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Monday, 2 July 2012

Shipping: Complete.

The shipping is now complete, they have been and gone!

It was pretty much a painless process (apart from all the cleaning)!

Two guys from PSS turned up about 9am (they'd gotten stuck in traffic) in a van, the kind that you'd use for moving house. We had a quick chat and I showed them around the house and pointed out what to take and what not to.

Its worth mentioning here that you need to do a little bit of prep before they turn up (I didn't read the paper work until the night before!). What they suggest is to move anything that you don't want to take, into another room completely. So I had a mad rush removing things that were staying, elsewhere. It wasn't possible/practical to move everything, but I made it clear by separating things out as best I could.

Also (as I think I have mentioned before) anything that has been near the outdoors, like shoes, tents, kids toys etc needs to be thoroughly clean and disinfected. I'd only cleaned the dirty looking shoes, so after reading the paper work I realised I'd better do all of them! So scrubbing shoes at 7 am it was. Fun.

Anything that can be flat packed needs to be done in advance of their arrival. So I had to make sure I was up early to take the bed apart (I wanted to enjoy one last night of sleep in it). We have two coffee tables, which I didn't flat pack at first, because I thought they would just stack things on and through them. So I check with the guys and they agreed that they do, do that. But when I saw them them later they were wrapping the tables up in card board as if they were a big empty box, with nothing in between them. And as the price is based on volume, I wasn't too keen on this. So I queried it, and then flat packed the other table to keep the cost down. So be careful and flat pack everything!

Once I'd shown them what to take, they brought in a load of flat boxes and packing equipment. They took a room each, then made and loaded the boxes as they went, combining two boxes if one wasn't big enough. In the mean time I printed out the Declaration of Cleanliness form that was emailed to me, and filled it out, saying what items I had cleaned and what disinfectant I had used. Which by the way was Trigene as used by vets and tattoo studios apparently.

When done, they had an itemised list which they had filled out as they went along and I signed to confirm it was all correct, as well as a short survey about the service. They seemed very efficient and all in all it took about just over 4 hours. So that left me with the rest of the day to vacuum and clean up the bare rooms!

It takes 8-10 weeks door to door, so hopefully we'll see all of our stuff within a few months, I'll keep you posted!

Oh and just a quick update on other stuff, very last minute, I have agreed to stay on at my work for another three months!!! My work's plans on moving everything to India isn't quite going to plan, so they were keen to keep people on for longer. It wasn't an easy decision, but Sarah and I agreed that it would probably be for the best, so at least we still have one wage coming in, and hopefully she can find work in that time. Unfortunately it means I won't have seen them for 4 months by the time I get out there. At least there is Skype.

If I had kept my flight, I would have arrived there this morning and already have enjoyed their company. Never mind, back to my empty room instead!

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Shipping Our Things to NZ

As I write this Sarah and Mia are up in the air and on their first leg of their journey to New Zealand!

Since the last post, we have been flat out organizing things and visiting people, its been a busy time. We have been through all of our stuff; clothes, books, DVDs, CDs, Amelia's things and everything else. Then we either sold them, gave them to friends or charity or bin/recycled them. It was quite hard work, and I still have a bit more to do all on my own.

As you have probably worked out the flights have been booked, we used The Flight Centre and are flying with Singapore Airlines as they had the best price/connections that suited us. We both decided that we wanted to do the flight in one go with no stop overs, and the connection time with Singapore was just over an hour!

Finally we sorted out our shipping. Initially we looked at three companies: PSS, Anglo Pacific, and Seven Seas. PSS and Anglo Pacific both have form that you fill out on line, where you basically list everything that you want to take. They then come to your house on the chosen day and pack everything up for you and take it off to the container.

With Seven Seas they work slightly differently, and you order what they call a move cube, which is basically a small container that they drop off for the day and you fill it up however you want yourself. The move cubes come in Small Medium and Large. Because of this there is no list to complete, you just take your best guess at the size you want, and then they can ship anything that doesn't fit into the move cube as individual boxes.

So our quotes were probably not 100% equal between companies, regardless PSS came out substantially cheaper. We also know someone else who had used them, so we decided to get them to come around to our house and do a more accurate quote. This they do for free, but I did have to talk them around as they say they only do this for big moves and we are only moving part household. The man who came around was very pleasant and helpful, and I just walk around the house with him and pointed out what I wanted to take. He worked out the volumes on the fly, and by the end he informed us that it was 293 cubic feet, which was almost double the volume that we had quoted ourselves online, oops!

Just to make sure we had even quotes I then contacted the other two companies and asked them to quote based on the accurate figure. All of the quotes actually came in around the same cost, so we decide to use PSS as they had done the quote.

The estimated cost is £1446. This figure is not final, it will go up or down depending how much stuff they pack up on the day. So we are reconsidering what we want/need to take to get the cost down as much as possible.

