Migrant Tales – The Ugly Underbelly of Te Anau (Updated)


“Te Anau Park” by Bgabel at wikivoyage shared. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

A few weeks after this article was written a woman was subjected to a knife attack in the toilets of the Moose Bar, Te Anau.

Continuing in our very popular series of Migrant Tales – first hand accounts of the migrant experience of New Zealand. (This article has been extremely popular and was viewed over 3,000 times in 24 hours, so we’re leaving comments open for a few more days).

If you’re planning to visit or live in the Fiordland township of Te Anau you may find this interesting. Don’t be blinded by the region”s beauty, for there are many problems besetting this small community, most of them endemic to small town New Zealand. You may want to give Te Anau miss, maybe consider Queenstown instead?

Google Street View of the above location – click here

This tale was sent in by a migrant who lived and worked in Te Anau.

Seldom is the juxtaposition between beauty and ugliness as stark as in Te Anau, New Zealand. Many might recognise Te Anau as a tourist town on the edge of New Zealand’s Fiordland Wilderness. Regrettably and notwithstanding the beauty of the surrounding region, Te Anau is no different to many of the Podunk towns in New Zealand.

I spent a few months in Te Anau taking a break to re-centre myself and to enjoy the beauty of Fiordland. On the surface, Te Anau appears ok, yet the town quickly reveals its ugly underbelly.

The first thing that struck me about the town is the functional retardation of the inhabitants. One often encountered tourism advertisements riddled with misspellings and typos. Surely it would make sense for a town deriving most of its income from tourism to project a modicum of sophistication and at least try to conceal its parochial backwardness. Even the regional promotions agency seemed incapable of publishing brochures devoid of misspellings and typos.

Additionally, I found the locals extremely insular, unfriendly, and uncultured. Of course, there were indeed some nice people, although they were usually foreigners. I will always remember the nice Zimbabwean lady at the Fresh Choice or a couple of the Chileans I met.

Unfortunately, the local variant of the Kiwi inbreds were usually rude, uncouth, and stupid. For example, Te Anau relies on tourism as its principal economic activity and the town is trying to tap into the growing Chinese middle class that is travelling abroad in increasing numbers. However, none of the town’s hoteliers or tour operators bother trying to learn Chinese or other languages to make visitors feel welcome. Instead, many of the hoteliers openly express racist sentiments towards Asians. They even go so far as to tell tour operators that they do not want Chinese or Indian guests.

Similarly, many in the town view tourists as little more than cash cows to milk. For example, the local hoteliers and tour operators deliberately and openly collude to keep prices high so as to avoid “undercutting” each other. Such a strategy might succeed if Te Anau were the only destination in the world, something the locals seem to think is the case. However, Queenstown is not too far away and it offers far more interesting and varied activities, accommodation, and dining compared to Te Anau. Consequently, many visitors elect to pass through Te Anau and to stay in Queenstown because it has newer and better accommodation at the same or lower prices than Te Anau. This has produced an overwhelming and irrational hatred towards Queenstown amongst the locals. Perhaps Te Anau would do better if local business owners did not try to sell expired drinks in their stores.

When the locals are not too preoccupied hating Queenstown, they divert their anger towards the owners of the two Chinese restaurants in the town. The Chinese restaurants are always full and the locals complain about “unfair competition”, which is to say that the owners of the Chinese restaurant market their businesses directly to the tour companies and, more importantly, the Chinese restaurants offer better prices compared to the other restaurants in the town. Perhaps the locals should concentrate on improving the food they serve, lowering their prices, marketing their businesses more effectively, and displaying genuine hospitality towards guests rather than viewing them as cash cows to exploit.

Instead of working to improve their businesses, the locals spend most of their free time drinking and gossiping. Te Anau’s inhabitants seem incapable of hosting an event without making alcohol and drunkenness a focal point. Rugby does not count because the local bogans from Te Anau and other nearby towns inebriate themselves after playing that silly and unstimulating sport.

