How One German Set up A Small Business In New Zealand

I write this article to try and encourage other Germans who might migrate to New Zealand to consider the possibility of setting up a small business. I’ve done so successfully and thought I would relate a little of my experience to others who might consider trying to do the same thing.

That’s because I was very intimidated by the prospect of setting up a small business. Everything in New Zealand is different from the way it is in Germany. All of the rules and regulations are different, the finances are different, the taxes are different and there’s so many new things to get your head around as an immigrant.

And of course you’ve got to find a good business niche to get involved in. As someone who has not lived in New Zealand for very long it’s not easy gathering up sufficient understanding of the local market to find a viable niche in which to start a business.

My business was in forklifts. When I got to New Zealand initially I began work with a company that had a large number of forklifts in use in their warehouse. All day long you’d see forklifts buzzing up and down moving stock around the warehouse.

I got to know some of the forklift drivers quite well and spent quite some time with them finding out about what it takes to become a forklift driver. I assumed initially that it was just time spent on the job however after speaking to them for some time I realised that it was a skilled task which required quite specific training, and a specific licence. And getting a forklift licence, whilst not extremely difficult, is a very important part of the process because all forklift drivers are required to be licensed.

So I did some research into forklift training courses and forklift licensing, here. It seemed to me that there was an opening in the market for a company offering forklift training courses and forklift licences and so I began my business, after employing a suitably qualified person to work with me, offering forklift licence training.

It’s not an easy thing opening a business in New Zealand when you’re German. I approached a number of banks for finance and was turned down by all of them because I had no history in New Zealand. I didn’t need a whole lot of money but I did need a small loan to tide me over, and ended up taking out a much more expensive installment loan for a small amount of money. It’s only a small loan and I hope to have the loan repaid very soon. I didn’t plan on an installment loan as it has a very high interest rate but just couldn’t get anything else.

It ended up being a very clever decision to open a business offering forklift licence training. I’ve promoted it on the Internet and locally and I’m now getting a steady stream of new hopeful forklift drivers undertaking my forklift training course and its working.

It is not particularly difficult running courses for forklift drivers and it’s not very expensive so the profit margin is quite high. I rent premises and my premises aren’t particularly expensive because I don’t need a high profile location, so I was able to find an old disused warehouse where I could run my forklift training courses at a relatively low cost.

As a new resident of New Zealand, who came from Germany, I was quite intimidated by the process of setting up a new business. Refreshingly I found it much easier to do than I had initially expected and have now been able to set up a business that is running profitably and which is providing me with a worthwhile income.

So my advice to any German coming to New Zealand who is considering setting up a small business here is to go for it. It might seem intimidating at first however many of the imagined problems melt away once you get stuck into the details and it’s quite possible to establish a small business successfully here in New Zealand. Here’s a good place to start.

Don’t let the details put you off, get it started and you’ll have your own small business running successfully before you can imagine.

What Are The Gun Laws In New Zealand?

If you’ve just come from to New Zealand from Germany and are interested in buying a firearm, for example because you’d be interested in learning about hunting, then the first thing you need to do is to learn all about the New Zealand gun laws, because they may be very different from German gun laws.

The first thing to observe about owning a firearm in New Zealand is that you must be licensed to use your firearm independently.

We use the word “independently” because there is an exception. The exception is that anyone can use a firearm without a licence if they are under the “immediate supervision of a licence holder”. Immediate supervision is defined and means that the “licensed person is within reach and can control the firearm”. It is also required that the licensed person must not be using another firearm at the same time.

A firearm is also defined. It is defined as “anything from the which any shot, bullet, missile or other project can be discharged by force of explosion”. This covers just about anything.

If you are visiting New Zealand from Germany for less than a year you can get visitors licence, if not you need a full licence.

Getting a gun licence is not simply about filling in a form. You are required to sit firearm safety course and then to pass a gun safety test. These can be applied for at your nearest police station.

Only after that can you apply for the firearms licence. There is also a fee involved.

Not all firearms are approved for ownership in New Zealand, for a comprehensive list of approved firearms click here.

Are you required to have a gun safe?

Of course owning a firearm has various responsibilities beyond simply obtaining a gun licence. One of those responsibilities is the moral responsibility to ensure that your firearm is not used irresponsibly by yourself or anyone else. One of the ways of ensuring this is to have your firearm securely locked away in a safe such as a quality gun safe or in a concrete store room or other type of lockable and safe place. It’s also possible to disable a firearm when not in use.

