You are now Settled and Living in New Zealand

The first thing you will realise is that despite speaking English, driving on the same side of the road, and playing rugby, the countries are completely different

Food Shopping

For many people, this will be the first page you look at.

A word of caution. The food is different! And, just an assurance – it mainly has to do with brands. There is hardly any food you can’t get here. But some is typically South African. So, sweet steaks are rare. So is 3 sugars in coffee and chicken mayonnaise sandwiches. But the steak is grass fed not grain fed in feed lots, the coffee is amazing, and a New Zealand snack is a mince and cheese pie.

Supermarkets and Markets

There are three large supermarket groups in New Zealand

Broadly speaking, Pak n Save, is the cheapest. They are a large no frills supermarket. Countdown is a large group and is distinct in that they have an online shopping and delivery facility. New World is more expensive but has more imported foods, a bigger deli section and the like. And no, you will not find a Woolies here. That’s just how it is.

You will find many fresh produce stores and markets across the country. There are also butcheries which are in the main local. Mad Butcheris a discount butchery, and Aussie Butcher is a small Auckland chain which sells good biltong and boerewors.

Weekend Markets

Look out for these all over New Zealand. Some of the most well known are Otara Market which is a wonderful multi ethnic market selling anything from fresh vegetables to hangi to cheap shoes. Every Aucklander needs to visit it.

The Farmers Market in Dunedin is a must for locals, while the Harbourside market in Wellington is fantastic for locally made foods and of course the best New Zealand coffee.

Op Shopping

A New Zealand phenomenon. As a first world country we are unfortunately also a “throw away society”. So second hand clothes, worn once, and furniture in last years colour are readily available at a wide variety of Opportunity Shops. Don’t confuse these with a junk shop or an antique shop. Goods are generally of good quality.

Some popular op shops are:

St Johns Op Shop

Salvation Army Family Stores

SPCA Shops

Medicine and Health Care

Firstly, understand that because many medicines are subsidized in New Zealand, the range is much smaller. Also, the old fashioned remedies used in the Boer War like Lewensessens and Grandpa are not easily obtainable here.

The Healthcare system is complex. Research it on this link. When you get to New Zealand, remember to register with a medical practice. And bring your medical records from South Africa and your child’s immunization record.

Accidents are treated free at A&E Centres, but these are very expensive for everyday ailments.

Dentistry is free for children but is very expensive for adults.

Surgery is done on the basis of need and is free. However, the urgency will be assessed and you may wait a long time for a hernia operation, but a heart bypass will be done immediately. You will contact your general practitioner in the first instance.

Many prescription medicines are subsidized by the government, and you may have to pay a small $5 fee or it may even be free. But you will not just be able to ask like you do in South Africa. Remember, there is no incentive in New Zealand to over prescribe or to prescribe medicines that have limited therapeutic value.

Pharmacies are everywhere, but over the counter medication can be expensive.

South African Food and Restaurants

There are dozens of South African shops that sell foods you may miss from home. But, because its all imported, its not cheap. There are also lots of butcheries that make boerewors or biltong. But boerewors is made to a standard where there may be less fat, and of course there are no Kudu in New Zealand.

Some of the South African shops sell online. And, they are wonderful places to meet expats if you want, especially on a Saturday morning.

There are also lots of places you will be able to buy freshly made vetkoek, koeksisters, bunny chow, Durban mutton curry and South African samoosas.

There are a few SA type restaurants, but obviously New Zealand caters for a Kiwi population, so our recommendation is just “build a bridge and get over it” as they say here

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