Migrant Tales – Moved From Singapore For Better Life


Continuing in our series of Migrant Stories: first hand accounts of migrant life in New Zealand, taken from locations around the net.

Today’s story is taken froma closed expat forum.

In this post the child of an ex-pat New Zealander tells of how the family left the relative safety of Singapore and relocated to the father’s homeland in a fruitless attempt to give the three kids a “better education.”

Within a month of the family’s arrival in Auckland they were exposed to what was the start of a shocking degree of crime, including an armed robbery, burglary, bullying and mugging. The family was torn apart by their experiences in New Zealand:

“So, I found this site a couple of days ago, because after SIX YEARS of constant suckiness… It was getting to me. What’s a girl to do?

I googled “Why does New Zealand suck?”

And here I am!! I am not alone! There are others! (No seriously, this is how I felt.)

I was about to post a link of this website to my Facebook profile in ecstasy, but then remembered all the Kiwis that I’ve got on there, that might find it highly offensive. Instead I secretly spread the word to a few people who I thought might enjoy this place too…. We all had a bit of a laugh. The kind that you have when things are so dire that you have to laugh at it. I especially enjoyed the “Don’t Migrate to New Zealand if…” section. Sums it all up in a nutshell.

So anyway, here is my story… in as much of a nutshell as I can give.

I was raised mainly in Singapore originally. My dad is a Kiwi born in 1942 in Wellington, he moved to Singapore about 30 years ago where he met my mom, she’s Malay.

So when I was 17, they decided to send me here to get ‘a better education’… Well isn’t that a joke now. Oh, they also bundled my sister along for the ride, she was 15 at the time.

So off we were on a plane to Auckland, to go to school in safe, super awesome New Zealand. We managed to find a measly small studio apartment on Anzac Ave at a place called The Cambridge.

Coming from Singapore, which as most of you probably know, is very clean, safe, relatively drug and crime free and wealthy… Well.

Within 1 month of being here, we saw a flasher, at a main road bus stop on Beach Road, in broad daylight. Sure, other people saw him but they just carried on like it was no big deal. We were in the Video Ezy on Quay St when there was an armed robbery. The cops took half an hour to even show up. Our laundry was stolen and tampered with by a community of transvestites that lived on the floor below. We were stalked by a creep, reported it to the police… And got a call 3 months later to say that the found the guy. And so it goes, and so it goes.

My parents are by no means rich. They thought sending me and my sister here would be a cheaper option than doing university in Singapore. I don’t blame them for not knowing what it would be like. My poor dad was under the impression that it would be the same good old country he left 24 years ago.

After 1 year, my mom and my brother joined us here in Auckland. My dad was transferred to Sydney for work, so at least he was a bit closer.

As you can guess, it just got worse. Eventually my parents ended up buying a house, for some ‘stability’, in Avondale. The house was right at the end of a really bad street. Needless to say, that only made things even worse. The house got broken into more than once. My dad got mugged on his way home from work. My brother, age 9 at the time, was bullied by juvenile gangsters. My sister was pestered by them for cigarettes. Some people in the park tried to sell me a bottle of Johnny Walker at 9 in the morning!

My parents needed help financially, as cost of living was so high. Even something as basic as a doctor’s visit is so expensive here! So my sister and I dropped out of University to get work.

So we all worked, and worked, and worked.

My parents absolutely couldn’t take it, living here. My dad said that NZ has become a very mean-spirited place, and it makes him sad. His company offered to pay for the cost of migrating my family to Sydney. Well, of course they jumped at the chance. They asked if we wanted to go with them.

By that stage, we weren’t sure if Sydney was going to be a huge improvement. We weren’t sure what opportunities were available for us there. More relevantly, my sister and I both had plans to get back into school here and we were both in long term relationships with partners that were not able to relocate with us. So my parents and brother left, we ended up staying.

I have been in and out of the health system for major clinical depression in the last 3 years… And I was starting to think – what is wrong with me? Why can’t I just be happy here? I really started to believe that there WAS something wrong with me for hating it so much.

Hey, if I won Lotto, I would leave tomorrow and never, ever come back. Ever. If only it were that simple.

But at least now I know I’m not alone! I am beginning to feel like my response is somewhat normal! *sigh*

Anyway this has been really hard, so please be kind, dear community of like-minded people. =)”


“Well it turns out that my parents are now back in Singapore! LOL

As for other students finding the same problem, that was mainly my experience when I was at AUT.

I met my partner there, he also came on the premise of a world class education, recognised universally, etc. and of course we were both equally disappointed and disillusioned by the time we had been here for a while.

I was actually glad to withdraw from my degree at AUT in Communications as I thought it was a huge waste of my time and money having them spend 6 months repeating the same thing over and over, after I had already learnt it within the first 2 weeks of it being taught.

We do have a bit of the same debate going on as others, about whether it is worthwhile to wait and get something to show for it!”

Please read other similar stories in our Migrant Tales section, this poster is not alone in their experience.

Also see other posts:

Hard slog for Chinese coming to New Zealand
International students “only seen as cash cows”
Crime collection
Armed Robberies collection

Do you have a migrant tale for us? leave it in the comment below.

Today’s posts – click here

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