Don’t Move to New Zealand

( is being updated all the time, for the latest of hundreds of migrant tales click on this link If you would like to send us your migrant tale please leave it in the contribute section)

Continuing in our series of Migrant Stories: first hand accounts of migrant life in New Zealand, taken from locations around the net. This page is extremely popular. Since it was published in Feb 2010 it has had 104,430 views and people have left 575 comments. It has also been shared 264 times on Facebook  and tweeted 103 times (see the icons at the bottom of this page if you want to share it too).

Despite comments made on this reddit thread, everything you read on this site is genuine, including all the comments and news reports. We also cite all our sources so people can judge the authenticity for themselves. People may not want to believe what they read here, and its easier to dismiss the site than deal with the numerous issues it raises; BUT that is what we call the “New Zealand condition”. Let’s face it, if New Zealand is that great why does a country larger than Britain have more sheep than people and a population of a little under 4.5 million. Did you know  >1 million Kiwis live overseas, ever wondered why they do that if ‘everything is awesome’?

Please take a while to read some of the comments that were left on this thread since it was first published in Feb 2010 – scroll to the bottom of the page to get them.

Phew, after all that! Here it is…

This recent story is from the discussion forum Expatexposed. It tells how grinding penny pinching becomes a way of life in NZ with nothing to compensate it, rather than a short term measure to get ahead. The poster also tells of how carefully ‘Brand New Zealand’ is manipulated to attract people who turn out to be unsuitable migrants:

I am so tired of Kiwis making a virtue of necessity. They should be honest that THAT is what it is – making do on a cute remote island. Nothing more than that. Not an arcane “lifestyle” to be aspired to (cue: clink wineglass of Sauvignon Blanc, look out to blue water, flash impossibly white teeth at partner that you would never see on a Kiwi because most of them don’t do dental).

There’s nothing here to compensate for the forced pennypinching – little opportunity, no rich culture, you can’t easily travel to other places for a change – nothing. The government and migration agencies are dressing New Zealand up and not being honest about what it is really like here – THAT is my biggest gripe.

If you are rich, boaty and/or fetishize nature, you will LOVE it here, and you won’t have to make sacrifices, or the sacrifices may well be worth it. I am not rich, boaty and do not fetishize nature.

I DO wear woolly socks and jumpers inside, and I did that before I came here. I shop secondhand “just because it is sensible”. I make food from scratch. I totally agree – it’s sensible and no less, regardless. I have NEVER had central heating or double-glazed windows in any house I have lived in, though I aspired to such back home where I was able to afford to buy my own house. I used to put thermal plastic sheeting on my windows to keep warm in winter. I will hunt that stuff down for this year in NZ if I haven’t been able to leave by winter. At home, I had a gas furnace (not a standalone heater) and my heating was, under a special distributive program where they spread the money out for winter heating to summer months so you don’t get these big lumps to pay in winter) about 80 a month USD (that’s about, what, 100 NZD?). Just to give you a comparison.

The difference is that back there, I lived this same way and was able to save money and get ahead by being frugal. I could afford better food and I didn’t have to darn big holes in socks. I’d darn a little hole or two and then when the socks persisted in developing more holes, I would give them away to the local animal shelter inside a pillowcase for the animals to use. I had money to travel and visit people.

I’ve lived frugally before – and was able to GET AHEAD by doing so. I was able to save thousands a year doing that. Here, you are FORCED to live that way just to keep your head above water, and you are lucky if you can save anything. Maybe some year upward mobility will pull you into its wake if you can catch the wave at the right time…you can only climb the rungs of the ladder with great difficulty in New Zealand, and just hope you don’t have a setback that sends you back to START. It’s easy to have that happen to you if you have no family here to cushion your setbacks for you.

I do not consider that the people of New Zealand are beneath me. I perceive that they “make do” valiantly with what they have. I have seen them be amazingly creative making good useful things out of nothing. The housewives use everything but the squeal. Jesus, do I have to want to live like that, though? This is admirable, and I’d do it if I had to, but why pay out the nose to do that? Kiwis are both shaped and limited by having to live that way. They don’t have time for intellectual pursuits? Just LIVING here occupies enough of their effort, so ok, it’s understandable (Google “culture of New Zealand”, “anti-intellectualism” if you think I am being a snob). People have crafted the Wiki entry to reflect reality, better, I think, since I came over some years ago, and I think prospective migrants should read it: (See below*)
I don’t think you’re aware of how carefully they manipulate Brand New Zealand to attract people who in actuality turn out to be highly unsuitable migrants. That’s where I perceive my fight to be on EE, is representing the reality of New Zealand as I personally experienced it, as one of those unsuitable migrants, so I can prevent other people from making the same mistake I did. It’s the only way I can make lemonade out of my own lemons! That’s why many of the members post here – they are either venting or making sure the downside gets “out there”, hoping that googlers will be able to find and read it through all the net-bombing by “paradise”-mongers who are trying to represent New Zealand as a place that it is NOT.”

*Anti-intellectualism in NZ (Wikipedia)

Unlike many European countries, but in common with other ‘Anglo’ countries such as Britain, the United States and Australia, New Zealanders do not have a particularly high regard for intellectual activity, particularly if it is more theoretical than practical. This is linked with the idea of ‘kiwi ingenuity’ (see above), which supposes that all problems are better solved by seeing what works than by applying a theory.

This distrust of theory manifested itself in social policy of the early and mid twentieth century, which historian Michael Bassett described as ’socialism without doctrines’: although the policies of the first Labour and other governments pursued traditionally socialist goals, they were not based on any coherent theory. A major break with this tradition came in the 1980s when the fourth Labour and fourth National governments enacted a series of reforms based on free market ideology.

This reinforced many New Zealanders’ distrust of intellectual theory, as many consider that the reforms increased poverty and inequality in New Zealand. Despite the prevailing mood of anti-intellectualism, New Zealand has reasonably high rates of participation in tertiary education and has produced a number of internationally renowned scholars and scientists, including Ernest Rutherford, J.G.A. Pocock and Alan MacDiarmid. It should be noted that both Rutherford and Pocock spent most of their professional lives in Britain. For many years this was a common occurrence, and a consequence both of New Zealanders’ attitudes and the low population which made it hard to support major research.


Because New Zealanders often have to relocate to achieve worldwide fame and fortune, New Zealanders are keen to claim famous people as being New Zealanders, however short their residency in New Zealand might have been.

While people born in New Zealand are certainly identified as New Zealanders, those who attended a New Zealand school or resided in New Zealand also qualify, irrespective of national origin. This sometimes leads to famous people and innovations being identified as coming from both New Zealand and another country—such as the pop group Crowded House, the race horse Phar Lap and the actor Russell Crowe, all of whom have been associated with Australia and New Zealand.

Because the measure of New Zealand success was often how well a person did internationally, anything from ‘Overseas’ is seen as holding more cultural capital than the local equivalent, regardless of its quality.

This means that New Zealanders are often lured to the performances of “international acts”. This is exacerbated by New Zealand’s isolation and small population causing it to be skipped by the international tours of all but the most commercially successful musicians and performers. The flipside to this phenomenon is that famous people from overseas can be quickly embraced by New Zealanders if they visit regularly or for an extended period or claim an affinity with the country.”
“We invite them to live here, then set them up for failure. Immigrants and refugees have a tough time settling in New Zealand, and it’s costing them – and us – dearly”

“New Zealand has never been particularly welcoming to immigrants, but a National Business Review-Phillip Fox poll this month suggested that attitudes of ordinary New Zealanders to non-white immigrants are hardening.”

“The requirements for immigration and the requirements for registration [as a teacher] are very different and it’s never been made explicit. So they come here on the basis of their teaching qualifications and can’t register. We suspect it’s the same with other qualifications, particularly those with a registration component, such as engineering.”

Although politicians attack migrants for “taking taxpayers for a ride” by claiming sickness and hardship benefits, a recent Victoria University survey found that a majority of New Zealanders are accepting of immigrants, but they have little to do with them. Those at the bottom of the socioeconomic heap who have most contact with them often perceive them as a threat. Chile was called in recently to sort out a dispute for an African migrant family who bought a house in South Auckland. “The people next door set the dog on the woman of the house and the children have been beaten up.”

Migrant Tales – Time to Leave Queenstown

646 thoughts on “Don’t Move to New Zealand

  1. As an immigrant to New Zealand who has lived herefor ten years I don’t regongnise any of the gripes on this website. New Zealanders are far less racist and more welcoming than than Australians where I lived previously, and also the job and business opertunities are easier to come by. I love it here and the land of milk and honey that so many of the posters on here think it will be actually require hard work and dedication. No you will not get rich quick, and yes houses in Auckland are expensive, but if you look to the regions there are lots of bargains there. New Zealand is better to foreinerd than most countries I have been.

    • As an immigrant to New Zealand who has lived herefor ten years I don’t regongnise any of the gripes on this website.

      Your failure to acknowledge them doesn’t mean they don’t exist, rather that you’ve developed a taste for Kool-Aid over the last decade and that you’re ok with the inequity in NZ. You know something must be wrong though: you sought out this site. There’s hope for you yet :). Good luck.

  2. Amelia is from Kaikoura: South Island’s Royston Vasey? “we don’t bother the outside world, we don’t want it bothering us”

  3. I wish I could have found this blog prior to skilled migrant application to New Zealand. Most of comments here are quite true as I’ve been living in Auckland for one and half month since October,2015.

    I went for free seminar and did study about economy in New Zealand especially the income and work life balance. I thought this place would be ideal for a young family like mine but as soon as I landed Auckland airport, I realized that I could be wrong. Coming from one of the most prosperous country in the world located in Southeast Asia made me wondered the first touch in New Zealand because the airport was so quiet.

    Walking in CBD Auckland within the first few days had me worried more and more about the economy. The financial / Stock exchange hub are tiny small compare to where Im from. The bus / train fare are so expensive which isnt really sensible for so-called developed country like New Zealand. Homeless is everywhere in CBD and all ATM machines fulled of urine scent. I came to know more about that this country has no money when I approached sale person when I was looking for a car. I was stunned when I learned from him that the interest rate for car loan is high as 12%, yeah ! 12% for car loan, I had ‘WTF’ in my mind and sale person continue explained me the rate is high because of there is no money flow in this country. They heavily rely on money that borrow from other countries and sub-lend to local people in New Zealand.

    Over 5 weeks, I’d been hunting job actively, I am an IT guy worked in reputable companies for over 10 years and I only received plenty of rejection emails from recruiters / companies without even having a single conversation with them. I managed to get very few job interviews during my stay and those are probably the worst job interview experiences that I ever had. I do understand that the company looks only right people and the skills must be matched. But in New Zealand, it means the skill set they looking for must be 100% match to yours. If you’ve never worked on just only one or two things that they listed in job listing, they will just simply decline your application and this is why the same position listed on / stay for very long period of time. I do accept from employer’s perspective but what If 100% born New Zealander who just graduated and wanna get hired in their own country? This narrow mindset that all employers have wouldn’t let fresh NZ graduates be employed eventually. I really feel so pity and sorry for new generation of New Zealand.

    I think 5-6 weeks for me in New Zealand is good enough for me to make up my mind whether this is a right place to live. If you could get your first job in New Zealand in few months after your arrival, then it’s good for you. But what’s next? How about your career in the future? Do you think you could find the 2nd job / 3rd job and how long would you take? Look, it is a small economically country, Think many times before you come here. If you get Resident Visa , Job Seeker Visa whatever that allow you to live and work here. Just plan it properly, don’t put all your eggs into one basket.

    For now, I will go back home. I will be watching the job market in New Zealand and I will only come when I am really convinced that the economic is acceptable. If not, I will just simply ignore my resident visa and let it go.

    Sad to say, but I look for my future, not only present.

    • For a job … only move to New Zealand AFTER an offer is made in black and white, listing job scope, salary and company contact information.

      Surprising to me that you could not get a job, because overseas workers are in demand when they have D&D (debts and dependents) – they can be snookered into taking on more work, and can’t escape a tyrannical workplace.

      Of course, you’re damned on both ends – whether you’re fluent in English or not – as …
      if you’re fluent, you “are not a good cultural fit” (read: can pick up on racism and being jerked around via nuances of language)
      and if you’re not fluent “our company is results-driven and we feel you wouldn’t understand the communications, thus wasting time” (nonsense: in many companies … the managers have few qualifications and got by on connections).

      Don’t hold out because of hope … which can change to hopium – because, while hope keeps you going, hopium – keeps you addicted to stay in one place “for a better future”.

  4. This website is a must read for all thinking of moving to N.Z. It gives a very good insight into the pitfalls and traps one can and will fall into unless enlightened otherwise. Some very good information shared here….

  5. I have noticed no one mention about even worse things in New Zealand for applying the PR, is you need to pay the company which provide you the evidence of work. This scenario is more common in Auckland as well as in Hamilton now.

    You may ask, why you have such a good qualification and work experience yet cannot find a job or KIWIs will tell you even their still hard to find a job, and why the bloody job such as I.T still in Long Term Skill Shortage. But how come a lot of young rookies just graduate from Degree or even Diploma especially in I.T. can easily find a job this later on obtained their PR within a year. The worst thing is after that, most of them will quit their job, either back to their home country or just do whatever they want. You will notice this is quite common for Chinese immigrant.

    Please don’t be upset. The reason not just only you’ve lack of luck, this is also because you’re poor. In other culture especially Chinese. “Gift” is such a habit over few thousand years. They bring this habit over NZ. Therefore, when you intend to apply PR, you need to pay a certain amount to the company to assist your application. The “market price” is between 30K to 60K. Please don’t be surprise, this is often happened in NZ. The authority already knew but feel like keep “cooperate” instead of fix the bug, even thought they have had caught some insects. For the authority, they should ask themselves. Why people who have so much experience and higher education hard to find a job. Of course, the reason also included they don’t hire “non PR”. And yet the people who have just graduated from school and “zero” experience can have a “Technician” job. Why? How?

    In my opinion, People who work and continuous stay in NZ up to three years or more, with the proper position can apply their PR without company support. This will avoid the company bring up the excuse to ask repay. The greedy company may ask requite for giving you up to three years work opportunity, The authority should offer people who report this kind of corruption can apply their PR without any condition. I can tell, in the near future, this will be extinct kind of thing happen. Agree?

    • It’s probably important to note that in New Zealand, I.T. usually means call centre operator. I was in I.T. for several years here as the I.T. manager (I am a Kiwi born and bred). I created and administered the network, designed and printed brochures, ran up a few databases and built updates to all the software. I am self taught! I got this job through word of mouth, the way it usually happens here. My innovations took the company to a $1.2m turnover fro only $600k, 5 years later, the bosses wife decided she’d rather have $50kNZ in her bank than in my pocket so I was laid off, and all my innovations were taken from me by the company and I was served a “restrain of trade” order, preventing me from using them elsewhere. I was gutted. The company fell on hard times and has since been sold. Very short sighted business people in NZ. I went on to work as a postie for 6 years after that because it’s all I could get. I don’t work now, mostly because I no longer have to, but at 58, I’m too old to get a job here. As a Kiwi, this is how I get treated. I feel really bad for any poor person coming into New Zealand, the land of milk and honey – yeah right. Stay home or go elsewhere. I say this with love.

  6. I have lived in NZ and was born here unless rich avoid like the plague minimum buy in for a Kiwi life 2 million dollars. Most expensive country in the world! No jobs no food no future

    • I was born in NZ and moved to the US when I was 9, and have lived here ever since. I’ve also visited NZ several times. It’s always been an overpriced country which under-delivers. A lot of stuff costs more than in the US but often has a lower quality. Not to mention a shocking dearth of opportunities. “100% Pure New Zealand” is a load of nonsense.

      • Why on earth would you expect a remote two island country with a population of 4 million to have the same opportunities as larger countries? Does it occur to you that that remoteness is what has made NZ more and more expensive to live in? I have no idea why people move here and do nothing but airfare back to the UK is available at $700 one way currently and no doubt even cheaper to return to the States if you wish. I am NZ born with UK citizenship as well and I doubt I would sit on the computer moaning about how disappointing the UK is, I would vote with my feet and just go home. Where I work there are many people from the UK and it has been this way for the 40 years I have been a working adult in NZ, I count a number of ex pat UK people as friends and funnily enough they look aghast when I say do you ever miss home? They consider New Zealand to be their home and I know it upsets them..I only say it because I like the UK so much, not that I do not consider them New Zealanders after all the time they have been here. You will get out of NZ what you put in generally, but if you cannot find a job, you would need to consider your long term future here.

        • Thanks for all the replies to “Delia’s” comments. Delia has a long record for trolling this site, and obviously is deeply unhappy in New Zealand (Kaikoura?).

          We wish “Delia” all the best for her future imprisonment. New Zealand is a hard country and its effects on people are not to be underestimated.

        • Typical insulting Kiwi. Of course New Zealand our home. People like you love to remind us we don’t belong here, putting the screw further in with every turn. I’d rather leave tomorrow than become like you.

        • if I could have a dollar for every Kiwi like you I could afford to leave this miserable godforsaken rock in the middle of nowhere. You’re welcome to your piss poor little country, have fun swimming in your own bile.

          • Delia is obviously addicted to Kool-Aid having spent far too many years being indoctrinated into the cult of New Zealand. Deep down she knows it is a bit shit but would rather come here to make ad hom attacks against our community (the rest have been deleted and her profile tagged as spammer).

            Our readers are reminded of our article about positive identity reinforcement in New Zealand, they may like to re-read it:

            A Niggling Fear It Might Actually Be Sh*tNew Zealanders inferiority complex, as explained by

            Identity Anxiety.

            “Closely linked with ‘Taking Ourselves Seriously‘, a trait unique to the Kiwi psyche is the need for constant, positive reinforcement about just how great a country it is. This is probably because, deep down, most Kiwis have a niggling fear that it might actually be a bit shit.

            Travel though a country such as Great Britain, and the first question the locals will ask you is ‘What the f**k are you doing taking a holiday in this crap-hole?’. Travel round New Zealand, and the first question locals ask is “Isn’t it great? Are you having a wonderful time?”.

            Not unlike a teenage girl with low self-esteem, Kiwis are always seeking out compliments about their country. It is thought this personality disorder is a common symptom among all colonial countries, but is particularly prevalent in New Zealand – the youngest and smallest of the group of countries colonised in the last 500 years (which includes Australia, Canada, USA etc).

            A country of immigrants, the need for Positive Identity Reinforcement is a result of the long and uncertain process that precedes the decision to pack up everything and seek out a better life on the other side of the world. Forever plagued by the nagging worry that one might have made the wrong choice, immigrants to NZ seek constant reassurance that their adopted home is totally awesome, and that leaving their cold/overcrowded/racially-troubled motherland was definitely the right thing to do.

            This trait is passed down through the generations, until it disperses and is replaced by the sort of blind, flag-waving, cock-suredness evident in Australia or USA. NZ has a way to go before reaching this state of harmonius equilibrium.

            A word of note: If travelling New Zealand, do not, under any circumstances, answer a question such as ‘Isn’t it great’, with something like ‘Actually it’s a bit quiet, out of the way, and not as sunny as Australia’. Kiwis have not yet developed either a robust sense of irony, or cast-iron self belief, and you may bring about a deep period of depression in the person asking the question, or, at the very least, a firm fist in the face.”

        • If remoteness makes New Zealand expensive why is the milk so expensive? that’s not imported. Why is it cheaper to buy NZ agricultural produce in Australia than in New Zealand? What you mean is NZ has a captive population and getting ripped off is the Kiwi way.

        • Why on earth would you expect a remote two island country with a population of 4 million to have the same opportunities as larger countries?

          They don’t. People expect there to be opportunities on a scale that reflects the country’s size. Bear in mind migrants are led to believe there is a skills shortage, they’re given extra points accordingly in the EOI. Or they’re aiming for work-to-residence in occupations that are supposed to be in demand. They’ve got a right to expect employment in those fields, and not have to drive taxis or work in corner shops to make ends meet.

          You should also be aware that despite your Irish heritage migrants will view you as a Kiwi and will be deferential when asked for their opinions about your country, especially in a formal/work situation. Next time you’re in this situation you should know that migrants become very skilled at saying what you want to hear and keeping our opinions to ourselves. Why? because the backlash is so severe when we don’t, the most common reaction is to ‘go home if you don’t like it’ or ‘it must be you that has the problem then’ (rather than, ‘yes we have some problems here, how can we make it better for everyone?’) has been exactly your response. This isn’t something people want to hear when they’ve just invested thousands of dollars getting to your country and now can’t afford to leave – they learn to bite their tongues and join in the group think (worse case scenario – develop a taste for Kool-Aid).

          This is why we established, so migrants can say exactly what they want without being victimised or bullied for not participating in group think. They can interact with thousands of other people that feel exactly the way they do and for some it is a great revelation that they are not alone. For those reasons people like you are unwelcome here because you are part of the problem with NZ, and in accordance with our rules you are now banned.

          n.b. Admin is a joint account. For the record:- no one in the admin team now lives in New Zealand – we all made it out, alive :)

  7. This has been a very interesting read for me. I am a New Zealand citizen who left in 2004 to live in Ireland. We returned in 2012 and it has been much as expected. One of the reasons we left in the first place is we were living a very hand to mouth existence in Auckland with two preschoolers and a single income. We always knew Ireland would be in our future as my husband is Irish and it’s part and parcel of an international marriage to live in both places. After my husbands NZ residency came through (which cost a fortune and took forever) we left.
    We landed right in the middle of the Celtic Tiger and landed on our feet as a result. Our son’s enjoyed the Irish schooling and way of life but as things spiraled downwards and work dried up for trades people nationally we made the decision to quit our jobs and move back to New Zealand. We really agonised over this decision as we didn’t want to go back to struggling financially. Being honest I certainly missed my family and the sunshine and that contributed to the decision also. The house we lived in was too small for our growing sons and it was time for another change. There was a huge shock in moving home. We bought a house reasonably quickly, got our boys into an expensive but relatively good school nearby and both got jobs quickly also. Saying that, I found supermarket shopping borderline traumatic for months. Would have to fight back tears while fighting my way around pack n save (this is called Push n Shove for a reason). I am not that emotional as a rule but the price of food and what was on offer was heartbreaking when I was used to feeding my family wonderful healthy meals for a fraction of the cost. I soon discovered I was going to have to get very creative.
    We found archaic and misguided attitudes towards Irish trades people and an attitude that kiwi workers are the best and hardest workers you will find. This is seriously misguided and blinkered. We had a kiwi apprentice come to service our heat pump who proceeded to tell me how his boss would never hire any British workers as they were slack and wouldn’t get on with the job. (read: question and challenge status quo, wont blindly follow direction) I explained that my husband had 20 years fully qualified and he was Irish. “same thing” he chuckled to himself. He was told pretty quickly that husband trains people more qualified that this ignorant arrogant apprentice and would have no trouble finding work. I tell this story to highlight the common attitude we have come accross since moving back.
    – Even at our lowest, financially in Ireland, with contracts few and far between, there was more disposable income than NZ with both of us working.
    – Cost Euro 120.00 per week maximum to feed family of 4, here it’s closer to $300 plus per week.
    – Both children were initially bullied at school for Irish accents and told to F off back to Ireland. Kids here are hard. My teenagers were shocked at how kids spoke to teachers in class and how they spoke to each other at school.
    – We have been broken into twice. We live in an OK area (family are estate agents, you have to know where to buy) we are not in Auckland
    – Building materials and reasonable quality home ware is VERY expensive. This kiwi ingenuity is often a “close enough is good enough” perspective and they have no problem throwing a fence up made of rusty iron, chicken wire, pallets etc in a very cobbled together (not in a good way) look. It looks terrible, but people are very proud of themselves for it. Houses might have a brick front but the back is made up of a cheaper building material. It looks very patchwork and if you are used to a higher quality of home you will be shocked.
    – The sense of humour is terrible (I put my hand up as a kiwi, it took ages to learn subtle humour) Kiwi’s think they are funny. They are not. The lack of craic is miserable, there is no banter or story telling etc
    – In the 8 years of living in Ireland we got the 4 of us back to NZ twice, as well as trips around Ireland to the UK and Italy. While in NZ (pre 2004 departure we didn’t visit Ireland once. In the 3 years since coming back husband went of his own to Irish wedding.) It is very expensive to fly topside from NZ
    – The lakes and beaches are fabulous, the forests are wonderful for family walks and the weather is an absolute dream
    – Gardening. I have discovered gardening and its great here.
    – Houses are expensive here but not so much if you don’t live in Auckland. We paid $235K for 3 bedroom weatherboard (timber) home with huge section. We have been doing it up, it is warm now thanks in part to HRV and mostly v handy husband. House valued now at $275K 3 years after purchase so if you buy well you will see a rise in your investment.
    Happiness at the moment is due to a happy family, good kids, a job and house that I love. Ireland was wonderful, it had it’s pros and cons but it was really hard to settle in. I knew it wouldn’t be easy to move to NZ and that is after growing up here. I had emigrated before and I know what it takes to live somewhere very different and leave what you know. Go anywhere with your eyes wide open. Don’t expect it to be easy, don’t listen to hype. Make your own decision and expect to work hard to make it work.

    • Thanks, it has cetainly been a struggle for you, good luck for the future. What are your thoughts for the future of your children in NZ, do you think they’ll stay after their experiences to-date?

      • We have discussed moving back to Ireland when they kids are finished high school. The first year was very hard but they have made friends as they do. My eldest would like to go to university here but the likelihood is he will go in Ireland, even if he is required to repeat or do his leaving cert, as university in NZ is so cost prohibitive. regardless of how you feel about the choice you make, at this age you have to suck it up and give them some stability and consistency. They are dual citizens so it’s up to them where they live in their future. I would like to think they’ll travel and try different countries for themselves. Eventually they will be adults and will have to find their own path. We will live in Ireland again eventually and the plan is to go “home” for Xmas 2016 so it’ll be interesting to see how they feel about it then.

    • I find it very hard to budget for food and to eat healthlily. A 125g punnet of blueberries is priced at $15, yes $15 in New World right now!

      “‘Often people tell me how envious they are of me living in NZ, what they don’t know is how ff*{%}+ n’ expensive little things are!'”

      Amen to that! it’s fricken terrible, can’t wait to leave at the end of term.

      • That’s incredible Stone. These interesting comments were left at the bottom of the article.

        LKemE12 minutes ago
        This is crazy considering here in Adelaide (Australia) we are paying AUD$3.50 a punnet for Blueberries from Napier NZ!?!?

        Alistair Stronach42 minutes ago
        Sorry to tell you folks, but here in Brisbane we are paying A$2.90 for 125g of fresh Blueberries. They are Australian grown (Victoria). It sounds like someone is having a lend of youse folks

        Michael Weaver1 hour ago
        Yea got a shock coming back to NZ. All food is very very expensive, milk $6 plus for a 3 ltr, mince $15 plus a kilo, good bread $4. Meat prices are soooo high, and junk is low. No wonder diabetes is becoming epidemic. White bread and packaged processed rubbish is cheap.

        One has to wonder why NZ prices are so artificially high? good way to ‘keep people in their place’ maybe? Such a pity when there’s an ample supply of cheap food in neighbouring countries. What makes NZ retailers charge such a premium and what does this say about the country’s ability to sustain itself should the worst happen?

    • Hi Kyao, It’s so good to hear your perspective. I have been living in Perth, Australia for 8 years and I lost my job in May and struggled to find another. I decided to move back to Ireland as I had found a job over there. I live in Cork. I have found it a major struggle. I grew up in Ireland, have a social number and drivers license etc but trying to open a bank account, sign up for utilities and buy a car that doesn’t rip you off for insurance is criminal. As for going to the supermarket, once you wade past the aisles of processed drinks and foods, chocolate and crisps yes, you can find some good food which generally is cheaper. Green seedless grapes for €1.99 and 125g punnet of blueberries for €1.25 in Tesco. The weather is grinding me down and I have been sick since I got here in August. The last bout of medicine has cost me nearly €200!! Am I missing something here? The way people seem to work here is not in-keeping with how I’m used to working. I am a senior manager and I am made feel like a clock in clock out worker. Is this usual or specific to the company I am working for?
      Anyway, the long a short of it is that I am being contacted from NZ about possible work opportunities and I am seriously considering it. I lived in Wellington about 10 years ago and really only left because of the earthquakes and the feeling of being quite remote from my family in Ireland. The money seems good and rentals don’t seem that crazy, well not Perth like anyway. I am concerned about the gang culture that is developing but I am also concerned about the attacks in Paris of earlier today. I have a partner who is based in NZ but is moving to Ireland and is now concerned because I hate it here. We don’t have any children and I totally agree with you, the Irish schooling system is brilliant. I am in a dilemma as I don’t want to keep moving around the world as it costs a fortune! I’m in my forties now and am looking for somewhere I can work, and live, more emphasis on live!

      • You’ve got to be kidding right? I can’t see what you’re complaining about. The risk of getting killed or seriously injured by an earthquake in New Zealand is orders of magnitude higher than getting killed or seriously injured by a terrorist in Europe. You may have to wade past isles of food in Ireland (you poor thing, my heart bleeds for you) but it will be less processed and cheaper than food in New Zealand which is now the OECD’s 3rd most obese country. Ireland’s food has less pesticide and weedkillers than New Zealand. I know which country I’d chose.

        • Sorry if you misunderstand my comment and that your heart bleeds for me. I didn’t leave Wellington because I was afraid of the danger of earthquakes, I didn’t like them. Waking up in the middle of the night to a metal house screaming is disturbing. Living through the Northern Ireland troubles probably does justify your comments on surviving terrorism though.
          I haven’t lived in either Ireland nor New Zealand for a while and this is currently where my options are. Trying to gather information by making a comparison in experiences is not complaining. I don’t like living in my home country and this is probably similar to you.
          Ireland has a similar population to New Zealand but New Zealand has a lot more open space. That’s what I like.

          • New Zealand has a lot more open space. That’s what I like.

            Other than beaches, accessing it may be a problem though. And even then some are in private ownership.

            Our British readers tell us some of the things they miss in New Zealand are the right to roam, national footpaths, bridleways, rights of way, ancient trails, and not having to pay to walk across a mountain range. Even walking the dog can be an issue.

  8. Seriously people. NZ is a great place! Yes expensive but that’s beside wealthy foreigners have arrived & pushed prices up (esp in housing markets). It’s got so much to offer families. I don’t understand why people are so negative towards NZ when no one insists you stay or even come in the first place.

  9. Guys,

    Wow.. your comments.. Really Applaudable…

    I was about to pay for Skilled migrant visa EOI.. now i’ve stopped myself.

    Guys tell me.. Should i apply skilled PR visa for New Zealand or not? or Should i consider Canada, Australia. I’m a Civil Construction Engineer. I’m looking to settle with family.

    With your comments .. i’m really thinking.


    • Where are you moving from? I know people who work in Civil Engineering in Canada, the pay is good but not great, like with everything in Canada for work you really need to have connections though usually working for a construction company pays well, depending on how many years you have under your belt you may make $60-80 K a year, you can make the most working for a government or municipality but those jobs are almost impossible to get unless you know someone within. I know lots of people in Canada who moved to California as skilled workers as they need engineers there and that were making way way better money there. One thing that really sucks about Canada is the winter, lately winters have been pretty bad, last year (2014) it was about -30 to a point where asphalt was cracking on highways and streets, (though that would mean job security for you lol) it was so miserable I think winter lasted almost 6 months. I am not one to get too affected by weather but I can tell you last year was tough. But in terms of affordability honestly it’s pretty good, we complain about gas prices and buying real estate seems a thing of the past, but if you are happy renting there’s plenty of options. Food is cheap, I would say I spend $50 a week on groceries and I eat fresh fruits and veggies all the time, even buy organic and it hasn’t beat the bank. However, sense of community doesn’t seem great people are nice but after work it’s like they go home to their own group of people and that is that, I would say unless you made friends through school as an adult it is hard. However, in construction they are friendlier guys, crazy drinkers though; working for a contractor pays way better than for a consultant. oh and political correctness is beyond ridiculous now here, cannot say anything anymore. good luck with your decision.

    • If it were me, I’d go to Oz.
      The pay/cost ratio is far more in balance.
      Australia IS more difficult to get into. Hence a lot of prospective migrants come to NZ as it’s easier.

      I’m looking to settle with family.

      From where, might I ask? You may be better off staying where you’re at.

    • There are several construction projects underway but that would mean you will have to compete with local “experts” for jobs & contracts. I’d rate Australia & Canada on similar lines, the advantage with Canada is that its geographically on same landmass as US so that might help if you ever wish to travel around. Basically it will all come down to what you want to achieve from the move. Education in NZ may not be best in the world so you might actually become villain in your kid(s) lives when they grow up (if they come across prejudice at uni or work) .

  10. I totally agree with every single post in here, NZ is such a beautiful country but the people of NZ are a bunch of fat, ugly, rude, racist and ignorant people. I hate everything about the kiwi way of life and wathever they insist on calling Maori culture, which is noting but sub – developed stone age thinking combined with a high rate of drug abuse and violent behavior. I work for the government so I can clearly see how every single statistic and data are manipulated to make it look like NZ standard of life it is compared to the developed world when in reality NZ level compares to third world country.
    Most kiwis are delusional, for some reason they think they are better than anyone else.
    Kiwis specially Maoris hate immigrants and blame them for “stealing the jobs”, reality is that most kiwis hold a high school diploma having the knowledge and cognitive skills of a 7 years old.
    NZ has one the highest rate of single mothers in the world, also is the only country on earth were women are more promiscuous than men, forget the moral side and the STDs, the low behavior of kiwi woman translates to a high rate of child neglection and abuse, why people in NZ carries on having babies like rabbits? The Benefit Payments. In NZ to be a single mother of children with different father is the equivalent of having a degree in any other country, like for real, then the kiwi government pushes those uneducated horrible women to become teachers or government employees because here to know how to get pregnant from random men it is considered a qualification.
    Kiwi drivers are careless and don’t know the meaning of the word stop.
    Prices of everything are ridiculously expensive
    Life is boring, nothing to do.
    If you move to NZ be ready to pay lost of money to the immigration system and to see your taxes being used to fund more family violence and drug abuse.
    NZ is awesome, kiwi people are the opposite.

  11. I present live and was born in New Zealand and some of that is true like I’m not bashing my own country but New Zealand isn’t a good place to go if you want a happy child our suicide rate has gone up heaps and Maori kids are mean as hell and prices here are very expensive and some people here are racist Maoris being racist to pakeha (white people) I’m half Maori and white so yeah and then you have kids smoking and drinking before high school so yeah how bout stay home or go live somewhere else. Peace out

    • I believe that does not just apply to NZ but also with a lot of other countries. However, I have to say that New Zealand is kinda boring and would be perfect for wealthy old people to live here.

  12. I came from Canada via Australia (3 years) 33 years ago when I married a kiwi. My first and lasting impression is that this is a poor (expensive) country populated by ill educated people. If you dare question anything here then the retort is “Well, why don’t you go back where you came from”. I love my husband, but I hate this backward country. The only positive note in my mind, is that we are far from the troubles of the world…the Middle East, refugees pouring into Europe, gun crimes of the U.S. NZ is far from clean and green, that is just a slogan to sell the produce. New Zealanders have an inferiority complex constantly comparing to other countries particularly Australia. Since troops from both countries fought in the trenches together in WW1 New Zealand feels that gives all its citizens the right to do whatever they want in Aussie and until the brakes went on tens of thousands went to Australia each year to live and work. Now they can still go, but no longer are able to receive social welfare benefits. Take a hint, the Aussies don’t want you, it is a separate country! Houses are terribly expensive and the average price in many areas is over $500,000 on a small section. They are poorly insulated and electricity can be $300+ per month. A single pork chop cost over $3.50. Lots of laws and bylaws that are generally ignored and seldom enforced. Why tourists come here is a mystery as other than hiking there is little of interest. Culture consists of the Maori chanting and sticking their tongues out. Rugby is a religion. New Zealand claims to be the top and best of absolutely everything, but most of the people believe this as they have it rammed down their throats from birth and never been anywhere else. The media focuses on the negative and tragedies of other countries just to let the people know we are better then that. Look twice before you leap if thinking of moving here. As many others have written, it is to expensive to be able to get out again and too late to start again in the real world.

  13. i totally agree with you
    i rather go to u.s or canada
    living in NZ is wasting money
    very expensive and people are crazy about
    money here

  14. We moved to NZ 2012 and returned 2014 – I would not recommend anyone moving there – it was the worst experience of our lives
    So in brief:- essentially its a 3rd world county in many respects.
    Although they have some free healthcare – you have to pay every time you see a GP/nurse – lots of stuff is not available on prescription – so you have to pay full price for the medication – which can be very expensive
    Housing – renting is very expensive – property is much higher than the UK
    No central heating – houses are very damp and mouldy – no matter what you do
    No double glazing or insulation – winters are unbearable – even though they are not as cold as UK
    Utilities more expensive
    Tax – 33% from $0 onwards, salary and savings
    Food – about 3 x more than UK
    Flights back to UK about 3rd more in money
    Choice – very little even in the cities
    Jobs – honestly they only want non NZ people to fill jobs they cant recruit to – so generally the jobs no one else wants – can be quite racist – we had we don’t want you pommies taking our jobs
    If you lose your job – you are stuck in NZ because you have to have nothing before you get any help from NZ – so its very scary.
    30 years behind the rest of the world
    Loads of people work in NZ until a very old age because they have only just implemented contributory pensions there
    In the first year – my daughter was mugged and someone tried to pick my husbands pocket – so we felt very unsafe there.
    School are mediocre – you have to buy your own books etc. and they ask for a yearly contribution to the school usually $250-500 per child
    It ends up being just an existence and a lonely one at that.
    Lots of people get stuck in NZ because they cant afford to come back to UK – which must be awful
    Don’t believe all of the hype of recruiters, conventions, TV shows – take note of things like this – they are mostly accurate – its an expensive in many ways mistake to make especially if you are dragging your family across the other side of the world!

    • Totally agree with your regarding the houses.Though its hard to hear the criticism of my home country, its quite eye opening to read the often negative views of New Zealand. I guess its like any thing don’t believe the hype but at least you will appreciate your home country even more now.

    • very well said.. I am In New Zealand and I am suffering. They are racist in terms of jobs and renting a house. They post on job websites – Only for PR or New Zealand Citizens – then why the hell you called us here?? Just to earn from the fee we paid as an International Student(4 times more than the local student). and for the flatmate they directly post “Would prefer KIWI”. What the hell is that? I can say people specially KIWI – white (no offence i am only talking about few folks) are good on your face but talks behind you. This is also racist.

      • To make things even more funny, ridiculous or outright pathetic …
        a (domestic) child molester is more likely to be offered a job than an international student.

        Darren Simon Kihi – who has committed crimes against as many as 28 victims – was released from prison to live in Turangi last Sunday, after temporarily living in Taupo.

        However, a month later the Parole Board agreed to release him to Turangi, where he’d been on work release for two years, and had guaranteed employment.

        Again, I will repeat this: prisoners get fed better than fee-paying university students in the halls of residence in New Zealand. Makes you wonder how incentives are structured for this “country seen as desirable by non-locals”.

  15. I left NZ in 2004 to live and teach in Hong Kong. After 9 years I was sick of the pollution so tried West Australia for 1.5 years but left after finding myself in a school with a criminally incompetent management. I took up a job in Dubai but that didn’t pan out. I came back home after 11 years away partly to have a break and decide what and where to go next; partly to spend time with mum who’s been ill recently.

