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Andy's story

Andy Burns is now an Audit Director, based in our Christchurch office.

This is the view from Andy's home. Andy says: “Two great parts of the job at Audit New Zealand are the variety of work that you do, and the people you work with.  The job does bring more travel than I was used to in the UK. When filling out a census form, one question raised a smile - ‘What mode of transport did you use to travel to work today?’ My answer was that I flew to work, again not the norm in the UK but quite frequent in this job.

"The New Zealand public sector is broader than the UK. It includes what you would expect: government departments, health boards, and councils. It also includes universities, polytechnics, energy companies, ports, airports, and some State-owned enterprises. These entities can also have a range of subsidiaries that do a breadth of things from support services, sports stadia, contracting companies, and even zoos. At the moment I have clients in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, and Dunedin, and places in between. This isn’t always the case, but most of us cover audits across a wide geographic spread. The region I work in covers the whole of the South Island. Be under no illusion, you work hard, and this can mean long hours at the busiest times from July to October.

"We have been here for nearly nine years now. It is a different way of life, with far fewer people and lots more space to move around in, and in Christchurch so many things on the doorstep. It is more of an outdoors life, and here the winters typically have long period of sun and blue sky, but lower temperatures than the North Island. It is far more conducive to being outdoors and we take full advantage. We have visited pretty much all of New Zealand, and a whole new series of fascinating holiday destinations. We’ve also seen a good bit of Australia obviously, plus Fiji, Samoa, Vanuatu, and the Cook Islands.

"We settled in fine. Our daughter was 16 when we came here, and we were worried how she might settle, but there was no worry there. She is about to marry a New Zealander and is putting down roots of her own.  

"We have also just moved house, moving from the Christchurch suburbs into a more rural part of Canterbury with more land and great views of the Southern Alps.

"There are differences though, and they will surprise you. Nothing dramatic, but just a different way of life. My first year was a roller coaster of emotion really, and you find yourself moving, from: this is great!, to what have I done?, to this is great!, to what have I done? and so on. Not everybody takes to it, but you do have to give it a couple of years to see where your roller coaster takes you. Nine years on it is hard to explain: your ‘norms’ change, and then one day the New Zealand norms are your norms and you wonder what the fuss was about. We became New Zealand citizens in 2012.

"The best things about New Zealand? The space, the weather, the simplicity of life, and to be honest being a long way from a world that appears to be in greater and greater turmoil."

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Andy Burns