Migrant Tales – British Cop in Northland: NZ’s “Crime Statistics a Work of Fiction”

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

Today’s story was sent in by a British man who emigrated to Northland as a ‘Brit Cop’ under the NZ First agreement.

Despite having 10 years experience of UK policing he was treated as a probationer by his colleagues, some of whom were so incompetent it reminded him of the TV series Life on Mars – 1970s version.

His tale confirms what many people in New Zealand already suspect – crime statistics are a work of fiction and a criminal underclass has free rein over the country. He also talks about some of the most common problems that migrants encounter in New Zealand – well worth the read.

Here’s his story.

Hi All,
Long-time reader of this blog but first time poster. Wanted to agree with a lot of the comments I read about how NZ doesn’t live up to its propaganda and the traps you can find yourself in over hear, plus the Tall Poppy syndrome is alive and well.

I came to NZ back in 2005 as one ‘Brit Cops’ under the NZ First agreement, settled up in Northland as it looked sunny with sand and surf, something a NW England lad like myself rarely get to see. At first I really like the job and my colleges (it help that my boss was a South African immigrant himself). So I overlooked the fact that my UK training and experience was ignored and i was virtually considered a probationer, or that fact that my colleagues were so amateurish in their work I felt like a member of the cast of “Live on Mars” (UK Original version) stuck in the 1970s.
The level of incompetence is unbelievable and any suggestion to try something new (to them) is treated with scorn. I’ve never seen the levels of repetitive drink driving and family violence I’ve seen in NZ and I spent 10 years in UK Policing. As for the crime statistics their a work of fiction worthy of a Booker prize! There is a huge criminal underclass in this country and everyone knows who they are but aren’t prepare to do anything meaningful about them due to ‘political correctness’, meanwhile they rape, rob, harm and kill with almost impunity.

Unfortunately my boss left to work in Auckland (and later emigrated to Australia) and the series of replacement bosses wasn’t interested in doing anything but the bare minimum and blocked every initiative I suggested to reduce crime through Prevention (something 5 years later they are apparently totally in to now but still failing at). More and more of my UK colleagues left but I had bought a house I couldn’t sell and was stuck, job got more and more boring as my boss allocated all the unpopular office/I.T. based duties to myself (most Kiwi Police officers don’t even own a home PC).

After 2 years I’d had enough but wasn’t looking to return to the UK, I had my residency and wanted to get citizenship so I could give Oz a try (didn’t know about the 2nd class citizenship status of Kiwis back then). Luckily a UK colleague of mine tipped me off to a job with the UN over in the Middle East and a year later this lead to another posting in SE Asia. I loved the job and the lifestyle (plus the money) but was worried I’d fail to get my Citizenship status due to my time outside NZ, so I quit my post and moved back to NZ, think I’d just walk back into my old job with NZ Police or at least another enforcement agency with my qualifications and experience…nah!

Spent 18 month unemployed in Wellington as job up in Northland was never going to happen as I’ve learned as so many immigrant do, all the decent paid jobs are in the urban areas (they hardly qualify as Cities in my mind) but turn down again and again for jobs I was highly qualified and experienced for.

Frequently didn’t even get offered interviews which i worked out later was a strategy. If your short-listed and rejected you can ask for review to justify why your not the best candidate (in the public sector anyway) by not even short listing you, you are left with no recourse at all. The Corrections Service is renowned for this giving all the good jobs to guys on the inside, but now the Police Service seems to do the same. Turned out my UN experience was a big handicap though a combination of envy (one guy at the start of an interview said my CV read like an ‘adventure novel’ and then proceeded to disagree with every answer I gave to the panels questions) and unwillingness to go the extra yard to chase up my references (different time zones, etc). This also ruled my out of many public sector jobs requiring security checks as my time abroad with the UN was considered ‘suspect’. I discovered the same attitude amongst the Dept of Internal Affairs during my Citizenship application as they wanted documents from my former employers (UN Missions) on ‘original headed paper contracts’ they wouldn’t accept scanned copies which is how they UN an international organisation sends them out. They suggested I contact UN NY and get them to send my the originals…from 4 years ago…like that was ever going to happen!

Finally landed a job with the a Public Sector agency (which will remain nameless), but it doesn’t use a 10th of my skills and find many of my colleagues hostile to me on a daily basis (the women mainly oddly?). Anyway as I find their inane conversations boring in the extreme I’ve given up talking to them unless i have to. Here in Wellington ALL my friends are immigrants, mainly Americans, who at least have some understanding of the world outside NZ and know what’s expected in a developed first world nation.

