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John's story

John Whittal, Associate Audit Director, based in our Wellington office.

I’ve been in New Zealand with my family for a year. Obviously family and friends are missed almost immediately. Fortunately technology like Skype and Facebook allows you to stay in touch with loved ones. The first few weeks in New Zealand were especially difficult while we waited on our furniture and pets to arrive, but we had a lot of support from other expats. My children were five and seven on arrival in New Zealand, and they have adapted wonderfully to the change and settled almost immediately.

John WhittalNew Zealand is a small, beautiful country, with some of the most amazing natural scenery in the world, and vast open spaces whenever you leave the city. There is a huge emphasis on sports and the outdoors, with parents getting involved in and supporting the sporting activities of their children, which is mostly the focus of my weekends.

Being on an island means you are always close to the sea, no matter what direction you’re going. We are loving the outdoor experience, there are so many places to explore and visit. We have only started exploring the North Island and have seen so many great places already. Next it will be time to explore the South Island.

Most of the audits in New Zealand are controls based audits, which was new to me coming from South Africa, where this was rare in the public sector. The New Zealand public sector is at the forefront of financial reporting, which is challenging technically. The audits include some focus on wider business risks which allows the teams to add value over and above the normal audit scope.

Page created: 4 April 2017