This is a copy of a post that was back-linked from the Hacker News site recently, regarding paid trips to NZ to attend job interviews.
The interviews are for IT/Tech jobs in Wellington (Ed. apparently, New Zealand is short of low-paid, but skilled, tech workers right now so they thought they’d trawl abroad for people).
Remember, when something sounds too good to be true, its usually a huge disappointment.
New Zealand Will Give You a Free Trip If You Agree to a Job Interview
8 days ago comments
Much of this is dead on, but some of it is completely wrong.
What’s right: There’s not much money to be made as an employee, and the further south you head, the worse it is. About 15 minutes south of Christchurch onwards, employers have this idea that they’ve hired you so you owe them. If you work in Dunedin, expect very low wages and a requirement for unpaid overtime from 25% of your ordinary hours upwards; my last fulltime job there was working 70 hours a week and then taking another 5-15 hours home, meaning I was paid illegally – $4/hour less than minimum wage.
Worker protections are collapsing, and discrimination against age and disabilities is rife. A friend of mine couldn’t get a job because he was 46, and one particular company I applied to loved me until they learned I had a disability.
Employers were surveyed a couple of years ago (I can’t find the article that reported it, I think it was on the New Zealand Herald website) and a good portion of them said that discrimination against the disabled was disgusting and should be punished, but they were willing to do it for their own businesses.
Anti-intellectualism is also quite strong here, and many emigrants from the country are exporting the attitude. One particular individual gave me hell for years, for bothering to get a CS degree. “Why bother? You can get corporate experience in your home!” He refused to get his head around the whole CS != IT thing. (I’ve recently discovered that he’s gone to university to get himself a degree in design, quite the hypocrite.)
Housing is terrible, again the further south you go the worse it is, with the worst (oldest) in Dunedin. I rented a house down there that had no underfloor insulation, shredded paper as insulation in the roof space, with gaps around doors and windows I could fit fingers through. It was just two bedrooms, and you have to perform section maintenance (i.e. mow the lawns, trim the hedges) too. That’s par for the course, and cost about 40% of our wages. If you want a warm and nicely insulated three bedroom house, you’d be looking at nearer to 60% of your income.
I heard of one research project into energy efficiency in Dunedin housing, where it was revealed that 70% of energy (might have been more) is leaked out of a house before a person is warmed.
Food is quite expensive, too.
Public transport is godawful.
There is very little to do – shops and cafes do close early, although restaurants, bars, and fast food joints are open late. If you’re into the big four sports, you’re fine (rugby and it’s derivatives, cricket, netball, and hockey) otherwise you’re basically out of luck. There are some paintball courses and that kind of thing, but basically if you’re not into sports or hunting, be prepared to be taunted. There’s a very vocal but relatively small section (~37%) of the population who believe that sports are manly and anybody who doesn’t like sports is of dubious sexuality. Oh, and if the local rugby team (the All Blacks) lose a match, domestic violence rates as well as general assaults go up as people look to avenge that defeat, but if the team wins, general assaults go up as people go out looking to boost how great the country is.
If you get a “decent” job working in IT, you will likely be expected to go far beyond what would be expected for your role. Watch out for “…and anything else we say is your job,” clauses in your contracts. Also make sure you get copies of your contracts (my last five jobs illegally refused to provide me with one and made it very clear that if I made a fuss about it, I would never work again).
Let’s see, what wasn’t mentioned. You have to love it here, if you don’t you’ll be told to “go back where you came from.”
If you cross a particular politician (Paula Bennett), she can and will release all your private information if she likes, and not get in any trouble for it. Google it, if you doubt me.
If you want to hear the absolute worst of the country, browse this: https://e2nz.org/migrant-stories/
It’s not all that bad, and I always made a point of accepting people for who they are and how they behave towards me. As someone who lived there for years, there is quite honestly no future in the place unless you have a significant income stream.
What’s wrong: people don’t work hard here.
Not completely wrong, but I will explain. In my last job, I wasn’t the only one working double my hours – my immediate boss was working the same hours I was, plus another 20% at one point. I’m sure you can imagine why many people don’t bother putting in a good effort. That particular workplace, very few worked to the best of their ability because there was no recognition for it (the guy running the place took the credit, and the cash bonus) and it meant that was your new standard.
His boss was working 8 hours a day, getting paid almost $100k/year. He made (and probably makes) the worst decisions imaginable, such as rolling staff cuts but increasing workload for staff who are already working some hours for free each day. He’ll pay attractive female staff members much more (as much as 2 1/3 times), but if you’re a plain or unattractive female you get only slightly more (measured in cents) than the males, who get minimum. Try and do something about it, you’ll wind up meeting a half dozen of the owner’s friends. Also see this: https://e2nz.org/2015/01/27/migrant-tales-engineer-says-new-Zealand-is-not-a-place-to-work
tl;dr: if you’re in a low paid job, you have to do more work. If you’re in a high paid job, you do little and blame others for what goes wrong.
Think carefully before committing to New Zealand. It can be a filthy little hole.
Badly coded site “Down for Maintenance”
Of course, the ultimate irony is that the The Look See Wellington site advertising the free interview trips is temporarily down for maintenance.
This privacy promise is given on the LookSee Wellington FAQ’s page:
A few hours after this article was published, late to the game as always – the NZ press obviously came across our investigation on Twitter and started their own: LookSee Wellington privacy breach forces website shutdown
Personal details of tech experts who applied for free trips to Wellington for job interviews could have been seen by others.
Wellington Regional Economic Development Agency (Wreda) says a privacy breach forced it to shut down the LookSee website on Thursday.
Absolutely, positively Wellington. Guess their tech support isn’t all its cracked up be?
She’ll be right. Heck, people want to come to New Zealand for the ‘laid back‘ lifestyle. Don’t they…?
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