Advice and Support for South Africans Immigrating to New Zealand

South Africans Going To New Zealand

Author Topic: Which city to choose?  (Read 1792 times)

Offline chrisg29

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Which city to choose?
« on: August 20, 2013, 03:39:32 pm »
Hi Guys,

I just recently started thinking about moving to NZ. Initially I'd always had Australia in mind, but the more I read about NZ, the more eager I am to have a look. It'll probably be another 2 years before I can wrap things up here and make the move, but I thought I'd start looking into it now. I don't have any huge reason pushing me to leave SA, I don't like the crime and all that, but I'm more interested in making a change and experiencing a different country. I'm 32, still single with no kids, so I'd like to stay in a city that's not too quiet, but also not a city that's too crazy (I'm not a fan of big city life).

I came across a company that would more than likely make it possible for me to move over and walk into a job (http://www.qualit.co.nz/move-to-nz/) and I see they offer work in 4 different cities:

 - Hamilton
 - Auckland
 - Christchurch
 - Wellington

I'd just like to know people's thoughts on the different cities? I don't know anything about the different cities, all I've heard so far is that Auckland is very crowded and busy and Christchurch has earthquakes.

Offline cal5

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Re: Which city to choose?
« Reply #1 on: August 20, 2013, 08:53:53 pm »
Hi Chris

Welcome !, and let me quickly burst your bubble for you.

2 years from now  lot of things will have changed and those jobs would have been filled. Has a quick look at those links you posted an none of those jobs have a date to them, so for all intent the company in question is just fishing for CV's. Rather have a look at seek.co.nz / trademe.co.nz to get a better idea of what jobs are out there.

The days of NZ companies waiting for months for foreigners to turn up to start working are long gone, to many companies have been burned by offering a job, and then the new employee not turning up. These days it is a huge exception for a NZ company waiting longer then 30 odd days for a new employee to start working. As the IT market is going at the moment, there are more contract positions going then permanent placements. And contract does not give you the golden "PR" ticket, hardly a WP.

Choosing a city before getting a job is a bit of a gamble, i would say for at least the 1st 5 years of landing in NZ, go to where the jobs are, even if it means you have to go work in Bluff at the bottom of the south island.

Lastly, not wrong doing your planning now, but by the tone of your posting, it seems you have not quite made your mind up, have seen it to many times of people not in the correct mindset, they come to NZ, 6 - 12 months later, they hate it and go back to RSA and we have all heard the story and drama.

Best of luck.



SA Going to NZ Advice Forum

Re: Which city to choose?
« Reply #1 on: August 20, 2013, 08:53:53 pm »

Offline chrisg29

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Re: Which city to choose?
« Reply #2 on: August 21, 2013, 09:02:30 am »
Hi Cal,

I don't expect the company to keep a job for me for 2 years, it was just nice to see that the option is open to me. I've looked on the sites you mentioned and there were pages of jobs for what I do in all the cities I looked at. Another friend of mine who moved over there a few years ago and is working in the industry as a manager of a team of developers said the company he works for is desperate for software testers... so I don't think finding work is going to be a problem.

As for not having made my mind up yet, of course I haven't, that's why I'm here, to find out more. As I said, I still have things to wrap up here over the next 2 years before moving is an option for me. I've got no problem with SA, so if I really didn't like living in NZ then I would just come back, that wouldn't be an issue for me.

Back to my point, I'd like to hear people's stories on what their thoughts are on the different cities? If people have lived in them or done some research? What do people think?

Offline SA3001

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Re: Which city to choose?
« Reply #3 on: August 21, 2013, 09:43:48 pm »
Hard to answer your question without knowing what your lifestyle is.  We also don't like big cities and have found Wellington to be the perfect choice in terms of size, population and life style.  It's not known as the coolest little capital in the world for nothing  :)  Here you have the city which is nice and compact in a beautiful setting (bit like a smaller version of Cape Town) as well as all the nature and outdoor activities you could dream of.  It's not crowded like Auckland and has so much character.  It's not a soulless concrete jungle.  Love the people here too.  Public transport is the best in the country - you can get just about anywhere by train or bus.  Because of the rail links, it makes it easy to live in places like the gorgeous Kapiti Coast and commute (48km) into the city for work. 

