Trip Start Jun 11, 2007
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of New Zealand  ,
Saturday, January 19, 2008

We left Papamoa Beach and headed straight for Rotorua, I suggested stopping at a couple tourist things but we really weren't that interested and they cost to get in so we arrived at the Top 10 about 2pm. It was so hot that we couldn't face to be outside. Robert rang a couple of engineering businesses in Tokoroa that he'd found which specialised in Valves. He had to wait for them to ring him back which they both did. Fermatech asked him to go see them on Monday and IVE asked to see him tomorrow, so we booked to stay two extra nights on site.

I spent some time tidying up Roberts C.V. and Robert asked Paul Hunter (his old employer) to e-mail a reference. (When the reference came it was so nice that I cried, even Robert got a lump in his throat, it's nice to know that someone thinks that much of you - Thanks Paul). We later had tea and watched a movie on the TV.

This morning I am knackered. There were a group of lads in a big tent next but one to us, who thought it was good to stay up talking loudly and running around between the tents and driving back and forth in cars until 3am! Thankfully Robert managed to sleep through it but I couldn't and I just got more tired and frustrated. Anyway I figured the site owners got a lot of complaints as they were told to leave. Robert wasn't nervous about going to talk to John at IVE as it wasn't a job interview per-say it was more a general chat to see what the job prospects would be "if" we decided to live in NZ.

On the way to Tokoroa we drove up SH1 where Robert got pulled by the local police and fined $120 for speeding. When the copper had dealt with business I asked him if he knew where the street was that IVE was on, he went for a street map and pointed us in the right direction. Robert thought $120 was a bit steep for directions! He was alright though, the copper.

We found IVE and I sat in the car reading for about 1.5hours when Robert came back out. He looked pleased and a bit overwhelmed at the same time. John had as good as offered him a job! Oh bugger, now we have to really think about this and what we want to do.

We drove into Tokoroa and found a really nice café called "Scoffers" to have lunch and talk. Robert said that IVE were owned by a family and that they owned several businesses, he liked the idea of working for a smaller family business that a big international firm where you were treated less like a person. John had said that most employees never left and they had employees that had been with them years. So big tick for IVE. The town it's self isn't much to look at and there are some rather untidy looking estates around, but we wouldn't have to live in the town area itself. We thought there wasn't really any rush just yet so we'd hang fire on making a decision on where to live, we still haven't seen Australia yet. Although we are starting to think that Oz might be too hot for us, even in Melbourne they're getting 40 degrees! Too Hot!

Still I did some fag packet calcs as to what we think we could afford to spend on a house based on the salary that John had mentioned to Robert and we wandered around to a couple estate agents and looked in the window (they were all closed). We saw some nice looking houses but wanted to know more about the market and the purchasing system, something for us to look into later.
We drove away North of Tokoroa through Putaruru which is only 15 mins from Tokoroa, this looks like a nicer town and we thought that if we were within 15 mins of Putaruru Roberts travel time would only be 30 mins each way and might give me more opportunities for a job myself as its not too far to Rotorua and Hamilton (although I've been told the road to Hamilton is really bad at rush hour). And back to Rotorua via SH5.

Back at the Site we had dinner and ligged about watching TV and blogging etc.

We had a bit of a lie-in today as we weren't dashing off for interviews or having to pack the tent away to be off site by 10, it was really nice to just chill and relax. We had a walk into Rotorua and went to the local park, it was free and had loads of mud pits and hot pools that you could look at, it was the first time we got the Sulphur smell and if you got the wrong side of the wind for some of the pools, boy, did you know about it!

It was another really hot day and we wandered along the lakefront and came across a classic car rally. Robert was in his element, we wandered for a while through all the cars, unfortunately we got there as most of them were packing up and leaving, but there was still a lot to see. They had several moggie 1000's there, and one was for sale, only $2000 (about 800 quid) bargain. I so wanted it, but Robert was sensible and calmed me down. We wandered through the town in the general direction of the campsite. We came across a cinema and went in to see what was on. Nothing really took our fancy so we wandered on. We found an Irish Bar (there's always an Irish bar) and felt we deserved a drink. Whilst in there we got chatting to a bloke who was full of advice on where to get a house and how to grow a veggie garden. He was really interesting and gave us his card to call him if we came back, he's a plaster so I think he's after some business. He might come in handy if we do come to NZ.
Robert got a call from John at IVE, he said he'd like him to come back for an interview tomorrow with the himself and the MD. Wow he's really in demand!

We got back to the site and decided it was too early for dinner and cabbaging around so we went to the cable car and luge ride (I think it's on Mount Ngongotaha) anyway it's just up SH 5 from Rotorua. We got the cheesy photos done where they superimpose you into a cable car, and rode to the top in a car. It was rather high! At the top we watched someone in a swing ride. It's similar to one Robert and I did in Blackpool. They were strapped into a cage which was drawn back to a great height and then released, there is an initial drop then as the rope tightens the cage swings out, in this case it swings out over the side of the mountain so you get an even greater sensation of the height and a great view of Rotorua way below. Crazy folk!

We wandered around to the Luge. They have three tracks that you race down on these little karts, it's great fun. Everyone had to do the gentle, scenic track first to ensure you're comfortable with the kart (even so you could still get a bit of speed up on this track, you just have to watch out for other folk who are going slower). The others are and intermediate and advanced level. We'd only paid for two rides so we opted for the advanced ride, woo hoo! It has a hill half way down that you fly over, you actually leave the ground, a bit scary on these little karts. Of course Robert and I raced down as fast as. He won! We had the cheesy photos again too!

When you'd done a luge run you got back to the top by chair lift (like those in skiing) I found these more scary than anything else, and to get off the mountain you back down in the cable car.

Next door to the cable car, on the road side is a mini-golf place, so of course we went in. It's very compact but managed to have some interesting and rather tricky holes. They also had a rabbit that ran all over the course and a sweet little puppy and a parrot that liked to bite. We had a good laugh here and the owner was really friendly.
Back to the site for dinner and TV then bed, as Robert has his meeting with Fermanite tomorrow morning then his interview with John and the MD at IVE after that. Busy, busy, busy!

After the interview with Fermanite, Robert wasn't very impressed. He didn't think he'd like working for such a big company and the guy only wanted to offer him a job when we were actually back in the country. So he was happy that he had already said he preferred IVE.

Robert then went next door to IVE for a further interview with Amanda, the MD and John. He was with them for nearly two hours and they took him off for a drugs test. They confirmed that they would like to offer him a job and that they would put together a relocation package. Amanda said that if they did that they would ask him to sign a two year contract so that if he left in that time they would be able to claim back some of the relocation costs (fair enough).

We retired to our café in Tokoroa, Scoffers, then an estate agent took us to look at a couple houses. We really liked them and we think we could've afforded them. Obviously we aren't buying (yet) but it was nice to see what's available.

We then had a drive down SH1 to Taupo. When we got to the Top 10 it was throwing it down. The only unit they had was $100 and you still had to go out to the toilet block! Sorry, but if I'm paying $100 I expect a loo en-suite!

I rang a B&B and she could only take us tomorrow night so we said yes, and found a motel for that night. The motel was nice, we had a large room, with en-suite, kitchen and TV. It even had free internet.
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