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Insight Series – Moving to New Zealand

Posted by: Marc

Moving to NZ

As more and more companies search for highly talented people beyond their own country’s shores, the employment market has truly gone global. But moving to another country for your dream job and a better life style can be a daunting prospect. Fortunately the team at The Talent Hive are experts in supporting Engineering and IT Professionals (and their families!) through the process of relocating to a new part of the world. Some of our team have experienced moving to New Zealand ‘first hand’ themselves, but all of us are well versed in helping others successfully transition into a new life in New Zealand.

Ensuring you have clear information about your new role and the business you’re joining is crucial but of equal importance is reliable information about the country and city that you are moving to. So The Talent Hive created a guide for international job seekers with some tips, guides and useful information to help uncover what it’s really like to live and work in Aotearoa. With the latest up to date information this free guide can be downloaded from our Living & Working in NZ page on our website.

In the mean time check out some real life stories from two people who recently made the move to New Zealand as they talk about their experience of emigrating and how they are settling in to Kiwi life.

Name: Ricardo de Azevedo Dutra

Job title: Electrical Engineer – Principal Engineer

I moved from: Rio de Janeiro – Brazil

I moved too: Wellington – New Zealand

I arrived in New Zealand: 5th May 2015


1 – What do you enjoy most about living in New Zealand and in your city?

I enjoy most the variety of different landscapes in so short distances. In about two hours you can go from a beautiful beach to an iced mountain. New Zealand is an awesome country for all ages. Rivers, waterfalls, beaches, lakes, mountains, are everywhere. Wellington, where I live, is an excellent city, with a smooth traffic, a fantastic variety of restaurants, coffee bars, and has always some event happening. But it is not a crowded city. There is a plenty of gyms and sports courts available for all at a very good price. The bus system is extremely efficient. There are buses to all corners of the city with a very good frequency and with a practical signaling at the bus stops. Another remarkable topic is the general organization. There is a great effort by the social welfare at all places. Everything is done to make people live better.


2 – What do you miss most about your home country?

The family, first of all. As it was possible to come with some relatives, we miss the ones that stayed there. But the technology nowadays helps a lot. We can keep in contact somehow. Another thing we miss very much is the wonderful weather we had there. Since I arrived here it has been quite cold. Although there are a lot of restaurants here we miss the traditional Brazilian food, as well. Some vegetables, fruits and sauces are not available here, unfortunately. All these things are very important for us.


3 – What was your biggest challenge in relocating to New Zealand?

The biggest challenge was to leave sons, daughter and parents in order to go so far way without an extensive knowledge about what you are going to face, how will be the new job and how will be your new life abroad. No matter how good is your consultant you always will have some expectations about the new environment you will find out there and about the financial aspects. I wanted so much to apply my knowledge in the new job, even considering that here many rules are so different.


4 – What is the best experience you have had since arriving in New Zealand?

Talking about places, there are a lot of amazing places to mention. As I am working I don’t have much time to travel. I have already known Christchurch and Wellington, as the biggest cities, and some very interesting towns like Porirua and Martinborough, during the weekends. This last one is a very good wine producer region. Maybe this was the best experience. We stayed in a cozy hotel and tasted delicious foods and excellent wines.


5 – What advice would you give to others who may be contemplating moving to New Zealand?

Don´t be afraid. New Zealand will receive you with open arms. People here are very familiar with the welcoming activities. The best you can do before you come is to research about the country and the cities. As much you read better and comfortable you will feel and in love you will be.


6 – What was your experience of working with The Talent Hive?

The Talent Hive conducted my process on a deep professional level. And at the same time they helped me a lot with the personal topics on a friendly way. I liked very much to work with them. It was really amazing.



Name: Rachel Sanders

Job title: Requirements Engineer

I moved from: Warwickshire, UK

I moved too: Christchurch, New Zealand

I arrived in New Zealand: 22nd July 2015


1 – What do you enjoy most about living in New Zealand and in your city?

I always wanted to live between the mountains and the sea and now I do! The suburb I live in is right on the coast so I can hear the surf from home and see the mountains as I drive into the city.

