Migrant Tales – Goodbye New Zealand

Continuing in our series of Migrant Tales, first hand accounts of the migrant experience of New Zealand.

Today’s tale was sent in by an anonymous American migrant – a highly skilled and sought after professional, the very sort of migrant that New Zealand is eager to attract and retain. This migrant is eager too – eager to have his say about life in New Zealand; and hoping that others may take something useful from the messages it contains. We’re publishing it to demonstrate the reasons why migrant turnover is so high in New Zealand and as a guide for prospective migrants who may be moving to New Zealand to ‘make a difference’ and wondering why the country gets such negative reviews.

Goodbye New Zealand

“I must begin by thanking you for the magnificent blog that you have created and the enormous time, energy, and dedication that you devote to it. You will undoubtedly deter many well meaning but credulous migrants from coming to New Zealand. In addition, your blog has provided me with solace knowing that my experiences here are not unique.

Admittedly, it is disheartening to read that others have encountered similar travails because I do not delight in the suffering of others. However, I confess that I enjoyed reading your blog’s tales for they confirm much of what I had observed and experienced in my nearly three years here. When reading your blog, I felt like Winston Smith in 1984 finding out that Julia was also a fellow thought criminal who thought exactly as he did about the insanitary world in which they both dwelt.

At any rate, I sold a relatively profitable small business in the United States and migrated to New Zealand in 2010 at age 27. The main reason I left was that I felt that the United States faced an irreversible economic and social decline. America was no longer a free country and the government was tyrannical in many ways, as evidenced by Edward Snowden’s recent revelations. I had also grown tired of the appalling stupidity and ignorance of large swathes of the population and I saw that the United States was becoming an increasingly dysfunctional society. The government in the US is bankrupt and living on borrowed time.

By comparison, New Zealand and Australia had comparatively low levels of debt and the economies weathered the Global Financial Crisis relatively well thanks to their export linkages to Asia. Although I obtained working holiday visas for both countries, I opted to stay in New Zealand because of its natural beauty and my hatred of hot weather.

I came here and I easily obtained a job, although it was a couple steps back from where I was professionally in my former business. Initially, I figured that as a migrant I would have to suck it up and take a step back to move forward, so I did not mind. Furthermore, I did not want to deplete my savings and investments waiting for the “perfect job” or business opportunity. My goal at this stage was to find a job that I could leverage into permanent residency and would provide me with an income whilst I decided on what sort of business I would like to buy or start. I thought it prudent to wait for six months and familiarise myself with the situation on the ground before embarking on a business venture.

My first job in New Zealand was ok, although I found the work culture strange. The people in management viewed me suspiciously because I knew a great deal more than they did. I understood that a certain subset of Kiwis has a visceral and irrational hatred towards Americans, so I tended to be discrete and quiet to avoid eliciting antipathy.

I found it odd that so many called in sick on a Friday or before a long weekend. Kiwis also tended to be very slack and sloppy workers. The managers at the company tended to be idiots whose sole virtue was that they had managed to outlast their peers in an excruciatingly stifling environment or were mates of other managers. It did not concern me too much because I simply needed an income whilst I found a business. However, I did focus on doing a good job because I knew the importance of creating and safeguarding a reputation for excellence.

Eventually, the company had an “Investments Challenge”. I worked in the investments field in the US before I bought my own company, so I thought it presented an opportunity to prove my talents and I thought that it could translate into moving to their investments team. Ultimately, I won and trounced the local “financial advisers”. In fact, they changed the competition’s rules half way through because I made their highly remunerated “financial advisers” look bad. I won the competition along with $100 gift card. Subsequently, I applied for a position as an “adviser” with that company, but I did not have the “right experience”. I also asked my team leader for the company to pay for training so that I could become an Authorised Financial Adviser, but she declined.

In any event, I eventually left that company after suffering the indignity of a Kiwi “performance review”. Apparently, I “made too many errors”. However, my insipid boss failed to comprehend that I also had the highest productivity and on some days did twice the volume of work compared to other people. It never occurred to her that perhaps a system of errors per a certain number of transactions was a better metric than absolute errors. The sole basis for determining “errors” was the number of times another employee had contacted a manager to complain about a mistake made by another colleague. Often, no one ever bothered to confirm whether the mistake had happened. Whenever I found errors, I simply fixed them and gave the other employee a heads up rather than telling a manager. The strange thing about it was that another team at the company had voted me as the most helpful employee. In addition, my colleagues, and even my boss, had raved about the quality of my work until this performance review. My boss was an overweight, insipid, and highly insecure woman. I suspect she revelled in criticising other people to compensate for her own obvious shortcomings.

During the review, I raised the defects in the performance review system, but my boss was impervious to reason and had no grasp of statistics. The next day I wrote a scathing resignation letter and set her straight. I left that company and went to work for the government. I instantly saw even greater incompetence and knavery than I did at the private company in New Zealand. The public sector was rife with nepotism and outright corruption. I had hitherto swallowed the Kool-Aid about New Zealand being free from corruption, but eventually learned the lamentable truth.

What astounded me about the public sector was the number of barely literate and unaccomplished people in senior positions. The place barely functioned. People showed up late and did little work. Government contracts went to companies owned by the spouse or sibling of someone senior at the government department without anyone declaring the conflict. Too often, the people providing these services were outright incompetents and the rates they charged bordered on thievery.

This time, I opted to raise my concerns directly with management because I felt I had a duty to the taxpayer from whom the government forcibly exacted taxes. The managers generally ignored what I told them or simply promised to look at it and did nothing. I even spoke to the Minister whose job it was to oversee the department, but he ignored me as well. I eventually learned that the Minister was an analphabet glutton that could barely write.

I eventually reached the point where I would just confront them in front of other people. This earned the admiration of my colleagues, who voted me the employee of the month. My managers just tended not to respond and walk away or concoct some inane excuse reflective of their lack of brains. Kiwis are unable to argue a position cogently or even stand up for themselves if you prove them wrong, but they find ways to sabotage you by stabbing you in the back when you are not looking.

Nepotism and corruption are endemic in the New Zealand government. The notion that New Zealand is free from corruption is a carefully orchestrated facade perpetrated by Transparency New Zealand. The government funds Transparency New Zealand, which then tells Transparency International that New Zealand has no corruption. Believe me, New Zealand is a highly corrupt place. The difference is that New Zealanders are in denial about what is blatantly obvious to any impartial person.

Ultimately, I left and went to another quasi public company. My time there was also unhappy. I worked in a small office with two useless women. They spent most of their time gossiping about people and running down everyone. One was my manager and the other was in an equivalent position. However, my manager told the one in the equivalent position to mine that I earned more. The people that made the decision to hire me were some managers above my manager rather than my manager, so there was some resentment and insecurity. For some inexplicable reason, she disliked me from the first day. I had brought some leftover birthday cake on my first day, but she immediately jokingly described it as a “bribe”. I suppose humour conceals a person’s sentiments.

