Expat Magazine

Countdown New Zealand

By Martinemler
Countdown New Zealand

In a few weeks we will leave for New Zealand. You most probably realized that I changed my blog title a little bit. I am not sure if I will leave it like it is or change it again. Still I will write about Japan because we will come back and we will also visit again. The next time in September of 2013. Than we have to celebrate the 33 anniversary of the death of my husbands grandfather. He will reincarnate and therefore we don’t need to think about him again. 



Two weeks ago we received our work permit for New Zealand. Emigration staff was very fast and friendly, only ten days until final approval. Still I haven’t submitted my police clearance from Germany and Singapore. My German one arrived but in German language and it was impossible to find a German/English translator in Japan, so the whole thing had to go back to Germany for translation. For my police clearance from Singapore the police asked me to submit my passport from 1997 and 2006 and no, this was not a joke, they meant it seriously.          My best advice for everybody is to keep your old passports. This is not the first time that someone asked for it. When I applied for my driver license in Japan they wanted to see my old passports from Germany,  so they know I drove in Germany because I lived there.

Countdown New Zealand

I live at ….

PENSION The main issues like employment contract and salary negotiation are behind us.

We have friends in New Zealand and one thing they told us is that everybody gets pension if they work 10 years, even Expats or Immigrants. Approx. 1,000 Euro (more or less). So we check on that on the government website and it`s true. It calls NZ Super. So this was definitely a plus point in our decision making moving to New Zealand. Still there were many others but pension is important.

Nope! A few days ago I started to search bilateral agreements between New Zealand and Germany or New Zealand and Japan. Reality kicked in because I discovered this website:

          English                     http://www.nzpensionprotest.com/Home/the-victims Everyone has to pay tax and also contribute to the pension cashier. When applying for pension with 65 the civil servant will ask, if you receive pension from Germany or Japan. If so, than this will be deducted from the New Zealand pension. Assuming i receive 1,300 NZ$ from Germany, they will deduct this from the New Zealand pension and I will receive nothing from New Zealand. It’s unfair. I am paying pension in Germany and I have also minimum pension claim in Japan. Every German woman or man can get 4 years claim as nurture years for up-bringing kids but not me because I brought my kids up abroad. Now we have to think for another plan for the remaining years until we retire. Many Immigrants to New Zealand only found out about it when they apply for Super NZ with 65 years old. Unbelievable, so unfair.  Worse it gets for intercultural couples. So if he/she is from another country and receives pension there, the spouse will not receive anything from Super NZ!!! IPENZ To be a member of this association is the basis for all engineer careers in NZ. It is also mentioned in the work agreement of my husband. Since this is such an important matter my hubby visited Wellington in March to find out if he fulfill all necessary requirements. Yes was the answer. So he signed the agreement with his employer …. and submitted his resignation with his old employer he worked for 30years. Nope again! Two weeks ago they told him that he is not eligible to be a member of this association. So his heart fell into his pants and he called them that their might be a mistake since he fulfilled all requirements. o boy ….

Countdown New Zealand


SENDING WUFFTI TO NEW ZEALAND I read so much paper, 12 cm thick! After that you can do your exam as Vet. A jumble of forms and all has to be filled out, kukududelidu! Additional there is an action plan for up to 9 weeks, starting 7 weeks before Wuffti is leaving. 1.  Booking Quarantine with a check. Sending a check from Japan is a huge effort and needs      special attention plus half a working day off. 2. Apply for Import Permit (credit card ….) 3. Vaccination between 12 months and 21 days before departure … 4. 30 days before departure and than again 14 days before departure do this …. and so on… It cost us up to 6,000 Euro to bring our dog. Wufft’s Vet is a creepy, skinny non-english speaking Japanese and he is our neighbor who sometimes walks the street in his pyjama by night. I have always goose bumps when I am at his clinic. When we arrived he was operating on a cat, maybe a stray cat. We never met any other customers, we are the only once! So he told us that he needed another 10 minutes for the operation while we watched in horror through the window of the operation room.
Later he put the cat into a cage and covered it with newspaper … really, this is nothing for me and Wuffti who sat on my lap. Even Wuffti has goose bumps.
Countdown New Zealand
UMZUGSFIRMEN – MOVER Three quotations! 1. Allied Pickfords 2. Santa Fe 3. Unyusho This is the easiest task. They will pack everything. I don’t think the move is big work at all. A few forms to fill out and that’s it.
Countdown New Zealand


Our container will be four to eight weeks on it’s way to New Zeland and we need furnished accommodation.Due to the big earthquake in 2011, Christchurch has limited housing and accommodation and houses are expensive. So we search for a suitable house on trademe. Our friends left for their south europe holiday, so we had nobody to look at a house. Besides, rumors are telling us that it’s difficult to get one. Landlords are DIVAS and as a tenant you have to kiss the floor they walk on, or so. So my husband pressured me to choose a house asap from the Internet, only photos. Great! I am pretty sure that it’s a hovel because this was the only agent who wrote back. Whine! All other didn’t need to write back….. all pictures are probably and allegedly photoshopped!  Well, another 4 weeks … but we have a roof over our heads. MEIN GARTEN
MY GARDEN Our garden is as big as 6 bath towels beside each other and when we moved in it was like a jungle. I love my garden and it’s close to me heart. So I bought huge flower pots and all kinds of plants to make it homely and net. When we move out this July, a team of “gardener” will come and cut down everything with an electric grass cutter and saw, terrible. So my first thought was to bring my flowers to safety. So the large flower pots and my Azalea (which turned out to be Petunia) found an immediate new owner. My Orange tree for good luck left first. So one less sorrow for me.
Countdown New Zealand
RICE We are not allowed to bring rice because of biosecurity reasons, I would never imagine that.  SCHOOL I stop searching. Actually I had a High school for the boys but the problem is that all school have school zones and we might not find a house in that area. SAYONARA PARTIES A. has set a date and he will be out with the boys. Sato San has so many parties that there will be hardly a day he comes sober home. ….. M. has not parties and I have 1 big one and two smaller ones. For M. I will have a surprise….See you …

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