    I made the foolish decision to stay here and took up a FT teaching job. bad mistake!
    In the 9 years I was in Hong Kong I never actively tried to save, did a lot of travelling (over 20 countries), a lot of socialising, made some poor investment decisions and yet still managed to save around $150,000NZ.
    In the 18 months I was in Australia I bought a brand new car for $18000Au with my visa, lived what felt like a frugal life but still went out probably once a month plus movies once a month. At the end of the 18 months I had paid off my visa and saved $21000Au: $23000NZ. And travelled to Singapore, Hong Kong, New Zealand and Brisbane/Sydney.
    (During that time also hooked up with a girl – hence my use of we from now on)
    Dubai in the 4 months we were there I saved ~$17000NZ. Again, while we lived frugally, we didn’t scrimp and scrape to make ends meet. And, again, we went travelling – to Oman, Hong Kong and Singapore.

    Now back in NZ and despite being on a fulltime teachers salary of $73000pa – which is amost 1/3 higher than the median salary in NZ – and despite not living in Auckland, we are really struggling to make ends meet, living a hand-to-mouth existance. We simply cannot afford to do or go anywhere. Being forced to shop at 2nd-hand shops out of necessity rather than prudence; having to carefully budget and make lists before heading to the supermarkets; Being forced into a semi-vergetarian diet not for health reasons, rather the cost of meat; hoping the weird noise coming from the car will go away simply because we can’t afford to have it checked right now; using blankets rather than the heater etc etc.
    We’ve been here 4 months and our entire social life has been the cinema 3 times. We have to carefully budget and watch our expenditure. Regardless, we are ever going backwards. Last month despite our best intentions, we still spent $500 more than I earned (my partner, not being a NZer, is still in the process of getting her visa so she can work – not that’s there any jobs here other than stocking shelves at Countdown). During the term break just gone I wanted to take my partner up North to visit the area I grew up but it was simply far too expensive. That was a real shock to me: I’ve been used to, the past decade and a bit, of spending my term breaks in another country. So to find myself not even able to afford to catch the ferry to Wellington was a eye-opener.

    It’s a real paycheck-to-paycheck existance here. Just yesterday (Sunday) I remarked to my partner that this was the first week I’ve enough in the bank to pay for the rent before (BEFORE!) my pay goes through. (so of course sod’s law kicks in: today the engine warning light came on in. Lord knows how much that will set us back).

    NZ: nature is beautiful, the people are friendly and the air clean. But it’s not living, it’s subsisting. I have not lived like this since I was unemployed 20+ years ago. I don’t want to continue living like this. At my age, with my qualifications (2 degrees, 2 post grad diplomas) and experience (10+ years teaching overseas in International schools) I shouldn’t be living like this. I’m earning 30% more than the median wage ffs! How anyone on less than the average wage can possibly survive is beyond me.

    At the end of this year we are moving back out. Goodbye NZ: it was nice knowing you.

    • Wow! I thought our situation was bad! Don’t get me wrong I love NZ, its beautiful -that’s a given-, but I am staggered by how expensive food, rent and energy bills are since we left 4 years ago. We just spent $300 in Pak N Save for heavens sake!! Our weekly grocery bill was $150 in Australia, and I though that was bad, but $300?? I still haven’t bought any fruit and veg! We pay $600 a week rent for an old wooden house with no effective heating, yet still had a bill last month for $500! How on earth do families on a low income survive? We are both professionals (nurses) and earn above the minimum wage, but we still have to live frugally; rarely go out and basically just live from pay cheque to pay cheque. We too are seriously considering going back to the UK when my daughter finishes year 11. Oh and that’s another thing. We have been informed that NCEA level 1 isn’t worth the paper it’s written on, so she will have to repeat year 11 in the UK. :9

      • I was thinking the other day that I didn’t feel like I was in this bad a financial situation before I left NZ in 2004.

        Being the sort of person I am (some call it anal-retentive; I call it thorough), I did a bit of researching using the Reserve Bank of NZ (RBNZ) inflation calculator:

        The top pay step for teachers in 2004 was $57000. 2015, it’s $73000.

        Using the RBNZ inflation calculator solely for inflation: $57000 worth of goods in 2004 will set you back $75000 today.
        Using the calculator for wage rises: If you were on $57000 in 2004 you should expect to be on $85000 today.
        Using it for house prices: A house that cost $57000 in 2004 will cost $108000 today. (presumably this is average for the country; I’ve no doubt in Auckland it would be closer to $208000…)

        No wonder I’m feeling it tougher in 2015 than I felt in 2004. Anyway you look at it, teachers’ wages have gone backwards in the past decade. They haven’t even kept up with inflation.
        What a joke!

        More I look at it, the harder it is for me to justify staying here. (In addition I’ve come down with the flu twice in 3 weeks: First time with the flu in 5 or 6 years. No doubt the lack of insulation and double-glazing at home having something to do with that).

        • Kiwi Houses are notorious petri dishes for all sorts of illness during the winter months.

          Quite why anyone deems houses without insulation, double glazing , central heating are acceptable beats me.

          The eskimos have better housing.

          • The Eskimos build their housing for the conditions, unlike in NZ.
            The amount of unwellness due to the poor housing is fairly obvious and discussed periodically. Asthma and respiratory problems are brought to light but nothing seems to get done. Double pane windows are only “code” for selected areas, single pane is still being installed as per code in most of the country. New construction does require insulation, older houses get it in the attic/under roof space and under the floor. I have lived in houses that have been insulated while living in them and the before and after results are nominal. Comfort was about the same, and no real notice in the energy bill to heat. The comfort level in summer [cooler] was about the most that was noticed.
            One of the biggest factors in weather proofing/insulating a house is what is called “air infiltration” [drafts]. Single pane windows, unsealed siding, unsealed windows, unsealed doors…all contribute to a drafty, cold, and uncomfortable house. Most houses in NZ have very little in the way of weather stripping. And this is NORMAL?

    • Gee “Fo” your subsequent (unpublished) comments have firmly nailed you as a troll! Do you kiss your mom with that racist potty mouth of yours? Shame on you, you’re a disgrace. Try to look on the bright side, your life could be so much worse – you could live in Invercargill.

      Have a nice day :)

    • I’d say that [me coming from N America] that unless you have a GREAT deal [job offer, housing araingement…] or you have a specific purpose [for being in NZ, you are better off in N America.

  16. Disagree with one of Kate’s assertions, that people don’t steal – in my experience, they stole everything that wasn’t nailed down. But this was in the Far North where there was a lot of poverty and the morals were pretty low as well

    • Petty theft is fairly wide spread. There is a lot of justification applied to the taking of others’ stuff and may not be seen as theft when it realy is theft. We had our place broken into several times, and always locked: car, house, garage…

  17. Thank you everyone for giving ‘A City Girl’ the benefit of your time and humoring her. Unfortunately she turned out to be a troll and her posts will be deleted in accordance with our zero tolerance policy (when did anyone ever come across this site when googling for packing advice ;) )

    There is no doubt that she will enjoy living in New Zealand and making mischief on Facebook.

  18. Oh yeah -Admin is correct – DO NOT MOVE YOUR FINANCES OVER. That would be a mistake. I should have mentioned that earlier

    • The weather is mostly cold in the South Island, but in return there is no central heating in the houses which makes it hell and intolerable life. You only have to buy one of those electrical heaters to afford the cold indoors. Beside the heater you also need an electric blanket under your bed sheet or you have to hide inside a sleeping bag to feel some comfortability. I am just wondering, why should I give up my job, country, moderate life and relatives to end up as a beneficiary in a deserted place like New Zealand? They don’t want qualified people especially if you are Asian or African decent origin.
      I am looking for anyone who can be able to persuade me about the advantage of being a citizen of New Zealand.

      • Most of our readers say there is only one advantage of being a citizen of New Zealand – the ability to live and work in Australia.

        Only you can be the judge if it’s worth hanging around long enough to do that.

        Usually our advice is to cut your losses and break a break for freedom, chose carefully where you go. Read some our our Migrant Tales.

      • Safer than living in Europe mate… with all the problems societies have handling refugees, but yes you´re
        right it´s hell without central heating. And yes it´s a society that is rather discriminatory towards qualified international people, and cost of living is quite or very high…and to the advantage of businesses… they also don´t like to do deals here, unlike other places… and as for government, just as bad as anywhere else… governments help themselves instead of the citizens they are supposed to represent and assist…
        Let me know where you end up.

  19. Hi guys,
    I lived in New Zealand for nearly five years, I was studying for obtaining a PhD. Based on my experience in New Zealand I can literally say that New Zealand is not a good place to move in. I realised that since the 2nd day I arrived in the country. I discovered how the truths were totally polished out. I was talking to myself about how I ended up here while what I was reading about New Zealand was just a bullshit?? New Zealand has an amazing nature but in the same time the joy of this nature is not attainable. You have pay an unnecessary hell of bucks to enjoy. Compared to Europe, say Germany you find that NZ has a premitive transportation system I ever seen in a precalled developed country. Transport system is crappy in the South Island, however, it is somehow good in the North Island (Wellington and Hamilton) and it is a disastrous in Auckland. Auckland is a piece of hell city, everything is carppy and is shitty expensive.
    Most of Aucklanders and generally Kiwis are loyal customers at Salvation army and OP shops for second hand cloths and stuff. If you are aware of fashion you will recognised that the pattern of dressing is somehow archaic. New Zealand is not worth to sacrifice your saving and business or job to move in, don’t think that you are moving to Paradise. You will relaised that you have drained your money to pay it for immigration and then sit waiting for the benefit every week. I am going to talk about the crappy houses and the miserable life under the uncontrolled weather because many have talked before me. What I really hate is the scam about immigration to New Zealand, and unfortunately this scam is deliberately made by NZ immigration. They make money out of applicants and go further phases in their applications to come to regret about their in-eligiblity at advanced phase after pulling out thousands of dollars.

    • I agree with the immigration scam you mentioned. You forgot to also mention the time it takes to process application in their slow, antiquated, bureaucratic process that should, and will, replace the people with computers and automation. Anything really takes 10x as long to get done in that country than it would in most other countries. I lived there for 2 years and would say that in general the people are kind. But I always got the feeling from adults that I wasn’t welcome there. The only people who wanted you to be there were the younger generations who are more aware of the outside world and how connected everyone is. Tall-poppy syndrome is a terrible disease as well in that country, which can be contagious, and brings out terrible negativity in people. In the end, I think the country is one of the most beautiful places in the world, with mostly friendly people on the surface (more than likely they have something negative to say about you behind your back). This makes it a great place to visit, but, for all of the reasons people have mentioned on here, it is a poor place to live. Hopefully attitudes change as younger, more socially aware minds become older, and the country realizes it’s xenophobia causes great damage to the economy and culture, leading to the brain-drain and blog articles about it being a terrible place to live.

  20. I have been here a few years and a few things stand out for me- immigrants are given less opportunities than anyone unless you are a hotshot with a lot of work experience from a big name. They do not hire here by degree so much but by who you know and what is on your resume which they call CV.
    People are stoic overall in nature.
    People tend to get easily insulted but they can say bad things about everyone else and expect that to be okay.
    Expect to be told what to do as that is common practice here. funny enough that is what Kiwis hate about American Gov but they do it.
    Yes, the culture is passive-aggressive and they are very English in nature.
    Some Maori can be quite outspoken and different but it is conservative here despite the sexual liberal views and yes they are liberal – very much so.
    So ladies be very careful dating Kiwi guys over 35 years old as you actually might be almost date raped on the 1st or 2nd date alone they have little self-control and used to ladies giving out very easily. You can also get the opposite- shy and inexperienced. I was with a Kiwi guy for 4 years and he never took me out to dinner. Frugal is the common thing here but it is also very expensive to live here.
    Drinking alcohol is a serious problem.

    A few good things about the culture:

    There are some nice people despite the mainstream.
    There are some good things about driving without big trucks all around you…
    People enjoy the outdoors here overall.
    People leave you alone and do not interact with you if you are an immigrant.
    You have to sort things with people instead of calling the police as they’ll never show.
    There are many birds here…
    As long as you say you are now Kiwi and love the culture they will accept you with open arms.
    Remember that everyone is NZ is also a victim of oppression by the Gov and hierarchy.
    Mail is much safer here than in US as people do not steal as much.
    People are not that smart about crimes so you can protect yourself much easier than is more sophisticated criminals in US.
    If you like to drink and party hard then NZ is a good place for you.
    Gays and lesbians are not discriminated against like in areas of US and they can also marry.
    The Rocky Horror Pic Show was created by a NZer
    Rainbow Swiss Chard was also created by a NZer which sells are most health food shops in US.
    Manuka Honey and Tea Tree are from NZ.

    NZ is a Fool’s Paradise so just remember that.

  21. Thanks to the credit/mortgage bubble that burst, housing in the US is quite reasonable in many places, and is more desirable and attractive than much of NZ. There, the climate is diverse and can suit most any preference. Although many foreign investors have been buying property in the US, the dynamics of rental property are quite different than in Europe, NZ or Australia. The Japanese came to the US in the 80s and 90s and made a lot of bad investments in commercial and family real estate but were unable to get much of an ROI. I suspect that the latest wave of foreign buyers will eventually have just as many difficulties.

    In NZ, the problem isn’t only that housing is #the# business to be in for too much of the population, it is because the dynamics of the market are artificially manipulated by the suppliers (Fletchers), the regulatory bodies (local councils) and MBIE (formerly DBH), and the construction and trades industries. All these powerful groups work together to constrain the supply, manufacture inferior housing, and drive up taxes to the benefit of the large investors. Cost is relative: if the median wage or salary is too low, and the money supply is too tight, then housing becomes a market for large investors only.

    Ultimately, the rest of the world is returning to serfdom and feudalism; (un-)fortunately, New Zealand has a head start because it never left.

    • This is an excellent analysis. New Zealand is 21st century feudalism, a country of renters and those collecting rents. The productive people with brains and skills have left leaving the dystopian mess we call New Zealand.

      What astounds me is how utterly parasitic New Zealand is. It would be much better for all concerned if housing were affordable to prevent housing from consuming virtually all economic resources. It is amazing that in one of the world’s most sparsely populated countries, the price of house is perhaps the most expensive when one factors the atrocious quality of the housing.

      It also astounds me how Kiwis viscerally hate “the market”. If they actually allowed market forces to act then they would end up with far less expensive housing. I remember in one small town in New Zealand how the owners of crappy houses were upset the town had allowed too many new sections to open up because it undermined the value of their “investment”. If only natural selection could rid us of these cretins.

  22. When people go to live in another country it is hard not to compare, I am from England and moved to New Zealand, no it is not like it was advertized and I actually went down a peg or two in the social ladder, but that was my choice, being English was not. I left because it did not feel like home anymore with so many cultures being jammed onto a small island. One on the first deep emotion I felt in New Zealand, was that I had not felt so welcome, proud to be English, but not what England was turning into, I felt more English and at home here than my place of birth, which I find sad. England is just so full of cultures which simply seem to want to get as much as they can out of the system whilst making no attempt to realize that the English have a culture as well and it is being eroded rapidly. Yes I miss England, or at least my family, friends and fascinating history, but not the place it has become.

  23. I am feeling so frustrated because of the pgd board. I am a highly skilled and experienced plumber and gas engineer of 14 years from the UK. I have installed highly complex plumbing systems in both domestic and commercial properties. Plumbed out schools hospitals and have been head hunted by many companies who wanted me to close my company and become a director on theirs but I declined. My qualifications in the UK were achieved in modules after initially gaining my nvq level 2 which took 2 years. Because my domestic and commercial gas qualifications were gained by modules I.e not full time education or apprenticeship it is not recognized here in NZ even though I was corgi and gas safe approved in the UK. Likewise I added more qualifications To my existing plumbing one making me highly qualified in the UK. I was a registered plumber and approved by the water industry board. But despite all this the plumbers gas fitters and drain layers board will not let me sit the exams here in NZ to get my plumbing licence. They state that they have to protect the health and safety of the general public. I sent them all certified copies of my qualifications, evidence that I have been a practicing plumber and gas engineer since 1999, letters from satisfied customers the lot but apparently I’m unsafe. What a bunch of Muppets.

  24. I’m a kiwi born and raised and like so many others had no idea how crap it was or how little I knew about the outside world until I spent 10 years living overseas (aus Uk) I have been back in Nz for 6 years now and can honestly say every bad thing you read about NZ on this page is true! unfortunately the people who have never left here are brainwashed from an early age to think its wonderful Even the telly spends a huge part of its budet on nothing more than ramming down your throat how amazing it is how lucky you are how much everywhere else sux don’t come here you’ll be bored poor and desperate to leave if there was any way I could get the money for a ticket out of here I would leave in a heartbeat and never look back but unfortunately I work in nz and get paid in $nz meaning I have just about 80% of the cash I need to get through the week There are no such things as savings here every penny you earn will be gone on payday, i was better off as an illegal immigrant in scotland for 6 years than I will ever be in nz (by the way the only reason I came back to this dump is because I was refused entry to the uk after 1 of many holidays I can’t afford to have here! or i would have gladly NEVER have returned to this boring shithole)
    P.S for all the nature lovers trees are everywhere so are mountains desert rivers countryside etc the difference is that’s all new zealand has and once you’ve seen it then you’ve seen it …

    it would be nice to be able to go the dentist but the quote I just got was for $25000.!
    same work in the phillipines including flights and 2 weeks holiday $4500.!
    Same dentist!!!!! books people here tells them to go there to do the work!!!

    NZ is shit you have been warned!

    • Lol trees mountains, rivers, countryside, clean air is all I want and care about. The problem is there are very few places which actually have a preserved natural environment, they’re rarer than you think. Most of the natural environment in Europe is destroyed, it’s either converted to agricultural (green dessert) land or a dirty, smelly, overcrowded, concrete jungle in the cities where the people live. Most Europeans, Asians and even North Americans can only dream to look out their windows in the morning and see trees and nature, for them the only nature they see is in a once in year, weekend, countryside holiday if they can afford it.

      Be a little grateful even your weather is better than most places in the world (no harsh severely cold winters and no scorching summers), your environment and air is clean, your country is peaceful and far from war zones such as the middle east.

      • Trees, mountains and countryside don’t pay a $500,000nzd mortgage, in a country with little work and low ambition, make the most of it too as the Chinese are buying your country.

        Europe is not destroyed, there is a great mixture of culture, history and plenty of natural, untouched areas throughout the continent and Britain.

        These windows you talk of, are they single pane, covered in condensation, you need to stop trying to convince yourself that NZ is the only place on earth that offers what you claim to have, you are wrong and are making yourself look a tit.

        The weather can be ok in summer, winter is cold and very, very damp, damp is very destructive and can cause asthma and just eats wooden housing.

        “Your country is peaceful and far from any war zones like the Middle East ”

        The world is a very small places and travelling has become very easy.

        • Housing is overpriced nowadays everywhere, its what happens when property goes from a “roof over your head” to a business. In Britain and Europe not only is it more built up and crowded than New Zealand but prices are ridiculously high and get you almost nothing, most Europeans live on lifelong rent as owning homes is a luxury for the super rich, but even renting is now becoming unaffordable. Not to mention Europe is even worse off economically than NZ.

          NZ is not the only place which offers what I want, my comment was to Pat as she disregarded NZ’s nature as if its nothing or meaningless.

          NZ’s winters may be cold but not severely so certainly not as cold as Moscow or Canada, I’ve been to Spain and Italy and they are not much warmer during the winter. As for Australia, yes beautiful dry, sunny, warm winters but very, very humid, hot and uncomfortable summers (particularly in the East coast).

          When referring to war zones it is highly unlikely groups such as ISIS will become a threat to NZ, it is very difficult to bring weapons in the country.

          • Thanks to the credit/mortgage bubble that burst, housing in the US is quite reasonable in many places, and is more desirable and attractive than much of NZ. There, the climate is diverse and can suit most any preference. Although many foreign investors have been buying property in the US, the dynamics of rental property are quite different than in Europe, NZ or Australia. The Japanese came to the US in the 80s and 90s and made a lot of bad investments in commercial and family real estate but were unable to get much an ROI. I suspect that the latest wave of foreign buyers will eventually have just as many difficulties.

            In NZ, the problem isn’t only that housing is #the# business to be in for too much of the population, it is because the dynamics of the market are artificially manipulated by the suppliers (Fletchers), the regulatory bodies (local councils) and MBIE (formerly DBH), and the construction and trades industries. All these powerful groups work together to constrain the supply, manufacture inferior housing, and drive up taxes to the benefit of the large investors. Cost is relative: if the median wage or salary is too low, and the money supply is too tight, then housing becomes a market for large investors only.

            Ultimately, the rest of the world is returning to serfdom and feudalism; (u-)fortunately, New Zealand has a head start because it never left.

          • For a start I’m a he not a she! and for seconds I didn’t say nature was meaningless or worthless …I said it’s all NZ has! there is nothing else here ABSOLUTELY……NOTHING! and nature doesn’t pay the ridiculously overpriced food or rent! especially considering the rotten non quality of housing here. and actually my experience of rent in the UK is that its much cheaper than here! I don’t know where your’e getting your’e info from but mine is from personal experience, 2 bedroom apartment central Glasgow large rooms central heating walk to city center was 450 pounds a month yes A MONTH!!!! or 900 NZ dollars A MONTH!!!!!! Sh@t house in wellington 2 tiny rooms (one won’t even fit a bed ) no insulation single glaze windows no heating source no bus service and 40 min walk from city = $1600. a month or as i like to call it F!@#$%G OUTRAGEOUS! so Jay next time you fancy looking at the trees and swimming in the rivers and fairytaling up the mountains maybe you could spare some time to explain to everyone here just how you could possibly afford to do these things on the minimum wage part time jobs that are only available to people with an ever increasing amount of worthless degrees ( you even need a certificate in traffic management to hold a stop go sign here!) and as for the weather here, no its not so cold outside! its the $100 extra a week you have to spend keeping the inside slightly warmer than the outside that’s the problem. now on to war zones … You’re right we don’t have those particular problems here… what we have is gangs!!! or as I like to call them violent childlike morons, where wearing the wrong colour t shirt will get you attacked and beaten to within an inch of your life regardless of whether you know about the pathetic rules or not, or how about entire towns where if your’e white you may as well hand over your possessions at the town boundary to save yourself a mugging later on ( yes Kawerau, Ruatoria (I could keep going with the list but whats the point?) I’m talking about you) lovely little places provided you like being hated for existing and blamed for everything that’s ever happened to anyone that lives there,. do not be fooled by the mass brainwashing that comes out of your average (never been anywhere else kiwi) this country is a boring crime ridden, boring, racist and reverse racist, boring, incredibly expensive, boring, low waged, boring, over-educated (yet extremely-under informed),boring hellhole!!! did I say boring yet I could probably add a few more in but it still wouldn’t explain how boring it is here!
            P.s any idiot over the age of 18 here can buy a gun!

            • ” keeping the inside slightly warmer than the outside”.
              It always seems colder in an unheated house. It may be shelter, but does not feel like a house should.

              And, do you find it boring?

  25. Hi, I’m from New Zealand, and I hate New Zealanders. After I finish my apprenticeship I’m going to be looking at places that will recognize my qualifications and immigrate there. This place is a shithole and I can’t in any good faith recommend people move here.

  26. Well there have been some very depressing things said about NZ. The fact is NZ is a tiney nation that lets 200,000 immigrants in each year, the tax payers pay to teach these people English, provide housing for them, they provide work for them and on and on it goes. Many NZer’s do not have jobs, immigrants will work for peanuts many working 2 or 3 jobs to survive, but while it keeps happening wages are kept low $14.70 is minimum wage. Many end up on welfare. There are many NZer’s who live with several families in one house, 3rd world diseases are appearing in our children. It is cheaper to feed children fizzy drink than buy milk for them. They are being rasied on cheap mince meat and fatty sausages. As to us not using dental care, I myself have many loose teeth, not because I don’t believe in dental care but because I have been unemployed for 10 years. A filling in this country costs anything from $89 to well over $100. Doctors charge $60 for an adult consultation. Children do get free health care up to a certain age. Approx 10% of the population are wealthy, 20% are probably middle class, the rest live either below, on or barely above the poverty line. Schools are having to give children breakfast as families can’t afford the food to feed them. We get taxed on earnings or benefits, we pay 70% tax on fuel, probably the same tax on tobacco products, we pay 12.5% tax on food, electricity, rates, insurance and every other imaginable service. it is a country of tax on tax on tax. The elections will be held on the 20th of this month. Why don’t those of you with relevant complaints about NZ and the way both citizens and immigrants are treated, look up Jonh Key the prime ministers email address and David Cunliffe the opposition leaders email address and any or all other political parties and tell them exactly what it is like living below the poverty line in NZ, competing for non existent jobs, being degraded, humiliated and abused by the social welfare system in this country. They don’t know what is like for the majority of people in this country who exist rather than live, who can’t afford to eat properly never mind travel around the country or go for holidays. NZer’s are angry, not racist, we continually see more and more people let into this country when there aren’t enough jobs for locals, where big business brings in experts from overseas instead of training locals to do the work or pay to send them overseas to train to be able to do the work. There are also many Asian people that come and buy expensive houses here, stay long enough to get permanent residency so their children can get an education and university degrees at the same cost as NZ citizens born and raised here, then they come in and out of the country going back to Asia to work in the wealthy businesses they own over there, and when their children qualify as dentists, doctors etc etc, do they stay in NZ and contribute to the economy that has given a much cheaper education than they could have got in their own country? no, the majority go back to Asia and just return to NZ with money to support their wealthy lifestyle here for a few months and take advantage of the tax benefits of doing so. To the man that says NZ’ers won’t go out with Asians that is rubbish I personally know some lovely well educated people who are NZ’ers married to Asian’s. You should try finding statistics for how many multi cultural families there are in this country. In my immediate family alone, there are many multi cultural families, Kiwi’s, Germans’, Maori, South American, Phillipino, English, Scots, Australian. No racism here. Compared to Europe and other countries, NZ and Australia are relatively new countries, you cannot expect them to have the history and culture of other countries that have been around since the beginning of time. But I would encourage each and every one of you who finds life in NZ so unbearable to clearly and concisely email your complaints directly to the leaders of the political parties in this country. John Key is so busy crawling up the backside of America and trying to adopt American ways it makes us puke. One huge advantage of NZ is we dont’ all go round carrying guns for self protection, we prefer peace keeping to war, people above flash cars and pretentious status symbols. Humbleness and honesty would be the best description for a true Kiwi. It is the sorry state of the world we live in and the ignorance and lies spread by corporations and governments that make so many distrustful of others, the main reason American’s are disliked by many in this country is their belief that war and violence is the way to peace on earth. I know many Americans are just as anti as we are. There are no perfect countries on this planet, no perfect race of people. If Some countries could stop their greed at wanting to own, control and rape every resource on the planet, and everyone could treat each other with respect and accept others as being equal and all were treated as equal with a right to their own beliefs, customs etc we would have peace on earth. There are more than enough resources in this world for everyone to have a roof over their head, healthy natural food in their mouths, warmth and enjoyment of life, but instead the wealth is hoarded by the few. The minimum wage in America is much lower than NZ. Australia is the contry that was supposed to be milk and honey, ask the average Australian what life is like there, I think you will find much the same as NZ. As to England, we watch programs here on life in England, it has put me off ever visiting there, my daughter in-law from there would not return to live if her life depended on it. Compared to many places in the world NZ and Australia are very clean countries, we try to avoid having American genetically modified food imported into our country, but the current prime minister doesn’t give a stuff about the opinion of the majority in this country so I would agree we are fast heading to ruination of all that was good in this country. With the high numbers of people immigrating to NZ and Australia we are also fast becoming as polluted and dirty as many other countries. As to the person who thinks India is the place to be, the culture of raping and killing women and girls at random and not being bought to justice for the offences is not tolerable and held in disgust by any decent person. BUT, we do not label every person of Indian descent as being a rapist. Do not judge every NZer to be racist, ignorant, uncreative, uneducated, or untravelled. If your own countries are so wonderful, why would you even consider immigrating to another country????? I’ve had some very unpleasant experiences living and working in a different country, but I also had some wonderful life experiences that I believe made me a better person. No it wasn’t the same as living in NZ, but I didn’t expect it to be, no two countries are the same, it is pointless to go to another country if you want it to be exactly the same as where you have come from. As to unfriendly, I think some need to learn the difference between what is a friendship and what is an acquaintance. It takes time and effort to build a friendship, common interests, morals, values etc. NZ is a country that seems to have a society for every imaginable nationality, if you are reading this and are in NZ and don’t have friends, go to the nearest citizens advice centre, it is free, and ask them for contact details for a local group. Any church will also make you welcome and introduce you to people regardless of race or religion.
    Sorry to rave on so long.

    • TL;DR? Allie, I was willing to listen to you vent until you got to the “true kiwi” part.

      FWIW, your post contained 1407 words and 7622 characters. You said “America” or “American” seven times, and “Australia” or “Australian” six.

      If you form one sentence from all words which are used four or more times, this is what you said:

      The and are for country many this have that there you countries not people their but tax them they with children every life other same some who would being here live own than what work all also American Australia don etc families food from get jobs NZer pay person will world.

      A little jumbled, but just as useful. Sorry.

    • I agree with you completely . We have very same situation in many countries in EU , maybe worse. European Union is in very dangerous situation. The thousands of migrants and refugees from Middle East come to EU without control . Someone of them is the member of ISIS, the terrorist organisation ? I’m so worried to the safe of my family and for our way of life . EU and NATO have not right answer to the terrorist threats . Establish own business in NZ , is it smart or I’ll lose my money ? Is NZ good place for family business for immigrants from EU , or I’ll stay at home? The beautiful NZ nature is good thing but for everyday life we must make money , not wait help from government. Any advice is welcome . To invest or not to invest , what you say ?

  27. Interesting website, I found it accidently this morning. Here I was all this time thinking I was the only one who had these experiences in NZ! I moved over here a few years ago for a realtionship. My experiences have been similar to those other comments found here in terms of not meeting friends, finding it hard to get ahead etc etc. Anyway I decided to go to Uni at the University of Otago in Dunedin (just finished) and Im pleased to say I meet good people who were open mined, driven and smart. I made a lot of good mates here but outside of those circles I if Im honest I find a lot of NZ society the same as I did before. So just having a think about what next.
    Must say Im glad to find Im not alone!

  28. I think that most Americans would admit that the US is in decline and also would lament that fact. It seems as though most Kiwis will NOT admit this fact [that most countries and world in general] that it’s in decline.
    The decline of Western civizilation is a sad thing to wittness. The only ones that seem to enjoy this are the bogans, tribalists, and savages. Loss of order suits them.

    • That is a good point Carpentaro. Americans can at least be honest about their country’s problems whereas Kiwis think that denying reality will make everything better. New Zealand is the manifestation of the positive thinking claptrap gone awry.

  29. I currently live in Portland, Oregon, U.S.A. I love Portland (often compared with San Francisco but probably the size of Wellington, you can walk from one end of downtown to the other in under half and hour…). I have wanted to get out of this country since as long as I could remember. Now that I am quite politically invested, I realize now more than ever how lied too we are, how controlled everything is. I would look at countries like China, North Korea, and wonder to myself, “How did these people allow themselves to be so brainwashed? How can they be so manipulated into believing these lies?” Now I look at my own country and think, “My God! We’re the same way!!!” I want out. I’ve wanted out. I want to move to a country where:

    People accept immigrants with open hearts
    People have a true desire to better themselves for the betterment of humanity
    People value life, cultural differences, and the environment
    There is lots to do, everyday is a new opportunity for some great adventure
    There is little pollution, or at least measures are taken to try to preserve, protect, and improve what damage has been done
    Offers great opportunities for college students
    Is family friendly
    Has low crime
    Has a government with a high satisfaction rate, and is a neutral country
    Has great financial opportunities
    Has friendly people

    Does such a place exist? I don’t think my wants are that unreasonable, but I could be wrong.

    • @Em – The US is probably still close to the top of the list. There are many, many things that have gone wrong in America, but I assure you, no country has escaped the same problems that US is struggling with. Anti-immigrant? Every nation has issues and hate groups, whether it be the skinheads or neonazis in Europe, the tea partiers in the US, or even the snobs and elitists which exist in every nation. You could move to Asia, but anti-Caucasian (or anti-African) and anti-immigrant attitudes are widespread in many countries, like South Korea, Japan, Singapore, et al.

      You could come to New Zealand, where if you are white and well-dressed, you will find that other white people might smile at you until you open your mouth and fail to speak with the retarded kiwi accent. In Australia, some immigrant groups are more tolerated than others, but I can imagine that being a South Asian can be very difficult much of the time. In Africa, whites are despised in many places, and in Mexico, gringos are fair game. In the Middle East, you can live in tightly-controlled enclaves that are separate from the mainstream society.

      I have visited or lived in most of these places, and I certainly have not found any one place that is perfect. At least in the US, it is large and diverse enough still that you can find safe pockets of like-minded people somewhere, and the rate of change and innovation keeps life interesting. Additionally, there are special interest groups and activities in most places that simply do not exist in many other countries.

      Control? The US uses external controls to maintain order and stability, but at least you can find out what the rules are if you try, even if the sheer numbers are mind-boggling. In New Zealand, the controls are arbitrary, hidden from view and cultural. If you are a native and in a position of power, you get to make your own rules or interpret the weak ones that are published to suit your own purposes, with little or no concern for accountability. Don’t like it? Well, you can leave, just go ask mousie. You can’t sue, you can’t complain, and if you fight back, you will be ostracize – and you might just be raided by the NZ Police (

      So, if you like Portland and have family, friends, and a purpose, thank your stars for what you do have. If you need to find work, change your career and/or move somewhere else in the US. If you are well-heeled and have itchy feet, renew your passport and be prepared to spend a half million to go live abroad, assuming you have been granted permanent resident status beforehand. Just don’t be surprised if you find yourself headed home after a few years with an attitude of gratitude for what you left behind, and the painful realization that much of life has passed you by.

      • I think your analysis is very good. The United States has some severe problems and I view its long-term decline as irreversible, which is why I left. However, some excellent pockets remain within the United States. Moreover, the country is sufficiently diverse and large enough that you can locate certain pockets that might be a better culture fit depending on one’s predilections.

        As for New Zealand, the country is far different to how it advertises itself. Most Kiwis are rednecks, albeit of an ignorant left-wing variety rather than somewhat right of centre. In many respects, some of the less sophisticated people in the US are still decent human beings. They might not speak three languages, read much, or have much of a clue about anything, but most of them are honest and friendly. I cannot say the same of New Zealanders. The per capita incidence of sociopaths is higher and people are extremely mendacious. Furthermore, if you do speak out, the society at large will ostracise you and Kiwi Big Brother will clamp on you. The difference between New Zealand at the United States is that the New Zealand government does not need to do much to keep the population in line because most people are extremely passive and cowardly. Otherwise, you would see much more aggressiveness from the authorities in New Zealand.

        The US has problems, but whistleblowers or political activists can at least take solace knowing that like-minded people and those with money that fund certain interest groups will stand alongside them. The same is not the case in New Zealand. I am very familiar with the Vince Siemer case and I can tell you that he received a raw deal. We wonder how much anti-American antipathy contributed to the Crown’s various vendettas against Vince.

        • Don’t think for a second that the problems are localized to the USA. The whole world is in decline, I’m from South Africa (which is in serious decline), I recently left to the UK then moved to Malta. I can safely say Europe too is in decline not just economically, in-fact economy is the least of its problems. If you live in Europe forget about owning real estate there is absolutely NOTHING which is not for super rich like Mafia, corporate bosses, bankers, politicians, and drug cartels. forget even small one-room apartments for rent are unaffordable if you are not of the 1% super rich. Cost of living is very high, food is expensive and of low quality (unless on a village farm). Europe is generally small and overpopulated with very few niches. Generally I am looking to go to a place which is less crappier (not at all looking for perfect or some paradise just less crappy).

  30. “my professors at Massey insisted on Kiwi spelling, got in the habit”

    It’s not your spelling that betrays you, it’s your actual words – not used in the US and your turns of phrase. They are not from the USA or North America.” Pip pip cherio and all that, I know you love baseball.” This is the voice that you give away with your togs and your grumble.

    ” I’ve lived in Europe when I was younger, so my experience is a bit wider than the usual Yank”

    HAHAHA your’re so FUNNY!! Do it some more.

    There are North American turns of phrase and compositions of phrases that seem impossible for NZ Immigration shills to mimic. I’ve seen and called this sort of thing AT LEAST THREE TIMES. You ain’t foolin’ anyone YA BIG SHILLY!

  31. Interesting. I express my opinion and personal experiences with living in New Zealand, and I’m jumped all over for being ‘a troll,’ insulted and called a “threat to the prosperity and well-being of this nation” (as if I had that much power!), written off because I’m in a ‘rural bubble’ (three years on my own in Auckland, then two years in Dunedin where I met my husband, and have travelled all over the country), accused of not really being American because of my spelling (sorry, my professors at Massey insisted on Kiwi spelling, got in the habit,) told my “equivocation and acceptance promote acquiescence and conformity, ignorance and retardation, and feed the suffocating cultural oppression and decay that make this country an isolated colony in decline,” (oooo, so impressed with all those big words you know, you be so smart!), and even told that if I ever ‘stop drinking the kool-aid’ I run the risk of marital abuse from my Kiwi husband – probably the kindest, gentlest, most loving man I’ve ever met. I don’t know who you people are, Kiwis or disgruntled ex-pats, but YOUR experience doesn’t invalidate MINE, either.

    Seriously, I love this country. It’s not perfect, far from it. I’ve lived in Europe when I was younger, so my experience is a bit wider than the usual Yank, but while there are certainly things I miss about France or England or the States, New Zealand has been the best place I’ve ever lived. But if you lot really hate this country so much… leave. Go back to where you were happier. Or go find some place that you like more. I did. It’s not a one-size-fits-all world, and this country would certainly be better off without quite so many ill-mannered, nasty asshats who find it fun to pile onto someone for simply saying ‘I love New Zealand.’

    We won’t miss you.

    • I, for one, am glad that your experience in NZ has seemed to work out for you. The opperative phrase is “for you”, while many others have not had such a good time of it. This place is here to give those with a not so rosey experience a forum to express themselves. A lot of the other ex-pat places look down on anyone expressing a less than glowing recomendation of NZ.
      You have your experience, others have theirs. Most here would point out that there are several factors that have made your’s unique, although probably not typical.

    • Please read our comments guidelines, they’re simple and easy to follow: No trolling.

      We have a trolling zero tolerance policy. No exceptions. Your profile has been marked spammer and your comments will be auto-deleted in due course. Please read the comments guidelines.

      You trolling status has been confirmed by the remarks you made on (username nmouse) HT to ‘anon’ for the tip-off. Thanks for the free publicity but we’re doing ok thank you.

      You’ve been trying to leave NZ since 2008 and said on city data that you are divorced having left the US 20 years ago. Why are you still in NZ and seeking out sites like this? Not finding the Kool-Aid to your taste any more?

      • It has been noted that (n)Mouse seems to be working in conjunction with career troll Battleneter/Jiminator/Anterograde etc. and Kaikoura Dave ( Battleneter has a long history of stalking and harassment on expat forums including Fortunately the better sites have banned/are banning him, including

        Their activities are a sad reflection on some New Zealanders’ inability to accept criticism, little respect for free speech and a failure to dissociate their own identities with that of their country’s. This extends beyond simple patriotism or being a ‘proud Kiwi’. Intolerance and cult-like behaviours such as these hand go hand with ‘Kool-Aid’ addiction. Who would want to migrate to a country that does that to people?

        For the record, Mouse was using a email address.

    • Telling critics to leave NZ then calling them names is not really an adult approach is it? Besides many of us commenting here have left NZ, I no longer live there after growing up there. Your experience sounds like it has been pleasant. That’s nice for you.

