Today’s article is about how some migrants rationalise away the problems of New Zealand, rather than facing up to them and by opposing end them.
The quotes are from a post made on another forum in response to this article on E2NZ.org – An American’s Take on Rip-Off New Zealand
This is what happens when people develop a taste for Kool-Aid, our response follows each section:
I’m an American who has lived in a few countries in Europe, Asia, currently in NZ. While some of the issues mentioned in the article are correct, the key to living in any different country is your own perception. Don’t assume/expect everything to be exactly like it is in your home country. If you want to live exactly like you do in the US, then why did/do you leave in the first place? Realize that different places have different ways of living, and people in those places do fine (mostly) living that way. And yes, sometimes the different lifestyle may not be for you — and it may take living somewhere for a while to realize that.
You may call it perception, other people may call it liking the taste of Kool-Aid. Are you really suggesting people let their standards slip? Weren’t they brought into New Zealand as skilled migrants to improve standards, not become part of the problem?
No-one emigrates because they’re looking for more of the same just in a different country. The problem is they arrived in New Zealand believing it to be as was described to them, unaware that the country is knowingly over-sold. Its called bait and switch. Drinking kool-aid to overcome the feeling of disappointment and being ripped-off doesn’t address the problem.
For instance, the lack of ambition/drive is something I’ve noticed. Sometimes I find it a bit stifling, but at the same time, I realize it also results in the laid-back lifestyle that I do like. Where people value things other than career progression and material gains. Not being able to buy whatever I want whenever I want via Amazon was a bit tough in the beginning, but I got used to it — now I don’t miss it. Yes, many retail items are expensive, so you learn to be more selective — either think hard about if you really need it, or figure out a makeshift/homemade solution (the No. 8 wire approach!).
Laid back lifestyles and ambition/drive are NOT mutually exclusive. People in other countries manage to handle both without having to struggle to make ends meet. And what of the hundreds of thousands that rely on the state (and tax payers) to pay for generations of their family to live on welfare. How do you feel about paying for them to chill out with your hard earned salary? Maybe if people were more productive the cost of living wouldn’t be so high.
Auckland is very different from the rest of the country. AKL is similar to any other large city anywhere else in the world (crowded, expensive – relative to NZ of course!). The rest of NZ less so (although rural Canterbury can feel like the American Midwest). If you’re working seasonally in a place like Queenstown or Wanaka, it may not feel very NZ-like. Queenstown feels like any other holiday resort town anywhere else; I used to live in a ski town in Colorado, and Queenstown reminded me a lot of that.
Auckland bears little resemblance to elsewhere in the developed world and is not a ‘large city’ by world standards. You’re getting Auckland region confused with Auckland city. Auckland doesn’t even make it into the list of the top 85 cities by population
As some of the other posters have said, a lot of your experience will depend on how you approach it. My wife and I have never had anyone be rude or aggressive to us on finding we’re American. Typically they’re interested in knowing what brought us to NZ, how we find it, etc. Yes, a lot of boasting about how the US is better than NZ will probably not endear yourselves to many Kiwis, but I suspect that’s the same anywhere. One Kiwi explained it like this — it’s okay to have a lot of accomplishments, but talking about them is considered bad form.
In other words you’ve learned not to speak until spoken to, never talk about your own country unless asked and under sell yourself at work. Is this part of your perception alterating perceptions? Does living in New Zealand require diminishment of self?
NZ can feel quite isolated from the rest of the world. Can be good because it’s far away from much of the effects of global geopolitical turmoil. Can be bad if you want/like to travel the world a lot.
Can be bad if you want first world education, working conditions, roads, transport systems, infrastructure, medical treatment, medication, remuneration, freedom from nepotism, separation of state and police, genuine democracy and multiculturalism.
There is more but you get the point. What do our readers have to add?