Above: Rodeo Drive, Redvale
New Zealand’s reputation as a safe place to live. especially for women, took another knock today when police announced they are treating the death of a young woman north of Auckland as a homicide.
According to press reports the body of a woman was found at a lifestyle-block property on Rodeo Road in Redvale, Auckland, an area popular with farmers, stable owners and hobby farmers. Police aren’t saying what her injuries are but three rottweilers at the property have been euthanised and a man is assisting police with their enquiries. The deceased woman is understood not to reside at the premises.
A report by Stuff.co.nz gave the impression that neighbours avoided the occupants of the house.
“Earlier today, a Rodeo Dr resident was hesitant to talk to media, but said he did not associate with the people who lived at the house where the body was found.
“I stayed away from there,” he said.
The home’s previous owner said she sold it a year ago and was unsure of who the new owners were…” more here
New Zealand was recently named a being one of the best places to be a woman, but in reality NZ women suffer from an appallingly high incidence of violence inside and outside of the home.
In one study which examined a sample population of women in Waikato and Auckland, 33% of women in Auckland and 39% in Waikato had experienced at least one act of physical and/or sexual violence by an intimate partner. Whilst sexual violence by non-partners was reported by 9% and 12% of women in Auckland and Waikato respectively.
The New Zealand branch of White Ribbon says
“Violence is endemic within New Zealand with one in three women experiencing violence from a partner in their lifetime, while on average, fourteen women are killed each year by a member of their own family.”
“Each year there are over 3,500 convictions recorded against men for assaults on women and one in five women will experience sexual assault or sexual interference at some point in their lives.”
The estimated social cost of sexual violence in NZ $1.2 billion per year. It is NZ’s most costly crime.
Meanwhile in other crime news, Christchurch police say they have arrested a 20 year old man in connection with the savage assault of cricketer Jesse Ryder and have interviewed a 37 year old man who is a relative of the accused.
New Zealand’s carefully honed image of being a safe country has taken another blow after the savage beating of cricketer Jesse Ryder.
Ryder was left with a fractured skull, punctured lung and internal bleeding after a frenzied attack by four men on a Christchurch street. Ryder was due to fly out tomorrow to start a $NZ300,000 contract with the Indian Premier League.
According to a report in the NZ Herald Ryder was attacked from behind outside Aikman’s Bar on Papanui Road, Merivale.
Radio New Zealand reported he was in a coma. His condition was critical.
A witness, who only wanted to be known as Adam, told Fairfax Media that Ryder had his shirt ripped off his back and was on the ground as four men kicked and punched him outside the bar.
Ryder was lying in a bush “shaking, vomiting and covered in blood” in the carpark of McDonald’s, which was across the road from the bar.
Adam, who was drinking at the bar, said the brawl broke out behind him.
“From what I could tell it looked pretty unprovoked,” he said.
Four men started punching Ryder in the bar’s courtyard and the fight was quickly pushed out on to the street.”Four dudes were just laying into him and absolutely smashing him on the ground. His shirt was ripped off and they were kicking him and punching him while he was down.” more here
a 20 year old man and an out of town male relative, age 37, have been arrested. Neighbours saw a man led away in handcuffs from a home in Barbadoes Street on Thursday evening, just hours after the attack.
British Cricket Team Victims of Theft in Auckland
Continuing with cricket and sporting news, it has emerged that three members of the British touring cricket team were victims of theft whilst staying at the Pullman Hotel on Waterloo Quadrant, Auckland on Sunday night.
Police are looking for a man who was pictured leaving the “plush hotel” with the unnamed cricketers’ gold clubs which had been left in an unsecured storage room. A doorman, who is reportedly not a suspect, helped him carry the golf bag out of the door in the early hours of the morning. The theft was noticed when the team’s luggage was loaded up for the flight out. For more click here.
The team has already left New Zealand and are unlikely to be as lucky as the member of the US rowing team at Lake Karapiro who had their stolen possessions returned minutes before leaving New Zealand. For more read US Rowing Team Member Robbed, World Rowing Championships 2010.
South African reporters covering the Rugby World Cup weren’t that fortunate. Christiaan Kotze and Barry Aldworth lost R60 000 worth of equipment after South Africa’s games against Samoa at North Harbour stadium. Neither were SuperSport journalists Brenden Nel and Gavin Rich, when their car was broken into at a parking lot at an Auckland hotel.