Yes, we have earthquakes and the risk here may be higher than some other places and sometimes the weather can be awful in winter when the southerly blows.  Having said that, we've just had a really mild winter with not much wind at all.  There is always plenty of rain in NZ no matter where you live.  And nobody will disagree that there is nothing like Wellington on a beautiful day.  Our winters are pretty similar to Cape Town weather.  I love summer here as we don't have humidity, just lovely sunny days not spent sweltering in temps of 30 and above.

Hope this helps and  :gl:

Offline Johan01

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Re: Which city to choose?
« Reply #4 on: August 31, 2013, 10:16:27 pm »
Christchurch .. nice rural .. not big not small either .. can be very shaky at times .. can be very cold and wet .. and then be, at times, very hot and dry .. the inner city is at this stage basically no more, but there's a new one to come .. so this is where all the excitement is ..

Offline Crusader

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Re: Which city to choose?
« Reply #5 on: September 01, 2013, 04:15:45 am »
Agree with Johan, Christchurch, beautiful, rural feeling, shakes is here, we learnt to live with it, best of all, it's Canterbury, and Canterbury is Crusader valley....

You will get different weather in all parts of NZ, but the South Island has a special feeling about it, which I prefer to Auckland, where I lived for nearly 3 years.

Finding a job in Christchurch might be a battle though. Although the rebuild is only starting now, jobs are not as easy to find than in Auckland, but nothing is impossible.

Offline zatexnz

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Re: Which city to choose?
« Reply #6 on: September 01, 2013, 07:31:59 am »
Firstly,  :welcome: :)

It is definitely easier to move around and check out countries, if you don't have a wife and family.  So doing it now (meaning anytime in the next 2 yrs) is a good option.
As Cal5 said, it generally is where the job is that you will settle. ALTHOUGH... it could mean that you get stuck in that city and may not be happy there... but it's not to say you can't move again, just harder sometimes.
I have not lived in all 4 major cities, but I've visited them and have friends in all.  I am myself based in Hamilton.  I'll try to give you as objective an overview as possible, from the bit that I know.

Auckland.
It's the main city. It's like the Jhb of NZ.  If you find work there, you do not want to live too close to the CBD.  Many live on the North Shore areas and commute into the city.  Of course you may find a job on the North Shore, and not have to commute!  It has wonderful beaches, and apart from the very occasional tornado, weather is not bad at all.  Living costs are very high though.  Property is through the roof, and that is mostly because a great many Asians are coming in, and buying at the auctions and bidding it up sky high.  And from what you've posted, you probably wont like the CBD too much. 

Hamilton
The population is about 150K - 160K.  Small CBD and not too much happening if you're a party-goer. But it is a lovely little city central to a lot places with plenty of outdoor things to do:  Auckland 1.5 hrs away, Tauranga 1hr, Rotorua 1hr, Taupo 2 hrs, Raglan 30-45min, Otorohanga and the Waitomo caves 1.5hr.  Generally a much more agricultural community - surrounded by farmland.  Also surrounded by hills on all sides, which protects it from severe weather.  We also don't have earthquakes or volcanoes nearby... oh I forgot to tell you, Auckland is built on about 40 volcanoes (dormant though!  >:D ).  But it may be harder to find jobs here than in some of the other cities (not impossible at all though!). 

Wellington
This is the city that is closest to Cape Town in comparison.  It is nestled between the mountains and the sea and gets the gale-force winds just like in the Cape.  I have not spent enough time there to give a good opinion, but it is the capital of the country and jobs are available.  If you like wind, you'll like Wellies (yes, I know this last winter was mild, but you can't use that as your measuring stick!).  Many people are very happy there.

