The below one of our customers shares her personal account of moving to New Zealand:
My family emigrated to New Zealand from South Africa just over 7 years ago. My husband was offered a good job near Dunedin on South Island. With employment opportunities for whites in South African dwindling each day, he decided the opportunity was too good to miss. I come from a close family with five siblings, all of whom live in South Africa. My two daughters, who were aged 13 and 16 at the time, had grown up in a small rural community and had close friends and family nearby. Everyone, except my husband, was devastated at the thought of leaving pets and people behind.
Daughters, friends and pets
My elder daughter had been a keen rider since she was old enough to sit on a horse. She also had a pony and a horse which we kept in a paddock on our property. And, then, there was the cat!!! We were fortunate that a close friend kindly offered to look after the horse, pony and cat, but it still meant leaving loved animals behind. My elder daughter was absolutely impossible from the time she heard about the move, until we arrived in New Zealand, five months later. My younger daughter was sad but put on a brave face and even admitted that she was looking forward to the adventure.
Fast Forward Five Months
My husband left for New Zealand two months before his three girls followed him. This meant that he had already organised a home, car and schools by the time we arrived. That made life so much easier for all of us. After many sad farewells (and lots of packing!), we boarded our Air New Zealand flight and began our journey to a new life. It was a long trip, but we were delighted to be reunited as a family. My husband had done well, not only had he organised the home, car and schools, he’d leased a horse. My elder daughter took one look at this beautiful creature and all the pain of leaving South Africa was gone. From day one, both my daughters embraced their new lifestyle and friends and are very happy with their new lives and, have strong New Zealand accents to prove it.
We found the standard of education was great and neither of my daughters had any problems with studying in New Zealand. My one daughter is now a teacher and the other is at university studying business management and accounting. They are happy, well balanced young ladies with a group of great friends.
Leisure and Lifestyle
One of the things we love about South Island is the winter sports. Coming from Africa, skiing on your doorstep is something dreams are made of. That said, we also enjoy the sea, the endless beaches and spectacular scenery. South Africans and New Zealanders both like-minded of the great outdoors, so we soon made like-minded friends who would join us on our weekend outings.
South Africans and New Zealanders also share a passion for rugby, so we felt at home the minute we arrived. Braais (barbecues) are an important part of every South African’s life so we were delighted to find our adopted country also embraced this sociable event, especially given all the fantastic meat you can get here.
Our family was welcomed by everyone we met. Kiwis are generally relaxed and friendly and want you to enjoy their country to the fullest. They certainly made our move, which started off on such a low note, a resounding success for all of us. Thank you New Zealand.