Ceiling Fixer Andy had heard of the demand for his skills in New Zealand and decided to attend a This Is New Zealand Seminar to find out more. After a successful interview, it wasn’t long before he was in NZ on a Work Visa! Now Andy has a Permanent Residency Visa, and he tells us all about his journey…



Executive Assistant Nicola and Carpenter Kent had dreamed of finding a better work-life balance down under, and after attending various shows their sights set on New Zealand. With a job offer in place, their journey began...



Excavator Operator and Truck Driver Steven Hughes wanted a change of scenery, so contacted Migration Associates about working in New Zealand. With the help of New Zealand Skills In Demand, an interview was set up with an employer...

Liza and Trevor Riggien - Welder - Work Visa

Liza and Trevor Riggien - Welder - Work Visa

What made you choose New Zealand - were there any other countries you considered?

We choose New Zealand because my sister and brother in law have been here for 6 years. There was no other countries just New Zealand.

What was your main motivation for migrating?

We have a 2 and half year old boy and we knew there will not be opportunities for him and it was not safe anymore in South Africa.

What were the initial steps you took? Did you attend any Webinars or Seminars?

We did attend the webinars and it was so inspiring. We also looked into the skills on the list.

How long did the process take from evaluation form to arriving in New Zealand?

About 3 months for me and my husband and another couple of months for our son, about 5 months all together.

Was there anything unexpected or difficult that you came across?

No nothing every worked out great and had so much help from Christine Yap and Borey Chum from the Migration Associates NZ office.

Now you're in New Zealand, what's life like? How does it compare, and in particular Trevor's work as a Welder?

It is good we are so happy. Our son is in a kindergarten and I got a job. It is definitely different as it was in South Africa and the housing is I think the most expensive thing of all. But we found a great place in Wattle downs, a bit small but feels like home. 

Lisa and Peter Hambleton - Electrician, Work Visa / Residency Visa

Lisa and Peter Hambleton - Electrician, Work Visa / Residency Visa

What made you initially decide to look to move down under?

We came for a ‘once in a lifetime’ touring holiday in March 2010, and just fell totally in love with New Zealand, in particular the South Island, something just clicked for us.

What appealed to you about New Zealand?

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It’s not something we can quite put our fingers on, there were a lot of things we liked, the friendliness and openness of the people we met, the lack of crowds / traffic, and of course the stunning landscapes. 

We felt it offered a better, more balanced lifestyle for ourselves and especially our young son, with better weather so more time outside enjoying the things we already enjoyed doing, like tramping, camping and exploring, but also lots of opportunities to discover things we hadn’t tried before, like surfing and water sports.

There seemed to be less pressure to ‘fit the mold’ and more focus on achieving the ‘work life balance’ that we were struggling to find in the UK.

What steps did you initially take to start the process?

Its taken us a long time to finally make the move - Initially we started looking into the move when we got back, in 2011 we went to the NZ Expo in Manchester, and had some initial discussions about how we fit the requirements, how many points we would be likely to meet etc, but then we had to put the move on hold due to family commitments.

A change in circumstances in 2015 allowed us the opportunity to return to New Zealand and we decided that we would use the visit to confirm our long held wish to move, and focus the visit on exploring the Christchurch and the top of the South Island.

While planning the visit we completed the online assessment with Migration Associates, and started discussing what we would need to do next, they put us in touch with Skills in Demand, who recommended that Peter complete the EWRB Certificate through GB Construction Training before seeking work and the Visa.

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While in Christchurch we met up with Glenn from Skills in Demand for a coffee, and it was great to have that chat,  he reassured Peter that he would be welcomed, and have no problem on the work front so we decided that we were going to go for it.

We were also fortunate being able to attend one of the Seminars in Manchester and were able to meet Rachael and various partners, so gathered a lot of information and contacts from that, such as banking and currency transfers.  I also logged onto a couple of the online sessions, again getting great information and contacts.

How did Peter find completing the NZ Electrical qualification? 

