Continuing in our series of Migrant Tales – first hand accounts of the migrant experience of New Zealand.
Today’s tale was sent in by a skilled migrant with a 10 year career history in IT. He recently left one of the world’s most prosperous countries, drawn to NZ by the “income and work life balance”. When he arrived he found NZ’s economic climate to be low key, prices expensive and career opportunities extremely limited. After six weeks he’s seen enough to know that NZ has nothing for him and will be returning home.
I wish I could have found this blog prior to skilled migrant application to New Zealand. Most of comments here are quite true as I’ve been living in Auckland for one and half month since October,2015.
I went for free seminar and did study about economy in New Zealand especially the income and work life balance. I thought this place would be ideal for a young family like mine but as soon as I landed Auckland airport, I realized that I could be wrong. Coming from one of the most prosperous country in the world located in Southeast Asia made me wondered the first touch in New Zealand because the airport was so quiet.
Walking in CBD Auckland within the first few days had me worried more and more about the economy. The financial / Stock exchange hub are tiny small compare to where Im from. The bus / train fare are so expensive which isnt really sensible for so-called developed country like New Zealand. Homeless is everywhere in CBD and all ATM machines fulled of urine scent. I came to know more about that this country has no money when I approached sale person when I was looking for a car. I was stunned when I learned from him that the interest rate for car loan is high as 12%, yeah ! 12% for car loan, I had ‘WTF’ in my mind and sale person continue explained me the rate is high because of there is no money flow in this country. They heavily rely on money that borrow from other countries and sub-lend to local people in New Zealand.
Over 5 weeks, I’d been hunting job actively, I am an IT guy worked in reputable companies for over 10 years and I only received plenty of rejection emails from recruiters / companies without even having a single conversation with them. I managed to get very few job interviews during my stay and those are probably the worst job interview experiences that I ever had. I do understand that the company looks only right people and the skills must be matched. But in New Zealand, it means the skill set they looking for must be 100% match to yours. If you’ve never worked on just only one or two things that they listed in job listing, they will just simply decline your application and this is why the same position listed on Seek.co.nz / Trademe.co.nz stay for very long period of time. I do accept from employer’s perspective but what If 100% born New Zealander who just graduated and wanna get hired in their own country? This narrow mindset that all employers have wouldn’t let fresh NZ graduates be employed eventually. I really feel so pity and sorry for new generation of New Zealand.
I think 5-6 weeks for me in New Zealand is good enough for me to make up my mind whether this is a right place to live. If you could get your first job in New Zealand in few months after your arrival, then it’s good for you. But what’s next? How about your career in the future? Do you think you could find the 2nd job / 3rd job and how long would you take? Look, it is a small economically country, Think many times before you come here. If you get Resident Visa , Job Seeker Visa whatever that allow you to live and work here. Just plan it properly, don’t put all your eggs into one basket.
For now, I will go back home. I will be watching the job market in New Zealand and I will only come when I am really convinced that the economic is acceptable. If not, I will just simply ignore my resident visa and let it go.
Sad to say, but I look for my future, not only present.
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I’ve largely given up on getting an NZ job or moving to NZ. I thought NZ had a high demand for workers in my field (IT), as the NZ gov lists the IT sector on a couple different skill shortage lists, but the catch-22 I described seems to prove that there is, in reality, no significant skills shortage in the IT field. I can believe that IT workers in NZ don’t have any problem getting a job, but the fact is that if there truly was a substantial IT worker shortage in NZ, then IT employers would be welcoming foreign IT workers. But according to the Seek job site, they are apparently not as just about every job I’ve ever seen there (all but one, which wasn’t in Auckland) requires that applicants have a legal right to live and work in NZ to even apply. That tells me they are doing just fine with the the current domestic supply of IT workers.
If I was under 30 and could get the Working Holiday Visa, and could then be in the pool to be considered, that would be one thing, but I’m not so my options are limited. I could pursue a skilled migrant visa, but I understand that’s 9 month processing time, and given my circumstances, that requires more patience than I have.
I don’t blame NZ Immigration for requiring a job offer to get a worker visa. It’s logical that they instituted this condition as a way of verifying, from NZ employers, that the worker shortage really exists, and the employers are pretty much saying that the shortage does NOT, in fact exist. It’s the job of NZ Immigration to protect NZ workers, and their current policy does that well.
