I just heard that New Zealander’s based in Auckland experience some of the top rated quality of life in the world! Oh yah.. no wonder I love this place so much. (Don’t kid yourself though, Canada always ranks near the top too!) NZ held 3rd spot on the Mercer 2011 Quality of Life Survey for the 4th straight year and taking the highest ranking in the Asian Pacific region… take that Australia. The researches considered 39 pieces of criteria including economic environment, health, education, transport, housing, personal freedom and recreational factors like restaurants, sports facilities and cinemas. Out of 221 cities Auckland took third place… suck that Wellington! If you don’t know there is a bit of competition Wellington and Auckland… not really surprised to hear this as NZ has a pretty chill lifestyle. If you don’t believe, come down and give it go!
Posts tagged canadians working abroad
I returned from my trip back to Auckland on Saturday for one reason: to be in Auckland when the All Blacks play France in the finals of the Rugby World Cup! The game was to take place on Sunday night, so I flew home on Sat night from Queenstown to ensure the I would have a good nights sleep and that I would be ready to party when the All Blacks WIN!
Sunday there was a nervous buzz in the air! Today the All Blacks would once again be play for the rugby world cup. Up early to prepare – grocery store to get food for next day (i.e. hang over food) and stalk up on beers, plus get some all blacks gear and tattoos to look the part! By noon we were ready to go. I had an All Blacks flag, which I used as a cape, Michelle was rocking her jersey and our faces had tattoos! Go the ALL BLACKS!
We had a couple drinks at our place and at 3pm it was off to the Bluestone Room to meet up with some mates watch the game. We had watched a lot of the RWC games here and figured it was only right to finish off the drive for the championship at the pub! The game didn’t start until 9pm, but everywhere was getting packed out early! The place was packed full of fans – both NZ and France. We had a bite to eat and many a beer to warm up for the big match.
At 9pm it was standing room only. The pub was at capacity – ive never seen it so busy! The All Blacks drew first blood with a try and the French were being held at bay by their amazing defence. It was a tense game to say the least, in which the All Blacks pulled out the narrow victory. The bar erupted in joy! Everyone was high-fiving, hugging, kissing, up on tables, chugging beers… it was pandemonium! More beer and then to the streets to celebrate!
Downtown was packed full of fans. No cars, just a see of All Blacks fans! Joyous is the only way it can be described. The All Blacks had finally brought the cup home! We ended up at another bar for a couple more beers and then Michelle and I called it a night. What an amazing experience to be in NZ when the ALL BLACKS win the Rugby World Cup. This was definitely one of the most exciting times Ive had in NZ! Congrats to New Zealand and the All Blacks!
ps.. this video is fuck’n halarious! This boy has written a song to inspire the All Blacks to WIN… well it must have worked. I can only hope he writes a song about the WIN! Good on ya kid!
I took some time off this week to head down to Queenstown and do some downhill mountain biking on the skyline. As usual it was an early flight, I like to make the most of my time off so I usually fly really freak’n early to maximise my time riding. Well this time it didn’t quite pan out! I flew into some real shit weather. We are talking about a southerly that has just covered the entire country – cold, wet and windy. Not ideal for riding. When it rains hard and the ground is muddy and soft it is best to stay off the tracks since you just end up destroying! So my day was a wash. The skyline wasn’t taking bikers up, so what was I supposed to do with my time?
Yes Queenstown is the adventure capital of the world and there is heaps to do, but when you don’t want to do a bungy, jump in a speed boat or get drunk there isn’t a lot going on especially on shit weather days. So what do I do? I go the library and read. I spent 3 hours at the library and then another two at a café reading and chilling. It’s like when people go to tropical spots to rest on the beach and read… Well I didn’t have the nice weather, but I read.
By mid avro I checked into my hostel and continued reading. I’ve pretty much polished off my book, which is – ‘two seats left’ the story of contiki travel. Good read! I also hit up the local book shop to read and cruise through some magazines. Also I sent a couple post cards… I didn’t bring my lap top so jumping online isn’t readily available. Now I am just praying for blue skies, sun and dry trails!