Christchurch
Yes it's shaky.  But that doesn't mean the rest of the country isn't, or won't become so over time.  The whole of NZ lies on the faultline, so it's something you accept.  Although I really think those in CHch are rather shook up at the moment.  BUT this also means that there is a lot of work available with the rebuilding and all.  We visited there 2 yrs ago, one week before the big one, and it was a lovely place.  Loved the historical buildings and all.   Anywhere on the South Island is a lot wetter than the rest of the country, and even though we were touring in Feb, which is supposed to be the best time to go, we had rain almost all of the 2.5 weeks of travel!  So personally, I could not live there.  Nelson though, is supposed to have the most sun of the whole country.  It's a small town on the north end of South Island. 

Tauranga
"Toronga" is how they pronounce it - sort of...
This is in the Bay of Plenty area, and I quite liked that area.  It's very much a tourist/resort town, and has one of the major ports, so there are jobs available, but obviously not as much as in the big cities.  If I had a choice and didn't mind uprooting my kids from where we are now, that's where I'd like to live.  I love the beaches at Mount Maunganui and even on a public holiday, it was not crowded!! 

Hawkes Bay
This is another nice area to look at.  Napier is the main city there and prides itself in being the Art Deco city of the country.  The beach there is made up of large smooth black pebbles - not the type that you'd take your beach brolly to and tan.  But the area there is really lovely.  My sister lives in Hastings - a smaller town to the south-west of Napier, and they are very happy there.  Weather is reasonable. 

Don't forget Palmerston North and New Plymouth, or even Whangarei!

I would say that you must not limit yourself to just the big cities.  As Cal5 said, even if you land up in some extremely remote town, if you get a job there, it's at least your foot in the door.

Just one other thing to consider.  South Island is more remote, but stunningly beautiful.  If you land up there, travelling to NI is very expensive.  It's very much more laid back and "small town" than many places on North Island.  When we did our tour of SI in 2011, my hubby asked me where I'd like to settle, if jobs/money was not an issue.  I thought about it and decided I'd still prefer NI, because I have two sisters up this way, and if I lived in the SI I would hardly ever see them.  At least living in Hamilton, I feel like I'm not in the concrete jungle of Auckland, but I'm central to most places if I want to travel.  We've been here 6 years, and my kids have made great friends here.  I would not uproot them again at this point.  But once they're both out of the house, I wouldn't mind retiring in the Bay of Plenty. :)

Also another tip on immigrating.  For most people, moving to another country, means taking a step back in career.  You may have to work your way up again.  It's not a given though... I'm just saying in many cases this is what happens.  People come from SA, having owned their own companies, or managed a high position, and have to start on a lower rung here.  And you will always be a foreigner.  Another thing - once you've tasted life outside of South Africa, it will be very hard to go back and "just fall in to place" again.  Many who have gone back (for whatever reason), have found it hard to find jobs again, and at the same level they left a few years before.  And sometimes (not always) friends treat you differently once you've been away for a while... These are just things to keep in mind.

Australia is apparently harder to get into than NZ, and living costs are slightly higher, but apparently the pay is better, so that many Kiwi's are traipsing across to work there, creating more vacancies here. Very hot there, but I have friends who prefer Aus to NZ, and the other way round. :)

Seeing as you have 2 years to make up your mind, you may as well get some paperwork ready that would be beneficial to have no matter what your future plans, like unabridged birth certificate, job references, qualifications in English.   :)
lekker sweet as, y'all
~ Colleen

SA Going to NZ Advice Forum

Re: Which city to choose?
« Reply #6 on: September 01, 2013, 07:31:59 am »

Offline Sherelee

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Re: Which city to choose?
« Reply #7 on: September 01, 2013, 10:09:16 pm »
Hiya and :gl2:

Awesome reply, Wizard  :smitten:

Offline ARELEENE4

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Re: Which city to choose?
« Reply #8 on: October 29, 2013, 09:05:55 am »
 :clap: Thank you Zatexnz! that really helps me. we accept that we must go where the work is but your breakdown gives us a better idea of where to aim. Awesome ;D Passports: Hurry up already :tickedoff:
17/10/13 Passports applied for.
22/10/13 UBC applied for.
05/11/13 Passports received.
10/11/13 Hubby approved decision on LSD
27/11/13 Booked tickets for LSD
11/02/14 Police clearance couriered to pta
18/02/14 Meds & xray done