      Perhaps instead of attacking people here you could acknowledge that it’s likely your personality, values, views of the world were already simpatico with the standard NZer, thus you fit in easily. And think about how an immigrant would be received if you were at a party with your husband and this immigrant started detailing their issues with living in NZ. Would people be able to listen to them like adults or would they get “Harden up or piss off!” and then “get a drink up ya!”.

      Being able to listen to peoples criticism of things that we love is a sign of adulthood I tend to think. New Zealanders don’t manage that very well in general.

      Saying “we won’t miss you” is also typical NZ – you don’t represent the country yet you are acting as if you are all one herd with the same worldview.

    • A lot of us have left already. We want to do other people a favor by letting them know that not everyone does well in NZ. Counter the insane PR. There are enough of us who have compared notes (I lived there for almost a decade, trapped by the court system, and I know a number of other parents that were, too). Do a little experiment. Tell your partner that NZ is not for you, and ask him to move back to the U.S. See if he loves you enough to say “ok”, and if he says “ok”, see how long it takes him to actually sit down and start making concrete plans (timeline, sell house, price air tickets, job hunt back home, etc.) instead of just brush you off because he doesn’t want to commit himself. You have never been in the shoes of a migrant who did not fit in, obviously. And many of us have lived outside of America as well – in places much more congenial than New Zealand. France rocks. I hated the drug scene and attitudes in New Zealand. The cost of living was over the top for what you got. If I want pretty scenery, I will go live somewhere that has that – and quality of life too.

    • @Mouse:
      If you really want to make immigrants welcome, as an example, help them in lodging complaints against employers paying them below the award rate. You can try your local non-chain restaurants as an example of this shameful behaviour.
      Telling everybody how great you have it, while not giving a rat’s about how other people are getting along in Aotearoa (e.g. “calling them asshats”), does make you out to seem selfish.
      After all, people who trust a country, invest in it, feel proud and help others adjust in a way that doesn’t demean or minimise their sensitivities, and stay for the long term …

    • Sorry, E2NZ, I was feeling a little verbose in my previous post. I did go off the deep end trying to make a few points, and mousie’s post was not a good launch point for my rant. Mousie, it is regrettable that you took everything so personally. Also, I promise not to use big words when responding to your comments.

      FYI, Americans with any self-esteem or class don’t refer to themselves as “Yanks.” Also, McDonalds doesn’t have an “a” in the first syllable – either here or in the US – so don’t blame your illiterate professors in Dunedin for that. As for racism in the US compared to New Zealand, you either grew up in a trailer park wearing a sleeveless Lynrd Skynyrd T-shirt from Goodwill, or you missed the last 50 years of civil rights in the US, which is to say, you are a fake.

      Asshats? Leave if we’re unhappy? If there were a law that required unhappy people to leave, 90% of the kiwi population would be living in Australia. If it weren’t for the widespread availability of alcohol, antidepressants, meth and marijuana – and vicious poverty – only the stoners, farmers and die-hard Maori would remain.

      Criticism is not an indicator of unhappiness, mousie, it is a show of generosity*, character, sobriety* and self-confidence. I am very easy-going and kind, and I am happy to be here for my own reasons. I choose to vocalize my criticisms in order to make New Zealand a better place to live. Doing so makes me happier, and together with other like minds who congregate here, it gives us purpose and provides release. Why should that bother you, Stepford wife? What are you afraid of?

      *(sorry, four syllables, my bad)

  32. I thought I would just put this link up, this from British expats forum, reading further down that thread start to show the truth and how and it is really getting in NZ.

    Basically, a couple in their 40s want to sell up and move to NZ, they are discouraged from doing so by people who live there, interesting read and nice to see the truth is slowly creeping onto mainstream expat forums.

    • Thanks, good to see honesty starting to work its way into the pimp sites.

      By the way, would the escapedtonz poster on that thread be the same pro-NZ moderator from’s NZ board? One degree of separation in NZ pimpdom, small world aye?

  33. Wow, I’m actually amazed by the amount of negativity here. I’m American, married to a Kiwi, living in the rural hinterlands of Taranaki. Been here seven years, punctuated with a 21 month disastrous adventure over in Australia, which I found to be MUCH harder to get on in than I have in New Zealand.

    I love it here. It hasn’t been an easy ride, you don’t just show up at the airport with your togs and surfboard and expect everyone to cater to your every need. I’ve found Kiwis to be incredibly friendly and helpful, been taken in by complete strangers for a couple weeks when I was suddenly made homeless. The food here is fine – anyone who bitches that they miss ‘proper’ MacDonald’s hamburgers gets pretty short shrift from me. Some things are more expensive, and some things are rare, because with a population base of less than 4 and 1/2 million people that’s not a big tax base to draw from for creating a seamless infrastructure.

    There’s a lot of things Kiwis could do better – the ‘clean green’ image is mostly illusion, because there’s just not a big enough human footprint to do that much real damage. If the population keeps growing without changing their habits, we’ll be just as dirty as any inner city in the States. The current government is corrupt – Key is being revealed more and more as a scheming, backstabbing, lying hypocrite. But he’s a politician; sort of an occupational hazard, and by comparison to some of the Tea Party cretins in the States, he looks almost saintly.

    It’s also true that immigrating to NZ is a LOT tougher than it’s sometimes make out to be at the Kiwi trade fairs trying to lure certain professions over. I’m certainly over-educated and over-qualified for some of the jobs I’ve had here. But I’ve found the immigration people here to be incredibly fair and helpful. It’s true that some things are expensive – but medical care even for those without residency visas to access public health care won’t break the bank. So to that woman complaining back in 2013 about the medical care here not being as ‘good’ as it is in the States, and grumbling about what would become Obamacare, you’re an idiot. New Zealand has some of the best medical research centres in the world (Otago rocks!), doctors here are as well trained as any in the States, and you’re not going to die because you can’t pay $150,000 for a simple appendectomy.

    It’s true housing is WAY out of whack, far too expensive, but it’s not likely that Bank of America will toss you out on the street and confiscate your furniture if you miss a single mortgage payment. It’s true that cops in Auckland and other cities tend to give out way too many tickets for bullcrap to make money, but they don’t drive armoured Humvees, dress in battle fatigues armed with automatic assault weapons and tear gas when there’s a protest. (The last ‘big’ protest I saw here was during the Occupy movement, where it more resembled a make-shift carnival, nobody paid much attention and cold weather and rain disbanded them more effectively than any police).

    The bottom line is nowhere is perfect. If you immigrate from the States to another country, it’s unrealistic (and jingoistic) to expect it to be ‘like home.’ New Zealand is fantastically beautiful, the people here are as friendly as any I’ve met anywhere in the world, if not nicer, life isn’t going to be as easy for you as it is for someone born and raised here, any more than it is for immigrants to America, the racism here is NOTHING like it is in the States, you may not get what you hoped for but the opportunities still exist for you to get something you love if you’re willing to work at it, In the end, life in New Zealand is what YOU make of it, rather than expecting it to adapt to you. And that’s true anywhere you go in the world. If you don’t like cold weather, warm beer, and rain, don’t move to Ireland. If you can’t stand hot weather and are afraid of poisonous bugs, don’t move to Australia. If you can’t live without fabulous shopping, theatres and highrise cities where the lights never go out and five-star restaurants stay open 24 hours a day, don’t move to Bhutan – even if they’d let you. But if you want a country where there’s more variety than just about anywhere in the world, there’s nowhere like New Zealand.

    • “married to a Kiwi”. This alone is a game changer and will give you entre` to a segment of society and an experience that most migrants will not have.
      Low wage/cost of living is not easily overcome, and not to change anytime soon.
      ” New Zealand has some of the best medical research centres in the world (Otago rocks!), doctors here are as well trained as any in the States, and you’re not going to die because you can’t pay $150,000 for a simple appendectomy.” Access to medical care has been an issue in the States, private insurance has been the gateway. But, I don’t know of anywhere [in the States] that’d refuse to treat someone in need. You may have one heck of a bill to pay afterward, but you’ll get treatment, so that is a false statement. As far as “best” medical research centers? I don’t recall hearing of any [in NZ] in the same breath as Johns Hopkins, Sloane Kettering, Mayo Clinic. Maybe the L&P “world famous in NZ” is more like it. Lots of “locum” Dr.s, many from the States, and they are usually regarded as the “most highly trained” as soon as their boots hit the ground. NZ healthcare is mostly free [funded through taxes/government], but you do get what you pay for.
      I think that most people are taken a-back by the hype, contrast in advertising vs reality. If you think that you are moving to a modern, western society, you will be dissapointed. If you think that you’ll be going to a small Pacific island nation with slightly better than average [for small Pacific island nations] standards, you’d be better prepared to match expectations with reality.
      And this is the place where most feel as though they’ve been betrayed, the self advertising does NOT match the reality of the place.

      • Obamacare is working fine here. I get better healthcare than I got in NZ (more state of the art and faster) for $35 a month. That was the cost of one doctor visit to the local GP in NZ. Where you could try and talk him into sending you to a specialist if there was something wrong with you. Good luck.
        People who marry Kiwis generally start going on about “those who don’t like New Zealand because they want mink and SUVs yadda”. I know some counterculture very antimaterialistic types who didn’t like NZ either though. She’s chugging koolaid. It happens worse when you’re married to one. Got the t-shirt. Watch the marital abuse start when she stops drinking it.

      • ” your togs” “grumbling” “centres”

        Hahaha, this was not written by an American at all, just a sloppy shill for NZ immigration. Trolls should always check their spelling!

        • They’ve fully adopted the “kiwi lifestyle” including the change in vocabulary. Members of my family [all born in the USA] interchangably use commonwealth/kiwi verbage. That alone is not conclusive of trolldom.

    • Your beliefs about New Zealand are common myths which are spun and fueled by marketing hype and delusional oral reality. If New Zealand had bona fide independent, objective, and honourable institutions to regulate society, and if it were half as ruthless as the U.S. (as a nation) about collecting – and reporting – facts and statistics, exposing and debating its real problems, the cognitive dissonance and nausea that so many of us here suffer would not be so maddening. Sadly, the majority of kiwis, like you, are paralysed and scared, and would prefer to believe the myths in order to be carried by the herd, and are quick to equivocate or downplay issues and bully the stray sheep when they wander away. However, since 2008, New Zealand has been culling the herd and cutting off the ‘mistakes’ to live in isolation, squalor, crime, and on substances.

      There are many, many cheerleader sites and articles on the web which promote how ‘great’ New Zealand is. If you want to contribute to that whilst blaring your American heritage, you will likely be greeted with open arms among them. But don’t come here and expect to redefine everyone’s reality based on your isolated existence – the sheer numbers of those like us who (vehemently) disagree with you strongly suggest that you are, indeed, living in your own little pastoral bubble.

      You are more a threat to the prosperity and well-being of this nation than its critics who post here and who disagree with you. Your equivocation and acceptance promote acquiescence and conformity, ignorance and retardation, and feed the suffocating cultural oppression and decay that make this country an isolated colony in decline – and in denial.

  34. “My first job in NZ was below my educational level and experience and I made a fraction of what I made in my home country. I had to adapt and after a year I landed a job that was a better fit and I was paid accordingly. I am not sure how the situation is now I have been away for 4.5 years.”

    NZ has embarked on a “skills shortage” drive for skilled migrants, yet upon arrival, find out that you’ve got to do a down>sideways>up move to get anywhere. That is counter to what is said is on offer. False advertising, lies. Being lied to is a form of betrayal.
    The situation in the last little bit, since the GFC, has changed much in the field of employment. If there was a bias toward not hiring a migrant before, it has only been magnified since. Granted, before the GFC, it was easier to find a job, but at nowhere near what a “global” pay scale would’ve been, and the cost of living is still disproportionate to wages. The low wage/cost of living thing is one that people need to do their research on, and this is a place to get that information.

    Hypocrisy in that you are critisizing the place you are in [Singapore] for doing exactly the same thing that happens in the place [NZ] you are defending.

  35. @carpentro
    Agreed there are challenges when first arriving in a country as an immigrant but isn’t that so for any country you migrate too. My first job in NZ was below my educational level and experience and I made a fraction of what I made in my home country. I had to adapt and after a year I landed a job that was a better fit and I was paid accordingly. I am not sure how the situation is now I have been away for 4.5 years. But in my time in NZ I made many NZ friends that treated me as one of them, in my total time there I got 1 comment from a person that complained to me that “NZ jobs should be for NZ people” – something I ignored, there are idiots everywhere I guess. And the reason why I don’t like Singapore is the climate and the fact that the only thing you can do here is either shop or drink. Neither of which I do. So its a bit boring to say the least. How is that hypocritical?

    @safefromnz – I was referring the the shadow class of modern day slaves that are used to fuel the economic growth here in Singapore. There are over 2 million foreign workers here that have no civil rights, make less than $2 / hour, have no unions and have no rights whatsoever. There was even a politician that suggested to put them on one of the islands around Singapore in camps so they don’t add to the congestion in the subway system. Singapore households on average have 1 maid although I have seen families with a maid per child in the family. Mainland Chinese bus drivers did a strike last year because they are payed less than their Malaysian counterparts for the same work. Result: caning, work visa revoked and sent back to China.

    @Admin First point please refer to the above with regard to inequality. In Singapore there is a class of subhumans that are exploited yet it is ignored or minimized. You can’t compare that to NZ.
    Now that the conversation change to politics: Completely agree with you that the way Key is running the country is wrong and widening the gap between the poor and the wealthy. It has only got worse over the years he has be in power and it is still continuing. If people have to feed their kids with McDonalds because they can’t afford fresh food there is something very very wrong and I can only agree on that. But that is politics, if labour ever gets back in power lets hope there will be more money flowing back to education and grants for the poor. And do not say that from my comfort zone I was ignoring those facts – I thought the discussion here was about the country NZ and not the politics.

    But all of that said I met some wonderful people in my time in NZ, I was invited to hang out with muslims in their mosque, went to weddings, BBQ’s, fishing and enjoyed the scenery and the pristine environment. You can’t deny that there are a lot of positive sides to NZ too.

    • @Benjamin: I cannot speak about Singapore the way you can because I have not lived there. However, the conditions in Singapore must be an improvement for outsiders if many are willing to endure the conditions you cite. In contrast, 1 in 5 Kiwis lives overseas, so something is indeed rotten in New Zealand.

      This is a personal preference, but I will take the orderly Singapore over lawless New Zealand any day.

    • Just to clear that up for you. The discussion here relates to anything that is New Zealand. We also do politics, not least because it has such a big impact on migrants in New Zealand. We don’t do is Kool-Aid, that can take some getting used to but most of our readers find that liberating, refreshing even.

    • @Benjamin
      And the reason why I don’t like Singapore is the climate and the fact that the only thing you can do here is either shop or drink. Neither of which I do. So its a bit boring to say the least. How is that hypocritical?
      Well, it kind of sounds like hearing an expat complain about restrictions towards nightlife in Dubai.
      Does your salary make up for that inconvenience though? Must be better than that poor, oppressed underclass, right?

      Mainland Chinese bus drivers did a strike last year because they are payed less than their Malaysian counterparts for the same work. Result: caning, work visa revoked and sent back to China.
      It’s amazing how (new, not yet permanent-resident) immigrants to New Zealand are in that same situation. Not to mention, their kids get told growing up “You have to know who is in charge, you are not one of the people of this land, know your place.” Sounds similar, eh?

      In Singapore there is a class of subhumans that are exploited yet it is ignored or minimized. You can’t compare that to NZ.
      Repeat after me … business success and the taxman EVERYWHERE, enjoy the profits that come from underpaid labour. Capitalism in action :)
      “Employer accused of exploiting migrant workers”
      Oh, that Norajane Colos, is in the class of “patronising, condescending, established immigrant (social sciences degree from Philippines), that is trying to show new (read: thinks they’re savage, uncivilised) people how to “behave in their new land”.
      The behaviour of “teaching the new folk how to adjust” sounds a lot like many “ethnic community leaders” in New Zealand.

  36. Ben. The inequality of life in New Zealand is enormous too yet you say you loved living there. How weird. Bankers driving around in luxury cars versus a banker running the country. Can you see the irony?

    Maybe you closed your eyes to what was going on around you, or you’re suited to NZ more than you think. It’s easier to not have a social conscience when you’re living in your comfort zone.

    Income inequality is often regarded as a measure of a society’s fairness. A high income inequality means that the population is less socially connected as a whole. On one hand, New Zealand has 260,000 children living in poverty, and on the other some of the most severely unaffordable housing in the world. And a millionaire banker running the country.

  37. You call me a hypocrit without even reading my post. I moved to NZ from Europe and lived an worked in Wellington for 7 years amd loved every part of it, as an immigrant in NZ. It was a great experience. Then my company moved me to Singapore. I don’t like it here. Did I at any point mention why? No. Again, you jump to a conclusion about something you don’t know crap about. Singapore is very accepting to highly skilled immigrants, I just don’t like the way people are treated in general in this country: Bangladeshi workers are paid $3 / hour for construction work whilst bankers cruise around in luxury cars. The inequality is enormous. Then you come back to me now and complain about NZ.

    • @Ben: You are a great fit for New Zealand judging from your comment of being grateful for what you get in life. Actually, I do not expect life to give me anything. I must go out to earn my daily bread rather than have New Zealand or the government give it to me.

      What I despise about New Zealand is the way the society attempts to stymie and stultify those that want to achieve. Sadly, Kiwis are flightless birds that must attack and vilify anyone else that wants to spread their wings and fly.

      I also despise the denial of obvious problems. Every place in the world has problems, but no one is as adept as New Zealanders as pretending that they do not exist. I have not lived in Singapore, but former President Lee Kwan Yoo was very honest and frank about the problems in the country. Singapore has also transformed itself from a backward cesspool into one of the world’s most dynamic and wealthiest countries.

      Lastly and despite having low taxes and low levels of regulation, the Singaporean government does have a generous housing and income safety net for the poor. I believe the government offsets the difference in pay between what some poor people receive from pay and a minimum salary. We can debate the merits of this from a policy standpoint, but it is indisputable that poor people in Singapore are much better off than in New Zealand. Maybe you should focus on this rather than envying the rich for driving expensive cars.

    • The inequality in NZ is there; overseas qualifications not being valid, underpayment of migrants, difficulty in obtaining a job if you have not worked in NZ before… There are a number of difficulties encountered by migrants, moreso now that the economy has tightened. Perhaps when you migrated to NZ, the job market was a bit more fluid? Things have changed in the last 5 years. When were you last in NZ?
      You critisizing migrants to NZ for expressing the same issues that you are seeing in Singapore is hypocritical.

  38. You are having problems in Singapore as are people that write here about problems with NZ. You should understand the issues and problems then. Integrating into an insular society, not being accepted because you are not from there, you are experiencing there what migrants are experiencing here. That sounds a bit hypocritical.

  39. All I can see here is a bunch of whiny, spoilt and pretentious people that need to learn to be thankfull for what you get in life. I lived in Wellington as an immigrant from Europe for 7 years and I loved every moment of it. Kiwis are great, hospitable people that don’t discriminate. I live in Asia (Singapore) now due to work and I hate this place. So my recommendations for all you people nagging is come to Singapore: theres plenty of your type around so you can flock together, drink tea and bitch about whatever is your new target of complaint. NZ is a great place to live and work and the people are wonderfull. Far different from the people commeting on this thread, no wonder you didn’t or dont fit in.

    • The attitude that “you should be thankful for what you get in life” is what’s wrong with NZ. People are told to suck it up, harden up, stop whining. Then they move away from NZ and realise that living in a brutal country that idolises sport above all else may be the problem.
      Lovely for you that you had a great experience – perhaps you have more similarities with NZ culture to begin with. Wellington is one of the most cosmopolitan and well educated populations in NZ, so it’s not surprise you may not have been exposed to some of the harsher sides of NZ living there.

      Racial discrimination in NZ is very entrenched. Just because you didn’t experience it doesn’t make is disappear. Interesting that the dialogue from pro-NZers is always “what’s your problem that you didn’t fit in?”, never to consider that maybe the culture is unwilling to accept people as they are and instead forces them to “fit in” or else.

  40. wow! there’s a whole lot of NZ bashing going on in here. As a 1st generation kiwi, married to an immigrant, I cant say that my parents, my husband or I have seen much of the bad stuff that people have mentioned. My husband is from a ‘developing country’ and like many others, came to NZ with a qualification that wasn’t recognised here and lacked the ‘NZ experience’ to get into the industry that he was in back home. However within a few years he has worked a multitude of jobs to get into his chosen industry and met so many people that have looked beyond the accent and skin colour to give him a chance.

  41. I’ve found it funny, that they set up things like Broadcast Standards and [the NZ version of] Labor Court, and have no expectation that anyone will use them, or if they do use them, will be ostracised because they did used them.
    These fixtures are set up to project an immage of propriety.

  42. One of the big problems in NZ is that there is no justice whatsoever for those who have been discriminated against in terms of race or ethnicity due to their pride and arrogance. For example, I made formal complaints many times to Broadcast Standard Authority over bad discriminative words that came out of the radio talk-back hosts such as “Dirty Germans”, “Damn Chinese” and “Terrible Chinese People”, however, they NEVER uphold any of the complaints, saying that “it is lighthearted (What a lie! If it is true, why it was said in such an angry manner?!), it is a sarcasm that reflects respect (What a poor excuse! If it is true, how come he said “We’re sending it to China – don’t you realize how BAD that is? Those terrible Chinese people.” ) and those words such as “Terrible” or “Damn” are permissible even in public broadcasting (Praise God that my country is not as immoral and corrupt as this country where this kind of language is totally unacceptable to use to describe any people or nation in a public broadcast no matter what!) At the end of the day, they are kiwis and they never uphold this kind of complaint especially from a foreigner due to their pride. Anyway, soon or later, God will judge this nation.

  43. I don’t think that you should make a general assumption of New Zealand just because of your experiences. I’m not sure what part of New Zealand you moved to but there are many places that are NOTHING like you explained. Yes many people drink sav or something along those lines after a hard day at work but in some parts of America that is also considered the norm. You are judging New Zealand by a certain area. I think before you can judge New Zealand as a country you need to travel and interact with the locals.

  44. interesting perceptions of my little NZ. As a born & bred NZr .
    ( am not a kiwi,that is a short fat flightless nocturnal bird of little use… hmmmmm.)
    all the fickle complaints re teeth and frugality are not wrong But all stem from the cost of living here.
    it is essential to have two incomes.. to get by .not to live well.for that you may need 3 or 4 incomes.IMO we are fiercely loyal yet fully non patriotic.suffer from an intense inferiority complex .(hence the grouping together) which is the drive behind most international achievements .we think the world is impressed by them but mostly the word smiles sweetly ,says “how quaint”,and gives it no further thought.

    we are far more culturally friendly then given credit for
    my own close circle of friends consists of NZ’rs.Filipinos,Germans and Chinese..
    The opinions of politics do not reflect the opinions of people, as nz government ignores people to follow its own agenda.The media here decides who will win elections in advance,tells us and we ,like sheep,vote accordingly.

    we are pay city rates of ever increasing amounts to payback city bank-loans we did not ask be taken out.we are taxed on our income taxed on our purchase,taxed on our petrol.
    they desire to tax us on cows farting also.

    but hey ..its very affordable to have a baby,so they can grow up with yellow teeth wearing frugal clothes ,amount huge student debt and exist in a life of “just getting by”….

    come on over…
    or not.

  45. Hey guys.. why not come to live in South Africa…it has the highest standard of living in the world for professionals and educated people. The scenery is second to none and the currency is so cheap that huge brock houses are virtually fee with some currencies such as GBP, NZ$ AND US $. the weather si the best in the world and there are a myriad of opportunities available…see you in Johannesburg, or Durban or CapeTown…all great places to live!!!!!! There are some problems but the spirit of unity is strong amongst races except for a small handful of jerks…

    • The Saffers I knew mainly moved on to Australia or went back to S. Africa. Couldn’t be that bad if they left ‘Paradise’ for it!

    • I have spent enough time living in South Africa not to swallow the Kool Aid about the “Rainbow Nation”. The country has shocking levels of crime. Even more disconcerting is that the crime is not simply poor people stealing, but rather people who attack and torture victims for pleasure.

      Infrastructure is falling apart, corruption is rife, and frequent blackouts occur. I certainly think South Africa does have great weather and scenery and it is also a good place to earn money in business. However, it is not somewhere I would want to live.

  46. People think they are moving here (the right link this time, iv been reminiscing about football

    When in fact your more likely to end up here

    They are so far away from anything nobody notices the bent pr work, it is a beautiful place and has a decent summer, but unless you are taking a substantial amount of money over to either build your own house or buy one of the very few that are built well, it a no go.

    A sentence I saw in here summed it up superbly, “a fantastic scenery doesn’t pay a mortgage.”

  47. People think they are moving here

    When in fact your more likely to end up here

    They are so far away from anything nobody notices the bent pr work, it is a beautiful place and has a decent summer, but unless you are taking a substantial amount of money over to either build your own house or buy one of the very few that are built well, it a no go.

    A sentence I saw in here summed it up superbly, “a fantastic scenery doesn’t pay a mortgage.”

  48. Yes, NZ has amazing PR- ‘NZ Pure’ is no more than smoke and mirrors (funny how the name ‘The land of the long white cloud’ actually alludes to this). Highlighting one area: Canterbury is still having quakes, people are living in garages (concrete floor and no insulation), the rivers are flooding, hundreds more residents may be redzoned as a result of the floods and the local companies are releasing effluent into the Waimakariri whenever it storms. Add to this the recent admission that many residents live on contaminated land (ex-tips, fertilizer burial sites etc) and the sale of Canterbury farms to Asia for intensified dairy farming- the 30% of contaminated wells and threat to the groundwater supply will soon mean Christchurch residents have no clean water supply at all… sounds great NZ!!!

  49. Thank you for your comment. People from your corner of Eastern Europe must be glad to have somewhere to go. Unfortunately, most of the migrants aren’t from Eastern Europe, they’re from countries that have a better standard of living than NZ and moved thinking they were swapping like for like. They also expected comparable health and education systems and the right to be treated as equal citizens, that’s tough in a country that’s committed to being bi-cultural (Paheka/Maori) rather than multi-cultural because there’s no provision for their culture.

    • Yes, if you come from some places, it will be a step up, and surely some of these folks would be excellent NZ citizens, as appreciative as they are. If you come from somewhere like the UK, Germany, Canada, U.S., the problem is that what you get in return for the lifestyle sacrifices you have made to go to New Zealand is…truly, nothing good. Scenery? Just as nice back home. Money? You’ll have less of it. Housing quality and education and public health? All comparatively crap. That poster above who mentioned that “at least in Mexico, you know what you are getting yourself into” – he’s spot on. I do not know what hole they pull their ratings out of. It’s all just very good P.R.

  50. Pingback: Crushing that dream | Awkward Silences


    I thought Mexico was an impossible hell hole and felt really sorry for what the people there having to endure from those ‘Narcos’ with their hopeless politicians coming in not too far behind. (
    But, what I’ve read here so far has totally shattered the solid crystal impression I once had for NZ.
    At least, there in Mexico or pretty much in any other corrupted part of the world, you’ll know what you’ll be getting yourself into. But NZ??? Nope!!! Not a chance in hell!
    Literally, caught with my pants down.Thankfully here where I am right now rather than being there and weeping myself into manic depression!

    How could this be happening?
    I could never see it coming. I don’t think generalizing the ‘Kiwis’ would be a fair go. Probably they are caught in this vicious cycle themselves and struggling to get out of
    this awful system.

    This beautiful island has been grossly mismanaged by those political wolves sheep’s skin -NZ’s very own.

    I was even looking into a serious possibility of migrating with an intention to set up a business there since I felt the tranquil environment and the country’s immigration policy are far more captivating and welcoming than Australia (used to be my prime choice and would still, after knowing this…)

    I spoke highly of NZ and all the possibilities and opportunities that might be on offer there to my associates. Now, I’m feeling like a complete jackass. Rest assured I’ll be emailing them with the link to this website!

    Such a shame! In my opinion, New Zealand is Southern Hemisphere’s answer to what Iceland is, to the North in terms of untouched natural beauty and serenity. You can’t go wrong with any of these on postcards from heaven.

  52. New Zealand sucks and one of the worst countries you can be in ( in the developed world)
    The country is poor, behind technological advancement, refined life style and motivated people. It is filled with lazy, mentally ill (1 in 4 new zealander has serious mental issue based on the research) . Government is stupid and wasteful. Job market sucks. Food is horrible. The country sits on many earthquake faults and volcanoes. and it is far from any country so for a simple holiday you end up paying 3 times. Oh did I mentioned everything here is 2-3 grades lower quality than Europe but 3 times more expensive? I have been here 10 years and invested my life. but dont make the same mistake! NZ sucks!

  53. Ahh NZ, I was contemplating moving home to CHCH from France but that fire has been extinguished thanks to everyone on here giving me a well needed jolt!

    I think that the saddest thing about NZ is the way any kind of ethnic person is treated. I remember my friend who is Kiwi with Samoan parents, tell me that people proudly try and use Maori on her during Maori language week. Any Kiwi should be able to distinguish between Maori and Samoan.

    I have a friend from Japan who was told to F…off back to China and my own Continental European hubby has been treated like he is absolutely stupid because of his accent.

    Guess I will be staying in France!

  54. I lived for 4 years in New Zealand and could not wait to leave.
    I had the misfortune to work at a University in a very senior position and
    all I can say is that it was a hideous experience.
    Lack of communication,bullying , amateurism on all fronts and a surprisingly aggressive behaviour in many areas. The story of the laid back Kiwis is a fantasy tale. Rude and pretty badly educated people are the majority, that was my experience.
    The ever so beautiful countryside:
    I don’t think it compares with Tuscany , Central France or the Norwegian fjords ,not at all.
    Particularly as whenever you approach one of their shitty little towns or hamlets with their lousy architecture ,the most abysmal in the Western world, then your dream is spoilt.
    I’d rather go to Tuscany now, eat some proper food and enjoy the atmosphere of cities that have a culture and a history and a landscape that matches NZ any given time.

  55. I have been in this country for about 20 years, but the longer I stay here, the more I hate it from the bottom of my heart – they are so Arrogant, Proud, Evil and Perverse. They do not have any respect whatsoever for other countries – especially any Asian countries. The other day, when I was listening to the radio, the radio talk-back show host said “Damn Chinese…”. I really think that this country 100% deserves to go to “Hell” literally.

  56. And in response to your written thoughts, there is a cruel awakening when you reach retirement age and despite being eligible for NZ Super, you will have your overseas pensions deducted from it. Even if just either you or your partner have one overseas pension between you, your NZS will be less.
    Mark my words, application of an antiquated draconian law passed in 1938 ( Section 70 ) is causing some 70,000 retirees financial and emotional grief through this blatant thievery which yields the NZ Government some $250 m per year.

  57. I grew up in NZ but have spent the past 10 years living in Canada, US and now Australia. My husband (a NZer) wants to move home and I am sooooo afraid. I remember Christchurch being so insular and snobby (like the high school you attended should define you for the rest of eternity?!). Last time I visited (2012) I was shocked by how racist and small minded my friends and family were. The combative and confrontational directness was also quite affronting, and was not at all intentional – that was considered friendly! Sheesh, I am not sure we fit there anymore.

    House prices have gone crazy and the cost of living was always extreme. How do people survive? I think there are some good aspects to NZ (potentially having a large yard for children to play in) but I am not sure the cost is justified…both socially and monetarily. I have acquiesced that we can try NZ for a year and will be hightailing it back to Canada if it feels to alien (and poverty stricken).

  58. New Zealand is a funny place- some good things and some bad things. Been back and forth 3 times to US. I like the environment bin NZ but really not the Kiwi culture. If you drink, like promiscuous women and can accept bullying in the workplace or Uni then NZ is for you. NZ women are better with men but with foreign women not so- unless you live up to their agenda and can handle all their haughtiness and bossiness, forget it. There is a shortage of men in NZ and NZ women have a chip on their shoulder and think bossiness makes them equal to or better than men. Beware. Workplace bullying is a norm and especially from women. Drinking a lot and flashing tits at work parties seems also a norm for women. This culture is highly dysfunctional so what you see that is worst in the US is common here regarding work ethics. It is very scary. NZers do not know the meaning of impartiality, nor do they understand what discrimination is nor do they see what bully is- all these things are accepted and a social normal. Sex harassment is also accepted and only if you are a prostitute working girl will the Human Rights Commissioner stand-up for you and give you a settlement of 25K. If you are a normal working lady with a normal job or a student- good luck- they may not even consider your case. Unequal treatment based on your nationality or gender is an acceptable practice… Customer service is also very poor here. No price negotiations, not even pay negotiations for many jobs. NZ has no capability for conflict resolution in anything. What appears “laid back” is not so.

  59. The more I read this site the more I realise all those things I thought only I felt about New Zealand are not unique to me. We really need to get the word out there. I am going to make a point of sharing the true story of New Zealand wherever I can.

    • Good luck to you Sam, thank you for the feedback. So many people say the same as you and you give us fresh determination to carry on with the site.

  60. I’m a kiwi born and raised 5th generation, I’ve lived in most parts of NZ from Auckland to Inverargill. And in defense of all kiwis it wasn’t till i spent ten years living in Australia, England and Scotland that I realised how miserable I was in New Zealand how little I knew about the world and how totally insular my upbrining was.Now that I am back in NZ I can see the same thing in everybody here and its kinda depressing. I have come to realise the govt is actively encouraging this you can even see it happening on the telly! ( I’ve been to twenty something countries now and never have i seen a place advertise itself to its own people so much! isnt it great here arent we lucky what a beautiful place blah blah blah). the stupid part is most of the people here haven’t even been anywhere here ! ( your average Aucklander (half the population of the country!) has never been more than 40 km out of Auckland!).
    Also with regards to immigrants, having lived away from NZ for ten years I think I have some understanding with how they feel , having been away for so long since my return it has been extremely difficult to relate to or talk with NZers .everyone I actually assosciate with is foreign,
    simply because most kiwis seem completely self absorbed and can’t gel with you if youre from “foreign parts” and I’m not even foreign! I can only imagine what its like for actual immigrants.
    As for everyones comments on being the white guy your’e right everything here is based on race all govt forms ask for your ethnicity at the start so you can have different laws and processes applied to you, from my point of view its one of the most blatantly racist places in the western world stereotypes here are the norm and people seem to actively live up to them .Every single person here will tell you they’re not racist but then in the course of a conversation will say the most blatantly racist things and think nothing of it (was it an asian driving (first question youll ever get asked about any driving accident). Did a Maori job ( cheapest possible way of doing something) gonig to the chinky (getting chinese food) kill whitey (surprisingly common statement) and the all important Pakeha ( when I was growing up it was Maori for white pig! then changed to white meat now apparently means european!
    which means my own govt now refer me officially as a white pig! lovely
    it seems as if New Zealand is the only country in the world deliberaty setting about racial segregation in a publicly acceptable way we have the govt with multiple parties for all to vote unless youre a maori then you have political parties which are only for Maori people these are now quite big players in the govt, there are a plethora of other thing only maori can have if you wish to argue then just think how would it go if a whites only party was actively trying to win the govt!!!!
    I personally disagree with anything based entirely on race! (automatically eliminating most of the female population of the world from ever sleeping with me!!!!) what a stupid thing racism is if only for that reason.

    • Yes!!! I agree with everything you have said (and was also raised in NZ and have been away for 10 years). My parents (british immigrants) get so angry at me for calling out the NZ propaganda in the media, smug attitude of NZers in the face of abysmal child poverty, child abuse and suicide stats (check out the last few OECD reports people!). It is like everyone at home wants everyone else to come back and suffer with them. Miserable country!!

      I don’t think I will have many kiwi friends we we go back (under duress from my husband), I cannot relate to the NZ abusive ‘toughen up’ atttitude and will not be labelled Pakeha- a truly insulting term. I am so afraid to take my two children back as I would hate for them to associate NZ as home and have to wrestle with this decision after they have been away and had the wool pulled off their eyes…

      • Be careful taking your children back to New Zealand – you may not be able to leave again. Read our Trapped in NZ page and all the comments there. We’ve heard of parent’s getting ‘pre-nups’ drawn up to prevent problems like those occurring.

  61. You can say what you want about NewZealand. But I think your wrong. I’m a kiwi and I’m proud of it! I have been born here and I think it’s amazing and a beautiful place that has culture and wildlife. To me, NewZealand is safe and it is home. But when you say stuff about the culture that’s just wrong. I’m 13 and I think NewZealand is for everyone rich or poor.

    • Not to sound pedantic, but do you know the difference between your and you’re. If New Zealand had as outstanding an education system as advertised, then perhaps you would spot the difference at 13. Most people that study English as a second language for the same number of years as you have been at a New Zealand school are able to identify the difference.

      What aspects of New Zealand culture do you find attractive?

      • This probably isn’t a 13 year old. They rarely come across sites like this because they move in different orbits to us on the net. The name ‘Tiffany’ was enough to give him away as a middle aged man. This is most likely a troll with a penchant for impersonating little girls.

        • You are probably right. New Zealand judges and the police system are soft on paedophilia, so it should not surprise us that people will have no inhibitions about impersonating children online.

  62. Don’t rely on wiki anything for your info. Anti-intelectualism is just one aspect of the general distrust we NZders have for each other. You’ll find plenty of people eager to discuss theory and just as many stuck in the stubborn traditional “that’s how we always did it” mindset. On the one hand there are good things to be gained by investigating theory, on the other, why would anyone just roll over for a theory never tried or tested and based on a culture and situation thousands of miles away? The idea that NZ is different stands true, in the same way as Denmark is different, or Russia is different. Each country has a different past, which makes for a unique present, unique social problems, customised solutions. To think that “free trade” or any other isolated sterile economic recipe will solve all human ills, isn’t very intellectual at all.

    “Getting ahead” is difficult here, but why choose NZ for that? It sounds to me like people who complain about that thought NZ would be an Idiocracy, easy to rise to the top, and since they fancied themsleves as so smart, they would automatically be made Prime Minsiter or something important. Their complaints sound like it’s not that NZders aren’t intellectual, but that they weren’t made an intellectual master of NZders.

    NZ was founded on theft, lies and deception – nothing has changed. Vote for who you like, but get the same bunch of psychopathic predators. We make do because there is no other choice. It’s what happens to colonies as they dissolve into something new. Ironically, soon the upper 5% of NZders will make NZ just like any other Americanised consumerist culture and people wanting a modern place to “get ahead” will find exactly what they want.

    As one of the “lower” social classes myself, and living among a lot of immigrants, I’ve learned plenty from them, but also occasionally refused some of their cultural attitudes that seem a bit too ruthless and greedy. I think that’s normal for anyone. It’s not like every immigrant here is a god-like perfect human or can deal with the culture shock. On balance, I think my life is better for having known them all. There’s no way I would trade a new, all-white, NZ born neighbourhood for the diverse immigrant population. All the aggressive rude nasty people I’ve lived with or met have been my own – white pakeha NZ. If getting ahead means going back to or becoming that, I’ll stay lost in the immigrant world thanks.

    • “There’s no way I would trade a new, all-white, NZ born neighbourhood for the diverse immigrant population. ”

      Is there such a place? Please do tell, I’m curious. The wealthier suburbs in the major cities are full of immigrants. The newer developments in Auckland are as well, even in the less prosperous South Auckland district. None of the small towns in Canterbury that I know well are “all white.” Many, many New Zealanders (possibly a majority) have some Maori heritage, even if it’s not immediately evident or acknowledged. Maori, Pacific Islanders, East and South Asians live all over the country, even in the smallest towns. This is a fairly recent phenomenon, and would not have been true for previous generations of New Zealanders. The prevailing culture, though, is definitely one of xenophobia, as if the country really was some kind of Pakeha haven.

