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Letters from Southern Man

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Letters from the Southern Man

Migrating is more than just filling in forms and submitting paperwork, its a complex process that will test even the most resilient of people. 

Understanding New Zealand is paramount to your immigration survival and to give you a realistic view of the country, its people and how we see the world, read our weekly Southern Man blogs. Often humorous, sometimes challenging, but always food for thought.

Our Cultures Combined

Posted by Iain on March 17, 2017, 3:49 p.m. in New Zealand

Yesterday I listened to an interview on the radio with two women who run a not for profit ‘refuge’ for migrant women and children from ‘Asian, Middle Eastern and African’ cultures. It had already occurred to me that there might be greater issues with migrant women and children from those areas than women and children immigrants from other areas. This is an issue I am not sure policy makers consider – it borders on the politically incorrect. Perhaps, however, we should suck up the accusations of ‘xenophobia’ or ‘racism’ and think it through from a permanent residence perspective.

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Pension Age Increase Announced

Posted by Iain on March 10, 2017, 3:20 p.m. in Retirement

I wrote last week about some of the challenges facing New Zealand given the rapidly aging population. Blow me down if this week the Government announced - perhaps not unexpectedly - an increase in the age when a public pension will be paid. Currently the retirement age when the universal pension is paid is 65. That will increase to 67 in 2037. That is no typo. A 20-year lead in time.

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What to do about an aging population?

Posted by Iain on March 3, 2017, 3:13 p.m. in New Zealand

As an immigration adviser I often think about what the end game is of changes to immigration rules and regulation. What are we trying to achieve? What sort of society and economy are we trying to create or cater to? What are our skill and labour needs over the next 5, 10, 20 years or beyond? Why don’t we ‘just’ grow the skills we need at home? Can it be that hard?

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A (Common) Tale of Honesty

Posted by Iain on Feb. 24, 2017, 12:41 p.m. in New Zealand Lifestyle

Most Saturday mornings sees my wife and I at our local Farmers market in Mangawhai buying some fresh produce, the world’s best bratwurst (according to the German proprietor) and yet more native plants for my ever expanding garden. It is usually fairly uneventful however last Saturday was different. For the first time in, well, years I got out of the car and didn’t take my satchel (‘man bag’ as my millennial sons tease me). I just slipped my wallet into my back pocket. At stall number one I got it out so we could pay for some vegetables. At stall number three I went to get my wallet out of my back pocket and it had gone.

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Rain

Posted by Iain on Feb. 17, 2017, 4:25 p.m. in New Zealand Weather

Sun. Rain. Wind. It is interesting how much of a role climate - perceived or real - plays in terms of where migrants might choose to live. If you are Singaporean or Malaysian you love the fact that New Zealand is, for the most part, both drier and for most of the year, cooler, than they are used to. Comfortable is the word I hear a lot. Migrants from these countries tell me how much they love the climate of ‘New Zealand’ (they are usually referring to Auckland or Christchurch). If you are a South African you tended historically to perceive the climate in New Zealand as being both cold and wet. I should say as thousands more South Africans settle here this perception is changing as expectation hits reality.

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