What New Zealanders Say About NZ – Italy Calls, New Zealand Falls

Italy also does scenery, offers better lifestyle than NZ

Italy also does scenery, offers better lifestyle than NZ. Remarkably free from Kool-Aid too.


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.

Barry Crump archetypal kiwi

Barry Crump, archetypal Kiwi

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.

13 thoughts on “What New Zealanders Say About NZ – Italy Calls, New Zealand Falls

  1. I don’t think people are any different living in different parts of the world – that we are all human beings who have to deal with this thing called life and living. And everyone lives in their own virtual world, that they think they know – that is determined by their awareness and reasoning processes etc.
    We all have to deal/interact with people we don’t get along with and have to learn how to tolerate them. To be truly happy in any country – I think you have to find the places and activities that bring you into contact with the local people there who share like minds and interests etc.
    Most people don’t get the opportunity to live elsewhere to see what living is really like in different countries – and you can always count yourself lucky that you are not living in some third world war torn or poverty stricken country in which life is truly living in intolerable cruelty – that is the reason we see mass migrations taking place in which people are willing to gamble their lives to escape from.
    First world countries are always seen as being better off – but populations living there are not fully aware of how corrupt modern western (and eastern etc) societies really are where people are living trapped within the illusion(s) they are channelled to believe in – how the true story of violence is not talked about at all – that the world cannot be a peaceful and cooperative one – when the true story of violence is not discussed or aired at all. That the use of violence only begets more violence – and you can never stop violence with the use of violence. There is one word that could bring peace and prosperity everywhere – and that is ‘equality’ – that people everywhere have the same opportunity as everyone else – to have food and drink to live, adequate housing, clothing, medical care, education and so on…
    The powers that be – maintain the status quo – and do not endorse ‘equality’ for the masses – these are the royal families worldwide, religious institutions – I regard religions as being the worst of the worst – they are never spiritual organisations but always political – their religious ideas are false – they present misinformation than actual ‘information’. We – the people – have to take them to task for telling lies, etc because they will never own up to doing this, nor admit to their wrong doings – and they are at the heart of the world woes. Nor will they ever fix them. Their lie is believing in their rubbish information in which they brainwash the world with and seek others to convert – who’ll believe in the lies.
    At least you have the freedom to choose – many people feel they have no ‘choice’ at all – with how they can live their life, nor choose where to live?

  2. Thanks for your comments everyone. I was starting to feel ok about being back, given that it is an adjustment we have to undergo…then I was at the mall today and overheard a young man speaking in what seemed like a friendly manner – except he was using the most foul language, such vile swearwords but with a smile on his face. I was revolted. I just cannot understand this sort of behaviour. Please tell me it’s not normal – as he seemed to think it was quite ok to speak like that in public….Depressed again.

    • Hi, Ann. It’s more shocking when I see father and son talking each other like that in public. Unbelievable. I’m glad to meet a kiwi such as yourself. 🙂 If all kiwis were like you, I probably wouldn’t left.

    • Hi Alex, yes we had been advised that we can continue to receive our super while living in Italy, but only if we stay no longer than 27 weeks. We had to inform Work & Income when we were booked to fly out & when we returned, we had to physically go to the office & present out return boarding passes, or the super would have be cancelled. (I am sure you could reinstate it, but what a hassle that would be). At the moment 6 months away suits us as we are expecting our first grandchild, so will return to Italy mid 2016.

  3. Comes down to this its due to DDP and also Work and Income has a page on getting the pension while living overseas

  4. It is so enriching to read about other New Zealanders impressions, the ones who reside overseas as much as they possibly can. It is also so comforting to know that one is not alone in their perceptions. Whilst in New Zealand one is made to feel that badly dressed and ill-mannered people is completely normal and that you are the funny strange one for appearing different to this. That one is odd for not being drunk and stoned at any given moment. That one is a dismal weirdo and party pooper for noticing the outrageous costs, fraud, extortion and corruption at nearly every turn.

    “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.”
    I am currently residing in Egypt, where one is not even supposed to travel to according to the various government warnings, and I feel much safer here than in the village where I have been residing in the South Island of NZ, where the resident hillbillies fire off rounds (inside the streets of the village) and regularly threaten to kill neighbors, vandalize private property whenever they like, and get so drunk in weekends that they wet their beds. The local police know them, but seem to like them living there in the boonies, away from the suburbs, and so usually don’t prosecute them. Thus the non-criminal, more regular faction, is forced to move out of the village.. . and loose much capital investment in doing so.

    .” 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.”
    I agree and it is a tragic indictment.