      • There are immigrants and then there are immigrants. In Auckland, nestled right up close to what you call the wealthier suburbs, there are some “lower class” (an ugly way of putting it, I know) suburbs full of great people from all of Africa, India, China, Thailand, Iraq, Arab States, Russia… just about anywhere. All different religions, personalities and beliefs, and all visually distinct as people and in their manner. When I was growing up, a Japanese tourist was an amazing occurance; when an American boy joined my primary school class, it was like he’d landed from Disney World Heaven.

        Being white isn’t just a skin colour, it’s a perspective, a culture. If economics is the measure, then I’ve met plenty of white maori, white chinese, white indians (when they put their mind to it, those guys do white better than whites), anyone can be white (pakeha), at least right up to the point where they come into contact with white-skinned whites, then they aren’t white enough.

        Hypothetically, you could drop a family of foriegn origin into anywhere you like in NZ and they’d be tolerated, but this shouldn’t be mistaken for successful multicultural intergration. If anything went wrong, there’d be a high chance that they’d find out that certain laws and rights only apply to certain people. My family has been here since the German ships sailed to the West Coast and I’m not white enough to be considered human in the South Island. Not even white enough for parts of Auckland. Not that I worry too much about it. Just have to be careful is all.

        I don’t understand why any immigrants would come here and expect instant success. Sure everyone needs to make a living, but bringing indivdualistic adversarial ideas into and already socially divided country doesn’t make sense. Cheaper to stay at home for the same results, I would have thought.

        My personal opinion is that if an immigrant chooses to come here to co-incidentally make this place better than it is, adding their ideas and culture into the mix and creating something that isn’t what they just left and isn’t what is already here, now that is admirable and exciting. By better, I mean to help turn our existing greedy focus for cash and possessions back towards mutually satisfying human relationships.

        Sadly, whites are good at manipulation and tearing their families apart for money and status and it seems to be getting worse. This year the politicians have started in on the kids – wanting to shape them with “education” into greedy class-conscious money-grabbers earlier than ever. They reckon this will solve all our social problems.

        The immigrants I’ve met (the majority of them) have been skilled in bringing people together for reasons other than cash. Whatever stresses they may have, they are not usually openly hostile to strangers. Perhaps this is what some immigrants don’t understand: just by being here and expressing their natural-to-them (not sure the right word) “community tendencies” NZ becomes a better place. No special work required. No fortunes necessary. No proving yourself to anyone. Coming to a place just to make what a person might think is “easy cash” is as immoral and stupid as what my colonial ancestors did, and in my opinion, not in short supply here. Why run from one place only to re-create it somewhere else?

        • Do people come to New Zealand to make easy cash? More likely because they think its a safer place to raise their children or they’re looking for an elusive dream lifestyle.

  63. did you notice they took the anti-intellectualism part out of the New Zealand culture article on Wiki? The page has “issues”. People constantly trying to take bad-sounding stuff out of there.

  64. I am a so called kiwi who was born here. I agree with most of the comments made her. I have been working since I was 17 and have worked part time while studying for the last year. It is a constant struggle to afford food, childcare,health insurance for my children and I as well as all other associated living costs. I do agree that a lot of people in nz have bad teeth such comes down to exceptionally high prices that dentists charge here. Unfortunately there are a lot of ‘poor’ families in nz which comes down to the government not wanting to make a living wage mandatory. I do what I can for my children to be well educated, well fed and clothed and make sure that they are safe, happy and well loved. I would not encourage anyone to move to nz if they do not have money ( and I mean a lot of it). House prices are ridiculous alongside high prices for food, travel, doctors, dentists, childcare and general living. Don’t get me wrong I love the picturesque green hills and blue skies with blue seas that you would see on any website advertising nz. BUT with as hard as you have to work here just to get by you would hardly ever get to see these things. I have been trying to save for the last 6yrs to leave nz with no luck. As for the men their are some good ones out there. To sum it up don’t come to nz expecting sunny skies and friendly great smiles from everyone with great big houses and lavish lifestyles as this would all be a dream unless you already have money. Once you are here and have run out of money you will find it extremely hard to save up to leave again once you realise that our government is full of crap.

    • Re. Living wage

      Wellington council voted to introduce a living wage for its employees from 1 Jan. However, its decision has been met with derision from Nicola Young, a city councilor who tried to delay it. She wrote

      The “living wage” proposed by the Living Wage Aotearoa New Zealand Campaign, is higher (relative to GDP per capita) than the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, and Canada. Incredibly, ours is higher than London’s; the 18th most expensive city in the world (Wellington is ranked at 74th in Mercer’s Cost of Living survey).

      A review of the research that produced the New Zealand rate of $18.40 by researcher Brian Scott concluded the rate is over-stated and questioned its method and data (as did Treasury). It also questioned whether conclusions reached from overseas research on productivity, morale and poverty could be safely applied to New Zealand’s situation.

      We wish Wellywood council every success with its decision and for breaking ranks. No doubt there are many local businesses worried about their large profit margins right now and who place no value on raising productivity, morale or reducing poverty.

    • Please read our comments guidelines page before trying to make another comment.

      Please show courtesy and respect for others.

      Don’t make make personal comments about people you can’t possibly know. We’re not in the playground now.

      Stay away from ad hom attacks or ‘don’t like it then leave‘ types of comments. Our response to that is “don’t like what you read here – simple, don’t read it, close the page.”

      Some people would dearly love to leave New Zealand, others still want to stay and help make the country better. With a million Kiwis already living overseas, New Zealand needs all the help it can get – don’t chase more people away because you can’t deal with what they think.

  65. Anyone got any other countries’ immigration information they’d like to share with us?

    This is the USA’s – no hard sell whatsoever.

    “Working in the US”: …just information about visas.

  66. Now read our Welcome page and the section about the days of the New Zealand Company:

    “The days of the New Zealand Company’s propaganda are long over but has anything changed since the 1840s? this is from that era:”

    “The immigrants’ dissatisfaction was compounded by the misleading propaganda that the Company’s London office had put out. They had been told that New Zealand was a fertile Eden; that economic prospects were unlimited for the hardworking man; and that almost every form of agriculture, manufacture, and commerce was possible, and would yield high returns. The Company had depicted the Maori race as eager for the white man’s ways and merchandise. They had glossed over the difficulties of pioneering, and suppressed all negative reports of New Zealand…

    By the mid 1840s, the four New Zealand Company settlements all had similar problems. The immigrants were angry. Many regretted their decision to come to this country and damned the Company for its misleading propaganda. They began leaving the settlements in droves, and by 1848, only eighty-five of the original 436 Wellington colonists remained.”

    This following extract is taken from Wikipedia – Pakeha Settlers

    “Campaign posters advertising New Zealand in England did give many settlers false hopes, manipulating their reasons. These posters often described New Zealand as an island paradise, complete with white sandy beaches and coconut trees. This heavenly image also did a lot to attract settlers to New Zealand, as it was such a welcome contrast to the rain and cold weather in England. Many settlers also believed that the paradise New Zealand was presented as would be good for their families’ health as the warm weather as well as the small population in New Zealand could keep dangerous diseases that were rife in England to a minimum in New Zealand.

    Another factor in attracting people to New Zealand was families who had already settled writing to their relatives back in Great Britain telling them what a wonderful place New Zealand was. Sometimes these letters were sincere and people truly had discovered a much better life in New Zealand and wanted their relatives to share in the spoils, but sometimes there were other motives. Pure loneliness and isolation could encourage people to write exaggerated letters to their relatives in the hope that they would make New Zealand sound so good that their extended families would come and join them thus providing them with some comfort. There were also settlers who were too afraid to admit to their families back home that they had made a mistake in coming to New Zealand and so, to save face they chose to exaggerate the positive sides of living in New Zealand and keep quiet about the negative factors. This writing of letters by settlers back to their families in the United Kingdom resulted in what’s called a chain reaction as more and more people were encouraged to come out and join their families.”

  67. See if what you say is true Darrell, compare New Zealand’ s immigration department’s hard sell to Australia’s. Guess which is which and which needs to do the hard sell. I’ll call them country X and Y. Country X does just as well, sometimes better in the surveys.

    Work in X

    “X is a great place to live and work, offering lifestyle and employment opportunities. To work, you must have a valid X visa with work rights. A range of temporary and permanent skilled visas are available. X laws provide all employees with basic rights and protection in the workplace.”

    A handful of success stories follows with visa information.

    Country Y with spelling mistakes marked by (sic)

    “Balanced lifestyle

    Y enjoy a healthy work life balance – some say the best in the world.

    If you’re looking for a more balanced lifestyle, you’ll find Y got the recipe just right.

    It’s why we’re consistently at or near the top of surveys comparing quality of life internationally.

    And why three quarters of recent migrants decide they want to stay permanently, according to an Immigration Y survey – with nine out of ten prepared to recommend Y to family and friends.

    Get a career. And a life.

    Working hard and getting ahead is considered a virtue in Y. You’ll find we’re a well-developed, connected country and we can offer all sorts of opportunities to advance and broaden your career.

    But, Y believe life is for living. So what we do away from the job is just as important. Good living in Y is about balancing an honest day’s work with social fun, time together with your family and friends and taking advantage of all the recreational opportunities and wide open spaces you can enjoy here.

    You’ll find the pace of life here is less stressed. And there are all sorts of opportunities to get into the elements outdoors and be as physical as you want – from lazing on an uncrowded beach to getting close to nature in the bush or hooping it down a mountain bike track. Enjoying the outdoors isn’t just a rural privilege – you can experience this lifestyle while living in our cities too.

    There’s a lively arts scene with heaps going on in music, theatre, film and comedy. And you get a good dose of annual leave plus public holidays so there’s plenty of time to enjoy all the great things Y has to offer.

    You also get to choose the lifestyle you’ve dreamed of – whether it’s a modern apartment in a lively urban environment, a home with a garden and room for the kids to play, somewhere by the seaside or maybe a rural retreat. You’ll enjoy the food and wine here, and you certainly won’t miss those big commutes.

    People in Y enjoy an enviable work-life balance. That’s a positive side to living here that keeps coming through in international surveys.

    For example, The OECD’s 2012 Better Life Initiative survey of the world’s 36 most advanced economies found Y performs “exceptionally well” for the overall well-being of its people. It noted significant strengths in its ratings for work life balance, amongst other measures.

    Don’t get us wrong, you’ll still be expected to work hard and put in a full week. But there will be more time to spend together with your partner and family – and more time to get a life!

    Y is one big natural playground – and you’ll get plenty of opportunities to come alive in our great outdoors.

    In Y you’l (sic) find all sorts of ways of getting amongst the elemnets (sic) and experiencing nature.Working hard and then grabbing those opportunities out of office hours really is the Kiwi lifestyle. Look at just some of the options:

    Hit the water

    ******Our beaches are usually sandy, the water quality is great, and there’s some seriously good surf to be found.

    There are many rivers and lakes, especially in *******, and plenty of opportunities for boating, fishing, kayaking, windsurfing, kite boarding and canoeing. There’s great sailing too, especially in *****. In some countries these sorts of activities are only accessible to those with deep pockets, but not in Y.

    If you enjoy being in, on or under the water, you and your family will be right in your element here in Y”

    There are more pages in a similar vein about arts, culture, sport, food and wine and lifestyle choices.

    Here is a link to an article about the 2013 OECD Better Life Index.

    New Zealand doesn’t do very well in comparison to its main competitors, some of whom are the source countries for many of its immigrants. It has also dropped two places in this year’s index compared to last year’s, a big drop from 2011′s index where it came 4th.

    Britain and Australia come out higher than NZ for environment, jobs, safety. Australia also tops the table for civic engagement and scores higher for education than New Zealand, which is bound to create some controversy within New Zealand’s international student market sector.

    Work life balance important to you? Stay put or move to Ireland. New Zealand ranks 24th, lower than the UK, and Ireland comes in at very respectable 8th place.

    In these turbulent days perhaps safety is a priority for you. There are safer countries than New Zealand, according to the OECD. Chose from Japan, Canada, Poland, the UK and Australia.

    Eight European countries, Canada and Mexico all score more highly for life satisfaction than bi-cultural New Zealand.

    Where are the best places for a better life, according to the OECD?

    1. Australia
    2. Sweden
    3. Canada
    4. Norway
    5. Switzerland
    6. United States
    7. Denmark
    8. Netherlands
    9. Iceland
    10. UK
    11. New Zealand

      • The distance from the UK to France is nothing like the distances most people travel to migrate to New Zealand – very easy to make research trips and to leave again if the lifestyle doesn’t suit.

        People consider consulting the NZIS website as a large part of doing their research. Other countries seem to be up-front about their migrant marketing, why not New Zealand?

        Some migrants do visit before moving to New Zealand, however a great many do not and take official sources of information on good faith. Those sources of information have been honed to perfection to attract them for over a century, trading on the sheer distances involved to present the country in an unrealistic way. Like you, those that visit often do so on holiday, during which they spend overseas earned currency, soak up the scenery and live the life of a tourist. Working, earning and living in New Zealand can be a very different experience for many of them.

        I’ll leave you with this thought. If New Zealand’s lifestyle was as glamorous as the official immigration sites make out why is the population just over 4 million and over a million Kiwis live abroad?

      • The problem is this – the ‘sell’ is so much harder than the life is good in NZ. The sell claims 10x the quality of life than actually exists. And because it’s on govt websites, people assume that it is true (because the government cannot lie like private entities can). In NZ, the problem is – there isn’t much of a difference. The govt acts like a private entity, colluding in the ‘sell’. People don’t know enough about NZ (because of its remoteness and relative obscurity) to realize that the description of NZ life is not in any way corresponding to the reality of NZ life. A visit isn’t enough to find out – because the grind of life there sets in when your money runs out, which is about a year or so. And the natural amount of time that anyone would take anywhere to make GOOD friends is extended in NZ. If they manage to make them at all. Due to the cliquish nature of their society. NZ life in no way matched the “sell” for the people who post on this website. We all just want to get the “reality” out there and make it available for people considering moving to NZ.

    • So the true moral of the story is to stay put because the world is much the same wherever you go and that New Zealand is no different to France, the UK or the USA?

      Thanks for the confirmation. Now all we need is for that truth to be reflected in the country’s marketing of itself to immigrants and tourists. Would France or the SW of England or the Southern USA ever describe themselves as Godzone, 100% pure or the real Middle earth, and have their residents believe it too?

      Glad to see you’re not drinking the Kool-Aid, all the best for your new life in France.

  68. People are dying because they can’t afford basic healthcare needs in New Zealand too, proportions of scale (New Zealand’s population is miniscule compared to America’s) may mean you don’t hear as much about it. Believe me it is there, the effects of poverty cause third world diseases like rheumatic fever. Mothers decide between feeding themselves and their kids or paying for doctors visits and medicines,. I don’t know where you lived in New Zealand but you must have had a very insulated existence.

  69. Laura’s Diploma and and Degree.(in Titology, presumably) will stand her in good stead in the developed world, I am sure! Japan’s hostess clubs are waiting!

  70. Everyone is so harsh on here! Please note the “I think” in my post, clearly stating MY OWN OPINION of MY OWN LIFE and people try to tell me I’m wrong? Like wow calm yo tits. New Zealand may not be the place for you but it was the place for me. If America is anything like the Americans on this thread then that’s not the place for me. Everyone is raised different, everyone enjoys different things. New Zealanders are, on the whole, very chilled so this is maybe the reason for the “I’ll have you over” situation. It’s just who we are. We’ll get around to it eventually.

    • Just as you are entitled to your opinion so is Get Me Outta Here. You don’t hold exclusive rights to having one so “wow calm yo tits”. On the whole, you don’t appear to be exhibiting any chilled-ness. Just the opposite.

      Thanks for dropping by to enlighten us, it was a blast to “have you over” do come again.

      Have fun abroad, travel broadens the mind – you may find that a novel experience.

  71. Dear Wilson, who exactly do you mean when you are saying “can have access to healthcare”? Are you talking for yourself (e.g. as a NZ citizen) or for a foreigner with work visa and no private insurance? And do you really have any idea how much it costs for a foreigner woman to give birth in a NZ hospital? You’re talking for the US as a foreigner yourself, while you are referring to NZ as a local…Whell I guess, you too, if you are not content with your lifestyle in US, you can go back to your homeland, and try to settle there…

  72. Having seen the poverty in America over the past 4 years,I would say NZ is doing pretty well,lots of people live below the poverty line here,lots of homelessness,people on food stamps,people dying because they cant afford basic health care needs

    How would you know what the poverty in New Zealand is like if you haven’t been back for 10 years?

    New Zealand is a beautiful country and I am proud to say I am from here

    But you said you’re from Canada. Also, your IP address puts you in Boca Raton in the USA.

    You seem confused, but that’s understandable. Perhaps a good pharmacy can sort you out, probably better for you to stay in the US?

    To our readers

      This is an example of how New Zealanders feel threatened by the messages in the blog – they feel a need to troll it with upbeat comments. Just another sign that is having a great deal of influence on public opinion, something that is reflected in our site stats from countries around the world

  73. I grew up in New Zealand. It was great. I wasn’t bullied, I had a great education. I now have a Diploma and and Degree. It’s time for me to leave now I think as I’m ready for bigger and better things. I think New Zealand is a great place to grow up and also raise children. New Zealanders tend to get to their 20’s and want to explore the world. It’s just what we do. It’s how we live. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

    • Laura :
      I grew up in New Zealand. It was great. I wasn’t bullied, I had a great education. I now have a Diploma and and Degree. It’s time for me to leave now I think as I’m ready for bigger and better things. I think New Zealand is a great place to grow up and also raise children. New Zealanders tend to get to their 20′s and want to explore the world. It’s just what we do. It’s how we live. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

      New Zealand is NOT a good place to raise children. Just check the statistics for all the markers from disease to suicide. It does not have a good standard of education. It is not a socially healthy place – for children or adults in terms of mental or physical health. New Zealand is a bad place for immigrants – I have been here for more than 20 years and it is difficult to make friends with kiwis in general – I have made more dinners for kiwis than I can count, but they are always the people who say “oh I must have you over” then they never do. They will, however, call you if they need a favour.

      If they are friendly it is because in some way you can help them or you have something they want. They do not have a great concept of quid pro quo and they will really not feel indebted if you help them in any way. In fact if you are generous it can count against you and mark you out as someone to be bilked because you are both rich AND stupid.

    • We wish you all the best on your travels :). Call back in when you’ve been out of NZ for a few years and let us know how much your life has improved since you left. One in four of your countrymen live abroad so you’ll be in good company.

  74. I stumbled upon this website and after reading the comments, I could not help but post one. So I moved to NZ (Auckland) on residency (highly skilled category) in 2010. I must admit I was not exposed to much of the economic hardships that have been shared on this website since I had a job secured even before I moved here and I get paid quite well (easily crack the highest tax bracket in this country). Not to mention that my wife also makes good money and between the two of us, we live quite comfortably.
    Having lived and traveled in several Western countries, I find that Auckland offers a great quality of life. However, I found it very hard to make friends and the ones that do talk seem to be very superficial. I get the impression that Aucklanders do not care much for immigrants and they’d rather not have them. It is important for Aucklanders to realize that these very immigrants bring a lot to the economy.
    Alcohol problem is huge in Auckland and while some may argue that alcohol issues are not limited to NZ, in my view, Auckland seems particularly bad with both old and young indulging in drunken stupors.
    Tertiary education in NZ lacks quality, specially on global stage (except for a few fields like Biomed engineering). Having had the experience of mentoring tertiary grads, I get the impression that most teenagers are less than interested in making a career. Auckland teenagers are more inclined to partying and getting drunk, not to mention the skimpy clothing. I would argue that Auckland is not a good place to raise kids.
    Aucklanders are quite bad when it comes to driving, specially following driving rules. While I acknowledge that most big cities come with a fair share of horrible drivers, Aucklanders seem particularly bad. Most Aucklanders do not stop at STOP signs, indicators seem to be few and far between and speed limits are almost never followed. Attitude towards Pedestrians is horrible.
    I wont even mention the housing problem, although I must acknowledge some of the housing woes have been triggered by wealthy Asians wanting to move to NZ.
    Overall, I’d say NZ is a beautiful country to come visit and potentially retire if you have loads of money. It is not easy for someone wanting to make a career!

  75. Jan,I told my parents that,someone needs to talk with my dad,all he cares is his paycheck and all he can eat,for me its the opposite,I am off to Japan in 5-7 years

  76. It is good that you are doing your homework for your parents so they do not get any nasty surprises at the end when your parents turn 65. And who knows maybe the rules may change.
    Nothing is very clear about NZS, but I do not believe your parents will be asset tested. They must have the 10 years in though of residency in NZ and between specific ages.
    Your parents are better off returning to HK and at least they can probably take at least 50% of the NZS with them.

  77. Also has anyone had a look at the housing prices in terms of Auckland and Wellington,notice they are starting to begin to head in Hong Kong’s direction,to get a decent sized apartment you need at least 6 mil HKD which is around 1 mil NZD

    • Yup, it’s 19 incomes
      “Auckland’s $582,000 median house price is below many of world’s big cities but low wages make it a bigger ask.”

      “In the 1,119,195 Census forms filled out for Auckland, the median annual income was $29,600, a Herald analysis found.”

      Don’t forget that taking on a mortgage (death-pledge in French) is a hope that you will be able to pay it off in some decades due to being employed at the same job (remember the 90 day trial period!) or being promoted – not to mention the deposit that you have to put down.

      Professor Tripe said Auckland incomes were low because the percentage of unskilled workers was high compared with other big cities.

      Yet they don’t seem to want foreign STEM graduates with a qualification from one of their local universities which is on the Skills Shortage List, eventhough they began and completed their studies in New Zealand. Strange.

      Yet, apparently better wages in NZ than London (?)
      Far better lifestyle than London, with much cheaper childcare

      And high cost of living, is paid for by scenery (shame nobody said anything about eating the grass)
      Special report: Why we’re counting the high cost of living

  78. Greener,my advice is don’t bother,I got my Citizenship in 1997 and have not even been able to find a job,8 years of my life wasted

  79. I have been searching the net to find out information about living in nz and come across this helpful and scary site.
    My partner and I are in Australia. Myself born here but partner born in South Island NZ(first 15 years growing up there, than family move to oz). We wanted to go back as he still has a lot of family there. He has a trade and has worked in mining for the past few years. He applied for a job and has found out through family he is way more qualified than most on site. Doesn’t matter they aren’t interested at all. He applied for other jobs over there also and was shut down, not even a phone call. Needless to say he was heartbroken as he wanted so desperately to move back to his home as he never wanted to leave in the first place as a young teenager. So we aren’t even sure if we will be able to move there now. They are obviously not even interested in getting their own citizens back that have achieved good things overseas.

    • There aren’t many jobs in NZ as it is, unless you are moving back here for lifestyle choices then don’t come back to NZ.

      When you don’t get call back it doesn’t necessarily mean we don’t want our own citizens back into NZ. There can be a million other reasons too. If you do decide to come back don’t be surprised if you don’t find a job in the first few months, you may have to work minimum wage jobs.

  80. In the long run if this trend continues crime is going to be a big problem and when the youths can’t find a job,they are going to get desperate

  81. I am not sure if this has been mentioned,has anyone noticed lately that the New Zealand Government lets its youths down,I have met many youths that have been on the Unemployment Benefit and are having a hard time to find a job in New Zealand,I have even heard Hong Kong youths who live in New Zealand are also in the same boat,I have heard in conversations in many youth groups that most of them feel leaving the country is their only option

    • New Zealand doesn’t have to provide them with anything when it’s easier to export its unemployment to other countries. Of course, those who remain have to find other *methods* of financing their lifestyle. Hence the growing poverty and rising crime.

  82. Hi some what free thinking people, just wanted to say New Zealand is a very corrupt place, it’s not so much that every one is a wear of the corrupt way they act, it’s more so a systemic cultural corruption, people in new zealand don’t think for them themselves they in fact don’t think at all, they act and associate in groups that are lead my people with money, that maintain the way it is, they often hold themselves or there group, be it the company they work for the industry they work in the church they attend, above others weather it be the Maoris the dole bluggers the pot heads the poor people, every one thinks there better, if you don’t Allie to these groups you will set your self up for a very rough ride, Questions are the the Antichrist to new zealand society, as soon as you ask one, your painting a target on your back,analytical assessments of any thing no matter what, is highly taboo, (the truth is propaganda) slung from some secret CIA type group composed of every minority group in the world, there all out to sabotage paradise, having a opinion or a concern is putting a spanner in the works, the over all doctrine of nz is to follow blindly as blindly as the German people followed Hitler so the NZ people will follow any group with the audacity to claim there superiority, the staidest part of all this is there are people such as myself born in new zealand that are smart and capable of solving vast problems, that are cast onto the mass rubbish heap of unwanted life, we struggle to make a life because we refuse to conform into a broken system that is sending the world to a certain apocalypses be it war starvation pollution, I have no education nothing that’s right NO education you might ask how is that possible, well if you go to a slightly how do I put it up market school, they can just say we don’t like you please fuck off, then you can go to a training organisation and and they can say sorry we lost your paper work please fuck off, then you can go to another training organisation and they can say no you can’t in role in our course as you have bean arrested by the police for smoking pot, total illegal for them to say that as it violates my human rights but as I don’t have money for a lawyer well, they may do as they please, so as you can see new zealand is a fascist sectarian society embodying the worst prejudice from many miss guided doctrines to make the ultimate narcissistic nation of the world where just about starting to make america look like a good place to live no offence to the millions of Americans trying to make a better back to me well I am 33 no job no chance of a job and a income that means I must break the law to survive in the hope that the world or at least the country I live in will change for the good of the people, but hay I’m not holding my breath, would love to go to a proper country, but no money means, NO, it might be worth adding I am an inventor with a number of very good inventions that might in a more progressive country go on to benefit millions of people but certainly not in new zealand, selfishness and self interest are the only truly admired traits in New Zealand.

  83. I now have serious concerns for my dad and mum,my dad has done only 9 years in the railways in New Zealand,most of his time was either in the KCR or MTR in Hong Kong,I have been told that they will compare my parents assets and overseas pension once they retire and if they have too much plus the overseas pension,they’ll receive nothing due to Section 70 in the Superannuation law,seriously how is NZ a good country?

  84. Hi All,
    Long-time reader of this blog but first time poster. Wanted to agree with a lot of the comments I read about how NZ doesn’t live up to its propaganda and the traps you can find yourself in over hear, plus the Tall Poppy syndrome is alive and well.
    I came to NZ back in 2005 as one ‘Brit Cops’ under the NZ First agreement, settled up in Northland as it looked sunny with sand and surf, something a NW England lad like myself rarely get to see. At first I really like the job and my colleges (it help that my boss was a South African immigrant himself). So I overlooked the fact that my UK training and experience was ignored and i was virtually considered a probationer, or that fact that my colleagues were so amateurish in their work I felt like a member of the cast of “Live on Mars” (UK Original version) stuck in the 1970s.
    The level of incompetence is unbelievable and any suggestion to try something new (to them) is treated with scorn. I’ve never seen the levels of repetitive drink driving and family violence I’ve seen in NZ and I spent 10 years in UK Policing. As for the crime statistics their a work of fiction worthy of a Booker prize! There is a huge criminal underclass in this country and everyone knows who they are but aren’t prepare to do anything meaningful about them due to ‘political correctness’, meanwhile they rape, rob, harm and kill with almost impunity.
    Unfortunately my boss left to work in Auckland (and later emigrated to Australia) and the series of replacement bosses wasn’t interested in doing anything but the bare minimum and blocked every initiative I suggested to reduce crime through Prevention (something 5 years later they are apparently totally in to now but still failing at). More and more of my UK colleagues left but I had bought a house I could sell and was stuck, job got more and more boring as my boss allocated all the unpopular office/I.T. based duties to myself (most Kiwi Police officers don’t even own a home PC).
    After 2 years I’d had enough but wasn’t looking to return to the UK, I had my residency and wanted to get citizenship so I could give Oz a try (didn’t know about the 2nd class citizenship status of Kiwis back then). Luckily a UK colleague of mine tipped me off to a job with the UN over in the Middle East and a year later this lead to another posting in SE Asia. I loved the job and the lifestyle (plus the money) but was worried I’d fail to get my Citizenship status due to my time outside NZ, so I quit my post and moved back to NZ, think I’d just walk back into my old job with NZ Police or at least another enforcement agency with my qualifications and experience…nah!
    Spent 18 month unemployed in Wellington as job up in Northland was never going to happen as I’ve learned as so many immigrant do, all the decent paid jobs are in the urban areas (they hardly qualify as Cities in my mind) but turn down again and again for jobs I was highly qualified and experienced for.
    Frequently didn’t even get offered interviews which i worked out later was a strategy. If your short-listed and rejected you can ask for review to justify why your not the best candidate (in the public sector anyway) by not even short listing you, you are left with no recourse at all. The Corrections Service is renowned for this giving all the good jobs to guys on the inside, but now the Police Service seems to do the same. Turned out my UN experience was a big handicap though a combination of envy (one guy at the start of an interview said my CV read like an ‘adventure novel’ and then proceeded to disagree with every answer I gave to the panels questions) and unwillingness to go the extra yard to chase up my references (different time zones, etc). This also ruled my out of many public sector jobs requiring security checks as my time abroad with the UN was considered ‘suspect’. I discovered the same attitude amongst the Dept of Internal Affairs during my Citizenship application as they wanted documents from my former employers (UN Missions) on ‘original headed paper contracts’ they wouldn’t accept scanned copies which is how they UN an international organisation sends them out. They suggested I contact UN NY and get them to send my the originals…from 4 years ago…like that was ever going to happen!
    Finally landed a job with the a Public Sector agency (which will remain nameless), but it doesn’t use a 10th of my skills and find many of my colleagues hostile to me on a daily basis (the women mainly oddly?). Anyway as I find their inane conversations boring in the extreme I’ve given up talking to them unless i have to. Here in Wellington ALL my friends are immigrants, mainly Americans, who at least have some understanding of the world outside NZ and know what’s expected in a developed first world nation.
    I still cant sell my house in Northland after 5 years, but I’m going as soon as my Citizenship comes true. I’m either off to Oz to work for my old boss in Perth or if that doesn’t come off I’ll go back to UN and work is some hell hole for a few years to get back in the system. The UK just isn’t an option at the moment, economy is too depressed and I’ve already moved my Pension out.
    Looking back I made a lot of wrong assumptions about NZ, I though would be more like Oz and it dam well isn’t. I didn’t know about the lack of good jobs, pay or even the hole in the Ozone layer. They ‘Kiwis first’ attitude and the Tall Poppy syndrome, nor did I know about ACC and its perpetuation of a culture on ‘no accountability for your actions’. I just read those skewed international ‘quality of lifer surveys’ and saw the scenery in the Lord of the Ring film…lol
    If I’d know about a blog like this beforehand, I’d have held out for a job in Oz.

  85. Jan,I like to know because my dad owns 3 or more houses,will that hit the pension/super too are you willing to talk on email or phone?

  86. My suggestion would be GET out and do a stint overseas. Go somewhere where you will be admired and embraced. Shanghai would be fantastic for someone line you, or the UK or anywhere almost for that matter. Start looking now!

  87. And if you choose the retain your US Social Security then the NZS will be deducted from that. If you spouse does not have Social Security from the US because he/she is a New Zealander or another nationality, but is eligible for NZS, then watch out. If the person who gets Social Security from another country such as the US, UK, Canada etc. and it is more than the spouse NZS, then that too will be deducted under what is known as ‘ spousal deductions’.There are many cases where the partner has never worked outside NZ, but loses their whole NZS as a result of what their partner gets. Another example of blatantly violating a human right and stealing from individuals and other governments.Really, this whole issue must be kept in mind if you are thinking of immigrating to NZ. That time you retire ( or want to retire ), comes around fast and life us not cheap here. 1 in 7 people over the age of 65 face poverty here and amongst them are folks from the group I am writing on behalf of.

  88. Jan McKeogh can I contact you by email,I have tried telling my mum about the Super,they don’t even know what I am talking about

    • @Jan if you’d like to correspond please send us an email address you want to be contacted through and we’ll pass it on.

      • Of course.

        Part of the big problem which is currently affecting 70, 000 retirees is that most people do not comprehend the pact of what our government is so blatantly getting away with. It is happy though because it is pocketing almost $250 m of overseas pensions. Also people when returning to NZ or thinking of migrating do not really think about what may happen if they already have a pension or have worked abroad. They just think that the 10 year residency requirement will suffice until they read the fine print. Please feel free to have your mum contact me.


        Sent from my iPhone


    • That is good advice if they enjoy living there.We were in Shanghai for the past two years and loved it.We visited HK and were very impressed also.At this stage we are thinking very seriously about our options. Really the Super is such an issue and is not transparent at all until you apply. I tell you it has been a nightmare that no one who has any nouce wants to share.Again an undesirable trait of a mentality we are up against. Do I sound bitter? Well guess what? I am…..

  89. After spending at least 30 minutes reading opinions of New Zealand, I wonder why no one has raised the issue of getting the New Zealand Super deducted from an overseas pension if you have one. My family and I have had equal time in both Germany and NZ where we have worked hard, paid our taxes and been committed members of the communities we have lived in. Our pension schemes in Germany were contributory as with Kiwisaver. The NZ Government exercises a law which has its origins from 1938 that deducts overseas pensions from the NZS so that ‘ no one has a financial advantage over New Zealander ‘ because of having two pensions.
    To be pipped at the goalpost when one is retiring in NZ is a disgraceful topple to have from a very dishonest and morally wrong system. We should have never left Europe, and it is not only for this reason of being financially disadvantaged,but for many of the other reasons outlined by all of you.
    This is a great blog and for those of you who are thinking of migrating here,take heed at what is being shared. Least of all, you are warned if you plan to make NZ your permanent home.It is an expensive place to live and when you finally stop working you need to be well resourced.

    • Note as well that Americans still have to file tax returns with the IRS while living in New Zealand, and pay social security. So if you do not renounce your American citizenship, you are paying into two social welfare funds – USA and NZ. Despite only being able to ever draw from one fund, legally.

  90. wel fuk off to ur own country then pesant if the shit dont stink n ur bk yard then u shud ov stayed there kiwi’s would b glad that u dnt cm ova wer fkn laugh’n at the rest ov the world money what a joke when moneys not worth the paper its printed on what u or ur people gna do aye lol kiwi inginuity wil always find a way land and sea will always feed our kids for all genarations to come i hope u spread ur gospil coz we dnt want u…

  91. Folks tell me to “buck up” I am tired of hearing that, no one understands my homesickness or difficulties I am having.
    Crap on it all!

  92. I envy all you who are leaving. Man, I hate it. I am trapped, I have no money to leave because it is in joint account with husband and he WON’T leave, he is a born and bred Kiwi. I have been here a year and hate it more than ever. I never should have left my America, sure, they have problems, but I will take them all compared to here. I have never cried so much in my life. I want OUT!

    • The longer you stay the less likely it is he will want to go. And the less money will be available to pay for it. Can you not borrow some money from family/friends in the US and get a cheap ticket by yourself?

    • Dear Sad American – I don’t know how possible it is for you to either talk him into relocating or just make the hard decision to leave him if he will not?

      I have wasted 2 decades of my life trying to make life work here, trying to make friends, trying to see the best in people I have finally realized it’s just impossible to live any decent life here. The people are so maladjusted – poor health, binge drinking, hatred of anyone outside their own tight circle (hatred of outsiders is how NZers bond) the mental health of NZers is as bad as their physical health. The slap dash safety measures and random acts of violence are terrifying and are another barometer of a culture of “whatevs, man”.

      If you have to borrow and sleep in a friend’s spare room when you first get home. Just get out while you still have some of your life ahead of you – don’t invest all your time in trying to make the best out of a horrible, nasty, expensive and dangerous situation. Get out while you still can.

    • Ditch ‘your’ Kiwi if he cares about his national ego and geographic preferences, and not about your happiness. What use is it being married to someone like that? Can you get a loan from your relatives back home, and buy an air ticket? What is the status of your assets? Open your own bank account on the side and don’t tell him, if he is being controlling (I had this issue too – I was deliberately disempowered both as a migrant and spouse, and I felt like a slave with no right to my own preferences. Go to a women’s refuge, if he is controlling your life and not accepting your input as a partner. If you have an income, you need to be putting your work check into your own account without his name on it, if he will not allow you to have an opinion. It’ll be hard, and he will put enormous pressure on you, because he will view that money as “his”, and consider that he has some kind of god-given right to your assets and your work. Kiwi men are very concerned about wearing the pants, having the power. You need to get your life back for yourself.

      • Well, I am still here. I gave it a fair or more than fair, trial. I see there is a sale on airline fares going to the states on Air New Zealand. I am going to buy one and my dogs and I are outta here. I have tried looking for work, no one will even give me an interview. I am tired of high prices, lousy Internet and TV. I really don’t feel I ever was accepted by the husband’s friends, and when I did make friends, he resented it. It has not been easy. I have been here close to three years and I am still as homesick as ever. Unfortunately, I can’t leave until October 5, that is when the lower fares start, but, I can wait. “Did it and left” you were right about him thinking ALL money is his. I have to fib and say I don’t have any, if he knew I had some, he would say it was his as well.

        I will sure be glad to leave and return to my country, it may be beautiful in parts of NZ, but beauty is not everything.

        Take care all. I hope everyone that wants out of here will be able to leave soon.

  93. There is truth here. We moved here from Canada 11 months ago and the NZ illusion bubble is solidly ‘popped’ now. Sub-human housing, crooked business practices, unhealthy people, poor nutrition, white-trash attitudes, limited opportunities, nonexistent service, the entire working population is 40-60 yrs old (where are your youth?) and the news is ‘routine’ violence against children.

    This place has NO BUSINESS holding the international reputation it currently enjoys. Kiwis from any cultural background are bigots and have no listening skills. The bottom country on the planet deserves its status on the bottom…there are so many reasons NZ sucks. DON’T MOVE HERE unless you are forced to and then as soon as you possibly can GET OUT!
    Uganda was better than this place…And for any ‘native’ kiwis reading this, spare me your ‘if you don’t like it you can go’ routine. A culture is judged not by the way they treat insiders but how they regard and treat outsiders. Kiwi culture is poor, money-grubbing and crude. Can’t wait to ditch this bitchy island duet in the south.

    • As an ex-pat New Zealander in Australia I recommend you investigate Oz as an option. You will find the culture is a lot more like what you are used to – civilised, positive.
      A lot of New Zealanders have no objectivity about their own culture despite the negative aspects of it being plain to see. The whole “harden up” thing is sickening. As if that is all that is required to overcome the violence, bullying, anti-intellectualism etc.

    • Thank you for your comments. Would you like to write a Migrant Tale for us? If so just leave it in the comments section along with instructions for how you’d like it presented. Many thanks.

    • dr babydoll :
      There is truth here. We moved here from Canada 11 months ago and the NZ illusion bubble is solidly ‘popped’ now. Sub-human housing, crooked business practices, unhealthy people, poor nutrition, white-trash attitudes, limited opportunities, nonexistent service, the entire working population is 40-60 yrs old (where are your youth?) and the news is ‘routine’ violence against children.
      This place has NO BUSINESS holding the international reputation it currently enjoys. Kiwis from any cultural background are bigots and have no listening skills. The bottom country on the planet deserves its status on the bottom…there are so many reasons NZ sucks. DON’T MOVE HERE unless you are forced to and then as soon as you possibly can GET OUT!
      Uganda was better than this place…And for any ‘native’ kiwis reading this, spare me your ‘if you don’t like it you can go’ routine. A culture is judged not by the way they treat insiders but how they regard and treat outsiders. Kiwi culture is poor, money-grubbing and crude. Can’t wait to ditch this bitchy island duet in the south.