There are regulations governing firearm safety including the necessity to keep a firearm in a quality gun safe, steel and/or concrete strongroom or other secure location.

The gun can also be kept in a gun safe which is defined as a “steel safe or steel box or steel cabinet (being in every case a safe, box or cabinet of sound construction and of a type approved in writing either generally or in the particular case by a member of the police). There are also requirements about how the gun safe should be fixed to the building.

A gun safe, particularly a high quality gun safe (because not all gun safes are of high quality, read some gun safe reviews here to find quality safes) is an essential requirement for any private firearm owner in the absence of a strongroom. A quality gun safe which adheres to the regulations prevents the possibility that a burglar can steal your weapons. And a fireproof gun safe will also reduce the risk of losing those weapons in a house fire, though of course that’s not guaranteed.

Learn more about buying a quality gun safe here.

There is no fireproof gun safe which is rated against fire for an indeterminate period of time, all fireproof gun safes are rated to a temperature and length of time.

So if you’re visiting New Zealand from Germany, or moving here to live, and wish to purchase a firearm, it’s essential that you carefully research your legal obligations before you do so. Get a licence and purchase a gun safe. Those are important.

Keep your Trucking Business Alive in New Zealand

For trucking companies or truckers who are interested in working in New Zealand, working in this industry is sometimes difficult to break in to in the region. For this reason, it is important to understand how to keep your business alive, what you have to do in order to strive, and where to turn to when you want your business to grow in New Zealand.

Join the trucking association

Joining the New Zealand trucking association is the first thing you should do when you are building your business in the region. An association has the ability to protect you in the event of a claim, to protect your business if a lawsuit is filed against it, and has the resources to represent you in the event of such suits. Further, once you are a member, the association has resources to help your business grow. From marketing, to helping you find new local clients, they have the resources that you do not have access to, nor have the money for, when you are trying to build your business in the area.

Find work that is needed

If you are in the business of transporting goods, you have to find companies that are looking for truckers to transport goods. If you work in the farming industry, you have to find clients who need assistance in transport or work with trucks. Regardless of the line of work you are in, it is important to acclimate your business, in order to meet the local demands. No matter where you choose to work, if you do not have the resources the locals are looking for, and if you do not offer the services they are looking for, it is going to be hard for your business to thrive and for you to make a living in the area.

The right equipment

Of course you need the right equipment in order for your business to thrive as well. It is important to have the trucks that are presentable, which you can transport goods for your clients in. If you need local offices, you have to find facilities that offer rental units for your business. Regardless of the type of trucking business you are in, or what type of clientele you would like to do business with, when you are in New Zealand (or any other region of the world), you have to use the local resources, and purchase equipment locally, to ensure it can be used to perform the work tasks you have to perform.

Because working in this area is different than in Germany, you must understand the local needs. In order to grow and build a business that is going to thrive, a company has to offer the services which the locals are in need of, and also has to provide services for an affordable rate. Working with a local trucking association is a great way to begin your business, and to help it grow, when you are new to the trucking business in New Zealand.

Top Things to Do to Make the Move to New Zealand Swift

So, you just moved in to New Zealand. As anyone in a new land, things may come as overwhelming. You are probably clueless where to start learning the local’s ways or what to see first in this pretty country. Well, we have got clues for both. We will show you the way on  how to warm up to the new surroundings while giving you hints on what activities and sights you must start on to discover this beautiful, peaceful land.

Move Easy, Get a Job

One of the most common concerns of people moving in is how they can stay afloat. There are a lot of jobs up for grabs in New Zealand. All you need to do is to make a go for them.

If you have some friends who have been residents of the country for long, you can send them your CV ahead of time, before your move, so they can collect potential employers for you. Ideally, you should have them piled up so when you arrive, all you need to do is to choose the kind of job you would like to get into. It would not hurt to know that folks who are involved in information technology, healthcare, construction, education, and food technology are considered golden.

Enjoy the Kiwi Life

Once you have been approved for residency or becoming an immigrant, there is nothing more left than to enjoy and get used to the “regular life”. It’s not as if it would be difficult enough, especially if you keep your mind open. Be ready to embrace this entirely different world and you will be rewarded with an enjoyable stay.

Explore New Zealand

Once you are through the hardest phases of securing your status as an immigrant and getting a job, it is time that you enjoy the best of this peaceful little country. The difficulty of exploring New Zealand starts in deciding which to do first. With so many activities, sights to see, sounds to marvel about in store, you would find it hard to decide where to go or what to do first.