I still cant sell my house in Northland after 5 years, but I’m going as soon as my Citizenship comes through. I’m either off to Oz to work for my old boss in Perth or if that doesn’t come off I’ll go back to UN and work is some hell hole for a few years to get back in the system. The UK just isn’t an option at the moment, economy is too depressed and I’ve already moved my Pension out.

Looking back I made a lot of wrong assumptions about NZ, I though would be more like Oz and it dam well isn’t. I didn’t know about the lack of good jobs, pay or even the hole in the Ozone layer. The ‘Kiwis first’ attitude and the Tall Poppy syndrome, nor did I know about ACC and its perpetuation of a culture on ‘no accountability for your actions’. I just read those skewed international ‘quality of lifer surveys’ and saw the scenery in the Lord of the Ring film…lol
If I’d know about a blog like this beforehand, I’d have held out for a job in Oz.

Cop to take case against police after ‘forced resignation’

A veteran Waikato police officer who claims he was forced to resign after a pattern of bullying and threatening behaviour has been allowed to take a case against police.

Sergeant James Casson, an officer for more than 25 years, resigned in January last year after police allegedly “closed ranks” against him…

Mr Casson said he felt he had to resign due to “bullying and threatening  behaviour” by members of the Hamilton police management who had “closed  ranks” against him.

He alleged an inspector had threatened to transfer him, and threatened staff to distance themselves from Ms Casson.

Mr Casson also alleged another inspector had instructed a senior sergeant to “sort you [Mr Casson] out”. source


UK police feel careers have stalled in New Zealand and they’re making up the numbers, UK gives Kiwi cops a leg up

Viv Rickard

NZ’s Deputy Police Commissioner Viv Rickard

Whilst UK police are dissatisfied with their treatment in New Zealand and are leaving in droves, a law change in the UK proposes to give Kiwi police officers a leg up the promotion ladder.

Deputy Police Commissioner Viv Rickard (above) reckons that the NZ police who emigrate to the UK have got a learning curve ahead of them. We shall be watching to see how many leave and the impact that has on law and order in New Zealand – already in a parlous state. Mr Rickard went on record recently saying that the drop in recorded crime was partly due to people being given cautions rather than being prosecuted.

UK Cops leave NZ force dissatisfied – Story – NZ News – 3 News

“Ten years ago in 2003 New Zealand began a drive to entice British police to migrate but half have since left…

Reports obtained under the Official Information Act reveal on the whole, the British recruits felt their “careers had stalled” and were mainly there to fill gaps. And 40 percent weren’t happy with the recruitment process, with one saying, “No one has ever sat me down and said ‘you are from the UK with 20 plus years service – what have you done?

Meanwhile, a law change is on the cards in the UK that would give Kiwi and other international police a fast-track up the British ladder to senior rank without having to do time on the lower rungs first.

A spokesperson at the home office told 3 News consultation was over and a decision is yet to be made.

So what lessons should be or have been learned from New Zealand’s recruitment scheme?

“In terms of recognising their rank, dealing with them in terms of the training, and really focusing their training on the areas they needed to acclimatise to,” says Mr Rickard.

In other words, those eyeing up the UK should go prepared for change”

6 thoughts on “Migrant Tales – British Cop in Northland: NZ’s “Crime Statistics a Work of Fiction”

  1. Just reading through the heading of this site, lets me shake my head in disbelief and agreement at the same time. Coming here as a fully trained Konditor from Germany with my child, was nothing short of years of heart and headache literally. Nobody employed me, and so I tried to open my own catering business. (but this humble effort was greeted with envy and someone reporting me to officials for feeble reasons, in order to have me kicked out of the country) But the worst part I had to endure was the fact that schools had a ‘no bullying’ policy. This however was more than a joke. Both of my children were called ‘Nazi-pig’. When going to the respective head of school to report this, I was told that they would deal with it. No apologies offered. The bullying however increased which forced me to take my child out of that school.

    At enrollment into school they told me to bring $5.00 pencil money (it was put in a way that one could choose to), so the children can use the pencils offered by the school. I opted out and was promptly ordered to school and asked why I did not pay the $5.00 fee. I was shocked to find out that they classed it as a fee and that I was not really given a choice. I explained that I wanted my child to learn to take care of their own pencil case and gave him a case with everything in it (ruler, colored and lead pencils, eraser, etc pp, as a good german mother would do to have their child set up with everything and not be shamed out for being poorly equipped). Children were then throwing the pencil case in class around making everything break inside, while the teacher did not intervene. I was asking to speak to the head of school. The HoS stated the same as the teacher and as a result my child was ostracized and left out of many activities, which I found out ‘through the back door’ so to speak. So I asked to have my child removed from that class, which posed many problems. And as I could not afford to put my child into a private school (which was a direct result of not finding employment, despite my good education) I was forced to stay with this school, or I could enroll my child at another school, with a far worse educational level and reputation.

