What New Zealanders Say About NZ – “Benighted Intolerant Sick Little Society”


Sometimes New Zealanders need to hear a few home truths about their country from outsiders to see things as they really are. Its good to know that what we all share on this site is changing perceptions.

But here’s something that was shared by a New Zealander after they read our Exit interview series. If you’re a migrant about to buy into the hype (Kool-Aid) about New Zealand you probably need to some of those interviews and the following…

I just spent a rather sobering and depressing hour on the Exit Blog, my God we are a benighted intolerant sick little society. As an optimist who has enjoyed so much of Kiwi life over the years this really brought me down to earth with a thump.

How long can it be that we will blithely look the other way and ignore our own plight? When I was a child in the 60s and 70s life in NZ had promise, a future, and inclusiveness. We dealt with our isolation by having available a pretty good alternative like free camping (remember that?) and unspoiled green countryside.

Now we are what the people on the blog said we were: overpriced and exploited by rapacious landlords and other rent takers. Underpaid, badly educated, not friendly, racist / xenophobic. Violent.

We have the potential to be good again: it is time to overhaul our institutions and governance, reinstate educational excellence and freedom from indebtedness. Time to rebuild skills training. Time to get rid of created “markets” in what are utilities (power, telecoms etc). Time to address our health provision to universality of outcome between public and private providers. Time to break the cycle of youth unemployment by creating a work environment that is able to absorb the skills they need to be trained for (as opposed to paying to be educated and then finding no work). Time to rebuild our housing stocks base around communities (as opposed to automobile based urban sprawl).

There is nothing impossible above. I wish I could find a Labour MP who could espouse and commit to even a fraction of that vision.

11 thoughts on “What New Zealanders Say About NZ – “Benighted Intolerant Sick Little Society”

  1. I just want to point out in New Zealand the ME only mentality is prevalent for example, in a New Zealand forum I.E. Trademe, I proposed the idea that New Zealand should do a Social Security Agreement with Hong Kong despite there are 1000+ New Zealand Expats living in Hong Kong and some of them have decided to retire in Hong Kong after they reach 65, they should be eligible to receive the Pension or Superannuation while living in Hong Kong as most of the New Zealand expats have not surrendered their New Zealand also when I raised this with some of the public in Wellington or in a lot of New Zealand Forums, the reaction was NO WAY or PENSIONS FOR ME ONLY or NO MORE SOCIAL SECURITY AGREEMENTS WITH THE NETHERLANDS, MALTA, PACIFIC ISLAND COUNTRIES, AUSTRALIA and etc

    WINZ also has a page on which countries New Zealand has signed social security agreements with

    • I’ll never post on trademe again. The users there are psycho. It’s pretty much a stream of topics blaming foreigners for everything as are most other forums I imagine. I recommend staying off them. I found myself spending more and more time, wasting my life arguing with people like this with no result.

      • This is what I found disappointing, the New Zealand people who live in New Zealand treat their own people who have moved overseas to places like Hong Kong or are deciding to retire in Hong Kong should be allowed access to their pension even though they were born in New Zealand or have lived in New Zealand despite them still having New Zealand Citizenship, I am also a member with the New Zealand Expat Club in Hong Kong and some of the members in the New Zealand Expat have decided to retire in Hong Kong and also when it comes to the New Zealand people who reside in New Zealand, some of them treat their peers or compatriots who have moved overseas to places like Hong Kong as though they do not exist, good example of this beahviour is on trade me and when I was in Lambton Quay promoting the idea of New Zealand signing a Social Security Agreement with Hong Kong in terms of Superannuation.

        The New Zealanders who retire in Hong Kong should be allowed to get their New Zealand Superannuation Payments should they retire in Hong Kong

  2. I am very glad to read this story ..finally a new Zealander honest enough to admit the horrifighing facts about new Zealand.

    And I’m even happier he would like to have an change for his nation.. So what are you waiting for kiwi’s ?! Please get on with it because I’m about to get serious depressed..

    In Europe we say “a better start starts with yourself “

    • Agreed. I am also an NZer, and I’m disgusted with what goes on here.

