Today’s article was written by guest blogger Marc Krieger.
New Zealand: Latin American Incompetence at Switzerland Prices
By Marc Krieger
I have seldom encountered a country that so outrageously misrepresents and oversells itself the way New Zealand does. Before the yahoo commentators trolling Stuff launch into their predictable vitriolic attacks, I will note that I base my comparison on having lived in Venezuela, the United States, South Africa, Spain, England, Switzerland, and New Zealand in addition to travelling to dozens of countries.
All the countries of the world have problems and yahoo Kiwis love to cite the real or imagined problems of other countries as a way to deflect attention from New Zealand’s glaring problems. Unfortunately, most Kiwis foolishly believe that New Zealand enjoys most of the advantages of the developed world whilst having few of its disadvantages. In actuality, New Zealand has few of the advantages of the developed world whilst suffering from most of its disadvantages (e.g. high incidence of alcohol and drug abuse, preventable poverty, crime, corruption, etc).
For example, New Zealand houses are exorbitantly priced shacks. Very few houses have double-glazing, insulation, or central heating. Moreover, the houses are cold, damp, mouldy, and rot. The leaky homes syndrome illustrates the appalling incompetence of most New Zealand builders, yet New Zealanders mendaciously have the audacity to praise themselves as an ingenious and practical lot. Clearly, few people in New Zealand understand that building houses correctly in the first place might save money and resources in the long term by reducing heating expenses and electricity consumption. Perhaps more importantly, thousands of people in New Zealand suffer from preventable asthma and respiratory ailments solely due to the rubbish construction. Ultimately, the country’s dwindling tax base and the most vulnerable suffer the most from this ineffable stupidity.
The extortionate cost of living is not due to a “small population” or “desirability” of New Zealand, but rather to the dreadful stupidity and self-centeredness of the “leaders” and the cretins electing them. New Zealand is one of the least densely populated countries in the world, yet property prices are amongst the most expensive solely because New Zealand is a vampire economy where a handful of insiders have transformed the population into serfs, something that unfortunately exists throughout much of the world.
The absolute lack of urban planning, councils more interested in clipping the ticket, the Big Four Australian banks, and the Fletchers building cartel account for much of this. Lamentably, many Kiwis deliriously believe that high property prices are a sign of wealth, yet they do not understand that high property prices percolate throughout the economy resulting in higher prices for necessities. This is precisely why a cup of coffee, a pair of sneakers, or groceries cost as much in New Zealand if not more than in Zurich, London, Oslo, or Tokyo and perhaps even more if one factors the dreadful lack of quality. The crap that Kiwis buy at the Warehouse is junk that people in Europe, North America, and East Asia would never deign themselves to touch. The biggest beneficiaries from the recent commodity boom that has given New Zealand an ephemeral prosperity are the overseas banks rather than the farmers working the land.
I could go on ad infinitum about the problems plaguing New Zealand. I suppose the foregoing are merely symptoms of a bigger problem, which are low quality thinking combined with passivity, jealousy, and tall poppy syndrome. In this respect, living in New Zealand reminded me of living in South America or South Africa. The difference was that in both places the cost of living was low so one received what one paid for. Unfortunately, the cost of living in New Zealand is as high as Switzerland or Scandinavia, but one ends up with appalling public services and work ethic of Latin America.
No event illustrates this better than the shocking response to the Christchurch earthquakes. When the Christchurch earthquakes struck, the response of the country’s government and business leaders was to rig the recovery to enable money to flow to the insiders in the civil service and the building cartel at the expense of the victims. Both Chile and Japan suffered from even more devastating earthquakes, yet the recovery in both countries has progressed much more rapidly than it has in Christchurch. The fact that vulnerable elderly and disabled people continue to live in unliveable houses whilst the insiders milk the system for their own benefit is a travesty worthy of opprobrium. Sadly, New Zealanders are too passive, so they tolerate this type of open thievery.
One must ask the obvious question. If New Zealand is so great, then why is it incapable of retaining its most intelligent, best educated, most ambitious, and its most industrious. One in five New Zealanders resides overseas, the highest percentage of the OECD. The overseas Kiwis are, statistically speaking, much more successful than are those stuck in New Zealand and they have and continue to vote with their feet in droves. These are the very people New Zealand desperately needs to catch up with the rest of the world. Whilst countless Kiwis disingenuously make excuses to justify the country’s failures or pretend the problems do not exist, the best and brightest that can help turn around New Zealand leave to fulfil their dreams elsewhere never to return.
Having lived outside New Zealand I can assure you that my life improved markedly immediately upon leaving. The Kiwis that want to pursue their dreams must fly away to other lands rather than remain on those two backward isles populated by flightless birds that hate the birds that spread their wings and fly.