      Wow, you nail it… I’m Canadian and I’ve been here 20 years (huge mistake) with my Kiwi husband (who is also hates it here) and we’ve been financially trapped for some time. You express yourself much more, um, forcefully than I ever have, but you say what I thought all along. I wasted so much time thinking I could make some kind of life here and trying to see the best in people and situations around me… which made me an easy mark for the crooks and creeps here. We’re out of here next year, and not planning to come back.

  94. You ALWAYS feel massively ripped off in nz, eg I bought some hair product from a hair salon that cost $38 nzd, when I looked on the uk website the same product was $8nzd, when I asked the salon why the big difference they said it was the shipping costs. Oh really – $30 per bottle? Because you have no choice here they can happily charge 5 x the cost what the uk charge. Just one example in many examples.
    And the propaganda is incredible in nz. All these articles about how nz is better in x y and z which, if you’ve travelled you know is BULL. the weather reporters are reluctant to declare there is going to be a massive draught this year and so still say “possible showers” in the forecast instead of the truth, or the cost of living – the fact that we are the worst country for housing affordability in the western world, 2nd only to Greece (what the?) barely even made the newspapers – instead its all portrayed as rosy rosy rosy, just say a news story about a car accident in the north instead….there is so much propaganda now – just read NZ herald and spot all the “nz is a great place, says overseas chef and why Auckland is so great” was a major headline in the NZ Herald today…. unbeliveable. I’m not saying that we should always only hear horrible bad news, good news stories are a welcome idea – but propaganda and exaggeration are not good news stories. Do you agree?

    • Absolutely, have a read of our welcome page and you’ll see that the propaganda culture in New Zealand has been ingrained since the country was first colonised by the British.

  95. This blog makes me laugh. There is so much racism going on, so much negativity, people criticising other people dental work for goodness sake! When on earth did it become your prerogative to judge others dental care!
    NZ is an Island community, which is very isolated from the rest of world, making travel for us expensive and time-consuming, not to mention the cost of living being higher as the distance and cost of getting goods to NZ is very great, those are just logistics. With a population of around 4.5 million people there are people from all walks of life. Just like any race. But we are a small isolated nation.
    Sure, material goods (I noticed cosmetics especially when I was living in the US are a lot cheaper) are a lot more expensive than North America, but we are a country that loves to try to support small independent businesses. My friends and I would never dream of going to a large chain e.g Starbucks for a coffee, like so many Americans love to do, and be seen doing, but we support the family run business. NZ is a cafe community, UK a pub lifestyle and the USA a chain-store community.

    People are complaining about the weather – perhaps do a little research before you arrive. It is not prefect – it rains, what a shock!
    I am living in England, the weather is pretty bad here, but I love this place.
    Try changing your attitude since you can’t the weather!

    So many of my friends are so well travelled and educated. Kiwis are one of the most travelled nations (so I read in an English newspaper) and I have travelled more than most Brits I have met, whom have Europe on their doorstep. I love meeting travellers and I cannot wait to show the friends I have met on my journey, my amazing country when they come to visit.
    I am 27, own my own house, am currently travelling Europe living in England, through money I saved myself, no one gave me anything. I do not know how you people can not manage to get ahead in NZ, perhaps that is saying something about your lack of financial management.
    I am travelling the world while I’m young, getting out there to see new things expand my mind and then move home when I am ready to settle down to have a family, in what I think is the best place to raise a family. We have such an amazing lifestyle.

    New Zealanders are flawed, just like any race. My circle of Kiwis are hard working, intelligent, fun, kind and open minded people who don’t take themselves too seriously.

    You are the company you keep, no? Maybe a take a look at yourself?

    Isn’t anything what you make of it? Don’t you only get back what you put in?
    Try opening your minds and see what NZ gives back to you.

    • Your comments and low level of thinking make me laugh. First, this blog is not racist. The blog is simply providing an accurate depiction of life in New Zealand for prospective migrants based on the firsthand experience from people that have lived in New Zealand. New Zealand markets itself as utopia, so it is only fair that blogs like this exist to present the unvarnished truth about New Zealand reality.

      “Judge[ing]”, as you put it, is simply stating the reality. For some inexplicable reason, many Kiwis have a problem when people speak their minds frankly. I have the right to free speech and to my opinions. New Zealand’s stultifying environment prevents people from discussing problems openly and honestly is a major reason why New Zealand is so chronically backward and behind the rest of the world.

      Lastly, the main reason New Zealand is so expensive is because New Zealand has such low productivity and Kiwi workers are generally inefficient and lazy. My wife, who was born and who grew up in New Zealand, just started working in Switzerland on triple her New Zealand salary. She notes that people actually do work and that she has not experienced the same pointless meetings and time wasting as she did in Wellington. The idea that Kiwis patronise small businesses is laughable as well. McDonalds was always full in New Zealand and they have sprung up everywhere. The “cafe community” of New Zealand is of very poor quality. I pay slightly more for a coffee in Zurich than I did in Wellington, but people in Zurich earn more than double what New Zealanders earn with very low taxes. The standard of service is excellent, the cup is not cheap, and the building is warm with central heating. I get the same coffee with the same experience for half the price of New Zealand over in Germany and Austria. Your “well travelled and educated” Kiwis would never make the cut in a place like Switzerland that has actual standards.

      • “Your “well travelled and educated” Kiwis would never make the cut in a place like Switzerland that has actual standards.”

        That’s so funny because I have to tell you that I am one of those “well travelled and educated Kiwis” living in London that you believe would “never make the cut in Switzerland”.

        Perhaps you shouldn’t make judgements about a large group of people you know nothing about. To be honest, you sound a bit too conceited for my liking. You got a job in Switzerland, big deal mate. Maybe you have a chip on your shoulder and deep down you are bitter that you couldn’t make the cut in New Zealand.

        Personally I have never had the urge to work in Switzerland. It’s a very nice country to visit, but personally I would never want to live in a country where flushing the toilet at night (let alone having a late night party) is considered antisocial behaviour.

        • Thank you for illustrating my point and showing us your poor reading comprehension skills, no doubt the product of your third rate New Zealand education. My wife is the one that has found a job in Switzerland. I never mentioned anything about me.

          I was merely pointing out what it is like to visit a restaurant in Switzerland, Germany, Austria, and New Zealand to illustrate what a rip off New Zealand is in terms of quality and price.

          You show your class and sophistication when you reproach the Swiss for not tolerating late night parties. Why should people have their sleep interrupted by a bunch of drunk bogans making noise? Switzerland is arguably one of the best countries in the world precisely because it sets high standards.

          I did better in New Zealand than most Kiwis, but I never found a suitable business opportunity and I was fed up dealing with the incestuous network of bumpkins at New Zealand companies/government agencies. To insinuate that New Zealand is a higher cut than Switzerland is the epitome of madness. I also had my poor Kiwi/Swiss wife endure the cold in a crappy Kiwi house and I vowed never again to see her suffer. We just had some snow in Switzerland, which we enjoyed, but it was comforting returning to a warm house at night, something that was impossible to do in New Zealand. No matter how much I wanted to pay, it was almost impossible to find a house with central heating and built to a standard.

          • “Thank you for illustrating my point and showing us your poor reading comprehension skills, no doubt the product of your third rate New Zealand education. My wife is the one that has found a job in Switzerland. I never mentioned anything about me.”

            That’s even worse than I thought. You admit yourself that you can’t find a job in Switzerland. You weren’t successful in New Zealand and you can’t succeed in Switzerland either.

            I know you said your wife is the one who found a job in Switzerland. But I was giving you the benefit of the doubt that you had too, can’t see what that has to do with my education.

            “I did better in New Zealand than most Kiwis”

            Please quantify that statement. Do you mean you did better in New Zealand than the 51st percentile of the population? You set high standards for yourself don’t you. I would hardly call a job in the public service a high flying career, let alone one without any management or supervisory responsibilities.

            “You show your class and sophistication when you reproach the Swiss for not tolerating late night parties”

            I have nothing against the Swiss, actually I have great respect for them and overall it’s a very nice country to visit. But that doesn’t mean that Switzerland is high on my list of places I would like to live, that’s just my personal preference. I’m not someone who frequently attends late night parties, but I do enjoy the odd glass of wine or beer in the evening with friends. But even that is probably a bit too wild by Swiss standards.

            • I have been in Switzerland for thirty days and my residence permit arrived about a week ago, so I reject the insinuation that I am somehow incapable of finding work. The headhunters that I have spoken to all assure me that I will find something very easily at the start of the year when companies resume large scale recruiting, so I am not too concerned. My wife is Swiss, so she was legally able to work here from the day we arrived. She had a job offer paying triple what she earned in New Zealand within her first week and the job entails a great deal more responsibility.

              As for New Zealand, I found the professional prospects disappointing. Before coming to New Zealand, I owned a successful small business in the United States and prior to that, I worked in investments at a Fortune 500 company after I finished university. I earned somewhat above the median wage in New Zealand from my New Zealand job, but not a great deal more despite having superior credentials and aptitude compared to the people I worked for. I also had some investment income that helped, but I would not count this in the above calculation. The amount of money I earned in New Zealand from my job was about the same as I would earn in my business in the US in about four months, so yes the professional prospects were disappointing.

              My intention in New Zealand was just to work until I found a business to buy, but nothing I found made any financial or commercial sense. I spent almost three years looking for something suitable, but most businesses for sale are overpriced, scams, or I did not have the relevant expertise to make that business a success. Look under the Migrant Tale goodbye New Zealand for my story.

              I am now 30 and I know that I can do much better for myself in Switzerland. The people that succeed in New Zealand are those that know how to work the system rather than those with brains, skills, or drive. Many Kiwis go abroad precisely because it is exceedingly difficult to get ahead in New Zealand. The ones that are honest enough to admit it I get on with, but the ones too dishonest to identity and/or state the truth I do not have time for.

        • So why did you leave NZ Al…couldn’t make the cut perhaps?

          Tell us why you chose to stay in London when you have the world at your feet. Switzerland sounds a cool place but not so good if your only language is English.

          Much kudos to Safefrom for landing a plum job in a first rate country, goes to show there is life beyond NZ. Apparently the reason why Switzerland is the best country to live in is because it invests in its people:it’s premier resource. something you may like to bear in mind when paying off that NZ student loan.

    • There is so much NZ b.s. in that post. It becomes our prerogative to point out the downside of NZ when a country controls its press and advertises itself to the extent that you think it is a more First World country than it actually is and migrate there thinking that you will have a decent living standard (and no, I don’t mean buying useless things. I mean heat, food, housing). It was almost 40% more expensive than where I am from (and where did I read that? nowhere, or I wouldn’t have moved). I couldn’t afford to drink coffee “out” at all while living there, chain or not (and I don’t go to chains in the US either, you’re stereotyping another people just like you think we are doing here on this website. Plenty of mom and pop diners to go to in the States, they are all over the place where I live). The Kiwis simply do not see themselves as others see them because they don’t have the requisite level of self-awareness. They have nothing to compare themselves to because they are in this isolated little bubble. No mirror for their cultural traits, and when they go abroad (as so many do) to make a bit of money to buy their NZ houses with, or borrow from one of their ubiquitous “family trust funds”, they don’t consider what it’s like for a foreigner to move there expecting standard First World conditions (which are lacking in NZ) and then be sucked dry by a nation of oblivious jingoistic vampires.

  96. How much monthly income do you need to raise a family (1 child, primary school) comfortably in Auckland? I am exploring options to migrate and will like to compare NZ with other countries… I have read comments like NZ is good for those who have money….how much in disposable income are we talking about?

  97. As a New Zealander, it rather saddens me to see some of the comments on here. Culture shock is a well-known phenomenon and perhaps some of the experiences related are attributable to an assumption that just because New Zealand is an English-speaking country, it must share similarities in culture. As others have commented, thorough research along with a trial period might have been prudent given the enormity of the decision to migrate.

    However, I want you all to consider something. The majority of you can emigrate to a number of countries in the world and become residents. Most New Zealanders cannot. Unless one has ancestry no further back than a grandparent or meets strict criteria including age, many doors are closed to New Zealanders. You have priviliege and with privilege comes choice. However, that also includes a responsibility to choose wisely and to use your intelligence by doing research and trialiing; as I have already mentioned. Rather than place ALL the culpability upon New Zealand and New Zealanders, consider your own part as well.

    Not all New Zealanders are ‘anti-intellectual’ but there are some myths that are perpetuated in the media and by those who have not seen past the myths of elevating sporting achievements over others, of No.8 wire (making do with little), and of New Zealand punching above its weight on the international arena. Myths are hard to shake in any society – witness the American myth of being a champion of free market policies whilst having a heavily protected economy. My point is, no society is immune to fault and no society is a utopia.

    However, in this world of globalisation and free markets (with some nations excepted), there is competition for migrants as one way of addressing the ageing population amongst western societies. As such, New Zealand has little choice but to attempt to compete – ie; advertise. Just like many other countries seeking to attract migrants. Naturally, spin doctors always put the best possible face upon things – wherever they are! Again, I come back to the responsibility of migrants to do good research.

    I would also like you all to consider your own attitudes towards migrants in your own countries. Have you ever been guilty of some of the behaviour you accuse New Zealanders of? I’m certain many of you probably have been. It is no fabrication that there are tensions towards sectors of immigrants in the UK and in the USA. Those immigrants may well have a few things to say about your native countries which are pretty similar to the comments I have seen on here! Whilst not denying there are aspects of life in New Zealand that are less than ideal, I would also never generalise any perceptions upon an entire country, nor would I go to lengths to decry a country to others as this site does.

  98. I’m glad i have found this website! I have just spent working one year in NZ and I have never felt so lonely in my life. Kiwis seem to have no personality, they all behave nicely but i never knew to whom i was really talking to. It is true, they don’t have an individual identity.
    And yes, they are racist, but they would never admit it to you. They all say that they are open minded and honest but in my eyes they are all fake and hypocrite.
    It is a very beautiful country and for travelling it is great but that’s it. Please think about it ten times before deciding to move to NZ, the risk of developing a depression is quite high.

  99. I have seen people say the Japanese are worse,but what about the NZ’ers,I have despised the country after living in it for 19 years and recently in my travels,the Japanese have a better attitude than the NZ people as well

  100. I am looking for a way to get out of NZ and move to Japan and I have already registered for IT courses at WELTEC my asthma is at worst during summer

    • I am a former immigrant to New Zealand who thought I had developed asthma myself, attributing it to strange pollen in some areas, but I figured out later that it was anxiety attacks due to certain situations I kept being placed in, that I had no control over. I needed to not be placed in those situations. They were bleeding my resources dry, threatening me, bullying me, trying to coerce me into doing things they wanted without giving anything in return. I was being cattle prodded down a one way street where the only ones benefiting were themselves. I had unwittingly stepped into a legal trap, moreover. They knew their own laws and I did not. When I removed myself as much as I could from contact with Kiwis, severing these exploitative and manipulative relationships, and sucking up the consequences, even though my material circumstances took a deep dive, the attacks stopped because I was not being personally pressured anymore. I moved out of the country as soon as I could, but I would like for readers of this blog to know that it’s not always easy to leave right away.

  101. Why thank you Ian, good to know that our blog is so widely read, you wouldn’t believe some of the comments we get about it from small minded people with no perspective on life.

  102. Unfortunately, the above section about anti-intellectualism is nowhere to be seen on that wikipedia page now. Another act by “sellers” of brand en zed. Its Exactly what the above article “Do not move to New Zealand” is all about. Thankfully, this site is not something like wikipedia that “anyone can edit”, otherwise it would have been wiped out completely by the orders of immigration en zed!

  103. I strongly advise people who want to immigrate to New Zealand not to look at Internet publicity. People are rude and far from being friendly. When it rains you know!!! Doesn’t stop for hours. Nz is not a welcoming country for tourists. People are grabber. Cost of living is so high which you won’t be able to save a penny. If you think of moving here DON’T. Big fat mistake!!!!

  104. I was born in NZ and have lived here most of my life. I totally agree with many of the comments on here and am glad that someone finally has got the balls to be honest about NZ. I live in Auckland but have lived in Queenstown, Hamilton, Gisborne and Paihia. However, to be honest I do not want to go back to living in any of those places. Queenstown was probably the best place to live in regards to friendly people but the majority of them are foreign!!! And you need to have a TON of money or rich parents to live off…..Gisborne was probably the cheapest because there is nothing to do!! Yes, there are lovely, empty beaches but all you can do is stand on the sand and marvel at the scenery and pretend you are in ‘The Piano’ because the surf is way too rough to swim in. I have become very jaded about this country and have not even had the bad experiences that a lot of people have had that have posted on this site. I lived in London for a year, there were a lot of my kiwi mates over there too. It used to royally piss me off whenever we went out to a pub because all they would do is talk to the HUGE amount of fellow Kiwis/ Aussies that were there. And we would only ever go to the Walkabout (Aussie pub) or The Redback (another Aussie pub) Why do you go to the UK only to go to Aussie pubs and only stay in London and travel to Europe??? Because the money is way better, and you can bring it back to NZ to buy a house. There is no way in hell that you can afford a house if you stay in NZ. FACT. Ha, all the Kiwis do is live in London for as long as possible to make money that they can’t make here. They use the fact that their parents were born in the UK to stay as long as they can….typical user Kiwi attitude. The majority of my friends do not live in NZ anymore because THERE IS NO MONEY HERE. I could go on about this shitty little hellhole full of arrogant, racist rugby head munters for days….Aussie, Europe, China here I come….GET ME OUTTA HERE!!!!

  105. Few of you really made me laugh. I mean seriously, talking like that of New Zealand being based on the weather being worst than California, weren’t you supposed to check the weather before you move to another country? Or the life style? Wages? Prices? History?? I’m thinking of the first article, ” I am not rich, boaty and do not fetishize nature.” well dude, if you knew that it was like that, why did you move?
    Don’t get me wrong, there is bad things going on in New Zealand, like the GCSB bill for example, but saying that a country sucks because it rains and it’s cold and there no central heating blablabla is really unfair… Kiwis are the most simple and adorable people I’ve ever met, yes there are simple, maybe not so much educated but they have a heart, they are not complaining about selling a Lexus to go to another country and being disappointed (these people weren’t ready for moving overseas). Kiwis are true and simple, they are not fake, not saying that all of you guys are fake but today we are worried about not saving thousands per year, about loosing our super cars or our little comfort, be happy with what you have. Man, there are many people who doesn’t even have water to drink. If you are too scared of loosing your comfort, do not move overseas. There are some really interesting comments and stories that worth to be followed with people who are really in bad situations, but this is not necessarily due to New Zealand or it’s people, this is just life.
    Another thing: ” New Zealand is a struggle of a place to get by in”? Which country isn’t?? This is pretty normal that immigration doesn’t want any body to come in, otherwise they would end up like France. ”Kiwis really do not want migrants taking their jobs. They do like migrants spending money in the economy, however.” once again: who does not?? All countries are like that! It’s not only New Zealand.
    I’m student in New Zealand right now, working part time and my parents aren’t wealthy, I won’t say it is easy but it is feasible! Why? How? Because I was ready for it, I went on the Internet and made my researches on the country to know if I was able to do it.
    Before moving to another country you have to get information on the country you’re moving in and not looking for the best restaurants in town, it’s basic! And you find that anywhere on the Internet. Budgeting as well! If you think that the life level is not what you expected, then don’t go. You don’t move to another country because a friend told you to. AND the most important thing, you have to be ready to left what you have behind you, and I’m not only talking about the family, I’m talking about life style, house, weather, wages… everything has to be taken into account. Once you integrate that, then you are ready to move.
    I think that almost everyone experience a big change when they arrived, which is quite normal, and the reason why is because you weren’t ready for these changes and it was a mistake which is ok, I don’t blame anyone for that, you didn’t do anything wrong, just don’t blame the country for this mistake.
    To all the people who are in a really bad situation, I hope it will get better for you.

    • Read this. The people on here and on that site are saying that New Zealand’s reality was not evident before visiting and (then) going to live there. At the same time, New Zealand publcised itself as being something it wasn’t. When many of these people moved to New Zealand, authentic “intelligence” about the actual conditions of life there could not be found. I myself was certainly not rich before moving there, was not consumerist, and lived a frugal lifestyle. New Zealand is this – lower-middle-class British people and Polynesians transplanted to a chunk of rural Eastern Europe in the middle of the ocean, with South Pacific flora, Scottish weather. too many drugs, and an enormous chip on the shoulder. I have lived in France, and I can say with fervor that I much preferred it to New Zealand. This site and the one mentioned above would not have been set up for a place like France, because its downsides are more well known. New Zealand’s were not. Now that the information is out there on the web, it is hoped that people have a resource available to consult before they move. When many of the complainants moved to New Zealand in the late 1990s and early-to-mid-2000s, honest and realistic information was not there, and their shock was a rude one.

    • Frenchie, you can do weather research on the Internet. You might run into some rain on a recon to New Zealand. Easy enough to find out about the weather. But before 5-7 years ago, the fact that the weather actually comes INDOORS in New Zealand was not well known. Coming from a country with tighter building standards to a country of overpriced mouldy shacks was a shocker for many of us. Kiwis had no idea that their indoors could be more comfortable, and their children healthier. If you bill yourselves as First World but in truth, you’re Second World on a good day, a First World family might not want to move there. We thought the standards would be the same, at the very least, because this island nation likes to classify itself with countries like the UK, Canada, and so on. It is not in the same quality of life category at all.

  106. I’m living- scrub that- surviving in NZ….
    Been here since I was 4yrs old, travelled to Europe in my late teens, lived and worked in Europe until my late 20’s, came home for a visit, met my soul mate- we travelled to UK in 1999 for 2 years, came home and been here since- we just spent 6 weeks travelling around France and we are both now wanting to pack up and leave for good. Its almost like every-time you get one step forward, some one with a set of rules and a clip board pegs you back two.
    Kiwi’s love nothing more to not just cut, but to rip the heads off anyone who outs their head up above the level of anyone else.
    Sure there’s some good aspects, but the whole wonderful, clean green 100% pure thing is bull shit- speaking of which- this place is ruled by the needs of the producers of the bovine poo. If its not squeezed out of the cows tit its second class.

    I also enjoy cycling, which in NZ is an extreme sport or activity. Forget bungy jumping, if you want to do an activity that puts your life at risk, ride a bike on a public road in NZ. Ask any local cyclist how to commit the perfect murder in NZ and we will all tell you stick your target on a bike and hit them with a car- the law will pat you on the back!

    I want out!

  107. Luckily I found this page as I and my family just about move to nelson, nz in two months. We have to change our plan not to leave australia for New Zealand. I admit that these opinions are effect my second seriously thought over and over again. Perhaps New Zealand is just a very nice country for us to holiday from Australia, but not for living!

    Thank you so much for the article! It is helping lots of people who want to move to New Zealand to rethink again seriously.

  108. I think I might have been put off. We wanted to go into the prison service then head for OZ later. But all what you have wrote scares me what do do now??? Help!!!????

  109. As much as reading these comments upset me, I agree with a lot of them. I have lived in NZ my whole life and have always wanted something MORE. I never really got why anyone moved here, I find NZ absolutely boring and downright expensive. It’s very, very hard to get a job here and unless you work for a large franchise, you’ll get crappy pay. Our education system is a far cry from the UK, and I’m only planning on staying here for university – which I must add is a treat for NZers. It’s very rare in some places in NZ to be able to go to Uni. As for dentistry, I have no idea who you have been hanging out with but all of my friends have lovely teeth. But, my parents forked out 6k for me to have braces, which you can get for free some places. All my childhood I have wanted to leave this place, even living in our biggest city (Auckland), I feel claustrophobic and I can’t wait to move to the UK.

    • What are you basing your comparison of schooling from the UK to NZ? I am a nanny here in London and have friends here who are teachers from NZ, and they cannot believe the schools here. Private Chelsea schools where the children do their sports lessons in a church across the road is no way for a child to be raised or have their sports lesson. The boys have exams at age 7!!! the amount of pressure and homework they get is shocking and they have very little time in their day to play and behave like children should, just being silly sometimes.
      Yes being in the UK is an amazing experience, I do love it here, but once you move away and see other places, it’s easy to see why people love NZ. We have an amazing relaxed lifestyle that here in London we just do not have. Sure there is a lot more going on in London, but it can also be a big lonely city that eats you up and spits you out.

      • Oh for heavens sakes you’re judging the whole of Britain solely on the basis of Chelsea! One city in a modern progressive country and you compare it to the whole of New Zealand? Do you realise how parochial you sound? Get out and see something of the country before your visa runs out, open your mind a little,stop hanging out with your self reinforcing Kiwi mates and perhaps you’ll come to realise NZ isn’t all its cracked up to be. Bet you can’t wait to get back, we shan’t be sorry to lose you either.

        • Frankly, Emma, I wish all these Kiwis abroad would simply return to their beloved white cloudland and “enjoy” surviving in New Zealand the rest of their lives if they think it’s so great there. Catch them at the airports and send them right back to deal with their own poverty, drug abuse, rape culture and obscene cost of living. Force them not to bugger off right out of Uni and stick around there, try to find jobs.

  110. E2NZ :
    Moving from New Zealand to Perth with its large Kiwi expat community is hardly “exploring the world” more like moving from the village to the city. You didn’t even have to apply for a visa to get there, just packed your bags and walked right on in. Your opinions would carry more credence if you made the investment of applying for permanent residency and took up Australian citizenship. Then you could start contributing to your adopted country in a more meaningful way. Voting in the forthcoming election, or jury service perhaps. Why don’t you make the same commitment to Australia that migrants to your homeland are making?

    I have applied and received my permanent residency – you really shouldn’t assume a person situation. My husband and I work full time, pay taxes, take part in our shires community events and our sons school events. We have made many new friends in Perth (regardless of nationality) and embraced it’s culture without handouts. I have the right to vote and apply for citizenship and for now consider Australia as my home. My family and I are also revisiting Europe this year to explore.

    • That’s absolute rubbish only Australian citizens have the right to vote in Australia. Perhaps the OP is getting mixed up with New Zealand where permanent residents CAN vote? I doubt that this person is authentic. She is obviously a troublesome troll with a personality problem. You can take the girl out of the village…….

      • Thank you but we are well aware of Smilez alot’s authenticity.

        Some of her contributions didn’t comply with our comments guidelines and weren’t published. She does appear to have a mighty chip on her shoulder about something. New Zealand, probably.

        On edit… Her posts (deleted) have since become abusive and confrontational. In accordance with our Comments guidelines her profile has been marked ” disruptor”. So, no Smilez alot – you do not have a “right” to speak on this forum.

        Please see our comments section for further guidance.

      • Troll – ouch. Sorry you are right, I can’t vote in NZ. I did have that mixed up with NZ policies. However I didn’t move to Perth to vote so didn’t include that as part of my research. Personality problem? I’m certainly not the one rubbishing other countries, calling people names or racists. My posts tell immigrants about my good experiences of NZ.

        • There’s a state election today in Australia. It is impossible that anyone would be unsure of their voting status on such a day. That is because if one is eligible it is illegal not to register and illegal not to vote.

          • Thank you Eno. Smilez was obviously a fake. It’s remarkable that anyone would want to disrupt or troll this site, we must be perceived as having too much influence: a threat.

            Remember people, when you’re advised to “do your research about New Zealand” it should include sites like If people attempt to thwart you in that endeavor it speaks volumes about how they want the country to be portrayed. You have to question why this happens, why is there a need to put a positive spin on the place all the time? After all it is just a country like any another, not a cult.

  111. The information available about New Zealand, and which you learn in a short visit and from talking to people, as this poster said (see url below), does not tell you enough about the experience of living there. I certainly hope that this forum and E2NZ and undeleted posts on less “free” forums, are giving people a better idea of what New Zealand is like. In the late 90s and early 2000s, the gritty details about real everyday life in New Zealand were not really out there for people to learn. They know more now, as a result of some exposure and consciousness-raising, and migrants have less of an excuse for making a bad choice. Which, unless you come from a very poor developing nation and will take even a taxi-driving job to get by, or are rich and want a place to berth your yacht, is a bad place to migrate to. Such lying-ass hype about the lifestyle, give me a break. We lived there for some years and were glad to leave.

    • From the majority of comments I read I’m unclear of what immigrants expectations were of NZ are before they have made their choice to move to NZ (apart from a couple that have said for marriage). The handful that didn’t make the right choice in their move don’t tell their full story about why they left their home country in the first place. ‘The misery is over’, I’m glad it’s over for you and I’m sure NZ is glad to see you leave. Sorry that a safe, balanced lifestyle isn’t for you.

  112. dagonswift :
    You behave like you have been cheated. Like you ordered a mail order bride that turned out to be different from the website. You are an adult. You are responsible for your own decisions. New Zealanders never asked you to move here. We literally don’t care

    Yes you did ask us to move here, your immigration minister wants thousands more of us to help with your rebuild “There is no doubt in my mind that the rebuild is going to require a significant number of migrant labour”

    He also admits to migrant exploitation “Any exploitation of migrant workers is completely unacceptable. The Government has been clear from the outset that more needs to be done to stamp out this abhorrent practice. I’m optimistic that the changes we made in June to encourage victims of exploitation to come forward will pay dividends.

    We’re also planning to introduce an amendment to the Immigration Act in the next few weeks to make it a specific offence to exploit migrants who hold temporary work visas. The proposed penalty will reflect the seriousness of the offence – a jail sentence of up to seven years, a fine not exceeding $100,000. ”

    It’s obvious that Kiwis are hostile and predatory towards migrants, remember we are guests in your country and you treat us like dirt, thanks for that pal. Obviously we are all suckers for coming here and deserve to get crapped on. I for one cannot wait to get out, remember that next time you need a teacher for your kid, a builder to fix your EQ damage or a GP for your mom.

    • @Overpaid, some good points made there. There is obviously a disconnect between what the man in the street wants and what the NZ government wants and the messages it is sending out abroad (eg. Targeted advertising in Ireland, 100% pure etc.)

      The fact remains if New Zealand retained its own people and recompensed them appropriately for their skills it would not need migrant labour to make up the shortfall. If New Zealand is such a great place to live and work why didn’t the “we’re full” signs go up decades ago?

      Perhaps what migrants should be asking themselves is this: how come NZ doesn’t have anyone to do the work I’m applying for? Finding the answer to that beforehand may save them a lot of grief.

  113. The “who you know, not what you know” aspect of NZ employment is a huge obsticle to progress for NZ and for people coming to NZ. Village mentality is a defence mechinism. If you only hire people that do things the same way its’ been done or won’t say anything about how it is done elsewhere [either because they don’t know anything else, or won’t say anything so as not to be viewed as a “trouble maker”], then everything stays the same. Technical expertice is not as highly valued as “political correctness”.

    In the US, technical expertice is highly valued, and who you are or who you know is not as valued. Value is based on what you can produce, or merit.

    So, as a expat in NZ, you have a very hard time “breaking in” as you are an unknown and are suspect as to “how” you will react. In the US, how you react is way less important than how much you’ll produce.

    The media in NZ is limited in scope, not many outside NZ hear or see anything that comes from here. This is not the case with US media.
    NZ gets to see everything about the US, the US sees a very filtered view of NZ. The media internaly in NZ does a fairly good job of being objective.

      • I’ve observed that the problems given prominence are “foreign engineers educated overseas with limited English”.
        They don’t dare to speak about international students, educated in NZ, proficient in English, that cannot find a job in their field, no matter that it is present on the skills shortage list, and the person was educated locally (in courses where even the locals … failed to complete).

        That is a huge elephant in the room that they can’t excuse which stinks of racism and “squeezing” international students, that pay 4 – 5x the fees of domestic students.

        • P Ray, why did you choose to up root and move to another country to study? Was it possibly because the cost to study in your own country was even higher than studying in NZ or was it just that you wanted to pay higher study fees but live in NZ for some other reason you aren’t sharing in this forum? Now you have had completed your study and shared your hatred of NZ perhaps your own country can offer you the dream job you are looking for. NZ does not hide that fact that if someone comes to NZ under the skilled migrant list that NZ will still balance job vacancies or acceptance into the country based on the number of skilled NZers that can do the same job (whether they got an A+++ or a C – pass is a pass). I believe most countries follow that basic concept.

          • Was it possibly because the cost to study in your own country was even higher than studying in NZ or was it just that you wanted to pay higher study fees but live in NZ for some other reason you aren’t sharing in this forum? ?
            Glad you think I’m from a country where study in NZ is cheaper. The person with better English gets the kudos :)

            Now you have had completed your study and shared your hatred of NZ perhaps your own country can offer you the dream job you are looking for.
            Wrong. (Technical) Education in NZ is good. However, outside the university, there are people who do not want to see foreigners who honestly paid their way and worked through, succeed.
            Again, why no coverage of qualified-in-a-skills-shortage-area international students being jobless?

            Z does not hide that fact that if someone comes to NZ under the skilled migrant list that NZ will still balance job vacancies or acceptance into the country based on the number of skilled NZers that can do the same job (whether they got an A+++ or a C – pass is a pass). I believe most countries follow that basic concept.
            Sorry, I’m not a “skilled migrant”, I’m an international student that began and completed their qualifications in NZ.
            P.S. I did try to ask John Key about the Silver Fern migration policy, but the Student Union president at my university, refused to address or acknowledge me asking questions.

            • Ok so you have covered that the cost of study was less expensive in your own country (or have you?) Your comment didn’t actually clear that up. You have had a ‘whoop whoop’ moment about your perfection of the English language which in a forum where txt language comes into play really isn’t relevant to NZ living is it? You have admitted that NZ education is good. And that you didn’t come to NZ as a skilled migrant. So from your post, you are an immigrant, that came to NZ, chose to pay more for NZ schooling because as you admit the schooling is good – but still haven’t said why you chose to move to NZ, pay higher school fees then stay in NZ . If it isn’t working for you, go back home and get the job you chose to pay huge amounts to study for if it isn’t available in NZ. Or was part of your study plan moving straight into a NZ job after studying in NZ?

            • I’ve had no experience with NZ schooling. Only the university-level education, of which only 40,000 of the 4 million Kiwis have degrees. That’s 1%.
              Are you working with immigration NZ? Why your fantastic interest in the specifics of me personally?
              Because if you are, you’re not doing a good job of coming clean towards skilled immigrants, international students OR domestic students about job opportunities, salary scales, working hours or political representation.

          • You are referring to the Kiwis First policy? Lucky for you they don’t have an Aussies First policy in Perth isn’t it? Where would you be then? Stuck in NZ.

            • That’s right….isn’t this forum about NZ policies and enlightening immigrants – not about Aussies policies (however BTW OZ has a skilled migrants list too, if you aren’t on it, start looking at an expensive visa process or no perm residency). Anyway once again you have jumped to assumptions about my work capabilities or residency. I have worked and studied since leaving high school so no matter what job it was in, I took those skills to build up my CV until I was able to earn an average comfortable wage no matter what job I was in or where I chose to live. Stuck in NZ, hey I wouldn’t care if that was the case. It is a great place to live.

  114. Al :
    Any Engineer who comes to NZ and can’t find work mustn’t be very good at looking.

    Aren’t you the same guy who said people get jobs because of who they know not what they know ? Dude you sound like a bullshit artist go home.

    • Is this what you’re referring to?

      yes that’s right it’s all about who you know, it matters it really does. No matter how much you try and say it shouldn’t, it does. Networking is all about your ability to market your skills to perspective employers.

      What migrants have no appreciation of is that NZ is one big village, it is not a level playing field when it comes to appointing staff.

      What we’re hearing time and time again from our readers is that employers would rather hire someone they know with questionable skills rather than take a chance on a highly qualified stranger from overseas. Al’s post seems to confirm this, although he is hardly an expert on the NZ job market since he’s obviously working in London and his current knowledge in based on that of a small company in Hawke’s Bay. Hardly representative of the country as a whole. I’m sure he’d be the first to admit if the market in NZ was that lucrative he’d be working there himself. So yes, there does seem to be an element of BS here.

      Anyone thinking about seeking professional work in NZ may be well advised to search for Kiwis First Policy before committing themself to the country. Your career may thank you for it in later years.

      Posts about this policy may be found here and it goes some way to explaining why foreign companies are interested in small operators in NZ: that all essential foot in the door.

  115. @ Smilez alot. You need to get out of your comfort zone, Perth is hardly that different from life in New Zealand and you already had friends living there to ease your transition. Perhaps a stint in the US as an immigrant would broaden your mind somewhat, you may feel differently about a place if it wasn’t just a larger version of what you’re already used to.

    • Perhaps if I made a decision to emigrate to USA, I may one day apply. However based on my research, tales from friends, and media about the USA, it would’t even be a place I would consider taking a holiday in at this point in time or near future. My partner and I have plans this year to visit Europe and may consider an immigration if we find the right place. Coming from NZ to Perth was out of my families comfort zone. No other family members who we were used to seeing daily, no house, no job, a lot larger and very expensive – yip we had 2 friends that where able to put us up for 1.5wks then we had to find a place of our own in an expensive city with the lowest amount of rentals available of any city in Oz. Still here and happy so made it work eh. Moving to any country regardless of how far away it is,is out of anyone’s comfort zone. Sticking it out is the hard part.

      • What do our US readers feel about the comparison that has been drawn between their country and New Zealand? Which one do you think is more accurately depicted by its media and immigration industry, where would you prefer to live? No points for using “100% pure” “Godzone” or “middle earth” in your answers .

        • I think the dangers and hassles of the U.S. are very well publicized, and even exaggerated for a number of reasons, including the fact that the U.S. is “overexposed, in the spotlight” and has been for decades now. Everyone has seen the homeless tent cities and has heard healthcare expense scare stories, lurid crime headlines, military budget figures, been bombarded with Hollywood crap on their TVs all over the world. The big secret about America is that underneath all the awful press, America is a great place to live an everyday life. The big secret about New Zealand is that underneath all the beautiful scenery, Middle Earth movies and lifestyle hype, it is actually an unpleasant and difficult place to live a normal middle-class Western life. I lived almost 10 years in New Zealand, for some periods of time in other countries, and many years in America, and yes, I did my research before going to New Zealand. And yes, I had friends and relatives in New Zealand to ease our migration. I maintain that New Zealand is a struggle of a place to get by in, and Kiwis really do not want migrants taking their jobs. They do like migrants spending money in the economy, however.

          • Very true and I agree. It i very hard to get ahead here as an outsider and differenced in lifestyle, religion or culture are very hard for the average Kiwi to accept. Many people in NZ work positions that they are not even qualified to do and it is hard to understand why people are in high salary positions with no degrees or management skills…

      • The hard part is living in NZ, not sticking it out somewhere else.

        “New Zealand’s lifestyle and relatively clean environment have often tempered concerns about the brain drain. But while most expats agree their homeland is beautiful and safe, that isn’t nearly enough to lure them back.

        Peter Bryant, 54, arrived in the United States 16 years ago after a stint in Australia.

        Bryant shifted to Orange County, California, last week from Denver, Colorado. He started a strategy consulting business 10 years ago, and has founded two businesses from scratch.

        “We complain a lot here, about friction in the system and regulation. But the whole process is very easy – to create a business and shut down a business,” Bryant jokes.

        How likely is it he will return to live in New Zealand? “I never liked predicting the future, but right now it would be a really large zero,” he says. “My wife’s Australian and she feels the same about Australia.”

        Bryant says Antipodeans would be wrong to believe nowhere else could match their lifestyle. He says the US has a special dynamism, a sense of possibility hard to match.

        “The productivity gains in this country are rather stunning. There’s a reasonable level of regulation but it’s not overbearing.”

        “Return unlikely
        New Zealand sports hero Sir Peter Snell retired from his University of Texas job this week, but revealed he may never return home.

        Snell won three Olympic gold medals, including an 800m/1500m double in Tokyo in 1964 and was recognised as New Zealand’s athlete of the 20th Century. He has been based in the United States for more than 40 years and has been a professor at the university since 1981.

