Migrant Stories – "Why I think New Zealand is backward" Part II

Yesterday as part our Migrant Stories series we entered an account from a British person, who’d lived in New Zealand and returned to the UK, titled “Why I think New Zealand is backward“.

Her post was made on an emigration forum frequented mainly by British people and some New Zealanders. It drew a massive response, some of it hostile, overly defensive and insecure. Since then she has published a fuller explanation of why she thinks New Zealand is backward by answering questions (in italics) that were put to her by another person. This is her response, this is why so many migrants and their families do not settle in New Zealand. Read, learn and understand.

“In response I will try to explain and i apoligise to all those people who felt offended by my unwisely choice of words.

No choice in the supermarkets, if u want to home bake u r ok, want a convenience meal forget it! I personally find the ‘convenience meal’ mentality in the UK sad. Get a cook book! It is healthier to cook your own food for starters.

Hi most of our meals are cooked from scratch, but when u have got lots of things to attend to and the kids need to be here there and everywhere a convenience meal is just that a convenience. I made a birthday cake and went to buy some writing pens, to write happy birthday on the top, could i get any NO the woman in the supermarket looked at me as though I was strange and gladly handed me a piping bag!!!! I thought they were extinct

Education is appaling, my opinion of having 4 kids in the UK system then NZ Some posters will disagree with that according to previous posts I’ve read. I can’t comment.

Being a Lecturer with kids in very good schools in the UK, I found the education system appalling. NCEA is supposed to be on par with our GCSE’s and A Levels, in my opinion there is no comparison. When head teachers will not call in parents of disobedient children because their parents are a gang members and will not upset them, it beggered belief!!

No expectations for kids to leave school and go to University. Who’s responsibility is it? the schools? government? why not the parents?
It is the parents and the schools responsibility to inspire kids to attain the best they can out of life.

The people are NOT intelligent and to get an intelligent conversation is near on impossible. Sounds like a massively unfair generalisation to me.
This was a bad choice of words, very sorry people. I longed for an academic conversation, a debate, to speak to a person who could have a stimulating conversation was very limiting, it could have been the area we were in.

Health and Safety is a joke. In what way? Roads, driving the mountain road every day to take kids to schools, no barrieres at all. Allowing kids to drive at 15. The fact that when there are health and safety rules in place no one takes any notice of them. Tokoro Mill has safety bars to stop people falling in once the drains are opened but these have to be removed because the suction truck hose does not fit through it, so they have to lift it and any person could fall into the pit and would die within minutes. Also the collection of chemicals, they take anything where are the ADR certificates.

Music is mostly american rap and NZ follow american culture. As do half the planet!
Spending lots of time with teenagers, the american music and influence I felt was more prominent in NZ at least in the Uk they promote many new British bands. Again something I suppose I didn’t expect

Wages are do not match expectations, therefore lifestyle you have previously had is no where in sight. You should have known this before moving to NZ. No-one moves to NZ to get rich. There are millions of posts about that.
I knew my wages would be half what I was on in the UK, but actually having the experience of having to live on them was very difficult, when u live by certain standards.

The Kiwi’s do not want progress especially in all the farms I visited. What do you mean? do they use oxen to plough the fields?
hahaha you make me laugh. I was teaching farmers and their labourers how to use a new hand held computer and they are quite happy to tell you that they do not want computers and that they want new zealand to stay as it was. I found this difficult to comprehend especially as in the Uk we embrace new technologies. Also while teaching Korean and Japanese students they were shocked how behind with technology NZ was. They came with their studies downloaded to MP3’s.

NZ is not safer than the UK in our experience. I’m sure many on BE NZ will disagree with that.
I can understand why lots of people may not agree with this, but in our experience this was the case. My 15 year old daughter was sexually assaulted in NZ and the culprit got sent to prison for 2 years. As I said in the Uk we take our kids to and from schools by car, so we felt like lots of others that NZ was safer so let hr walk! The culprits attitude in court stated, “If she was my daughter I would not let her out of my sight”

Drugs are a big acceptable part of their culture. Drugs are everywhere! Most teens will dapple in or come across drugs. You should educate them to be responsible
Of course every responsible parent in any country teaches their kids about drugs and their dangers, but we were not ready for the ACCEPTABLE part, that it is Ok to smoke dope in front of kids and teach them it is OK. I am sorry it in NOT OK to me or my family, hence the move away. it is endemic in NZ just another part of their culture.

