Well we have been here a year today, and looking back it was a huge undertaking to move here, but with the right support and information / organisation it could not have gone more smoothly.
Gavin saw a TV programme about a family from the UK who had settled in Papamoa, and to stop him “goin on” about emigrating, I suggested we visit NZ and see for ourselves, so we spent April 2004 campervanning around North and South Island, checking out the areas where I might be offered work. Everyone was so friendly, and the country so clean, we came home ready to put our plans into action.
We set ourselves a schedule – to aim for leaving the summer of 2005. This would give us plenty of time to organise ourselves and get our relatives used to the idea. I had three children to consider (7,9 and 13 at the time) and looking back I think the fact that we did not “rush” things made the whole event go more smoothly for them. Tonix had been in touch but I had told them I was not ready – however by the time of the March 2005 expo in Surrey I gave them my CV and they fully prepared ( and persuaded) me to try a telephone interview in May 2005 and I had a job offer there and then for Hastings Hospital Acute Assesment Unit. I must admit I was very reluctant to get things moving – of course once I had the job we had to apply to imigration, sort out IRD (tax) numbers, and get the Nurse registration sorted out. All these things went smoothly with Linda at Tonix always at the end of the telephone or on email to help, advise, and comisserate when things did not appear to be moving!
Gavin and I had done a lot of “homework” and knew the area we were moving to, however Tonix offered to help with schools. accomodation and anything else we needed. They organised our accomodation with the hospital, and when we arrived in Auckland we contacted them straight away – it was amazing to share with someone who knows what you have been through that wonderfull feeling of “we made it!!!”
I found with Tonix they gave me the confidence I needed to actually “do” things, they found a job that suited my skills and found out a bit about the staff and how other new people were getting on in that Hospital. They sent information about things I would need to organise, how to have a telephone interview, reading about the culture of New Zealanders – important for Nursing, and gave me a gentle reminder when perhaps I was hanging back due to my fears of the enormity of what I was doing!!!!
So, here we are, a year on, relaxed, healthy, enjoying the life, country, people, I love my job, have a lovely house,kids enjoying schools,sports and busy social life, and we have made some good friends here, but most important…. I asked the kids last week had I done the right thing……the answer was a resounding YES! Of course we miss family & friends, we have a new baby cousin, who we cant cuddle, but the internet is a huge source of comfort we can use the web-cam and chat to our family and friends. I have never once wanted to go back.
If I have any advice to give its get as much information as you can about the area, house prices, schools etc, the rest all falls into place. I think I might have got here eventually…. but the team at Tonix helped me focus and pushed me – gently – to the ultimate conclusion. They were intrested, helpfull, supportive, and I always felt the service was very individualised to my and my family’s circumstances. Most important, I trusted them. I knew if I had a problem they would be there for me, and there were no “strings” attatched.
Thank you all so much, I am not a very brave person, not one for taking risks, but you all helped me make the biggest gamble of my life ( at 45 I had to do it now or never!) and we are all so thankfull. We love New Zealand, and our new lives! Thank you for all your help!