Continuing in our series of Migrant Tales, first hand accounts of the migrant experience of New Zealand.
Today’s tale forms the first part of an exciting new series by a guest author. If you have a tale you’d like to share with us please leave your submission in The Agora, along with instructions for how you’d like it presented.
In Part One of Retardicon 6 British migrant ‘Escapee’ tells the unwary reader of the pitfalls of owning property in New Zealand, specifically that most unique of New Zealand problems – the leaky home and of the shockingly poor construction standards of the average Kiwi home.
Retardicon 6 (part 1)
Five years ago my wife and I moved from England to Retardicon 6 (you might know this loathsome place as New Zealand – we know better). We arrived on Christmas Day 2007. We arrived back – blessedly – in the UK on Christmas day 2012. Our story isn’t the tragedy you find in other posts on this site in as much as we were never trapped by this sly, dirty, back-stabbing society of inbreds and they weren’t able to drain every last cent of our capital from us, as is their intention with all immigrants – au contraire, Rodney. We have in fact brought a nice chunk of their capital back home with us. But I can confirm the nightmare that everyone here posts about.
I first moved to Retardicon 6 late in 1990 with my first wife. I have to say that my experience back then was good. I lived in a smart area of Auckland’s North Shore – Campbell’s Bay, with a house overlooking the Hauraki Gulf. I won’t bore you with the usual tales of boating and fun, just say that I enjoyed it while constantly being aware of how isolated it is down there. And if you are one of those people who thinks that the world has shrunk and everywhere is just a plane ride away, I’m going to laugh right in your face. Until you’ve faced the prospect of making long-haul journeys on a regular basis, you have no idea. England to New York or Florida don’t count. Mere bus rides by comparison. Since I have to be in Los Angeles two or three times a year, and England once a year, I can tell you how isolated Retardicon 6 is, and how soul-destroying travelling ANYWHERE from there is (except Sydney or Melbourne, perhaps). If you find yourself in a position where the pennies count (as many who come down here quickly do) you will really feel the psychologically depressing sense of isolation, especially if you have left loved ones behind. If anything were to happen to them, it’s not a simple matter of getting in a car and going round to see them. Not even a quick one-hour Easy Jet hop from Spain or France. By the time you’ve arranged a flight – if you can afford it – it’s going to be the best part of a week before you are back, frantic with worry the whole time. By then it might be too late. Good luck if you watch a lot of television and think you can get on a plane the same day. You MIGHT be lucky, if you can stretch to a business-class ticket. Even then, door to door, your travelling time is going to be over 36 hours. Yes it is – time in the air is going to be at LEAST 24 hours, but it’s not just the time in the air. It’s getting to and from airports at each end, having to be there 3 hours in advance of the flight time, a MINIMUM of two hours at each stop on the way. Unless you fly Air New Zealand (via Los Angeles) you’ll have more than one stop, and each of those stops will definitely be more than two hours. Add it up for yourself. And imagine going through it when you are frantic with worry.
Back to the narrative though. My first wife and I split up, and I met and married my current wife, a Kiwi girl, in 1996. A few months later, we emigrated back from there to England. She was desperate to leave and I could never quite work out why. We had eleven mostly lovely years in England, but in 2004 we sensed that England was living in an economic bubble and that while Retardicon’s economy was backward by comparison, it was relatively stable. In particular, Auckland’s property market was inflating steadily, driven by demand. So we decided to park some of our capital there. I went back to Retardicon early in 2005 and bought four houses in Auckland, which we put into the hands of a property management agent, attached to one of the major real estate agents. This is where we should have started to smell a rat about this vile little country. Several times, after I got back to England, I had the management company call me telling me of problems with one or other of these properties that needed attending to. And the prices quoted for fixing these issues seemed exhorbitant to say the least. The final straw came when an estimate for fixing what was a simple issue came in at $6,700. Luckily, we had my wife’s father to call on and he went to look at it, got a builder he knew to go with him, and the actual price for the fix came in at $650. YES, a tenth of the gouging criminally inflated quote from the management agent and what was obviously a crony builder of hers. I wonder how much inflated profit they have shared over the years…
In 2007, in a fit of madness, I persuaded my reluctant Kiwi wife that we should leave England and go back to Retardicon 6, to have a couple of years there, then realise our assets. If only she’d hit me over the head with a hammer and brought me back to my senses. But she didn’t, God bless her. And as I say, we arrived in Retardicon 6 on Christmas Day, 2007.
Our intention was to cash in on the profit we’d made on the houses I’d bought, taking our time to do it, and enjoying our time there in the meantime. It didn’t work out like that though. Not a bit of it. The first months were spent sorting out various problems with our properties that the management agents (lazy and arrogant beyond belief – traits we were going to discover to be the norm among Kiwis) hadn’t addressed or even ever told us about. We just got everything ready to start putting them up for sale in late 2008 when the credit crisis hit. Disappointing, but we’d sit tight and sell once things had righted themselves. Auckland, to be fair, didn’t dip as much as most of the rest of the world. But we know better than to sell in a buyers market – which is what it had become. And thus began five years of misery.