The quality of houses in Te Anau is also crap. I remember waking up to temperatures of 2C inside the house and having to clean mould from the walls. Never again will I live in a cold place where the locals lack the intelligence and wherewithal to construct houses properly.

Interestingly, Te Anau does have some newer housing, but it is the cheap and useless Kiwi she’ss be right Kiwi housing that will quickly fall apart. The locals who own the older houses are extremely irate that the local council approved development of large tracts of land back in 2008. The owners of these houses want to protect their “investments” (i.e. what they should call shacks but have the gall to call houses) from more “unfair competition”, which is to say from houses that are only slightly better and newer built than the crap housing stock of Te Anau. These homeowners want to prevent any kind of residential development and artificially constrain the supply of housing so that they can sell their shacks at a profit. The local realtors in the town were another bunch of swindlers, but I will save you the stories.

The locals in Te Anau often extol the place as a great place to raise kids. Yet I remember witnessing a fight outside the house next door in which a low IQ young single mother on a benefit and her two brats from two different fathers dwelt. The fight was between the woman’s ex-boyfriend and her new boyfriend and took place in the front yard right in front of the children. Te Anau is absolute white trash. No one reads any books or can talk about anything other than rugby, local gossip, or drinking. There were a couple loud parties whilst I was there, but the place has no such thing as noise control or common courtesy.

Admittedly, the area around Te Anau is beautiful, but there are far more beautiful places in the world. I am glad that at least I enjoyed some of the nice hikes in the area, but I would urge anyone thinking of living there to reconsider.

I think the worst part was probably the isolation. It was not the geographic isolation, as evidenced by the nearly two hours of driving from Te Anau to relatively large centres such as Queenstown and Invercargill. Rather, it was more a question of the insularity and inwardness of the inhabitants. Very few people there had any interest in travelling or exploring the world. Consequently, the locals really believed that Te Anau was a great resort like Whistler or Innsbruck.

Rather than working towards improving the town and making it more appealing to visitors, the locals loved to conceal the problems or exaggerate the virtues of the town. The Stuff website has an annual survey on the best town in New Zealand. The local bogans try to vote repeatedly on the website so that Te Anau will be number one. If the locals spent half as much energy making Te Anau a better place to visit and live, they might actually succeed as a tourist destination rather than lamenting the decrease in visitors. Word is getting out that New Zealand generally and Te Anau specifically are overpriced and overrated tourist destinations.

The stories extolling the virtues of small town New Zealand are just stories, much as the Tooth Ferry is a fictitious story. It was thrilling to leave Te Anau and New Zealand.

You may also be interested in

The Smiling Zombies (from ‘The Passionless People’ by Kiwi journalist Gordon William McLauchlan)

New Zealanders are meandering through the 1970s reciting an elaborate mythology that we are a benevolent and contented people in a green and sunlit land. We are weaving with cold and tremulous hands the delusion that we are also bold and large-minded. But there is a tic running up the side of our faces (Not quite stilled by the booze and drugs which make our blood run thin) because the reality is that we are ensnared in a monstrous irony. Here in beautiful benign and uncrowded country…we are unhappy with intransitive anger…We suffer by the hundreds of thousands from depression , and from the indefinable anxiety the Germans called angst.”

“The friendly NZer of the tourist brochure does exist because it is the type of relationship with which we feel at home-temporary and superficial…friendly is too strong a word, we should substitute ‘the smiling zombie’”

Page 8

The Englishman prides himself on his sense of humor and keeps telling the rest of the world: “We are the only people who have this gift of laughing about themselves.”

“Rubbish” retorts the New Zealander, “We also have this gift of being able to laugh at you”

Page 10

The New Zealander is as racist as the South African, except that he is decently hypocritical about it, and has therefore quietly sorted out the rest of the world. for example he knows that:

  •   Americans are fun but no substitute to real people
  •   Pakistanis are all right, if they know their place which most of them think is in England
  •   Fiji has too many Indians and not enough chiefs
  •   Jesus was Jewish mainly because there were no New Zealanders living round the Sea of Galilee at the time.
  • New Zealanders are rational but not reasonable.