- Test cricketer’s skull ‘smashed’ (theage.com.au)
- National Sport: NZ cricket offer support to Ryder (birminghampost.net)
- New Zealand cricket star Jesse Ryder in critical condition after bar attack (metro.co.uk)
Three hours ago New Zealand’s GNS science issued a fresh alert for Whakaari or White Island, a volcano that lies a mere 30 miles off the north east coast of the North Island.
Increased volcanic activity has come at a time when New Zealand has been experiencing swarms of earthquakes, the strongest of which were two shallow quakes near to Whanganui in the North Island and Christchurch in the South Island both on Saturday (see details below) There have also been whale strandings in the last week or so (taken by some as a sign of increased seismic activity) including one on Paraparaumu Beach north west of the capital Wellington.
Recent strong earthquakes in New Zealand
- Public Id: 2013p049577
- NZDT: Saturday, January 19 2013 at 9:15:08 pm
- Intensity: strong
- Depth: 12 km
- Magnitude: 4.6
- Location: 15 km south-west of Christchurch
- Public Id: 2013p049057
- NZDT: Saturday, January 19 2013 at 4:37:55 pm
- Intensity: strong
- Depth: 9 km
- Magnitude: 4.2
- Location: 30 km south-west of Whanganui
THE GNS has published the volcanic alert bulletin on its website, saying
“GNS volcanologist Brad Scott said “the hydrothermal activity is some of the most vigorous I have seen at White Island for many years. This type of activity usually leads to stronger volcanic activity and is a significant concern.” more here
According to a report on Stuff.co.nz Brad Scott said ”I don’t think I’ve seen anything this strong since the late 90s and 2000s. The activity then led to a large eruption in July, 2000.”
Get Ready, Get Thru
If you are live in the Bay of Plenty we think it only prudent to be taking stock of your emergency supplies and disaster preparedness, in the event that an ash fall event could affect the area.
It is wise to prepare for the worst and hope for the best. Advice on what to do may be found here Get Ready Get Thru, GNS have said “The state of unrest at White Island is increasing and future eruptions are possible with little or no warning.”
Moving to Christchurch to help out with the rebuild?
Take care when looking for rental accommodation.
According to a report by Stuff, owners of quake damaged properties that have been written off by insurance companies are selling off their investments for no more than the price of the section (land) rather than using insurance payouts to repair their homes.
Savvy investors are coming in to snap up the cut price wrecks and renting them out to tenants, seeing the potential for long term gains when the sites are stable enough to be redeveloped in the distant future. Some of the affected areas may surprise you they include upmarket Sumner and Avondale, Queenspark and the eastern suburbs.
What does this mean for migrants coming into the city? well, they’re unlikely t0 know where the damaged houses are, or the implications of living in one and could fall easy prey to unscrupulous investors. This may be something you’d expect to happen in a third world country, but in New Zealand?
The potential problems could range from weather-tightness issues (rainwater ingress, difficult to heat) and poor security to damaged sewage connections, ongoing liquefaction, shaky foundation etc. to a real risk that their temporary home could suffer further damage in an aftershock or new earthquake.
There is no indication in the article whether these homes have ever been assessed as fit for human habitation, there’s no “MOT” for homes in NZ before they’re considered suitable as rentals and once you’re in a long term rental contract it’s very difficult to get out from it without suffering large financial loses.
The message to you is this. If you’re emigrating to New Zealand to work in Christchurch and your employer has promised to assist you with accommodation be sure to ask if they’re going to place you in a quake damaged property. Get a written guarantee that you will be provided with safe, sound and habitable accommodation and that if the property is later found to have quake damage that interferes with your enjoyment of your home they will bear the costs of relocating you to a more suitable premises.
If you’re looking for accommodation yourself speak to the locals first and get the low-down on the areas to avoid and the pitfalls of living in a damaged home. Lastly, ask hard questions of the rental agents.
We’d like to hear from anyone who’s unwillingly moved into a quake damaged rental and is suffering as a result. Please leave comments at the bottom of this page.
You may also like to read
Landlords told to make homes liveable – “Some people think it’s OK to make a buck at any expense, but it’s not OK when your investment is more important than the wellbeing of citizens” (Stuff.co.nz 15 Jan 2013)
Welcome to our Migrant Tales series – first hand accounts of the migrant experience of New Zealand taken from places around the net.
Today’s tale was first published on a British expats immigration forum. The author and his wife moved from Scotland to New Zealand, he works in engineering and moved to Christchurch to work in the reconstruction.
He found that the work life balance in New Zealand isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, this is something that many people are saying and he’s not alone in this.
