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Kev - Anaesthetic Technician, Palmerston North, with wife Suzanne and son, Juan

Our Names are Kevin and Suzanne. We came to NZ with our 5 year old son - Juan, from the Isle of Man (UK for those who don’t know where it is)

I was an ODP in the UK, and now an Anaesthetic Technician in Palmerston North in lower North Island, and Suzanne is a Midwife.

We have been in New Zealand since April this year and have been working now for 6 weeks, and enjoying new challenges. The whole process took us approximately 12 months from start to finish, mainly the delay for us was selling our house, once sold the process literally took 3 months from finding a suitable job that fitted both our needs thanks to Accent, and arriving in New Zealand.

The easiest part of the process was going to the Expo in Manchester and speaking to the team, filling out their paperwork and from there we were kept informed of everything that was required for us to make the move. Prudence was a real star when it came to keeping in touch through Skype.

We have to say the most challenging part of the process for us was filling in the visa application forms, discovering the medical input that was required for the processing of the visa not to mention cost, this may have been more difficult because we were on the isle of Man and we only had access to one certified visa doctor.  Be prepared to fork out roughly 1,000 GBP for everything.  Our visas arrived a week before we left the UK cutting it close (allow more time).

Our first impressions of New Zealand was “WOW we are really here and looking forward to a new start”. The weather and temperature was on our side as we arrived in Autumn, keeping ourselves busy to avoid jet lag we went to the Easter Show that afternoon in Auckland and then onto Auckland Zoo the following day (Juan loved it as he was given the opportunity to shear sheep at the show along with other exciting things we were unable to do back on the island).

For us the best parts of New Zealand is yet to be discovered however since arriving in Palmerston North (nicknamed Palmy) we have been to Wanganui, Wellington to see the Armageddon Conference as well as visiting the Wellington Zoo, Foxton Beach which was fab and an eye opener as they are allowed to drive on the beach here. We can’t wait to explore some more places as Palmy is in the centre of wherever we want to go. We have done more things in the last 6 weeks than we had done in 5 years since arriving in New Zealand as it has given us the opportunity to do things as a family which wasn’t possible back in the UK.

The things we miss the most is a good cup of Tea and Cadbury’s chocolate as they taste totally different here. I guess we should say family but that isn’t true as we Skype home regularly.

My advice if you’re coming to New Zealand is be prepared for everything to be different and embrace that difference, give yourself plenty of time for the visa to come through.

Prudence and her team throughout the last year have provided us all with support and advice all of which has been valuable and totally appreciated. She made the transition to New Zealand less daunting than we anticipated.

If you are serious about the move the best advice we can give is do your research e.g. schools as most schools are zoned so decide where you would like live, GP,s and if furnishing a full house anticipate the costs.  There are always sales on in New Zealand.