The biggest suicide rate in teenagers is in NZ as the pressure on kids to go out and work to bring in money for the family, is a bigger pressure than getting a good education in the UK. It is all relative.
Agreed, different cultures expect different things from their children. But don’t forget also that it is still Ok to beat your kids to a pulp in NZ and it happens as I have done lots of research and it is not a frowned upon, again it is accepted. These are things that are not anticipated when moving to a new culture until you experience them

College courses are few and far between. Such as? While doing some research a while back I came across Unis in Auckland and Christchurch, and I didn’t have to look very hard.
Choices of what you can study is still very limiting. Teaching in a UK college with 350,000 students, to a few hundred students at the local college in NZ, again this is due to population so if your kids choose a course , it is quite likely that it is going to be a long way from home in NZ to enable them to persue a career. Universities have a better choice, but a UK degree is better recognised that many other countries degrees.

Being so far away from other countries, it has been left behind. I understand that this could be an issue for some, but for me this is what is appealing about NZ

Again perspective. I have never said NZ was bad, it is a matter of perspective. Again the reality did not hit me until I lived in NZ and could not jump on a plane and visit another country so easily. It is appealing if u want seclusion and a quiet peaceful life, I agree.

The fact that there is no structure to society is very hard to work with, especially as the UK is so structured. Please explain what you mean by this.
Stucture, rules and regulation are not adhered to. Drink Driving- I was at a petrol station and a man in the next car drove up, drunk so much he couldn’t stand and had a child in the car about 2years old. The police turn a blind eye to drink driving, driving without seat belts. They do you for speeding though as it gains them money, like other countries. it is hard to explain that there is no infastructure maybe someone on her can explain better. Where you are brought up with rules and regulations, trying to live the the sloppiness of it all is difficult.

Lots of Adults in NZ believe in being in gangs, which their kids follow. This sounds like utter bollocks to me. Lots of adults all over NZ want to be in gangs? nonsense
So there are NO MONGREL MOB AND BLACK POWER GANGS????? Get out of here LOL. These Gangs are known by the police, but even the police will not deal with them. They pick up the young wannabe members cos it is easier! So there was No shooting in broad daylight of a Mongrel Mob member in Rotorua in 2006 and the shooting of a Black Powers daughter (2 year old) in 2007? I just dreampt this did I. read the papers. These gangs do rule parts of Rotorua. Most doctors and Counsellors were also shocked by the amount of gang culture in Rotoura.

I have tried to explain from my point of view, how I felt in New Zealand. I know there will always be people who are opposed to what I say. But please remember, if i do not answer straight away I am many miles from you now. New Zealand was a lovely place to visit but I did not feel I could stay.”

For many migrants one of their prime motivators for moving to New Zealand is to provide a better life for their children. Sadly, for some people, New Zealand fails to deliver.

In the New Zealand News this day:
*The funeral of taxi driver Hiren Mohini who was stabbed in a frenzied assault on Sunday morning link
*British girl and her mum commended for fighting off sex attacker in North Shore link
*Police appeal for help in catching gunman in yesterday’s bank robbery in Napier link
*Desert Road murderer gets 16 years jail term link
*3 Cheetahs escape from Christchurch park link
*3 shots fired at bus carrying children in Christchurch link
*BMX star sentenced for sex attacks on two 14 year olds in Rangiora schoolyard link
*Hastings police pursuit ends in crash link
*Black Power gang member, 17, raped 10 year old link
*Train driver ran stop light link
*Home detention for woman who supplied P to ex-husband link
*Drunk-driver‘s sentence disgusts widow link
*Negotiators talk man down from crane in Auckland link
*Shoplifter wielded knife, threatens public in Christchurch mall link
*Central city pick-ups lead to sex attacks in Hamilton link
*North Shore primary school teacher on sex charges link
*Man avoids jail for vicious assault link
*School head teachers opposite national standards in education scheme link
*No jail for $15,000 robbery link
*Unemployment raises to 10 year high link

Please click on any of the topics in the Labels List below the comments section of this page to read other posts relating to the issues this woman has raised.