        He remained surprised by the reaction to his off-the-cuff comments at a function in Barcelona last year, when he compared his lack of opportunity after his sporting career to the fate of Russell Coutts. It prompted a strong NZ Herald editorial, which talked of Snell holding a “grudge”.

        “What I would say now is that back then I felt like I had a future-less existence in New Zealand. I thought I had the academic capacity but couldn’t see a way of propelling myself into a decent situation. I had the talent but I was defined by exams that I had done at 16 or 17.”
        Great to see so many Kiwis doing well overseas, so few of them ever want to return and why w
        Should they, what is there to come back to?

  116. Hiya! Stumbling across this website and seeing all the hateful comments about NZ and its people was devastating. My husband and I are Kiwis and lived there for 35yrs until deciding to move to Perth for a change – not to get away from NZ but just to explore and to be closer to our best friends who are ozzies. Growing up and living in NZ as a child and in adulthood was safe. We have close friends who are immigrants from numerous countries – we respected and enjoyed being part of the traditions our immigrant work colleagues/friends brought to our country within the workplace and outside the of work.
    We lived in Rotorua and Hamilton and whilst I admit as a young family (with 1 child), not coming from rich backgrounds we struggled at first. However we put in the hard yards, both worked full time in average jobs and came out on top. Managed to purchase our own home at GV rate with a low interest rate of 5.25% and owned a couple of high performance cars. NZ recognised a few years ago the importance of insulation, heating and preventing mildew infested houses and currently offers grants to help people fix these issues. Our son had excellent education in NZ with the teachers keeping us up to date regularly if he was experiencing issues or stepping out of line. From first hand experience when we moved to Perth it was like starting from scratch. We didn’t just walk into jobs, we went out and searched. We had to learn the differences between living in NZ and Oz and respected their way of living – taking the good and the bad. From sheer dedication we have got back on our feet after 2yrs. Our wages are the same as they were in NZ and we have found it is alot more expensive to live in Perth than it was in NZ but we made a decision to move here and we will make it work regardless of what curve balls life throws at us – We concentrate on what’s good about the move! We didn’t make our decision to move here based on what The Australian Government said or how they Portrayed Australia. Sorry to be rude but anyone that does that is idiotic! Yes NZ has earthquakes, -0 temps and droughts. Mother nature will do as she does in any country (USA, Japan, China, UK, Thailand I think you can all agree you have had your fair share!!). Research before you move to NZ – don’t base your move on what any govt department says, regardless of what country you are going to. NZ is laid back, people are friendly, inviting and willing to give you the shirt off their back. It has something for everyone, if you really want it. Kia kaha.

    • Be honest Smilez a lot, you didn’t have to go through the immigration process that most migrants to NZ get thrust upon them. You have two options open to you: make Australia work because you’re a Kiwi on a SCV and not entitled to unemployment benefit; or return to NZ. The Australian government didn’t have to attract you there because you’re practically in its backyard and have a passport that lets you come and go as you want.

      Take a look at the hard sell that is presented on the NZ immigration website and compare that to Australia’s information for prospective immigrants. Notice the difference? Then try to imagine how people who live thousands of miles away from New Zealand, with little or no first hand experience of the country, may form an impression of It. You have to ask yourself this: If New Zealand is such a great place why does it need to promote itself with such um….vigor? Why does it have such massive skills shortages and why are Kiwis like you REALLY leaving?

      • I fully agree E2NZ ! We got out of the hell hole after 5 years and again immigrated. Australia and its people are open, friendly , intelligent , broad and open minded, they have a great country, economy, and lifestyle, we feel welcome and for the first time in years it felt like home. The beaches and ski fields are far more beautiful than the country of unstable ground and sad to say, people.

      • Regarding skills shortages, I can only speak for engineering and can definitely say that there is a skills shortage.

        I have a family member with their own consultancy business (civil/structural) based in a small north island city. They would like to expand but are unable to as they can’t find anyone and all the best graduates get snapped up by the big companies. As far as earnings go, they are earning more than I do and I’m based in London (also an engineering consultant). They recently received and offer from a large Australian company to buy them out and make him head of their NZ operations.

        I’ll probably be accused of spreading propaganda, but I’m not trying to sell NZ to anyone and I do not work for NZ immigration.

        I’ll repeat again that I can only speak for engineering, I do not know about the other professions on the skills shortage list.

        Any Engineer who comes to NZ and can’t find work mustn’t be very good at looking.

        • Don’t you mean “goes to New Zealand”?

          Why would an Australian company want to come in and buy a company that can’t recruit staff and has a weak skills base, sounds like there’s a recruitment and retention problem there. Perhaps the situation isn’t as rosy as your relative makes out? Certainly not lucrative enough to tempt you (or any one else) away from London, or anywhere else for that matter.

          • “Why would an Australian company want to come in and buy a company that can’t recruit staff and has a weak skills base”

            It’s not the staff or skills base they are buying, rather the “good will” or brand of an established company with an existing client base and reputation and good will with those clients. That’s the value of any company, not the staff base. Staff can be recruited (in this case with the help of a larger company) and they can also leave at will.

            • In other words the Australian company is trying to get a slice of the Christchurch rebuild pie and a NZ letterhead on the cheap. They’ll keep the NZ staff to ensure authenticity and pay them lower NZ salary rates whilst hiving off the profits to its Australian HQ.

            • Do you understand the concept of branding? If an Australian company wants a slice of the Christchurch re-build pie they could easily come and set up their own office in NZ or bid for the projects from Australia.

              Why would they need pay someone else to do that?

              For most engineering companies, 99.99% of the value of the company is the good will and trust of their clients. The knowledge base of most engineering companies is not proprietary knowledge and is generally widely known in the industry, this is probably especially true for a civil/structural company. This is even true for most listed engineering companies, particularly if they are consultancy based and lack hard assets, as offices and hardware and equipment etc are usually rented and staff are actually liabilities as they have to be paid. Good will however can be worth millions or even billions in the case of the larger engineering companies in the world.

              If an Australian company wants to get a foot in NZ, they can either buy someone else’s company, an established brand with trusted clients, or they can go it alone. In the former case this means they would have to spend a lot of money on marketing etc, but it takes a lot of time, effort and money etc to build a solid client base and there is no guarantee they would be successful in beating off the local competition from NZ companies.

        • Any Engineer who comes to NZ and can’t find work mustn’t be very good at looking.
          What about the ones who graduate from your universities in, say, 2011, and are now on the benefit?
          ‘Cause I know one of them …

          • P Ray :
            Any Engineer who comes to NZ and can’t find work mustn’t be very good at looking.
            What about the ones who graduate from your universities in, say, 2011, and are now on the benefit?
            ‘Cause I know one of them …

            Why would an experienced skilled Engineer migrate to NZ to study? Pretty sure they would’ve been out looking for a job which they would’ve snapped up if living in Chch, especially after the EQ. However if they were an unskilled migrant that had moved to NZ to study with no experience, different story. P Ray you raise a subject that does grate against hard working NZers. A migrant claiming benefit even though they proclaimed to pay through the roof for study. And after 2yrs of graduation has ‘that person’ been on benefit for the full 2yrs or have they taken other work even though they feel they are over qualified. Or have they considered moving home.

            • You may have a comprehension problem.
              Someone who GRADUATES with an engineering qualification FROM an NZ university …
              IS NOT yet an “experienced skilled” Engineer, but is an Engineer nonetheless(and certainly WAY more qualified than a layman – what are your qualifications, by the way?).
              And a heckuva lot more qualified than Gerald Shirtcliff too …
              P Ray you raise a subject that does grate against hard working NZers. A migrant claiming benefit even though they proclaimed to pay through the roof for study.
              Here’s you being unclear on NZ’s policies: how can a migrant claim the benefit – unless they’re NOT, i.e. they are a permanent resident, or citizen.
              P.S. Can you tell me how migrants claim the benefit, it’s a tall tale if I ever heard one. And as usual, used to stoke hatred against migrants.
              Besides, the person I am talking about is a Kiwi!

    • Not really a fair comparison. “Perth is now Australia’s most expensive city and the eleventh priciest to live in worldwide, according a renowned online cost of living index.” So, of course, even NZ will seem like a better deal if just comparing the numbers.
      >>NZ recognised a few years ago the importance of insulation, heating and preventing mildew infested houses and currently offers grants to help people fix these issues.
      Right, just because Campbell Live does a show or two on a topic and the Dom Post features a couple stories, doesn’t mean that a realisation leads to any major change. Many houses with such problems are rental houses, and the ‘grants’ are not a sufficient inducement for rental property owners/managers to upgrade. The root problem isn’t the funding, it’s the kiwi attitude towards rental property; the poor quality of construction relative to the rest of the world; and the impotent tribunal and justice system in New Zealand that promotes gang justice and economics.
      Sorry that you feel offended by the negative comments on New Zealand, but NZ is a gang culture. If you are born into it (or marry into it successfully), you are accepted as a ‘patched’ member. Otherwise, you must always be wary.

      • Fair comparison? I think this is exactly a comparison that people need to see. We moved to a place that was more expensive to live in than NZ yet still able to live life within our means on the same wage and fit into to the culture regardless of it being more expensive. People are complaining about the move from where they are and NZ more expensive. Perhaps people are trying to live a similar lifestyle to where they are living now which probably isn’t possible ‘hence do research before moving’. LOL we actually brought our home in NZ, put in insulation, HRV and heat pump through our own pocket before renting it out. Not on the advice of “Campbell Live”. I have no idea what you are referring to as “patched member” but sounds like a racist remark to me, Go figure…

        • Exactly. Which is why you live in Australia like 20% of the New Zealand population. It’s amusing that you seem to be bragging about your limited income, as though lack of ambition or stinginess are something to be proud of. You seem to imply that New Zealand is some sort of thrift store paradise, when it actually offers little value for money. For the price of the mediocre house in Auckland, Wellington, and Christchurch, you could buy a really nice home in a world-class city. You boast about adding insulation and an HRV to your rental house as though that makes you special, when you are certainly the exception and not the rule.

          The criticism that many have about New Zealand is due to the endemic cultural delusion you display: that poor value for money is a virtue, while living a better life in Australia as a hypocrite. The complaints many have about NZ aren’t about living a life of luxury; rather, NZ’s fatal flaw is that it costs a luxury income to live a life a of poverty.

          • We chose to live in Australia because of friends and exploring. I have no idea why other kiwis move to Oz. We made the decision based on our own decision and research, not because of govt advertising or that we were unhappy. Bragging of income? Once again will repeat our income in Oz was the same in Nz and is considered as mid or average when compared with world statics. The income we earned in NZ was able to buy us the same lifestyle in a more expensive country. Our ambition and work ethics have remained the same (work 8-5 Mon to Fri, no sickies/excuses and move up the ladder where possible to live a comfortable lifestyle) We are not out to be millionaires if that’s what you consider as “ambition”. Limited income gets us where we want to be…a safe neighbour-hood, fine education for our son, a house, cars and holidays – if that’s considered as poverty then I have no idea why someone would give up the lifestyle you talk about to move to NZ? There was no boasting about putting in insulation – we saw a problem with the house we brought and fixed it before renting.. You are saying we are the exception to the rule. Perhaps your negative limited experiences of the kiwis you have met or what your read about are the exception to the rule. Sorry for your handful of sad experiences.

            • So you say. In the end, you live in Australia and that says it all, regardless of whatever reasons you tell yourself or others.

            • Yeah that speaks volumes. It’s like saying I love my wife but can’t bear to live with her. That’s why millions of kiwis are in *long distance* relationships.

            • I, like any person have the right to explore the world. Just because I have chosen after 35yrs of living in NZ to move to another country does not in any way say I couldn’t bear to live there and doesn’t mean I will never move back. And when you say millions of Kiwis (born and bred NZers) have “long distance relationships” you must be using the world millions very lightly – do your research before stating numbers. If you say millions of NZers live abroad that must mean by your calculations, the people who are living in NZ right now must consist mostly of immigrants.

            • Moving from New Zealand to Perth with its large Kiwi expat community is hardly “exploring the world” more like moving from the village to the city. You didn’t even have to apply for a visa to get there, just packed your bags and walked right on in. Your opinions would carry more credence if you made the investment of applying for permanent residency and took up Australian citizenship. Then you could start contributing to your adopted country in a more meaningful way. Voting in the forthcoming election, or jury service perhaps. Why don’t you make the same commitment to Australia that migrants to your homeland are making?

  117. I’m an New Zealander and I can only imagine how hard it would be coming from another country and way of living to somewhere completely new such as New Zealand. I agree that it is very expensive to live here and know through my European husband and his parents that it is a big cultural shock and very different from living in Europe. Yes there are some red necks here but tell me where there is not! There are some pretty awful and fantastic people I have come across in every country I’ve traveled to.

    My experience of growing up in NZ is this. I grew up in a small coastal town not far from Wellington. I didn’t have rich parents but then I never went without the essentials either. Everyday after school my friends and I would walk down to the river from a swim or bike to the beach which was a good 25 min bike ride. We did a lot of bush walks in summer and winter. Wellington was not to far off so as teenagers it was pretty easy to access the small but vibrant city. My parents had a large group of friends so we were always a very social family. We also had Grandparents close by. I do feel lucky to have this sort of upbringing. It was pretty idyllic now that I look back on it.

    To me the most important thing about where you live is having a network of people around you that you love and trust. Whether it’s family or friends. Just having people to share the good times with and to support you through the more difficult times is something I think everyone needs. Perhaps that is where some of the comments on this page stem from? People are missing the close relationships and support networks they had back home. If that is the case then I hope you can all make some close bonds and hopefully to some nice kiwi’s.

    For those of you living in Auckland head down to the capital. It’s smaller and much easier to get around as well as being beautiful with some pretty cool people. If you need to escape the city you can always drive an hour east to the Wairarapa which is a great wine region. Hope you all have some more positive experiences soon!

  118. Shame you couldn’t come up with any specific webcams “C”, we’ve yet to find any that give the type of detail you’ve described. Most of the better ones are off line due to faults or lack of funds. How peculiar you should be impressed about teeth and litter when most of the country is be-sett with earthquake worries. Perhaps your research isn’t quite as comprehensive as you believe?

    Synonym please don’t feel obliged to answer “C”‘s questions, if she’s able to Google as well as she claims she probably already thinks she knows the answers :)

  119. Synonym –

    Please assist –

    I’ve viewed NZ city webcams (streets are beautiful and clean), watched hours of 3news videos, listened to NZ radio, follow the current tunnel building drama, watch the crime rates/type of crime in the NZ Harold — I see no yellow teeth, no lack of humor, no beige colored personalities — I see an admirably rugged, reserved, and generally humble people. I see the same issues in NZ as in America, but on a smaller scale and made more pronounced, perhaps, due to the small population.

    Is the above the accurate picture of NZ, or not?

    I would not pretend to dismiss anyone’s experiences stated in this forum. Please, I don’t want to offend anyone. I’m just trying to get accurate balance in the whole picture of life in NZ and being with its people as an immigrant, with the help of everyone in this forum. So thank you all, again, for any input you’ve provided thus far.

    I’d treasure hearing it straight from the hip from you, Synonym, since you live there. I’m not moving for a ‘greener’ anything really, and not escaping “Obama”. I’m not moving to be rich, get a man, have nice things, climb a career ladder, or to have a nice house/car. I do, however, want to be comfortable if I move to NZ, welcomed as an American, and able to consistently save for when I’m older and putting my ‘yellow’ wooden teeth on my night table. I plan on visiting NZ soon, for the purpose of personal research into moving.

    Thank you very much in advance, Synonym. I look forward to your input.

    • Hey there Andrea (or is it C today?) please can you send us the links for those NZ City webcams, we’re putting together a page of them most of them are focused on major roads and the scenery but if there’s any that show teeth we’d be delighted to see them.

      NB…its the NZ Herald.

    • >>I’m not moving to be rich, get a man, have nice things, climb a career ladder, or to have a nice house/car.

      – get a man? If you can’t find a suitable mate in the US then you probably have issues that NZ can’t solve. NZ has disproportionately high rates of social problems (drugs, gangs, spouse abuse, child abuse, poverty, etc.). The current government has stopped collecting statistics on social issues and has been suppressing research to avoid bad publicity. Most men are of the rugby mentality and would prefer to spend time drinking or socialising with their mates, not you.
      – very few nice things available at a comparable price in NZ. Nice homes in the very few nice areas in NZ will cost 2-3x more than in a truly great city like SF. Nice cars will cost 2x as much, and they will be older models or designs. Electric cars? Not likely any time soon, so forget about a Tesla.
      – most career ‘ladders’ are short and slippery. There are very, very few large employers in NZ, so the path to wealth lies in real estate accumulation and exploitation, large dairy farming, or maybe milking government contracts. If you are coming to NZ as an immigrant, you can pretty much forget about all three of these paths to wealth, as you really don’t have a chance.

      You’ll do fine as an American if you immediately drink the cool-aide, start badmouthing the US, are willing to do anything to ingratiate yourself into social circles at the lowest end of the pond, and are happy to accept whatever the local social structure will allow you to have in terms of employment, housing or friends. That may suit your personality well. However, if you have some pride and are unwilling to let cultural or self delusion distort reality, then you should travel very light, spend as little as possible, keep a sizeable escape fund off limits, and review your decision in 3-5 years after you have really come to know the place.

  120. Christ on a bike i just stumbled across this web page and i have to say some of you have had it rough. I suppose something rather amusing to me is that your complaints are also the same kiwis have of their own country it’s just not openly discussed.

    Grass is Always greener on the other side i guess.

    From a kiwi with 26 teeth remaining.

  121. I wish more Americans who go to New Zealand realised what Kiwis become turned off by and why. They seem genuinely puzzled by reactions to certain behaviours and end up hanging out with one another, not mixing, from what I witnessed. I was often told “I did not realise you were from America, what a lovely quiet voice you have!” I did not know any Americans who walked around talking about their religion, that was one big WTF, except for the ones who immediately joined a Kiwi church, in which case they stayed in that circle and I never bumped into them. I was frequently mistaken for a Canadian after we’d been there for awhile. Once mentioning that I gave to a certain charity attracted a scathing comment about “what a Yank I was”, from an annoying Kiwi who had his own brand of rudeness he did not even consider as such. In making the comment, my intent was not to “brag” that I gave to a charity. It was part of a longer conversation in which I was pointing out in response to criticism that Americans “took from the world and didn’t give” that personal giving was something many normal Americans did. He then used my remark of patronising a charity as a platform to tell me how much more of a Yank I was for bragging! You can’t win. What an unpleasant place New Zealand was. I suggest that Lee write the “manners manual” for Americans visiting New Zealand. How nice for him to take this life opportunity to make a pile in Babylon and then leave for the One Pure Land with his bags of filthy lucre. Stress in this manual that rule number 1 is just “keep your mouth shut”. Don’t let them hear your accent and don’t talk about yourself at all. Any “I statement” will be regarded as bragging. Corollary, or rule number 2,. Keep your voice down and eliminate any regional dialect when you do talk. Google “accent rage”. Rule number 3. Keep your wallet open. In fact, rip holes in it so the money will flow out better. This will ensure they stay friendly towards you. Because that’s what you are there for – as a cash cow for Kiwis. Actually, better if you just stay in the U.S. and mail them money. Rule number 4. Bend over and just stay in that stance. It’s easier than leaning up and down, because after all, we’re lazy fat Yanks who don’t like exercise.

  122. Salary? Same as you’re earning now, why accept less. Good
    rule of thumb for making ends meet – buy your home outright. If you
    do have a mortgage keep it to no more than 2.5 times your salary.
    Be advised New Zealand has no capital gains tax, no stamp duty and
    little to deter speculative overseas investors from buying up
    property. Cashed up immigrants, Kiwis returning home and refugees
    from Christchurch have also fueled demand for housing that is
    deliberately kept in short supply. All of this has resulted in low
    quality expensive houses, usually on small sections.

    • We were a family of 5 grossing (not netting) 54K NZD, and found it impossible with a mortgage on a lower-priced property in a rural area. The problem is when your circumstances change (loss of job, downsizing, change in workflow, air ticket home to visit a sick relative, etc.) or an unexpected expense presents itself (need to buy a new car). You don’t have a buffer in that case. You are “just surviving”, down to the wire. I can’t recommend living there. On the other hand, having basic health care for cheap is good. The other expenses and troubles of living there more than make up for that benefit, however.

  123. Being New Zealand born, the son of immigrants, and a person who has recently returned from a decade overseas to live here, it strikes me that some of the people here had unrealistic expectations of New Zealand. While it is true that it is not the paradise for immigrants that it was in the early 1970s – when my parents moved here – it is still not a bad place to live depending on what you want out of life. If you like the outdoors, going to the beach and hiking, it’s great. Hardly anyone lives more than an hour away from the beach or a bunch of nature trails. If you want great museums, theatres or the beating heart of capitalism, you’re out of luck.

    If you want to make a lot of money, or are a career oriented and ambitious person, then move somewhere else because New Zealand is not for you. You just won’t get the opportunities in New Zealand that you would get in North America, Europe or even Australia. It strikes me as just odd that someone would think to come here if they wanted to make a fortune. In addition, those who come here to get away from Obama’s “socialism” in the US, should not even bother. (1) You obviously don’t know what socialism is; and (2) New Zealand is a social democracy, well to the left of Canada. New Zealand’s main conservative party (the National Party) is well to the left of the US Democrats, and the religious right have zero influence on politics, and to the extent that they exist in New Zealand, are generally reviled. The kind of conservatism that prevails in the US is widely despised in New Zealand, outside a few extremist cranks.

    Economically, it’s not that hard to get by here, although the job market has sucked for a while now because of the recession – perhaps a good reason to delay a move. The main problem is that house prices have massively inflated over the past 15 years, and it’s now quite difficult for young people to buy (something that was not true 30 years ago). Unless you already have at least a reasonable deposit, it’s probably not worth moving here. I’m not sure that anything can be done about it. If it’s any consolation, most young New Zealanders also hate the situation.

    However, many of the comments here seem to me to be complaints about cultural differences, especially from those people originating in North America (l’ve lived there myself, so I have some idea of what you mean). Truth is that you can’t expect New Zealanders to change their ways any more than I expected Canadians and Americans to change theirs when I lived overseas. It’s just a fact that what counts as normal behaviour in the USA (and to a lesser extent Canada) comes across to New Zealanders as patently obnoxious.

    The accepted levels of self-promotion, revelations of personal information, and public discussion of religious belief are much lower in New Zealand than they are in the US. For this reason, the average American sometimes comes off as a tactless, bigoted, braggart. Contrary to popular belief, New Zealanders do admire those who achieve (Sir Edmund Hillary being perhaps the most popular New Zealander in history). They just hate boasters and snobs. Conversely, topics like race and homosexuality, which I’ve found to be somewhat socially taboo in the US, are quite openly talked about here. There’s nothing that can be done about this – it’s just a cultural difference. If it’s any consolation, I found it pretty hard going when I moved to North America – open and frank discussion of homosexuality, for example, freaked many of my colleagues out.

    If you want to get along here, the best thing to do is to adopt a self-deprecating attitude, don’t tell people about your personal problems unless they are close friends, and do not witness your religion to other people. Above all, don’t give us lectures about how our country should be more like the US. All of this is guaranteed poison in New Zealand, and we aren’t going to change any more than other cultures are going to undertake radical change to suit immigrants.

    For what it’s worth, like the person above, I also miss Graham Crackers as well as Buffalo Wings, proper nachos, and edible bagels. But nowhere’s perfect.

    • You just won’t get the opportunities in New Zealand that you would get in North America, Europe or even Australia.

      Thank you for your honesty. Are you aware most of the people attracted to New Zealand are skilled migrants most of whom have made a living from making the most of opportunities? From that they have built up a degree of wealth which has made their emigration possible.

      You yourself worked abroad for 10 years, no doubt the wealth you accumulated overseas means you have a more comfortable lifestyle and the luxury of being able to enjoy the great outdoors as much as you do.

      When you have a spare 30 minutes or so take a look at the employment section of the “New Zealand Now” website and try to find the paragraph which tells people their opportunities in New Zealand are limited.

      What a shame your government can’t be as honest and upfront as you. Maybe if it did some expectation management there would not be so many migrants feeling conned. There would be fewer feeling perplexed at the glass ceiling that “no New Zealand experience” places above them and wondering where all the jobs are. When it does sites like this one will call it a day and a job well done.

  124. New Zealand like many countries with massive immigration are suffering from brain-dead immigration policies and very incompetent governments , with little real accountability to citizens . It is very striking as well that integration is very low ,infrastructure is bad to inexistant , taxes are high , and productivity has not improved in decades .
    As with other countries the blame can be laid fairly and squarely on bad government and civil service , who are unaccountable to citizens , except for the fact of losing the next election .

  125. Being a New Zealander I am sure some of the comments might be true while others are probably people with a chip on their shoulder. Almost all my friends are Asian, my wife is Japanese, I have always repaid favours and to be honest i spend most of my life helping friends more than what would be viewed as normal. I have been told by too many people in my business field I need to be tougher but I have always been honest with people but expect honesty in return – sadly this is not the case anymore.
    Honest, polite and true is how a normal and civilized person should be. Maybe I am old fashioned but it is sad if I have to teach my kid to beware of people as the majority are scum and cheats. I hope the world is more honest and nice but I am not seeing this to be the case.
    Concerning the attack on Kiwis, I live in Australia and many of the frustrations people are experiencing about NZ might be true but I have also experienced cheating people, liers and crooks when I lived in UK, Australia, NZ and Japan. Overall Japan probably came out to be the most honest but I have met Japanese who are shits and Japanese who are wonderful.
    Like anywhere there are good people and bad people and same applies to NZ.
    I can probably never retire thanks to crooked US, Australian, NZ and Swiss people who decided to conveniently lose my hard earned money by being dishonest.
    I am honest, kind and non-judging as this is what I was taught to be and I know it to be right. By the way i am NOT religious.
    I have overseas friends living in NZ who are doing well and I am sure some are doing it tough but most of my friends are doing ok.
    For my job NZ is too small but I have issues with Australians, UK, Asians and Americans who all contact me for free info without wanting to pay for my knowledge and expertise on Japan and NZ would be no different.
    Take comments online with a grain of salt and do proper research and then make a decision.

    • I don’t think any reasonable person would be put off moving to New Zealand because of some unflattering decriptions of its people. People are the same everywhere, more or less, but what changes is the prevailing culture, and this I think is what can be a bit unappealing or challenging for some people.
      As for doing research, it’s actually hard to find reliable information online because of the prevalence of forums and sites with an economic interest in attracting migrants. I am grateful for this site because here you can find more honest information, from people who live or have lived in New Zealand. I’ve been here for eight years and much of what people say on here rings true from my experience.
      It’s easy to say New Zealanders are nice people, same as everywhere, but it’s not really helpful to the discussion, not really the point. It detracts from important issues such as salary, cost of living, quality and expense of housing, quality of education, exhorbitant and greedy cost of goods, expense of overseas travel, etc., which are the real challenges for most.
      For some people, moving to New Zealand offers them a better life in some ways, but it really depends on what they were accustomed to beforehand, and what their expectations are. For most people, regardless, the cost of living, and quality of housing, etc. will put a damper on the enjoyment of the place.

    • In summary what you are saying is that New Zealand has the same issues as every other country you’ve lived in, plus its too small for you to make a living there. Thanks for the honesty.

      • Pretty much. NZ has good and bad. I know some immigrants who make a very good living in NZ and have a much better quality of life than I have in Australia or what they had in their original country but I know some don’t. My job is related to one specific country – Japan- very niche so yes I feel NZ is too small for my current career.
        Concerning the cost of living I agree somethings are pricey either due to small market, location, taxes or whatever but not everything. Some things cost a lot more in NZ while some cost less. The comment about things like the quality of education I feel this is falling everywhere including Australia, Japan, UK, US etc. Instead of having NZ commented in isolation it should be viewed rationally and in comparison with the rest of the world.
        It is small so employment options are limited compared to larger economies in certain ways. It is further away from the rest of the world so it can cost more to travel to other places. Small population base limits economies of scale and so on.
        There are many positives as well and research can be done on the web if you know how to look for it.
        Overall I would say my quality of life was better when I was in NZ than what it is in Australia but I will not be moving back as my son likes his life here and he is what is important and I am too old to change careers easily.
        One thing NZ definitely has in common with many countries is useless, poorly focused and self interested politicians.
        Good luck with whatever any person decides concerning immigration.

  126. Well, those last comments, all thoughtful, are enough for
    me at this point. It’s hard to understand, but understandable.
    Common sense says to erect a red flag at this point, and abandon
    the idea of moving. Like the kind doctor actually did, I thought to
    bring my expertise to NZ, to fully integrate as an American in NZ,
    and soak up the culture. It now appears to be a personal and
    financial risk that I am unable to take, especially with a 13-year
    old daughter to provide for. It’s really heartbreaking. Thank you,

  127. The thing that irks me about Kiwi’s is that, percentage
    wise, alot more of them love to tag their online names with NZ or
    Kiwi whereas others do not do this as much. I am Kiwi and even on
    local websites there are some that need to broadcast their
    nationality to the rest of the nation just in case they dont know.
    Anyway, quite right about NZ, if you dont have the dosh, you are
    struggling daily. I know every service company needs to make money
    but from what i’ve experienced, SME sized business in NZ will
    invoice people for as high an amount as they can. It’s a place
    where it becomes very difficult to dig your way out. After a year
    out of uni with an NZ bank, i was cut, and after searching, found
    another country was willing to start me at 3 times my NZ salary. In
    my 12th year now. Still, am waiting for the day when i can return
    with enough money to buy a freehold house and biz… Well that was
    the plan but after sending the family to Australia for kids
    education, it now seems Oz will be my final destination (climate,
    higher pay , etc…).

  128. This continues to be shattering to me! Thank you for such a
    thoughtful post. Why do you remain after such horrible encounters?
    I’m so sorry this happened to you, out of basic human sympathy. The
    more I read, the more cemented in my mind ‘never move to NZ gets’.
    Thank you so much for taking the time to post.

    • We left, and we’d have left after about a year and a half
      or so of living there, in fact, if it weren’t for legal problems
      that forced us to stick around for some years after. There are many
      reasons why you do not see a balanced presence for New Zealand on
      the web. 1 – as for anything official, the government’s money comes
      from “pure-reputation” agricultural exports and tourism. So
      anything “not pure” tends to be chased off the web by google
      bombing or some other method (chasing anyone who makes negative
      comments about New Zealand off of general immigration forums).
      There are many poor people in New Zealand who lack the technology
      to put the true face of New Zealand on the web. Those who have
      computer connections often wouldn’t waste their precious expensive
      bandwidth putting anything negative online. They have a cultural
      taboo against negativity, as well. And a “cultural cringe” plus
      “chip on the shoulder”. So many factors combine to give people an
      unrealistic view of New Zealand. What’s difficult is for those of
      us who have lived there to show the other side without seeming
      negative ourselves. When you’re dealing with a reputation-paranoid
      positivity attitude, anything negative seems out of place. People
      really want to believe there’s a Xanadu on Earth. Well, if there is
      one, it isn’t in NZ. If you still don’t believe us, go ahead and
      move there. It isn’t that some people do not migrate there
      successfully They do. Be rich, outdoorsy and read all the pitfalls
      on these pages before you go, and she’ll be right. Smile!

      • New Zealand entities do employ reputation management consultants, we’ve seen the hits from them on this blog. There’s also some truth in the Google bombing comment, one only has to search for 1080 (a controversial pesticide manufactured in The US and used throughout the world but mostly by New Zealand) to see how much influence NZ’s Department of Conservation and the Animal Health Board have over the debate.

        You may also wish to read and to get a feel for what else goes on: debate being “stifled” by “bad-faith editing” by public servants in NZ wasting their time.

        • I recently, in my job, have handled a good bit of marketing material relating to nation brand marketing. I am reading about a country that has had a good bit of recent bad press for drug violence and the country’s promoters (in league with the government) are having to figure out how to attract tourists, how to overcome that reputation created by news stories about drug violence that have become “deep-seated” in people’s minds, dissuading them from visiting the country and making its poverty worse. In NZ’s case, nothing was in people’s minds because it was so obscure a place. NZ, what do you think of ? Island somewhere “out there” with a lot of sheep, people with funny accents? So they really had a blank slate as far as creating a brand in people’s minds. Their obscurity worked for them when this brand marketing crap became the thing to do. The insidious thing is that governments, news agencies and private business (the documents that cross my desk actually refer to informal agreements with information outlets not to release negative information because in doing so they are fouling their own country’s economic nest) work hand in hand in an almost fascistic way to control a given country’s press abroad. The Internet is still somewhat free. The problem is the Big Lie. The louder you shout something, the truer it appears to be, to naive people. So people who know how to saturate the Net with their message and manipulate search returns will get their message across better. We must be savvy consumers of information. When people ask me about New Zealand, I always point them here for “another viewpoint” along with the archived ExpatExposed board. It’s not all pretty scenery and LOTR. They’ve got problems, and they know how to hide them to keep that money rolling in and propping their economy up.

    • andrea : This continues
      to be shattering to me! Thank you for such a thoughtful post. Why
      do you remain after such horrible encounters? I’m so sorry this
      happened to you, out of basic human sympathy. The more I read, the
      more cemented in my mind ‘never move to NZ gets’. Thank you so much
      for taking the time to post.

      For my part my
      Kiwi husband’s parents have only just passed away in the past 4
      years (4 years apart that is) and as I (unlike many posters here)
      had a good career & I wanted to support my husband in
      wanting to be the best son possible in their last years. Since the
      death of his dad in the past year we have been lining up selling
      our medical practice (easier said than done) but we are on our way
      out. We both have dear friends and patients we will both miss and
      worry about, but in this country the harder you work the less you
      achieve. Our decisions are not based entirely on the social tone of
      the place, but also we are increasingly alarmed at the vast divide
      between rich and poor and the scary social problems that rise from
      that – which we see every day. We agonized over this decision
      because this country needs skilled professionals, and we are
      anxious to sell our business with our employees’ jobs guaranteed as
      part of the sale for at least six months, on the same rates, work
      shifts and benefits we have been paying (again, easier said than
      done) and emigrating to another country – at any age, and
      particularly later in life – is harder and more expensive than just
      hopping on a plane – but to answer your question, we aren’t
      remaining. For a long time we felt we could fashion a life here and
      perhaps do our small bit to help heal some of this country’s social
      ills – and we did give that a 2 decade shot – but at this point
      it’s like spitting into a huge roaring fire being stoked by greedy
      corporates and the NZ government lackeys who are in their pay. My
      Kiwi husband considers Canada more home than the country in which
      he grew up, which is very sad.

  129. I am still puzzled at HOW a COUNTRY is so adept at masking
    ALL of this SO well, for SO long? I have listened to NZ radio
    broadcasts, watched their tv a bit, read the NZ Harold from time to
    time, and I DO see personality expressed, I DO see humility in
    nature (not arrogance), and I DO see white teeth! Seriously. I’m
    sincerely puzzled by this website. Can someone please explain this
    in a nutshell for me? Anyone ELSE move to NZ -from- USA and have a
    nightmare experience?

    • andrea : I am still
      puzzled at HOW a COUNTRY is so adept at masking ALL of this SO
      well, for SO long? I have listened to NZ radio broadcasts, watched
      their tv a bit, read the NZ Harold from time to time, and I DO see
      personality expressed, I DO see humility in nature (not arrogance),
      and I DO see white teeth! Seriously. I’m sincerely puzzled by this
      website. Can someone please explain this in a nutshell for me?
      Anyone ELSE move to NZ -from- USA and have a nightmare experience?

      I’m from Canada, not the USA but I have had a
      pretty nightmarish existence here… New Zealand has one of the
      largest (per capita) populations living outside their country – so
      most of those with any education, skills or sense of adventure have
      gone overseas. What is left here is a very dysfunctional society –
      google these terms: “drunks on queen street auckland” or “drunks in
      wellington” and you’ll get a sense of the place. There has been the
      fastest growing gap between rich in poor (in the last 20 – 30
      years) ever seen in the developed world, and they also have been
      dismantling what was once a fine medical and education system.
      There is an insular, foreigner hating vibe in this place that will
      shock you. Please consider coming as a tourist – you should really
      see the place as it is beautiful – and there are many wonderful
      people – but there is also an American-hating hillbilly vibe that
      you might find a little hard to take. The people left behind in NZ
      cannot afford food or heat and the dentist is for emergencies only.
      No one would get what Americans and Canadians consider basic dental
      restoration – hence the gappy and discoloured smiles. I make many
      times what is considered a very livable wage here. And if I don’t
      eat out, turn up the heat, or or go to the dentist on a whim
      without weighing up the cost, so the ordinary working stiff here is
      pretty much starving and without modern dentistry. Which, yes, if
      you are from North American strikes you immediately. The
      anti-American thing… well, just read the threads, that’s all I
      can say. It’s all true. I’ve been kicked, hit with shopping
      trollies and had drinks thrown on me by complete strangers,
      probably because they took my Canadian accent for American. And I
      am always hearing loud, stagey conversations about how
      stupid/greedy/warmongering Americans are, if I dare to speak with
      my accent in a crowded place like a cafe or line of people waiting
      anywhere. People here are aggressive in ways that you would not
      consider possible. Though, as they will be glad to tell you, there
      are so many mass shooters in the USA, we should like getting kicked
      by complete strangers in NZ. Or something like that.

      • “loud, stagey conversations about how stupid/greedy/warmongering Americans are, if I dare to speak with my accent in a crowded place like a cafe or line of people waiting anywhere”.

        We experienced a lot of that “anonymous baffling aggression” as well. made forays out of the home sooo pleasant. (not) And no, we weren’t “loud ones”, either. I taught the kids to speak in an almost-whisper so they wouldn’t cop so much of this. Obnoxious Kiwis. So glad to be out.

  130. Despite my deep sadness over this site’s information, and
    the corroboration of it that I am finding in some other reading on
    the WWW, I am appreciative of this site. I thought seriously of
    immigrating to NZ with the purpose of not setting up a ‘little
    America,’ but totally absorbing the countryside and partaking in
    the richness of races there – But I now have too much genuine doubt
    in my ability to find contentedness and financial means in NZ as an
    American woman interested in the world, military happenings,
    government, and as someone with an innately quirky sense of humor,
    and an insatiable need to laugh and live life hard. I have doubt
    that I would be welcome much at all, ever. I pity that NZ’ers
    themselves appear to be their own worst enemy in many ways. The US
    has plenty of places to pity in the same light, my goodness. I
    admire the hell out of NZ’ers for making what they HAVE made in
    that country, knowing what I know now. It just sounds like a very,
    very tough place to live and set up a foundation for a thriving
    country. I’ll continue to hold fast to my unexplainable crush on
    the 1NZSAS, until I hear otherwise.? They join other fine men in an
    ugly war for the sake of NZ, and I feel this helps everyone. They
    do more, and I know now with SO much less, and do it extremely
    well. For that I am eternally grateful. God bless, and, again,
    thank you.

  131. Sorry, I meant to say “Besides, most people who live here are not interested in *except* trying to keep warm, keep food on the table and not die of despair” –

  132. I saw my 2010 misstep, but had to get back to work and could not correct it until now. Thank you for correcting that. I also read the info you provided on my lunch. Thank you for that too.

    I feel rather crushed for this site’s information, I really do. The summary sounds like beautiful New Zealand is just damn hard to live in, damn hard to get out of, damn hard to like, and damn hard to defend. ?

    Can anyone answer my question about the reputation of the 1NZSAS in NZ? I have a background that leaves me reading a lot about modern warfare, and have read and heard first-hand accounts of how professional, well behaved, tough, and respected (by other SOF!) these men are, so I was intensely curious about how they are viewed by NZ’ers there. I know they fight for NZ, and some have died, so heros to me anyway on that level.
    Thank you very much.

