Ex-pat Brits, wannabe Kiwis

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10 years 5 months ago #35821 by gjm
Ex-pat Brits? Well, it's best to be upfront about these things. Please don't hold it against us!

Moved from the UK to NZ at the end of June last year, looking for some of that grass which is greener on the other side. Last summer put paid to that, of course, but it's back with a vengeance now.

We're living in a rented bungalow on a LSB - not our block, but I we have been helping where we can. Learnt lots, too...

Speaking of learning - please excuse the promotion - I've just completed an Agribusiness course which should lead to a 'Certificate in Land Based Skills'. Apparently it is a NZQA (for anyone who is interested and for whom it may be important). Superb course run by people who actually 'do it' - run farms, consult and work on land, all that sort of thing. Best $300 we've spent so far. 'nuff of that - I can write about it somewhere else on the forum. (I have no connection other than having been a paying participant on the course.)

So I did the course before buying anywhere, something a couple of folk on the course wish they had done! But now we are looking...

And trying to decide between actually looking for a LSB, or for somewhere that will give us the space and location of a LSB, but without the work.

If we go for somewhere >2 acres (say) then we'd look at having a couple of beefies, perhaps 2 or 3 sheep, and certainly chickens (of course). Less land would mean less to worry about if we want to go away for a couple of days (or more), but would mean we'll still be buying our meat from somewhere.

Regardless, when we move it will be to somewhere quiet, somewhere in the country. And it'll be a lifestyle choice. We'll choose to have water tanks, private drainage, maybe solar, we'll grow veggies, and we will have chickens!

So looking forward to it! [8D] We do get long evenings in the sunshine while sitting on the deck, don't we? [;)]

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10 years 5 months ago #468628 by LongRidge
When LSBing, especially with a real job, the only time you will have to sit on the deck will be when it is raining :-(.
To get evenings as long as you are used to you will need to go to the Auckland Islands .... no, not the ones around Auckland but the ones south of Invercargill :-)

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10 years 5 months ago #468649 by kindajojo
Welcome gym, if you wannabe a real kiwi, you need to move South of the Bombay Hills.....

(retires to corner and covers head)

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10 years 5 months ago #468650 by gjm
Replied by gjm on topic Ex-pat Brits, wannabe Kiwis
Sarf o' t' 'ills? Lol. :)

We went over towards Miranda yesterday, to look at a small piece of land. A little over 2 acres in total, but probably a third in steep bush (although without covenants). Good for bees, perhaps, but little use for much else.

The views were nice, and it would certainly be a lifestyle, but definitely not suitable for much other than perhaps a couple of goats (and the chooks, veggies, etc).

It could work. I just need to get my head around the commute into Auckland for work.

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10 years 5 months ago #468651 by jennie1945
Hi there and welcome from two more British ex pats - been here full time 5 years and and doing now EXACTLY what you are hoping to do - fully recommended - we have 12 acres in CHB - 30 odd sheep and lambs - 6 chooks and one broody Silkie and George and Mildred our two gorgeous Channel Island cross Calves. Not solar but everything else is down to us as we built from scratch out in the country. This website is brilliant for us newcomers to Lifestyle farming - loads of advice with a smattering of humour. Just ask away!!!

Good Luck with Everything

Jennie and Graham
(our place is for sale - we still have the Travel Bug!!!!!)

12 acres - 2 Jersey cross calves - George and Mildred -going on 50 mixed sheep and lambs - teenagers and toddlers - and our Girls all laying well when we can find the eggs!!!!:cool:

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10 years 5 months ago #468653 by gjm
Replied by gjm on topic Ex-pat Brits, wannabe Kiwis
Hawkes Bay is lovely... We did a tour of the North Island shortly after arriving here, and I felt a real sense of calm as we drove up SH2 towards Hastings. Stopped in Napier for a few days and really enjoyed it. Lots more to see, of course.

There seem to be a fair few Graham's around... I'm another, the seller of the land we looked at yesterday is yet another, there's more land we like the look of near Lake Whangape being sold by Graeme...

I'd quite like to move to HB but we're trying very hard to not unsettle out daughter any more - we've moved her several times in the last few years. I've also struggled to find any work over your way; I'm an IT Project Manager.

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10 years 5 months ago #468654 by kate
Replied by kate on topic Ex-pat Brits, wannabe Kiwis
Welcome...we're ex pat brits too [8D]

Despite comments to the contrary there are lots of real kiwis north of the hills.....[:(!] [;)]

Cheers
Kate

Web Goddess

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10 years 5 months ago #468655 by igor
Replied by igor on topic Ex-pat Brits, wannabe Kiwis
Many people here and elsewhere ignore the fact that there is a part of New Zealand to the North of Auckland inhabited by folk who disparage Aucklanders just as much as those who live on the South side.
Welcome to NZ gjm.

