Kiwis in London: Q&A with Founder, Clint Heine
We managed to grab a moment with Clint Heine, founder of the hugely popular ‘Kiwis in London’ information service. Despite fighting “a mean jetlag” following a trip home to New Zealand, he kindly answered all our questions about his successful venture which, he’d like to add, welcomes all nationalities, regardless of its name…
Q1: When did you set up Kiwis in London Facebook Page and what inspired you to do it?
I started Kiwis in London in 2010 but properly got into it around early 2012. When I started KIL I was a career adviser and was frustrated at the lack of a good jobs board available online for Kiwis and those wanting to hire Kiwis. I recognised that more and more people spent hours a day on Facebook and didn’t want to click endless links to find work, flats and social events so felt it was the right time to get something set up!
Q2: Are you currently living in London & what’s you’re background?
I am a Kiwi from Nelson, NZ and I have lived in London for over 13.5 years and have a varied background from Banking and Insurance to Performing Arts and Politics! The role that got me the most into helping others was my 9 year stint as a Career Adviser in London.
Q3: What kind of information is Kiwis in London sharing? Any examples of stuff being most talked about on there?
We share an equal number of Jobs and Flats on the page – on any given day we’d have over 200 rooms available and we get dozens of good jobs as well. Coupled with our jobs directory we have access to hundreds of job roles a week. We also share events either that we organise or from others within the community. We also share things like ‘love connections’, and this is pretty popular with our readers!
Q4: How many members do you currently have?
Currently over 63,000. Growing at around 400 new people a week from NZ, Australia and a few others from all over the place.
Q5: You also have a website now – how does that complement your social media platforms?
Our new website is www.kiwisin.london where we put everything from the Facebook page, as well as more in depth advice and guidance about coming to London. There’s also a massive job directory and help with money/taxes/pensions all up there.
Q6: Do you organise socials for the Kiwis, or can they organise events through the page?
Everybody no matter where they’re from are welcome to our page and especially our social events. I organise a monthly drinks event at a number of different pubs where we get very cheap drinks deals. I also run a weekly Homesick event with a partner in Clapham. If anybody in our community organises an event and lets us know, we can help promote as well. We are now the biggest social community for Kiwis and Australians in London, so we always have lots of people up to party!
Q7: What do you love about London?
I love the fact that no day is the same and you have so much opportunity to develop and reinvent yourself. If you have an idea, London is the place to make it happen!
Q8: Which other cities do you love in Europe?
I have a very soft spot for Riga! I also am a big fan of Poland and their cities like Poznan and Ostrow Wielkopolski!
Q9: Are there any other spin offs in the pipeline for Kiwis in London?
There are a huge number of things we can spin out from KIL – we cannot sit on our hands as people have more expectations from London as time goes by. I’d love to be more hands on helping Kiwis and Aussies with finding jobs as well, watch this space!