Things can change so maybe I’ll get there yet, but for now, I’m exploring other career possibilities that have nothing to do with NZ… read on
Charlie is American, a high end IT and Corporate Governance Professional with many years of experience. He describes his emigration to New Zealand as being the single greatest tragedy of his life.
For background see “why can’t this IT whiz find a job? (Stuff.co.nz)”
Thank you for telling the truth about New Zealand!
Before coming here – I was told for six years what a wonderful place this was, how “forward thinking” the government and corporations were, how “progressive” the culture was, and how “friendly” the New Zealand people were.
As a high end IT and Corporate Governance Professional with 24 years of experience, I was tired of the hated in the USA, and after being told for those six years of research that I would be welcome in New Zealand, I packed up my cat and came here.
Well, after almost three years, and being unemployed for the last 16 months, and having lost everything in the world I had – I must admit that I have failed completely.
This has been the single greatest tragedy of my life.
One of many examples: The Electrical Commission (a ministry of government) told a friend of mine that they had just hired (a German), that “we would tolerate a German – but we would NEVER hire an American.” At the time they had 97 jobs open that they could NOT fill with kiwis.
I have been told that the reasons I cannot have a job in New Zealand is:
“You are too over qualified” (this should be the national anthem of New Zealand – as every foreigner I know has heard this over and over again).
“You are a foreigner – we would never hire a foreigner”.
“You are an American – we would never hire an American.”
As for being friendly – I have not had one date with a woman since I arrived here. I have been told repeatedly, and with no hint of regard or regret that: “Yes, we’re kiwi women, we hate American men!”
Corporate management in New Zealand is directly out of the “kindergarten school yard” – I was black listed after two newspaper articles came out on me, asking “why can’t this IT Whiz find a job?”
Gen-i (Telecom) hired me immediately – only to fire me five months later.
I have been told time and time again that Kiwis: “hate, loath, despise, and fear” foreigners – and the higher your level of professional background is the less likely you will every get a job here.
I came here by myself, so I feel so very sorry for the families that came here, believing in that lie of a “quality of life”. There is no “quality of life” here – not even for the kiwis themselves.
I have never seen a people so terrified of “reality”. And I did not think it possible to have an entire culture based on “lying”.
Why? Because you cannot be afraid of reality and tell the truth.
New Zealand is a collective “fantasy world” which – because of fear – is falling backwards through time at an exponential rate: in other words, its dropping like a rock towards the Stone Age.
One of the many shocks I suffered here when I got off the plane in August 2007 was the realization that New Zealand was 25 years behind the rest of the entire world.
And now, barely three years later – it is 35 years behind the rest of the entire world – and no one cares.
I know foreign PhD’s here who came to be part of the “quality of life” and are scrubbing test tubes and mopping floors (based on the fact that actually have real experience in their profession).
I know doctors and executive managers who are driving taxi cabs (based only on the color of their skin).
I know industrial designers who are making beds (based only on the color of their skin).
I know Project Managers who are pressing sheets (based only on the color of their skin).
And always, there is the “rage” – that rage that is barely beneath the surface of all kiwis. It comes from being afraid all the time. It is the only way they can express themselves.
Go to a “Sevens” after party on Courtney Street and you can see it (or after midnight any night). They are going to have a good time – and they do NOT care who they hurt.
And the streets are a sea of broken beer bottles – and we all KNOW not to be out after midnight. That is when what little control the kiwis have over their rage is let loose.
The crime rate here is off the charts, but because that does not sound “good” – it is never reported.
I worked for ten months for one small company here, with 15 employees. Two of them had been attacked by drunken gangs with empty beer bottles (the kiwis’ weapon of choice) on two separate occasions. What are the odds of that?
Over one million kiwis have fled New Zealand. The “best and the brightest” that New Zealand has to offer are gone. So, if the “best and the brightest” are gone – who does that leave behind?
An additional 100,000 kiwis leave every year – those coming up through university, and those who just cannot take the abuse any more.
Again – living in a fantasy world means you can never face “reality” – you can never tell the truth.
I am an aboriginal in my own country, but I never knew bigotry, prejudice, or racism until coming to New Zealand.
To this day, I still get emails from New Zealand Immigration that say things like: “yes, its true that skilled migrants with proper work visas and job are randomly being deported, but that’s no reason for you not to come!”