We dare say, you should trust your instincts and follow your heart for a start. Give in to your interests first. If you like adventure, going for a ski is definitely advisable. If you are just out there to relax and take it all in, conjure up images of a hot pool, cultural shows, and vineyards and you are good to go.

Top Health Career Options in New Zealand

There is no easier way to meet the immigration requirements than getting into New Zealand’s health care business. Healthcare occupations are sure tickets to live the NZ dream. The government has tagged those skills as “golden” and “essential”. There are a lot of hospitals across the country that’s more than willing to take you in. Here are the top health career options as of late:

  • Specialists. It has been reported that the little country of New Zealand needs about 380 specialists each year to meet the suggested OECD average by the year 2021. The high demand for specialists is not expected to rest as the public and private health care system seeks to offer high standards of services.
  • Nurses. If there is a high demand for specialists, wait until you read that the country needs to stack up on about 25,000 more nurses by the year 2030. Those that specialize in emergency care and recuperative care are most welcome.

Get Started

The first step in penetrating the healthcare industry is actually finding a job that best fits your qualifications. If your qualifications are recognized in the country, it will be much easier to find a job that fits your skills and an employer looking for your expertise. At the same time, keep in touch with the relevant medical body for your professional registration. The Medical Council of New Zealand is for doctors while the Nursing Council of New Zealand is for nurses.

Be Eligible for a Visa

Medical practice is one of the easiest ways to penetrate the country.  Your skills in healthcare will help you become eligible for certain types of visas. You may apply for either a work visa or a resident visa, depending on how long you plan to stay in New Zealand and serve its people. Don’t worry. Being part of the medical workforce will not make you feel left out. A little less than half of the medical professionals in the country are overseas-trained. Over 50% of the doctors there have earned their primary qualifications outside the country. There is no point worrying about feeling out of place.

The importance of Travel Insurance when Traveling to New Zealand

New Zealand is a very popular travel destination. It is a perfect place for those who wish to get away from the bustling noise of the city. There are a lot of places for recreation as well. In recent years, the number of tourists in New Zealand has increased drastically, take a look at the top tourist attractions in New Zealand to find out why people have been flocking to this country.. If you are interested in travelling to New Zealand, the first thing that you need to look into is travel insurance. A lot of people get too excited to go to the country that they forget to buy insurance.

Types of Travel Insurance

There are 2 types of insurance that you can choose from. The first one is called comprehensive insurance which includes almost everything that you need to be covered during the trip. With this insurance premium, you get higher limits and extended benefits. Even terrorism can be covered under this insurance. The second one is called essentials insurance. This is more suited to travelers who are on a tight budget. This insurance includes basic level of benefits. It is also designed for younger travelers. However, it does not cover pre-existing medical conditions. It also has a limit when it comes to baggage items.

Insurance Coverage to Look for

Among the insurance coverage benefits that you have to consider are 24-hour emergency assistance, replacement for lost baggage, rental vehicle excess coverage, medical expenses coverage, accident expenses coverage, and free coverage for dependents. When you have this basic coverage, it is good enough. If you are bringing expensive items with you such as jewelry or gadgets, you might have to buy a separate insurance policy to cover for them.

When getting insurance in New Zealand, you will be able to save a lot since medical expenses in New Zealand are lower compared to other Western countries. As long as the basic coverage that you need is already there, you have nothing to worry about. Just make sure that you are pairing up with a reliable insurance company. The moment something happens and you need them to provide assistance, they might be there right away. If you are a first time traveler to New Zealand, it is best to be totally prepared.

To begin the whole process, you can take a look at leading insurance companies and give them a call. You can ask about their insurance premiums and coverage. You can ask them as well if the information reflected on their website is correct or not. By then, you can make a sound decision.

Tips for starting a business in New Zealand

New Zealand is one of the most gorgeous countries in the world so it is understandable that many people are interested in moving there and starting their own business.

However, as with any foreign country, a number of things need to be taken into account before doing so. You not only need to consider the various legalities surrounding the start-up but also need to ensure you keep the culture of the country in mind before you set out.

With that in mind here a few things to consider before starting out in your new venture.

Choose your company type wisely

Generally people who start a business in New Zealand will see their company fall into one of three categories:

  1. Sole Trader
  2. Limited Liability Company
  3. Publically Listed Company

They are structures that will be familiar to many people who have started a business before and, as always, it is extremely important to determine which category you fall into. Each one has its own paperwork and legal requirements to consider before you can really get going.

