Multiple ?’s for Kiwis:?

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What are comparative advantages & disadvantages in the schooling system there (compared to UK or US)? What is the curriculum like? Does the schooling vary much from province to province?

Where is all this gang activity I read about online? And are methampetamines an overblown problem, or is that just in certain social circles?

Can anyone recommend housing developers? Link please. I’m wondering about this because I’ve read it’s awefully difficult to find a home that has insulation and concrete foundation and as a result mold is a big problem.

Can anyone elaborate on the mortgage loans there? I’ve read that the longest loan you can get is 10 or 12 years. In the states it’s 30 years. How can someone on say, 60k a year (NZD) make payments on a 10 year mortgage of a 250k home??

What is there to do north of Auckland? Activities for familes that you could do in one day?

On a side note, Hollywood films typically screen on Fridays here in the states, how about in NZ?
Picola: thanks for covering the majority of my questions 🙂

As for the movies, yes I meant when do they first release. In the US they come out on Friday nites for premiere running.

Chetak: Actually, the US does have a national standard in the form of a fairly comprehensive (if mundane) barrage of tests. No national standard for curriculum tho.

And US has great films! Granted MOST of the stuff Hollywood puts out is garbage, but there’s so much garbage that there’s a lot of good stuff. Bucketlist is the best movie I’ve seen recently. 1408 is probably my favorite horror films of all time. Just so many gems if you know how to look for them!

Can anyone elaborate on the schooling? That’s a major concern for us, if we were to move there our baby would just be starting school by the time we got there. Any teachers out there? 🙂

  1. Reply
    February 19, 2011 at 7:42 am

    I may not be able to help with all your Q’s but firstly let me start by saying that 10-12 years being the longest you can get a mortgage loan for is rubbish!! as far as i know you can have one for 40 years if you choose to, but 25 years would be the average for most people.
    visit this site where you can put in the amount of the loan you’d have, the interest rate on the loan and the number of years you’d like to pay it off over and it will calculate your weekly/fortnightly minimum repayments

    as for your Q about gangs, well that would mostly be around south Auckland, to the average kiwi its not something we ever worry about/encounter, i personally feel its all been blown out of proportion a bit. Because we are a small country “problems” such as gang violence get huge media coverage because its not so much the “norm” here as it is in the UK and the United states. Despite my saying most gang activity occurs in South Auckland, the mercer global study listed Auckland as the 10th safest city in the world for personal safety – (they only looked at Wellington and Auckland in NZ missing out the whole of the south island and NZ’s second largest city, Christchurch so not a totally comprehensive result)

    Housing developers are a plenty see – these are just a few i know of, my parents built a home with golden homes.
    Building standards have significantly improved in NZ, with it now being a requirement for all south island homes to have double glazed windows.
    if you could find a house built within the past 10-15 years you should find it to be fairly well insulated.

    North of Auckland is the Coromandel, Bay of Islands Whanagarei – endless activities! there are a few water parks just north of auckland. theres an animal park near whangarei that houses many species of big cats – white lions, white tigers, etc a lot of cubs have been born and hand-raised there so it’d be an amazing place to visit. it even has its own tv show on sunday nights!! see

    do you mean hollywood films screen on tv on friday nights?? or are you meaning they open on fridays at the movie theatres in the states??
    A cinema week runs from Thursday-Wednesday in NZ so all new major motion pictures start on a Thursday.

    I’ll leave your education system Q to be answered by others – as far as i know we are considered to have a fairly high standard education system in NZ but not 100% how it compares to UK and US

    *** glad to have helped somewhat i found a few links that might answer some queries relating to our education system but i realise obviously it’d be good to get answers from “real people”
    but try (for info on secondary school qualifications system)
    hope this provide some help…

  2. Reply
    February 19, 2011 at 8:34 am

    a) We have a national standards when it comes to education, not like state standards in the US.
    b) There are gangs in most of the cities, mainly in the drug scene.
    c) We have a pretty good building code, but some shoddy developers in the past have created the ‘leaky homes problem’. Our insulation standards are high, mainly in the south because of the code.
    d) Most house mrtgages at 30 years. Try to get a fix rate loan that way you don’t have to worry about soaring rates. Floating rates at times are the cheapest in comparison but are not very attractive at present.
    e) Northland is more of a holiday destination.
    f) Most theatre chains change their movie each week, on a Thursday I think, and the majority of our movies are US I fear.

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