The new Prime Minister, Mr. Key, made a statement last year about how New Zealand did not have enough “high end professionals” and that was why the corporations were loosing money.
He then went on to say that he would pass a law that would make it easier for high end professionals to “bring their money with them”.
After reading that – I was physically sick for a month. I then wrote to Mr. Key, assuring him that I was already here, was a high end professional, and I needed a job.
I went on to say that I could easily find him all the high end professionals that he needs – they are already here: washing dishes, cleaning toilets, and digging ditches.
Why? Because they have been “blacklisted” by the very corporations that Mr. Key was talking about.
In New Zealand, if you actually know how to do your job, you are considered a threat, and must be removed from sight.
This same story about “not having enough high end professionals” was told back in 2007 after I first got here, and which is why those newspaper stories were done on me. They got me two jobs, and then cost me everything I had.
Please encourage your friends and families to speak out here, and in your own countries. Convince people NOT to come to New Zealand.
Let’s see if we can prevent other innocent people from being hurt and harmed here.
I can speak out now because I know that I have no future here, but those foreigners who are trapped here in dead end jobs with no hope dare not speak out.
Because we all know how vindictive the kiwi is.
Todays Tale is taken from a thread on The Straits Times website, in which Singaporeans discuss the current campaign targeting them to come and work in New Zealand.
This poster lives in New Zealand and was eager to tell readers that living in a country is very different from visiting it. Most of the issues raised in this post can be found on this forum and our mirror site, links may be found at the end of this page:
“Travelling in NZ versus living in NZ is a totally different experience! Depending on what you do, where you live … it’ll change your opinions about NZ.
Crime rates are getting higher in some cities … all you hear in the news are depressing news like murders, burglaries, assaults etc. Alcohol and drugs are huge concerns here and are major social problems in NZ! Law and order? Number of prisoners reaches new high! http://tvnz.co.nz/national-news/number-prisoners-reaches-new-high-3083396
Make sure you are secured with a job if you intend to migrate here under Skilled Migrant Category because it’s very, very hard to find a job here. And of course, not forgetting about the certain degree of racism and discrimination that we have to face here!
Living standards? The proposed increase in GST from 12.5% to 15% will definitely have an impact on living cost. http://www.3news.co.nz/Poll-and-survey-find-majority-against-GST-increase/tabid/419/articleID/141957/Default.aspx
Although health care is free but … unless you need urgent immediate attention otherwise you can join the long queue in the waiting list! Read this article about the recent health cuts. http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA0908/S00210.htm
For those who have children, your children may feel less stressful studying in NZ but you really have to think thrice if that’s what you want for them! It’s their future you have to consider! Unless you’re very sure that they have self-discipline … Read this article about the chaos created by Otago University students annually and decide if you want to send your children here.http://www.odt.co.nz/on-campus/university-otago/73781/undie-500-chaos-a-student039s-view
Do you think Kiwis are happy here? Read this article about the high suicide rate in NZ. http://www.socialreport.msd.govt.nz/health/suicide.html
We can go on and on and on …
Of course, if you retire here and don’t have to deal with many people then it’s a different story! You probably will enjoy the quiet lifestyle here and the weather (except during the cold winter months) is definitely better than the hot and humid Singapore!
We’ve recently heard of Singaporeans getting as far as the final interview stage for Permanent Residency and being refused. They are turned down for PR and aren’t even offered Work to Residence as a back-up. Bear in mind the high fees involved in the visa application process and it’s understandable why some are starting to call the whole thing a ‘scam.’ Read this thread on an immigration advice forum:
Possible effects of the marketing campaign are a slowing up in the processing of applications and long delays in assigning case officers. This post recently appeared on an emigration forum, it was written by someone who had to make a fuss and lodge a complaint to get things moving:
“Recently Shanghai Branch wrote to a number of candidates that due to markable increase in applications their cases are delayed and VO’s would be assigned in 9-12 months instead of 6 months but few candidates wrote to NZIS and argued against the decision and NZIS Shanghai immediately assigned VO’s to them within 6 months…
I received same email from NZIS as others that my case has been delayed and VO would be assigned in 9-12 months rather than 6 months but i argued against the decision and NZIS accepted my point and assigned VO within 6 months