He says the cost of living in NZ is very high, his living accommodation is worse than in Scotland and life isn’t too good even though he’s earning a bigger salary than in Scotland and his wife no longer works.
His wife (ex cabin crew) has struggled to find work, with a baby on the way is it worth staying in NZ so far away from family back home?
NZ vs UK – not all it’s cracked up to be. Is it just me?
I wanted to get other people’s opinions on their new life in New Zealand vs their old life’s in the UK. Before I begin, this is my opinion. Everyone is different and I don’t want to offend anyone. I am just wondering if my experience is the same as other people’s or are we alone.
My wife and I moved here 14 months ago from Scotland. I had an engineering job in Scotland and was earning around $60,000. My wife was cabin crew for a local airline and was earning around $28,000. We had a 3 bed victorian terrace in Dundee on the east coast of Scotland. I worked around 37.5 hours per week. My wife worked around 30 hours per week. Our family lives in Dundee and we used to see them regularly.
Due to the economic climate I felt my job wasn’t very secure and we began to explore options about moving overseas. A friend of mine had emmigrated to New Zealand a few years before and he was living in Christchurch and I had obviously heard about all the work going on as part of the rebuild so I contacted him to enquire if there was work out here. There was and after a few months and a couple of interviews I was offered a job and we moved out here.
I am working in a similar engineering role as I was back home, although I am working 45 hours a week. I am being paid around $90,000 though so with more hours comes more money. The thing is though, I was always told the work life balance in New Zealand was better than in the UK. I am working a day extra every week more than I was working back in the UK. I also get less holidays than I did in Scotland and more of my holidays here are determined by the company. I have to take 2 weeks at Christmas here whereas I only had to take 4 days leave at Christmas when I was at
home. That only leaves 2 weeks leave for the rest of the year which isn’t that much.
The cost of living here in Christchurch seems to be very high in comparison to Scotland. We are living in a 1 bed flat in the city which is only 25% cheaper than our 3 bed victorian terrace in Dundee. The quality of housing here is poor and a lot of houses don’t have double glazing or any sort of heating. They are also lacking in insulation which causes damp in the properties.
Fuel is only around 10% cheaper here than in Scotland. Second hand cars are a lot more expensive, although they do seem to last longer because they don’t salt the roads.
Food and alcohol is a lot more expensive than in Scotland. A 15 pack of beer will cost around $35 compared to around $20 in the UK. Food prices are very dependant on what’s in season. Recently tomatoes were $12/kg! Peppers (capsicums) are around $3 each. You can pick up a 3 pack in Tesco for $4!
If you want to go for a pint you are looking at paying around $8-$10 a pint. In Scotland I would be paying around $5-$6 a pint.
New Zealand is a beautiful country and I can see why people move here. It is a giant playground and because of the better weather people spend more time outdoors than they would back in Scotland. The thing is though, all the things we do here, we could do back home. Tramping, mountain biking etc. We feel that having more sunshine just isn’t enough to want us to stay here. Scotland is also a beautiful country with lots of beautiful places to visit. It does rain more often but you just learn to deal with the rain.
We are also starting to feel that it is just too far from home to stay permanently. We went home for a friends wedding in May and it cost us $10,000 for 3 weeks. There is no way we could afford to do that every year so we would maybe only manage to get home every 2 or 3 years. We would love for some of our family to move here but everyone is settled there and not everyone is earning enough money to be able to come out here every year.
We also miss having concerts or plays or shows to go and see. There isn’t a lot coming to the south island. We did go and see mumford and sons last week and it was amazing. It would be nice to have more things like that here.
My wife has struggled to pick up work since coming here and that has also been difficult. We have met some new friends but that has also been more difficult than we first thought. All our friends are expats. We find Kiwis, as friendly as they are when you initially meet them, are very reserved and private. Maybe this is just our experience or maybe this is just Christchurch, I don’t know.
My wife is now 4 months pregnant and we are at the point where we are not sure whether to stay here or go home and be closer to our family so we have support for the baby coming. We would love for our baby to get citizenship here so it had options when it was older but we don’t want
to sacrifice our happiness in the process.
Are we the only people who feel like this? Have other people been through similar feelings/emotions when moving here? How did you get through it or did you decide that it wasn’t for you? We were just surprised because we had heard so many wonderful things about NZ before we came and when we got here it wasn’t the same as we thought it would be.
Thank you in advance for your comments. I look forward to hearing all of your experiences and how you dealt with the massive changes involved in moving overseas.
A Selection from our Migrant Tales
Immigrant Kid: A Hong Kong Chinese Tale (Chinese)