Migrant Tales – Canadian In Queenstown Says Nice Scenery, Shame About the Rest


Queenstown. It’s not all about the scenery (image Google Street View).

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

Today’s tale was sent in by a Canadian who gave Queenstown a fair go for two years, and then left. Why? for a decent future and a warm home.

Here’s their tale:

“I just moved home to Toronto, Canada after 2 years in Queenstown. Obviously Queenstown and the Central Otago region is stunningly beautiful. And much of NZ is gorgeous also. Where I’m from in Canada is ugly in comparison.

But that’s where the buck stops. I just couldn’t face another winter shivering in a cold, damp, moldy house that costs 50% more than a rental in Toronto. Try complaining about it and the Kiwis act like you’re a whinging pansy. Even my house builder and property manager friends couldn’t understand the virtues of insulation, double glazing and central heating.

The high cost of living and the lack of real opportunity or consumer choice also took its toll on me. NZ is great if you want to go camping and hiking and get away from the world for a couple years. But they seriously need to get their shit together with regards to housing and roads and infrastructure. I can put up with high prices if the wages are good, but unlike Australia you’re forced to skimp and live in poverty like conditions if you want to save money. I made an almost decent wage compared to most other people in my field in this town, I can’t imagine how the rest of them survived.

Now I’m home in Canada and immediately I see how much better everything is here. Houses are always warm, trains and buses run mostly on time, people show up to work on time and work hard. Bars don’t need security staff at all times to deal with all the drunken rednecks because people can actually control themselves and their drinking. Best of all I can actually afford to eat well again and I can save for a decent future.

I recommend that anyone thinking about moving to NZ does some serious research before making the jump. Unless you’re from a developing country you probably won’t have a better life there.

Good luck to all!”

Click here for hundreds more Migrant Tales

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2 thoughts on “Migrant Tales – Canadian In Queenstown Says Nice Scenery, Shame About the Rest

  1. Thought it was time for this article to get an update: Queenstown is now a real-life Láodòng Gǎizào(勞動改造/劳动改造)/GULAG(Glavnoe Upravlenie ispravitel’no-trudovykh LAGerei)/ Kwalliso(관리소)/work camp simulator:
    40 people to a property, eight people to a room: inside the nightmare that is renting in Queenstown
    By Peter Newport
    March 24, 2017

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