The lack of professionalism here was shocking. I remember that the two witches at the office would withhold vital information from me. For instance, the copy machine had a code, but they never bothered telling me what the code was until I requested it. It was a subtle form of bullying because they both felt that I would demonstrate their ineptitude or quickly show how incompetent they were. My manager assigned pointless tasks that were not a part of the job description. I do not mind cleaning toilets or doing grunt work, but doing stupid jobs to waste time irked me. I eventually realised the pointlessness of living in New Zealand and resigned once my Kiwi wife and I decided to emigrate.

I cannot complain too much, as I always had work. I wrongly attributed some of my early troubles to the GFC etc, but I quickly learned that the problems were systemic and often unique to New Zealand. Furthermore, the salaries I earned were high by international standards for the sort of work I did given the high Kiwi Dollar at present. Unfortunately, I did take a step back professionally. I am very frugal and I still managed to save and invest properly, so I am leaving New Zealand with more than what I had when I arrived. Nonetheless, neither my wife nor I could see a scenario where we could raise a family comfortably if I were the sole breadwinner.

My objective in New Zealand from the outset was to go into business and I put up with working in these environments until I found the right business. I searched extensively trying to find a business to buy or start that made sense to no avail. My conclusion is that New Zealand is largely bereft of genuine business opportunities where one can make a reasonable living providing quality goods and services to people. I think this way for several reasons.

First, Kiwis overestimate the value of the “good will” in a business. For example, I found a small tour business for sale for NZ $150,000. According to the books, the business made NZ $50,000 net profit per year, less than I made at my job. The only assets that came with the business were two old vehicles in need of massive maintenance worth about NZ $20,000.

A business like that in the United States would probably sell for about NZ $50,000. I actually “inspected” the business out of curiosity by following the bus one day and I noticed only several passengers. Clearly, a business like that was not making money and the owner was looking for a sucker, perhaps a migrant, who would pay a fortune for nothing.

I saw an advert for a business that made NZ $20,000 in net profit and the owner wanted NZ $200,000. It had a boat worth $50,000 as an asset. Likewise, I saw a “profitable cafe” on sale for NZ $120,000. The facilities were so poor and the cafe so empty that I never bothered asking for the books. I learned a few months later that a retired dairy farmer bought it, but he was operating at a loss and the business floundered.

I also explored the idea of buying a franchise, but it made no sense from a business standpoint. Most franchises were no name companies that wanted a large fee for buying the right to some region whilst skimming off a sizeable percentage of the sales. The franchisee would make me drum up business and do all the hustling, whilst the parasites at the franchise mooched off the profits.

The more reputable franchises were equally dubious. I explored the idea of buying a Dominos Pizza. The start-up costs were around NZ $400,000 and the annual net profit was around NZ $70,000 if the owner worked it himself seven days per week. Clearly, it made no sense to “buy a job” under these circumstances.

One peril to look out for is that some business sellers falsify their figures to lure unsuspecting buyers into handing their cash. In fact, some businesses will trade for a year, the owner will even pay tax to the IRD based on fictitious earnings, and then try to hawk the business to an unsuspecting buyer, often a cashed up migrant, who will then find out that the vendor swindled him out of money. If he tries to go to court, then he will find the legal system exists to protect the criminal, who often is a relation of the judge that will hear the case. The judge will refuse to recuse himself because New Zealand does not have corruption! New Zealand claims to be free from fraud, but these sorts of frauds are common. The enforcement mechanisms here are practically nonexistent and the lax sentencing for crimes only incentivises criminal behaviour.

The reason I bring up these examples is to inform prospective entrepreneurial migrants of the absence of suitable business opportunities here. A friend of mine living in Australia has also looked at buying a business and the environment is similarly treacherous, except the taxes in Australia are higher. The one benefit that Australia has is a larger market and higher real wages.

One other thing that people need to be aware is that New Zealand has a handful of untouchable cartels such as Fletchers, Fonterra, or the largely Australian owned banks and insurer that enjoy virtual monopolies/oligopolies within the country. An unholy alliance exists between them and the government that is redolent of the oligarchies of Ukraine.

For example, the government provided [redacted] with a contract to repair [dedacted] houses in Christchurch following the earthquake without a competitive tendering process. [redacted] have fleeced EQC and it has done some frighteningly shoddy work. [redacted] also control many of the smaller companies that supply building materials. Anyone that tries to compete with these established players quickly finds themselves the target of tax audits or regulatory harassment.

Similarly, the state owns many of the power companies. The state charges extortionate prices for power and then the power companies pay dividends to the state. The high power prices are an insidious indirect tax. Electricity is triple what it is in Europe or North America. Aside from the gouging, poor public policy hinders production. As an aside, the government recently gave a subsidiary of Rio Tinto NZ $30 million to keep the Tiwai Aluminium smelter open along with lower power charges. Businesses that are too big to fail receive subsidies at the expense of the consumer and small business.

Overall, I would summarise the Kiwi work ethic as shocking. The only area where Kiwis excel is in their ability to waste time at the workplace. As a former business owner, I found it appalling how many pointless meetings took place and how little time people devoted to productive work. With such low productivity, it should come as no surprise that New Zealand lags behind economically. The inefficiencies and incompetence ultimately manifest themselves in the high prices people pay and poor quality that people receive. Incidentally, the Productivity Commission did a report on New Zealand productivity and found that, on average, the typical New Zealand worker works 15% more hours than the OECD average, but is 20% less productive. New Zealand’s productivity is similar to places like Slovenia, Greece, or Israel.

Many “professional” Kiwis also lack skills in their respective disciplines. For example, I have met several “investment professionals” who do not know basic things about their industry. Similarly, most builders in this country have less aptitude than would an apprentice in Europe or the United States. Kiwis like to describe themselves as easygoing and laidback, but this is actually a euphemism for sloppiness and lack of competence. Working hard incurs the wrath of the local Kiwis who seem not to understand that industry is a virtue. If you want something done properly, then hire a migrant. Likewise, if you want to buy something after 6:00 pm, go to the dairy owned by the Chinese or Indian. They are willing to work hard and they will smile at you as a customer. In contrast, Kiwis working in retail or customer service treat you like garbage. They have no idea how to treat customers or an understanding that the customer makes their job possible.

Aside from the incompetence at work, I find the people highly arrogant and insipid. Analphabetism is rife amongst Kiwis and even “educated” people seem not to possess a firm grasp of English. Most people cannot discuss anything of substance. Rather, the rugby, the weather, and binge drinking occupy most conversations.

I have had the “privilege” to meet several New Zealand politicians. My impression of them is they are the perfect embodiment of their constituents. Aside from one (Don Brash), I found all of them highly uncultured and opportunistic parasites, irrespective of political party. Several had a dishevelled appearance and none of them was particularly articulate or lettered. Admittedly, politicians are rarely the brightest and best in any society, but the motley lot of “political leaders” in New Zealand is appalling. Most have very little knowledge of public policy or the world around them. It is frightening to fathom that the country is in the hands of these cretins.

