Introducing Tradestaff Carpenter - Chris🔨

My name is Christopher McElroy and I came to New Zealand in January 2012 on a Working Holiday Visa. I am a UK Qualified Carpenter/Joiner and now have a Permanent position with Tradestaff. I have done a variety of jobs over the last 10 years since I have been with Tradestaff. From residential to commercial jobs to kitchen joinery and installation.

I came to NZ to utilise the WHV as they run out once you pass the age of 30. I was over in Aussie, nearly at the end of my working holiday visas and thought: ‘Why not?’

When I came to down to Christchurch, I had been travelling around and seeing what the country had to offer but I needed to get into work. Tradestaff was the first agency I went too. They were kind and friendly, got me into work straight away and have been a massive help in settling into Christchurch and making it my long term home.

Working for Tradestaff has allowed me to work in different Carpentry jobs and has opened the doors to a lot of opportunities and carpentry styles.

NZ is a fantastic place to live and work. It’s laid back and friendly. I’ve met a lot of nice people since I’ve been here. Christchurch is a lovely place to live, 20 mins to the beach, 90 mins to the closet ski fields. There is a lot of beauty to see within a few hours’ drive out of Christchurch, with mountains and lakes and a quietness that reminds me of home. I’m from Kendal in Northwest of England, right next to the Lake District, so having easy access to walks/hikes here made it easier to settle and feel like I’m home.

Tradestaff have supported me with work visas to enable me stay in NZ after my Working holiday ended and now I have successfully achieved Resident Status in New Zealand. I am extremely happy in my current role with Tradestaff as it allows me flexibility to do my 45 hours in 4.5 days, giving me Fridays afternoons to work on my own projects which I sell at a local market. I hand make all sorts of wooden chopping boards, picture frames, light cases, TV cabinets. I have the work life balance I need and see myself with Tradestaff for the foreseeable. Working permanently for an agency enables me to have both consistent and varied work.

I love living in Christchurch, having an opportunity to be a part of the rebuild post 2010/2011 earthquakes to what I am doing now, which is making kitchens, has exposed me to different work and developed my knowledge in construction that you wouldn’t get in the UK.

My favourite place I have been too is Mt Cook, near Tekapo in the South Island. On a sunny day and snow capping the peaks, it’s an incredible view. Since I have been living in NZ I have used a NZ as a base to explore the southern hemisphere.

If you’re eligible for a Working Holiday Visa, I would highly recommend using it as it’s a big commitment to move to the other side of the world, leaving friends and family behind you. You want to feel comfortable and safe before you take the next step so a Working Holiday Visa will allow you to spend time in various locations before making the decision where you want to stay longer term.

If you are not able to utilise a Working Holiday Visa, I would recommend really researching the area you are looking at living in as even the cost of living differs from town to town. I found coming to NZ as a single man great, as you have plenty of opportunities to meet new people, through work, staying in backpackers when you first arrive and joining sports teams.

I don’t think there is a myth to NZ, NZ is well thought of in the UK for being a beautiful scenic place and has blown any expectation I had, out of the water. It’s a fantastic place to live, work and play. NZ is an outdoors lifestyle country. Kiwis love being outside and on the deck with a BBQ. Kiwis love rugby and beer. NZ seems to be like a small village, someone knows someone, who knows someone, it’s quite an amazing country. ….. you never know, if you don’t try, you might regret it.

For more information on Job opportunities or visa eligibility

Talk to Tradestaff today! email the team today