Today’s posts – click here

30 thoughts on “Migrant Stories – "Why I think New Zealand is backward" Part II

  1. Well New Zealand has the same problem as many Western style countries , incompetent and badly educated politicians who are unaccountable , and this is why across the world mainstream political parties and politicians are no longer wanted or voted for . And like countries such as Germany , everything looks good until the infrastructure is investigated and then it is found that there is and has been little or no investment in infrastructure and the country is run down . New Zealand could have been an example for the world in renewable energy , but nothing has been done , its still the same old thing .

  2. NZ government is totally behind the times! Corrupt? Probably.
    Gangs yes it’s a problem but not as bs as the government make out.
    Suicide and domestic violence including mental abuse yes it’s a MASSIVE problem and until the government gets up to date with the UK laws and get qualified knowledgeable lawyers who can see through these manipulating narcissistic sociopath men it will never improve. Some immigrants coming in from other countries other than UK and Asia need to leave their arrogant self obsessed elevated of oneself opinions in their country before getting onto the plane to come here! Take me home to UK please!

  3. Couldn’t have put it better myself and it’s still the same. May 2017. No choice in pretty much everything, food, schools, lawyers. God help you if you need a lawyer, if you only have to take out a second mortgage your lucky! The smaller the population the less choice you have. Across the board. Whatever you want or need. Take me back to the Uk with my kids!

  4. Ok i agree with nearly everything about NZ the food is terrible , extremley racist, highley uneducated and so far from everything.. but The UK is way more violent and high in crime. NZ is very safe and the gangs cause hardly any trouble here compared to the UK. But i am hoping to move home to England…NZ isntnas great as kiwis make it out to be… most kiwis never leave NZ probably due to the fact its so far away but they clearly havent experienced the world and therefor come across as arrogant and very backwards.

  5. Hi can you imagine being a smart young man born in nz, growing up and all you see is scams run by the government they profit from every crime committed they profit with fear from every person that tries to get ahead the school system here is one of cronyism racism classism discrimination there is no rule of law in nz if you have a problem don’t ever call the police you will be charged with something, they’re good for nothing incompetent is the best you are likely to see and the worst is they will fake evidence or make false statements against you , the gangs are the real police the police and the justice system are the crooks, if you had seen what I have seen over my life you will know the way to deal with the gangs is to never become indebted to them, if you do they own you and your family, never back down to threats from gangs but never disrespect them, always stand you ground they will respect you or even fear you but if you show weakness they will capitalize on it and own you exactly the same with the police, never accept anything for free only give to the the gangs and their families especially the elders I am not talking about money but some firewood to stop there kids freezing to death some food you grew it really is the thought that counts, if you do this you gain respect and protection from them and any other person that may want to harm you or your family, and it’s real protection the type when you daughter is raped they khee cap the fucker that did it, I knew a guy that bashed the person that raped his girlfriend he got five years in prison the dude who raped his girlfriend did not get charged because she was too scared to go through with the prosecution because her boyfriend was now in jail for five years and the rapist was walking round free to do whatever he wanted to her, you can scrape a living in nz but it is not going to be by playing by the rules there designed to have you fail funny that a country that benefits a few by the failure of the rest, I have to ask did we really win world war two because from where I’m sitting germany is doing a lot better than us.please excuse my poor writing and grammar as I was kicked out of school at the age of 12 because I was dyslexic and too poor for that school. and yes people in new zealand are extremely apathetic to any problem or concern even new ideas and science they’re seen as black magic we really are 150 years behind most of europe we are spoon feed are knowledge after it is censored of anything that might challenge the status quo or infringe on big business, we are a slave island that is it and as one smart man said when peaceful revolution is made impossible violent revolution becomes inevitable.

  6. I agree with most of the criticisms. The main problem is that the NZ govt and NZ media put out so much propaganda stating NZ to be the ‘perfect country’ better than all others that most NZers believe this as ‘fact’. If you are an extrovert who is excited by rugby,motor racing and beer and you think societal rules are meant to be broken THEN you will love life in NZ. If you are an intellectual who believes society needs order then you will be disappointed with NZ.