I guess my question to you is – what do you do when you are travelling and the weather has gone to hell? Also got any good books you can recommend?
This past Friday was the opening of the Rugby World Cup and it was EPIC! The Auckland City Council had contacted all of the local business to recommend that they let staff off at 3pm and luckily my employer agreed! From the get go in the morning there was a buzz and excitement in the city. Everyone was rocking black and white in support of the All Blacks. To be honest it had to be one of the most unproductive days in New Zealand history. I think everyone was just waiting to start the party!
At 3pm we had a couple beers in the office and then it was off to Base to have some drinks on there balcony bar. The streets were just getting busier and busier by the minute. I didnt even bother to try and get into Party Central or even hit up the Queens Warf as it was already full – I could see that it was backed up at 2:30pm with people waiting to enter, so I wasn’t going to go fight those crowds. I was happy to be at a bar watching it with a group of Rugby mad travellers from all over the world! With the beers flowing we watched a fleet of Waka’s arrive into the harbour, a mass haka, live music from Dave Dobin and the Finn Brothers. After a couple beers at Base we shifted down the road to the Bluestone Room that was packed full with partygoers. Here it was jug after jug of beer with a bunch of rugby fanatics from France at our table.
There was a massive fireworks show at 8pm. Six thousand explosive shells wereill be let off from four floating barges in the harbour, the SkyTower and four buildings in the CBD. EPIC! The streets were packed with people supporting their team and the party was in full motion. People were on top of bus shelters dancing, in the streets, up light poles and on any space available. The fireworks lasted 12 mins and it was mesmerizing!
With the fireworks done it was back to the bar to watch the opening ceremonies before the game. The opening ceremonies included mix of Maori tradition and rugby heritage. It was amazing too! Well-done New Zealand! Soon enough the game was on and the Rugby World Cup had begun. The All Blacks and the Tongan’s each did there haka.. awesome! Then the All Blacks easily beat the Tonga side, but it was a fun game to watch and the atmosphere was electric.
On the walk home from the pub the CBD (central business district) was packed with people. It was estimated that 200,000 people were downtown and the Queens Warf had an additional 12,000 people. That is a lot of partygoers! For the most part there wasn’t a lot of trouble. Of course there were a couple fights, but with that many (intoxicated) people in one spot it is bound to happen. In the end the police arrested 63 people. Overall, it was an EPIC event! New Zealand should be proud as they represented very well. The tournament runs for 6 weeks, so this is just the beginning. When the All Blacks win, it will be pandemonium!
It’s only 5 days until the Rugby World Cup (RWC) in New Zealand. Already Auckland is a buzz with tourists and rugby fans. This past weekend you could notice a visible increase of people wondering around the downtown core, not to mention all of the buskers – jugglers, musicians, break-dancers and more! The harbour front has been transformed into party central! New bar, restaurants, shops have popped up everywhere.
Opening ceremony, which is this Friday 9th of September will kick start the 7th World Cup and is promising it will a night to remember. There is a 30-minute ceremony in front of 60,000 people at Eden Park that will tell the story of New Zealand. It will also represent the coming together of countries from around the world in New Zealand in pursuit of the World Cup. There are over 1,000 performers and backstage crew to make this evening possible. After the opening ceremony the first game of the RWC will be the All Blacks VS Tonga.
For those not able to score tickets to the open ceremonies the Auckland waterfront will be the place to be!
- 4.00pm – Tamaki Herenga Waka – fleet arrival
- 4.40pm – Dave Dobbyn and band at Queens Wharf
- 5.00pm – Mass haka and kaihoe procession – Eastern Viaduct/Quay Street
- 5.45pm – Mayoral welcome on Queens Wharf, followed by haka
- 6pm – The Finn Brothers concert – headline act
- 7.30pm – Opening Ceremony from Eden Park live on the waterfront big screens
- 8.00pm – Sound and light show – Auckland’s biggest and brightest fireworks and light show set to music composed specially for the occasion by Don McGlashan
- 8.15pm – Opening Match from Eden Park live on the waterfront big screens
- 10.20pm – Concert by top New Zealand music acts on Queens Wharf, featuring Dane Rumble, Midnight Youth, Kora and Manuel Bundy
- 2.00am – Queens Wharf closes.
