Video transcript: Clint Ramoo

Transcript for a video featuring Audit Director Clint Ramoo talking about moving to New Zealand to work at Audit New Zealand.

Note: We filmed this video in 2017. Clint is still enjoying living in Wellington.

Clint Ramoo (Audit Director):

So we moved to New Zealand in July 2009 – so coming up eight years now in July this year. It’s been a good experience. Eight years have just flown by. My daughters were still at primary school when we moved across – they settled in well, so did my wife. 

[Wellington Harbour on a bright sunny day. Parliament buildings and the Beehive in Wellington.] 

We find Wellington – I’m based in Wellington – we find it really a convenient, nice compact city and just thoroughly enjoy it. You know, the level of freedoms that we have here in New Zealand is sometimes unbelievable. You can walk through the gates of Parliament without having to be searched or high security; you use it as a thoroughfare. In my first week, I thought they were having me on when they said I could walk from the flat to the office via Parliament. 

Coming into Audit New Zealand itself, I found it a very warm and accommodating environment, especially in those early months when we were still trying to find a house, get the girls settled at school etcetera. The settling-in process and the support provided was really good for us as a family. I was also fortunate in that I eased into the workload, so I didn’t have too many audits going on during my transition. That picked up obviously later, but it was a fairly smooth settling-in process for us. 

Working at Audit New Zealand has given me a great opportunity to get around simply because of our client base. What I enjoy about New Zealand is the minute you get out of the big cities – Wellington, Christchurch, Auckland – when you get into what’s locally known as the provincial towns, it’s a lot more laid back, people are really welcoming. They’re honest folk, salt-of-the-earth folk, and I find that nice in addition to the lovely sights and things that you can do as a family – it’s very family orientated wherever you go and that’s important for me. 

At a professional level, I think the thing that surprised me the most was the level and the skills that exist in the public sector. There’s a great link between financial reporting and service reporting, and the accountability that goes with that. The level of oversight is a lot higher. I think you’re also challenged a lot more in terms of your reporting and your findings. Many clients they have expertise in house and they challenge, and they take what they do very seriously. If you want to learn the public sector, this is the place to learn it, without doubt. 

I know many people think as well that if you come and work for the Auditor-General you are basically tagged for the rest of your life as a public sector accountant or auditor. My experience at Audit New Zealand’s quite the opposite. A lot of our young people graduating here end up in the private sector and highly regarded for that because they focus on detail, they understand broader business issues that you pick up in a public sector audit because we’re forced to, given the work that we do to understand more than just a certain part of the work. So I think you get great benefit and you won’t get tainted as you would, I imagine, in other environments if you work in the public sector. Your skills are transferable, basically.

Watch the original video.