  7. umm yes we need to stop suicide in nz
    and more health food in dairies
    but nz is a great place dont trash it
    stay and help us or go back to uk

    • It seems as though she was trying to help by importing a new idea. “gladly handed me a piping bag!!!! I thought they were extinct.” There have been numerous times when I’d seen methods and means to do things [in the building trade] here that had long ago died in other more developed places, and for good reasons, mostly because there are faster, easier, and better ways now. Problem is, Kiwis say “won’t work in NZ,” “that’s not how we do it here”, or some other silly answer. When I do my building here, I use the more modern methods, and funny thing is, when people [not in the building trade] see how these “non Kiwi” methods are done, they often comment that “why don’t we do it like that here?” Industry won’t change even though logical observation indicates that there are readily available superior methods.
      So, I’d love to “stay and help us”, but some people don’t want or won’t take instruction.

  8. “Boy” is worth seeing. Over and above being a great movie, it reveals the astounding contrast between the scenery and the depressing poverty conditions. You will understand why they prefer to showcase their scenery!

    • NZ is just a bigger Samoa, nothing but scenery…at least Samoa is truly tropical and a dip in the sea or the waterfalls is enjoyable, and is much cheaper, not like the freezing weather for half a year here and the overpriced junk

  9. What part of New Zealand was this person living in? Small town Rural NZ or Urban NZ? Apparently this person couldn’t find intelligent conversation, found that all adults are in gangs, drunk-drive, and smoke pot in front of their kids, and found the Police to be a joke. This person also thinks that New Zealanders don’t go to University, and, even if we did, we wouldn’t be able to find employment anywhere in the world.

    I’m in Wellington, and have never experienced that. I work in the Tertiary Education sector: I find it extremely easy to find intelligent conversation; I see the international job opportunities that NZ graduates are getting; I know how many Tertiary Education options there are available. I see the Police in the community raising awareness against drink-driving and other driving issues. I see many convenience meals in the supermarkets, as well as plenty of reasonably priced fresh fruit and vegetables (where was this person living that farms were nearby but fresh food was expensive?). We have NZers doing well on the international stage – hardly left behind. We have a strong culture of appreciating kiwi music (granted it could be stronger but we all have issues) as well as kiwi culture.

    I’ll admit that there are issues. Some places have gangs; there are issues of domestic violence – that are being addressed by raising awareness; NZ has one of the highest rates of youth suicide in the world (behind Japan and Sweden) – but not for the sweeping generalisation that the poster supposes. We aren’t the safest drivers. And our houses are cold. But I’m sure anyone emigrating to NZ would do their research and would find that out.

    The original poster has a skewed vision of New Zealand, and it is not the New Zealand I know. So I want to know where the poster lived that it was so awful.

    [As an aside, how does a lecturer get by writing in text speak and omitting punctuation?]

    • Hamurana. You may not have heard of it but it’s on the northern side of Lake Rotorua. We believe the author was a lecturer, married to a truck driver. If she wanted to use text speech that was her prerogative, maybe she was using a phone to make her post.

      Jun 2008. Five nine-year-old Rotorua boys were caught taking drugs during school at The Owhata Primary School.

      Direct quote From another NZ emigration forum, dated July 2007, and written by someone who was married to a teacher in Rotorua:

      “Mr Rr’s first teaching job here was in Rotorua, an area known for its high Maori population, perceived high crime rate and gang problems (as well as beautiful lakes, geothermal wonders, nice people and fascinating Maori culture – this is not a downer on Rotorua). The gang ‘problem’ affected him directly in a number of ways via teaching kids who are growing up in households that are connected in some way with gangs (MM or BP usually)…

      Drugs being sold outside school and inside, often by young kids who want to work for the gangs…
      Junior gang related violence – fights organised during school time and on school property between factions of the younger members / propspects of rival gangs. He spent several ‘playtimes’ doing security duty around the school to try and prevent this…
      Threats of violence and retribution from parents with gang connections whose children were being disciplined by teachers / principal…
      Some truly sad and desperate stories, like the 14 year old girl being spirited away from school / home to live with an aunty elsewhere – she had been threatened with a punishment rape by gang members after being caught flirting with a married gang member at a party.

