Living in New Zealand
The shores of New Zealand have always served as a beacon of hope to thousands of foreign nationals who wish to have a fruitful career and prosperous future. Aside from possessing a robust economy and vast natural beauty, the famous home of the Kiwis also guarantees an excellent quality of life amongst a family-friendly society.
New Zealand is a paradise on earth that continues to lure expats from all parts of the world. It offers boundless opportunities not just to those who seek employment, but also to people who yearn to frolic with Mother Nature while marvelling at rolling pastures, raging rivers, jagged mountain ranges and picture-worthy beaches. Aside from the abundance of scenic views, the three major cities of New Zealand namely Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch are also consistent in providing an unparalleled quality of life. In 2016, Auckland, the most populous urban metropolitan in the country, ranked as third best city in the world for quality of life. The Land of the Long White Cloud is indeed a prime destination where all 4.5 million of its inhabitants enjoy a high level of safety, excellent health care system and world-class education.
Exciting Leisure Activities
New Zealand is considered as a haven for outdoor lovers and most of the locals’ ideas about fun are associated with nature. This country offers a plethora of thrilling activities that are not meant for the faint-hearted. You can try bungee jumping either in Nevis or Kawarau Bungee Site that is both located in Queensland. There is also jet boating which is best done at the Huka Falls located near the scenic Lake Taupo. Other popular outdoor activities in this country are cycling, mountain biking, white and black water rafting, caving, kayaking, sailing and diving.
Expat parents who will bring their kids will not run out of destinations to visit during their free time. The Animal Farm Rare Breeds Farm Park is a 17-hectare farm that houses lots of friendly animals that children can touch and feed. There is also the Auckland Whale and Dolphin Safari which is a perfect place for those who love marine life. Here, visitors will be taken on a 4.5-hour nature tour to watch whales, sea bird and dolphins while listening to the lectures or commentaries of Marine research scientists.
Driving in New Zealand
Though New Zealand has a highly efficient network of public transport, expats will still need a vehicle sooner or later for a more comfortable everyday travel experience. Foreign nationals are allowed to use their home country’s driving license only for one year. Those who carry licenses that are not in English must have an official translation or an International Driver’s Permit. After 12 months, you need to obtain a New Zealand driver’s from the New Zealand Transport Agency.
Driving in New Zealand is not much of a hassle since all roads are in good condition. Traffic in this country is considered light compared to international standards but you should expect congestion in major cities particularly during rush hour. Cars drive on the left hand side of the road. Buckling up is mandatory in both the front and the back seats. An appropriate child seat is also required for children below five years old.
Overcoming Culture Shock
New Zealand is highly diverse country where people from all countries and religion are accepted with open arms. The modern society of Aotearoa has seen significant changes brought by the growing international community but the strong influences of the European and the Maoris are still heavily felt to this day. The Maoris or the indigenous Polynesian people of New Zealand live across the North and South Islands. They have different ways of life and are known for having a strong sense of right and wrong. Expats in New Zealand should be respectful towards the Maoris because they are an important part of this country’s history.
New Zealanders or also known as Kiwis are friendly and helpful. They have a tendency to relax and avoid pressure even at work which is why many expats admire their laidback way of life. The culture of New Zealand is not hard to understand since the locals are always pleasant and have the willingness to help newcomers. Communities are family friendly and egalitarian. Racism and discrimination is not tolerated in New Zealand. The Kiwis despise people who look down on others based on the person’s gender, nationality or social status.
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