The working culture

new zelandFor those who have moved from a fast-paced country the working culture of the people of New Zealand may seem a little alien.

Generally speaking your workers won’t be guzzling espressos in an effort to get as much energy as possible to complete a myriad of tasks. Instead the culture is relaxed.

Workplace hierarchies are a fairly uncommon thing, with management generally being comfortable mingling with regular workers and vice-versa.

Additionally the working culture is much more sedate than many other developed nations so you may have to spend a period adjusting to slower working speeds than you are accustomed to.

Local laws

In addition to the standard legalities surrounding a new business, you must also be careful to consider where you will be operating from and what local laws may exist that could act as barriers to the successful implementation of your business idea.

Generally speaking each local authority and council will have their own set of rules relating to what sorts of businesses can operate in their domains so it is important that speak to the relevant people and ensure that your business doesn’t contravene any of the current rules and regulations.

Get legal help

It may be a no brainer, however there are still some people who may consider it to be an unnecessary step and perhaps, if they were in their own country, it would be.

However when setting up a business in a foreign territory it is an extremely good idea to hire legal help. They will be able to inform you of the various rules and regulations you must abide by in addition to taking all of the research out of your hands, allowing you to concentrate on getting the business itself off the ground.

Most of all it is important to remember that you can’t necessarily do things in the same way as you are accustomed to doing them. Every country has its culture and rules so ensure that you respect both in the process of starting your own business.

Adapting to the New Zealand way of life

new-zealand-01Travelling to live in a new country is never an easy thing to do. You will be tearing yourself away from a culture and community that you are familiar with to begin anew in a territory that you may never have experienced before.
It’s a daunting experience but, happily, it is also an extremely exciting one. Moving to a new country affords you opportunities that simply may not be available to you in your country of origin.

It allows you to sample new cuisine and allow you to shine a flashlight on a different way of life that will open your eyes to the wider world around you.
Every country has its own cultural quirks that you will need to get used to and New Zealand is no different. With that in mind here are a couple of things to keep in mind of you are considering moving to the country.
Be aware of the health system 

New Zealand doesn’t have any form of socialised health service, such as the one in operation in the Germany. You will need to pay for doctor and hospital visits every time you make them so the issue of health insurance is something that needs to be considered.
If you don’t wish to have health insurance then it would be a good idea to keep some money aside just in case you suffer any form of emergency. If you work in a high risk profession or enjoy sporting activities that result in occasional injuries then this is an even more important consideration.
Housing stock in New Zealand varies massively from place to place. If you move to the city you will generally find it is ok, however moving to the countryside or areas outside the city will see the quality of housing stock decline rapidly.
You may find that most homes outside the city are not brick built and may not even have double glazing or central heating.

In extreme cases you may not even have main line gas or sewerage services. The point is – make sure you know what you are getting into before you make the move, because you may get less than you bargained for.
Work Environment
One of the things that many people like about New Zealand is the way the people work. Generally speaking most companies are much more laid back and relaxed than those in Europe, meaning that you will generally experience a far less stressful working environment.
Furthermore the idea of a hierarchical management structure is fairly alien in the country. Higher levels of management exist but they are generally much more willing to work with the rank and file, being one of the gang rather than somebody who is above everybody else.
There are plenty more considerations that you should take into account before you complete your move of course, but it is extremely important to be aware of the fact that, no matter where you come from, New Zealand is likely to be somewhat of a culture shock. Be prepared and, most importantly, enjoy the experience.

Exercise Facilities in Wellington

Wellington is home to over 400.000 people and many of them do believe in staying fit and living a healthy lifestyle. Cities such as Cook Strait and the Rimutaka Range have fitness centres, gymnasiums and local sports clubs that will help people to carry out this goal. Not only can people exercise at these local workout facilities they can also use public parks, playgrounds and running trails to help improve their overall physical condition. The following information will explain the many workout options that are available to the residents of Wellington.

Workout centres are meccas for people who enjoy exercising. These facilities are local gathering spots for people who are serious about building up their bodies. People go to fitness centres to interact with other people who desire to get into shape. An individual could join a unique exercise class such as the P90X or Pilates and they can also lift weights or run on a treadmill. Equipment such as rowing machines, mechanical weight systems and resistant bands could be found inside of a fitness centre.

Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) have become a popular sport and there are gyms all throughout the state of Louisiana that train amateurs in this fighting art form. People from Wellington can join a local MMA training gym to receive instruction and to get into shape. The training regimen for MMA fighters is challenging and people are guaranteed to lose weight and sweat.

Marathons, jogging, bike trails and walking events can all be used to improve a person’s cardiovascular condition. Wellingtons can participate in these activities through sponsored events, with groups or on their own. Many malls that are located in Wellington have groups of people who walk around the complex before it opens. Local parks have jogging and bike trails for people to run or ride their way into good health. Wellingtons will always have places to go to run and to keep their cardiovascular system in great shape. Golf courses and tennis courts could be included in this category as well.

Strength training programs and pull-ups are two great activities for building a person’s core strength and for building up their overall muscle mass and/or endurance. Many fitness stores that are spread out all over Wellington sell workout equipment for consumers. Another way that people can stay in shape is by using callisthenics and workout routines. Fitness stores also sell workout DVDs that feature specific routines that can be used for this purpose.

Another way that Wellingtons can get into shape is by playing sports with a local athletic club. There are soccer, football, softball and basketball leagues all over the state. These organizations provide people with the opportunity to compete as well as to get in shape. Many amateur sports clubs now require participants to perform exercise routines that are designed to condition their body for the unique sport that they choose to play. Amateur sports clubs also provide people with a great way to meet other individuals and to develop friendships. There are many different outlets in the state of Wellington that will help people to stay fit and trim and to be at their best.

The Legalities of Travel

When you're travelling, chances are the most you've thought about is insuring you have the correct traveller's insurance for your needs. And if you're travelling on holiday that's about all you will need. But travelling with the intention to work, whilst it may seem like a great idea and a fabulous way to fund an around-the-world trip, is not as easy as you would think.

One word to start the conversation- Visas. Yes, a lot of working students don't bother with the formality of getting work visas for the countries they're visiting. True, they mostly get away with it too. The sort of kibbutz-orientated jobs you drift into working your passage are generally not the most compliant with industrial standards, so the idea of non-local labour that will work cheaply is always appealing. And yes, most people get away with it. But travelling without the correct visas- and that does mean a work visa if you intend to work, not a holiday visa and sneaking in work on the side- is taking a risk that does not always pay off.

If you're lucky enough to hold a dual citizenship, of course, some of this may be negated. To take member of our own community, you may be entitled to work visa-less in Germany if you hold a passport and citizenship for the country, even though you are a resident here in New Zealand. And, as I mention, people generally get away with crocking the system a bit. But if you want to stay on the right side of the law, work visas are a must.

It's also important to think about what your skills are and what you want to do when you get there. True enough, if you're intending to find a job online with airless paint sprayer reviews, there's probably no  need for legal paperwork. By the way, I tried Goggling that one just for the fun of it, and to my surprise found a most helpful resource with reviews, tips and more- so if you're actually in the market for an airless paint sprayer, help yourself to the useful content.

However, there are fields with more regulation- and you may find that a field unregulated in your own country is far more highly regulated overseas.

Peeking just over the horizon to our next door neighbors, think about the requirement for a white card in Australia. Click here if you've no clue what I'm talking about. The white card deals with regulation and legislation in the construction industry in Oz. It's an essential piece of paperwork for anyone intending to work in that industry there. Compare that with the US, where construction frequently harbours illegal immigrants and legislation is slack where it exists at all. So make sure you're familiar with other legislation and formalities you may need to know before you book the ticket and sort your passport all wide eyed and innocent.

A bit of research and preparation into your working tour of the world is all it takes to avoid nasty situations in foreign countries far from those who love you. Just as you'd research accommodation or safe routes, don't neglect the legal necessities for working and travelling.

New Zealand’s Video Game Ratings Are Different From the World’s Systems

GTA 5 GameVideo games, like movies, are subjected to ratings. These are designed as a means of alerting parents to see what things might be in certain games. This is especially to ensure that parents do not let their children play games that may not be appropriate for them to have in the first place.

Many of the games on the market are ones that are filled with loads of questionable content. For instance, if people played Grand Theft Auto 5 for the Xbox 360 then they might find that the game will have an M rating in the United States and Canada or an 18 rating in the United Kingdom.

New Zealand has a rating system like this as well. It is different from what the rest of the world, including Germany, uses. It must be explored to get an idea of what something might be rated in any case.

