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.