(My Mission To Find A Job In New Zealand & Get A Work Visa)
I’m very pleased to say that I’m a step closer to achieving my mission. I had a job interview last week and it went pretty well. The company is called Earth & Sky and it’s an astronomy/tourism business. They provide night-time stargazing tours along with day-time tours of their astronomical observatory, which is situated 1031 metres above sea level at the top of Mt. John. The Astro Café, which sits on the summit, has spectacular views of turquoise blue glacial lakes and the snow covered Southern Alps. They are also doing research into finding extra-solar planets, dark holes and microlensing observations in astrophysics. So I had an interview with them for an Office Receptionist job, booking these tours, via email, telephone and face to face with customers, among other tasks. They offered me the job in writing and I’ve started looking into the process of applying for a work visa.
The work experience that I gain there will be very good for me. I’ve been looking for a job, with face to face customer contact in the tourism industry for such a long time and with this astronomy slant to it, makes it very interesting for me. I’ve been on a few of their tours – their night-time stargazing tour being my favourite and I think they’re brilliant. The astronomy guides are very well informed and you really do get to see some amazing things in the night sky. Being able to view the stars through the various telescopes they have up there, really enhances the experience. In 2009 I wrote in my blog about the Jewel Box cluster of stars that I saw on one of their tours and it totally blew me away. Since then I’ve been hooked. Getting the work visa will be the hardest part I think. God knows how long that process will take or whether I get the visa or not but I’ll keep you informed on how the whole process goes.
The only drawback is the fact that it will be very hard to find suitable accommodation, especially coming into the summer season. Lake Tekapo is a very small village about four hours drive east of Christchurch in the South Island and forty minutes drive from Aoraki Mt.Cook. The normal population of Mt. John is about 400. In the summer all the accommodation is booked up with tourists visiting the area. Maybe I can find a temporary solution until something more suitable comes up. It will certainly be different to living and working in a city like Amsterdam.The scenery there, with the white peaks of the Southern Alps in full view and the aqua marine colour of Lake Tekapo will keep me happy. The area has also been recognised as an International Dark Sky Reserve, meaning that it’s one of the best stargazing sites in the world. Seeing the night sky there especially on a clear night makes my soul sing. I’m very proud of myself for getting the job offer whatever happens with the work visa.
I’ve been strongly advised to go through an immigration advisor, as I’ve been told that it’s a nightmare trying to deal directly with immigration. The news from the advisor is not very good. She says that the chances of getting the work visa are not high because the position is not a skilled one and the company also needs to do more to prove that they can’t find a New Zealander to do the job. This would delay the process by two weeks and I’m not sure yet if the employer is willing to do this. I would have to pay the advisor a reasonable fee for processing the work visa but she can’t of course guarantee that I’ll get the visa.
I also need to find another place to stay within the next few days. The family I’m staying with need their space. There are a few rooms in the pipeline that I’m checking out. There is never a dull moment in this whole experience. Read my blog next week to find out what happens.