Arrested man charged with indecent assault (12 March 2015) – ” Invercargill police have arrested a 37-year-old Te Anau man in relation to an alleged incident at a Quinton Dr house in Te Anau early on Monday. The man was charged with indecent assault, assault with intent to commit sexual violation and injuring with intent.” read more

Queenstown scores Monopoly Spot – Queenstown scores a special position on the Here & Now: World Edition of the game. It’s one of the 20 cities to receive the most votes, launched to mark Monopoly’s 80th anniversary.

Racial remarks hurt Southland woman – ” Ruby Zamberi sometimes goes to her Mataura home and cries. After being spat at, called a terrorist, yelled at in the street or having people refuse to be served by her at her Gore workplace because she has brown skin or wears a hijab, it’s little wonder she gets upset. “For a few days I’ll feel quite down but I have a great husband and he helps me be strong, ” she said. Ruby, a Muslim, used to only wear her hijab at home until her daughter asked her why… read on

Te Anau Troubled By Tourist Attacks (March 2011) – Te Anau’s tourism reputation is in danger after a gang of drunken youths assaulted visitors to the town recently. The story was picked up by the Southland Times who reported that

Constable Glen Matheson, of Te Anau, said a group of seven visitors was attacked at the skate park on the outskirts of the central business district about 11.30pm on Saturday on their way to the Moose Bar…

…The incident was one of three unprovoked attacks in as many weeks, all believed to be carried out by the same group.

And the level of violence was escalating, he said. “We believe this is the core group that is causing it so we are making a move to stomp that out.” read the full story on the Southland Times site

Sounds as if the police have got their work cut-out sorting out these young ruffians, in much the same way that Kaikoura has.

One of the visitors attacked in the latest incident was on holiday from the United States and there was a growing concern about how it could affect the town’s reputation as a destination, he said… more here

47 thoughts on “Migrant Tales – The Ugly Underbelly of Te Anau (Updated)

  1. You’re a bit of a coward, hiding behind your keyboard, in your dark little room, with your blow-up doll lying in the corner.
    Come out side and meet some locals, we’d really like to meet you.

    • It seems that where electronic communications are concerned many kiwis (male AND female) issue threats of violence, bodily harm, ho-hum shaming tactics (very old, please get a new strategy) and questioning masculinity.
      I’ve found the ones that do that with regularity have “great personalities”(when people agree with them without question) and a very shaky grasp of the English language or ability to communicate in detail when the opportunity to do so (and convincingly make their case) presents itself.

      Perhaps “Steve Austin” should send his threats to the newspaper reporters that have made Te Anau visible for the (actual) violence that occurred there?

      Or is being a “hard fulla” only reserved for people that you interact with in cyberspace?

      • Steve probably reckons he’d get a more intelligent conversation out of the blow-up doll than the average kiwi…

  2. Hi E2NZ, it’s called Search Engine Optimization and is something of a dark art. Tourism SEO is an established business and one that New Zealand does well at. Google it and you’ll see what I mean. Maybe you should investigate Reputation Management while you’re at it.
    Regards, Daniel.

    • Thanks Daniel. We don’t use SEO so perhaps that explains the results, we prefer ‘word of mouth’ anyway.

      We did a piece on nation branding a while ago, this type of SEO sounds like this is an extension of that, New Zealand excels at it. Also see: Kaikoura Pimping Up the World Tourism Awards – locals told to vote for a local company in an international award.

      Some of our longer term readers may remember when ExpatSexposed.com used to redirect to the NZ tourism website (that’s until the E2NZ.org admin team acquired it a couple of years ago when the ownership expired 😉 ); they may also recall 12 Recipes From the Nation Branding Cookbook

  3. If one reads between the lines, I suspect a local Te Anau man sexually assaulted a local woman, something that happens with alarming regularity in New Zealand. Unfortunately, the police and the Te Anau locals seem rather eager to hush the incident. I wonder whether some of the locals care to comment further on what this story says about the community spirit and the safety of this supposedly idyllic town.