A great many Kiwis describe themselves as “educated”. However, this so-called education is devoid of any substance, but rather, is a pernicious form of pseudo intellectualism masquerading as erudition. Many of these individuals have university degrees, typically in the humanities or social sciences and develop an immeasurable and unhealthy conceit inversely proportional to their actual knowledge and achievements.

A short conversation with them reveals the absence of any breadth or depth to their learning. Many cannot spell, use grammar properly, or add basic figures. Despite the oft-repeated claims of “Kiwi ingenuity” or Kiwi’s misplaced belief in their own practical talents, none of them can actually build something useful or take apart an engine. Intelligence is subjective and comes in many forms. For instance, some compose great poetry, others can design, whilst others can write, and others know how to make money. Regrettably, it is difficult to locate any area where Kiwi mental faculties are superlative. If Kiwis were half as good at finding solutions to problems as they are at concocting rubbish justifications and making excuses, New Zealand would be the most advanced and prosperous country in the world.

Incidentally, I have never met a single Kiwi that could speak a foreign language, except those whose parents were foreigners. However, I recall one colleague at work reverentially extol the importance of knowing how to pronounce Maori place names correctly. Kiwi education seems to place an unhealthy importance on the Maori language and culture and reveres it as if it were as worthy of adulation as ancient Greece. Admittedly, Maori people have every right to want to connect to their ancestral language. However, it is far more important for children to learn a useful language such as Chinese or Spanish over Maori. Interestingly, a Maori lady I know who speaks Maori fluently agrees with me, but the leftist politically correct white Kiwis seem not to have grasped the indispensability of knowing another language. Incidentally, I speak Spanish and German fluently, but this was not nearly as important as having “local knowledge” for one tourism position I applied for, a trite phrase that Kiwis employ when they need to concoct an excuse for why they do not want to hire or promote a migrant. I guess knowledge of major international languages is unimportant in the tourism field!

The level of literacy, numeracy, and overall functionality is quite low. New Zealanders love to mock the ignorance of Americans, but they fail to realise how intellectually vacuous they are. Despite the stupidity of the average American, the top 10% in the United States is far cleverer and more talented than the top 10% in New Zealand, most of whom have left overseas for precisely the same reasons as me. For all its flaws, the United States still manages to attract and reward highly capable people.

New Zealanders gluttonously consume the most mind numbing and degenerate American entertainment. Youths listen to disgusting American rap or watch mindless drivel whilst ignoring most of what happens at the Beehive (the nickname for New Zealand’s Parliament). The news coverage here is on par with FOX News, except that it is rabidly left of centre. Aside from one reporter, New Zealand is devoid of investigative journalism. I usually watch BBC, RT, Al Jazeera because the local “news” is so poor.

The government owns much of the media in New Zealand and a few conglomerates control the advertising for what little media remains in private hands, so impartiality is non-existent. The media have little interest in international news, except a mass shooting in the United States, which the media invariably blames on guns rather than the demented underclass and sociopaths. The other international news item is the latest gossip surrounding the royal family.

Another thing that will annoy migrants about New Zealand is the appalling quality of the housing. Kiwis fancy themselves as a very practical lot, yet the building quality is atrocious. Virtually no houses have central heating, proper insulation, or double glazed windows. I have lived in Alaska and I have experienced -40C cold. However, this did little to prepare me for damp, mouldy, and cold New Zealand houses. I do not regard myself a hands-on person, but I could probably design and construct a better house compared to what the local builders can erect.

Perhaps the only thing worse than the poor quality houses is the exorbitant price. The median house price in Auckland is over NZ $600,000 and a $600,000 is junk. This is nearly ten times the median household income. The house prices are high for several reasons.

First, Kiwis distrust share markets so they plough most savings into acquiring rental properties. This artificially inflates the demand for housing. In addition, interest rates are higher in New Zealand, so foreign hedge funds etc borrow money in Japan at 0.5% and lend to New Zealand banks at 3%. This provides a glut of money for banks to lend for housing because Kiwis have no interest in borrowing to buy productive assets such as businesses.

Many of these international hedge funds have contributed to the high value of the New Zealand Dollar. If a major financial shock occurs offshore, it is likely that they will pull money out of New Zealand in favour of the liquidity of the US Dollar or Euro. This will cause a major decline in the New Zealand Dollar and cause house prices to crash once the foreign cash disappears. New Zealand is a net debtor to the world and it lacks the domestic savings to finance high house prices, just as Spain, Portugal, and Greece did. The only internationally competitive sector is agriculture, which accounts for 60% of the country’s earnings despite only employing about 6% of people, yet public policy is firmly anti-farmer. The New Zealand economy is Third World in the sense that it is heavily reliant on soft commodities with little else in terms of internationally competitive economic sectors.

Second, local councils artificially constrain the supply of land. New Zealand’s population has grown from 3 million to 4.5 million over the past quarter century and much of this growth is in Auckland, Wellington, and Christchurch. Meanwhile, the urban boundaries have grown little. Consequently, house prices have exploded.

The landlords, including many politicians and local councillors that own rentals, do not want to add to the supply of land because it would reduce demand and the price of their assets. Similarly, Kiwis suckered into paying some of the world’s most expensive house prices because they foolishly believe that house prices always go up, do not wish to open up land. The regrettable thing is that this artificially created shortage has made it practically impossible for young people to own homes. New Zealand house prices are poised for an inevitable if not imminent collapse.

The third reason house prices are so high in this vampire economy is that Fletchers have a virtual monopoly on building materials. This means that building materials are much more expensive than they are overseas.

Fourth, Kiwis are lazy and inefficient workers. Their minds cannot plan or think long term. Consequently, they usually build one house at a time. In North America or Europe, a developer builds entire streets in an almost assembly line fashion. “Kiwi ingenuity” has not grasped this concept. Moreover, Kiwi builders and tradesmen actually command a wage much higher than their ability, further forcing prices upward. I have always raised this issue with insipid Kiwis, who often retort that it is best that each house is “individual”. They do not understand that a developer can build hundreds of homes with unique floor plans.

The high property prices, which the Kiwi media extol, act as a humongous anchor on economic progress. High property prices signify that shops must pay higher rents, which they invariably pass on to their consumers through higher prices. Kiwis have a simpleton mentality incapable of understanding how things percolate down the line. They cheer high property prices, but do not realise that they pay for these higher prices in other ways. In short, the economy operates like a giant ponzi scheme. The insiders that bought property decades ago benefit whilst the rest of the society toils in peonage. A similar thing is happening on New Zealand farms, but New Zealand farmers are too busy trying to hawk their expensive farms to another farmer foolish enough to pay more than they did. The agricultural sector, which brings in most of the country’s foreign currency, faces a dire situation where the average farmer makes perhaps NZ 40,000 – $50,000 after paying interest on a debt of millions. This is happening at a time of high food prices. If food prices plummet or New Zealand experiences an outbreak of mad cow, then it will wipe out most farmers and the country by extension.

