In addition to our series of Migrant Tales we occasionally publish stories from New Zealanders in which they talk about their country. Its interesting to see the commonalities between the two groups, indicating that its not just migrants in NZ that have a problem with the country – the locals are feeling it too.
Here’s Annmarie’s story. She’s forced to return periodically from Italy to NZ to be able to keep her pension, she talks about her home country and the changes she’s seen.
I have lived in a small hilltop town in Italy for the past 10 years, but now as I am a NZ pensioner, or superannuant, I cannot spend more than 6 months out of NZ or my pension will be cancelled. (Never mind that I have paid into the fund for over 40 years).
So I am back in New Zealand for around 6 months, and yes, it’s good to be with my family again.
However, I am interested to read some of your thoughts here – my own feelings & thoughts on returning to live back in my home-country NZ ( my ‘aria nata’ or birth-air, as the Italians say) are sadly mainly negative.
I find my country seems now overrun by many low class people who have base standards and no qualms about breaking the law. Of course this impacts on us all. Alcoholism & random violence abound – I feel much safer on the streets in Italy than I do here. Does that surprise you?
People seem to be proud of dressing like slobs in public, and I often see small children running around without footwear – I cannot understand this, given the amount of filth, rubbish & broken glass on the streets – but there are so many other issues of bad parenting that nobody seems to be worried about, this ranks fairly low, especially when Mum & Dad are unshod as well. There is a rudeness and a lack of dignity that seems prevalent in NZ now. And can we please go back to calling ourselves ‘New Zealanders’, not ‘Kiwis’ – to me a Kiwi is an idiotic rough ‘Barry Crump’ personality who wears a silly hat & doesn’t give a damn about anything or anyone except himself.
New Zealand has recently been cited as the most ignorant developed country, and I would have to say that’s quite likely true; the abysmal education system has failed our society, creating a generation of dummies who feel good about themselves – most people couldn’t be less interested in my experiences overseas. Unless it’s to remark about how the toilets are different – then they perk up and giggle!
The costs of living here are outrageous, where we can eat out 2-3 times a week in Italy, (yes, truly!) we cannot do even once a week here. And I have checked, it’s not just the city, it’s just as costly in the provinces here.
Don’t even talk to me about local body councils and the rates debacle. A country of thieves!
People seem not to be doing well here, they are struggling, working too long hours to makes ends meet, with little time spent together as a family – naturally the children will grow up thinking this is just how life is meant to be. Maybe that’s why the shopkeepers are sullen & unhelpful.
New Zealanders seem to be conceited & hubristic about the quality of life here. “The best place in the world” – I am sorry, I cannot agree. Most people who say this have of course never lived in any other developed country.
Perhaps they have been brainwashed by current & previous governments who seem to be fleecing the population & telling them to feel glad to live here – I guess it’s marginally better than a war-zone or a disaster-affected region. But don’t even get me started on the health system.
I am finding it all very depressing, and lament the loss of a once much more decent respectful & caring society. At least, it seemed so to me. Maybe I have had my eyes opened. I look forward to returning to Italy and my wonderful neighbours & friends who are really now like family now.
Maybe when the summer sun begins to shine I will cheer up.