      However, I – in my daily life around the town – had virtually no knowledge of any of this or any direct experience. I guess unless you are required by your job to interact with this part of society, or if you are unfortunate enough to get embroiled in something, you can avoid / ignore the gang problem in NZ.

      Maori gangs (IMHO) are a perversion of the whanau ‘extended family’ system which gives them their unique flavour in the world of organised crime. Traditionally maori and pacific island society runs on pretty strict rules and codes, and some of these rules are enforced physically to children especially(anyone read the Star Times article on Samoa at the weekend?). The gangs take all the misplaced pride, anger, honour and concepts like utu (revenge) and turn it into something destructive. And yet for a lot of people these gangs are the only constant presence in their lives and they will cling onto them when the rest of the (pakeha) world seems to be against them. Recent attempts / signs that older gang members are seeking to make changes are encouraging – I really hope that they can make a difference. Politicians like Pita Sharples as well, maybe they can make a difference.”

      • “If she wanted to use text speech that was her prerogative, maybe she was using a phone to make her post.”

        Disagree – there is no reason not to use correct spelling & grammar.

        • Shouldn’t there be an I in that last sentence? Is it good grammar to use double negatives and ampersands? 🙂

          • I guess a double negative equates to a positive so, in effect, I’m saying that there always is a reason to use good grammar. (Thanks for that correction)

            With regards the “I”. It doesn’t have to be there. That was an imperative sentence which starts with the base form of the verb (in this case “Disagree”). The subject is implied, and the object is already known.

            With regards the ampersand – You are correct. (I’ll give you that one.) :O)

          • That’s very gracious of you. It’s always good to have answers to these questions. However, we don’t mind if people want to use text language, so long as the meaning is clear.
            Thx :).

            p.s. Imperative sentences have to give advice or instructions, or express a request or command. Yours was more of a statement.

    • mascnz have you ever thought that it may be you who has the skewed vision of New Zealand? Why not get out of wellington and experience the real nz.

  10. You guys are right. Hard to find a job here. College Education Sucks. All what they know about it is Rugby. I had my citizenship two years ago, and it means nothing. I advice everyone either not to come, go back home or leave for OZ. Don’t waste time in this country. It’s so depressing living here. US way much better. God bless America.

  11. Gemma Jones :

    I would love to know the statistics about how many UK immigrants actually stay and how many go back to UK, even after a while.

    So would we, let us know if you find them. You’re lucky you’re able to afford to go back to the UK. South Africans find it a lot harder, probably because of the cost.

    Good job you’re not South African isn’t it.

    • I can’t afford to go back to UK. We will be gettng ourselves into debt to go back! but thats preferable to staying!

  12. I completely agree with everything I have read on this website. It was so good to find a website that includes peoples real views of NZ, not just successful immigration stories. I bet for every UK immigrant who does settle in this country, there is also one who doesnt. I would love to know the statistics about how many UK immigrants actually stay and how many go back to UK, even after a while. We’ve been here only 6 months and are already planning our return to UK.It has not been what we expeted and cannot see us staying, people keep telling us to give it time but I cant see things improving however long we stay and the thought of living here permanently fills me with dread. It is about perpsective and what we left behind in uk just does not compare and NZ cannot offer us what we had. Only sorry it has cost us so much money to come here to realize what we had. We will be going back in May, so only lasted 10 months-that was long enough.

  13. The drinking here is an ingrained part of daily life. They don’t think it is alcoholism unless you are glugging mouthwash 3x a day to get your fix.
    I was in the automobile association’s office the other week and there was a mum there with 3 sons, & her youngest was just getting his licence. They were cheering and congratulating – not HIM but themselves – this was not a rite of passage with solemn responsibility as where I come from, but about the general family status of having created another designated driver for their partying. Seriously! I was hard put not to laugh.

  14. I can really relate to Tanya’s post. I was somewhat disillusioned with America when I moved to New Zealand. After 5 years of Kiwi b.s. showing New Zealand conditions to be in direct contradiction to their ballsy self-hype, American s*** smells a great deal more fragant, among other reasons because they don’t try so hard to hide it.

