In exactly two months, I’ll be packing up my life here in London and emigrating to Auckland, New Zealand. On top of that, I also need to find a job and somewhere to live! No biggie.
We have been eagerly planning the move for about four months now, we’ve done endless research and filled in stacks of paperwork. What seemed like a distant daydream is now just around the corner. I am unbelievably excited and overwhelmed by it all, but equally I have moments of melancholy at the thought of saying goodbye to friends and family (and pets).
I’ve handed in my notice, there’s no turning back. Trent the lawyer is pulling together our visa packs and all that’s left to do is take them down to the immigration office for approval. Fingers crossed that works out as planned!
Moving to New Zealand checklist
The process has taken longer than expected so if you’re planning on making a similar move I can only stress that you plan way in advance.
- Visa – start the visa application as soon as possible as this is what takes a few months to do. We both have five-year working visas and had to get a medical and police check, and depending on what type of visa you get, you may have to supply evidence of co-habitation.
- Job hunting – send you CV out to recruiters to get the ball rolling and set up meetings for when you land. I’ve had a chat with a recruiter on Skype who was very helpful. The economy seems to be flourishing over there.
- Book flights – Air New Zealand offer reasonable prices and are one of the safest airlines to fly with. Malaysia Airlines are cheaper but after recent events I don’t think I could relax sitting on their aircraft for 23 hours.
- Open a bank account – we went with Bank of New Zealand who offer migrant services so you can open an account before you arrive and collect your card from a local branch when you get to New Zealand.
- Research property – Trade Me has turned out to be amazing for finding just about anything you would need in New Zealand, including property to rent and buy. We plan to get in touch with some estate agents over the next month to set up viewings for when we arrive. Compared to London, the price of renting is much cheaper. It’s so exciting to be able to afford a 2-3 bedroom house with a garden.
- Where to live – this is one of the things we’re still not sure about. It’s really hard to get a feel for an area before you’ve looked around it in person. We’ve heard Ponsonby is the place to be, as well as Parnell and Grey Lynn. However, move a bit further out and you can get more for your money and a better view. It’s all subjective and depends what is important to you – whether that be walking distance to cool bars or a sea view. I’ll report back on this once I’ve settled in and got to know Auckland a bit better.
- Quotes for shipping – if you want to send personal belongings over by boat, there are companies who will organise this for you. If you are just shipping boxes rather than furniture it isn’t actually too expensive. We were quoted around £300 for shipping five boxes. Remember that it will take around 6 weeks for them to arrive.
- Temporary accommodation for arrival – Always Air BnB! You’ll need somewhere to stay when you arrive and I can’t recommend Air BnB enough, after using it for my last two holidays. I also find it to be cheaper and more personal than booking a hotel. We’re going to book somewhere central for our first two weeks and hopefully we’ll be able to find the perfect place to rent in that timeframe!
- Car hire – unlike London, Auckland doesn’t have an extensive transport system so a car is a must. We’ll hire a car for when we arrive and try and find a car for the long-term once we are there – again, Trade Me can help with this. I’ll also need to learn to drive…!
So those are the big challenges we have faced so far during the emigrating process. I’ll provide an update on this post-arrival! Next stop, Auckland…