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.