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Vegan advice for living in NZ

As most of you should know by now, I will shortly be arriving in NZ to live!  So so excited BUT I am also very scared.

I have heard from you NZ vegwebbers that NZ is not the most veggie friendly place and I am scared about how to cope with being vegan there.  As I have been vegan for a long time in the UK, I have learnt what is OK and what's not and I'm scared about not knowing in NZ.  It'll be like becoming vegan all over again!  :-\

So I was wanting to ask you for advice - what brands do I look out for, how is it eating out (as I'm sure I'll have to when i first arrive), how easy is is to find my vegan staples?

So I'll outline my concerns a bit more so you understand where I'm coming from.

In terms of my food that I cook for myself, I have no concerns whatsoever, as like many of you I cook mostly from scratch - I'm sure I'll manage doing the same as I do here...unless the add weird ingredients to there dry beans, lentils, tinned toms ::)  I know how strange you NZ people are so ya never know ;)

The concerns I have are more about what non-vegans wouldn't even think about - shower gels, shampoos, household cleaners (even though I generally use vinegar as my main cleaner I do like to have 'normal' cleaners for somethings), washing up liquid, mouthwash, toothpaste, moisturiser and others I can't think of off the top of my head.
In the UK I am spoilt I think because there's a couple of mainstream brands of most of the above that are available in most regular supermarkets/shops.
How difficult is it to find shower gel/shampoo - would I need to go to a specialist shop, what brands do you use?  I have had problems in the past with buying special vegan shampoos from healthfood stores (sorry can't think of another way of putting it!), in that I used it for a month or so and it dried my hair out like mad - bad enough for it to start snapping and I had to get it all cut off from waist length to just below should length.  I am really proud of my hair as it's normally very shiny and healthy looking so am really scared about using another type of shampoo/conditioner.
Mouthwashes/toothpastes - again is it best to go to a healthfood store or can I get vegan stuff from 'normal' shops?

In terms of food, I know you can all get nooch, thank goodness - don't think I could survive without it!  In the UK it's quite difficult to find - how easy is it to get in NZ?  Where do I look for it?
Something N was asking about yesterday was TVP mince/crumbles....he would really miss those, can I get those?

I can't think of anything else really ATM but I'm sure I'll have other questions before I go/after I arrive, so please bear with me!

Also, I'm sorry if they're all really silly questions - I know you're not all aliens down there, and I'm sure I'll be absolutely fine.  But as you're all here and so nice I thought I'd get your advice to make the transition a bit easier.

Thanks :)

hey!!!
Actually, we all only eat sheep and brush our teeth with wool and wash our hair with milk and honey.  Hope it's not too late for you to cancel your move!!

but really.

I will have a go at a proper answer to this later today : )

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Yea sorry we didn't tell you Shell, but being vegan here means eating some salad on the side with your steak...

Hehehehehe I will also answer this properly later :D

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well you guys are tons of help ::) ;)

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don't you just all eat kiwis non-stop?

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Yea endangered birdlife just tastes that much sweeter ;)b

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I have heard from you NZ vegwebbers that NZ is not the most veggie friendly place and I am scared about how to cope with being vegan there.  As I have been vegan for a long time in the UK, I have learnt what is OK and what's not and I'm scared about not knowing in NZ.  It'll be like becoming vegan all over again!  :-\

I really don't think that New Zealand is a veg-unfriendly place at all, I think we give that impression more because so many 'specialty' or 'gourmet' products aren't available here.  I'm actually really pleased that you can't buy seitan at the supermarket or pick up a big block of fake cheese, or pretend mayonaise or whatever, because I don't really think processed packaged foods are all that good for you and I'm pretty happy with what I can make myself.
The other thing, I guess, that differentiates us from the UK is that we don't have the convenient labelling of food/non-food items as vegan-friendly.  Oh, how I miss the convenience of seeing that little green 'v'....  You literally just have to read ingredients on almost everything till you get a good idea of what is and what isn't.

So I was wanting to ask you for advice - what brands do I look out for, how is it eating out (as I'm sure I'll have to when i first arrive), how easy is is to find my vegan staples?

Eating out is, I imagine, as easy as it is in the UK. 
these places are vegan, these ones are vegetarian and this list is veg-friendly places.
And generally, most places are pretty good at adapting menu items for you if you ask.  I mean, you'll still not have a huge range of options, but that's the case with vegetarian food everywhere .

In terms of food, I know you can all get nooch, thank goodness - don't think I could survive without it!  In the UK it's quite difficult to find - how easy is it to get in NZ?  Where do I look for it?
Something N was asking about yesterday was TVP mince/crumbles....he would really miss those, can I get those?

I get my nutritional yeast from a small bulk bin shop about four minutes drive from our house.  I've done some googling, and cannot find a bulk bin shop in Wellington, so I might need to defer to Theo for this one, as I'm sure she's found one.
Likewise, I've seen tvp in the bulk bin shop, but as it looks/smells like it would taste like catfood, we've never bought any.

The concerns I have are more about what non-vegans wouldn't even think about - shower gels, shampoos, household cleaners (even though I generally use vinegar as my main cleaner I do like to have 'normal' cleaners for somethings), washing up liquid, mouthwash, toothpaste, moisturiser and others I can't think of off the top of my head.
In the UK I am spoilt I think because there's a couple of mainstream brands of most of the above that are available in most regular supermarkets/shops.
How difficult is it to find shower gel/shampoo - would I need to go to a specialist shop, what brands do you use?  I have had problems in the past with buying special vegan shampoos from healthfood stores (sorry can't think of another way of putting it!), in that I used it for a month or so and it dried my hair out like mad - bad enough for it to start snapping and I had to get it all cut off from waist length to just below should length.  I am really proud of my hair as it's normally very shiny and healthy looking so am really scared about using another type of shampoo/conditioner.
Mouthwashes/toothpastes - again is it best to go to a healthfood store or can I get vegan stuff from 'normal' shops?

I like this company for cleaning products and also this one.  They're available at all normal supermarkets.
But I couldn't 100% promise you they're vegan.  I feel like saying yes, but I'm not completely confident that I know enough about label-reading cleaning stuff to say that.  They're environmentally friendly and have good business ethics etc but yeah...sorry...
I think most red seal toothpastes are vegan , and they're just available at normal supermakets too.

I feel like maybe the easiest way for you to transition/get settled in might be to go for a tour round the supermarket with a friendly vegan.  I am, of course,  very happy to do this with you in Auckland, but as I'm figuring you're probably going to want to wait till you're unpacked and stuff in wellywood, so Theo will probably have to take charge.

But if you think of any other questions/if anything I said doesn't make sense/whatever, just ask! : )

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oww, thank you so so much!!!!  I know I sound pathetic asking all this and I know I'll figure it out eventually but I'm just paranoid I guess.
It's just that I am so comfotable with vegan products in the UK and anything different is just, well different and scary!
If I know what products to look out for initially then I can get them and figure it all out properly as I go along.

Thank you!

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I like this company for cleaning products and also this one.  They're available at all normal supermarkets.
But I couldn't 100% promise you they're vegan.  I feel like saying yes, but I'm not completely confident that I know enough about label-reading cleaning stuff to say that.  They're environmentally friendly and have good business ethics etc but yeah...sorry...

I'm actually pretty certain there's nothing in ecostore products that's non-vegan.  It's tough when most cleaners etc don't actually have to list all their ingredients, only 'active' ones.

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