It’s a long time since Peter qualified in the UK and it is daunting to go back to study after such a break, the coursework is incredibly demanding especially when juggling it with working full time and family life.  The course in London was very intense, they cram a lot into a very short time. Peter felt that the tutor really understood the NZ regulations and the standard required to pass the EWRB course and ensured that everyone on the course had that knowledge.

Having his licence has made the transition so easy, Peter had a job offer immediately which made getting the Work Visa straight forward, and he has been able to go into work as soon as we arrived doing work at a similar level of challenge and interest as he did in the UK.

Was there anything unexpected, or complicated? How did Migration Associates help?

We have been really lucky – the visa was straight forward and Rachael and the team were brilliant in guiding us with the documents needed when and how to get them. 

So far the biggest challenges have been getting things sorted such as shipping our belongs in the container and the urgent delivery of Peter's tools so he could start work, again we used one of Migration Associates recommended partners – PSS Removals, who guided us through the process, I think the most challenging thing was doing the customs paperwork for the tools whilst battling the fog of jet lag and stopping in a lodge on the campsite.

We’re now onto our Residency Visa, again Borey and the team here in Christchurch have made it so easy, a minor issue with a missing x-ray as Lewis had had a birthday was sorted in a couple of hours.

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What’s life like now in New Zealand – as you expected? What’s very different to the UK?

From day one of moving here we have felt so at home, it’s hard to explain, to us it feels very familiar or as we say 'same but different’... Different names for things, or different options in the supermarket but not total new....

At the moment (6 months in...) it still feels like we are living the dream, life for us is much easier than in the UK.   

We found a great house to rent, near to a good school and easy to get around from.  Lewis is enjoying a his new school and has settled in well, he can walk there and back so enjoys that extra freedom.  We’ve both found work at a similar level to what we were doing in the UK,  and we spend much less time in the car and more time at home - commuting to work is down to 15 mins each way (over an hour each way in the UK).  

We do so much more as a family on a weekend, we’re at the beach or exploring one of Christchurch’s many reserves, visiting Orana, riding the Trams, or the Gondola – sometimes all in one day, everything is so close and easy to get to.  We’ve even managed to see New Zealand play in the Rugby League World cup.

The hardest thing is missing friends and family, especially over Christmas – although cooking a Turkey in 30 degree heat was a novelty for us, its that we cant just drop in for a drink or a chat, and the time difference can make calling the UK a challenge, but there are so many ways to keep in touch – Skype and Facetime are great, and that are lots of tools now to help.

What’s the work like over in New Zealand for electricians?

I think having the licence ensured Peter would have work that suited his experience, he has a lot of experience in industrial electrical work and has been able to utilise those skills here.  The EWRB regulations are different to the UK and having gained that knowledge has helped, on a practical level the experience from the course was also good preparation for understanding the different accessories, and materials he would be using on site, not to mention the Kiwi names for things.

Case Study: Gary Pidock, Essential Skills Visa

Case Study: Gary Pidock, Essential Skills Visa

What was the initial appeal of New Zealand?

The outdoors, the mountains and the pure beauty of the country.

What helped you decide to proceed with migration?

I heard people who moved here before say how nice it is, how much more laid back it is, a better lifestyle, friendly people and lots of hiking, mountain biking and skiing which I love.

What type of visa did you go for?

I got an Essential Skills Visa valid for 3 years.

Now that you're in New Zealand, how are you finding your new life?

I love life here, still getting to know people but looking forward to exploring more. There's so much to do here and I'm not as stressed as I was in the UK as I'm not working as many hours.

What advice would you give anyone thinking about moving to New Zealand?

My advice is if you love the outdoors then do it. It's a lot more laid back and not as stressful. The country is one of the most beautiful in the world.


I recently went for a hike in the hills near me and it was stunning, so here's a "selfie" from there. It felt like I was stood on top of the world; clean crisp air, the faint smell of log fire in the air, cold pure blue sky & the winter sun. So peaceful.

Case Study: Roger & Lorna Stone

Case Study: Roger & Lorna Stone

Working long hours at stressful jobs in the UK, Construction Project Manager Roger and Hairdresser Lorna were finding it difficult to find quality family time, and began seeking a better work-life balance. They attended the Down Under Live show and spoke to Borey Chum at Migration Associates – it was then that they were able to plan a new life in New Zealand. 

