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.
Normal comment guidelines apply.