So as you can see this will be the biggest event that New Zealand has ever hosted. Ive got my tickets to go see Canada vs Tonga on the 14th of September in Whangarei. Im stoked to be part of a game and even more stoked to be able to back Canada in the RWC!
Work has been great! I just got back from a trip down to Wellington and Christchurch. Any time you get out of the office is nice.Wellingtonwas pretty average, grey, windy and cold – the usual for Welly.Christchurchthough was bluebird skies, sunny and fairly warm. The flight down was impressive and looking back I wish I had my camera. The mountains were stunning. After the dumping of snow we had earlier in the month they are all covered and looking amazing. The best I’ve ever seen them. Super scenic.
September is looking good for work travel too! I’ve got heaps on the go and spring starts, so no complaints here. I’m off , to Wellington and Christchurch again. I’m loving it! Just found out that I will be heading to Queenstown mid September, so I have tacked a couple days on that trip to do some riding!
I maybe getting to GoldenBayfor some back country riding near the end of the month.. fingers crossed! It all depends on timing and funds!
The Rugby World Cup is only a week or so away and I’ve just scored some tickets too the Canada Vs Tonga game.Ill be going with another Canadian and a couple of Kiwis. STOKED!!! Life is good.
This past weekend I got to ride some new tracks around Auckland. I was pretty stoked to get shuttle-runs in, without having to make the 2.5 hour drive to Rotorua. The plan was to hit up Maraetai on Sunday where they run monthly shuttles. I always get a little nervous before I ride a new DH track, as you never really know what you are going yourself into, but in the end it wasnt too bad. They had 1 steep downhill track called ‘the trig’ which was wet, slippery and muddy. It wasnt a long track as it only took a few minutes to get to the bottom. It had some jumps, but overall it was just steep and slippery.The track def wasnt the best ive ridden, but not bad for around Auckland. The track needed some trail mainteneace as it was pretty rutted and in need a serious sweep since it was covered entirely in needles making line choice a bit sketchy. I think there were 8 trails at the drop point. I didnt ride all of them as i was told some were pretty cross-country which wasnt why i was there. I wanted down, fast, flowy with some jumps. I pretty much spent my time between ‘the trig’ and ‘two dead cows.’ My favorite of the day was definitely ‘two dead cows!’ It was a bit more flowy with a variety of jumps, from nice booters to some step ups.
Overall it was a great day! It is always good riding some new trails. Once summer hits and it really dries out it could be sick. The local mountain bike club is investing a lot time building so it is definitely a spot to watch. If you do plan to ride there make sure you get a permit as it you need one to be allowed in the forest.
Ive been living in Auckland for over a year now and I just can’t understand why everyone hates on this city? If you are from Auckland and you travel anywhere else in New Zealand you will hear this familiar term ‘JAFA,’ which means ‘Just Another Fucking Aucklander.’ I’ve met people from Auckland who cringe when asked where they are from because of the response they will get from other kiwis. In one case a taxi cab driver pulled over and tossed his Aucklander passengers out of his cab because they live in Auckland! How could someone make such a rush judgment about a person just because they live in a certain part of the country.
In any other country Auckland would be the ideal holidaying city. It has a temperate climate, plenty of nice beaches, cool neighborhoods, 2 harbors and enough going on that you won’t be bored out of your skull. I’ve met plenty of kiwis from outside of Auckland that feel the people living here are not friendly – I haven’t experienced that. Auckland is a small-big city with a very friendly feel. If you were to give the city a chance you will most likely enjoy yourself here. I’m not saying that backpackers should base themselves here, but to trash it and really only spend a couple days in the city is not giving it a fair go. Recently I met one backpacker who hated on the city, but now calls it home and has realized that it not such a bad place after living here for a while. Don’t get me wrong, Auckland isn’t for everyone but to say it is not a good place to live is totally untrue.