We decided to stay until things started to look up financially, and look after our properties ourselves. Our first contact with the disgusting, sly, cunning kiwi way came when we wanted work doing on some of our properties. NOT ONE SINGLE CONTRACTOR would give us a final price for doing the job. They’d all tell you what needed doing (and this differed – sometimes wildly – from contractor to contractor) but even when pressed, none of them would give us a price. This is astonishing, coming from England where we are used to contractors assessing the job and quoting you on how much it would cost to do. What the gouging, sly, cunning kiwis did was tell us that they wouldn’t know the final cost until the job was underway and they could assess how much time/materials were going to be involved. We soon discovered the kiwi that this is the kiwi way. No job has a uniform price – the lousy and often unqualified (at anything) kiwi “builder” is sizing up how much he reckons he can rake out of you. I put builder in quotes just then because the very best kiwi builder is less skilled than a toddler with a box of Leggo. And this country has the brass neck NOT to recognise building qualifications from other countries. There is one reason for this, and one reason only; they are frightened to death of immigrants coming in and showing them up. No joke, this is true.
Not long after we arrived, we learned of Leaky Home Syndrome. Apparantly, almost all the homes built by these “chimps with hammers” (otherwise known as New Zealand Master Builders) in the 1990s and early 2000s suffer from this. And no, no need to scratch your head wondering what this is; it’s exactly as it sounds. These houses LEAK and because they are all built using wooden frames, they ROT FROM THE INSIDE!!! Can you believe that? Kiwi houses ship water (and boy, does it rain in that God-forsaken hole) by the bucket. Cost of repair is often the same as building a new house!
The houses affected for the most part were those built with some form of cladding over the timber frame. We owned one such house, but luckily ours wasn’t officially a Leaky Home. Which is not to say it didn’t suffer from leaks here and there. You have to understand that the odd dribble of water coming into your house now and again is considered normal in Retardicon 6. I have heard New Zealand houses described as “Wooden Framed Tents.” This is true. They are utterly unsanitary to live in. Cold and damp beyond belief. I have never, ever ever anywhere else in the world encountered mold growing on the walls and ceilings of a LIVING ROOM (not just the bathroom) but this is common in the houses of Retardicon 6. Not just the odd spore either. Whole patches of black mold appearing. The damp is all-pervasive. No wonder kiwi inbreds have a higher incidence of respiratory complaints than anywhere I have ever been.
Don’t be fooled by the fact that Auckland winter temperatures seem mild; the pervasive damp WILL KILL YOU. 12 degrees C in the insanitary Auckland damp will chill you to your bones. We’ve just enjoyed a couple of weeks of lovely snow and ice here in England, with sub-zero temperatures. But it was dry, and outside with my dogs it didn’t feel anything like as cold as being indoors during an Auckland winter does. Of course, those of you who’ve set your hearts on emigrating to Retardicon 6 will discount this. You won’t believe it. Right up until that first damp cold day you encounter. By which time it will be too late for you and your family as you huddle around the calor gas, fume-emitting heater. No such thing as central heating in Retardicon 6. There is a plethora of heat pumps that the gouging thieves will fit for you at an inflated price, but at best they’ll only take the chill out of the re-circulated air. They won’t heat your home.
When we came to sell the one house we had that was constructed in using cladding, we got to see just what kiwi building construction consists of. We had to have a piece of interior plasterboard removed from inside the integral garage so that some of the rotting timber frame could be replaced. I also got to see that the house, like all kiwi rubbish homes hadn’t been built on a foundation worthy of the name! The house consisted of a timber frame with plasterboard sheets pinned to the inside of the frame, forming the interior wall, and some sort of cladding just a couple of millimetres thick pinned to the exterior. No insulation in between. NOW can you see why these houses are all horribly damp and cold? Even the much-vaunted “kiwi weatherboard” house is no better. Timber frame with plasterboard on the inside, and very thin (often Cedar) overlapping planks (weatherboards) on the outside. Following the Leaky Home debacle, this traditional weatherboard home was held in great store. But they are just as cold and damp as the newer builds. I’ve owned both types so I do know this. For the record, weatherboard homes don’t have to be built in such a shoddy “she’ll be right” cheap, unfit for purpose fashion. You’ll see weatherboard houses all over the United States and Australia, and these homes are different animals altogether. Sealed, warm, dry, cosy, insulated. It’s not that it can’t be done; it’s just that lazy, arrogant, cheap, grasping, unskilled kiwis can’t do it.
This is the end of part one of what will be a short series. In subsequent episodes, if the editor of this blog allows it, I’ll cover topics such as the inbred hypocrisy of kiwis, kiwi cowardice, kiwis and driving, kiwi arrogance, kiwi intellectual stupidity, kiwi racism – and more.
For God’s sake, think think and think again before ever committing to taking your family to this hell on earth, especially if you can’t afford to come back.
DON’T MAKE THE MISTAKE OF THINKING THAT NEW ZEALAND IS JUST THE SAME AS AUSTRALIA – IT’S FAR FROM IT!!!
If you can get into Australia – go there! It’s a wonderful country by comparison with Retardicon 6, and I can say that from experience. If you can’t get into Australia but can get into New Zealand, don’t kid yourself that New Zealand will be just as good. It won’t. And you will be consigning your family to a living hell.