Ian - Surgeon - Christchurch
One of the main reasons I wanted to move was for a better lifestyle: the old expression of “live to work or work to live” very much applies to our situation.I’m Ian Bradford, I am a surgeon working in Christchurch, and at the beginning of this year, I moved from York, England.
In the UK, We found that the work circumstances had become so onerous that there was little time left to spend with each other and for me to spend with my teenage children (a typical work day at the NHS was typically 8am to 7pm, and private work required a substantial chunk of evenings or weekends).
We had always known New Zealand to be a spectacularly beautiful country, with comments made by travellers such as “All the most beautiful places on earth rolled into one”, or “It's like Scotland or Canada, but on steroids”, or “It's unspoilt and pristine” or “It's the greatest outdoor playground on earth”.
The isolation of NZ was actually an attraction to us – we found UK party politics, Europolitics and global politics had a really negative effect on us.
In NZ the the best private schools attract fees approximately ⅓ that of the average private UK school. In the public/state sector the schools are generally outstanding with an excellent academic, sport and cultural curriculum.
We have always been very keen on our sport, both playing and watching it. My wife and I have between us participated in competitive rugby, tennis, squash, cricket and swimming, but also enjoyed sailing, diving, cycling, golf and attending the gym.
For us the multiplicity of sport and recreational opportunities, together with the more temperate climate, have been a huge draw. Our choice of destination, Christchurch, provides us with ski slopes within 2 hours and beaches within 20 minutes! Yet it is not just about opportunities for being active. We have witnessed a prevailing culture of people really “getting out there”: cyclists, walkers, sailors, kayakers, fishermen, boaters, hunters.