    • andrea : I saw my 2010
      misstep, but had to get back to work and could not correct it until
      now. Thank you for correcting that. I also read the info you
      provided on my lunch. Thank you for that too. I feel rather crushed
      for this site’s information, I really do. The summary sounds like
      beautiful New Zealand is just damn hard to live in, damn hard to
      get out of, damn hard to like, and damn hard to defend. ? Can
      anyone answer my question about the reputation of the 1NZSAS in NZ?
      I have a background that leaves me reading a lot about modern
      warfare, and have read and heard first-hand accounts of how
      professional, well behaved, tough, and respected (by other SOF!)
      these men are, so I was intensely curious about how they are viewed
      by NZ’ers there. I know they fight for NZ, and some have died, so
      heros to me anyway on that level. Thank you very much.

      I would guess that most Kiwis who would know
      what you’re talking about live overseas… I’ve met a lot of people
      here who are very proud to say they never read the newspaper, have
      never, ever visited another country, and are deeply proud of their
      geographical and intellectual isolation. Besides, most people who
      live here are not interested in anything about trying to keep warm,
      keep food on the table and not die of despair. People who talk
      about world affairs, politics, or anything beyond the daily grind
      are viewed with deep dislike as politically correct, ponced up
      wankers who need a dose of reality, in the form of 1) freezing,
      mouldy, damp housing 2) the terrifyingly high cost of living that
      means a really crappy diet and the ill health that accompanies

    • The figures for New Zealand were based on data from 2010, not 2011. NZ is 39th out of the 109 countries listed on that Wikipedia page, however there are around 206 sovereign states in the world. According to Wikipedia’s editors New Zealand is placed 14th out of 34 for its rate within the OECD.

      High teen suicide rates make for stark reading and do not reflect the personal tragedies of the many NZ families who have lost children in this way.

      A Mental Health Commission report stated New Zealand’s suicide rate for girls aged 15 to 19 is the highest in the OECD (August 2011) source.

      In reports prepared for the Lancet, in terms of adolescents (10-24) dying from any cause, New Zealand ranked 2nd highest out of 27 developed countries after the US. New Zealand also ranked 3rd highest in terms of females suicide rates and was ranked highest out of all 27 countries for male suicides (April 2012 source).

      UNICEF ranks New Zealand joint third in the world for the highest number of child maltreatment deaths (1.2 per 100,000 children) only the US and Mexico have more. Furthermore, the Chief Coroner has also gone on record as saying he is “shocked and frustrated” by the high number of very young teens (some as young as 13) who drink themselves to death.

      Re. The Lancet Reports

      “For many years, New Zealand has shared top ranking for youth suicide rates with Finland and Ireland – all three countries have a similar population size, so probably all report and count suicides equally well, but the most striking relevant similarity is the high use of alcohol among youth, which includes, in New Zealand, a prevalent culture of binge drinking. Addressing alcohol use and binge drinking in young people in New Zealand is one of the most obvious avenues to reducing both suicide and traffic mortality. Addressing alcohol use may also improve other health outcomes including early pregnancy, violence, and sexually transmitted diseases.

      “The Lancet data show New Zealand has the highest rate of female youth suicide among 27 high income countries, and the second highest rate, after Korea, for male youth suicide. In addition to high alcohol consumption and binge drinking, other factors which may contribute to New Zealand’s high ranking include: insufficient and fragmented adolescent and youth mental health services; a national stoicism, difficulty expressing emotion, and failure to seek help for emotional problems and stresses; and a fatalism among professionals and the public that accepts high alcohol use, binge drinking, and high rates of youth suicide and traffic deaths as part of the national culture. In this context, it is unlikely that better accounting and reporting of suicide statistics provide a strong or total explanation of our high youth suicide rates.


      You may also wish to read our education and children’s issues Wiki and these posts

  133. I am dumb-founded at this information, since all NZ is painted so much differently. I AM curious, however: The 1NZSAS has a stellar reputation for being the most professional ‘get it done’ military groups – Please tell me they don’t fall into the behavior described above? I hold them in such high esteem, but don’t want to do so ignorantly. They sacrifice much, give much, die for NZ…surely there are exquisite men to revere in NZ?

  134. If the woman can’t even survive because the economy’s so bad and no jobs, what is she supposed to “give back”? What will she eat when she comes home from volunteering somewhere for free? Come on, man. Typical Kiwi bullsh***

  135. What an interesting site to stumble across, after 9yrs of living in Christchurch,sadly have to agree with many of the comments being made. We do own our own home, nothing fancy with hardly a garden to speak of but at least we have managed to buy a home, having moved here from South Africa that took some doing considering the exchange rate. We have spent a fortune installing heating and insulation as Kiwi’s for some reason believe that a simple log burner is sufficient to cope with winter temperatures that drop below zero overnight. Our first 5 years were a real struggle just to keep head above water, and even now we are not able to afford a lifestyle that may involve eating out on a regular basis or going to the movies or theatre, and it has taken me 18mths to be able to save enough for a holiday to the UK. We are fairly frugal, but still have to budget to afford new clothing, visits to the dentist, weekend breaks or simply paying the utility bills. We were just beginning to feel more settled when the Chch earthquakes happened….back to trying to find anything positive about life in the city at the moment. We have made a few friends, but those are all Kiwi’s with experience with living abroad, and on the whole find that Kiwi’s do hold you at arm’s length and you get the impression that you are always the outsider. Offer them the opportunity of a freebie of any sort though and they will be fighting between themselves to grab it without much of a “thankyou”!
    We have worked very hard for what we have, have never taken any ‘handouts’ from the government, and are trying desperately to find the positives of living in New Zealand which is not that easy. My youngest son is heading off to the UK for a year or two as feels the opportunities here are very limited (he is a chef) and
    sadly I do not expect to see him return to New Zealand once he gets sees what else the world has to offer.
    New Zealand relies so much on their clean, green image and lures immigrants in with promises of a wonderful lifestyle, and yes Queenstown and Wanaka are fantastic, and sking is great if you can afford to do it. My advice is to do your homework, compare prices and don’t be fooled by the clean, green image on the immigration sites.

  136. Hello
    I have lived in nz for a year, about 5 years ago and I found it some what lonely but when I did make friends, mainly with other travellers on similar experiences, we have stayed friends ever since and we had an amazing time. know im thinking of returning to try and learn nz skills in the agricultural industry which are not available in the UK but im concerned about, the price of living, usually you get a house with ag jobs, but after reading some comments Im concerned that my wage will not be enough to pay the bills and survive for me and my dog and I’ll run out of money and have no way home for either of us.

    Can anyone tell me what rural life is like?

    • You can take your dog WWOOFing. I would do that if I were you. Buy a round trip ticket right now, and you will always have a way out, no matter how many problems you are having with money in New Zealand. Make sure to have a position lined up before you go.

  137. Websites like this one exist not to offend Kiwis, but to provide clearer information about what New Zealand is really like, Dakota. I don’t know if you are aware of this, but your government actively invites migrants to move to your country, promising them a good lifestyle. This would run against the wishes of many New Zealanders, who don’t want foreigners owning their land. But are very happy to take their money and urge them to move on. Enough migrants had bad things happen to them in New Zealand that they have started a few websites giving more information about the conditions and attitudes that are there. Your participation is encouraged if you want to tell the truth and help them out.

  138. Hi. I am from New Zealand and from what I am reading on here, people are saying that New Zealanders are poor, and have to make do with what we have. SOME people do. Not all New Zealanders. There are quite a lot of New Zealanders that are rich and posh. A lot of people stereotype us as poor, useless Maori people that are criminals. If you want to move to New Zealand, make sure you research about where you move to. Us New Zealanders are very protective over what is ours.

  139. find alternative outlets for ordering or get a friend to order them and mail them to you labeled as gift. I found some health products that were weirdly prescription and not over the counter in New Zealand such as melatonin (WTF!? and you can buy tylenol with codeine over the counter?) could be ordered in from overseas online.

  140. Man, every time I think I can not dislike this place any more, something else happens. Now, I have discovered that I can not order a lot of my products that are critical for my health, this damn country will NOT let them in!!!!!!!!!!!!!Who are they to tell me what to take for my health or not to take??????????????? I can stand this place, if I could leave tomorrow, I would, but as I shared, I have to wait until I have more money, etc.

    To the poster that said do not get pregnant, LOL, no chance of that at my age, it is now impossible. But thanks for all your info anyway.

  141. Hi I think in depth the following. I have the fortunate reality of being able to see the take part in the best part of the countries offers. My family fish for salmon in the morning and ski in the afternoon in spring. Holiday in the Tasman for four weeks in paradise on the golden sand beaches, we take part in all cultural events around the country. The thing about this is that all of this is done affordably and timed. The unfortunate reality of this unless you are born here or have great partner whom can open your eyes to this you could get stuck in a small cold wintered dredge that gets you down. I agree this and it deep sadness that the real beauty of this country is knowledge of the land is and in many cases this has been lost, with it goes the way to show others how to really enjoy the place. I think the real issue here is why your new husband, friend or advisor isn’t doing this. I don’t think it matters where you are I think unless you can change this any destination for you will be fruitless and empty. Perhaps in our travelling Americans case, she should leave her new relationship and find someone whom can really show her a true life change here or their. Good luck with your travels.

    • Well, I have not left yet, really can not afford to, but sure do miss my America.

      I have to agree with what you said about my husband opening my eyes to the wonders of the area, he is NOT. I am discovering that New Zealand is fanatically lovely, but, it is HIM who is making me hate it. We live in a tiny community, and I hardly get to leave, I have been to Christchurch, Kaikora, West Port, and others, but, that is so seldom, I feel soooo trapped. I have found the folks here to be really nice, sort of a refreshing, innocence about them, I can not complain about how they have treated me, but oh my, my husband, he is not mean to me, but, he just does not understand how I feel and bad mouths me to his friends saying I hate it here, he never tells them why. I have always known that a person can actually make our break a place, well, he is breaking it for me. I might be able to be happy here if circumstances with us were different. Oh well. such is life.

  142. Agree. run and leave that husband in New Zealand. Don’t get pregnant before then. Do not tell him you are going before you see a lawyer first to make sure he won’t be making a grab for any property you had before the marriage, which you would have been able to keep under U.S. law but not under N.Z. law.

  143. “They like to brag too that the reason they do not get along with others is due to culture reason, at least that husband of mine does. I do not think I have ever argued more in my life as I have since I have married him, he blames “culture” I blame him and New Zealand. I also noticed, like one poster said, a “step ford wives” type of atmosphere, if you do not conform to how they want you to act, forget it, you are an outcast, well, I am NOT going to do that, they can shove off. I HATE small towns, and this one is horrible,”

    Yes, the NZers do always brag, boast and thump their chest – usually while delivering a few negative comments about your own country… but after 25 long years here (I’m Canadian) it still depresses me – though the reasons why have changed over time.

    “I maybe could have handled Christchurch, but this place, I am depressed beyond words daily”

    NOOOO! Christchurch would be even worse, believe it or not. It’s full of people being driven crazy by the earthquake mess, still living without water and toilets. The rent is astronomical – to live in something where you will freeze (literally) or die of mould inhalation would bankrupt you unless you are rich. And the mental health of the population is… um… not good. It comes out as random violence, social aggression, weird, weird murders and a big neo nazi following (like the KKK).

    “I am planning on moving back home this Fall (America’s Fall), with or without hubby. I just can not handle it anymore, my health and well being are not worth it. I will NOT look back once that bird takes off from Christchurch, I will probably kiss America’s ground when I land.”

    You are so smart to do this – I made the mistake of thinking I could live here happily. I live here, but I loathe the place – though I know many good people here I have zero friends after a quarter century. These people do not make friends with outsiders.

    “Again, sorry if I have offended any Kiwi’s that read this. I am sure there are great ones out there, and you DO have a beautiful country, it is just NOT for me, I wish I had know all this and how I would feel before I left my home.”

    Me too, I am not one of the posters that hates everyone in NZ – though I have had enough serous bad things done to me (random assault, robbed, work stolen, landlords perverty etc) to understand those people who just hate this place and everyone in it… but like you I don’t see this as the fault of every person in the country and I am sorry to hurt people’s feelings when I say how much I loathe the NZ culture and society operate, but it is truly what I think. I rarely volunteer that, unless someone presses me for an honest opinion.. and that’s happened like, twice in 25 years. I know what you mean about blaaah personalities too… but it’s just the way you’re supposed to be here. People get beaten up if they are too enthusiastic about anything. It’s kind of funny (if you can learn to laugh at it) but it does cause untold damage and I applaud you for getting away while you still can. A lot of the worst aspects of the culture are kind of funny if you can switch off any sense of… caring I suppose. But it makes you dead inside. Don’t let anything or anyone stop you from getting home – I speak to everyone here and everyone considering coming here. Learn from my horrible mistake – I regret it every day of my life.

    Goodbye, and thanks for the post One Sad American – and enjoy everything when you get home. Have a wonderful time – everyday life will seem like heaven. It’s incredible that life that looks so generally the same on the surface here in NZ (sort of) can be so horribly, grimly, brutally different in real life.

  144. Wow, I just found this site. I first want to apologize to the native Kiwi’s that live here, I am not out to bash or hurt you, but, I do have some things to say.

    Razorback and Calvin, I agree 100% with all you wrote. I married a Kiwi that I met online, he came over to America to meet me, he stayed a month, then, like a fool, I married him and came back here. Oh my gosh, I now know what it will be like to live in hell because I have been living it everyday since I got here in October. I never dreamed I would miss my beloved America so much, sure, we have our troubles, but, still, all in all, there is no place like it.

    First, I just can not stand the taste of the food here, mercy, what do they do to it, and those “Kiwi burgers” they are crap on a bun, I hate beets, or beet root as they call it, the only time I can eat what I call “American” is when I eat at a McDonald’s. I have read on other forums that they do the same thing. I just can NOT get use to the food, and the groceries do NOT carry what I am use to. I miss my Graham Crackers, Velveeta cheese, pickle relish (over here, pickle relish is an entirely different thing), etc. The prices to eat out will knock a person on their kester, mercy, and for what, little postage stamp size servings. Yeah, maybe we do over eat in the US, but that is our prerogative, I do not like being forced to eat a size that I do not want to eat, plus, have it taste like it came out of the backside of the animal it was made from.

    Second, why don’t they use ice over here, I HATE my water luke warm, I simply refuse to drink it, I very seldom get water when I am out that does have ice in it, that sucks. Ice is free, so, that should make them happy over here, one of the few things that are as far as I am concerned.

    Third, you can not order online over here like in the states. I see things that I really want, go to order, and BANG, find out that it is either not “allowed” (bull crap) here, or they do not ship here. I get all excited over a product, then my hopes are dashed, this has happened so much. The shipping is horrendous, usually more than the product when you do order on-line.

    Fourth, regarding the Internet and cell phone service, holy moly, the prices are high. Back home, I used US Cellular, the best company going, I hardly paid for anything, well, not so here my dears, you pay for everything, and they regulate how many gigs you can use before the raise the prices even higher. Then, to add insult to injury, this damn place will NOT allow certain sites in, such as certain TV channels that stream, forget it, so, I have also lost all my favorite TV shows by moving to this unmentionable place. The Internet service, is OK, I will give it that, but, again, you are only ” allowed” so many gigs, etc, then they slow it down, that stinks, I am not use to that at all, was not done back home.

    Fifth, the health care system, I have to pay a very high price because I am not a “resident” grant it, when I am one, if I last that long, it will get lower, but again, it is socialized medicine, and we are fighting that in the states now as a matter of fact. They do not believe in doing tests like they do at home, this is very upsetting for me.

    Sixth, I just can not believe that none of the homes here have central heat. All the place has that my husband and I live in, is a wood fire place, and it gets so dang cold at night, all the other rooms you freeze your backside off. Most of the water faucets are separate, hot and cold, so, you do not get an even water fill when taking a bath, if you are lucky enough to have a tub. The toilet is in a separate room entirely, not bad, I guess if you have to go and someone is in the other room, but all in all, I hate it. Also, you go real fast, no heat in that room at all. No electrical outlet either, man, how awful.

    As to the people, yes, I have found some to be most rude, especially when trying to cross the road, they just will not stop, I think they would run you down first. They basically are very blah in their personality, they do not joke a lot, and when it was Christmas, well, you sure would not know it, no stores around here decorate, and no one is happy, hardly any carols are played either. This was my first Christmas here, and it was so depressing. Add that to the heat, when there should be snow, and it makes for a Christmas you want to forget. They like to brag too that the reason they do not get along with others is due to culture reason, at least that husband of mine does. I do not think I have ever argued more in my life as I have since I have married him, he blames “culture” I blame him and New Zealand. I also noticed, like one poster said, a “step ford wives” type of atmosphere, if you do not conform to how they want you to act, forget it, you are an outcast, well, I am NOT going to do that, they can shove off. I HATE small towns, and this one is horrible, I maybe could have handled Christchurch, but this place, I am depressed beyond words daily.

    I am planning on moving back home this Fall (America’s Fall), with or without hubby. I just can not handle it anymore, my health and well being are not worth it. I will NOT look back once that bird takes off from Christchurch, I will probably kiss America’s ground when I land.

    Again, sorry if I have offended any Kiwi’s that read this. I am sure there are great ones out there, and you DO have a beautiful country, it is just NOT for me, I wish I had know all this and how I would feel before I left my home.

  145. Gees I’ve never read such a load of ignorant crap! Have any of you travalled to other countries or immigrated to other countries? Its hard!- and in my experience not really country dependant. most people immigrate with a “grass is greener” attitude, and are often disappointed! My experience is that the first 6months are stressful but exciting, the next 2 years are hell and then slowly things start getting better. For gods sake toughen up! Asan aside, don’t winge about NZ to NZers- they all know whats wrong with there country, they just don’t want it thrown in their face -fair enough IMO!

    • In essence what you’re saying is this.

      There is a lot wrong about New Zealand. Kiwis know it and don’t like to talk about it and don’t like anyone else talking about it either.

      In which case, isn’t it good that sites like this one exist otherwise nothing would ever change.

    • Asan aside, don’t winge about NZ to NZers- they all know whats wrong with there country, they just don’t want it thrown in their face -fair enough IMO!
      Now aren’t you glad people are “winge”(sic)-ing on an internationally accessible forum? That way, NZers don’t need to experience it said to their faces :)
      Voting with the wallet changes more behaviours than laws or exhortations towards religion/spirituality.

  146. I am a Kiwi born and bred. And it saddens me to read so many negative feelings about my country. All I can think is that what those people have experienced correlates to the fact that this country, being as it is “at the bottom of the globe” is now finally beginning to experience attitudes that have long been entrenched in most other Countries across the world. Regrettably the advent of the “mobile travelling world population” has meant that most of those poor attitudes have been brought here by members of the very cultures who now seem to want to villify their destination of choice!! We have still a unique perspective on life here. It may not conform to the prevailing world opinion ( re culture, intellectual aspiration etc. etc. ) BUT who on earth has been given the inalienable right to make the judgement calls that seek to belittle our take on life. Heck, the “superiour” feelings that those cultures have about themselves and which they hold so dear to, fail to make any reference to the chequered histories of those nations and which ultimately are responsible for the decline of the human species. SO wise up you critics!! Either clear your sullied minds of all that residual perversion and refraction that you have brought to this lovely place with you, or ship out asap or ship out s

    • Kiwis love to put the blame for their attitudes and problems on other people, places, societies and cultures. So pure and innocent? Not.

    • But New Zealand is a nation of immigrants isn’t it?

      Please note that many of the people who contribute to this site are New Zealanders, would you like them to leave too?

  147. This thread is really throwing me for a loop. I am from the US and have thought seriously about moving to NZ after visting a friend in Christchurch who (also from the US) who was living there for a couple of years because of her job. She loved living there. Sure stuff was expensive. She went on a crazy buying spree when she got back, buying everything in sight, and when I was like “Whoa slow down a bit, she was like, but its all so cheap!!!” Despite that she loved the laid back lifestyle. In the US you have opportunity, but that doesn’t work out for everyone, and there is NO SAFETY net. You can work hard as hell here all your life, and some banker A**HOLE can steal your pension and you will die miserable and poor. In a “right to work state” you’re lucky to get a minimum wage job, with no benefits at wal-mart. Get cancer with no insurance and you are SCR*WED. Companies here expect a lot and often with crappy pay. If your upper middle class it’s easy enough, but it sucks to be working poor here, hell its stinks anywhere. My friend’s view after living there for 2 years was the people she knew in NZ, worked to live but didn’t live to work. She was mostly hanging with a middle-class college professor crowd. The critical thing for was she wasn’t so hurried and stressed all the time, the pace of life was just slower in NZ. And the island itself was freakin gorgeous. The US has its spectacular views too, don’t get me wrong, but if you want to see it, it will cost you some big bucks in travel expenses with that much land to cover. I live in the southern part of the US, so rednecks don’t scare me one bit. Frankly the people I met in NZ seemed WAY less “redneck” scary than my next door neighbors here. I’m self employed and can work from anywhere so job isn’t an issue. Sure my money wouldn’t go as far, but if I have $300k USD in the bank, an income of $70000 USD that isn’t dependent on my finding employment there, is the cost of living and taxes going to impoverish me? I don’t watch TV, I hate cell phones, I could care less about a flashy car. My husband and I are friendly to neighbors, but are happy enough amongst ourselves. We are in our early 40’s and don’t have children. We just want to live somewhere peaceful and not so D*MN hot and humid, and stressful. I’m so sick of heat in the 90’s for three months of the year. I love windy, rainy places (the other place I’m thinking of moving to are pacific northwest or western Canada.) I was thinking of trying to find a smaller farm on the southern island. Are people seriously going to hate me because I’m from the US?

    • Might work out for you in NZ, might not. Factors in your favour: $300k USD in the bank and an income of $70000 USD that isn’t dependent on your finding employment there. If you can manage not to get it sucked off you by hungry Kiwis, you’ll do great. You will need to insulate a house, and buy things online if you expect an American standard. If you want to come home to visit relatives, factor in the airfare. You will have to file two tax returns for 10 years after leaving, and pay into both social security systems (NZ and US), unless you abandon U.S. citizenship. It was suggested to me to form a company under NZ law to save on taxes, but the tax preparation costs are higher if you do so, so you don’t end up actually paying fewer taxes if you follow this advice. Your purchasing power will be low in NZ. The USD is not in your favour, and what you can get for the money is so different from in the U.S. That is why your friend was going on an Olga Korbut type spree, because New Zealand is much like a Soviet bloc state in terms of the lifestyle available to its residents and citizens. We found it such a struggle to survive there, and with so few resources and activities other than going outside and looking at or dancing around in the scenery, that we found living in the States easier, mellower and more stimulating. A certain low level of everything in New Zealand is low-cost, but there is not much above that. There are plans on the part of banks there to Cyprus-style raid people’s bank accounts , so you are not escaping corrupt bankers in New Zealand. Housing is very poor, so expect to spend a lot more to buy something livable and then spend even more fixing it up to be genuinely livable. Expect to be taken for a ride in various ways. Anti-Americanism can be subtle, sometimes it just comes in the form of stereotypical expectations that you are endlessly rich, or sly digs, or confrontational remarks that sound like they are just starting a discussion when actually they are wanting an apology for our government. If I were you, I would simply move further north in the U.S. Moving to a cooler area of New Zealand would be like moving to Eastern Poland or something, with all cultural barriers that you’d find in Poland but minus the language barrier. And minus the culture and history that you’d find in Europe.

  148. I just discovered randomly that the website saying that the no bu11y website does not exist anymore. it is no surprise to me that it wont exist further, because back in the days before 1996 I was shocked to see that telec0n company that so called sponsor and hosted that site doesn’t practice what they preach, so internally it was a place filled with malicious calls and bullying and you have no hotlines to turn to for help, because it is the same company that takes these calls for help, so if they don’t believe in what they say to others and only have things like that as PR or make someone looks good, why bother? if the truth and honest values are set in stone, it should have lasted forever, why keep change for the sake of changing if that’s really the message they want everyone to abide by? please hosting a website can cost next to nothing, don’t tell me p0lice or telec0n or the g0vt have no money!

  149. newzealanders are better then anyone in the world they may be samll and may not have as many people but it is a great country and i think everything you say is stupid and not true.

  150. Absolute rubbish! If you are prepared to work hard and smart you can live the good life in NZ. I mobed from South Africa 10 years ago with very little and have lived in Auckland since. I own (yes, own) a relatively good home, 2 late model vehicles and earn NZ$90,000 a year. Most come here expecting to live the laid back island life lounging around the beaches all day and expect living to be dirt cheap while they workmas little as possible. Granted, renting is expensive, but if you work hard you get the chance to play hard.

    • Most come here expecting to live the laid back island life lounging around the beaches all day and expect living to be dirt cheap while they workmas little as possible.
      In my experience at university, the majority of people I saw enjoying university life to the hilt … were domestic students.
      I guess life’s pretty good when somebody else is paying the bills.

  151. You need to get off the antidepressants, limit the alcohol, and get out any way you can: it doesn’t get any better. Kiwis are pack animals and will hold you back and beat you down. No one is going to help you. Don’t hold your breath hoping for a break – it will never come, and if a mirage does appear, it will be long after you have given up, and it will be a dead end, and perpetual poverty.

    Remember who you are and where you come from. You are better than this.

  152. I’m a New Zealander that has spent most of my adulthood in Europe and North America. I was most recently living in SE Asia. Thought that I would go back to New Zealand and make the most of the place. But I realize now that I should have stayed in Germany or the USA. This is a pretty country and there a lot of good things about it, but the pay sucks, the IRD is incompetent, there is strong anti-intellectualism, and there are very few opportunities for… anything. I love the idea of living in NZ, but the reality is not good (but better than SE Asia and China).

  153. Jesus Christ I thought it was just me. Came to New Z Oct 24th and it has been utter misery. I had been living in Little Rock Arkansas then I met a Kiwi, knocked her up, got married, and I am here coz she didn’t want to live/ raise our son in Arkansas. I was extremely apprehensive about leaving Arkansas, and it turns out that apprehension was justified. I am now zonked out on anti depressants to get through the day. That is one of the few good things about NZ( healthcare) but it is like giving free healthcare to a prisoner with a life sentence-just prolonging the misery. There is an area of town in Little Rock called “the heights” it is where all the yuppies and hipsters live, Auckland to me is one big “heights”. The amount of fucking douchebag hipsters and yuppies is ridiculous. The only relief I get is when I am in South Auckland. I don’t know why the women here would cheat on their mates, coz the guy she is fucking looks like the guy waiting at home. The people I miss the most are black people, I lived in a city with a 45% African American population, living here is like losing your best friend everyday. I know some are saying there are black people in NZ….no there ain’t- I was at a major dept store downtown and they were selling minstrel dolls and “mammy” figurines if there were black people here that place would be out of business one way or another.
    What is up with the cost of living over here?! Can anybody get ahead over here?! Owning and maintaining a car can bankrupt you! The apartments here are horrendous-lousy insulation and mildew infested but ridiculously expensive. Geez as I am typing this a commercial for Tom Green’s show is on tv-what is this 1999? Who are they going to get next? Sinbad?!?! I wonder if I can do something that will get me deported, at least that way to my family it will look like I am being forced to leave.

    Thank you for providing me a place to vent,
    Exiled in Auckland.

    • Hello razorback,
      Loved reading your message. I have been out of NZ for 22 years – I was born there. For years I have wanted to return home – I live in London. You have just reminded me why I left Auckland in the first place. I think I am better off here, where I can escape to Italy, France and Spain on a fairly regular basis. Good luck with getting back to Arkansas.
      And Jane, I hope you get that 20 grand together and pronto!

    • ” like giving free healthcare to a prisoner with a life sentence-just prolonging the misery” right on the money, Razorback. I do not have any clue why Kiwis think New Zealand is this amazing place for “families”. My family’s life was ruined by a move to New Zealand, instigated by my spouse. We moved to a rural area. No, it was not like nice rural areas in the U.S., either. It was just weird and feral. No other word for it. A few more years of grind, and I hope we can put the entire nasty little country behind us for good..Auckland has its share of annoying, pretentious people, like the Heights. You must have moved to Ponsonby, or a similar area. South Auckland is the place for warmth and grittiness, but the crime is not good if you have children, and the school districts, not good.. Auckland is its own little urban environment, and different from the rest of New Zealand. I doubt you would find what you are looking for anywhere in New Zealand. There is no equivalent to the Delta area and no equivalent to the mountainous NW either, and South Auckland is no genuine substitute for the subculture you miss in LR.. i know too many migrants who hole up in their moldy cold homes and drink in front of a screen. That is not a “life”.

  154. And listen to people who spout clichés? yeah right. Tick Tock get working on that exit plan before your mind turns to mush as well.

  155. How much money do I need saved too move there I’m coming from the us Im not wealthy but would rather but doing just as bad off somewhere that’s not trying become a socialist country . Is it easy to fine work right away I am a apartment maintenance man and a factory worker. Where is the best place to try and settle into?

    • New Zealand is a socialist leaning country. If that’s what you dislike about your home, NZ is not going to be a match for you. That’s even before you start looking at the visa requirements.

      • Is it easy to fine work right away I am a apartment maintenance man and a factory worker.
        Whatever you do in NZ, get your qualifications sorted and recognised right quick AND be prepared to undercut (through price and delivery time) your competition.
        I remember my landlords (PGP – pretty good people, immigrants themselves) having to look around for 3 MONTHS (even up until I moved on from that house) … to find someone to clean their OVEN.
        So many people they contacted – WERE NOT INTERESTED to do the work! And even those they did contact who were interested – DIDN’T SHOW UP :x

  156. New Zealand is no longer the land of “Milk and Honey” more like the land of ” Rancid Milk & No Money” I came back to NZ 6 months ago from being abroad for approx 16 years due to the death of my spouse, wish I had moved anywhere else but my home, no jobs to be had, terrible poverty, no one hires woman over 50 yet you are expected to apply for and attened school to learn what you already know ( at the taxpayers expense ) to be on a widows benefit even though your chances of being hired are slim to none, thanks to all the dole bludgers of the past it has ruined it for the folks who really need financial help, most folks I see either have PLENTY or NOTHING and there is no inbetween !!! do not come to New Zealand unless you plan to ride the waves of extreme poverty and nothingness that is the polar opposite of what it projects itself to be which is a total lie !! UNLESS YOU ARE ROLLING ON DOUGH !!

  157. I am so glad to be home now where I can buy 3 capsicums for one US dollar. Food being that expensive in a country with a decent climate and so many poor people – what a crime

  158. Don’t listen to talkback on the radio – it will drive you nuts and will explain why kiwis are so ripped off for everything here. In a recent poll they voted for a new tax to be added to “unhealthy food”(when food is all taxed at 15% anyway) and they don’t want the labour/greens new scheme to lower the electricity prices as John key the prime minister said that this would dicourage competition. Well I say who cares as long as its cheaper. There are some really nieve people living in Nz that are so easy for the corporates to walk all over.

  159. As someone that has lived in NZ for all 20 years of their life I obviously can’t comment on most of these things because I have merely travelled to other countries and not lived there and therefore have no comparisons. One thing I would like to know (from expats living in NZ or Kiwis) is whether, like me, they have found that Kiwis seem to be conservative & modest to a level that is almost painful. So many Kiwis seem to have a strange mentality that less is more and that instead of trying to consistently better themselves, they are quite content with having just enough.
    I see many comments about a large amount of the population being rednecks, which I can definitely see some truth in. If people are coming to NZ, they should really only move to a suburb close to the inner-city of Auckland – as pretty much everywhere else is a place they will deem to be 100% inhabited by rednecks. Funnily enough people from most parts in NZ hate people from Aucklanders anyway!
    Needless to say I plan on trying to make my way to the USA as soon as I finish Uni or can properly do so, and while there are opportunities here, they just don’t seem to be going places.

    • The USA is far from perfect, but it is diverse and rewards individualism. After many years of living in New Zealand, I realise that Kiwis do not have an individual identity despite all the false bravado. The kiwi mind is very much a collective product, which makes it so easy for you to be preprogrammed, controlled, and easily manipulated.

      I wish you all the best, and hope you can open your mind enough to embrace the shift in consciousness that you will experience once you leave.

      • Thanks Calvin.
        The lack of motivation for people to thrive and succeed is what I would almost consider to be a poor peoples country. The people of low socio-economic backgrounds don’t seem to bother trying to better themselves and instead just take potshots at the successful individuals.
        Another thing I forgot to add was what I consider to be the biggest culture (of lack thereof) for anyone coming to NZ. Overseas everyone is so polite, but in NZ there is no sugar-coating on anything whatsoever. I would expect that quite a few of the people that do indeed move to NZ will consider Kiwis to be rude rather than realise that everything everyone says is straight to the point, no fooling around.
        In regards to the Labour/Green power scheme mentioned by jo below – a proposed drop in power prices by $300 a year ($25 a month or $6.25 a week) is absolutely meaningless and certainly won’t be getting my vote. What the hell is $6.25 a week going to buy you?

        • Hi Grant – yes you have a good point in regards to the electricity BUT if the cartel is allowed to continue in Nz, what will the price be for electricity in say 2 years? In 5 years? Also you are forgetting that to an old person who can’t afford to turn the heater on in winter, $6.25 is quite a bit.

  160. I am a kiwi who has spent most of her adult life living and travelling abroad. A lot of the social issues discussed here are from my experience a worldwide phenomenon which is probably why I have yet to find a place that I could actually settle. Cliques, racism, dishonesty, nastiness – sorry people I have yet to visit a place without them and NZ doesn’t reach the worst of my list for any of these. Similarly however, I have yet to visit a place without wonderful people. Would I live in NZ again? Personally, no, I love travelling too much, and English speaking countries bore me. Is it the right place for everyone? No. Just like any other country, city, culture it won’t suit everyone. It’s beautiful but cold. It’s green but if you like the city life and culture, it has nothing to hold you. It’s expensive, so unless you have a really good job lined up, it could be difficult. I have a lot of friends who have moved from other countries to NZ. Some love it, some tolerate it, some are bored, some struggle, some hate it, and some are thriving. Just like people I’ve met in every other country I’ve visited.

    • You are equivocating through a distorted lens. New Zealand seems not so bad to you because you are a native and a product of its culture. As one commenter has already pointed out, it’s easy to make excuses if you don’t have to live here.

      • I went back and lived there for 5-6 years before leaving again near the end of last year. I’ve lived in Asia (Japan and Malaysia) The middle east (Saudi) and the americas (the US and Mexico) I’ve also travelled extensively in Europe and the pacific as well as the regions already mentioned. Please do not assume my level of experience or filtering just because I can see both positives and negatives. My point is everyone’s experience is different. Yes, I am a product of my culture as quite obviously then you are of yours – all our lenses are distorted. One thing that used to irk me in Japan was people who only saw the country negatively and yet continued to live there for years and years. At least I have a balanced lens! With the exception of one country I have enjoyed every country I have visited – and I was aware that the one I didn’t enjoy had more to do with circumstance and bad luck. I didn’t blame the entire country and all its residents.

        • I’d also like to add that when I talk about people I’ve met having these same experiences and range of feelings about a country, I am including people I know in your country (USA), experiences I had there, and things I saw happen there. However, again, I also met some wonderful people and have some great memories.

  161. Even Charles Darwin had reservations

    “I believe we were all glad to leave New Zealand; it is not a pleasant place; amongst the natives there is absent that charming simplicity which is found at Tahiti; & of the English the greater part are the very refuse of Society”

    Charles Darwin, Beagle Diary 30th December 1835

    • As a minor student of NZ history 1835 was a very savage time. There was no infrastructure or nation of any description. Tribal warfare was epidemic and the few western people were largely made up of whalers and s and other merchant mariners, escaped convicts, missionaries and a very few general settlers. Around this time a collective of northern chiefs petitioned the king of England to extend protection to ‘New Zealand’ This was answered by the British government sending representative who tried vainly to keep the peace. An attempt at Federation failed utterly due to the inability of the member tribes to keep any degree of cohesion. There was no law let alone order. Britain annexed the country by treaty 5 years later.

  162. I wonder if my recent bad experience with the CEO of a young start up company is a snapshot of what New Zealand is about. If it is, then New Zealand is a sad place for working professionals.

    I was seeking employment with this young start up company in Auckland as the product that they are making is relatively new in the the world’s market so the job should be interesting and challenging. I am not residing in New Zealand or Australia but I possess Australian’s permanent residency status.

    The interview went well although the process is a long one stretching over three separate rounds and six interviewers, including the CEO at the very end. I must have performed well during the interviews and I was offered a conditional job offer. The base salary fell short of my minimum expectation. My minimum expectation would result in me taking home 32% less every year from my current job. I set a minimum so that I can be able to maintain a certain level of quality of life for my family if I chose to relocate to Auckland for this job.

    As the job offer was conditional (conditions set by the offering company) therefore not legally binding, I accepted the conditional job offer and express my willingness to join the company if they were to meet my salary expectations. I had communicated my salary expectation right upfront in the first interview and also to subsequent communications with the company.

    The representative from the company expressed no willingness to negotiate on the salary package and therefore on advice from my wife (she is rightly worried about the drop in living standards if I were to accept the job), I politely rejected the conditional job offer at the earliest possible (before the firm and unconditional offer and employment contract were made) and wish them well and success in filling the position through email on a Saturday.

    I did not receive a reply to my email on Monday so I tried a couple of calls on Tuesday, hoping to personally inform the hiring manager of the decision so that they can re-starting the hiring process on other candidate but I couldn’t reach him. I called again on Wednesday and the hiring manager picked up the phone and nonchalantly said that the company had move on without informing me.

    Knowing that there could be staff financing limitations for a young start company, I wrote an email to the CEO giving him some polite and friendly feedback on the need to compete in remuneration terms for proven talents worldwide. Hoping that my friendly feedback and help him attract and retain good people for this company. As a manager myself, I am facing the same competition for talents from where I am based.

    To my horror, the CEO replied with malice and by questioning my honesty, credibility and integrity.

    My dealings with the company was completely honest and aboveboard and not accepting their job offer is simply a case of us not being able to conclude on salary negotiation. There is absolutely no need to launch personal assault on a candidate’s integrity just because the company couldn’t or wouldn’t want to pay a certain amount for the services of a professional.

    Is is how some New Zealander see themselves, their country and their companies as some kind of best in the world and that anyone who refuses to join them have characters flaws and anyone who provide kind and honest feedback on their hiring processes as being dishonest and lacking in integrity?

  163. How does working in Perth mean you’re “working together to make a better country” in New Zealand?

    There are some contradictions in your comments. For example; on one hand you’re moving back to New Zealand to feel that sense of belonging, on the other you say it is a lonely place and secluded.

    How do YOU plan to make a difference in New Zealand, when by your own admission, you’re likely to “work your arse off” everyday because struggle is what gives you purpose? Does constant struggle ALLOW time for purpose, or is it just a lifetime of hard graft for the sake of some higher enlightenment?

    What about THE LIFESTYLE?

    Be honest, to yourself at least, about your reasons for returning.