    “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.”
    It is the ones who have barely traveled anywhere that say this. Some of my friends have said it to me, and I nearly choke, sharply looking at them to see if they are being sarcastic. Nope, one hundred percent sincerity-
    and these are reasonably intelligent individuals. One has to wonder about the ever-present undercurrent of brainwashing and propaganda that seems to work so effectively on many of the NZ citizens.

    • There are many surveys regarding “quality of life” and they can use very different criteria – of course the only ones that get published in NZ papers are the ones that support the “best place in the world ” mythology.

  5. “A country of thieves!”-brilliant. Couldn’t have said it better myself. The daylight robbery syndicates. Italy…how lovely. I’d love to go there. If I won the lottery Id definitely buy a house there.

    Shoe-less kids and people dressed as slobs are spot on. Most people here have no shame in going to New World or Pak n Save wearing their PJ’s or a ridiculous looking ‘onesie’. Supermarket shoppers with trolleys who have absolutely no concept of paying attention to their surroundings or what is happening in their plain sight, walking at a snails pace in a daze blocking anyone from getting past, blocking the ends of isles …you can forget about peripheral vision and consideration because they do not possess either. Then theres the other end of the scale where certain cretins will have zero qualms at all about pushing past you, reaching across your face while you’re trying to look for something on the shelf and grab an item without saying excuse me. The first time someone did that to me I nearly broke their arm. Or an older person asking you to grab an item higher up for them, then just walking off without thanking you.

    “New Zealanders seem to be conceited & hubristic about the quality of life here”-ohhh yes, my sons Kiwi mother, my ex, falls into this very category. It’s like arguing/debating with a brick wall. Or trying to get blood out of a stone. New Zealand rules and England is a terrible, terrible place, because she’s seen it on TV and doesn’t want our son growing up there incase he turns out like me. How lovely. Yet I’m the educated and open minded one with a universe of insight. Granted I have my flaws and personal demons like anyone else, I’m by far a perfect person, but I don’t blatantly try to hide them or sweep them under the carpet and claim to be pure and faultless. The irony is I can handle criticism of my country and would even agree with you if you pointed out its flaws and I would never care to be defensive and get offended. You could say England was a complete dump and I’d laugh because alot of places are. But Kiwis spit the dummy when you dare criticise.

    • Haha I love that you speak the truth about the idiots blocking the isles at the supermarket ,it’s one of the first things you notice when moving beyond the tourist N.Z and even though it would appear inconsequential it pretty much sums up the prevailing me first attitude here.

      • I once witnessed a rather large lady (a customer) standing at the entrance of one of the pak n save checkouts with both arms stretched wide out. I came forward with my trolley and she said “nuuup”. I retorted “excuse me, what are you doing?” Then she rudely announced she was reserving this checkout for her friend. Her friend was no where to be seen. I told her that was ridiculous and that she couldn’t do that and she just ignored me. Her friend appeared 3 mins later and they both stared at me like I was a criminal for having a problem with what they were doing. Unfuckingbeleive. The nerve of these retards is astounding.

        I went to another checkout and and asked to speak to the manger/supervisor, and none were available. The person at the checkout just wasnt interested in what I was saying so I gritted my teeth, paid out my arse for my shopping and walked off, calling the two women a pair of ignorant, twat faced ugly fat fucks very loudly.

        Now im not discriminate about people who are over weight, but it was the only satisfaction i got out of such a bullshit situation that no one did anything about. You have to put these arseholes in their place because no one else will.

      • NZ is a bizarre place full of things that really do not add up or match with expectations. It’s like the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe where it seems every Kiwi has access all areas to see and experience the magic at the back of the wardrobe, yet all we can see is the shabby old wardrobe with no access to that magical place we hear so much about. I don’t know how New Zealanders ever got the reputation of being friendly, most of them have no manners and never thank you for holding a door or letting them into a line of traffic. Hardly anyone here will manage to raise a smile, a nod or wave of appreciation to you for giving way or letting them in front of you at a queue in the shops or when in traffic and work ‘mates’ seldom manage a hello or goodbye when arriving or leaving the office.

        • It’s ridiculous and aggravating isn’t it Rose? I don’t ever let anyone pull out infront of me and never will again due to all the complete lack of thank-you’s or acknowledgements. I’m not expecting them to blow me a kiss or anything just a friendly hand gesture would be appreciated. Half the time they are such dumb fucks they only look one way when pulling out somewhere, or don’t look at all.

          Had some old bint reverse out her drive the other day, as I was driving off from dropping my son of at his mothers, and because of how things are now in my life here I just let her continue to see if she would smash into me as I waited. She didnt, but was completely clueless that I had been there the whole time, despite me having to slam on my breaks when she pulled out. As I followed her to the end of the road, she didn’t even indicate when she turned right. Didn’t even surprise me. Just another waste of space that I deal with on a daily basis. Hopefully she crashes into a ditch one day and breaks her neck.

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