Welcome to our very popular series of Migrant Tales, first hand accounts of the migrant experience of New Zealand.
Today’s tale was sent in by ‘UK Builder’ and was originally published on an emigration forum.
Like most commercial NZ forums the place where it was posted has a reputation for discouraging negative comments about New Zealand (If you read the ad hom attacks, over moderation and thread-hijacks this post generated you’ll understand how the site it earned its bad rep, and why false impressions about the country proliferate).
Here’s his tale, and his follow-up post
“…Pretty much everything here is overpriced, this coupled with low wages and high property prices can result in a pretty miserable existence. Sure you can have a great view and walk on any one of a thousand beautiful beaches but after a while you realise that this country is mind numbingly dull.
You’ll find the people very friendly and find it nice that total strangers look you in the eye and say good morning. After a while you’ll realise that this is actually very superficial, in reality the locals won’t like you very much and will resent your wealth, knowledge and experience. They all feel threatened by non kiwi’s, have a ridiculously inflated view of their country’s role on the world stage, are unbelievably ignorant, can’t drive but think they can and love to drink drive, drink hunt, and drink boat.
You’ll be told about the ‘world famous’ kiwi ingenuity, this is what the rest of the world call COMMON SENSE!
You may experience the ‘tall poppy’ syndrome, if you start to do well someone will do their best to ‘cut you down to size’.
Your neighbours will love to pick up the phone to the council for any infringement you may unwittingly make, kiwi’s can’t do confrontation and prefer the cowards way.
The media here is a joke, get sky for news other than the price of milk.
Beware of the gangs, they are plentiful,cross them at your peril !
Beware of bad motorists with no insurance, its optional here.
If you buy a house to renovate you’ll probably have a stroke the first time you buy any building materials so be careful !
If you have a dog and are looking forward to walking around clean green NZ with it forget it, they’re banned from the vast majority of the nice bits.
Schools are NOT free you will be pressured to ‘donate’ on a regular basis.
Make sure you and your children have perfect teeth, dentists here are thieves.
Emergency services rely heavily on amateur volunteers with varying degrees of ability, don’t have a house fire or heart attack when the all blacks are playing you’ll have a long wait !
Every visit to your GP will cost you, around $50 is not unusual.
Feel free to ignore all of the above, just remember what I’ve written when the ‘honeymoon’ period is over. I’ve been here nearly 8 years and am getting out next year. Can’t wait!!”
My original posting has certainly got people talking, for that reason alone I’d call it a success.
Hopefully any prospective immigrants will have their eyes opened to the pro’s AND cons of coming here and that can only be a good thing.
I’m married to a kiwi who spent 20+ years in the UK before we met and moved here. Before moving here we had 2 amazing holidays in NZ, toured the north and south islands, ‘sampled the life’ if you like.
Initially we moved to Nelson, a little paradise. However after 20 months we found certain aspects of life there didn’t suit us so we moved about an hour north of Auckland.
we’ve been in NZ nearly 8 years, I’ve completely renovated 2 houses, started my own small business taken on an abused dog, adopted a neglected child. I’ve joined the Lions, and was a volunteer fire fighter for 3 years.
What I’m trying to say is that I didn’t land here in 2007 decide I didn’t like it and go into a big sulk. I’ve really tried to make a life here but after all this time I still don’t understand the mentality of these people and I don’t think I ever will.
Upon gaining my NZ citizenship I was told by a local that I might be a New Zealander but I’ll never be a kiwi. I thank my lucky stars for that!
I stand by my earlier rant and hope to get back to ‘the world’ next year.
Good luck to those who stay, make sure you’re staying for the right reasons.”
We’d like to pass on our best wishes to BucksBoy. There are greener pastures out there than New Zealand’s and he doesn’t have to return to the UK to find them.