Overall, the New Zealand government oversells this country. It does have nice scenery, although places like Alaska, British Columbia, or South America are far more stunning. It does have some good points. For example, New Zealand is generally safe and I do think some Kiwis are good people on some level. Unfortunately, many Kiwis are uncouth, stupid, too drunk, and too conceited. My Kiwi wife and I cannot see ourselves living in this country or raising our future kids in the land of tall poppy syndrome.

Metaphorically, New Zealand is a nation of sheep. Kiwis are highly naive and lack astuteness. Perhaps no better example illustrates this than the EQC debacle. We still have EQC and the New Zealand government praising themselves for their great response, when the reality is that EQC have failed miserably. The organisation is corrupt and screwed over much of New Zealand, yet people still praise the safety net! The people who have most vociferously combated and denounced this mess are overwhelmingly the foreigners. It has been three years, yet many people in Christchurch continue to live in broken houses and some are without flush toilets. They are unwilling to fight or take any initiative, so they deserve their government.

I do not regret my time here, as it has opened my eyes in many respects. Most importantly, I met my lovely Kiwi wife. Unlike 90% of women here, she is feminine, attractive, personably, pleasant, beautiful, and a real gem. However, she is of Swiss extraction, so she is distinct to the local Kiwis. I noticed something different about her and she noticed I was different to the local men. It was a match made in heaven.

My wife said she liked me because unlike Kiwi men, I have ambition and drive. She said I also had manners and dressed well. One noticeable thing about New Zealand is the overall boorishness and slovenliness of the people. The largest retailer is a place called The Warehouse. It is the equivalent of Wal-Mart, but sells shoddy goods that even Wal-Mart would not carry. Never buy anything from there.

At any rate, my wife and I have grown tired of New Zealand and we are voting with our feet. As I post this, we are boarding the plane from Auckland that will take us to Europe. We are eagerly looking forward to living in Switzerland with its culture, perfectionism, and the world’s highest wages. It will be great to live in a place where trains run on time and where actual standards exist. The Swiss extol excellence unlike the Kiwis who are inherently suspicious of anyone with a modicum of intelligence, beauty, talent, or money.

In the meantime, the vampires that have ruined a country with tremendous potential can remain there mooching off each other. I would encourage any prospective migrant to visit and carefully consider the country because New Zealand markets itself very well, but seldom delivers the goods. Our only loss is that we have about one bedroom’s apartment worth of quality furniture that we bought and had to sell. I never risked our money and we do not have any kids yet, so it is easy to escape from here. Other migrants have spent all their savings coming here and they now lack the means to extricate themselves from this backwater. I would urge any reader to heed their warnings and learn the lessons from others to avoid succumbing to the same mistakes.”



30 thoughts on “Migrant Tales – Goodbye New Zealand

  1. “NZ is an island! its an outdoors persons paradise! if you are into the great outdoors, NZ rivals with Canada and the midwest of USA easily.”

    @Chris: no, no it really doesn’t.

  2. chris – the number of people I personally know who came to New Zealand and then left again is about 20x the number who have ever posted their stories on this site or the apparently completely defunct one called Expatexposed. And therein lies the problem, I think. There are too many people, relatively speaking (one person having a good life experience there does not “defeat” 20 people not wanting to live there – you DO have a brain drain in addition to migrants coming and leaving again), who voted “no” to New Zealand with their feet, if not their voices. Yet it advertises itself as a paradise and hides its worst face with advertising, taking advantage of the fact that most people do not know what New Zealand is really like to live in. I always tell people, do you know why they don’t show many houses on New Zealand advertising? Only landscapes? And how many Kiwis have you ever gotten to know “being their Kiwi selves” in their own country? We lived the dream. And it wasn’t one. We know we’re way, way not alone in that. So all the arguing clueless people who post on here – please know that there is a scattered community of people who left New Zealand and are spreading the truth. You may well meet more of us than you’ve read about on here. But generally, we have re-integrated into better places and are all quietly sharing our opinions. As we learned in New Zealand, it’s important to keep your voice down.

    • Stripes, how do you feel about your home country? I am not trying to defend NZ, as I am an expat who hasn;t lived in NZ for 15 years, and I was not born in NZ I am an immigrant, and I only spent half my adolescence life in New Zealand the other half was in Australia and the country where I was born. Italy.
      now, I am just trying to state, that you say, 20 people you know left, and there might be more who left. well I believe you.. I believe it’s a lot more. but how many have come to live in NZ and stayed? love it, and settle there and have no desire whatsoever to leave.? MILLIONS
      when I arrived in NZ the population was 3 million, now its approaching 5 million.
      with most the extra 1; 5 million being immigrants!
      you only have to look around new zealand and see how many immigrants are there,.
      greeks, Italians, chinese, Koreans, indians, brits, Aussies, malaysians,
      can we say NZ is better than their countries?
      why do greeks leave one of the most beautiful countries in the world and move to NZ and Australia? Italians too? come on.. westerners dream of Italy! but they are leaving their countries..

      so as I said, some people had a bad experience,so it didnt work for them.
      NZ is an island! its an outdoors persons paradise! if you are into the great outdoors, NZ rivals with Canada and the midwest of USA easily.
      if you want NYC or Tokyo city life, then NZ is not the place for you.
      but if you want hiking, skiiing, outdoors things, fishing, etc etc. Tokyo and NYC or London wont do.. and if someone was into those things and went to NYC then would eventually say goodbye and move! and then say, they hated it! why did they hate it..?
      couldnt stand the noise, the small cramped spaces, the expensive rents for small houses, the cold people, the crowds, the old public services, the crime rates, etc etc etc etc
      give me montana anyday he will say!
      does that mean NYC SUCKS??? NO.. of course not..
      I dont know where you lived in NZ, or the house you owned or rented.. but our house was nice, we also had a batch out at the beach..
      I have kiwi friends living in London, they living like sardines! if you like that lifestyle.. so be it.
      I wouldnt recommend people from bigger cities in the world to come and live in NZ and move to Auckland.. thats not what NZ is about .. and I think a lot people dont really understand what NZ is..

    • Stripes – as an American, I am sure you have heard the famous quote by Mark Twain:

      “Never argue with a fool, onlookers may not be able to tell the difference.”

      I would also like to add: never argue with someone who can’t spell or form coherent, logical sentences.