    Police conduct forensic examination in Te Anau


    Last updated 19:55 09/03/2015


    Detective Kerry Russell, left, Constable Amy Robertson, Detective Chris Lucy and Constable Karen McClatchy take part in a scene examination in Te Anau today.

    A police forensic team scoured a block of flats in Te Anau today after an incident involving a man and a woman.

    Despite the team conducting a scene examination for most of the day police last night would not elaborate on what the alleged incident was other than to say it involved a man and a woman, known to each other.

    Detective Sergeant John Kean, of Invercargill police, said the alleged incident was believed to have occurred about 4am in a block of flats in Quintin Dr.

    A man and a woman became involved in an altercation, he said.

    Police had spoken to both parties and no arrests had been made.

    “It’s too early to say whether or not criminal charges will be laid and police wouldn’t comment on whether or not either party received injuries.”

    It was expected the scene examination would be finished late today and police were still keen to speak to witnesses.

    Anchorage Motel Apartment owner and manager Nigel Humpries said the woman had come to them for help.

    “She did come here because we have an office visible with outside hours, phones, and doorbells.”

    The motel was nearby when the woman lived, he said.

    “There are other properties nearby but most of them are rental properties,” he said.

    He could not comment further other than to stress the incident did not happen on his premises.

    The Southland Times

    • Thanks SFNZ. It’s interesting how stories like these are suppressed from Google searches. Google “Te Anau” and you’ll see nothing but page after page of results for tourism services. Rank it by date and you’ll see the same thing. Someone is doing a very good marketing job on this township.

    • Just thought I needed to clarify this situation – the victim was on a working visa and so the alleged assailant didn’t hold a NZ passport- it was the locals who took the victim into their house and looked after her. The assailant in on some serious charges and his details have been suppressed by the courts. If we are all so uncaring????? Your comments are quite hurtful and make some of us who do care wonder why…. Sometimes it is best that we don’t comment to the media in the interest of the victim. You know we might actually care about her if we are allowed to.

    • That wasn’t a spelling mistake, more of a subtle play on words and Kiwi pronunciation. Not everyone will get the joke, we did a double take at first too 🙂 (it’s similar to ‘chicken disks’ at airports etc.).

  4. Perhaps not all people here are as you describe. I find them kind and straight up and if you are fair and honest then you will be treated with respect. There are many fine families here and not many inbred that I know. You failed to mention the wonderful community spirit. My family are especially grateful to the community here after some sad events. They were all so good and perhaps you would be treated better if you could see the other side of things here. I have lived in a city for many years and am very happy to be home. The locals are highly intelligent and have diverse and unusual hobbies and not all drink either. I welcome all and any visitors to my home and race is not an issue. At the local book sale books are snapped up and an unbelievable rate, thousands of the for the ignorant to read. The local school records show the next generation to also be intelligent. I am sorry for any errors as I have educated myself in life. Your negative thoughts and deeds will always get attention. I dare you to return and say these things in front of the locals.

  5. Everyones entitled to have their own opinion. As my opinion I found this disgusting to read, I have grown up in Te Anau as well as 3 other towns over the South Island and Te Anau would be the one I enjoyed the most. Which is why I am back here to this day. What has happened to individuality? Not every town or city in the world should be expected to act the same. I worked in a well known cafe over the summer and although sometimes I admit I found it hard to be nice to some tourists as I found some but not all of them very hard to please. But not once did I lower my behaviour. It’s not always the locals that are rude, admittedly sometimes we are. But it’s also tourists, often while I was working I felt no appreciation from the customers from overseas and it made me feel unhappy at work. But others (thank you to these people) were lovely and it’s those tourists that we love. It is very hard for Te Anau being a small community we have to stick together, every town has its faults and has personal problems. Domestic violence is not something to pick on, it’s much more than what you see. Before you place that on the Te Anau bad list, that was one family out of all the rest in Te Anau. Unfortunately it happens everywhere. I have grown up around the kiwi lifestyle, taught to be an individual and sure we love to have a few beers but there’s nothing wrong with that. I would rather live in a town that’s different to all the rest than be somewhere that is the same as the town next to it. I’m a girl in my teens and I am appalled to read this. I hate to think how it makes my elders feel. We all work hard here to make it an enjoyable place for our families and I believe we have all succeeded. Seeing as this is what you thought hopefully you won’t need to come back.

