Today myself and my fellow IEP Work New Zealand members had our orientation meeting at the IEP office across the street from the hostel. The presentation was started by a guy named Mike from Canada (!), so I knew right away I was going to have a good time. The orientation was quite informative, starting with an introduction to New Zealand, then information on how to apply for a tax number and open a bank account, then different ways of getting around and seeing the country, and finally a breakdown of the different regions of New Zealand and what sort of work we could expect to find in each of them. The problem with all this new information is many of us went out even more unsure of what we wanted to do than when we went in, now that there are so many more options open to us!
After the orientation most of us (seven) went down to KiwiBank to open accounts, and fairly swamped one teller (they ended up sending out a managerial type to deal with all of our applications and told us to come back tomorrow, when they would have all of our accounts ready). Then it was back to the IEP office for me to pick up a BBH card (to get discounts in hostels) and a WWOOF membership (so I can work for accommodation on organic farms across New Zealand). After that Wendy and Julia and I headed off in search of a late lunch (we settled for pitas, as Julia is a vegetarian).
I also bought a mobile phone today... supposedly a good thing to have if you are looking for a job, so potential employers can actually contact you. It's not the cheapest thing in the world, however, so the best way to contact me is still through e-mail.
It is interesting to be interacting with people from different parts of the world... and humbling that they are all able to converse with me in English, and I cannot return the favour by speaking any German or Dutch or Danish back. It is also highly amusing when they accidentally speak German or Dutch to me, and I give them this confused look until we both realise what has just happened. :-)
I am going to see if I can extend my stay here at ACB Hostel for another two nights... tomorrow I am going on a day-long tour of Auckland, and I would also like to visit the museum before I leave. As one of the orientation presenters said today, "There is more to Auckland than Queen Street!" (which admittedly, is all I have really seen so far). I also want to take a cruise over to one of the islands from the harbour... apparently this is something not to be missed!