  3. As a kiwi who when to school in Australia as a kid, lived in NZ until I was 22 and haven’t stepped back into the country for 15 years, I just recently returned from a holiday.
    I have lived in USA, I have lived in ASIA, Europe. (colorado, South korean, and Italy)
    now of course I understand life in NZ can be a right mess if your circumstances are not what you want. perhaps you don’t own a home, perhaps you don’t earn good money, perhaps you had bad luck with the people, or a business, or something, so you have a bitter taste in your mouth. perhaps you do what most immigrants do and compare their home country to NZ,
    now of course if you are a refugee or from a 3rd world country, NZ is paradise to you..but the immigrants from the UK, OZ, Italy, Greece, etc.. they complain the most. but NEVER leave.
    NZ has it’s problems, but so does every country. if people want to compare NZ to your own country or your new country you are moving to because you feel the grass is greener there, well we will need to dissect that country too, the OP is moving to Switzerland! with the highest wages in the world? and HIGH taxes to go with it. a country which is notoriously racist, and if you dont speak German good luck, even if you speak fluent german, you will be looked down on a as foreign! not to mention the country is Extremely expensive. sure the scenery is wonderful!
    the UK? sure expats from the Uk have their friends and family back in England, they have their memories there, but a lot of the Brits I have met in thailand, Korea, and spain on my travels, have told me they have NO desire whatsoever to ever return to the UK.
    for so many reasons I dont need to list. it basically comes down to, what you are leaving behind. some expats left their country for better, some left undecided and didn’t really want to leave, but just thought yeah ok.. I’ll give it a go. and they will complain every second.
    just visit the UK expats abroad website on NZ or Italy or spain and hear them moan!
    but thats what Expats do.. we all do it.. we all complain in our host country.. but we stay. because we like our new life here, our new friends, and being feeling like we are traveling.
    in japan, south korea, thailand, spain, Italy, usa, I have met all expats from all different countries, and they all COMPLAIN!!! but they don’t leave.. because their jobs are ok, and they have new friends now. the ones who didn’t settle in, didn’t make friends, they leave!

    so before we all slam NZ, and say, I got ripped off, life is expensive, the people suck, etc etc
    well be fair and ask yourself, as an immigrant in your country, wouldnt the same thing happen to me? if an Asian who can’t speak English was to take his car into the panel beaters or call a plumber not be over charged by one of our shady citizens? of course they would.. they bloody even over charge their own kind.
    never been to south east asia? india? italy? or a foreign country where you stick out like a sore thumb and try to buy something in the markets? guess what.. there is a locals price and your price!! that’s life..

    HUMANS can terrible.. USA is a great country.. so is Italy.. so is the UK.. Sweden..
    but car jackings, murderers , drugs, and crime are high! so how can you say, it’s better than NZ? sure NYC is a wonderful place to visit, and perhaps live, chicago too, stockholm and london. but those places are far more dangerous than wellington! or Auckland! and you all know it..

    new zealand is an agricultural country, its not a big city country, it’s not tokyo, it’s not NEW YORK, and its not rome..
    love it or leave it as they say.. and all the expats all over the world from all parts of the world have left their countries.. and they slam their countries.. but they are a minority of their citizens, because 99% of the citizens remained.

    ps. sorry for the writing, am in a hurry, no time to proof read it.

    • You obviously know very little about Switzerland. The taxes are much lower than they are in New Zealand. For example, in the tax haven of canton Zug a married man with two children earning CHF 150,000 (about NZ $195,000) pays about 12% real tax when adding the social contributions for unemployment and pensions.

      Did you also know that in parts of Switzerland people speak French and Italian? Switzerland also does not need to attract talent because it is so in demand whereas New Zealand must misrepresent the country to goad migrants into moving there.

      • Safe…
        ok maybe the taxes are lower. but the cost of living must be higher! I know this because I have one friend who left Switzerland for that very reason. COST OF LIVING is through the roof.
        the tax haven.. earning 200K, well not everyone can earn those dollars. and you know it. so let’s get real for a second. the average man in an average job, earns what? spends how much to live? what is free in the government and what isnt?

        and what about renting a house, buying a house, etc etc we all know Switzerland is a VERY expensive country to live.
        speak French, or Italian,yes I do know this, in certain parts of the country, not in geneva or Zurich,
        are you the original poster?

        regarding languages, English is not one of official ones. so you had better know Italian, french or germany!
        so life for an EXPAT BRIT in Swiss might be a lot harder for someone.

        • The cost of living in Switzerland is amongst the highest in the world, but the wages more than compensate for it. For example, an entry-level fulltime employee at discount grocery chain Aldi earns CHF 4,200 per month, which is close to NZ $70,000 as companies in Switzerland usually pay a thirteenth month salary. Employees in Zurich and Geneva earn nearly 4,700 per month or nearly NZ $80,000 per year. You can verify this at http://www.gmx.ch/magazine/wirtschaft/aldi-suisse-erhoeht-grundlohn-2-1-prozent-18346210, but you will have to read German or at least try Google translate. Despite these high wages, my grocery bill in Switzerland is no different than it was in New Zealand. Yes, some people in Switzerland do go across the border to Germany to shop because it is cheaper, although usually not worth the hassle.

          Median annual household income in Switzerland is CHF 114,000 or about NZ $148,000. How many people in New Zealand earn that sort of money? Only about 40% of adult women in Switzerland work because more women have the choice to stay at home with their kids. Many Swiss also work less than full-time because the wages are enough and more money does not necessarily produce happiness.

          If you live in Zurich, you can buy an annual pass that covers all the public transport for CHF 729 or about NZ $950. The public transport is phenomenal and it is not necessary to have a car. You can attend university here for about CHF 1,500 per year. Likewise, taxes are much lower.

          One does have to pay for private medical insurance because it is compulsory, but the health care is superb and worth the money. Likewise, to buy a house a half hour from Zurich or Geneva will set one back around CHF 800,000. However, the quality of the houses is far superior to New Zealand and it is no different to Auckland prices on a square metre basis except that the quality of Auckland houses is substandard. The Swiss houses have proper floors, insulation, central heating, etc.

          Of course, life is not merely about material goods. Swiss people complain that life is expensive because it costs CHF 30 per hour to hire a cleaner. Eating out at restaurants is expensive because labour is very expensive. However, manufactured goods and day-to-day items are only somewhat more expensive than in the countries surrounding Switzerland. On the other hand, many of life’s essentials such as food, electricity, etc are more expensive in New Zealand, but people earn much less than they do in Switzerland.

          Then there are other factors such as much better schools. For example, being around multilingual people who read books as opposed to being around semiliterate Kiwis is a plus. One can also enjoy superb parks and outdoor recreation in Switzerland. Of course, the population is denser, but I will take it.

          BTW, people in Geneva speak French. About 20% of companies in Switzerland use English as the company language. Many qualified expats live in Switzerland and never learn the language. Many of the locals write better in English than you do.

          Of course, life is not perfect in Switzerland, but it is a far more desirable place to live than New Zealand.

