Migrant Tales – Here is the Story of My Stay in New Zealand


toxicContinuing in our series of Migrant Tales – first hand accounts of the migrant experience of New Zealand.

Today’s tale was sent in by a reader. She is married to a New Zealander but even that didn’t ‘buy her an in’ to New Zealand. The “hell” of life in New Zealand for some people is a stark contrast to the amazing scenery. Lifestyle and the pleasant landscape are often used as bait to attract migrants to New Zealand, however its toxic culture and high cost of living are why so many of them don’t stay long.

Here’s her tale:

“Dear e2nz readers, here is my story of my short stay in NZ.

Short version: Married to New Zealander man, miserable 3 months, shortly returned to my country.

Long Version: I really want to share my story because, I am back in my country now and even though I tell people have they have no idea of the hell i gone through as they have this “amazing country” of NZ in their minds.They just can not understand me. I feel miserable of my decision to go to NZ and trying to get back my life now. After 1 year of dating, where we actually saw each other only 10 weeks, being madly in love I made the decision to get married to him. I read about all these nice things about Nz. Quit my job, rented my flat and went to be with him. I now hate the word kiwi, so saying New Zealander instead. So my New Zealander husband and i couldn’t make it. won’t get into details as this is not a relationship solution website.

The thing is apart from my relationship where i was mistreated, my whole experience was terrible. We were living in the south of Auckland in the same house with his mother that treated me like shit. The only place i could go by walking distance was the supermarket. The NZ goverment didnt give me a work visa although i had a big experience back my country. So there was no way i could get a job.( i needed to wait at least 6 months to apply for work visa) I had to depend on my husband which was terrible as i was living alone and earning my own money before. Looking back now i am questioning if the NZ culture has a bad effect on adult man. Would be a cliche and you might argue i was too naive to move there without knowing him well but as soon as i was there he kind of changed. I find myself as a woman who needs to get happy just becouse his husband come home in the evenings, I like to think i was brave enough to follow my love and try but didn’t work.

End of three months i couldn’t take it anymore. I am just glad i met wonderfull expat friends there. Saw nice places and amazing views. And really thats it.

The other things that made my life terrible in NZ:
1) Getting cold even in summer night. Can’t imagine the winter.
2) 30 hour train is 5$ something, life without a car is tough
3) Not felt secure as a women after it gets dark walking from train station to home.
4) What we could afford to eat outside was only burgers.
5) Being corrected all the time to use certain phrases or words they use in NZ, like they sea “tea” for dinner etc.
6) Obvious bad hygine in food places that receive “A” grade in hygene.
7) I could not afford to go to culturel things like concerts, theathres so i can not comment of these.
8) Eating healthy ( fruit and vegetables) crazy expensive.

Unless if you have money to afford things or live in a nice place, I would say NZ is a terrible place. I saw that people are so in debt they can not get loans from banks and getting loans in unbelievable interest rates from non bank places. This is illegal in my country.People are desperate and in the supermarket we go they would ( well us too) choose either not to buy any fruits for example or only get 1 kind.
Being so isolated and away from your family and friends and rest of the world, you expect a kind of quality of life. But in my opinion this doesnt exist in NZ.”

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14 thoughts on “Migrant Tales – Here is the Story of My Stay in New Zealand

  1. I’m an American that has lived and worked in the US, India, and Malaysia. My last job in Malaysia I met my wife. When the Malaysian economy started to take a turn and the Prime Minister started power grabbing at the end of 2014, we decided it was time to leave. We came to NZ on working holiday to get a feel for the country. We have now been here for over a year, met many wonderful people and seen several amazing places. We both have permanent employment in decent jobs. Sure, we have had hard times dealing with NZ immigration, and I had to apply for about 150 jobs. However, finding decent work in the US and Asia was just as hard; and visa’s were near to impossible. Additionally, we could never picture bringing up a kid in the US or Asia, though we can in NZ. So really I see a lot of people complaining about NZ (and I’m sorry for the negative experience), but compared to where I’ve been this NZ is quite great.

  2. Yes there is absolutely no skills shortage in NZ ( maybe except very good doctors and dentist) . When you look at the websites before you come, you think that it would be different once you are really located there.
    But thats not true. Nz definetly is not worth to be so far away from your country even the man you love lives there. I don’t want to generalise. But for sure this man you loved has taken his share of this “harden up” society that finds the solution of everything by hardening up. I would really be interested to read an academic paper about the effects of this kind of society in man while they grow up.

    I have been seing a lot of children walking bare foot in supermarkets, to school and around. So I asked and they answered me. “Well NZ kids are so free here they can walk bare foot around. Nz is a great place to have kids.” I don’t know if i should have taken this comment seriosly but What!!!!
    I guess this would be my last concern whether my child can walk bare foot around, if i ever had decided to have a child in NZ. Now I am thinking this is probably a way to make kids get used to the bad insulation and make them get used to cold since childhood. After reading more of this website I am really glad that i got out.

    • So much of the “we’re in tune with nature, laid back and won’t be pushed around” attitude is actually:
      We’re seriously strapped for cash, want to do things willy-nilly and can’t afford the licensing or inspection fees.

      But it sounds cool, and provides a lot better newspaper copy to say that they do things in respect of nature, without red tape, and are action-oriented, doesn’t it?