The outdoors is so accessible – I live right next to the Port Hills which are great for hiking and biking. The rest of the country seems pretty accessible too and weekend trips to Queenstown or Auckland are easy and affordable by plane.

New Zealand is also a really friendly place so it is easy to make friends. In Christchurch there are lots of newbies like me – mainly to help with the rebuild but the hospital and other engineering firms, like mine, are also bringing in lots of new people.


2  – What do you miss most about your home country?

Family. I think that is the same answer for almost every expat I talk to and was the biggest consideration coming here. The time difference also makes it a challenge sometimes to call home so that aspect is not ideal.

There are things you can do to help – I have a couple of nieces who I want to stay close to so, when we do manage to find a good time to call, we play board games – I have a dice which I roll on camera and they make my moves on the board! I know other people read stories together etc and obviously older relatives are good with chatting!


3 – What was your biggest challenge in relocating to New Zealand?

There are several things to juggle, especially if you are trying to line up work before arriving as I was. I have listed the key things I was juggling whilst working full time in the UK:

Checking out visas and deciding which route is right for you, finding work (and convincing them that you are a real prospect and committed even though you are overseas), sorting your house – to sell or to rent is a big question and, if the latter – who is going to manage it?, what work needs to be done to it? making sure you have researched enough about the differences with the cost of living (NZ is expensive and I am relatively worse off financially but I came here for the quality of life)

managing the difficult news with family (here you have to be realistic – you may not see elderly relatives again in person; family with small children are less likely to be able to afford to come to visit you so either you have to return to wherever “home” is at the expense of using your holiday time and money to explore the new area of the world you live in or face the fact that it will be a long time before you see them again – truly difficult.


4 – What is the best experience you have had since arriving in New Zealand?

Several that I can think of:

Within the first few days went to see the All Blacks live playing Argentina just down the road from where I lived.

Spent some time at the Audi Quattro Winter Games in Queenstown, watching some of the best snowboarders in the world on the halfpipe.

Hiking from my doorstep – in my t-shirt in winter (winter here is strange – some days are really warm and others are cold!)


5 – What advice would you give to others who may be contemplating moving to New Zealand?

I don’t think I can advise anyone on whether it is right for them as, just because it was a good idea for me (despite how it may turn out i.e. if it all goes downhill and I decide to move on I don’t regret coming) does not mean it would be for someone else. If you have a family then clearly there are considerations for their well-being which I have not had to take account of.

Fundamentally – do your research. Understand what you want from your lifestyle, environment, work and then evaluate whether the opportunities available meet those requirements. There are lots of areas online for free advice (simple Google Search) and there are also cheap expos (certainly in the UK) where you can get information and where some jobs are advertised.

For anyone wanting to move (anywhere in fact) but are hesitating – take some time to understand why you are hesitating and be honest with yourself. It is normal to fear the unknown and natural to allow that fear to create “reasons” for not doing something which are in reality only excuses – only you will know, deep down, which it is. If you find that they are “excuses” then take the plunge – there will be support along the way, whether it comes from your visa agent, recruitment agent, someone you met on holiday, the person you sit next to on the plane or train next to in the gym, work colleague present or past… the list of sources of help is endless and, truly, the help is there if you look for it.


6 – What was your experience of working with The Talent Hive?

I dealt with Matt Love-Smith and from the start found him to be professional and personable. The time difference between the UK and NZ is less than ideal but a combination of phone calls and emails worked well and I felt well informed throughout the process.

Even after arriving in NZ Matt has stayed in touch to see how I am getting on / settling in and in-fact, picked me up from the airport when I arrived which was a godsend after such a long flight.

As a business they are appointed by the recruiting company, however, their personal interest and manner gives consideration to the candidates too and works well.


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Marc is a Director of The Talent Hive and leads our IT recruitment practice. Originally from the UK, Marc has been living in Christchurch, New Zealand for ten years and working in the recruitment sector for just as long. Marc has worked as an in-house recruiter and within multinational recruitment consultancies and independent SME recruitment businesses.

At The Talent Hive we specialise in connecting IT & Engineering professionals with the right career opportunities. We encourage collaboration, socialising your success and sharing industry insight and expertise. Start the journey, connect with The Talent Hive today.

Categorised as: Job Seeker Advice, Working in New Zealand