          • ok, great, so it seems like you have settled in nicely. do you see yourself living their forever? have you found your home away from your native country? or do you think this honeymoon faze will eventually disappear and you will then start to unravel things about Swiss you don’t like also. and eventually finding yourself leaving and hating this place too?
            it happens.. I know.. I have done it with countries I lived in too.
            or is swiss your utophia?

    • I left NZ for reasons many people migrate to other countries. I went for work. and ended up staying, raising a family etc.
      Is korea better than NZ? we all know those ideas are subjective. my family in NZ have visited me here in seoul and have told me THEY WOULD NEVER LIVE HERE!
      I have colleagues here at work from other countries and they also dislike it here, they are only here for work.
      I have friends who love it here, and will never leave. but saying is it better.. you can’t answer such questions, especially coming from such a beautiful country like NZ. would be different if I was coming from Somalia.
      I think your situation financially has a lot to do with your comfort and your feeling towards your host country too.
      the OP hated NZ because life didn’t turn out the way he hoped it did. , but let’s say, the OP did open a business and it was very successful, he bought that boat, and had a holiday home in the coramandel etc.. he would be singing a different tune about NZ.. that’s for sure..

  4. Dear Sir or Madam
    I am not sure where to start, I suppose it is right back at the beginning of this unfair mess which is destroying my family, thanks to the plumbers board and its previous registrar Phil Routhan and Kern Uren with there lies and deceit.
    It all started back in the UK when my wife and I were running 2 successful businesses, we had 2 happy children and a very happy life style in the UK, we had plenty of money so we decided that we would have a holiday of a life time in New Zealand, whilst in NZ we on occasion spoke to plumbers who said we would be of demand and so I was offered 2 jobs which I didn’t take because I didn’t know if I would want to live or move away from all I had, we had many things we wanted to do like build our own house in the UK, Anyway the thought of New Zealand stayed with us so when we heard of some expos we thought we would go along and find out about what we would have to do to move and re start our businesses in NZ, so of course we wanted to talk to NZ immigration because they would know everything we would need to do to achieve our goals of starting our new businesses, they informed us that we would have no problems after they took copies of all my qualifications and my corgi registration and all my other trade certificates, they came back to me after the expo and confirmed that I would be able to start my business after I had worked for a plumber in new Zealand for 3 months, The 3 months was a requirement and once completed I and my family would be granted our residence due to my qualifications and experience, at no time was the plumbers board mentioned in any way or was I told about how bloody bad they were to overseas applicants, this I only found out when I had been here 3-4 months, I found this out from the plumber I was working for, who rather enjoyed informing me of this as it would mean he would be able to keep me on minimum wage, Whilst working there I met other plumbers who were being disadvantaged by the plumber’s board just because they were from the UK
    So thought this was just stupid and nothing could be that bad, so I rang the plumbers board and spoke to Phil Routhan who said he didn’t like plumbers from the UK as they were poorly trained! this was before he had seen my expertise etc so of course I felt very aggrieved as nobody had ever disrespected me or my knowledge like this, My wife and I had run 2 successful businesses, a gas service business that had 3300 customers on its database and successful plumbing business, the gas business installed and maintained and also serviced all gas appliances from cookers to gas fires and gas boilers all of which were more advanced than which are fitted here today, which just shows how flawed the system is here and just how unfair it is as New Zealand as a country needs to bring in fresh blood with expertise and then try to keep it rather than lose it to else where.
    This man had no right to talk to me like this he did not know me and he had never done or had the expertise of the work I did so he couldn’t pass judgement on me or any overseas plumber or gas fitter.
    Its like asking a plumber to repair a car or a plumber to repair or service a gas boiler he needs training, which you don’t have here in NZ, so how can you expect the plumbers board to be able to pass judgement on a fully qualified gas engineer with city and guilds certificates and 18years plus experience running 2 successful businesses!
    So I made a complaint about him to Shane Jones MP that said he could do nothing and had every confidence in the board!
    Being very upset about this I didn’t contact them for a while, I was still working for Merwood plumbing of Taupo and I found out that I was supposed to be working under supervision of a craftsman which just didn’t happen, so I asked my boss why he had never given me supervision, he just said I new more than him but he wouldn’t pay me any more! At about this time I was invited by the master plumbers down to Wellington to talk about my experiences as a gas service engineer in the UK as New Zealand has no training or experienced gas engineers.
    Anyway Routhan heard I was there and had Fiona Greavel inform me that I wasn’t aloud to do my talk and all evening he was rude about me and overseas plumbers.
    Quite a few master plumbers members said that they us from the UK to train their staff and oversee projects because of the wealth of experience we have, they then had to shut up because they realized that they had admitted that they didn’t oversee them, so they had to back track on what they said.
    I was doing some installation work which was going well and was due to go back on the Monday but had fall so was un able to go on the Monday so the boss went instead which was a big mistake as he pulled out my 2 pipe system and put in a 1 pipe system which wouldn’t work so I was disgusted with this and told the customer and informed the board about the fact that I never received supervision or help they weren’t interested, so I left Merwood’s and started with Macbeth’s , part of my contract with them was they pay my fees and licenses which it turned they didn’t, and gas work I did in the likes of Huka lodge who still want me to do there work because of my expertise was probably never signed off!
    I spoke Routhan again and he ranted at me and told me he would never give me my licences as a craftsman and he told he didn’t care what the immigration dept did or didn’t do as he would not talk to them and he said he was the law and he would do anything to ruin me!
    So I have to say I went on the war path and told everybody who would listen about it,
    I re contacted Shane Jones and kept on at him and the board, at about the same time I started writing for the plumbers journal (jds corner) also regular letters to the editor about the unfairness of the board and the way they treated others and me .
    I wrote a letter about the way the board treated us overseas (UK) plumbers he saw it and then wrote his own in reply which really upset a lot of us which meant he was no longer aloud to write for the journal anymore. At this I started getting overseas plumbers contacting me and complaining about their treatment from the board and Routhan so complained to Shane Jones again and told me that because of the problems that we overseas plumbers facing that he was putting the auditor general onto them which would help us eventually, but we are still being victimized.
    Any way we got rid of Routhan and during this time I was trying to get more support with Alan Day for all the plumbers of New Zealand and so we were amongst the founding members of the plumber’s federation of New Zealand (pgdf)

    With Routhan gone I spoke to Kern Uren and he decided he would not be helpful and suggested that if I didn’t like it I should go back home as we are in New Zealand now! I would agree with this if it wasn’t for the fact that the peoples representatives the immigration department, hadn’t of recognized my qualifications and experience they wouldn’t have given me and my family residence within 3months, this I feel they set a president they should have informed me of the situation with the board.

