It's a pleasure to welcome you to the new improved version of the New Zealand forum here on BritishExpat.com and to encourage you to join in and have your say!
It doesn't matter whether you're British, Kiwi or any other nationality, if you have an interest in NZ you're welcome here! If you've never visited the country, let this be your first stop for tried and tested info. If you've holidayed here, tell us your impressions. If you live here, join in for a chat and also please help out by answering questions for others, even if they have already been answered by someone else: the more opinions the better!
The NZ forum first opened in late 2003, and has proved very popular. However we originally existed only as a 'flatform' board in the main forum and therefore threads tended to be loosely named and rambled on about all sorts of topics. As the number of threads grew it became difficult for new visitors to track down the useful information they contained.
In mid-June 2006 we introduced the current format which comprises a number of boards, each of which is dedicated to a specific topic. From now on we mean to keep things more focussed so that the information is easier for everybody to find. Therefore please read the following sections and do your best to follow the procedures. Don't feel intimidated - we'll help you if you are new to this, but we'll be less forgiving of those who should have the hang of it (and unmerciful to spammers).
How to use this forum
First familiarise yourself with the board topics. You'll find them on the index page (click on "British Expat New Zealand Forum Index" just above this message).
Click on any of the boards that interest you and you'll get to the messages for that subject. Read them through, because your question might already be answered there. If you have a comment that would contribute to one of the threads, please click on the 'Post Reply' button and type your message (you will need to be registered and logged-in; registering is quick and free, and you'll prompted when you need to do it).
If you have a query and you can't find an answer to it, then first make sure you are in the most appropriate board for that query. Then click on 'New Topic', give the topic a meaningful subject title and type your question (although many existing threads are loosely named, from June 2006 only titles that properly describe the question will be acceptable).
Be concise, and don't ask multiple questions in the same post. You are welcome to ask as many separate questions as you need, as long as each one has a suitable title, is relevant to the board it's posted in and doesn't repeat questions that have already been asked.
Keep your message on topic! Rambling responses and those likely to lead the thread off-topic are liable to be edited or even deleted. Questions that are posted on the wrong board are also liable to be deleted. We don't keep copies of editions/deletions, so when they're gone, they're gone.
The "Kia Ora!" board is a social environment and so the comments above don't apply - you can "chat" as much as you like.
Don't be rude or nasty to others, and don't try to advertise - especially your own services. Apart from that, anything goes, except factual stuff that would be better placed on one of the other boards.
There are links to the posting guidelines on every page. Please read them. Among the most important things they explain is our definition of spam and how we deal with it. They also point out our policy towards shouting (SHOUTING IS WHEN YOU WRITE IN ALL CAPS LIKE THIS - it is regarded as extremely rude). In both cases the policy is zero-tolerance and messages are liable to be deleted. People who we identify as nuisance posters will also be barred. This happens quickly and efficiently, protecting bona fide users of the forum who probably will never even know this is happening.
Two handy tips
First one: When you've finished browsing the forum, don't log out. Just close the browser window normally. That way you should be automatically logged-in next time you visit.
Second one: Check the orange flags. If you're logged in and your browser has cookies enabled then there will be an orange flag to the left of any board or message that has something new since your last visit. Also, you can use the 'view unread posts' link at the top right of the forum index.
Any more tips? Put them in the "Kia Ora!" board and we'll add them here!
Once again, welcome to the NZ forum. I hope you find it enjoyable and illuminating!!