What the OFLC Does

The Office of Film and Literature Classification will rate video games in New Zealand just like with movies. A G-rated game will be appropriate for all while a PG-rated game requires some parental supervision.

An M-rated game is suitable for people who are 16 years of age or older. It is different from what the M rating in North America entails as the M rating there is intended to suggest that a game is not safe for children at all. M-rated games in New Zealand are not necessarily off-limits to those children.

Meanwhile, the R ratings will state that something is off-limits to people under a certain age. In this game, GTA 5 has an R18 rating so people under 18 cannot play it. Therefore, those who want GTA 5 cheats Xbox 360 from must be at least 18 to get them if they are from New Zealand.

Unique From the World

The standards that New Zealand has are clearly different from what the rest of the world uses. They are a little more detailed than what Germany has, for instance. Germany has 0, 6, 12, 16 and 18 ratings that refer to the age restrictions that are used in some of these games.

GTA 5 would probably have an 18 rating in Germany. Because of this, not all retailers in Germany will sell it. Galeria Kaufhof has not sold any games with 18 ratings since a school shooting in the country back in 2009. Simply put, people in New Zealand not only have a better idea of what’s in something based on its rating but will be more likely to find games in some places as they may not bear with bothersome restrictions on sales like what goes on in Germany.

The ratings that are used on video games always have to be compared. These ratings can really change the course of what can happen when someone is trying to play a game of interest. This is important for all to explore as people in New Zealand have to be aware of the games that they want to get for their kids or even for themselves.

The Ins and Outs of Australia’s and New Zealand’s Credit System

Credit’s a sticky thing, no matter where you live. Sometimes it seems you can’t win against the banks and the menace of a bad credit report. If you’ve never taken credit, of course, you don’t have that magic credit rating, and you can’t get credit. Do anything – anything at all- that negatively impacts your credit rating, and you probably won’t be getting credit either because of your bad credit history. And out here we don’t even have the same ‘scoring’ system as they do in the States. It’s simply a case of having a record and what’s on that record speaking for itself; there is no actual scoring system per se. Catch 22 thanks to the banking systems, hey?

Believe it or not, here in New Zealand our banking and finance are actually considerably less regulated then our Australian neighbours. Four different government bodies control the Australian banking, and almost an application- from those for jobs to those to open an account- will need to consent to a credit check by filling out a form. Their privacy laws are stricter, too, for what little that’s worth.

Needless to say, this makes it difficult- although not impossible– to get bad credit personal loans in Australia. Fortunately, there are things you can do to repair your credit. Follow the link above for some great tips on doing exactly that, and for some of the options available to you if you’re seeking a bad credit loan in Australian territory. Remarkable as it may seem, it’s even possible to find cash loans for people on Centrelink. It may seem remarkable- if you’re unlucky enough to be both unemployed and stuck with bad credit, life can be a nightmare- but there is help out there. The last bit of good news is that a poor credit rating, even in more highly regulated Australia, doesn’t necessarily mean an irreparable impact on your life. Most of the governmental jobs requiring security checks would require citizenship, too, so as a New Zealander you’d not be looking at them. And unless you’re applying for credit itself, that bad credit file won’t really hinder your day-to-day activity.

The one thing you shouldn’t really hope for, if as a New Zealand resident you’re hoping to travel or work in Australia, is that your local credit rating will disappear. Whilst emigration from certain countries- Germany being on, the UK another- may be enough to escape a previous bad credit rating, the simple hop from our homeland to the Australias won’t do the trick. Expect to have to deal with bad credit in Australia if your rating here is damaged.

Of course the best thing to do is avoid damaging your rating in the first place. If you’re unsure what can affect your credit rating, click here for six simple mistakes to avoid making. At least you can take steps to correct the damage if you’re unfortunate to already have an impacted rating, and the hope for personal loans and other lines of credit isn’t totally irrational whilst you’re in the recovery process.

Vee Don’t Vant to Hear a Single Mower!

If you’re anything like me, I’m 100% certain there are times you get sick of being German. Particularly a German living in an ex-pat environment.

Here me out before you tut scandalously and turn away. I’m not dissing my own genetic heritage, believe me! I’m as proud of my genetic heritage as the next man or woman. I do get sick of the stereotypes that cling to us, however. From being the butt of the joke in seemingly every lame movie to the presumption there’s little more to me then beer swigging and steins, to cracks about how ‘vee only want to here vone click’ it gets tiresome when people focus on the minutia instead of the important things.