    I kept bombarding the board and the pgdb and even applied to join the board but they are just not interested in a foreigner whose country set the standard in plumbing and NZ followed, until recently.
    Anyway out of the blue Kern rings me and says he would like to invite me down to Wellington to help me achieve my goal of craftsman, so I spoke to other members of the plumbers federation and it was agreed that Paul Luxton (chairman) would come with me for moral support,
    The meeting started really well and kern seemed to be understanding, then he asked for my proof of qualifications etc which he copied and said that he had never seen as much proof and was impressed, so he said he would give me my registered gas and plumber status I was not happy with this as I want to run my own business ,Craig O’Connell and kern assured me that this would not be a problem as they were going to send me all the paperwork so I would be prepared to be asked questions,so I would be given my craftsman status upon satisfactory answers, P said that this was a good result and I should take it so reluctantly I accepted it they gave me the forms to fill in for my registration and asked for a payment which I couldn’t afford and I said so, kern advised me to write to him explaining why I should be aloud off the payment which I said was because of the way Phil Routhan and the board had treated me, he said that this would probably be ok and would put it before the board, I informed them that I was going away in 7 weeks and they advised me that all the papers etc for my tests would be with me before I went, so whilst away I would be able to study them, when I got back I would take and pass which would give me my craftsman,
    Well well well after many calls they never turned up and I spoke to kern by phone and also texts and emails he just said that they were having problems arranging the information for me, I even spoke to Craig Oconnell and he confirmed what was said in the meeting and that he could see no reason why I would not have my craftsman tickets within 6 months.
    Whilst in the UK I was asked by Robert Bosch NZ, LTD who make and import the latest types of condensing boilers to do some training at there training centre just outside London, I really enjoyed working with people who understood the tech side to the heating and gas industry, they could not believe how I was being treated so poorly in NZ, many of them knew of some one who was thinking of immigrating to New Zealand and I have to say I couldn’t honestly advise them to come here because we are treated like we have no experience and so I positively said to them to tell everyone not to waste there time or money.
    On my return to New Zealand I spoke to kern and said I was disappointed that the paperwork and information wasn’t with me yet , Kern then turned around and said that at no time did he say they were going to give me my registered tickets in plumbing and gas and they had never agreed to give me the information to help me to pass the oral questions! I was extremely upset by this so I rang back and asked to speak to Craig Oconnell they in formed me he no longer worked for the board, so I asked for his phone number they said they couldn’t help me
    I have been told that before Routhan decided that the plumbers board hated overseas plumbers ,they recognized the UK city&guilds exams etc and you could come and all you would have to complete was a 3month 1 hour a week correspondence course which basically taught you the differences in plumbing/gas standards.
    I cannot see why we can’t do this now,another funny thing but sad really is that if I go and live in Australia they will give me craftsman status because of my UK qualifications

    please help the overseas plumbers/gas fitters I think 4 years is quite long enough

    John Dyer

  5. As an immigrant who grew up in NZ. It took a long time for me to realise the issues you talked about until I went overseas. Good work!

  6. ” rip-off businesses where the importer in Oz marks up by 100% before AKL importer marks up by 100%, then local distributor marks up by 100% then shop marks up by 100%++. Example replacement car door handle supplied, painted & fitted in NZ approx $500 inc GST. Prepainted door handle in USA $13us plus $12us postage to friend in US (they would not send direct) then $20us postage to NZ. 10 mins fitting time remove 2 rubber grommets, undo 2 nuts, remove and replace handle, fit 2 nuts back and then 2 grommets. No GST, Total cost approx $67NZ.”
    I’ve had simmilar experience. I do look locally. When I go into a place to check prices, I get a funny look from staff, as if price checking was looked down on, it doesn’t stop me, IT IS MY $.
    After I look around town, I go online, and almost always am able to find cheaper, better, more selection. Then purchase online [NZ post has a service for international deliveries] and get savings of [generally] 50%. If I can order online and get it shipped [usually internationally] for less, why are the brick and morter stores unable to match [or even come somewhat close] price? NZ is looking to, not lower prices, but tax internet/international sales.
    But, I do look in town, first.

  7. What a rant! – While this may come over as a rant it is so accurate and I enjoyed reading it. It does miss out some bits but I cannot say anything is incorrect.
    We have just recently become ex-expats returning to UK for many of the reasons listed here and when asked why we make one or two general comments, but I think I might just print out the post and let people read it for themselves. Yes we have made some wonderful friends in NZ, we have seen some amazing scenery, enjoyed some fantastic summers sitting at wineries (can also do this in France). We have been ripped-off by extortionate charges, attempted to be conned by fraudsters in the financial services ( we only invested in govt protected schemes and needed it).
    Some of the things missed but maybe listed elsewhere – portable gas heaters which make amazing wallpaper strippers, rip-off businesses where the importer in Oz marks up by 100% before AKL importer marks up by 100%, then local distributor marks up by 100% then shop marks up by 100%++. Example replacement car door handle supplied, painted & fitted in NZ approx $500 inc GST. Prepainted door handle in USA $13us plus $12us postage to friend in US (they would not send direct) then $20us postage to NZ. 10 mins fitting time remove 2 rubber grommets, undo 2 nuts, remove and replace handle, fit 2 nuts back and then 2 grommets. No GST, Total cost approx $67NZ.
    A friend visiting from UK saw an item for sale and wanted to buy it as a present. When we saw the price I said to the friend that she should ask for a discount and expect to settle at about 50% of the tag price. While loathe to do it, her husband did ask for a discount and was immediately greeted with a 55% discount so did not bother to negotiate any further. A word to all expats in NZ – negotiate hard on most things – electrical at Bond&Bond, Noel Leeming etc, Furniture at Smith City, Furniture Court, Carpets and pretty much everything except at the warehouse – not worth negotiating on tat.
    Trades men are a rip off too – they own a boat and go out fishing on a Friday so that it does not impinge on their weekend thus having to earn a weeks wages in 4 days. They carry no basic stock in their vans so they go to the trade merchants first thing so chargeable time – get to the job and start – find they need some more basic fittings so back to the merchants at 10:00 (tea time but chargeable to customer as they are getting parts for the job. Have a look round the merchants tea room at this time and you will see the tradesmen sitting around with some of the store staff having their teabreak.
    Driving in NZ – very dangerous roads, very un-roadworthy cars, crazy drivers.
    Infrastructure – build on hillsides and wonder why they end up at the bottom of the hill when there are so many mud slides and earthquakes.

    To new immigrants we would suggest you do not buy a property straight away but rent for the first year – you may change your mind within that time and be able to get out easily, or you may choose to try a different region. Racial discrimination and racism exists – read up on this and see how it affect5s the area that you might choose.

    It sounds like if we ever met up with the OP we could get through a few beers putting thins right in Kiwiland. Good luck to you and your partner in your new land

  8. Some people experience this while in New Zealand, for me it was “below-minimum-wage” while working a casual job.
    When people become employees, they usually have to pander to their employer, as the employer frequently makes promises (which they cannot keep) to clients, and the clients see the employee as a replaceable cog because they have been drinking the Kool-Aid that an employer knows everything and an employee knows nothing.