  164. Yes Im a Kiwi returning to nz from Perth. I am aware that there are less opportunites, its cold, its lonely, the housing is sh#te, but I have to be honest. NZ is home. We forget that there is more to living than just stuff. There is a place we belong, where our family is, where we stand. My soul is intrinsically wrapped up in nz and its energy. Life was always a struggle there, and its taken me 10 years to make that decision, and yes I am doing it with my eyes wide open. Just because there is more work, and more men, and more stuff here doesnt mean that you will be happy. Happiness quotient is something closely related to belonging. I dunno, maybe call me in two years, my teeth might have fallen out and ill be an old hag, or perhaps, with a bit of motivation, the fact that we have access to the internet, and international sales, that I might have built a business a home and a family. Yes there is racsism here, it needs to be videoed and shown on tv. shed some light on it. people will change with time, remember kiwis are secluded, so of course they get some dumb ideas about other cultures. its up to all of us to work together to make a better country. I cant help but feel that some of you dudes have fallen into a really negative trap. perhaps you could try to make a difference, one little difference to make someone elses day better. I see people getting off their arses and working their arses off everyday in nz because they care and because it gives them purpose. if there was no struggle then what would be the point of being here on earth? we are all capable of greatness, wherever we are in the world. Its who you are being while your are doing what your doing.

  165. I am a kiwi and my wife is American. We have been living back in New Zealand for 2 years. The first year was a complete struggle. Both financially and culturally. However, overtime, things have got easier. I have friends from countries all over the world contact me asking for information about moving to New Zealand. I make a conscious effort to tell them to think long and hard before making the trip over. Just last week, I had friends visit from America. They came to New Zealand to have their honeymoon and stayed with us in Auckland for a night before flying back to the States. I took them to Auckland city to show them the new water front before taking them to Ponsonby for a beer at the Belgium beer café. For those of you who are not familiar with Auckland, Ponsonby is an up market area on the fringe of the city. Upon leaving the café, we decided to get some ice cream. Whilst waiting to cross the road at the traffic lights., we could hear someone behind us mocking the American accent. We turned around to see a well dressed man mimicking my American friends. We weren’t sure if he was joking at first but then he told them to f**** off back to America. He continued to throw insults at them whilst we tried to walk away. His last parting shot of “you F****** are not welcome” summed up his impression of foreigners. About 2 months prior, I was on Queen Street in central Auckland with clients. The clients were from Europe. Around 7:30 pm, they were attacked by a guy who also told them to f**** off back to where you come from. The saddest part to the story is that I get treated so well in the USA and other countries because I am a kiwi. If only these people could realise how important tourists are to our economy and how their actions are harming our country. In conclusion, don’t fall for the ‘safe’ tag New Zealand carries. It is not as welcoming and as safe as you think.

    • I am an East Indian from America and living here is like an American Jew living in Tehran-I get hated on twice. I lived in the deep south for 15 years (Arkansas) and the people made me feel at home from day 1, even right after 9/11 with my Muslim sounding name. A couple years after I arrived in Arkansas, a “redneck” sort of man asked me where I was from, and how long I had been in Arkansas after I told him he replied, ” Dat long, sheet you Arkansan now boy”. I could live in NZ for 50 years and I would never been considered a Kiwi.

    • That’s interesting, when I was living in the UK we always treated Kiwi’s in a very friendly way and expected the same when I moved over here. Nine times out of ten, all I have ever get from kiwi’s is abuse. I was born in Liverpool and when I was working in London, as you can guess, I took an awful lot of abuse too, until I took elocution lessons, yes all you cockney’s can laugh but it worked, acceptance and a bloody good salary to boot. I’ve been here in NZ for 14 years and speak quite good kiwi and on the whole I get along fine with people, until I slip up with one syllable or colloquialism and it’s “Oh! how long have you been over here?” and then the abuse starts.
      When you first move over, you don’t even know they are abusing or or undermining you, they are quite sly. They are often are very nice to your face and talk about you behind your back. Oh! nothing new there you say, it happen’s everywhere. Well your right it does, but not with the prevalence and growing nastiness that it does here. They keep going till your forced out, it really is not nice. I’d rather put up with owning an expensive holiday home in North Wales than here :-)
      I’m a highly skilled and experienced embedded systems engineer and managed to get a job when I first came over. It just happened that I was the only person in the whole country that had experience of this particular type of system. They had developed this system in NZ/ozzie and it had about 12 faults their large petrochemical client had wanted fixing for 7 years, yes 7 years! The guy’s who had built it had skipped off somewhere and no one here could sort it. In I come, spend 18 months fixing that system and another one they also couldn’t fix and as soon as I had finished sorting them, they made me redundant. When I cried foul, they came to the table and offered me a different job on $20,000 less. Of course I just couldn’t stop the words “why don’t you f***-off from flowing from my mouth. My bad, as I haven’t been able to find work here since, 7 years at uni, 10 years working for world class companies in Europe, 18 months work in NZ sorting their crap and suddenly I’m 10 years unemployable. It seems I made a very large stuff up.

  166. Guys! I can’t believe the awful experiences so many people have had over in NZ. You’ve got to make these huge life-changing moves with your eyes open. Yes, it’s a beautiful country, but it doesn’t have the same depth of history that you might get elsewhere in the world. You will have to work hard to make a crust and you may have to work longer and harder than you would elsewhere e.g. Australia. The people can be stand-offish, insular and reserved at times – they are after all largely British people transplanted to the other side of the world. Don’t start whingeing to the locals that you can’t find milk chocolate Hobnobs and Marmite down at the local supermarket. In fact, don’t whinge to the locals about anything. There’s nothing more likely to turn them against you than you listing a series of bitches and gripes about their country. This goes for Australia too. Try feigning an interest in rugby union. Also, if you don’t love the great outdoors, this may not be the country for you. Just remember you’ve moved to a foreign country miles from anywhere, in many ways you’re starting from the bottom again, it won’t be easy, there will be trials along the way, you won’t be white water rafting and bungy jumping every day, but ultimately I can think of few nicer places I’d want to live.
    Me? I’m biased – I married a Kiwi and was welcomed with open arms by her wonderful family. However, we did also find it easier to get employment in Australia. I’d happily go back to NZ to live – even though I can’t stand Rugby.

    • However, we did also find it easier to get employment in Australia. I’d happily go back to NZ to live – even though I can’t stand Rugby.
      Sounds like a repeat of that trope “New Zealand is great … that’s why I live overseas”.

      • Fair call P Ray. My own inability to settle in NZ was more down to my qualifications (more suited in to industries that employ few peole in NZ) and lack of work experience at the time, rather than a problem with the people and culture of NZ. The people on here seem to boil down roughly to 2 groups: whingeing poms and asians/non-whites. I don’t have a great deal of sympathy for the majority of the poms. You need to do your homework before you move to the other side of the world – and, yes, I include myself in there as well. Don’t believe all the bullshit and hype – it’s not the promised land, but it is a nice country with (mostly) nice people in it. I do have some sympathy for the non-whites who have gone to NZ and encountered various racist attitudes from the Kiwis. Like I say above, they are largely of British descent and have many of the admirable qualities of the British, but also a some of the less admirable ones as well e.g. racism/xenophobia.

      • Good point, P Ray. When I lived in the States, a Kiwi friend advised how superior the quality of life is in New Zealand, and how he will go back someday and live in a caravan. To him nearly everything in NZ was better than elsewhere – the education, the environment, etc. And where does he live? He has lived in the US since the 1981, Where did his children grow up and get educated? In the US, Where do his children live now that they’re grown? In Europe. Says it all, really, By the way, he is a highly successful academic who could work in NZ if he desired, so it is not job opportunities that keep him away.

  167. You can only go on personal experience and the Kiwis I’ve met around the world all appear to be very defensive of NZ…but they don’t actually seem to want to go back and live there. They seem like constant backpackers (even the older ones) and have no problem with outstaying their welcome. Freeloading is another word that springs to mind. Personal hygiene is also an issue as well as the insistence on walking around in very short cut offs in all weathers (I’m talking about the male Kiwis here) Not a pretty sight and a little feminine given the way that they like to talk about how manly they are!

  168. At least in the uk you can afford to go on holiday somewhere warm. Forget about a holiday if you move to Nz – so isolated and expensive as so few airlines that there is a monopoly here. eg – air nz charges a third more to fly the route nz to london, than it does on the exact same route from london-nz (how rude – knowing that from nz there is little choice so it rips people off from this end but not from london.) And in Nz houses are currently selling approx 400k over their GV due to high demand when they are auctioned, and are now the most unaffordable in the western world – mainly in auckland and christchurch – its almost criminal in my opinion.

    • Holiday some where warm. Must have missed the french chalets that were being doled out at Heathrow when I last went through customs, Possibly the 3.4m unemployed and the young familys struggling to get loans to buy the first property (let alone cope with the sharply rising cost of food, petrol and alike) might well have a different view. the pound is also worth nearly half what it was 10 years ago due to the UK governments propensity to print new money…

      • How are young families managing in New Zealand to buy their first home, could you tell us how the New Zealand government is helping them and give us an indication of the median property prices for the areas of major population, mortgage interest rates, unemployment rate among young people and the minimum wage? Thank you.

        • They dont buy homes they all rent crappy little boxes lol anyone who owns a home is considered rich and a target for the local population.

        • They dont help now. Entry criteria is so strict it is near impossible!! Nevermind also that now we have to have minimun of 20% deposit now aswell. So thats 20% of 300-400k if you want an averagely nice house but even that will not have double glazing, underfloor gas heating, and all that stuff. Plus hardly any of us average families with or without children here can earn enough to support the dream of owning our own home at any point in our lives because the cost of living (essential things and the usual western things like a tv, cable & internet which is slow by the way) is so steep and wages so low! I cant wait for the day I can move out of NZ! I’m 23 y/o female, been working since age 15 and still at the bottom the heap earning minimum wage coz employers refuse to pay more- and I am an educated woman with brains.

          I was born here, 3rd or 4th generation. I am half “white” (Irish and Spanish) and half Indian) and no guesses here I have been bullied MY WHOLE LIFE coz kiwi’s are racist/closed minded as a whole!! And also my name isn’t a conventional girls name so people be mean to me about that too! So I’m a fair skinned looking Indian girl with a English/Gaelic name *Blair* which I’m sure you UKers here would think nice or normal??
          NZ people I meet find too hard to accept me for who I am, and no I’m not proud to call myself a Kiwi!
          If youre not white dont expect to fit in easily, even if you’re white but have an accent.
          Right from young age child to presently this year, I get remarks even now such as the way I look, people talk slow to me like they think I dont know nz english or

          I studied Technology in Veterinary Nursing- it takes alot of heart, time, dedication and unreturned gratification in this line of study and work. We have to have a VERY good knowledge & understanding of biology, physiology, chemistry, physics, nutrition, dental, vaccinations, clinical drugs and calculations, have a sound knowlege of all NZ farm animals and what to do, certain procedures, and be the Veterinarians maid, cleaner, assistant, do all the dirty jobs or try to restrain the viscious or scared-viscious animals so the vet doesnt get scratched/bitten.

          So I’m trying to say I am an intelligent and educated woman yet I cannot for the life of me get a job in a Vet Clinic and even if I did they only pay peanuts to Vet nurses as were seen as the lowly helper (trust me its some Veterinarians mentality).
          So I’m stuck with kitchen/restaurant/cafe work earning nothing more than minimum because I cant use my Degreee or get a job in an office because all an employer sees is where i have worked not what i am capable of! We have to do business studies as part of VN and I have ran an office reception by myself for 3months on temp contract, I want to change my life and get ahead but it’s very tough and restricted in NZ!

          • That us a good question. A lot depends on where you choose to live and most important is the income you have to live on. Kiwi saver now helps people buy their own home but you generally have to have 20% of the down payment. Mortgage rates are low and this am I saw one bank offering under 5%. A median property price is high in Auckland and Christchurch but you need to Google this to get accurate details.

            Sent from my iPhone


  169. nanny state in nz and auz too sorry, just a more expensive version. I think you should stay in uk where at least you can keep your 800k. Maybe move to somewhere prettier in the uk.

  170. Bongo…

    “If we relocated, we’d bring around £800k to build a new house and set up a business to employ locals. Mainly in home and house insulation and economical heating solutions.”

    I’m actually planning to do just that. I won’t miss the competition if you don’t go. It’s a golden opportunity!

  171. I will be relocating from Hawaii to NZ this year. I’ve been there and I didn’t get all the bad vibes, but I’m white so perhaps that explains it. I have to agree w/ JA…” I don’t like the US anymore, mainly because of all the fascist craziness going on here now.” I have no utopian illusions of NZ, just looking for something different, exciting, clean, low-key. It’s not more expensive than Hawaii. The US has more rednecks in one or two states than NZ has sheep…give me a break. Christ, the US probably has more red necks starring in their own reality TV shows than in all of NZ. It’s not for everybody, but what is? I hear Cleveland is nice this time of year.

    • You won’t win any real friends by bashing and bad-mouthing different social or political groups (rednecks, tories, conservatives, liberals, etc.), and you only make yourself look bad. Kiwis will see through that in a minute, as an effort to endear yourself, when they won’t like you anyway, whether you are right-wing, left-wing or moderate. One line you will probably hear is: “oh, you’re not one of those people who came here to get away from George Bush are you?”

      New Zealand has it’s own flavour of rednecks, the kind that look for immigrants with funny accents. If you think your white skin will save you, think again – unless you never open your mouth to say a word. Stay out of the pubs, off the streets at night, and watch your back.

      As for “fascism” in the US, you have blinders on. There is a worldwide trend toward increasing surveillance, government intrusion and taxation in the west, Russia and China. New Zealand is moving in the same direction, they are just a tad slower due to a lack of money and technology. But your Internet logs are kept for at least a year, and phone calls are, it’s been reported, all recorded – really no different than anywhere else.

      This week the big buzz in NZ news is that the government’s electronic spy agency, the GCSB, NZ’s equivalent of the GCHQ (UK) or NSA (US), has been spying on NZ citizens. In the US, UK, Canada and major nations in Europe, there are multiple levels of oversight, and a judicial system that works most of the time (if you have money), and non-profit special interests groups that are well-funded and fight for your rights. None of that exists here. There is no EFF to turn to, no ACLU to take your case, no Guardian UK to run an expose. If your name is Kim Dotcom and you have, potentially, millions you can recover, you may be able to find someone to be your friend.

      • To put things in even sharper perspective,
        Every university in NZ has an assigned Security Intelligence Service officer …

    • fletch :
      re now.” I have no utopian illusions of NZ, just looking for something different, exciting, clean, low-key.

      Different? No, it’s a bland, hateful monoculture. Like Zion-ism without the Zion: it’s Kiwi-ism!

      Exciting? The only excitement in New Zealand, outside the expensive tourist parks, is street/boy-racing, alcohol, drugs, and tourist bashing. You may not be ready to enjoy these activities, at first, as a spectator or participant, so there is obsessive home-improvement (really, Kiwis worship their little ‘houses’), alcohol (wait, I said that already), DVD rentals of last year’s B movies (the latest releases), and, drum roll please, rugby and cricket.

      Clean? That is a directly tied to scale and population density. Go for a jog or a dog-walk in most any suburban area and you’ll see lots of tagging, broken glass, used condoms, and the occasional 10-14 year old threatening/intimidating you for money. The lack or air pollution, etc. is directly proportional to the lack of any appreciable economic activity aside from low-density retail, and the national obsession – house and rental flipping.

      Low-key. No, low-life, in the sense there isn’t really much life here. The earthquakes keep it interesting though. And Paula Bennett.

  172. My wife and I drove 10,000 km around NZ and 16,000 km around aus in 2006-2007 and being a professional, born in Wales, living near London with 3 kids under 4, NZ sounded and looked perfect. If we relocated, we’d bring around £800k to build a new house and set up a business to employ locals. Mainly in home and house insulation and economical heating solutions. However, since reading this (and a few other) forums, the desire has hugely ebbed. Someone please tell me why NZ is any better than Perth / Ottowa / NY? As these are the other candidates. We are 30+ caucasian, used to working 90+ hour weeks… Tired of nanny state, crap weather, £800,000 for 120m2 houses…. Want the best place for 3 v. Young boys to grow up….

    • That better place could be closer than you think. Have you thought about looking somewhere else in your own country? New Zealand has all of the same problems you have at home plus isolation, a poorer economy and the xenophobia you and your family will experience as immigrants. Be aware this could impact on your business too as local operators close ranks to keep you from trading, undercut you on prices and use the network (a strong aspect of social and business life in NZ) to freeze you out. It is not a level playing field for migrants in NZ.

      Take some time to read our Migrants Tales.

    • Have you looked at Gibraltar or Malta? They are in the EU, English-speaking, have excellent Mediterranean weather, and nice lifestyles. We also have a young child (7 years old) and education is important to us. Both Gibraltar and Malta offer a quality education in English. Being in the EU also simplifies all the immigration procedures.
      As far as NY is concerned, your 800k pounds can’t even get you a shack there, and you would live surrounded by the most venal and materialistic a-holes on the planet, in a dangerous and nasty town. In fact, much of the US is that way, so I would not bother considering America at all. I have lived in the US most of my life, across several different states, but in the past 12 years the place has gone to hell, and in another 5 years it will be indistinguishable from Nazi Germany. Avoid it at all costs. I think Europe is still much better.

      • Are you sure you want to go to Malta? I’m in Malta and I have been thinking of moving to New Zealand LOL.

        Malta is a very tiny island, a few weeks here and you are bored of it entirely so much that you are desperate to go on vacation elsewhere. Most of it is the same, you see one old church you’ve seen them all, it’s a great attraction for the first time but you quickly get over it and long for something different. The whether is not so great, in winter it is cold & rainy (probably slightly warmer than Britain), whereas summer it is very dry and very hot. The best season is Spring and Autumn but unfortunately they are only a few weeks short and volatile (i.e. with cold spells). The beaches here are small and crowded during summer. Some are nice with the nice sea but after your first jellyfish sting you will never go back to them. I hear jellyfish is a problem in OZ as well, so no thanks to beaches for me.

        It has a very different culture, even though they may speak English as a second language, their culture is closer to their first language which is Arabic. Maltese villages look towns from Lebanon or Libya, i.e. they are very built up literally on top of each other and with very little greenery (a plot pant here and there) completely opposite to that of the UK, NZ, OZ, CA or USA. Environmental values are almost null here, people just aren’t brought to value and if you try to instill some environmental morals (such plant trees don’t cut them down, or stop pointless bird-hunting) they will reply with “we don’t need no British telling us what to do, we are no longer your colony go back to your sh*thole Britain”. Not to say they are racist, they aren’t too bad as people, but they aren’t particularly welcoming to foreigners either and they will use you as a scapegoat for all there problems including their own mistakes with over construction, so be prepared to be marginalized, it will be a problem everywhere you migrate but at least in OZ/NZ it is not noticeable at first sight that you are foreign and those countries speak English whereas here they speak Maltese, a semitic language closest to Arabic so good-luck learning it.

        Houses here are absolute sh*t even compared to Britain, most are in bad condition and having a bedroom window is considered a luxury only for the rich, P.S. you can kiss any yard or garden goodbye.

        Seriously I don’t recommend Malta, if anything I recommend OZ or even Burmuda, or even New Zealand, although I’m put off by these comments I can never know how it truly is without seeing for myself I just know never to have high expectations as you will always be disappointed, expect the worst and you will see its not too bad.

    • Come to Saskatchewan Canada. Its fairly flat lol but the people are excellent and if you have that much to put on a house for your family, it would go a VERY long way here. We bought our 2 bedroom, on a huge lot
      (179x 195 feet) for $45,000 Cd Also the province is fairly spread out, but if you don’t mind a little driving, there are plenty of family friendly activities , like the lakes for fishing and boating, ski hills, paintballing, as well as all the festivals throughout the year. Yes winters are cold, buy good coats, they’re affordable. Summers are hot, buy sunscreen, also affordable. Cheers from Canada and good luck in your search!

  173. Having read all the above comments,I must say the mirage I was living stands broken. I have a family and I have been contemplating shifting to NZ for a while. I thought my kids would get world class education and great lifestyle. I am paid quite a bit inIndia for my job and I even thought I can live on half the salary if I get to move to NZ. However, after reading such horrid stories about NZ my faith is shaken. We can live with some anomaly in every society but not with rotten human beings. India has huge problems but people here are nice and warm. A person who makes USD 40000/= can have a great life comparable to any place. Of course every nation has it’s share of problems and indias problem is the population. Nevertheless, I invite you to try India at least once and see for yourself the opportunities and life here.

  174. Wow! These comments are pretty scary. But I am grateful to all who posted their NZ experiences here. Reading through these comments has been quite an eye opener, to say the least.
    My wife and I were thinking of ditching the US for NZ. But now we better think again. Another thing that sounds scary about NZ is the reported high level of ignorance displayed by its inhabitants (I hear they call themselves “Kiwis”…LOL). I am a psychologist and my wife is a dentist, and we don’t mind having moderately intelligent conversations with people, even if only occasionally. Should we forget that if we end up in NZ? And what do these “kiwis” like talk about, anyway? Crocodile Dundee kind of stuff? Because is so, I can see how that would get boring fast.
    So, what do you think? Is the US, with all its issues and evils still more desirable than NZ?
    By the way, we also have EU passports, so Europe is also another option for us. Do you think these “kiwis” are even more nationalist and redneck than say, the Spanish, the French, or the Italians? I did not think that was possible, but after reading through this page, I am beginning to wonder.
    Thanks for any feedback.

    • i cannot say without huge amounts of personal experience. but i’d say if you stay in us you will be better off. and I think the dutch, Scottish, irish people are great folks. local kiwis tend to be more like hooligans for the younger generation, although I think I have grown more positive views of the rugby sport after being engaged with it via locals. I only heard French economy is not in good shape. again cant say for sure. I must say I was quite tired of all the aired infomercials and content on tv in nz that was mostly pushy American style things. as their all said the same – nz is ok only if you have a ton of cash to burn leaving you wandering around in a quiet place. I have attended local counseling and dental services, so these 2 specialties are a necessity from ordinary folks, but don’t expect to charge clients a fortune for it.

      • PT,

        Thanks for sharing your impressions of NZ. The place does sound like a total hell hole. I am not even going to bother visiting it, leave alone try to move there.

        Personally, I don’t like the US anymore, mainly because of all the fascist craziness going on here now. So I will probably move to Europe, where we have a second residence already.
        By the way, why don’t you get out of NZ? What keeps you in that hell hole?

        BTW, most Anglo-Saxon countries seem to have gone to hell in recent years. One can be much happier in Latin America or Asia these days it seems.

        • i believe I had loyalty for nz, that’s why I didn’t leave at the first chance of finishing a course like what others did. however, I finally had enough abuse after being setup by coworkers with poisonous heart. you do 1.5 year of non stop stressful work under crazy mismanaged chaotic atmosphere to overcome all the lies, obstacles to manufacture billions of dollars for someone else? and then get defamed and smeared! thank you very much, im done with this unnecessary Hollywood style drama with all the media, lawyers, consellors etc all preying on your bank balance under various excuses of service, in the end nobody is interested to let you rest in peace or grow in life happily. the big brother is watching and have all the money and political power, so as long as you’re being targeted, no legitimate reasoning matters and thank god they finally made me sold out everything and leave. perhaps that’s what they want, if not, why after a decade has past you still see those tv debate about the hate mail some white folks are circulating. who wants to please the unpleasable bullies at your cost of life savings and well being? it is like a never ending loan shark. of course, totally out of there, and rediscovered that where im at we still have lovely clean beaches and outdoors. its easy to find easy going folks to befriend and trust. people NOT TIED with foreign enterprises have common decency and trustworthy behavior. At least on the street I never get bumped away by some big stranger, neither do I hear of any cases of cars broken into. Anybody that has the slightest inclination of bullying me again I will throw the job or them away, that includes big buff muscle fitness staff at pricey foreign style commercial gyms that yell at me to generate trouble. I just knee into their shitty groin and throw the jerks away. cant be bothered to waste my short limited life with liars and time wasters. of course where im at, the kiwis come and always try to seek out events where they can milk money holding a blood sucking mindset. if I do make contact with some to seek out a little help such as borrowing a rugby ball, they refuse. logically the last thing on their mind would be to help out natural disasters like earthquake. afterall, they may only want to be positioning themselves as expensive sport junkies where fitness and health is to be ‘bought’ by us at a steep price… if that’s their view of the world how we should be enslaved this way. as I still think love cannot be bought, I cant be bothered to keep trading with these folks under a negative relationship.

        • Denmark seems to be number one on every list I’ve seen for every important category. Finland, Sweden, basically the Netherlands. Opposite of my kind of weather, but if that’s what I have to pay for the rest of everything else falling into place, I’ll take it.

    • Have spent large amounts of time in both U.S. and NZ, I would advise you to stay in the States if you think the Kiwis are like Crocodile Dundee. Read Zegelaar’s New Zealand immigration book on how the locals welcome professionals moving in and trying to set businesses of their own up (welcome isn’t the word). I witnessed this type of protectionism happen many times. Anything non-NZ is distrusted, discouraged. They bash the U.S. something insane – prepare to be unreasonably disliked by people you don’t even know. The poster above stating that you “move for the lifestyle” is making a comment typical of many Kiwis, who prefer to frame the preference as “money person” / “non-money person” or “naturally happy person” / “whinger who’d hate it anywhere”. This is like saying you have “money values” if you don’t wish to live in a shack in Belize on a shoestring and eat sunsets for dinner. Resist permitting morons with an agenda from defining the terms of the debate. Having a family, and not having endless resources, these things are important to my quality of life: general affordability of normal life, the temperature and level of humidity inside my home, the availability of comfortable but not luxurious housing on my budget, staying out of debt, the availability of good affordable fresh food in some reasonable variety, quality of schooling, museums and other opportunities, classifieds showing a decent number of jobs available, the general level of discourse around me, price of books, good infrastructure, basic utilities affordable, and many other more intangible things. If you expect a “normal” comfortable life such as what you would get in America, then New Zealand probably is not a good place for you. New Zealand will disappoint the reasonable expectations of a citizen of a first world nation. If you go with a willingness to be set back in life for (whatever you would gain by moving there – we gained f***-all and in fact lost a great deal, and we can’t get it back), then give it a try. These sites exist to warn people that New Zealand is not what it is advertised to be. It has a certain “flavour” ,and it might not be YOUR favourite one:

      Caveat emptor. That’s all we’re saying.

    • I wish I could live in the US and yes, if you have a EU passport do not bother to come down here to zero economy. I Am a dentist too and believe me , there is not enough people , and they are extremely different to USA , South Africa Uk Canada etc. People do not care about their Oral health or sick state of their teeth. Think twice please, first come for a visit, but I think , NO . take the lakes of Canada and probably a few picturesque places , put it in a matchbox and you have New Zealand, Canada is extremely beautiful NZ has boring Nature in the North Island , a bit better South, Ugly black sand beaches.We feel tricked, and cheated by Immigration agents and fell for the lies they told us. it cost us ALL our savings money to get here, we lost everything financially, and now have nothing. this place is full of pathetic rules and regulations , we family of four is just surviving. My children are leaving for America or Australia once they finished their studies. This place can not pay expertise and professionals, they are bottom dwellers .

  175. New Zealanders claim they are not racist, but I’m afraid many of them are. A lovely Cambodian girl I worked with was waiting to cross the road and a car pulled up and the idiot inside spat in her face. I know many others who have been verbally abused and lots of reports in the newspaper archives if you go to the NZ Herald newspaper online and search the words Asian & Racism. There is a real underlying aggressiveness in the Kiwi culture, maybe due to insecurity. The nicest and most genuine race of people in NZ are the Pacific Islanders. No pretences. Especially the Samoan people, and Cook Islanders. However, if you are determined to study in the Antipodies, I’m not sure Australia would be much better. It will also depend on what area of NZ or Australia you study in. Wellington is much nicer than Auckland. Avoid Christchurch at all costs, it has an infamous history of racism.

  176. Having travelled quite extensively I would have to say that New Zealanders take the prize for being the biggest bunch of idiots in the world. A race of brainless, insecure, passive aggressive, humourless, bell-ends. Yeah tourists love the place, if they are lucky enough not to raped or murdered that is, but you can’t really gain a true appreciation for how backward, and god awful a place is until you’ve lived there. And I’ve lived there so I’m better placed than most to accurately judge the inane stupidity of the Kiwi race.

    • At least in NZ they don’t let anybody own a gun, you don’t have to worry about your children getting gunned down by a fellow student. I have know idea who thought it was a good idea to let and emotional teenager have access to a gun.

      • Charlie, there are 1.1 million firearms in New Zealand (and that’s a conservative estimate) so yes, they do let anybody own a gun.

  177. Annie Marie and MissPH – go anywhere but NZ! It is indeed very racist – especially to Asians (by which they mean anyone who isn’t white) and it is not a healthy society. There are many good people here, but the country itself is at the top of many lists (youth suicide, child abuse, mass migration of their educated population) that should ring many alarm bells to anyone wanting to upset their own lives and try to live here. I am from Canada – which has many problems of its own – but NZ is a very different society with different values and I would say it’s not a safe or sensible option for anyone from Scotland or… Asia.

  178. Hi! I’m from Philippines and will move to NZ in to study. I’m afraid of experiencing racism. Are tertiary students racist too?

  179. There is no paradise place on earth; we make our own paradise place through being happy with ourselves first. I lived in NZ, OZ, US and Canada and I enjoyed all places, as all places have their own goods and bads….I know I enjoyed safe and peaceful walks in the NZ forests

    • to be fair i agree and that’s why i feel the bashing of some Asian countries in the media was very unfounded and ill intended. if i had such peace of mind and fun in nz, why would i have moved away? where im now the main concern of people is sky high housing costs that render it unaffordable by many. but i’d rather to live in a place with tiny rooms where i feel safe walking down the street, people willing to offer you paid work opportunities without intentionally subjecting you to damaging abuse, and having reliable bank staff who just executive normal transactions instead of prying into your privacy, gaming you and bad mouthing you. i can easily approach people on the street expecting most are willing to talk with me and understand me, and give direction where to take buses etc. when i was in akl, i was quite shocked some dude on the street would refuse give directions but instead made the allegation that ‘you Asian are rich you should be taking taxi’. if any foreign people where i live ask me for simple transportation advice, i wouldn’t tell them that they are aliens shouldn’t they ride their own private jets, would i?

    • Hey, i’m very interested to find out which of the four places (NZ, OZ, USA, & Canada) you prefer and why. By the way I totally agree you have to be at peace with yourself first.

  180. I have a friend who stayed here for a few years and then went back to her homeland, New Zealand, I also have close family friends there, I’ve always had this romantic idea to move from scotland to nz, but is it really soooo bad as everyone is saying?we are just an average family with no real savings, would my young children have a better life in nz than here in bonnie scotland?help!

    • A bit of perspective…we have friends that immigrated to NZ from the UK, lived there long enough to get citizenship, and then fled….to Scotland!

      • I think your home country with the support of life-long friends and relatives probably makes a good contribution to quality of life.

        As a Kiwi it’s interesting reading the comments. I notice in the building I work in, the people I’m closest to and have the best conversations with are pretty much Asians and other foreigners. They are friendlier, more open to friendship i.e. less cliquey and more worldly than the home-grown version. My partner’s favourite person to chat with at his work is from ROC.

        I suspect some people don’t find other people who are a ‘bit different’ appealing. This also works if you’re a Kiwi and a bit different i.e. your preferred topic of conversation isn’t about shopping and what was on TV last night.

  181. I have lived 19 years in NZ,I would say its HELL none the less,bullied at school during primary days and when I apply for a job,it ends up rejected,I have since decided I am focusing on moving to the US so my advice for newcomers to NZ don’t believe what the media says about New Zealand

    • I don’t suggest the U.S. either. I live here and I’m trying to get the fuck out. Democracy my ass. The corporations here buy the politicians, and the politicians build everything to give these huge businesses huge tax cuts (they pay such a low amount and complain and bitch they want to pay less and hide money in other country banks- so many loopholes!) Americans are terrified of immigrants (see our “border crisis” with Mexico and other Central/South American countries, and how our republicans here want to handle that!), we have a war on everything- war on drugs, immigrants, education, Christmas (yes that war actually exists). Our police are heavily militarized (don’t look at an officer wrong, chances are you’ll get shot, see right now our Ferguson, Missouri cases- yes, now there are three lethal shootings that happened there this past month, two of them this past week)- The U.S. is as scary as China, Russia, North Korea…….. it sucks here. The approval rating of our congressmen is at 4%. I’m not joking. That’s the latest poll. Yet no one wants to vote for new people because too many are lazy, or believe the lying propaganda spoonfed to them on their TV’s. I find the U.S. to be fear-mongering, war-mongering, and if you’re not rich, you will be shit on. Our minimum wage is a joke, half our government says hell no to raising it. I’ve become very afraid of this country. Turns out maybe NZ isn’t as great as I thought it was. Stupid propaganda. Plus the rest of the world hates us. I wonder why. (Sarcasm). I don’t want to be put in the same stereotypical group and judged for being American. I’ll take other stereotypes of many other countries. I just want my government, and the people I live around, to treat everyone fairly. To be fair, the U.S. is HUGE and you can probably find a niche here. I found mine- I love Portland, OR. But I do not want to stay in this country.

      • @boileddowntruth
        Well, would you like to stay in this country? Beware of “making a bad situation, WORSE” (things, can get a LOT worse …)
        “Skilling says the most recent Statistics New Zealand data indicated the richest 20 per cent of us owned 70 per cent of the wealth, with 18 per cent in the hands of the second richest quintile, and 10 per cent in the hands of the middle quintile. Just 2 per cent was owned by people in the fourth quintile, while the bottom owned nothing.”
        “Wealth split worse than most realise
        ROB STOCK Last updated 05:00 24/08/2014”

        • I’m still looking. -_- I’m getting more and more desperate to leave here, the more things unfold yet again. I don’t know where to go though. Lots of options. Want to choose the right one. I hear a lot of good things about OZ- curious to know what you guys think of Australia?????

  182. Thank you so much. You are speaking the truth, and that is priceless. Your purposed have been accomplished. Thank u for sharing your life, and keeping others away from this New Zeland trap. Let me tell you a little about us., My husband is a disabled veteran, and I have 3 children between ages of 13-6. We were looking for a new beginning, sometimes life gets a little hard, difficult to save, more difficult to travel, and almost impossible to enjoy nature… We have considered to move aboard – Chile. We are waiting to solve some financial and legal issues to take acction. I came acrossed with this wonderful propaganda about New Zeland and it was really appealing. The cost to travel to New Zeland is very, very low. It sounded perfect to raise my children, until a came across with your page. Thank u for been so open, and helping us to stay away from this lie.

  183. I stumbled on this webpage by accident and I have found it illuminating in that it presents a point of view that is not often published or articulated. While some of the comments and opinions articulated are well made many are just people having a whinge,….. NZ has not got a big economic footprint and making a living here can be bloody tough, I have watched more than a few episodes of place in the sun (UK TV programme about relocating downunder) where this week contestant expects to sell their 1 bed flat in Slough and get a 7 bedroom mansion (with a pool) in central Auckland and then is put out when they cant afford it. they also expect to make the same money that they have been making in England in NZ….. Newsflash you move to NZ for the lifestyle not to get rich, the money may be less and the property is probably not that much cheaper. The place also only has population of 4m so don’t expect it to be like London… Maybe the problem is not what NZ is, but that the expectations of many would be immigrants are set sky high!

    • You can do it tough in NZ for sure. Thats why after 40 years in NZ I now live in Perth. And you think NZ has bogans, man this is bogan central!
      I was born in UK and lived/worked there and in Europe also. If you are not into the outdoors then much of NZ’s attraction is not relevant for you. One person commented that NZ sems to be the same wherever you go, yet there is a huge mountain range with glaciers at one end, and volcanoes and beaches at the other!

      I remeber living in England just longing to get back to NZ. So, the question to ask yourself is, is it really that the place you are in is so bad or just the longing to get back to where you were, in the hope of a better life…even though you probably left that place in search of a better life anyway.

      • the outdoor scene were attractive for the raw and crude original state, but that is only if you have the over ordinary ability to have the freedom and financial spares to spend it there. im not greedy, so having once or twice in many years to have the opportunity to ski or go to the beach, i feel flattered and spoiled (do i sound like a naïve kid?). but to be fair, even if the financial side was not overburdening for these once in a while events to take place, the facilities were very primitive and basic, the cars that people go to these places are also ordinary so they pollute the air as much with filthy smelling gasoline. the people who go places are the very people around you – they are casually dirty and where i followed a tramping club to the forests, they stomp the hut and break things, litter places with rubbish, having a loud noisy party like behavior. well, that goes along my impression of many of their young and adult people – rude, cliques and socially irresponsible regarding being tidiness. i felt even more scared when someone was trying to prey on my interest to get along with locals and selling the chance to learn surfing when i felt to enjoy the ocean and sport i was treated like a goldmine…. ummm well you may spend and burn your savings to get a taste of the so called pure new Zealand experience, only to goto coffin and die one way or another either being in a car accident due to some drunk cutting across on a narrow road, or die in a fatal accident of bungy jumping, or shot dead by some Nazi minded redneck because they hated Asians. your sweat money is so easily pocketed by the locals with nobody remembering you, while your ill fate would be swept under the carpet as some unaccounted or hidden statistics. And, of course if someone dare to take your issues to the authorities, the media and the authorities probably see you as troublemaker and want you to disappear to avoid other idiots flocking to their traps!

    • i don’t think my expectation was sky high. my expectation was only to be living in peace, get access to a bit of training i paid for without getting unfairly excluded, do some legitimate work to earn a little money without being defamed, eat ordinary food, sleep well without getting cursed or being set up, let alone to live my life, cheer up with a few friendly neighbours or locals, walk on the street unharmed and not bullied.
      however, when i was standing in queen street, some dude would walk into me and push me away, my car broken into (and of course the state insurance cant reimburse it because the crime took place after 5pm), etc, etc, etc. Don’t kid me… certain famous Asian stars (i dont want to name them yet) who died in foreign places were not dead due to ‘mysterious causes’. their lives were actively being sabotaged in bad faith.
      Or, should a realistic non sky high expectation be getting marginalized and excluded, unemployed for a decade (eg 1/6 of your whole life), unable to own a profitable business because many people related to it were mostly dishonest or slackers, continuously running into officials and staff that abuse power, being a forgotten soul and cursed, continuously facing unpleasant treatment from callous people, suicidal and drowning into a cold scenic lake without a recoverable body or thereafter funeral, facing a barrage of bigotry and fake cold hearted smooth talking people that only want to take fast money?

    • However, due to the fact that inflation has spiked and the wages for professionals have not, and are a fraction of what you would earn elsewhere, the ‘fantastic NZ lifestyle’ that everyone bangs on about is no longer affordable. It’s just another New Zealand myth. Just like the ‘clean green’ rubbish you hear. This place is no utopia despite the sales pitch.

        • Thanks Han, Clearly for some lifestyle is about money and the things it can buy…….. But as I said above NZ is not a place you move to grow rich (or go shopping). However if you like doing things and being outdoors then NZ does offer a great lifestyle in that you have ready access to the bush and the beach and their are loads of activity’s from sailing swimming, surfing, kayaking, camping, tramping which are relatively cheap or in some cases free. Also Kiwis generally have what I would call a more positive attitude to life. When I was growing up it was very much have a go, maybe it will work out, maybe it wont, but if you don’t try you wont know. But since I have been abroad I have been amazed (in many cultures) by the strong emphasis on face (i.e. don’t try things because if you are not successful then people will be cuing up to criticize and rip the piss out of you). NZers tend to just get on with it and do it. I would say this, NZ is not for everyone, but do your research and know what you are getting into and be sure about what you want. For all the tales here of discontent there are many people who make it here and love it. Either way, at least you can say you tried it and if it doesn’t work out then you can live forward knowing you had a go, as opposed to spend your life wondering what if.

            • Having known people who have taken their own life all I can say is that it is devastatingly sad and that the reasons why can often be hard to find. I don’t think that this is really the appropriate forum to discuss this…….

            • This is the perfect forum, many of our regular contributors also know people who have have suicided, including children. But if you’d rather not talk about it that’s your prerogative. Perhaps you could answer the rest of the question, and the one about families and mortgages instead?