New Zealand

If you have been wondering why I have been a little quiet this last couple weeks, it’s because Richard & I have been doing a lot of talking, thinking & planning. Never would we have thought a couple weeks ago how life was going to change. Let me share with you a little of the timeline! Firstly let me say that for those of you with orders for sheep and pigs, we will still provide those and be available for after sales support. Read on…

  • Monday Nov 5th – Michael called up at lunchtime & talked with Richard. Michael asked him if we would visit him & the family in New Zealand if they moved there. Richard was like, “Sure, if you’re paying!” Michael is really enjoying his plumbing course at college & is learning so much more – welding etc. I think the last time I wrote about Michael he had started working for a plumber. Well that fell through so Michael ended up doing the college course anyways & in all honesty it has worked out much better for him. Apparently there are a lot of plumbing apprenticeship jobs in New Zealand right now. Michael & Jess are big dreamers & are longing to move once his college course is completed which should be next December.
  • Tuesday Nov 6th – As Richard & I were going to bed after having watched the election results etc we just laughed & said, “Maybe it’s time to move to New Zealand?”
  • Wednesday Nov 7th – The two cows we had been waiting on Johnes & BLV testing came back positive for BLV. He had one cow that was negative but we were not too sure on her & in all honesty did not want to go all that way for just one cow when we really needed two. We just didn’t feel right about it so left it. That, as we would say, put a real spanner (wrench) in the works. Richard was at work that day so conversation was not that easy but talk we did and although Richard is way more ‘cautious’ than me we both knew that New Zealand was in our future. I am not criticizing my hubby at all – he is the one that has to shoulder the main responsibility of this family & make sure we do not do anything foolish. As he often says, he is the string, holding me, the kite, in check 🙂
  • Thursday Nov 8th – Told Michelle who thought we were totally crazy! (Nothing new there- LOL!) The younger kids keep asking if we are leaving tomorrow! The research had begun in earnest. Of course you cannot just go live in another country unless you have millions to invest & then they welcome you with open arms.
  • Friday Nov 9th – Checked out several, very informative books on NZ from the library.
  • Saturday Nov 10th – Richard had already started looking at Paramedic jobs. St. Johns Ambulance is the big one over there but there is also another one in Wellington, the capital.
  • Sunday Nov 11th thru Thursday Nov 15th – Richard started working on his CV (Resume). Unlike here in the USA where a one page resume is all that is expected, most other countries expect at least 5 pages of detailed history, qualifications, work experience etc. New Zealand is a British Commonwealth – the Queen is on their dollar & it has a lot of British & European influence. Writing his resume, Richard had to change his spellchecker back to English. For us that is not hard and he has written many CV’s over the years & also read hundreds when he was interviewing folks for jobs etc. We have never lost our British Culture and although our accent has mellowed over the years, everyone knows we are not from around here 🙂

With the CV completed, Richard started to investigate the visa situation a little more & in all honesty, got very frustrated! He would have loved to have had all our “ducks in a row” before we started moving things on this end but that was not to be. Richard is a very talented guy in the fact that he has a wealth of experience in both the IT (computer) industry plus now in Para-medicine. Although in time we would like to set up our own business over in NZ for now we feel that Richard needs to get a job so that we have time to learn the culture & market over there. He really does not want to go back to working in the computer industry as we have been way too independent for so long that a 9-5 job really is not appealing at all. If he can get in with his Paramedic skills that would, in our opinion, work much better for us. However the “qualifications” are different for each country so he has to talk to someone to see whether NZ will accept his credentials. That person was on holiday this week!

Backtracking a few years here, the way we were able to get into the USA, was due to the USA at that time having a lack of skilled computer/IT workers. The requirements to even apply were a Bachelor’s Degree in computer science or 12 years experience. Neither Richard & I have a college degree BUT Richard just had 12 years experience at that time so his skills/experience was accredited by two college professors & the rest is history.

We are not able to take any animals with us to NZ. No LIVE pigs are allowed into New Zealand unless they have come from Australia. We are in touch with a NZ vet who has given us all the information needed on importing semen which is definitely not the best answer but maybe better than nothing. They do have Large Blacks over there but are very limited in their genetics & crying out for more. We are going to contact an export company this next week, actually know someone from all our LB dealings in this country, to see if it is even financially feasible. Personally we have to go over with no ties so that we are free to travel & find our way. It may be another English speaking country but the language & culture are still very different!

