“Do you think this country is too far gone?”

NZ is a sinking ship

New Zealand is sinking

Today’s topic for discussion is this post which was published in today’s New Zealand subreddit (thanks for the free publicity, KD).

Its copied and pasted here because its content replicates many of the themes we see on E2NZ.org.

I just wanted to discuss something that’s been weighing on my mind a lot lately.

I left NZ in 2001 when I was 11yo and moved to Asia with my parents. I’ve always been proud of my country, I talked it up whenever possible overseas and always thought I was lucky to claim to be kiwi. We used to be awesome in the Americas cup & cricket, still awesome at rugby and rowing. Beautiful scenery, in a remote part of the world. We have smart ambitious people, for such a small population. And I always noticed we were regarded as hard working and honest people by nearly every other nationality. Having a kiwi passport makes getting visas a breeze, people love us.

When I graduated in 2009 I was warned not to move here, so I moved to Aussie. Once I got there I found out there was a shitload of kiwis living and moving there. And from my experience they were all the ambitious ones. I was a supervisor of bars at a casino for a while, and I can tell you more than 50% of the management roles were kiwis, including the director running the show, we work hard. It made me think that NZ was losing the talented young people though.

Last year I finally moved home so I could go to uni. After being away for 15 years moving home was amazing. I spent a lot of time being outdoors and just driving around. Being home feels amazing. I really quickly started to see the bad side to this country though. It’s only my view, and I hope I’m wrong or out of touch, but I feel like this country is heading towards a bad future.

It’s my first time living in Auckland. First thing is the cost of living. Rent here is insane, I lived in an apartment in the center of Brisbane for 200$ a week, and that was paying a lot. $200 a week is average here. Beyond that, there was an abundance of rooms for rent in Brisbane, it’s a struggle to secure something here. With wages, I’m a bartender and could earn $25 an hour in aus and am lucky to earn $18 an hour here. The venues I work at have to watch their wage costs aswell and can’t afford to offer lots of hours. Again finding a job in bris could take 5 minutes, and here it’s a struggle again. I’m on study link and study full time. So weekly living is a struggle. The cost of living here is just nuts, and wages are really poor.

The thing I’ve noticed while working in hospitality here also is that there aren’t people out spending. I don’t think bars or restaurants are essential to life, but I think you can judge how well a city is doing by how their cultural, arts and restaurant scene and if people can afford to go out and indulge. New bars are opening weekly in Aussie and are always packed out. Young people are trying new things and following trends. There’s a huge amount of people making that industry their career and pushing the envelope also. There is a small scene here, and I know of a few very important talents to come out of this country. But on the whole, the bars are quiet, very few people pursue a career in hospitality here and the trends are a few years behind the rest of the world. Or we don’t see them at all.

All this is fine though, I was prepared to be poor and don’t think bars or restaurants are vital so I don’t mind. The thing that worries me though is the lack of push to strengthen the country. The people I chat with in class and what I see people say online is all the same. No one can afford a life here and their waiting to leave. It’s a small world nowdays, and it’s easy to get a job overseas. We’re going to lose our talented people and they’re going to find easier lives overseas. How long before they come back, if ever? I did my travelling and am aiming to buy a house here and set up base before I leave, but so many kids are growing up ready to travel. And from my experience they can easily build lives overseas. It’s a new generation of people bought up with technology, who have new skills that could benefit this country. The most determined to leave that I’ve talked to at uni are also the most down to earth and smartest kids. We need them here, but they know they can’t afford to build a life.

The last thing that bugs me is the govt. They don’t seem to care. The flag issue is comical, we can’t afford to be worrying about that. Same with the no license fines for maoris. No matter which country you’re in, people are going to abuse that. And while it would be nice to gather some research into why it’s happening. The resources and money could be better spent elsewhere. I couldn’t get a wof cause my car was broken into and needed repairing, was then fined $200 and paid it. Surely people with no license can take responsibility and face the consequences for no license.

And to beat a dead horse. The house prices. Im sure it would be nice to make bank from selling your house. But I lived in China, I love Chinese people and can speak Mandarin. I know they’re interested in money though. That money they invested to NZ buying property. When they sell for a profit that money is going straight back to China. In the meantime our citizens can’t afford rents and won’t start families cause they can’t secure a house.

I feel like I need to stop the rant now. But I really hope you don’t think I’m coming across as hating on New Zealand. I love this country a lot, and just want to be able to have pride in it and see a future. I want to see the same community events and culture that I see in Brisbane. The only thing I can’t fault is our environment, in all my travelling the only place that I think is just as beautiful is rural france. We will never be a major power and we can’t print money like Aussie with their mines. But we have great foreign relations, we’re the only country with a free trade agreement with China. We have driven ambitious citizens, and ones who don’t aim for fame, just a challenge. I just wish we had a govt with a hard stance, who could make living affordable, make wages better, who was genuinely out to ensure we were in a country worth living in.

