If you’re going to ask an Irish teacher which city in New Zealand is the best place to move in to, she will tell you it’s Christchurch. Sarah Lynch and her young family moved to Christchurch in 2012 after her husband, Barry, lost his job as a quantity surveyor. According to her, it is perhaps one of the best decisions they have ever made because the city fits their family like a glove.
Sarah said when the opportunity to move to other country knocked on their doors, New Zealand was their first choice because Barry’s brother Rob lives in Wellington. According to her, Rob has always spoken highly of New Zealand so it was a no-brainer that they would choose to move to the country where Rob is. At first, her family had wanted to relocate to Wellington, but Barry was able to find a stable job in Christchurch. Now, the Lynch family is staying in NZ on a three-year work visa and is currently applying for residency.
Although Christchurch has been devastated by an earthquake several years ago, Sarah said everything looks well these days. The city is slowly returning to its former glory. She explained that while Christchurch would not have been a “party town” when compared to Wellington or Auckland, the place has its own unique charm. According to her, some great pubs and restaurants have opened up since the reconstruction work began and there are more to come.
While Sarah admits that she feels homesick from time to time, she said being in Christchurch makes living in a foreign country more bearable for her. Everywhere she goes, she meets a lot of Irish people. She’s also involved with the local Irish community and is teaching an Irish class.
Meanwhile, one of the things Sarah likes about her new home is that Christchurch is well-suited to family life. “There is a lot you can do with a young family cheaply or for free, and children, especially under-fives, have free healthcare and free admission to most places,” she said. And while the healthcare system is similar to Ireland’s, it is far more efficient and easier on the pocket, Sarah added. The country’s education system is also one of the best in the world.
When asked what advice she would give to other Irish people who are considering moving to Christchurch, Sarah said they should research the employment market well. Also, they should be prepared to live in a cold house.