Hardus Coetzee & Family – Skilled Migrant Category Residency and Work Visa

What initially appealed to you about New Zealand?

My wife and I visited New Zealand during 2015 on a spur of the moment decision, based on the picture sketched by a good friend that spent some time in New Zealand and on the recommendation from a friend that decided to relocate to New Plymouth for a new life. We just loved the relaxed pace that we were not used to as well as the safety aspects for bringing up children that is so much different to that what we were used to.

Tell us about the current demand for Construction Project Managers in New Zealand.

I was aware of the demand for Construction and Project Managers in the current New Zealand construction market, but could not manage to tie something down from South Africa, until I met up with an Auckland based recruitment company that went out of their way to assist me. Within a couple of days they had several interviews confirmed on my behalf and I had to get on a plane to meet with my possible future employers face to face. The construction market in New Zealand is a buzz of activity and being part of a multi-national team in my current workplace it is a clear indication of how under pressure the current market is and how New Zealand is willing to go across borders to find qualified people to form part of this need.

What’s the job like? What’s different about the role and others you’ve had in the UK and SA?

The job is a fair bit different from what I am used to. Teams are smaller, daily targets are less, the difference between SA Rands and NZ Dollars still confuses me from time to time as one keep on thinking back to what you are so used to, people don’t always follow you during conversation and you need to get used to the different systems in place, not even to mention the different terms for the same things. I like to think that the role is also more relaxed and that it is difficult in the beginning not to speed pass everything and everyone as we as South Africans are so used to. Doesn’t matter in which industry you will find yourself, you will have to step back, take a deep breath and listen to those around you. Construction stays Construction, it is just a lot wetter down here than back in South Africa.

Tell us about how you came across Migration Associates, and how they helped you.

After a bad experience with another Migration Company in New Zealand, I did what so many of us do, I went to Social Media and asked for recommendations and feedback, and Migration Associates was one of the companies that came highly recommended. I made contact with Borey, who at the time was still based in the UK, had a couple of discussions, a Skype call or two and a fair bit of emails up and down to fully understand the process. I flew out during June 2016 to tend to my interviews, and with the assistance from the team at Migration Associates, we were able to leave South Africa as a family of four to start a new life in a way different country less than 3 months later, all Visas in hand and the Residency application lodged. The team from Migration Associates made it a painless exercise which gave us the time to focus on all the other items nobody tells you about.

What’s the future for you and your family now? What are you looking forward to in your new New Zealand life?


We are looking forward to become part of the country we now call home!! We also want to run around in Red Band Gummies and Jandels. We want to experience the country side and the coast, go and ski on the slopes and definitely swim in the rivers. There are still days that you get up and long for where you come from, as it is part of your DNA, the thing that makes you who you are, but there is so much around us that we do not know, that we have not yet experienced.

We recently bought a Villa to be called home, and we are loving it. Staying in a small community quickly grew on us and everyday gets easier. Looking at our kids spending time out with their mates cycling, sitting around in the local parks, walking where they want to go or hopping on the bus to visit the neighbouring town makes you realise that the decision made was most definitely the right one, even though it might have been the hardest one we had to make as a family. Time will heal, but I can say this, New Zealand has already changed us, and we can’t wait for what else will come!!