I hope I can get stable in life after uni quick. Because I’ve always done volunteering throughout life and my next step is to start working in local govt and trying to see if I can make some attempt at change. We need to start giving our people an easier place to live. We should be proud of our country. I just worry we’re too far gone sometimes.

Sorry for the rant. It’s been weighing on my mind a lot and I wanted to share my view, having been away for a while. I know there’s a lot of hate lately, especially in this sub. But what’s everyone else’s outlook as a whole, and for the future of this country?

One of the replies

We came here 4 years ago for our PhD degrees. When we first arrived, we hoped to stay afterwards. 4 years later and we are dead set to leave. Why?

  • the racism. We are not even brown, but having a slight accent is enough to get harassed.
  • the shitty job prospects. We studied hard to get our degrees in good fields. Getting told we should accept similar wages as offered to recent b.a.’s is not going to sit well with us.
  • the current political direction: the country, in our opinion, is going full force towards a cliff (housing bubble, dependence on dairy, catering to the aging baby boomers and corporate…) And the crash won’t be pretty.
  • the sheer unwillingness to even discuss many of these issues. Many kiwis don’t even want to engage in a discussion about these things, add long as there snapper to fish and rugby to watch. To be frank: we would be willing to be part of a generation that starts to tackle all these things, but there doesn’t seem to be any movement in that direction.

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5 thoughts on ““Do you think this country is too far gone?”

  1. I don’t believe this country has passed the point of no return just yet, but it’s well on its way there.

    I’ve ranted a bit about this before. None of the serious issues here are dealt with at their core because NZ is devoid all morals. Drinking and gambling are promoted, when they should be shunned. Instead of telling our young people to keep their f*cking pants on, we instead just tell them to ‘be safe’. And then people wonder why there are all these unplanned pregnancies, single mothers, violent crime and children being murdered in a regular basis.

    When I walked into the toilets in the M.I.T and saw a condom dispenser on the wall, I went and bashed my head against the wall. And this was in the social services building. No wonder our systems are garbage and nothing ever changes here.

  2. A free trade agreement with China does nothing for New Zealand besides undermine New Zealand’s sovereignty and work force and bringing low quality cheap goods which only promotes non fair trade goods; in the end the people that benefit from it are the corporate elite, politicians , in other words the 1 % and the rest of the NZ population who are just too lax(politically correct) to do or say anything must just deal with it! Free trade does not benefit the vast majority of NEW ZEALAND at all! China continually depletes natural resources and promotes corruption, greed, over consumption, distrust, waste, exploitation, and a crap upside down value system. For one, China needs to address its inhumane working conditions and environmental pillaging.They(China) have a corrupt government who believes they are superior to they rest of the world.China is one of the most disgusting countries in the world. And yes, i have been there, but never again. They attempt to impose territorial rights on all their neighbors territories. They lie to their own people to keep the truth being known. They have the worst pollution of any country and no respect for the environment. Also they give no thought to the environment or international law and refuse to free Tibet..