    • Everyone is entitled to their own ‘opinions’, but everyone is not entitled to their own ‘facts’. The facts being that Te Anau country hicks are racists to their core. They benefit off tourism, yet see tourists as outsiders, who just want to mix and mingle with locals for a taste of local culture, not learn lesson about what makes Indians so cheap. That’s precisely what happened, when I was there, as the drunk local took jibe upon that Indians are so cheap, and Chinese are so rude. Such stereotypes baffled me, in a town which is living off the back of tourist dollars. Heck yeah we are cheap, because when you try to sell us photo album for $200, which barely costs $20 in India (and better quality too), we will be cheap, and take the business there. Grow up NZ, you have no idea that the world has moved on from such baser instincts.

  6. The vitriolic response from the locals in Te Anau highlights the very point the OP was trying to demonstrate. For example, I do not particularly like New York City as a place to live. If someone were to write a piece lambasting the downsides of living in New York, I very much doubt that a group of “concerned New Yorkers” would rally and flock to a message board and post puerile comments to the effect, “I am very sad that some disgruntled person would dare to say that about my home town. Surely something is wrong with him because New York is so great”.
    Fortunately, real New Yorkers have some intestinal fortitude and the sense to understand that different things suit different types of people. In actuality, New Yorkers are usually friendly, polite, and much more sophisticated compared to those from Podunk towns. New Yorkers will actually laugh alongside of one because they are also cognisant of the downsides of New York and they are confident enough not to work themselves up about such trivialities.
    Some of these comments are hilarious. Someone actually thinks that Queenstown needs Te Anau just as much as Te Anau needs Queenstown. Another one boasts that people in Te Anau are not gutless, yet displays an enormous hypersensitivity to criticism of Te Anau. Whatever happened to “harden up, Mate”. Still another admits that the OP’s comments about discrimination against Asians are true whilst going to great lengths to excuse it because Asian tourists supposedly display very negative characteristics.

  7. Where do you start after reading something like this?…. I am very sad indeed that someone can be influenced to write such horrible and negative statements about a place that I love so much.

    As someone who has moved to Te Anau in the last year I would like to express some opinions of my own.

    I was quite taken aback when I arrived in this town when I saw how dedicated and hard working the people were. It is hard to live in an area like this which is so dependent on tourist visitors, and the great majority of those visitors coming during the summer months. Lots of people dedicate themselves to the visitors over the busy season so they can make a living decent enough to get through the quiet winter. A high proportion of the townspeople are business owners, they create their businesses so that they can survive and be able to stay living in the area, through the summer and winter. And then there are those who have no work through the winter, because there is none for them. Maybe that is why some would say the prices are too high – because we have to compensate for the long months when there is no money to be made. But the prices are representative of prices in NZ generally. Tourists often think we must have high wages because the cost of living is so high, when in fact we have a lower than average household income than other OECD countries.

    The refreshing thing about Southlanders is that they actually say what they mean. Maybe they’re not as PC as those who live in the cities, but it’s a nice honest bluntless that I appreciate rather than the fakeness of those who pretend to be something they’re not in order not to offend anyone. Maybe someone said they preferred not to have asian travellers staying, not because they’re racist, but because they sometimes require more work due to language difficulties or like when they put their dishes back in the cupboards soaking wet and the cleaners have to deal with that. I think people here are some of the friendliest I’ve ever met, everyone has time for you and there are many great community groups to get involved in.

