Abigail caught up with Lisa, who we assisted to move from a Medium Tier firm in South Africa to a Big Four firm in New Zealand, six months ago.
Lisa is currently working from home due to the Corona virus. Her firm in New Zealand is very caring and moved their team to home working two weeks prior to it becoming an official requirement, for their safety. Working from home has been an interesting experience. On the upside you don’t feel alone as there are a lot of video calls, however this can also add to the time it takes to get things done. Lisa likes to get up early in the mornings so she can get a lot of tasks sorted before the calls and emails start for the day. The Firm have asked everyone to take 4 days leave, most took it over Easter, she was busy, so will be taking hers next week. Lisa said, ‘Everyone supported this decision as The Business is trying to the best it can.’
‘’Very happy and my husband is very happy’’.
She has settled into a new house near Mount Wellington with an easy commute by train to the office or clients. Lisa was lucky and found the house very quickly. Her husband has secured a new position, although it is a role he cannot do working from home. Lisa said there is good news as ‘his wage is subsidised, and he is still getting an income. People are also doing what they should be doing and cooperating full force here. Things like this is so reassuring we have made the right decision.’ She went on to say that This has been a huge contribution to why New Zealand is doing so well with a very low number of Covid cases in comparison to most other countries. Lisa said they are still ‘very happy and my husband is very happy’’.
‘There was always someone that would put up their hand and say I can help you’
Lisa found the biggest challenge at work to be adapting to the audit programme, a whole new methodology and programme to learn. However, she said ‘There was always someone that would put up their hand and say I can help you. There are also a lot of online programmes you can do, e-learning. When I first started, I had a buddy who showed me how to do time sheets and things like that. I have a councillor that receives feedback from the managers I work with and passes this on.’ Her councillor picked up the phone recently to provide positive feedback she had received, its lovely to receive that when you are not expecting it. She also said ‘I have feedback every 3 months with my manager. I received positive feedback which motivates you to keep going. It’s so nice when you get feedback even if constructive feedback. I didn’t get that before’. There are also others on the team that have immigrated to New Zealand and are always happy to help with settling in questions.
‘’Work is very focused on Well Being’’
Lisa told Abigail ‘Work is very focused on Well Being. Our teams on audits are big and we share our work evenly. We are better off than in South
Africa where we were working such long hours.’ Even though her last audit was a big one, they would take half an hour a day to do a fun activity as a group and have a break away from your computer.
‘It was different to what I am used to and very uplifting.’ Even now they are working from home and everyone is encouraged to try and take 15 or 30 mins to have fun together, in addition to the usual lunch breaks. When they are in the office they would have 15 minutes a day where they would meet in a cafeteria and do stretch exercises. The same lady in charge of that is sending emails out on what you could do at home. The firm is being very innovative and are taking the time to come up with new ways of doing it.
’We were lucky it took just over 2 weeks to find this rental’’
Settling in was pretty easy. Setting up a bank account and phone was easy. They are also getting used to transport. One of the biggest challenges could have
been finding accommodation, as there are lots of people looking for property to rent. ‘’We were lucky it took just over 2 weeks to find this rental. You can only find a rental when you are in New Zealand as photos can be misleading. We do miss our family, but otherwise everything is going ok for us.’’ They have joined a climbing gym and hiking club to meet more people outside of work.
‘The city has a nice vibe and everyone is friendly.’
Lisa highlighted one of the great benefits of her move is ‘being able to go to the city and a restaurant and walk down the road, walk to a pub, walk to another place. This was something we were not able to do back home. There are also lots of parks where we are staying. At lunch it is nice to and do exercise in the park. There is beautiful scenery wherever you go. Its great to go out and feel free. There is also lots more activities to do in the city. The city has a nice vibe and everyone is friendly.’
Prior to lock down they took a long weekend to Rotorua and did white water rafting, visited a Thermal Park, Lake Taupo and visited the Redwoods Forest. They also have great plans for next winter to go to Queenstown.
Things are going so well for Lisa and her husband that in the long run they want to apply for residency. She offered some advice for others moving to New Zealand, who may fall in love with the country and want to make it a permanent move. ‘We need to get unabridged Birth Certificates, Marriage Certificates etc. That is difficult to get from overseas. If you are in South Africa and moving to New Zealand with
We wish Lisa and her husband all the best in New Zealand and with their long term plans!