  3. I lived in London when I was 16. Lots of kiwis visiting. Right in the middle of a conversation with a twenty something female she just spat in my face. It gave me a very valuable insight that has served me well these last thirty years. There have been many other typical kiwi
    behaviours I have observed. I understand Kiwis have problems with Americans and Australians too. New Zealand meat is 100% halal.

  4. There is no skills shortage in N.Z and it’s very difficult to find a job here ,unless you are willing to take a job which will not pay you a living wage.There is nothing else to know if you have a reasonable job in your home country and are considering coming here for social reasons or because you watched Lord of the Rings or something ,do not do it .

    • This is so true. It’s so bad. They advertising all the time, come to NZ because of good opportunities. Fucking good opportunities you will be robbed and stuck. I am pretty sure each of immigrant want to work and would not go to countries like Nepal, or Kenya to live, even though there are beautiful countries. So why the hell this is happening in this case. I am so sick of this paradise view of NZ, those people are making this place so sick. I know that media can brainwash but in NZ is just no brain even to be washed out…sorry for all those who never find a work there, or will be living below expectation in a unhealthy home. I was applying recently for an Australian visa, and when I was doing my health check I asked why is such a big difference between NZ health check (as I had this how to call it unpleasure to live in NZ before, so I went through the process of health check to NZ before), the guy who is carrying out those checks said to me that the big difference is in hospital facilities and the whole health system, in NZ he said there are struggling and are not capable of taking on bard any illness which is more complicated, this is why they are checking us so wisely to avoid bad surprises at the paradise of hell.

  5. Thank you all so much for your support. Means really a lot to share with people who have the experience.
    Life is for sure difficult where I live in my country, like in everywhere else but at least people around me don’t act like everything is perfect.

  6. Yes! I imagine it’s really tough for many migrants to gain employment when other migrants, more notably those from The UK seem to gain employment more readily. However, there just doesn’t seem to be as many jobs supplied to meet demand. For instance, I over three years admin experience, currently work part-time as an Administrator, posses a BA degree, admin quals, have applied for 150 jobs and even been told by some of the employers where 100+ people applied for one role. I was born here, have a euro name and yet this hasn’t even been successful in gaining a full time role. The supply doesn’t seem to be there for the low end admin roles for example. What’s worse is lulling migrants over to expend copious amounts of money only to find that it’s extremely difficult to gain a Nursing role even though they’re qualified. NZ should be more transparent to migrants rather than making them pay and expending enormous effort, money and time.

  7. I was a returning New Zealander in a situation like yours, returning for love. Loved the girl, but NZ completely freaked me out. I left in 1996, and it’s gone steadily downhill do to general apathy, depression and stupidity. Luckily, like you, I got out relatively intact. Lovelorn and sad but glad as hell to be gone from this place. Godzone? More like godawful!

  8. 3 years back we went to see a rental property in Birkenhead (Auckland), the moment we walked into the property my partner felt this eerie vibe and as soon as we walked through the door the menace was ready to be seen.

    The kiwi couple that lived there had fought (and probably lived there) in such a terrible way that we could see the husbands’ jandals lying on the bed, the sheets were torn, the pillows were no where to be seen. There was one semi-torn sofa in the hall way. Never in my life have I seen such a shoddy house. We could not believe our eyes, it was just any civilized marriage – thankfully the couple were not home on that day.

    The agent (who was an expat too) was so apologetic about showing that place to us.

  9. Its all true and real in all the places. You really lucky you got out there because most man are undiagnosed. The medical research and treatment is light years behind devoloped countries. Most of them suffer from manic depression, bipolar disorder and other brain illnesses. The isolation and the heavy metals in food and water also contribute to their severe state. Also, the lack of social interaction drives them to rapid-incest-breeding of the cretins. The walking death- that’s what I saw.

    • Dear subscriberds, I also experience the same as all you guys. Were ever I went to it was shit. Expensive, rudeness, stupidity, crime and on and on and on. Even Kiwis themselves describe places like Queenstown as a Tourist trap. In fact whole NZ is like this. Please do yourself a favour. Save as much as you can and Leave!! Good luck for everyone. You not alone.

  10. Thanks for sharing your story. I can relate so well with everything you said of course, and I know exactly what you mean when friends and family back home have absolutely know clue what you went through in Nz and the depths of despair and financial agony many people suffer coming to this bullshit country. It is infuriating when they say to you that NZ seems amazing etc and they somehow think you are lying or your experience is just an isolated one, where as the reality is, it is widespread but they believe in the fairy tale lies immigration advertises. “Come to NZ it is amazing and so wonderful” translation-“we are lying through our teeth, we need your money and you will be exploited”.

    I too can not afford to go to events or concerts etc. Every dollar I spend i have to account for. Turning on a heater in winter is like burning through a dollar a minute (well it feels like it) and I’ve been wrongly over charged so many times over the years but this is a deliberate ploy, not a mistake or clerical error. Kiwis are very conniving and sometimes not at all too clever about it.

    Glad you got out. Don’t EVER go back!

  11. Hi you are not alone. I last there for 6 months and I totally understand you. You are brave not stupid nothing wrong to go after a man that you love. I think if every woman will go after their man of life, people generally would be happier in life because of trust value. I hope you did not spend too much money. For me this was exactly the same this is nightmare place and the culture – lack of the culture actually is making me sick, people are never mature there or something is very wrong with the society…in my opinion good on you that you escaped so quickly, as we might end up in different section of this website – stuck with a kid for 16 years….

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