Moving to New Zealand
Expats moving to New Zealand are generally looking to escape the rat race, balance their lives, and start afresh in a country with plenty of opportunity for those with initiative, energy and a ‘can do’ attitude. They are also attracted by the decent quality state-sponsored healthcare, low crime rate, decent education, affordable property and pristine natural environment.
The country has a population of only 4.5 million people, a third of which live in Auckland. More than 20 percent of those living and working in New Zealand were born overseas, traditionally in the UK and North America, and in recent years the South Pacific and China.
The New Zealand government welcomes prospective expats in a range of industries – provided you have the skills and criteria to benefit the economy. After all, this is a country that has experienced a significant outflow of young, qualified people moving overseas, and expats are being actively recruited to redress this imbalance.
Considering how sparsely populated most of New Zealand is, it is perhaps surprising that transport networks are fairly developed and easily used. Healthcare is advanced, with good public and private options available in cities.
The crime rate is low, and many expats feel much safer in New Zealand than they did back home in South Africa, the UK or the US. However, New Zealand experiences over 150 felt earthquakes a year, and expats moving to New Zealand should be sure to have emergency plans in place for their families. As in Japan, schools regularly practice earthquake drills.
The Land of the Long White Cloud, as the country is poetically known, does have its share of rainy, cold weather, but overall gets more sunny days than most European countries. Expats that commit to their new home and are suited to the laid-back, outdoors lifestyle, will find New Zealand to be the ideal expat destination.