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Mariska - Emergency Department Medical Officer, Taupo

My name is Mariska and I am working as a senior medical officer in Emergency Medicine at Taupo Hospital.
I came to New Zealand in June 2014 with my husband, Terry and George the cat. I am originally from South Africa, but moved to NZ from the UK where I lived for the past ten years.

We knew for almost two years that we definitely wanted to move to New Zealand so I started the process very early and had my first job interviews in May 2013. We were quite specific about where we wanted to live and work as this was a permanent move for us so it probably took a bit longer, but once everything were in place it only took us about 5 months to get over here.

Kristin at Accent Health Recruitment was excellent with keeping me informed about the whole process and she was always available by phone or e-mail to reassure me everything was going as smooth as possible!
The most challenging part of the move was getting the timings right for everything that needed arranging in the few weeks before we left. As visas, job offers, registration with MCNZ, booking shipping containers, booking flights etc all need to happen in a certain order it took quite a bit of planning. We had a big wall calendar with everything on it!

We arrived in Auckland in bright sunshine and 16 degrees (in winter!!) and what struck us first were how friendly and welcoming the Kiwis are. And five months later that is still one of the best things about New Zealand.

Everywhere you go people are happy to help and just have a chat. Another big positive is of course how beautiful this country is. There are always loads of fun and exciting things to do without having to pay for it and it is very, very easy to avoid the crowds and just disappear on your own little adventure.

One of our most positive experiences so far has been buying a lovely house over here. After buying and selling two houses in the UK we dreaded the process, but we were amazed by how easy and straight forward it was over here. We saw the house for the first time on 15 June 2014 and moved in on 22 August 2014!
So far there is really nothing, other than family and friends that we miss about the UK.

Even settling into work has been much easier than I expected. There is definitely a much better work-life balance over here and although there are some of the same problems with Emergency Medicine as in the UK, having great things to do outside of work makes it all a lot easier. One thing that impressed me most is the emphasis on CME and the generous funding available for it.

If you are planning to come to New Zealand my tips are:
1) Just do it!
2) Contact Accent Health Recruitment now. They are great at guiding you through the whole process!
3) Be organised and have a folder/box/drawer to keep everything re your move in one place
4) Ladies, stock up on make-up and toiletries (fairly expensive over here)
5) Make sure the soles of all your shoes are scrubbed clean or you could spend a while cleaning at the airport
6) E-mail copies of all your documents to yourself so you have access to it anywhere
7) Be ready to have an awesome time in New Zealand!