The next steps for moving to NZ

When you’ve decided to emigrate for the foreseeable future…you’ve got your flight booked and your visa approved, the planning and the to-do lists begin in earnest. I currently have 4.

As I don’t have any immediate plans to come back to the UK and settle down, I’ve been selling lots of my belongings on eBay and to friends. It feels quite therapeutic getting rid of things I don’t need! Also, a lot of the things I own are reminders of my pre-travelling life, which no longer suits me. Dozens and dozens of cookbooks, regular books, DVDs and clothes that I don’t need. They’re all on eBay. With the money I’ve earned, I’ve bought hiking boots, a weather-proof jacket and zip-off combats (oh yes!) and other things that I’ll need for life in New Zealand.

As I mentioned in my last post about Working Holiday Visas, the Immigration NZ site has a kind of checklist of things to do but I’ve noticed a few things that aren’t on there that you need to think about. Coincidentally, I am in the process of doing these things now (or rather, researching them like crazy!) so I thought I’d share them with you.

  • What do you do about prescriptions? If you have a regular one, how much can you take with you?

So, this is proving to be a bit of a nightmare. NZ customs will only let you bring in 3 months’ supply of a prescription and 6 months’ supply of a contraceptive…obviously you can register with a doctor and do all of those things when you’re out there but for a bit of peace of mind, I’d much rather know that I’ve got a certain amount of a pill that I can rely on than have to change onto a different one when there’s so much other change going on…Obviously I don’t know whether this is something that is strictly enforced at the airport but as they’re being so nice as to let me live and work in their country, I don’t want to risk it!

  • Tax

If you’re planning to set yourself up as a freelancer when you’re away, like I am, you need to work out and understand how and when you’ll need to pay tax. When you get to NZ and set up a bank account, you can then head to the IRD (Inland Revenue) to get your IRD number. This is something that you’d have to do even if you aren’t freelancing, if you want to be paid when you’re in NZ for bar work or anything, you’ll need an IRD number. Freelancing-wise, I’ve (hopefully!) worked out what I need to do…though do shout if I’ve got it wrong!

If you’re going to be freelancing as a writer/editor/marketer or selling homemade products or something and it’s just you doing it, you can describe yourself as a “Sole Trader”, you don’t have to do anything to set yourself up but it’s the best option for a lot of people. This is what I’m going to do…so I’ll be paid into my NZ bank account in NZ dollars and then at the end of the tax year, fill out a self assessment form and pay my tax. If you decide to set yourself up as a business or bring on more staff etc. then this is more complicated but after some digging, you should find the information you need here.

  • How do you go about buying a campervan?

Now this one, I do have some experience in! Since I booked my flight, I’ve been looking on the trademe website, which is basically like Gumtree meets eBay. There are other sites but I’ve found that trademe is the most user friendly and up-to-date. Although normally, I wouldn’t even consider buying anything without seeing it…I’ve been quite wary that when I arrive, it will be coming into Spring and I had already started to notice that prices had started to climb. Plus, with the exchange rate being flummoxed by Brexit…I knew that I had to be on the ball if I wanted to get a good camper at a reasonable price. So, after looking at hundreds of campervans, all with different styles, layouts, colours and more…I found one that I’m quite in love with and I’ll be picking it up from Wellington in October when I’ve acclimatised…Yay! Another thing ticked off the list!

So that should give you a glimpse into what’s going on in my brain at the moment…it’s safe to say that I’ve started freaking out a little bit…but only a little bit! With about 44 days left until my flight, I think that’s understandable! My life has become a series of lists and restless sleep but I know it will all be worth it when I get there and leave all of my metaphorical (!) baggage at Heathrow departures.

L

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