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Abby - Midwife, Auckland

"My Name is Abby. I am a Midwife. I came to NZ in Oct 2014 from Bristol, England. The process to come to NZ took me 5 months.

I hadn't applied for my midwifery registration before arriving here as me and my fiancé only came for a holiday, however, we fell in love with the place and decided to stay! I had to spend many hours completing forms and chasing my application. It was a little difficult as we were touring the country at the time and my application was delayed when documents got lost in the post! Merryl was great as there were many times I got frustrated and would send emails to Merryl ranting! Would recommend that you get your registration before coming over!

The easiest part of the process was getting the job! Merryl let me know which hospitals had vacancies and gave me loads of options. I was lucky enough to be able to visit the towns and cities to see which had vacancies and determine whether I would be happy to live there! The day before I had my Skype interview I had a practice one with the lovely Merryl. The practice interview meant I offloaded all the anxiety about completing an interview on Skype. As a result I was much more relaxed when I had my real interview the following day and actually enjoyed it!

The most challenging part of the process was adjusting to working in a new environment. I found it really intimidating working in a delivery room which I was unfamiliar with. I love the fact that New Zealand Midwives practice Cultural Safety, however, I have had to adapt my practice. An example of this would be having whole families (like 10 people!) and even toddlers in the delivery room, whereas, I am used to delivery suite having limited numbers. It's fantastic that having a baby is such a normal part of family life and the support they give is fantastic. Merryl was great, she regularly emails to check how I'm doing and helps with any concerns.

My first impressions of NZ: Me and my partner travelled around NZ for 6 months and got to see how beautiful this country really is! It's such a good place to be if you love the great outdoors. There are so many rural places and even the tourist hotspots never feel too busy!

The best parts of NZ: There are so many!  My fiancé and I spent 6 months exploring as many places we could and to get a feel for whether we could emigrate here. My favourite place is Waiheke, it's a beautiful island and had the most amazing vineyards and views of Auckland. I also loved the South Island, we were lucky enough to go on a cruise of Doubtful Sound which was incredible, the views were out of this world and it was so remote, our boat was the only one there!

Auckland, where we are currently living, feels most like home. It's got the hustle and bustle that comes with a large city, however, you can jump in your car and escape to a beach in less than a 30 mins!

What I miss most- Obviously friends and family! It's a long way from home but the internet makes life easier! I'd never thought I'd say this but I miss IKEA! New Zealand is great but everything is so expensive as it has to be shipped here!

My advice: Get your registration first! And research the area you'd like to work in. The midwifery model is very different here and as a result the nature of the work that hospital midwives do is a lot more high risk."