You may be an intending migrant and heard that New Zealand is a great place to live and is crying out for someone with your skills. You’ve visited Immigration New Zealand’s web site and found, to your delight, that your skills are in high demand – there’s a shortage of people like you!
Eager and willing to help out such a great country you lay out a few thousand dollars in visa charges, put your home on the market and spend tens of thousands more shipping everything over to New Zealand. Money well spent, you tell yourself. This is an investment in your family’s future.
When you arrive you quickly realise you made a mistake. New Zealand’s working practices are parochial and archaic. Your overseas experience is held in disdain because it wasn’t gained in New Zealand. This is a “great country” and people “like it the way it is.”
You ask yourself “why is there a skills shortage then? Why did you invite me here?”
You suffer a drop in living standards, your kids stand still at school and are bored, they’re bullied, they hate rugby. Your home is overpriced, riddled with damp and under heated. Your salary disappears too quickly on goods and services that are frighteningly expensive, you live frugally.
Despite watching every cent you struggle to make ends meet, was it ever this hard back home? You watch your life savings rapidly draining away. You look at your kids and wonder what sort of future they’ll have in this country.
But you console yourself. The scenery is amazing. The people are so laid back.
You push down those feelings that you have probably made the worst decision of your life and silently start looking at job ads from overseas again. Then your bank statement arrives and that sickening feeling rolls over you: you can’t afford to move again. You’re stuck in New Zealand for the next few years and are going to have to make the most of it.
Then you find this site and realise there is hope after all. There are thousands of people feeling exactly the same as you, and they’re not all migrants.
When people tell you to go back and “fix up your own s..t hole” if you don’t like New Zealand, pause for a moment and smile. Say “actually I came to fix up yours but found it is beyond saving. Good luck with living here, as soon as I can I will be leaving”.
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