Only – and here’s the rough bit – sometimes I really can’t blame outsiders! And that’s always the bit that grates my nerves.

I’ll have to digress a bit to finish this tale. I’m an avid gardener, you see. And even though the grass outside is less then heartening in its winter slumber, I’m a gardener who likes to be prepared.

Part of that is making sure my tools are up to scratch. Unfortunately for me, my mower died a horrible death at the end of last spring. Whilst I've managed without it so far, it’s time to start thinking of a replacement. It’s a tedious task at best. Fortunately, I do know where to head – I’ve found a great site for those who are as lawn-obsessed as I.

See, I really do care about the cutting edge of my mowers and the blade height they offer (if you think your cutting height doesn’t matter to the quality of lawn you have, you’re wrong). If I’m going to invest money in a push mower, I want the best push mower out there.  I’m fully capable of spending most of the night pouring over reel mower reviews so my purchase is the perfect reel mower for my needs. I like to be able to consult opinions and see actual field tests for the equipment I ‘m buying. When it comes to ensuring I get the picture perfect garden I crave, these things matter to me. I know I’m not the only one out there who cares, because you wouldn’t find great lawn mower review sites like the resource I linked out to if I was alone.

Yet I know, deep down, that someone out there will take a crack at so-called ‘German precision’ with it. And I’ll probably want to smack them in the face for it. And yet, there’s a part of me that remembers my homeland and one of the first things that drifts to mind are the quiet time laws. Want to mow your lawn? You better make darn sure you’re doing it within the regulation times, or you’ll face fairly harsh fines. No late-evening mowing. No Sunday mowing. You’d think there might be a little leeway for those who work, but nein. Vee don’t vant to hear a single mower.

Only in mother Germany, much as I love her.

The Story of a Small Pub Owner in Wellington, New Zealand

The increase in tourism here in Wellington comes as a welcome news for the German community. It means more earning opportunities. Of course, finding a job here is not hard. After all, the city is overrun with all sorts of establishments that require employees. Majority of these establishments are in the hospitality industry such as restaurants and pubs.

With the growing number of tourists flocking to New Zealand, pretty soon the demand for restaurants, pubs, and hotels will be too much to handle for existing businesses. This is why now is the best time for the German community to start thinking about putting up a business of their own.

We spoke to the owner of the one of the most popular pubs here in Wellington and asked him to tell us about his story.

Klaus Meinhard arrived in New Zealand from Hamburg, Germany 15 years ago. Like most immigrants, he left his hometown seeking greener pastures. At the time, Wellington wasn't as developed as it is today. The only types of jobs available to foreign immigrants like him were blue collar low paying jobs. Never the less, Klaus didn't give up. He struggled to juggle 3 jobs at a time just so he could earn enough to sustain his daily expenses and rent.

After a couple of years, he secured a job as a bartender in one of the biggest pubs in the city. Before he started however, he had to enroll in an RSA course to obtain a permit to serve drinks to customers. His salary was enough to pay for his flat, food, and other expenses so he decided to give up his other jobs.

Two years into being a bartender, he enrolled in an RSA refresher course so he could further his career. He was promoted to a managerial position shortly after he completed the course. Klaus worked in the pub for almost 10 years before he decided it was time to stop being an employee and start becoming his own boss.

With his experience in the hospitality business made him comfortable enough to put up his own pub. He pulled all his savings from his salary and tips and even took out a loan to finance his business idea. After months of planning and hard work, he finally opened the doors to his small pub.

Today, his pub is one of the most visited establishments in Wellington despite its size. Regular patrons say they come to the pub because it's more than just a place to drink. It is a place where everyone knows everyone and where newcomers become instant friends.

Klaus says keeping up with the number of customers he receives is not easy. Especially since his place is small and as you may know, the crowd in pubs can get rowdy sometimes. However, he tries his best to make sure that his customers are still in their best behavior even after they've had a couple of drinks.

We asked him what the hardest part of being a pub owner is and his answer was cleaning up. He said he has probably bought every cleaning equipment available from the best steam mop, vacuum, and floor scrubber to simple brooms and dust pans. While his cleaning equipment has made the job a lot easier, he says the process is still very tedious.

The only advice Klaus wants to give his fellow Germans in Wellington is to never give up on their dreams no matter how hard or long it may take. It took him almost 15 years to achieve his but he never lost sight of his goal despite the obstacles he had to go through. 