Case Study: Adam Ludlam

Case Study: Adam Ludlam

What initially appealed to you about New Zealand?

We certainly never looked at any other destinations - the reason New Zealand appealed so much to us was due to a more appealing work life balance, better job prospects and opportunities, the better climate. Hannah's brother and family have lived out in Auckland for 20 years and that also helped the settling in a lot easier, and seeing there more outdoor lifestyle visiting beeches, camping etc.

Tell us about the journey you took from your initial interest through to the move. 

3 months after visiting New Zealand on holiday in November 2013 we both went to Down Under Live at Birmingham and the 1st stall we went to was Migration Associates just as we walked in the main hall, they asked a group of questions to see how eligible we were and sent us a full report within the following week. We also visited TINZ seminar in Manchester and then finally another one in Manchester later that year put on by migration associates where we then committed to the move. The whole decision/researching process took around 18 months.

How was the visa process for you?

As soon as we had committed to using Borey's team we were assigned a fantastic consultant in Rachael who was very detailed and helped us through out the process, she was always on hand to answer our calls or emails. There was a fair bit of information she required to make our application go through 1st time with no hiccups. From the minute the application was submitted it took 2/3 weeks for our passports to return stamped, this was shorter time than NZ's official website had advised which was great. Rachael even managed to line me up 2 interviews one with New Zealand Skills in Demand via Skype and the other with a company in Auckland having made the decision to travel alone for 2 weeks in search of the job offer I needed to complete our visa applications.

As an engineer, how are you finding work in NZ?

The construction industry is certainly in a transitional period in regards to safety, planning management and up-skilling staff, things we take for granted in the U.K sometimes be seen as a new idea to some companies in New Zealand. The terminology and type of materials can be found quite a challenge and certainly different to the UK. There are many brands for very similar products but this just takes time and with many overseas trades in NZ the kiwis are never really surprised if you don't understand some terminology and are usually quick to support you with some light-hearted banter. I would definitely recommend visiting a plumbing merchant and just picking up a few brochures or even talking to the counter staff. I was fortunate to have my employer take me out to visit some jobs and staff before deciding to accept there job offer(highly recommended) Although I have changed employer from my initial application due to one reason or another the prospects in NZ finding a new employer are fantastic and this was done in just 2 weeks

How are you and your partner finding life in NZ?

We find more time for each other now and have a stronger bond from the whole experience, it certainly took at least 6 months to settle and get used to the change in commodity costs in both for and against. I.e. house prices/rent are dearer but fuel costs less. Our weekends seem planned weeks in advance for all the places we'd like to see and things we'd like to do. We have made many new friends through our jobs. Hannah took just 3 weeks to finding a job with a company called flight centre new Zealand's voted number one employer, she is doing a very similar role as in the U.K. In travel retail. Certainly the biggest struggle has been missing our family's and friends back in the U.K. but morning and evening Skype calls definitely help bridge the gap. We look pretty certain to make the move permanent at some point purely based on better life we would have if we were to raise a family which we plan to do.

Case Study: Richard & Elaine Mountford

Case Study: Richard & Elaine Mountford

What made you choose New Zealand as a destination?

We first considered immigrating to New Zealand back in the 1990’s, so we already knew a lot about New Zealand from talking to various friends who had visited or lived here, and from our own investigations. We wanted to live in a country that offered better weather, great scenery, friendly people, a much lower population density, and affordable living.

How did you start your journey?

In September 2010 I attended an event at the Motor Cycle Museum in Birmingham (Down Under Live), where Migration Associates had a stand. MA provided all the information, guidance and in-depth knowledge we needed to obtain our visas. At two stages of the process we hit stumbling blocks: once early on when additional professional accreditation was required, and later when one part of the acceptability requirements changed unexpectedly. MA’s assistance was invaluable in finding a suitable route forward in both instances. Without MA’s help we would probably not have persisted beyond the initial problem.

Now you’re in New Zealand, how are you settling in?

