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Hanna - Midwife, South Canterbury

Hi, my name is Hanna and I am a Midwife. Originally from Germany, I came to NZ in June, from Ireland.

All in all it took us 14 months - we did some travelling on the way to NZ too. Professional registration took me 6 months, my own fault, I left some paperwork waiting.  NZ Midwifery Council was quite quick to reply.

I had a job interview in December last year and received a ‘written job offer’ at the end of January this year. We had our medicals half way through February and started the immigration process a week after that. We received our passport with the 2 year ‘temporary work visa’ in place on the 12th of March!

The easiest part of the process was communicating with authorities!  Who would have thought!  Midwifery Council of NZ has all information you need on their webpage as well as Immigration NZ.  It takes a few clicks to get there but you will find absolutely every bit of information you need!  Communication with both was excellent.

Accent Health Recruitment made the job search very easy and could give fantastic info and help to decide on location. They did all the arrangements regarding job interview and took care of all the paperwork to get to me from my new employer in Timaru.

Accent Health Recruitment also made our arrival smooth - arranged our initial accommodation, had a phone with NZ sim set up and made sure I got in touch with my new employer and provided helpful information where and how to look for a rental in Timaru. I felt I could always turn to Prudence and her team with any question regarding our big move and that gave us a great sense of support and reassurance. Even after our arrival she followed up on us and made sure we had everything we needed.

The most challenging part of the process was getting all of the paper work together and making sure things were completed and on the way. Packing was challenging too as we did packing and transport to the port ourselves. If we had family joining us I'd say we would have went with a company doing it all but this way it saved us a lot of money on shipping costs.

My first impressions of NZ were great outdoors! Wonderful landscape, very friendly people who are interested in you and your story.

We have yet to explore more of the country as my full time job is taking up a lot of my time, settling into a house is quite time consuming too and on top of all, it is winter :) but so far we like the rural atmosphere here in Timaru. I really like my job, much slower pace compared to the big maternity hospital I used to work in back in Dublin. People are very friendly and straight forward which we appreciate a lot. My partner doesn't have a job yet but it seems as if there is a lot of opportunities out there. Personality still counts more than your CV.

The weather is fantastic; despite being the middle of winter most days are very sunny which lets us spend a lot of our free time outside. Almost every house comes with a garden including a veggie patch. Growing your own is very en-vogue here and it looks we'll have a new set of skills in a year’s time.

What I miss the most is friends and family of course! I would like to share all of the nice things we are experiencing here. Flights cost a lot of money and most people back in Germany/Ireland will probably never be able to visit us.

My advice if you are planning to come to NZ is do your research what professional registration you may need and what type of visa you want to enter the country with/which are the best options for you and your family (think long-term too). Be aware of the associated costs involved and look into the area you want to move to. Don't listen too much to what peoples’ impressions and preferences are. Yours may be totally different! Look into expat forums online, you will find plenty of practical advice. Bring everything you want, some things cost a lot more here. Asking my partner James what kind of advice he would give he said: Do the move with a German!

Here are some encouraging words of wisdom from Hanna to help you get through your move:
If you encounter times where the move seems too scary and you doubt whether or not you have made the right decision, think of it as a once in a life time experience. You are not moving to the moon. It’s just the other side of the world. There will always be flights going back ;)