My “original” plan was to complete University, find a great school to work in, visit my folks on Sundays for roast, buy a home and watch the Highlanders basically kick butt. Everything was going so well right up to the moment when basic economics told me there just aren’t enough jobs in my hometown. Given the shortage of teachers in the Auckland area, and coupled with myself being young, single and with no kids, I became a prime candidate, a soul willing to forgo all that I knew.

It happened though; I did land a great job in a school that has shown me the meaning of diversity, rich in culture, great kids and more importantly an opportunity to find myself as a teacher.

Hang on, nobody told me though that opportunity comes at a cost and in my case the cost to just live. Like many other single teachers that I have encountered so far, the talk, the concerns, the reality of working and living in Auckland for us all can simply be described as mind blowing. Although a beginning teacher’s salary is moderate, in the Auckland scene it keeps me above the bread-line. Rent, rent, rent controls the greater portion of my salary, then there is petrol which diminishes rather quickly due to the snail pace traffic that I battle on a daily basis. How families with two or more children manage to make ends meet is beyond me, and given my situation, my heart goes out to them.

I really enjoy my job. I’ve made new friends and the feeling of independence is liberating. But wait, I feel that I’m slipping away from the utopian vision that I once held of how life would pan out. If Auckland was a place where I could afford to settle down, buy a home and start a family then that would definitely be an option but right now it is not, as I simply can’t afford to live here long term. I mean really, who can? My whole future is ahead of me, but it won’t be in Auckland.

Are you a teacher who has left Auckland due to the high cost of living? We’d love to hear from you:


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