I must appologise for my absence from the forum. When I placed the post offering help, I set the options to e-mail me if anyone replied. You did reply but I was never told. It was a long time ago and I actually remember feeling odd that nobody had any questions. It didn't damn on me to log on to the forum. Sorry
I know these answers will be too late for the original respondants, but they may be of use to others.
1. Weather - There is no kiwi word for drizzle! When it's sunny, it is really quite hot (high uv). When it rains, it really means it, and we really do get horizontal rain that doesn't land. Where I live which is at the top of one of the western hills of lower hutt, during winter my house can end up sat in low cloud for a few days. Humidity in NZ housing can be quite a problem.
2. What we brought with us - We were lucky in the fact that my company paid for my transit costs. We used Britannia, with a local depot in Rotheram I think and they were great. One of the umpa lumpas estimated that the move was probably cosing around £4k. We brought everything that wasn't bolted down, and for that I am glad. Living costs here are an oddity. Food is a little cheaper, insurance is much cheaper, however electricals are a little more expensive and the price of books is phenomenal
3. EOI – We came out under work permits and have recently gained residency. The time from EOI to residency was the best part of 6 months
4. House buying – House buying is a freaky process here. When you decide you want a particular house you sing an agreement and confirm a deposit amount there and then. At this stage you are “conditional”, i.e. that agreement will probably have a clause in it that says “subject to getting finance”. If anything goes wrong, i.e. you are refused finance, you can walk and take your deposit with you. This conditional phase will only last for a few weeks, after that you have to go “unconditional”, now you are obliged to buy the house, and if you walk you loose the deposit.
5. Kapiti Coast – is the western coast outside of Wellington. It contains a large population of Brits and generally has warmer weather that Wellington or the Hutt. You will be looking at a 1 hour train commute I think, but since I’m in the hutt and commute 5 minutes to work in the Hutt I’m not sure of the exact timings
6. Urban v Rural – You are never far away from the countryside or a beach. Even if you live in central Wellington, you can hit lots of nice countryside within 30 mins. The greater Wellington region is jam packed with great rugged beaches and places to walk. What NZ lacks in urban amenities it makes up for with green.