SO back to the timeline:

  • Friday Nov 16th. After much more talking we made the decision it was time to get things up for sale. I had actually started clearing out DVD’s earlier in the week. For a family that does not have TV or rarely watches movies we seem to have accumulated a lot over the years! SO they are all up for sale on Ebay or Amazon & are going out of here every day. I am no pack rat, quite the opposite in fact but the more I think about what we have here the more I realize how long it is going to take up to get it all sorted.

We honestly have no idea how all this will pan out. It is a HUGE move – 8,000 miles in fact! All we can take with us are some clothes & a few momentos – photo albums, some school books & other books that will cost too much to replace. Shipping is expensive & when we moved from England to the USA we paid nearly $10,000 in moving fees to bring all our furniture over. A complete waste of money & will not do that again. We even brought a couple electronic things which then we had to build an inverter for to even use! Richard will take his laptop with him so we can communicate with folks but all the other computers will be sold & we will buy new when we get there. As we get closer to the move we will investigate the cost of “needs” over there & decide whether it will be cheaper to ship them or buy new over there.

Over the next few days/weeks the farm & animals will go up for sale. For those of you reading this, who are waiting for lambs, please do not panic. Our plan is to let the girls lamb out & then price them accordingly. You will still get your sheep & we will also have rams to sell to make good breeding “families.” If you have purchased a Breeding Pair of Large Black pigs from us, those are still going to be here waiting pick up. We will keep our For Sale pages up to date so you will know exactly where things stand. Even when all the animals are gone we will still be available to answer your questions & give you support. No one will be left in the lurch. It may take us a year or more to sell this place – we really do not know. The milk cows & chickens will stay here until close to the end as we need them for milk & eggs. Douglas, the bull & the calves will be put up for sale.

We realize that many folks will think we are crazy whilst others will wish they had the chance/guts to do what we are doing. When Richard & I first married (1987) we lived in an apartment above my parent’s restaurant. A year later, they sold the restaurant so we had to move out. We borrowed a 16′ caravan & lived in Richard’s mum’s backyard for 3 mths. I was pregnant with Michelle & we had to go inside the house for the bathroom. Richard & I were both working at that time but we knew we were supposed to leave Cornwall on Sept 30th, 1988 & move to Harrogate in the north of England. That was only 400 miles away but at that time in our lives that was a HUGE move. (LOL! If we had known how life was going to turn out & how many moves we were going to make, we would have gone gray overnight!) Richard had applied for several jobs, been for interviews but received no job offers. Many folks, including my parents, thought we were totally crazy. The Friday we left for Harrogate, Richard got a call offering him a job. When asked when he could start he told them “Monday!” We arrived in Harrogate with a car load of stuff & a hamster! We had put our furniture into storage & it wasn’t until the following February (15th) that we got our own unfurnished apartment & were able to have all our “stuff” delivered. That night, sleeping on our bed for the first time in months, my waters broke & Michelle was born the following morning (16th)!

God has never let us down. That doesn’t mean life has always been easy but HE has always been with us.

Are we excited about this move? You betcha! Is it a little overwhelming? Yep! BUT we know this is the right time of life to be doing this. Richard is 45 & I am 44. New Zealand is not interested in immigrants once they reach 55 so although we have a few years, time is running out. My Dad, although a great man, was always afraid to “move” on things – fear held him back at times. Richard said today that he knows that if we do not take the risk/step of faith here, we will be like Dad & regret it. Neither of us have any doubts that there are going to be some hard. trying times over the next few months. Moving is stressful even if you are just moving down the street! Although we do not believe that this will fail, if it does & we cannot stay in New Zealand then we have two countries to choose to come back to – England or the USA. We are citizens of both. In fact, if nothing pans out visa/job wise before we leave the USA, we will go into NZ on our British passports as that way we can stay there for 6mths. If we go in on our US passports we can only stay for 3 mths.

We trust you will continue to “travel” with us on our new adventure. We will continue to blog & keep you updated. Yes we are leaving farming behind for a while but we hope not for long. We still want to live a self-sufficient life. The thought of having to go back to purchasing everything from the grocery store is not  a pleasant one.