    Uncultured and uneducated/”retarded”? Lots of Te Anau locals leave during the winter months for well-earned holidays, or spend half their year living elsewhere. Lots leave for university studies but return to settle down and raise families, because they want to be here. Yes it is a simpler life because we don’t have the shopping malls and 24 hour 7/11s, but that’s the way we like it. And we don’t want to turn in to Queenstown where it is a playpen for tourists to come and get wasted and beat each other up. We are happy to be a peaceful town where tourists come to enjoy the nature and do great walks in the area.

    Living in Te Anau is cheap. I can rent an entire house for the price I would pay for a room in a flat in Auckland. Lots of the houses are baches, thus built for the summer months so you have to take that in to consideration. More modern insulated housing is available to rent as well, at justifiably higher prices.

    Lastly I would like to say how deeply offended I am that the words “single mother” have been used in the same sentence as “low IQ” and “benefit.” As I was brought up by my own single mother on a benefit, I fail to see how it is necessary to imply that a single mother has a low IQ. As for the benefit, well you can’t feed children on worms from the garden. So as a child brought up by a single mother on the benefit, just like our very own Prime Minister, I guess we are both “brats”.

    The Tooth FAIRY can exist if you have a positive attitude and show some openness.

    Happy consideration,

    /White Trash

  8. I have significant amount of experience with Te Anau locals, while i was based in Queenstown two three years ago, while Queenstown is no heaven for workers (migrants are exploited penniless there), but at least it has a cosmopolitan crowd and kiwis are rare there. On the contrary, Te Anuau is full of inbreds and God what a hick of a town. I would have loved to see the milford Queenstown skytrail project take off, and then the tourists would have skipped this town altogether. But these country hicks got scared and lobbied hard under the guise of environmental distruction, because they were scared that their business will be gone. I have seen and experienced a lot of anti indian sentiment there.

  9. look im not from te anau im not a local there, however i do visit there quite regularly and do quite strongly disagree with some of the comments made in that obsurd letter… yes Te Anau people can be blunt and rude but so can every other town. i love te anau and the relaxed she’ll be right attitude. working in the hospitality industry myself i do not blame the accomodation places to sometimes refuse “asians” staying there. i have worked in this industry for 8 years aand they are by far the most arrogant and disgusting guests i have come accross. i have seen them spit on the floor in the resturant, blow there nose on napkins and just throw them on the floor for staff to pick up. i know not all of them are like that but it sends out a bad image for the others.
    Te Anau maybe a small town and in saying that you cannot expect to be classed as a local by only living there a couple months, everyone knows everyone and it takes time to become one.
    i do however agree with the food comment i do feel that the food has gone down hill slightly but is still much better than some of the places i’ve been to.
    as for the great place to raise kids part i agree it is a great place. yea here may have been the incident between a couple of people but what town does not have that happen, what country does that not happen in. just because the was an altercation does not mean it should have a negative affect on the town.
    When ever i have been in te anau i have always recieved a warm welcome and hello from all shops i have gone into. ironically all apart from one which is the on the spot in the centre of town to whom was not run by someone of the new zealand decent.

  10. I asked a ‘kiwi qualified builder’ the other day, why do sinks, baths and toilets not have ‘overflow pipes and holes’ on them? Why has this not been flagged up as a basic plumbing standard on regulations in New Zealand? He could not provide an answer. As a quaified UK plumber/gas fitter with five years experience, I rest my case.

  11. ‘Never argue with stupid people because you will never, ever win. Mark Twain’ … I experience a lot of silence having had the experience of living in New Zealand for the past 6 years, originally from the UK. Unfortunately, a typical Kiwi’s reaction is to attack anyone who questions their superiority on any particular subject, in just about anything, rather than quiz themselves that there may be issues that need addressing for the better. This ultimately means problems persist in small town New Zealand and its society develops a backward momentum.

