This was probably the most problematic and the most headache causing thing we did throughout getting prepared for our move to NZ. They are I would imagine similar to a local council over here. IE they don't really give a shit and will get stuff done at there own pace,because the probably earn jack shit. If they were a privatley run organisation I'm sure things would be different. My wife is a teacher so we were in no way prepared for the lengths they wanted us to go to. We had to provide original documentation for all of Sue's qualifications fromPost grad through to school exams. Then we had to provide transcripts for all the modules that Sue had studied. Great stuff - we contacted them all and all seemed well. Wolverhampton Uni even got back to us with the goods within a few days. Birmingham Uni on the other hand had stopped teaching the PGCE Sue did and had no records of the modules studied. Fantastic.
We got our flights with Air New Zealand via Aus Travel and found them extremely helpful. We decided to fly straight through for two reasons.
a) Just to get it out of the way.
b) So as to minimise the kids discomfort and not drag them through multiple time zones.
Air new Zealand gave us large baggage allowances as well - 46K each. We got year returns with flexible return dates for 3K for three adults and two children. Fly from Heathrow at 21.15 on the 20 th Nov and arrive Auckland 10.45 on the 22nd Nov. Good job my birthday is the 12th Nov and not the 21st otherwise I would be forever 25 *cough cough*
We went with ASB as they have a migrant banking system. You can open an account with them in London and transfer your funds to that account. Once we arrived in NZ we went to our local branch and transfered the accounts to NZ. A piece of piss - literally. We were in the branch 20 mins and left with cash cards, internet banking, phone banking, pin numbers and two separate bank acounts. One a current account and the other a savings account with a whopping 7.5% interest rate. Internet banking is easy as well to move your funds and set of direct debits and that. There are a few hidden charges though. I had to set up netcode to move larger sums which is 25c a pop,and if you alter an DD it is $2. Small change really. Rember this is a streamline account so no paper statements. Were very happy with them so far.
We also opened a nationwide account in the UK as we stillhad some wages beingpaid to us after we landed. There is free overeas ATM with them on this account but as the the exchange rate -bugger knows.
We ended up going with www.cargobookers.com after some deliberation and plenty of questions to them and on the emigrate NZ forum. We have taken what feels like a plunge, as most of the information we needed we have had to find out ourselves. Although this appears uncommon. We are airfreighting our stuff over and will arrange for it to be picked up when we have found somewere to live in Auckland. Cargobookers get the stuff weigh it and give us a revised quote. They then stick it on a plane and thats there bit done. When it arrives in NZ we have to contact the NZ based agents who will charge us a nominal fee and arrange for the MAF (Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries) clearance (again a fee) and customs clearance (free yay - as long as we can avoid the 21% import duty. All very straight forward stuff and a walk in the park *cough* Most of this information is thanks to katandbob from the emigrate NZ forum. The link is in the ...er Links.
addendum: Cargo bookers made a mistake on the quote and will not be air freighting our stuff. It is on a shipand will be getting here on the 18th Jan. Bugger. We received a discount on this but it all adds to there ineptitude. The kids will have another christmas in jan.
You have to get your container insured before it can be taken abroad - we went with www.reason-insurance.com who again were recommended to us by katandbob from the emigrate NZ forum. It was a very straight forward apply and pay online job. We paid £50.
We used Wendy at NP Rental. Extremely pleased with the service and helpful and straightforward. This is an east Auckland outfit, we paid $54 a day for a Mazda MX6.
The Howick Motor lodge is an old favourite of emigrees. There were two lots of us there during our 12 day stay. Dave and Mandy our two of the loveliest peopleyou will meetand cassie the dog is beaut. $120 a night for the family room.
From the airport we enlisted the help of Wendy from Eastern connection shuttles. Brillaint and can pick big or small. We are a family of five and had 10 items of large luggage, I mean large. $70 from the airport to Howick.
Just a sample of the bigger and more immediate things we have done on our journey to NZ.