Very well. We had decided in advance that we wanted to get involved in local activities, wherever we ended up living. We went out into the local community and did just that. The people here have been welcoming, helpful, friendly, and encouraging. We feel especially fortunate that all those things we wanted to pursue have been available locally, and we feel at home here.

Did you have any expectations of New Zealand life? Is it meeting those expectations?

We expected the pace of life to be slower than that in the UK, and we thought that the sense of community would be stronger. In terms of being involved in local community activities, our expectations have been exceeded. In addition the weather is as good as we had hoped! We appreciate the snow-free winters, and we love the long hot summers.

Do you have any tips for people considering New Zealand as a place to live?

Think carefully about your temperament. Outside of the cities such as Auckland, Hamilton, Wellington and Christchurch, the pace of life is certainly slower than the UK, and some may find it too quiet. New Zealand is a sparsely populated country, and though it is well-developed, it cannot offer the range and scope of entertainments or industries that America or Europe can, Therefore, sometimes you will need to travel long distances to take advantage of events that you would usually enjoy locally, and work opportunities (depending on your area of expertise) can be correspondingly scarce. Do your homework on the climate of North and South Islands – there is a considerable difference between them!
If you like friendly, down to earth people, enjoy quiet roads and stunning scenery, and are prepared to join in with your community, then you will “get” New Zealand, just as we have.

Case Study: Kotze Family

Case Study: Kotze Family

What were the main drivers in your decision to emigrate?

Our main driving factor was to create a better life for our children.

Did you always have your heart set on New Zealand? 

Once we started doing research we found that new Zealand had the most to offer in terms of education for the children. Also, we love the great outdoors and in terms of that you will struggle to find a more beautiful county with limitless options for outdoor experiences.

How did you decide how to proceed?

We saw the Webinar advertised on Facebook, signed up and 'attended' the session. As Borey was willing to share all the required information without us having to pay anything initially it helped us work through our thought process before committing to anything. 

What visa options did you have?

We had our own small business in SA and considered coming over with on a Business Visa. Borey advised us to consider an alternative visa option as this would be a very expensive and complicated route for our situation. It was necessary to prove that I had 5 years relevant work experience that was in line with the job offer that I would receive. My employer also needed to show that this position could not be filled from within NZ in a certain time frame. With Borey’s help they approved a 5 year work visa under essential skill level 1.

Now you're in New Zealand, does it live up to your expectations?

NZ far exceeds our expectations. They are very focused on young children and there is really a lot for them to do. Children participate in outdoor activities and sports. One of the most amazing things for me was the library. They have a massive selection for children and the quality of content is amazing. There is almost always some or other community programme on. A visit to the doctor also far exceeded our expectations. They were very throughout with the examinations and reluctant to prescribe medications unnecessarily.

Case Study: Jade & Joe

Case Study: Jade & Joe

Administrator Jade & Carpenter Joe had always wanted to travel the world. After attending a Down Under Live show and meeting Migration Associates and New Zealand Skills in Demand, they settled on the idea of migrating to New Zealand. Nine months later after Joe had secured a job, the couple were living in Christchurch. 

Read their full case study.

Case Study: Lyndsey Brooks

Case Study: Lyndsey Brooks

Lyndsey Brooks, a Veterinary Nurse, and her family began considering the idea of living somewhere other than the UK. They were looking for an improved lifestyle, a better climate and to get away from the ‘rat race’, and settled on the idea of New Zealand.  In her own words, Lyndsey talks about her decision making process, visas, job hunting, and how the family are finally living the dream.

Read the full case study.

Case Study: Steven & Clare

Case Study: Steven & Clare

People from all over the UK are seizing the unique opportunity to start a new life in New Zealand, and helping rebuild Christchurch to its former vibrancy after the devastation of the earthquake in 2010. This is the story of Carpenter Steven and his family, and how they are planning on buying a plot of land and building their dream home in New Zealand.

Read the full story here.

Case Study: NZ Skills In Demand

Case Study: NZ Skills In Demand

We partner with New Zealand Skills in Demand, who specialise in matching skilled individuals from around the world into positions with New Zealand organisations, across a multitude of sectors. Here, Joel Gabites explains the types of roles that are in high demand in New Zealand, and the government’s plans to help build a great lifestyle for skilled migrants who seek a New Zealand lifestyle. 