  12. There must be many people in Te Anau looking to emigrate from New Zealand judging by the overwhelming response and the interest they have in E2NZ! Anyone with two brain cells knows that small towns in New Zealand are usually places that people escape from rather than the other way around.
    Most of the critics assailing the author seemed to suggest that the OP brought about the problems on himself rather than disproving the assertions the author made. For example, this blog had documented the huge numbers of violent attacks against tourists in New Zealand. Rather than addressing the problem of out of control crime and poor sentencing, the Kiwi media always spins the story to reflect how everyone in New Zealand came together and the tourist came away with a positive impression. No doubt the media refuses to cover crimes perpetrated against tourists who do not wish to become willing accessories to the Kiwi propaganda.

    • New Zealand is a shithole and it’s about time its population realised that. People claiming that NZ is godzone are A: thick, B: deluded or C: haven’t travelled much. ‘But we’ve got beaches and mountains, blah blah, blah.’ Well, so does Europe. And centuries of culture and diversity to boot. Scenery is just that, scenery. Take a picture, it lasts longer. Though I am fortunate enough to not have to live there, I am unfortunate enough that my partner is from NZ and wishes to spend a considerate amount of time over there so I feel obligated to join him at times. But how I detest the lack of culture, the pollution – burning your household waste in the yard, are you insane?! – the overall retardedness and inefficiency, the shocking racism, the stupidity of the media, the chauvinism, and why? They have nothing to back it up with other than hills, beaches (yawn) and their bloody rugby.

  13. Ha Ha!! I’m loving the dry sense of humour. The person who wrote it has obviously left New Zealand, hopefully they’re enjoying where they are now.

    I recognize many of these foibles in Te Anau but to be fair, these issues can be found in any small tourist town in New Zealand.

    But Yes! Queenstown rocks!

  14. Wow! Have to say as a fellow Te Anau resident, I’m rather shocked about the angry things you are saying about the place. Everyone is allowed a opinion but this is rather nasty.

    Sure, every town has its ups and downs, but I think the author has blown this way out of the water
    The ‘majority’ of Te Anau is NOT racist, as the ‘majority’ of people that live here are foreigners, who are welcomed most warmly into the community

    No one says anything about the two chinese restaurants other than which one they prefer (Me- I prefer Ming Garden, Kevin and Mary are fantastic people and the food is awesome)
    (FYI ”the nice Zimbabwean lady” has moved to Australia, She was my favorite at the supermarket too)
    I also personally know 4 translators in the area that work for Tourism ventures (it is a shame you didn’t find one while you were here, but that is a unfair statement)

    And the out of date drinks… If you had taken them to the counter and explained they were out of date, i’m sure they would have reduced them to clearance price as they normally do, everyone loves a bargain, regardless of where you are from

    And this irrational anger at Queenstown, slight exaggeration there I’m afraid, neither town would be as successful as they are without the other, Queenstown does have a lot of amazing activities and sites, and many people in Te Anau frequent these as a change from travelling to Invercargill or Gore
    If you would class it as anything, it’s probably friendly rivalry between the two areas, much like New Zealand and Australia, there isn’t anything remotely bad about this, it just makes both areas strive to be better

    I have lived in quite a few properties in both Te Anau and Queenstown and can easily say that both areas have problems with accommodation, but it’s the particular landlords responsibility to ensure adequate insulation and your responsibility to tell them about the problem

    Also there is Noise control, Animal control, people control, you need something controlled and theres a person for it.

    Overall this seems like a disgruntled person that has had a rare bad experience in the area, which is a real shame for them, I bet if they ever did decide to visit Te Anau again, they might have a change of heart, and hopefully come here with a more open mind, and NOT listen to propaganda about Te Anau and Queenstown, both towns are awesome in their own ways

  15. thank you for the fair and well balanced article on Te Anau , please you left out the wife swapping.

  16. I lived in Te Anau for 3 years and loved the locals. The locals are always the first people to stop and help you in time of need. I think that your writers are the people who have had bad experiences and focused on that and in that process made things worse. I now live in Australia and would not think twice about moving back to Te Anau.

    • Thanks for your comments Daniel, pity you couldn’t have avoided the inevitable ad hom attack.