There will also be a customs charge at the other end of around £180, which we pay at the time. We also decided to take out some insurance through PSS for our bed and a few other valuable things, which was relatively inexpensive.

There is also a possibility that NZ customs will charge us for cleaning too! They randomly inspect crates for any items that may pose a risk to their flora or fauna, so anything that has been outside, especially near farmland. And if they do find anything risky, then they take it away and 'treat' it, at our expense! So it will be my job to thoroughly clean and disinfect the risky items such as camping gear, and Amelia's toys that have been outside. What a fun job!

The shipping should take between 8-12 weeks door to door, although I have been lead to expect delays to this.

So I think we have taken care of most of the big stuff, I just have to finish getting rid of the things we don't need and start getting things ready for PSS.

I still have to sell my car though, so if anyone wants an 03 Peugeot 307, give me a shout!

Saturday, 28 April 2012

New Zealand Residency Visa

Well I heard back from the NZ embassy... and they have let me in! Whoooo! I am now the proud owner of a NZ residence visa. After posting it in, I think it took about 5 weeks to get it back, and I now have a piece of paper in my passport which allows me to live in New Zealand. We have also applied for Amelia's NZ passport and received that back within 10 days, the cost of that was £40. So that is most of the important things taken care of, we just have the shipping and flight to sort now. It's getting very close now as Sarah could be leaving in 4 weeks!

Monday, 19 March 2012

NZ police report

Another quick update:

Recieved another email from the handler, just advising that they have recieved the pages I sent back in, and that they have requested and are waiting for Sarah's NZ police report (that is something they take care of, we did not need to send it in!).

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Lost in transit

A quick update:

I received a friendly email last Friday from  the person handling my application at the NZ embassy. Apparently I had forgotten to include about 6 pages of the application form, and incorrectly filled 1 page out, they very helpfully included a pdf form for me to print and re-fill these bits out.

Now, I know for certain that I did include those pages as I triple checked the application and they were all attached with a paper clip. Interestingly, the pages that were misisng were pages that did not apply to my application so were blank. I can only assume that the form was pre-processed before being passed to the handler, and that person decided to remove these 'blank' pages. Very annoying.

So I reprinted these pages, and made sure I wrote N/A next to every part. I did, as mentioned, fill out one part incorrectly, which was asking me to list how many countries I'd lived in for over a year. I assumed I did not need to put in the UK, but apparently I do!

The forms have now been sent off again, directly to the handler, so hopefully it will all be processed quickly and there will be no more hiccups.

Thursday, 8 March 2012

Partner Support Application

OK, this is the biggy, the main application form.

The Partner Support Application form is a massive 28 pages, fortunately there are a few sections that you can skip. Again the form is pretty straight forward, the worst part is the amount of writing and listing all of mine and Sarah’s family’s details. The form requires yet another 2 passport photos of me and 2 of Sarah.

As well as the main form, Sarah also had to complete her own Partner SupportForm, this form is not too long though. However with this form her signature needs to be witnessed by solicitor or Justice of the Peace. We made an appointment with our local solicitor, who did this the next day for a £5 fee. Sarah had to read the declaration out loud and swear on the bible!

With the application we have to send proof of our relationship, the onus is on us to provide enough. So we sent in things like a past rent agreement, utility bills, nursery bills, bank letters, flight bookings (from previous holidays), as well as Amelia’s birth certificate and 2 pages of printed photos. We tried our best to cover all of these over as many years as we could, so hopefully we have done enough.

Additionally we both sent in our passports, full birth certificates, police reports and I included my medical report. The fee for this a whoping £720, for which we included a cheque. We carefully sealed all of this up in a nice padded and envelope and send it recorded delivery to the London office.

The stated process time for this category of application is 1-3 months. It does seem we will be able to check how it’s going on-line, so I’ll have to see how good the on-line service is.

Wish us luck.


We posted the form on Monday and today (Thursday) we have received a confirmation letter and receipt for the cheque.   

Monday, 5 March 2012

Dual Nationality

Instead of applying for my residency straight away, we decided that the first thing to apply for was Amelia’s dual nationality, as it should only take a month. We couldn’t apply for everything at the same time as we needed to use some of the documents for both applications, Sarah’s passport. We also realised that we couldn't travel abroad until we had it back!

The Application for Registration of New Zealand Citizenship by Descent form is pretty straight forward to fill out. It does require 2 passport photos of the person, which can be fun to get if that person is a child, luckily Amelia was really good. We also needed to send in Amelia’s passport, birth certificate as well as Sarah’s NZ passport and birth certificate.

We then posted if off with a cheque for £94 to the London office.

It actually came back quicker than we thought and we had it back within 3 weeks! Amelia is now an official citizen of New Zealand!

So now I need to pull my finger out and fill out the beast that is the main application form.