  15. I do sympathise with the english woman. I came out to Australia and i’ve been very frustrated and i find the people here can be reluctant to move forward. You have to simply respect their wishes and leave them to their own devices and get on a plane.

  16. Lana, I am also a South African who thought NZ seemed like a good idea, but it turned out not to be, for exactly the reasons you mention. I found it incredibly depressing and backward. My family and I have been back in SA for just over a year now, and, considering what we gave up to go there in the first place and how expensive the whole exercise was, we have been very lucky. We are slowly getting on our feet again and while the reality of SA is sometimes overwhelming, I’d rather put up with my own people’s nonsense than with the Kiwi brand of nonsense. I just wanted to let you know that you are not alone in feeling the way you do and there is nothing wrong with you. A lot of other expats will make you feel that there is and that you are crazy not to love it as much as they do

  17. I could not agree more, we had the dream of leaving crime behind us in South Africa and at enormous expense we moved to NZ with our two dogs IN 2009. What a complete disaster, not only do I find NZ backwards in many ways, it is also very expensive to buy fresh produce and then the choice is so limited. There is no forward thinking culture here it is beyond stifling. I would much rather move back to SA take my chances with crime than live a below average lifestyle in NZ with a bunch of backward thinking Kiwi’s – Sorry Kiwi’s but your country is off the map and the worst is you don’t even know it. I would not recommend NZ to anyone from a first world country the lack of availability and technology will drive you mad. NZ produce next to nothing which means everything is made in China or Australia so it is expensive. Limited opportunities, NZ’lders don’t like people to excel and think out the box, they are snitches that will cut you down.

  18. I totally agree with everything you have said. I have lived in America, South Africa, New Zealand and the United Kingdom and intend on returning to the UK next year as i cant find work in NZ and feel i have a better chance to be successful in the UK. I have never come across so much racism as i have found in NZ! It was a dream of mine to move to NZ for five years and after achieving it i have to say i am very very disappointed! Not to mention all the money it cost me to move here! What a waste. Anyway will just have to pick up the pieces, cut loses and move back to a country that believes that there is more ways to do a job than the Kiwi way!
    Disappointed skilled immigrant!

  19. http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1004/S00195.htm


    Ministry Of Transport Official’s Cover-Up Is Killing Our Families On New Zealand Roads.

    Dodgy data, selective collection, incomplete data sets leads to both absent and biased road crash data which has massive implications for New Zealand road safety, the assessment of road safety programs, and the allocation of funding to target specific road safety problems. The end result is that families and their friends pay the ultimate price and have to live through the trauma. Furthermore, a huge economic burden on the country, with massive ACC Motor Vehicle Account payouts and liabilities.

  20. Hi there, it is becoming more and more difficult to find Ross Kemp's "Gangs in NZ" video series, but I have found them at this site, seem to have been posted by David Fraser, the author of Land Fit for Criminals. People who move because they think NZ is a "safe, family" place had better watch these:http://video.aol.com/video-detail/ross-kemp-on-gangs-in-new-zealand-2006-part-16/2597382804Do not under any circumstances think that moving to a more rural area will escape the gangs. The gangs are just as bad if not worse in some of the rural areas – and it takes longer for the police to arrive. Kaingaroa Forest for instance: http://www.stuff.co.nz/sunday-star-times/features/466138Health status of children:http://www.ccdhb.org.nz/planning/chag/9-9-9%20hui%20Health%20status%20overview.pdfAttempts at U.S.-style "unpopular integration methods":http://www.bayofplentytimes.co.nz/local/news/racial-tensions-surface/3795581/NZDEP Index gives a better picture of the hidden generalised bad conditions here. Might help potential migrants decide where "not to go" or impart some idea of the severe problems of inequity and violence that NZ is hiding.http://www.uow.otago.ac.nz/academic/dph/research/socialindicators.html http://www.uow.otago.ac.nz/academic/dph/research/NZDep/NZDep2006.txt10 means serious deprivation. There is no official poverty line here, so this statistic is not referenced to other countries NZ is often compared to. I was informed by a local accountant that a great number of people (elderly and Maori) "get by" as a matter of course on roughly 8K USD a year.

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