Tastes of Home: Web Resources from Confections to Resume Writing for Germans in NZ

There are lots of ways to enjoy what you love about Germany while calling New Zealand home. Here are three great sites I’ve found that were designed to help the ex-pat community in NZ feel a little more at home:

1. The tastes of childhood are often the ones that we crave most when we move away. Things that you would never have thought of as satisfying if you had been introduced to them as an adult however become the subject of intense longing if you remember loving them as a kid. If you are missing any of the goodies you used to enjoy, you need turn no further than Zuckerhut.

Konny Reichert and Thomas Bongers found that whenever they went on a trip to Germany, they were accompanied by numerous requests to bring back treats for others. They decided this was a need that could be met on a larger scale and so they opened their online store to bring ‘Wunderbares from the heart of Europe’ to New Zealand. Through their site you can order chocolates, confectionaries, custards, and even pickles. Now you don’t have to wish you had Haribo Pfirsiche…you can make it a reality.

2. Changing jobs is a big deal; don’t let anybody tell you that it isn’t. The longer you have been working somewhere, the scarier it can be. While your resume might look better when it reflects long-term work experience, you might not feel confident that it fits with today’s trends. It might even have been so long since you last prepared a resume that you don’t really remember how to do it. These kinds of fears can be compounded when the move is across a great distance or to a completely new field.

With the release of the website you now have access to 275 professionally designed resume templates to help you prepare and, best of all, the site is in German. The site walks through the process of resume writing in an interesting and easy to read tone and then provides you with easy to download, easy to edit resume templates in Word. At least this part of job hunting will now be stress free.

3. Raising children in New Zealand means that they won’t be surrounded by as many opportunities to become truly fluent in German as they would if they were living in Germany. Even if you speak German at home, children need to learn to read and write from a very young age in order to be as comfortable as possible with the language. You may have been worried that moving to New Zealand would mean that you were raising children who would always find German to be a foreign language. Not to worry, there are a lot of resources available to help parents who want their children to master their native language as well as to truly understand German culture.

The German Embassy in Wellington has put together a comprehensive website to help people connect with German language and culture while living in New Zealand. The tools available through this site range from videos to web magazines to online instruction. There are links designed for all ages and levels of fluency on this truly comprehensive site.

Adding to the Cultural Diversity of New Zealand

It is not widely known that New Zealand has a diverse population. Aside from the native New Zealander islanders, the descendants of British settlers, and the growing Asian population, there is a large and thriving European population. There is the Mediterranean population which is mainly Greek, Cypriot, Italian and some French and Spanish mixed in, as well as the northern Slavic population. German immigrants and their progeny are also well represented.


Keeping the hodge podge happy and growing may be a problem for some countries, but for New Zealand this is generally not the case. With its wide open areas, there is more than enough land if you choose to live in the country. The cities are just too busy for any questions of race to appear. It is just possible that there is not enough people in the cities, no matter how densely populated the urban areas may be.


Like most immigrants or descendants of immigrants from Europe, there’s no real way to distinguish those of German descent. They heritage and culture has become part of New Zealand. But one legacy of the German population is the local OktoberFest. Like all Germans everywhere, and that includes local scholars who have studied in Germany, the OktoberFest is a celebration of life, music and beer. Although the community may be small by compared to other expat communities, or to the size of German communities in other countries, OktoberFest is an almost universal beer fest, and everyone is happy to join in the beer drinking and soirees.


German communities might not advertise their presence but they are in almost all countries of the world and they have proven to be productive and adaptable to the local culture.


Adapting to the times is not a characteristic which is limited to immigrant communities, it is also a trait which is common with financial instruments. The hottest financial instruments before the turn of the millennium were hedge funds. There is some debate about the excessive use of hedge funds as they applied to the financial crisis. Nowadays, there is still some use for hedge funds, although these have been proven to be detrimental to small investors. In addition, binary options trading has gone into favor and small investors have taken a liking to it. Unlike hedge funds, binary options are positions based on trends. Whether a market goes down or up, a binary options position can earn from these market movements. Small investors adapting to the market would most probably like the idea of binary options trading. Adding this instrument to the mix of investments assures diversity to the basket.


Diversity has always been a key element to the growth and charm of New Zealand. The whole country is based on the influx of foreigners who want to invest and enjoy the life the country has to offer. Like other foreign community, whether Asian or European, their contribution to the growth of the country has been enormous, adding their own cultural influences to the identity of the country.