Some interesting facts for you:

USA – 3,718,695 square miles, 302,394,000 population – 81 people per square mile

UK – 94,060 square miles, 62,262,000 population – 661 people per square mile

Missouri – 69,704 square miles. 6,0101,688 population – 87 people per square mile

New Zealand – 103,738 square miles, 4,228,000 population – 40 people per square mile

So NZ is just a bit bigger than the UK – lengthwise they are about the same – 1000 miles top to bottom but it has WAY less people living there. Just in the state of Missouri there are more people than in the whole of New Zealand.

New Zealand has a mild climate but is incredibly diverse – there are the glaciers, fjords & southern Alps on the south Island. On the North Island there are active volcanoes, geysers etc. Did you know that there are only three places on earth with geysers? Yellowstone National Park here in the USA, Roturora in New Zealand & also in Iceland. Of course New Zealand is known for its dairy & sheep industry – in most places the grass is green all year round due to the wet, mild climate. They can grow animals very cheap over there. On the North Island it is warm enough to grow citrus fruits. You are never more than 60 miles from the coast, alot of places much less 🙂

Please keep us in your thoughts & prayers.


9 Responses to “New Zealand”

  1. lacyquilter says:

    WOW! Will keep you in my prayers.

  2. Mary H. says:

    Oh My Gosh! What a stunner post! I expect a lot of us feel the same way you folks do, but we’re too old to immigrate! I applaud your courage in being willing to set off on this big adventure, with your children, so many unknowns. I’m sure you’ve prayed about it, listened for ‘answers’. You have a strong faith, you both seem to be level-headed think-it-through people, so I expect you’ll do just fine. You’re certainly not afraid of hard work. And you will have your other kids close where you can perhaps see them more frequently. I was so happy to read you’ll continue your blog. I may not comment frequently, but always check in to see what adventures are going on at the farm! Good luck.

  3. Janet Sisk says:

    Well, I think you are a little crazy, but kudos to you for being brave enough to do what you feel is God’s guiding in your life. Your children have had and will have such a diverse upbringing. I wish you all the luck and will pray that the transition will go smoothly. I know that you will be so happy to be closer to Michael and his family, too. 😀 I will continue to follow your blog and look forward to hearing all about your new adventure.

  4. Janet Sisk says:

    Here is an idea that just hit me. You should seriously think about having a Bed and Breakfast or ranch with accomodations. You have a lot of connections here in the US and there are a lot of us (I bet!) that would LOVE to visit NZ, but don’t want to do the expensive tours or cruises. It would be much more fun to stay with people that we at least know (even if through the internet)than to stay in a touristy hotel. It would also be a way to stay self-sufficient. Just an idea!!!! 😀 I would come with my hubby and maybe my girls, too!

  5. Mickie says:

    Well blow me away!! You guys lead such an adventurous life and I applaud you for your faith and courage. I so enjoy reading your blog and all about your family life in Montana and now in Missouri. Prayers up for you and yours and may the good Lord bless this transition in your lives.

  6. Jessie Pomeroy says:

    Meet you over there 😀
    (We always have the greatest ideas!)

  7. Christine Udell says:

    Wow Liz, what an incredible opportunity. Hope all goes well for you. Sounds like a God-incidence to me. Keep us in the loop.
    God bless you. Love, Christine.

  8. Cynde Nozawa says:

    Big news! Jim and I wish you all the best! We are looking forward to getting sheep from you, do you have us on your list for the package of 6 ewes and 2 rams? We were also hoping to get some LB feeder pigs a month or so after we get the sheep. Since we have no experience raising hogs we planned to start with the feeder pigs and if we do well with those then our next step will possibly be to get breeders and raise our own. If you are still here that long! Or maybe you can hook us up with the folks you sell your stock to. Lots of hard work and decisions ahead for you and Richard!

  9. Mike Prollins says:

    Well, bugger me. Well done that man (and woman). Every few years I catch up on the Pomeroy drama – last time I looked you were in Montana. Congrats. I think. Watch out for Hobbits.


    PS: All well here. Mark left the RN and joined the filth – grandchild due anytime. Liz left Uni now and working in the smoke. Joe 14, Liz 12 at the local comp, both doing well. Lyn sends her love.

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