The Work & Live in NZ team caught up with a couple of British Tradestaffers who have made the move to New Zealand and are now working with Tradestaff. We wanted to find out all the tips, tricks, and insights to help make your start to New Zealand as easy as possible.
What is the best place to get UK food & drink?
NZ has plenty of Brit-friendly food from fish n chips (aka fush n chups) to curries to roast dinners to Chinese and more! We’ve got all the major fast-food outlets but, sorry guys, no Greggs! We do however have excellent local bakeries who do fantastic pies – NZ’s favourite lunchtime snack.
Most pubs offer a good meal selection, usually a choice of seafood, steak, fish, chicken, lamb or beef - but carveries are not really a thing here. You can get Aunt Bessie’s Yorkshire puddings and all the supermarkets sell a range of British delicacies such as Bisto and Sarson’s Malt Vinegar. You might need to send home for crisps (aka chips) though if you’re feeling the need for pickled onion Monster Munch or cheese and onion Walker’s.
All restaurants offer a good range of choice for vegetarians and vegans, and we have brilliant cafes and coffee in NZ – we have the odd Starbucks but you’ll soon find your local café does waaaay better coffee! (and don’t worry, they also do a decent cuppa!)
Where is the best place to catch up with and meet other people from the UK?
There’s a fair number of “Poms” here in NZ so you’ll probably meet them at work and out and about.
Check out a local five-a-side football (aka soccer) league and have a look at meetup.com – there’s bound to be a few at a curry club or doing pub quizzes.
Kiwis are generally very friendly but can be quite reserved. The best way to make friends here is to do things with a group so join a sports team, a pub quiz team, walking group or whatever floats your boat.
Biggest surprise and best thing about making the move and living in NZ?
Not everyone in NZ loves rugby! What?! Isn’t everyone a massive All Blacks Fan? Well, no, they’re not, but a lot of Kiwis do love sport of some kind and you’ll often find them cheering on their team or family and friends on a weekend down at the local sportsground.
One of the best things about NZ is that you’ll have fantastic outdoor activities close to hand – you’re never that far from the beach and yes, it is true – it is possible to ski and surf on the same day!
What is one thing you that you wished you had known before moving to NZ?
Whilst NZ is a fantastic country, it doesn’t have anywhere near the level of infrastructure, or the wide range of choice in the shops as the UK, we are still waiting for IKEA! However, there are lots of local alternatives and most international brands will ship online order direct to your door so no need to panic!
New hardware stores are fantastic with all major brands of power tools and tools readily available at surprisingly competitive rates (often cheaper than back home).
There are hardly any motorways outside of Auckland so be prepared for long drives often on single lane roads. We don’t have a national train network so visiting other cities can involve a long road trip – sometimes including a ferry crossing – or flying.
There’s not as much choice when it comes to supermarkets; plus there’s not really an Aldi or Lidl equivalent, so would highly recommend checking out the local farmers’ markets and independent grocers for best produce and best deals.
Best advice to those thinking of making the move
Homesickness can strike anyone, even those who are excited about and invested in emigrating – be prepared you might miss ‘home’ more than you think (for 6months anyway). Keep in touch with your friends and family and ride it out. Be careful though because as soon they see how good it is, next thing you know they'll be living in your spare bedroom.
Get stuck into life here: join a club or group, find an activity that you enjoy and that will help.
Living in a much smaller country than the UK has some awesome opportunities. You’ll find plenty of differences; embrace and enjoy them where you can and avoid becoming a ‘whinging Pom’!
It’s a brilliant place to live and work – come on over!
10 months ago by