the Cost of Living
This is one of the most common mistakes people make when moving to New Zealand. While not one of the world’s most expensive countries, the cost of living may be significantly higher than where you currently reside. Real estate is quite expensive, as is food, and wages and salaries lag behind some other countries, though this is gradually changing, due to comparatively low unemployment across most sectors. The cost of living can impact heavily on your situation, so you need to be mindful of your capital base, earning capability, and day to day living costs when considering your chosen destination. This will vary from urban to rural locations, town to town, and even within the same city.
Not Researching the New Zealand Job Market
New Zealand is a fairly prosperous society but it does not have a massive economy. The job market is modest at best. There are jobs that pay well but you may not secure one immediately, and there are places in the country where jobs are in short supply. You may have to spend months searching for a job and the one you get may not carry a high wage or salary.. There are places where you may find employment easily but where appropriate accommodation is scarce. This is especially true in tourist locations. It’s essential that you thoroughly research the job market in New Zealand before you decide to move.
Not Calculating Exact Cost of Real Estate
If you are living in any of the smaller cities or towns across the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, or Australia you can expect to pay a higher rent for a similar property in parts of New Zealand. Those moving from New York, London, Toronto, Sydney or Melbourne will not have the same experience. However, this is an element needing careful research. There is an abundance of material available on the internet which will help you in this respect.
Not Sorting the Personal Paperwork
Moving to a different country involves lots of paperwork. New Zealand is no exception. You will need a visa, bank records, flight details, credit reports, character references, police records, professional recommendations, curriculum vitae, driving licence, educational certificates, car insurance papers, birth certificates and proof of marriage. The list goes on! You may also have to provide current bank statements to verify your present financial condition. And don’t make the mistake some people surprisingly make and include such documents in with your household shipment – keep them with you – you’re going to need them pretty well immediately after your arrival!
Not Booking Flights in Advance
There are two reasons why you should book early. The first one is obvious. By booking your flights as early as possible you stand a chance of getting cheaper fares. The second reason for booking well ahead is to allow yourself sufficient time to attend to all the myriad issues you face in packing up and leaving. Don’t put yourself under needless extra pressure through time constraints. One very important point you need to know when booking flights to New Zealand – you cannot enter the country before the entry date shown in your visa. You are not obliged to arrive on the exact date shown, and can enter at a later time. Many people find later dates to be more convenient. By allowing yourself this flexibility you can choose the cheapest day of the week to fly, and even the cheapest route.
Not Planning your Transportation mode
If you plan to live in a central city location, you may choose not to buy a car, as public transport may meet your requirements. It’s true to say however that most people do need a car, even if just for weekend excursions. The new and used car market in New Zealand is quite extensive, with a wide selection of makes and models, generally at competitive prices. If you are buying a second hand car you will find wider and possibly cheaper options in the cities as opposed to rural areas. Again the internet is the ideal starting point for studying choices.
Not Thinking about Leisure, Entertainment & Recreation
After you have settled in to your new accommodation – house, flat, or apartment – city or small town – you’ll need to start adapting to the New Zealand way of life. You’ll find plenty on offer, catering to all tastes and preferences. The cities all offer a vibrant nightlife, with myriad bars, restaurants, cafes, cinemas, theatres and arts entertainment, including major acts from overseas. And even in the smaller towns, you’ll find cafes and restaurants abound. New Zealanders in general are very keen on sport – either participating or watching – so there’s always plenty of TV action to satisfy the most ardent armchair expert! You’ll also find it easy to fit in and make friends, wherever you choose to live.
Not Planning about Adapting
Acclimatisation is not a problem in New Zealand. If you are open and forthcoming, New Zealanders will respond warmly and positively. So try and make a point of getting out of your comfort zone and mixing with the locals – you’ll be a Kiwi before you know it!
Moving to New Zealand could be one of the best decisions you’ll make. And by avoiding the above pitfalls you’ll be off to a great start.