When I lived in Toronto it was the same thing with the rest of Canada. Everyone hates Toronto. The crime, the pollution, to busy, to much traffic, rude people.. ive heard it all and to be honest I was hater until I lived there. Once I gave it a chance it really grew on me. When I first thought of moving to NZ I didn’t really think I would be based out of Auckland, but when I scored a great job here why wouldn’t I give it a shot. I don’t regret it at all.
I think it all comes down to hating the ‘big guy.’ The UK hates London, Canada hates Toronto, Australia hates Sydney, everyone hates America and I could go on. Hating really doesn’t do anyone any good. So if everyone could just understand that the ‘big city’ isn’t for everyone and that really in the scheme of things you shouldn’t knock a place until you’ve actually lived there the world would be a happier place.
It’s back to the grind for me! My month long vacation has come to an end and I am now back in New Zealand. My trip home was amazing. It was great to be able to catch up with my friends and family. My month consisted of visiting friends in my home town, a couple trips to Toronto to visit old co-workers, hanging out with my young niece and nephew, helping my brother move into his new house, and two weeks of bliss at the cottage. To be honest I think I forgot how beautiful Canada was. Maybe I took it for granted, but going home with fresh eyes made me realize how lucky I am to be able to live in Canada. I know I rave about how stunning and amazing New Zealand is, but Canada is right there beside New Zealand.
Im now working on obtaining residency in New Zealand and hopefully it will be a smoother process than obtaining my second work visa for New Zealand. I love being in New Zealand. It just feels like a second home. Flying into Auckland felt great, it just felt right. Don’t know why, but it did. I do think I will move back to Canada one day, but for now New Zealand is home and I feel lucky to be able to call it that.
So what is in the forecast for me? Of course lots and lots of riding! Taking a month of the bike has let my shoulder fully recover – sweet! I keep thinking to myself I should have a more balanced life, not just riding in all of my sparetime. This is easy for me to say and hard for me to do. All I want to do is ride on the weekends/evenings, but I am going to try and make a effort to mix it up. Meh.. we will see, but odds are Ill be riding just as much or more a year from now. Who am I kidding I live to ride and ride to live.
Maybe you are wondering why there has been no recent post on this blog… well let me tell you a story. I had some trouble getting my second work visa for New Zealand. I ended up having to apply for 3 different visas until immigration found a visa that would work with my situation. This meant that I have been in New Zealand for the last 4 months without a visa, without being able to work, without being able to leave since i would not be allowed back in. It was a stressful 4 months to say the least. Just before the trouble started I purchased a flight to come home to Canada for the month of July. Of course once i had laid down my hard earned money on a flight i found out that there was some issues with my visa. I was hoping the visa situation would work itself out by July, but there seemed to be no rush from immigration to assist me. My flight back to Canada was on June 29th and I had until the 27th of June to cancel my flight so I could obtain a partial refund (I would loose $750!!). On the morning of the 27th I was planning on cancelling my flight, but before I thought I would check my online account with immigration to see if there had been any changes. To my utter surprise there was. It was lodged. My mind started to run; is there any chance it would be issued before the end of the day?? Who knows… I then go back to the website 20 mins later and find that immigration has issued me another work visa! Pure joy and excitement overtake me. Im high-five’n everyone and the stress from the last 4 months was instantly gone!
Next thing that was on my agenda was to get ready for Canada! Yikes ive only got 2 days and I have so much to do. Ive got tonne of work to do: pack, get some prezzies for family and kids, hand-over notes for work and so on. To be honest the day i was issued my visa, it was impossible to work. My mind was running in a thousand different directions. In the end I managed to get a lot of it done, but I will be doing a bit of work online from Canada. Which i think is a fair trade off!
I writing this short update from Canada and this will be the only posting until i return home to Auckland on the 29th of July. So for the month of July I will be in Toronto visiting friends and past co-workers, helping my bro move into his new house, hanging out with my niece and nephew, catching up with my best friends and chilling at the cottage for the last two weeks. Coming home has been amazing and I am seeing it in entirely different eyes. Sometimes you get so accustomed to things around you, you forget how amazing this country is. I didn’t realise how much i missed everyone and everything until I got home. Now I am just trying to take it all in and enjoy every minute I am home!