      Unfortunately many kiwis don’t believe there is a problem here. All the things listed in this article they blame on foreigners.

  3. I’m going with still in cloud cuckoo land. New Zealand has been in decline since the global recession and passed peak proportion of prime workforce (ages 15-64) in about 2011. There are only 8 people at labour market entry age (15-29) for every 10 people aged over 50, accompanied by rural depopulation outside of centres such as Wellington, Tauranga and Hamilton.

  4. New Zealand, as a nation, is undoubtedly in serious trouble. The level of decline has been going on for so long without any effective efforts to stop it, that it could be questioned whether there is any serious desire to do so. Of course, a country cannot define forever, eventually it will reach a breaking point where the society simply collapses. Sometimes a collapse will be rapid, such as Argentina (which had financial mismanagement causing hyperinflation), or sometimes the collapse will be slower.

    New Zealand is one of those countries where the collapse is slow, but it is certainly happening. There is almost NOTHING in this country that functions properly, from the police force, public transport, roading infrastructure, health system, ecological management etc. The list of areas in partial collapse goes on and on.

    Nowhere is this situation clearer than in Christchurch, a city that has been devastated by earthquakes, that New Zealand is too POOR and incompetent to rebuild. Christchurch is a fantastic example of the state the country is now in.

    Of course, New Zealand IS a country where earthquakes are also a regular occurrence. The Alpine Fault, which is one of the largest faultiness in the world, is capable of producing massive quakes, and has now entered a period of increased activity. There WILL be more quakes along this faultline, it is only a question of when they happen (there have already been large quakes in Seddon and in other places since the Christchurch quakes). The most destructive quake that is predicted is for Wellington. This is a city little prepared for a major quake with about half of the city centre built on land pushed up from the last major quake, and only two land based approaches to the city, both of which are prone to slippage. When the quake does hit Wellington, the city will be likely to be cut off from land based help for MONTHS; diggers will have to clear away the large amount of rubble covering roads approaching Wellington before the city can receive any real help. Helicopters will be the only way to get any assistance to the city, as the airport is likely to be unusable and the docks may well be knocked out as well.

    This situation was well covered in a short documentary put out in 1996. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iBgKEdhvkFM

    I hope I’m wrong, but I believe that when this quake hits, it will be the final nail in the coffin of New Zealand as a nation. With two out of three of its major cities severely damaged, and no money to rebuild, the country will be unable to recover. This will push New Zealand over the edge into a final collapse, potentially turning the country into a developing nation.

    • turning the country into a developing nation

      Even developing nations integrate technology brought by “outsiders”, and generally welcome it.
      Not in NZ, and when push comes to shove, they’ll think “she’ll be right”, when the wheels have already fallen off and they are now dragging their wagon.

      • New Zealand is not a developing nation, but a nation in decline. While it can be argued that New Zealand has much in common with developing nations, and this is true, New Zealand is continuing to go backwards. The very definition of a developing nation, is that it is poor and undeveloped, AND MOVING FORWARD towards a better future.

        In many ways, developing nations are better off than New Zealand. At least developing nations have something to look forward too in the future. For New Zealand, the future is far less optimistic.

  5. You will hit a strong nucleus of opinion that New Zealand is an egalitarian country where everyone gets a fair go and poor people are a bunch of lazy bludgers who deserve all they get. It takes a brave person to stand up in the face of that onslaught. I take my hat off to the the likes of Louise Nicholas and the famillies at Pike River who have shown immense courage to stand up for Truth and ruffle the feathers.

  6. The agenda is not impossible to achieve, however it might be extremely difficult given what I understand about NZ’s current economic situation and what I’ve read on this site.
    NZ’s position as a First World/ Developed country is not guaranteed either, 100 years ago Argentina was one of the wealthiest nations in the world and predicted to leave Australia behind in development, instead it has staggered from one economic and political crisis to another and is now classed as ‘developing’. NZ obviously doesn’t even have an advantageous geo-poltical location like Argentina.

    Despite what some of the fantasists in the NZ MSN seem to believe, on long term trends, the country is in a relative decline. Do most Kiwis understand, or are they still in ‘cloud cuckoo land’?

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