READER REPORT:

NZ 'too pricey' for average person

SHARRON ORPWOOD
Last updated 10:30 11/03/2014
korea
Sharron Orpwood

Dining with friends in a traditional Korean restaurant.

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We asked Kiwi expats to share their views on how their new home compares.

I came to South Korea in 2007 to work for a year or two at the most and I am still here.

I have often thought about coming back home to New Zealand, but the earthquakes in my hometown Christchurch and the reports of high rents, higher food prices, lack of available accommodation just puts me off.

I live in a rent-free two-bedroom apartment, earn about $500 per week after tax for 20 hours a week, and pay a tax rate of about 3.3 per cent. I have compulsory medical insurance and pension which is taken out with the tax.

I can still smoke in a bar if I go out, cigarettes are about one-sixth of the price in New Zealand, and I don't have the anti-smoking people trying to make me quit.

The flagfall for a taxi is $2.80, so taking a taxi is relatively cheap.

My husband joined me about two and a half years ago, and is a househusband.

The cost of living is relatively low compared with New Zealand.

I miss some of the things that only New Zealand offers such as Golden Syrup, L&P, Jaffas, Bluebird salt and vinegar chips with reduced cream dip to name a few. But that is also changing - I can now buy L&P and even New Zealand Weetbix.

New Zealand has better scenery, beaches, and open spaces, but has priced itself out for the average person. Buying my own home in New Zealand has become almost impossible. Finding a job that would cover all my expenses and have some left over is more of a dream than reality.

So all-in-all, while New Zealand is my home, my quality of life in South Korea is a lot better than it would be in New Zealand.


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