  3. I’m a native Californian, now living in NZ since 2012. There is NO comparison between the two. Wellington is lovely, but the weather in NZ is extremely volatile compared to California, Wellington is both cold and extremely windy, and expensive. My honest opinion after living in NZ for three years, is that if I could do the move over again, I simply wouldn’t (I say this as a Californian, not an American). The country is truly beautiful, but it is very cold and rainy in comparison (generally speaking — average summer temps in Wellington are about the same as average winter temps in SB!). Of all the things I underestimated the most (and there were many!), was how much I would miss the fantastic California weather. Most consumer goods are inferior in quality, but significantly more expensive than what we’re used to in the US. If you are young, with little to no possessions of value, no big deal, but if you are well-established (I was 40 when I moved here), you will likely be very underwhelmed and disappointed with what money buys you in terms of quality and value. The other issue is that NZ houses are shockingly bad for a country that KNOWS its climate is cold, damp, and humid (year-round). Every year I have to literally scrub the mold from the house walls at least twice a year (more if it has been especially wet and rainy); they do not have central heating here, so your warmth will be relegated to “heat pumps” which are little more than large sized space heaters attached to one wall in order to heat that one room (usually the communal living room). However, the above is not necessarily true if you are lucky enough to find accommodations in a relatively new build … they still won’t have central heat, but they’re more likely to have dual pane windows, and be more insulated, and weather tight. By NZ standards I live upper middle class, as I did in the US, but the standard of living — in some areas — is grossly inadequate when comparing the standards of living from place to place. It is likely that in the next few years my husband and I will immigrate to Australia (Sydney area), as it greatly fulfills our need for culture and arts, in addition to having a much warmer climate. We also found that as a bi-cultural couple (American and a Kiwi), we fit in much more anonymously in Australia, where in NZ it seems to be constant source of either curiosity, suspicion, or wariness. People are friendly, but it feels superficial, and, honestly–often awkward. Kiwis aren’t very emotionally warm or open (or especially talkative), but ARE courteous, and helpful. Your neighbors and social friends will be quite helpful if you’re in need, but you’ll find yourself wondering just what you really know about them, personality wise. I would do a lot of homework before you decide where to resettle, you need to ask yourself what specifically you are looking for. I can tell you that NZ in all areas (compared to California), is like a glorified farm town (even Welly and Auckland, though not as much as the rest of greater NZ). Culture and Arts are here, but are more centered around gardening, and kiwi history/icons, sheep/wool history, the outdoors, and its most famous citizens. Maori culture is heavily integrated into mainstream culture here, which I LOVE, but can be a sore spot, if you believe what the media reports. Generally for “big” cultural things, you’ll need to fly to Auckland–nearly all premier concerts and art events are held (only) there. We are going to Paul Simon/Sting later this month, and The Eagles in March — both concerts in Auckland only. Went to Cirque du Soleil this past winter, again had to fly into Auckland… Also, forget the foodie culture that California (and the US is famous for), it just doesn’t exist. No fresh bread warm in the bag at 5pm in the supermarket, no sandwich and soup bars with fresh ingredients to grab a quick lunch or dinner… On the go food here is pretty much meat pies–heavy, calorie laden meat pies. I would suggest a one year trial, if you really want to live here–meaning, put your things in storage in the US, rent out your home (do NOT sell), and come for a year (if you can procure a Visa for it). You will know after one year whether the cultural and climate differences are something you can handle for whatever period you live in NZ. Best of luck!

  4. To add to ‘no license fines for maoris’:

    Police are defending the move, saying it’s part of their goal to reduce Maori offending and that it’s crucial and it’s working.

    Documents leaked to ONE News show the “guidelines”police in South Auckland say they’ve been enforcing since last year.

    The paperwork spells out that all Maori drivers caught without a licence or in breach of their conditions are to be referred for training and not given a ticket.

    “We then refer them to the panel and the panel looks at a whole range of issues that’s caused that person to drive without a licence or why that person hasn’t had a licence, and then provides some support,” says Superintendent Wally Haumaha of Police National Headquarters.

    If after that Iwi and community support the driver has not complied within two months, a $400 ticket is then issued.

    It’s a small part of what is a nationwide wide programme, Turning of the Tide, aimed at reducing Maori offending. And police say they have the discretion to do the same for non-Maori drivers, but that’s not spelt in the document.

    Superintendent Haumaha says it’s not an issue based on race. “It’s based on the fact that they are a significant part of the problem so we’re working with the problem.”

    If it is not a race-based issue, then Tongans, Chinese and Australians driving without a licence will also get a chance to avoid the $400 fine and be referred to a panel.

    What?

    They are not? Only Maori drivers are?

    Then let’s stop being disingenuous and call this for what it is: Race-based policy.

    This is a total shocker, and shows that there is a law for Maori, and a law for everyone else. Maori may be the biggest problem, but to deny people of any race a similar chance at redemption can not be anything but a racist policy.

    Of course the easiest way to show a reduction in Maori offending is to not prosecute them.
    Why is anyone surprised at this?

    The next policy will be around Maori shoplifting, then Maori car conversion…if they get caught they get a workshop on being a naughty boy or girl….no ones really getting hurt.
    What’s the problem?
    This is precisely the policy direction the socialist left wing national party of new zealand has been leaning towards.

    I am disgusted .. I was a front line cop for 21 years and have Maori blood. This BS is outrageous. What happened to the oath.. “without fear or favour” words that I lived by and are now simply ignored. What happened to Policing with the head and the heart, values that saw the Police maintain the highest public respect rankings? Its time to make a stand .. enough is enough!

    I am utterly disgusted with this racist policy of the Police. My Maori colleagues at work were equally appalled.

    It is past time this country stopped all race based favouritism and that includes the Treaty of Waitangi [mod redacted]

    These senior police officers need to be charged with aiding and abetting law breakers, and breach of the Human Rights legislation for their Maori loving policies.

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