Making a career move overseas can be a daunting prospect, however we’re hopeful that we can be of help. In our latest Odyssey Exclusive series, ‘Arriving in…’ we’re going to take a look at your journey to a new life abroad.
We’ll aim to cover all the basics to make sure that you’re as prepared as you can be for the move, and get the most out of life in your new homeland.
In the sixth installment in this series we’re going to take a look at Auckland in New Zealand, a location that is increasingly popular, especially with British expats seeking a more relaxed life overseas..
Getting there: Unless you currently reside in Australia, getting to Auckland on New Zealand’s North Island is likely to involve a lengthy amount of time in the air.
There are no direct flights from the UK to New Zealand - as the distance is simply too far for planes to travel. Instead all flights involve layovers in hub airports.
Qantas offer the majority of flights, with the Australian airlines’ route involving stops in Dubai and Melbourne. If the thought of two stops is too much then Cathay Pacific offer a route from Heathrow that only stops in Hong Kong.
Auckland Airport itself is New Zealand’s busiest and largest, offering flights throughout the country, Asia-Pacific region and beyond. The airport is just 25 minutes by car from the centre of the town, and getting around is easy on the country’s well maintained and well policed road network.
Accommodation: As a well-developed, Western city, there are plenty of options to choose from when it comes to accommodation. Whether you are after a traditional ranch style family home or a modern skyscraping apartment you’ll find it in Auckland.
Rent prices are attractive too - on average 40% lower than they are in London, with a 3 bedroom city centre apartment costing around £1700 a month in rent - a figure that drops drastically as you leave the city.
Keeping in contact: Whilst the time difference can be a major barrier to getting in touch with friends and family in the UK, keeping in contact shouldn’t be a major issue.
There are three main mobile networks in the country; Vodafone New Zealand, Spark and 2Degrees - with Vodafone offering the best signal quality countrywide.
Internet speeds are strong, and the web is uncontrolled, allowing you to use apps like Skype, Facetime, WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger to VOIP call those back home.
Basic rules: New Zealand is a Westernised location where the way of life is similar in many ways to that followed in Europe. There are a few things you should make sure you know prior to making the move though:
- Be prepared for gravel roads - even some of New Zealand’s main roads are still gravel, so prepare to adapt your driving style.
- Never confuse a Kiwi with an Australian!
- Be prepared to work with the Māori people and their traditions.
- There is no tax-free income in New Zealand
- Be prepared for all weather conditions - even in summer!
Getting around: Auckland itself is relatively small by the standard of many modern cities. Home to just over 1.5 million people, road is the most popular method of travelling, with 93% of journeys taken by car.
The city is also home to a developed bus system, and modern metro, both of which make commuting simple. For journeys further afield, Auckland International Airport offers flights throughout the world - making it especially ideal for exploring the Pacific Islands.
Things to see: Auckland is considered one of the most important cities to the Arts in the world, meaning that there are plenty of fascinating places to visit:
- The Auckland Arts Festival - held in March each year showcases some of the finest new films and artwork in the world. A true cultural experience.
- Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki - has one of the most extensive collections of artwork in the country.
- Eden Park - sport dominates life in Auckland, and the city’s Eden Park plays host to world class cricket, rugby and football events.
- Tiritiri Matangi Island - a staggeringly beautiful wildlife sanctuary located 30km northeast of the city.
- Sky Tower - offers outstanding views over the city, especially at sunset.
The working environment: Expat medics normally find the business of healthcare in New Zealand to be a pleasant change from that in the UK:
- Overseas experiences will be listened to - especially if you’ve worked outwith the UK before.
- There is very little in the way of red-tape.
- Administrative tasks are usually efficiently dealt with.
- New Zealand was ranked as the second easiest country to do business in, in 2016.
- Greetings (and meetings) are usually relatively informal, with a handshake and eye contact are key.
- Organise your finances before making the move, have you converted enough money, do you have an overseas bank account, should you be paying any tax at home?
- Will your credit/debit cards work abroad?
- Is your airport pickup sorted, and do you know where you’re staying when you arrive?
- Do you have a phone that will work in your new location?
- When is your official start date?