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10 years 5 months ago #468662 by max2
Replied by max2 on topic Ex-pat Brits, wannabe Kiwis
its not quiet in the country.... full of rural businesses, noisy dogs, tractors, trucks, chainsaws, helicopters, aeroplanes, people who don't sleep in coz they have stock to feed first thing (or move about with yapping dogs) and people who stay up late so they can shoot with noisy guns. I think its much quieter in the cities. :) [;)]

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10 years 5 months ago #468685 by kai
Replied by kai on topic Ex-pat Brits, wannabe Kiwis
We are also British ex pats. We had 10 acres, but have downsized to 1.5 acres of better quality land and are much happier.
Shame the exchange rate is against you if you have money to transfer.

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10 years 5 months ago #468693 by gjm
Replied by gjm on topic Ex-pat Brits, wannabe Kiwis
Where we are at the moment is certainly not the rural idyll many folk believe the countryside to be! The road past the front is a bit of a rat run, and at weekends sees numerous cars and motorbikes running up and down. Cows in the back field do there best to keep us awake, as do the sheep (currently lambing) in the field next door. Then there's the late night Polo Club party noise, our landlord running around on a noisy quad bike or in the tractor, and incessant bird song from silly o'clock in the morning!

Actually, it's not so bad. And we quite like it. :) The cars tend to be of the real hot rod variety or 'proper' supercars (saw a Ford GT40 last weekend!), and the bikes are normally gone so quickly you barely know they've been.

The move here was a long and drawn out affair. Once we had decided to move, we chose to go for residency straight off rather than get a work visa and go from there. Just as well... Work visas are (I think) valid for 6 months and then must be renewed, but we've been here 14 months now, and I've still not found work. :( :confused: [V] You can imagine what that has done to our savings... It also cost us a small fortune to get the residency sorted after a wholely and pointlessly intractable and long-winded rigmarole over the health checks - this took nearly 3 years to get sorted. (For example, NZ's immigration panel didn't know what a 'Consultant Haematologist and Hepataologist' was, and wanted me to see a 'liver specialist'. Cue endless rounds of private appointments with consultants... [:(!])

The exchange rate is just one of those things. When we started looking, I think it peaked at around $3.20=£1.00. By the time we got here, we were lucky to get $2.00=£1.00, and it seems to have stayed at or under that ever since. It's a good job we didn't move for money, but having some at the moment would certainly help!

The plan is - get a job (!), buy some land, build something small on it to live in, probably a small 2/3 bedroom apartment over a garage/store, while we save to build a house. We know what we'd like... It's just going to take longer than expected to get there.

Onwards and upwards! [^]

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10 years 5 months ago #468729 by Negodil
Replied by Negodil on topic Ex-pat Brits, wannabe Kiwis
Hi gjm, yet another couple of ex-pats here! We've been in NZ for 5 years and don't regret it. Came from the typical UK 'postage stamp' plot, bought 4 acres and later added another 3.5.

We're based about 2 hours south of a small town many Aucklanders won't have heard of, it's called Christchurch. It's great down here and the countryside really is peaceful, usually it's me making most of the noise.

We also went straight for residency before moving out but I was lucky enough to find a job before leaving UK.

We breed suri alpaca and are looking to build up a fleece business. Not good for those wanting self sufficiency, unless you keep just a few alpacas as pets along with the cattle and sheep, but fantastic animals to watch and study.

Good luck with the job hunting and hope you find the section you want.

Neil

Fairhaven Alpacas, breeding champion Suri alpaca in Temuka

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10 years 5 months ago #469011 by gjm
Replied by gjm on topic Ex-pat Brits, wannabe Kiwis
There's a smaller town even southerer than Chch that we may end up in - Dunedin! Maybe...

I've been applying like a mad applying person over the last few days, but today I had a phone call from a company I'd prospectively written to asking if I could meet them for a chat to discuss options. Looks like a good company, been around for a fair few years, large enough to have clout but small enough to know everyone who works there. Exciting times!

A huge thanks to all for the warm welcome. It is very much appreciated.

(And I'll write that review of the course I was on ASAP!)

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10 years 5 months ago #469098 by Negodil
Replied by Negodil on topic Ex-pat Brits, wannabe Kiwis
Good luck gjm, hope it goes well. Dunedin is fairly vibrant but still "small town enough" to be friendly. The Otago countryside is fantastic with a huge amount to entice you out there, not to mention the fresh fruit! You should also have plenty of options for an LSB close by.

Neil

Fairhaven Alpacas, breeding champion Suri alpaca in Temuka

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10 years 5 months ago #469162 by gjm
Replied by gjm on topic Ex-pat Brits, wannabe Kiwis
I've come to the conclusion that having a real job, and a LSB, are not at all exclusive, irrespective of where you live and work in NZ. Sometimes it is necessary to be prepared to travel a little more, that's all.

Tuesday's interview is a case in point. It could mean (initially) a 1.5 hour drive each way :( but for the right role it'll be worth it. Please keep your fingers crossed for me!

Moving to another part of the country isn't something we're averse to, but we've moved Miss M several times in the last few years and would like her to be able to settle in her school. The 1.5h drive is my sacrifice in that direction.

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