What is your housing like? What are typical housing sizes, locations, and commute times for expatriates?
I have a very big apartment right in the city. Most families live outside the city in what seem to be very nice homes. I take the bus in and that takes about 30 minutes +/- and I walk home which takes about 40-45 minutes. (But I don't usually walk fast.) - Jun 2019
The housing market in New Zealand remains tight due to a continual influx of people, as well as limited land for new buildings. Post's housing pool is a mix of older, owned properties and newer leases which are spread far and wide throughout Wellington and its suburbs. Although there's a range of apartments, townhouses and single-family homes available in the pool, there is no excess inventory so the assignments can be a crapshoot based on your arrival date. Commutes range from a 20-minute walk to over an hour's drive each way. If you plan to have your kids go to one particular school, make sure to let the Housing Board know well in advance so they can try to accommodate you. Make-readys tend to be very casually done here, and as a result of the relaxed culture you'll find that painting or cleaning might not be done like you'd expect at a larger post with more resources. GSO is very limited for warehouse storage, so you get what you get when it comes to furniture and furnishings. Gardening seems to be a prized hobby in New Zealand, so you'll be expected to be thrilled about the prospect of maintaining your own lawn, shrubs and trees. Several employees have said that they felt like they were living in a construction site due to the fact that their older, poorly maintained homes were always in need of repairs. - Mar 2016
Our house was very small, and that was a common complaint at the time. As we were leaving, the U.S. housing pool was adding larger, very nice homes. - Apr 2015
Standalone houses and apartments. Families are typically assigned to houses - either leased or government owned. Commute times depend on where you live. From Lower Hutt where we live the commute in the morning is about 30 minutes. The evening commute can take anywhere from 30 to 45 minutes. - Aug 2011
We were assigned government housing in Lower Hutt, a 15-minute drive up north from Wellington; bedrooms were kind of small. Homes have either showers or tubs and a laundry shoot to the basement where the washer/dryer was. All American stuff..., we had a small backyard, a large front yard...all fenced in. Embassy housing were not maintained well, due to lack of GSO employees (about 2 or 3 only) and lots of maintenance problems. Local handymen or plummers will come to the homes, instead of GSO workers. - Aug 2008