In moving to NZ Dominique experienced first hand Kiwi’s 'pay it forward' mentality and their willingness to help out where they can.
I’m Dominique O’Callaghan from the UK and I’m now working for Hawkin’s in Christchurch. I arrived on a Thursday night, had my first two interviews on a Friday morning, uhm. . , had my second interviews on a Wednesday and got offered the job on a Wednesday afternoon.
I was really lucky that I had my mum here. If I hadn’t had my mum, then I would’ve easily needed about $3500 just from that period of arriving to getting to a point where I didn’t have to worry about money ‘cause I was getting paid. I went and lodged with a family for six weeks and though I was paid within that period, it took me six weeks to find a property to rent that I accepted the rent amount that it was for the size. Uhm. . I was really lucky that I got nice 2 bedroom house, uhm. . . in the centre, ‘cause I like living on my own.
Literally the first day I moved in one of the girls at work had a bed in storage uhm. . so she turned up and delivered a bed for me uhm. In exchange I think I forced some bottles of wine on her, cause they were just; oh no take it, it’s fine and . . ah. . uhm I got my lounge suite off another person from work. Everyone has a ‘pay it forward’ mentality. I think definitely if they have it, and they don’t need it, they will give it to someone who does, so . . and that’s really different from the UK I think. It’s just that willingness to help out if you can, that’s been really nice. All my furniture that I own/can like kind of the chest of drawers and things that I, I’ve got off TradeMe, they’ve just all been delivered by people in the community so, it’s you look on TradeMe and you ask at work and you can actually furnish a house for less than a grand.
And because this is New Zealand, I started playing rugby, women’s rugby, which is a bit painful, . . ah . . uhm. . it’s also helped ‘cause obviously it’s the girls rugby team. Rugby is a very social sport, so we’ve had some nights out and some weekends away.
I was living in Newcastle for the last 18 months and the only real day of sun I remember last year was when I was down in Glastonbury, and that was on the final day of Glastonbury ‘cause that poured with rain as well – sunshine and barbecues have a big part to play in how much I like New Zealand.
Arrived in the summer, and there was so much going on. There was like a whole calendar of events for so many outdoor festivals and in Hagley Park there was like bands going on so you literally just could walk around the city and you could hear music coming from four streets away. Uhm. . or there would be live performances going on in the street and it was just loads. . and it was really. . the summer was so like. . interesting, just because it was sunshine, that was a major bonus. And there was so much going on as well.
And obviously the ski season is about to start so I’m quite exited about having that. Rather than jump on a plane for a couple of hours, you can just jump in a car for an hour, and . . ahm. . be at Mt Hutt, so that’s a major draw and yeah – bit of sunshine, bit of snow, good barbeques, good wine. . .What’s not to like? (laughs)