    I also found, that women in general are deemed lower than men. Being invited to some parties by people showed this very clearly: Men stand on one side of the yard, while women on the other side. Women talk about babies, dirty nappies, the latest in strollers and recipes while men talk about cars and in some cases even politics, which I prefer any day over dirty-nappy talk. Having children does not restrict me to topics regarding children. Which in turn made me no friends in the women’s community and as I joined the men group for a better fare of topics, jealousy was palpable and I found myself withdrawing from society more and more.

    So I decided to study instead. NZ gives everybody the possibility to study just about any topic. However this became not true for me either. The entrance interview went terribly bad. The panel asked me the question of Why I wanted to study interior design and decided that my positive reply was reason to disregard me. I asked for a different panel to decide. The second panel was exactly the same as the first and I was outraged about not being given a different panel, as it was my right per their statutes, and stated this. The snide remark they gave me for a reason was: ‘We cannot teach you anything’.
    I ended up in studying Bachelor of Fine Arts and gained a Masters in Graphic Design, still hoping to get at least employment or a destination to work with, finding neither. (I have to add, that the school of Fine Arts and Graphic Design were both run by an English and American HoS.)

    I cannot fulfill any of my aspirations, my qualifications aren’t worth a dime and racism is killing my spirit. So I am going to leave NZ. This country looks good on the outside, but the inside is not keeping its promises. People seem to fearfully and jealously clique together without looking at new things they could learn and expand their horizon. (During my time of study a Professor from Austria too left NZ in disgust about free speech or better the lack thereof at NZ Universities.) Instead, more laws and regulations open up toward the unlearned and docile, who get rewarded for bullying, ridiculing and brute force as can clearly be seen in the police. Plumbers board takes money for points and registration each year from Plumbers and offering not a single protection toward those who feed them, but prosecuting Plumbers for little things the Board has no knowledge about and threatening and bullying the Craftsmen. I feel racism in so many aspects. Statements like: ‘Oh my grandfather was at war against Nazi Germany’, makes my stomach twist each time. NZ is just poor in so many aspects. Just sad.

  2. I can really empathise with your experiences. My husband also had 10 years experience as a Deputy Ward Manager in Mental Health before we moved to NZ, but like you, they treated him as a new grad’ and put him on the lowest pay scale. They treated him like a newbie despite him having worked in much tougher environments- Ashworth Special Hospital in Maghull for starters! After 8 years of struggling- we used up most of our savings just making ends meet due to his appalling wages- we moved to Australia. Yes the salaries are better over there, but the mentality was similar to here- aussies are just as dull witted, anti intellectual and unable to take a joke, plus the cost of living in some cities is extortionate. After 4 years we moved back to NZ-to Wellington- (Big mistake! Lovely city but the rest is really boring). We are going back to the UK in January. Yes the economy is struggling, but at least we will be able to buy a cute stone cottage in the Yorkshire dales- over here we can barely afford a starter home as they kick off at $6k in the nice parts of Welly! And we can visit olde english pubs, castles, proper chippies and Europe 😀

  3. I wish you the best of luck in Australia. You should be able to leverage your skills into permanent residency over there, which I would recommend to avoid the second-class status of New Zealand citizens in Australia. I briefly worked for an unnamed government agency in Wellington and I too was only able to befriend other migrants, all of whom realised we were on an island of retardation.

    • Don’t think Australia is any better than NZ. Moved to OZ 20+ years ago and have found treatment of Kiwis shameful, but treatment of other migrants even worse. It is getting worse and while many of the comments are about the cost of living in NZ, wait till you try the OZ economy. Government there has it’s hand in your pocket the whole time and when you come to retire, they assess what you are worth and penalise you accordingly in your pension. Buy a house in OZ and they even charge you sales tax on the purchase – amounts to $20K upwards. Think again about OZ.

      • Not true. Australia is clearly a multi cultural country New Zealand is definitely not. Australian’s are accepting and open minded New Zealanders are arrogant and narrow minded. I agree that some New Zealanders are treated like second class citizens in Australia and l think they deserve it. Kiwi refugees treat Australia like a second class country – you just show up and think you can do whatever you want. Having spent several years living in Auckland l know first hand that respect ais not part of the Kiwi mindset so nof really your fault l guess Bruce. I do hope however that you pack your bags and head back to NZ – sooner rather than later.

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