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.
3 thoughts on “Migrant Tales – BucksBoy Says “Stay in Kent””
A comment on the “cheapness” of Kiwis or how they will try and get more for less and take advantage of others.
I was doing some work for a friend of a friend. It was an informal arraingement, no contract. When I went to go look at the job, I told the prospective client that I would do more than what he had previously been quoted for the same money. This was to include a few nicities like hauling away some stuff he had gathered and cleaning up some areas that needed it. [My first mistake, offering to be nice.]
Then the client said that there was more work available, new things that he wanted done [that were not included or previously quoted].
So, I proceeded in doing the work, previously quoted, and the extra things that he wanted done.
When it came time to settle up, they’d assumed that ALL the work that was done was to be included in the agreed upon price, and were willing to pay me the original ammount and nothing EXTRA for the EXTRA work done.
I almost jokingly asked “so, you are thinking that the extra work is included in the original price?” Jokingly as the extra work had taken me several days to do and was obviously not to be part of the original deal.
“Yes”. That was his answer. He just could not resist taking advantage of the situation.
Now, it was my fault for not having deliniated and defined the terms of the deal, but it is his fault for taking advantage of the non-defined terms.
Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me.
Needless to say, I’ll no longer do any work for this guy again, but the mindset is set to a default of screw the other guy.
Just when you think that its’ over, bites you in the ass again.
http://www.sovereignman.com/expat/7-hard-truths-about-new-zealand/ that link is now a 404. Guess someone talked or paid him into taking it down!
Ah, might as well immortalise it here:
warning, some Kool-Aid at the end
7 hard truths about New Zealand
April 1, 2010
April 1, 2010
Panama City, Panama
No place is perfect. There’s not a single country on the planet that is a total paradise, so prospective expats need to be willing to make compromises and trade-offs.
Naturally, it’s much better to be well-informed in advance about the challenges and limitations about a particular country… it’s easy to tout the positives, but finding objective information about a country’s negative aspects can be difficult to find.
Panama, for example, is a place that I’ve been vocally bullish on. But it’s nowhere near perfect… there are significant infrastructure challenges, corruption, and inefficient bureaucracies to deal with.
On the balance, though, the positives outweigh the negatives in my assessment; most importantly, the country is consistently maturing on an upward trend.
New Zealand is another country that gets a lot of favorable press in the expat community, but I think it’s important to balance the information with a realistic description of the country’s challenges.
As such, I’ve once again asked my friend Mark who is on the ground in New Zealand to give his take:
Simon has asked me to write a few articles for SovereignMan.com to discuss living and immigrating to New Zealand; now it’s time to talk about the bad and the ugly.
As Simon likes to say, no place is perfect… but lack of perfection sometimes equals opportunity, and New Zealand is no exception.
So, here’s the “bad”–
Internet and wireless service: In general, they are expensive compared to North America, and much less reliable. However, plans are in the works to bring fiber to the door of every NZ home. Furthermore, the wireless duopolies of Vodafone and Telecom are starting to get some competition.
Bureaucracy: According to an OECD report, New Zealand has more government departments and ministries than any other developed country in the world. To be fair, John Key’s National Party government has been unwinding some of Labour’s socialist agenda, but there is much further to go.
Taxation: New Zealand is not a tax haven, and depending on your line of work, you could be paying more than in your home country. It looks like the top tax rate will be falling from 38% to 33%, but GST (sales tax) is getting a boost from 12.5% to 15%.
Now a little of the “ugly”…
Teen angst/violence: Auckland and some of the other larger cities have gang issues. The police DO NOT carry guns, so there is little deterrent when trying to break up a drunk mob of teens in a park. Many police officers end up in the hospital after taking beatings from civilians.
New Zealand’s “green” image: This is excellent marketing at best. The locals are totally uneducated about organics; New Zealand drops 1080 poison from helicopters to kill possums in its national parks, builds full-scale hydro dams on pristine rivers and has open pit coal and gold mines.
It’s “green” because of its low population density, period!
So, what do I think of this? Look, New Zealand isn’t perfect, but I’m quite happy with a relatively unspoiled, empty, economically sound, English speaking, educated country.
Lack of perfection is what provides us with opportunity, and New Zealand holds a lot of opportunity for anyone with a little initiative.
Simon again. As usual, Mark’s New Zealand notes are on the money. I’ve mentioned before– New Zealand passes my ‘fundamental country test.’ When you look 10-years out, is New Zealand likely to be in a better position than today? Absolutely.
I know that Mark is working diligently on a new e-book about NZ immigration and investment with a lot of insider, actionable advice and contacts… if you have interest in something like this, or a request of what you’d like to see in his book, let me know by posting a comment here and I’ll pass it along to him.
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