Getting Started

Come on in, the water is fine…

I was on holiday in New Zealand with my family when we made the decision to emigrate here. That was in April 2002, and four months later we arrived in Christchurch to start our new life. As with any migrant family, there were a series of “push” factors galvanizing us to leave, and “pull” factors inspiring us to come to settle in NZ. I wanted to start my own business, but could not see a way to do this in the UK. We wanted to have more children, but felt constrained by childcare costs and the quality of education in the UK. We wanted to raise our family with many of the values and opportunities that we had benefited from – but felt that the UK was moving in quite a different direction…

Even though the earthquakes have significantly changed the landscape of Christchurch and surrounds both physically and mentally we have not intention of moving away and truly believe over the coming months and years Christchurch will be an amazing place to live and work. It is a short walk to great schools, shops, libraries and parks, and drive short distances on uncongested roads to beautiful beaches and other leisure facilities. There is plenty to do in the weekends (including my passion, world-class rugby!) and we have a good network of friends and family. Life is pretty good.

But look before you leap.

New Zealand is beautiful and green, relaxed and safe, uncrowded and friendly. But it is not paradise – it will take time for you and your family to settle in , and there will be times when things don’t go exactly to plan. One of the biggest surprises for many new migrants is the cost of living here – wages really aren’t that high. Others miss their friends and family, and find it hard to establish a social network. Still others miss central heating far more than they anticipated.

Our goal at Henderson International is to take the guesswork and hassle out of the financial aspects of moving to New Zealand. On our website and in our Guides we aim to be realistic about life in New Zealand, both good and bad – but for my family it really has been overwhelmingly good, and I can honestly say that I have never regretted my decision to emigrate here.

Don’t just take my word for it though – have a look at the results from the New Zealand Immigration Department Skilled Migrant survey to see how migrants fared in their settlement in New Zealand.

Jeremy Henderson

Director, Henderson International Ltd.