  9. That guy could win an award for passive aggression. Blue ribbon, dude! “it just depends what kind of person you are and what you are looking for from life”, ah yes, I’ve heard this one before – if you’re a spoiled egghead consumerist who can’t harden up and have low expectations, you will dislike New Zealand. Oh, and the U.S. govt is evil. ROFLMAO.

  10. Wow. As a kiwi your description is extreme and shockingly accurate.

    I do want to express this though.
    Your intelligence is uncanny and would rival the top. New Zealanders have been so sheltered and secluded that its understandable that they come off or are ‘dumb’.

    Im one one those dumb people (I had to look up lots of words you used). I act/ live just like some of those that you describe while you lived in New Zealand. Though I can understand why you didn’t win very many people over as you seem to look down on and seem to judge every single thing anyone does.
    No one is going to live up to the level you want people to be.

    Most the people of the U.S can’t even come close to your level so I don’t understand how a islander would.
    But i regress as I know how the simplest of tasks cannot be performed in NZ.
    people used to just hide-and-goto-sleep at my workplace.

    You were hoodwinked into believing NZ was a utopia. That’s why a recon vacation rather than moving would have been a better choice… But then you would have never met your wife. So thank NZ for that 🙂

    I would also like to point out that fact that you said kiwis deserve what they get for not doing anything about the dire political situation.. What was it that you did to help the dire American political situation? Run away?
    Not 4,500,000 but 330,000,000 people can’t take the time to involve themselves in the extremely worrying political situation in the U.S.
    Situations that will send the entire human civilization back to the dark ages.
    The gov’t in NZ are stupid I agree but will never reach the level of evil the U.S gov’t has.
    Just remember that.
    There are politicians in Switzerland too might I add that are going to have an extremely hard time pleasing someone of your political prowess or anyone for that matter…. Politicians are politicians.

    Aside from those points its depressing to think about life in NZ. So much potential ruined by so much ignorance, arrogance, savage behavior and no union amongst citizens. No one seems to care.

    The reason why I read through your internet rant was because I feel you. NZ is definitely not for everyone… Most people that make something from it is from a third world country (ouch)
    and I myself can’t live there.
    People are very primitive and undeveloped but still but its my home so that’s why I had to defend some aspects of the place.

    I do ask potential immigrants reading this to do check NZ out if your considering moving there. We all have our opinions, just heed the warnings on this site as they are legit. Not everyone has bad experiences, it just depends what kind of person you are and what you are looking for from life.

    Cheers for the post Anon, it was a great informative read and I wish you the best in your journeys to finally be able to relax and enjoy the great life God gave us.

    • People may not understand why you profess to feel empathy with Anon and then describe his comments as a “rant”. Care to elaborate but this time without the passive aggression?

  11. Great post, I have lived in Japan for the last 12 years and I cringe at having to go back with my Japanese wife and son to visit my mother when I read the posts on here.

  12. Thank you for writing this. As a New Zealander who recently left to live permanently in Australia this rings a lot of bells, particularly the descriptions of office culture and NZ govt department culture. I had many colleagues in a govt department who ended up in senior management simply because they had been there for X number of years it seemed. They certainly were not competent or well educated or in some cases even civilised people.

    Being away from NZ and looking back I now have a touch of almost PTSD from the stress and strain of living there. I tend to keep this to myself when talking to people back home as criticising NZ is something a lot of people cannot even listen to, despite the problems being blindingly obvious every time you read a newspaper.

    I find hearing the views of foreign immigrants to be fascinating because they have not been indoctrinated since birth with the whole “this is how life is, just harden up and deal with it” mentality that NZ kids get fed so actually speak honestly about what they see.

  13. Concise and impressive description, and a very exact picture of how New Zealand stays afloat. “The government funds Transparency New Zealand, which then tells Transparency International that New Zealand has no corruption” + “vampire economy” are the two best. They say it all. We found all this as well, and more (grinding poverty, drug problems, things you may not have come into contact with yourself because you managed to stay in higher socioeconomic circles; some of us were shoved, to the bottom of the barrel and had trouble climbing out) Thank you for this amazing analysis. To new readers: it is very accurate.

  14. That’s a sublime entry.
    I am now worried this website will be taken down, such frank talk finds many people who want to keep bad news hidden!

  15. sorry to hear, I fully understand how you feel. Im a european kiwi, raised here, but worked for many years in Europe. I find getting meaningful and worthwhile work in NZ difficult, due mainly to those things you describe. I started my own business which I’ve run for the last 9 years, but have now been forced to close. The costs of running a business in NZ are unrealistic. Rules and regulations which they claim are to improve the quality /safety of my client yet do little more than give quasi govt agencies and clip boards an excuse to fleece yet still more money from me. It reached a point were for every dollar I took, 50 cents was going to some authority either directly or indirectly.
    I have no problem with the socially motivated structure of the country, but it does annoy me when 1/2 my day is spent turning over a dollar to support some corrupt agency who have a monopoly who have creative accountants, who as in the words of a current minister , can come up with ways to legitimately avoid paying tax. Middle income and S.M.E business pay the majority of tax in this country, yet we get treated like s**t

    • TimN :
      sorry to hear, I fully understand how you feel. Im a european kiwi, raised here, but worked for many years in Europe. I find getting meaningful and worthwhile work in NZ difficult, due mainly to those things you describe. I started my own business which I’ve run for the last 9 years, but have now been forced to close. The costs of running a business in NZ are unrealistic. Rules and regulations which they claim are to improve the quality /safety of my client yet do little more than give quasi govt agencies and clip boards an excuse to fleece yet still more money from me. It reached a point were for every dollar I took, 50 cents was going to some authority either directly or indirectly.
      I have no problem with the socially motivated structure of the country, but it does annoy me when 1/2 my day is spent turning over a dollar to support some corrupt agency who have a monopoly who have creative accountants, who as in the words of a current minister , can come up with ways to legitimately avoid paying tax. Middle income and S.M.E business pay the majority of tax in this country, yet we get treated like s**t

      Very true and accurate – you will be inspected and regulated and charged to death if you have 90a small business, but if you run a coal mine – it’s like “regulations? what regulations??” and 29 bodies still lie buried in a mine that was run with such unsafe practices and standards it would not have been allowed in China.

  16. HI, im from Portugal, and my country is in crisis because of the corruput goverment! in the past they spend all gold etc, buying land, houses and cars for themselves and their family and now we need to pay for them!!! ok
    my goal is to go for a FAIR country! i dream about new zeeland,Australia, or Canada!! buy reading your text im shocked!! my Portugal the people are very kind! only have the goverment mafia problems!!! and new laws for inslave people!! work almost for free etc!!! im very sad reading this!! maby i end up in china or borney, malasia!!



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