Read the full article here.

Case Study: Johnathan & Gwyneth

Case Study: Johnathan & Gwyneth

After Johnathan and Gwyneth’s daughter Anna took a job in Wellington New Zealand, the couple were faced with the prospect of not seeing their children (or grandchildren) regularly. After a 3 week visit to the country, they began investigating also moving to New Zealand and engaged Migration Associates to assist them with obtaining residency under the Family Category - Parent Policy. The couple talk about their new lifestyle, job opportunities, housing and education in their new home, the beautiful coastal town of Porirua. 

Read the full article here.

Case Study: Roger & Lorna Stone

Case Study: Roger & Lorna Stone

Working long hours at stressful jobs in the UK, Construction Project Manager Roger and Hairdresser Lorna were finding it difficult to find quality family time, and began seeking a better work-life balance. They attended the Down Under Live show and spoke to Borey Chum at Migration Associates – it was then that they were able to plan a new life in New Zealand. 

Hear the story of their move to the Canterbury region.

Case Study: Joanne & Scott

Case Study: Joanne & Scott

Joanne and her husband Scott, a Quantity Surveyor, loved to travel and regularly spoke about experiencing life outside the UK. After a few tough years during the recession, the couple decided the time was right to explore their opportunities, and met with Borey Chum from Migration Associates at a Down Under Live event. Here the couple talk about the research they carried out before leaving, job hunting, and how they achieved residency after only three months from their application.

Read the full case study here.

Case Study: Working Holiday Visa

Case Study: Working Holiday Visa

More young people than ever are packing their backpacks and travelling to New Zealand for a year’s working holiday. This visa scheme allows young people to spend 12 months working in the country, giving a perfect opportunity to get a taste of New Zealand life. An increasing number of travellers are finding that the lifestyle, culture and weather is just too hard to resist, using the experience to make their move permanent.

Read the full article here.

Case Study: Nick Shaw

Case Study: Nick Shaw

What made you decide on New Zealand as a destination to live and work?

We have two sons, both in their late 30's and they have been residents of NZ for some years. We had been finding it increasingly hard making the journey to see them and have been six times in the last 10 years. In November 2013 following a family discussion we decided to seek approval for a Parent Category Visa.

Tell us about your Visa process.

There is a strict annual quota for this category of visa and in order to stand the best chance we decided to seek professional assistance. Migration Associates seemed best suited, particularly with Borey Chum's NZ qualification and his intimate knowledge of the procedures. Through the process Borey took a keen personal interest and was backed up by his staff. There were some NZ Immigration health queries which following MA advice were quickly resolved.

How are you settling into life in New Zealand and what is like to be close to your NZ family?

We have been to New Zealand a number of times involving lengthy stays with family and were therefore already acquainted with the Kiwi's attitude. We have not been disappointed with everyone being very welcoming including dog walkers, (yes we took 2 dogs!) local professionals (including the GP) and even strangers in the shops. And of course we speak most days to our sons and they come to stay in our new home in Waikanae when appropriate.

What is the key difference between life in the UK and life in NZ which is so attractive?

People here seem so much more relaxed and friendly with an interest in you. Some years ago a Dutch B&B proprietor said to me when we were discussing emigration "we're all immigrants here". We certainly have been most welcomed and do not feel out of place.

What advice would you give to those looking to live & work in NZ in the future?

My advice to anyone thinking of emigrating to New Zealand is don't concern yourself with the emigration process but employ a good experienced agent. The cost is minimal in the scheme of things. But get here as it's different, but not that different!

Case Study: Keith & Claire Timmins

Case Study: Keith & Claire Timmins

Keith & Claire Timmins first became aware of work opportunities in New Zealand after hearing a radio broadcast for the Down Under Live show in 2013. They always had their heart set on Australia but after the Expo they saw the opportunities in New Zealand for Scaffolders. Here's the story of their journey from an idea, through to their new life in New Zealand...

Read the full case study here