Pros and cons of New Zealand for would be expats

Pros and cons of New Zealand for would be expats

Pros and cons of New Zealand for would be expats

Being an expat in New Zealand isn’t all Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, but it’s magic enough for those who can deal with the pros and cons.

One thing’s for certain, New Zealand has perhaps the most spectacularly stunning scenery anywhere on the planet. It’s also popular for its safe environment, laid-back lifestyle and affordable healthcare, but even paradise has its occasional downsides. For example, the island nation is often described as being ‘more British then Britain’, not a recommendation for those Brits who’re looking to get away from a country they no longer recognise.

Although New Zealanders are welcoming and friendly to tourists as their businesses depend on tourism revenue, newly-arrived long-stay expats may experience a different, cooler attitude, especially if they’ve arrived from the USA. Nowadays, over-the-top Americanism isn’t flavour of the month with the locals, but humility and honesty win out every time. It’s true that Kiwis have long been stuck in their love-hate relationship with the USA, but one way round is to ignore the tendency and the other, more successful strategy involves joining arts societies, sports clubs and volunteering for several good causes.

Finding a suitable home in New Zealand’s major conurbations can be a depressing experience due to the ever-escalating prices of local real estate. Wellington and Auckland have the highest house prices, but getting away from it all, even to a coastal location, can save you money on this all-important issue. One point to remember is that the further south you go, the colder the winters, with most older homes not supplied with central heating or efficient insulation. Houses in modern developments are better equipped, but prices are higher as a result.

New Zealand’s cost of living is admittedly high, but buying local produce rather than foodstuffs and goods shipped from overseas can mitigate the financial pain to some degree. At least there’s no bribing, tipping or backhanders involved, a plus point for former career-obsessed expat retirees arriving from Asia or the Middle East. New Zealand’s healthcare system is a mix of private and public provision, with long waiting lists but generally satisfactory facilities, dependent on your location.

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