I am sure. (No), I know we are not the only family to have relocated to NZ only to have returned to the 'Mother land' and then decided to return to New Zealand.
We moved to New Zealand in 04 with a 4 year old and a 5 week old baby??? My husband had managed to get a plumbing job there.
Years before, we used to watch those TV programs on families relocating, commenting if they can do it - then so can we. So we did.
We wanted to apply for a 'Skilled Migrant' visa only to be told as a Plumber, though on the short list, with out the NZ exams, we could not apply. So we arrived on a two year working visa. We were also told by the Plumbing board as they had excepted his UK qualifications, once in NZ with NZ address he could get a full licence, earn more money and work self employed (as the UK). Only to be told on arrival he had to all the NZ Plumbing exams and would take about 4 years to complete!
Not a good start.
Anyway life went on and we settled down, I was going to Kindy and Mother and baby groups (from having been a full time working Mum in the UK, this was lovely, to now be a full time Mum) and Husband working 4 days a week!
One of the first English families we met told us (within a week of arrival) we would soon run out of money and have no savings left!! (Did not sound good, but we had come over with a fair amount of equity from selling up in the UK - enough to buy the house outright anyway - it must be them!).
We were trying to live with in our means (for NZ standards we were earning the average wage and with no mortgage to pay, we should have been ok). However each month the bank balance did not tally up (only by a few $) Other English friends we made were also expressing their distress on lack of money, so within 4 months we had decided to return and look at the whole experience as a fantastic years working holiday and stayed the remainder of the year.
We loved the life style, brought a tent, 2 x canoes, 4x4 to go travelling. It seamed to suit us. At Kindy our son would do wood work with real nails and a blunt saw. He started school and loved it. Would walk 2 hours to see a waterfall and then about-turn to walk back to the car (he was 5!).
We were sad to leave, but felt we would be financially better off back in the UK.
I knew I would not miss the beloved Pac'n'Save and I was so excited to return to Sainsburys. I could not wait to go to M&S.
Although we were only away for a year we had noticed the change in the UK. The local paper had started to print the pages also in Portuguese. The local school playing field will have 250 new houses built on it to add to the new estate across the road of 1500 houses? Where was our open space? We hated London when we went for a visit too many people and the traffic! No one in the town speaks English!
Sainsburys - I always leave with a trolley load, though I may have only popped in for 2 items! M&S - apart from a new top I can not think of anything else I have brought. Some of the things I thought I had missed.
With husband starting up his business again the money was not rolling in as we had expected. Some days he will be stick in traffic and a 7 mile journey to the next town can and often dose take an hour? I remember the traffic in NZ, you would be steaming behind the wheel if their were 4 cars in front of you at the traffic lights!
Anyway - a few months ago we were evaluating our new life in the UK vs NZ and decided NZ was not all that bad (Ok Pac'n'Save would not have changed, and you can't get Bisto or nice sausages with out paying the earth, but you can't win then all). We had heard on the grape vine that they had changed the rules for Plumbers and they were now letting them enter on the 'Skilled Migrant' visa. On looking at the points we could get 130 (10 short of the automatic application) with out a job. Just for interest we sent off Husbands CV and with in 2 hours he was offered a job having had his NZ references checked!! We now have 195 points!!!
My son only spent 1 term in a NZ school and having this week received his UK report (now 1 year in a UK school) I am convinced he learned more in the 1 term than he has this past year in the UK. I was shocked at the poor standard.
With these things in mind, we are 80% sure we will return in the new year to New Zealand.
We love walking, camping, canoeing, son loves Rugby (no good at it mind you - but supports the All Blacks). We hated what we called Slack & Slave. Now know, you neaver buy anything from Brisco's at full price as the following week it will have a discount of 50%. Wait for the sales at Kathmandou for jumpers. Patch will be come 'Best' childrens clothes (where as over here their is no difference in price between them and Teaco's) No bisto or good cheep sausages, so Toad in the Hole will become a special meal not a midweek meal.
The visa application forms are sitting on our kitchen table, along with the job offer - Do we fill them out???
Or are we again looking through those rose coloured glasses, seeing greener grass?
Please help - and thanks for listerning (well reading - you know what I mean)