      We’ve generally found that people love New Zealand more the further away they are from it. Perhaps one day you’ll make it back to Te Anau.

  17. I can’t believe what I have just read. I grew up in Te anau and many people that I have grown up along with myself and family with have travelled the world. I don’t live there at present due to the industry I work but I long for the chance to return. I have family still in the area and they are all very welcoming to all foreigners, and have even given beds to total strangers because they were looking for a lawn to sleep on. I have trained in the hospitality trade and find what you say about Te anau incredibly insulting. Perhaps you are the type of person that does not make friends very easily so therefore I feel sorry for you, but I suggest you take your head out of your arse. Why would this site allow such a one sided slander mole post such hideous bullshit. Please people reading the above post do not be put off by visiting such an incredible piece of New Zealand with kind hearted genuine kiwis who will give you the shirt off there back.

  18. Fucking lol. Some of this is true there is a punchup most weekends at the local pubs. Most locals are utter units

  19. Ok this is drivel clearly a disgruntled person who didn’t fit in, it seams this person has a truckload of issues and tried to bring his / her nastiness into TeAnau and it backfired lol
    The buck stops with you, I only partially read this as clearly it was written in anger and its a load of rubbish…. End of story!!!!

  20. I had a so called “workplace assistance counselor” who told me that all kiwis just see all foreigners as tourists, as someone who comes here for leisure, to waste time, money, not to do any work, she said that I will never get rid of my accept and that people will always see me as someone who wasn’t born here.

    I mean I worked like a donkey here all my time and this is how she tried to “assist” me – to tell me that I will always be seen as a tourist. Ended up in the Human Rights Commission and still stuck there that racist slurr, cause they can’t openly admit they are racist towards foreigners.

    • Wow! What an incredibly lame article. And you wonder why you aren’t pandered to with the utmost respect that you think you deserve? Perhaps the ‘inhabitants’ as you like to call them are tired of foreigners such as yourself visiting and expecting to be treated like royalty when all you do is whinge and criticise. The ‘inhabitants’ are merely hard working people who do care about their community and it’s connections to the tourism industry – and whilst they’re busy working hard you’re wasting time writing a ‘whinge’ article.
      If Te Anau was such a miserable experience for you then why bother staying there at all?

      Did you think to join the community groups who volunteer their time to make positive differences to the town? No. Did you consider joining the emergency services where you would have found the most dedicated and welcoming people who constantly risk their lives helping others – in particular with the high number of road accidents in that area caused by….ahem….tourists! No.
      It’s embarrassing for you to come here and openly slather our country just because you had a bad experience.

      Harden up or go home.
      Enjoy the rest of your stay 😉

  21. When they ask you “where are you from”, just refuse to answer or just say “I am from New Zealand”. Refuse to name your country of birth. They will understand you are not interested in their racist cockroaches. When they say to you “you’ve got a bit of an accent” then just shut up and walk away, stop talking to them – this will deliver a clear message you are not interested. I am European born and I’m white, but even I have found that in 90% of cases they ask me “where are you from” is just to say in other words that I am “a freaking foreigner”. But bear in mind they aren’t true New Zealanders either, many were born in England, Scotland, wherever for that matter and just adopted the local accent and now pose themselves as “New Zealanders”. Don’t fall into their racist traps – be a New Zealander YOURSELF.

    • Thank you for your comments Josh Beatty, you’ve just managed to validate succinctly everything “anon” was talking about.

      So far the score is Queenstown 1 : Te Anau 0

      Have a nice day.

    • I’ve never visited Te Anau, nor would I wish to after reading this page.

      You’ve got a government that is manifestly corrupt, you have politicians who threaten voters, you have children going to school hungry, you have taken benefits away from disabled children, your police can’t properly investigate rape cases and prominent New Zealanders are given name suppression because it is politically expedient to do so. And you’re arguing about one person’s opinions about a town with a population of less than 2,000?!! Something is wrong with your priorities and morality. Look at the things you get worked up over and ask HOW is that making your country a better place?

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