“New Zealand Will Give You a Free Trip If You Agree to a Job Interview” and The LookSee Wellington Privacy Fail

Come for the cheese, stay for the low pay and lack of career opportunities

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.

Here’s why…

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 tweet was made 4 days ago…


This was tweeted on 3 March…

This privacy promise is given on the LookSee Wellington FAQ’s page:

Privacy fail. Good job WREDA didn’t try to organise a *drinking session* in a brewery too…

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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16 thoughts on ““New Zealand Will Give You a Free Trip If You Agree to a Job Interview” and The LookSee Wellington Privacy Fail

  1. I stayed in Taupo a couple of weeks ago ,nice motel 30% occupied by displaced housing N.Z tenants ,my room was $120 per night so I can only imagine how much the taxpayer is paying for displaced N.Z citizens to live in motels ,I read it was 8 million every three months .Seems this now the governments answer to the housing crisis except that now we have a shortage of accomodation for tourists( the people who actually bring money into our economy) .I wonder if this is now a long term housing strategy or just to make the homeless figures remain moderate until election time later this year.This is what happens when a bunch of uneducated ,greedy corrupt inbred idiots are given the authority to govern a small island nation.

  2. Yes bring more people here ,that’s what we need ,taxpayers are already forking out 32 million dollars per year for our citizens to live in motels because our government sold off the state owned (taxpayer owned ) housing,the drinking water is poisonous in multiple locations ( government is giving our drinking water away for free to foreign nationals) currently our biggest city Auckland is under a water rationing advisory,the streets of Auckland are gridlocked ,worse than New York according to recent news,Wellington has the longest commute times in the Pacific region ,housing is now next to impossible to find anywhere there are job opportunities,( two places ,Wellington or Auckland) expect to pay $500 per week for a basic shit box house usually much more ,expect to get the lowest wages in the western world while you pay the highest prices for electricity ,phone ,Internet rates etc Yes let us taxpayers provide the red carpet treatment to all who may want to come here and share our already overburdened failing infrastructure,yes and we will all be good smiling friendly kiwis while we pay to build infrastructure for all the new residents our leaders are welcoming with images of hobbits and snow feed streams,bush clad mountains and tropical oceans hahahahaha come on suckers

    • You forgot to mention If you own 10 highly leveraged houses life is great. Youll have no problem renting them out to P manufacturer’s who supply a 1/10 of new Zealand population who are on the drug because they are trying to escape the fact they are ‘ finacially screwed ‘in this place. Problem is if you have money your probably be mugged by these very same people

  3. Always remember that you are no more on planet earth but on Planet New Zealand. You will feel much better than and be able to accept things much better if you have this mindset. You are now in Planet New Zealand where all rules on Planet Earth do not exist anymore In NZ they do everything differently. Employers want to hire the cheapest person for the job and a total mouse like yes man/woman who can be bullied in their workplace. Hiring someone based sole on merit is something alien mindset in Planet NZ. Kiwis, the residents of Planet NZ, do not understand words like merit, productive, commitment to excellence, continuous improvement , love for education etc. The residents of Planet NZ hey just want to make quick money exploiting people Many employers in Planet NZ behave like feudal lords where they think they are king and workers are like their slaves.This situation arises due of lack of jobs in NZ giving too much power to the employer. Also, if you want to change jobs, a bad reference from your former employer will destroy your hopes of finding a job in the same industry. This because NZ is so small and everyone knows everyone else – it is like an incestous relationship between employers and everyone else. So very often people are stuck in jobs they don’t like at the mercy of their employer who may threaten not to give them a good reference if their leave their current job with their employer. Very much a mafia like tactic.
    What they don’t realise is that people from overseas will not tolerate the wild wild west behaviors of Planet New Zealand and many can quickly move on to another country to work.

    If you really want to work in Planet NZ, always fight for rights in the workplace here. That is what I do always and I was called the Godfather by some of my workplace mates and good friends. Do not be afraid of locals in Planet NZ as most are just cowardly backstabbing bullies. Once you confront them face to face and tell them politely but firmly that you know your rights and will not allow them to bully you anymore and that you will also not tolerate their back stabbing nonsense, they will become afraid of you. If they persist in bullying you, warn them that you will complain to higher authorities like the anti discrimination /human rights commissions, Fair Go/Target and other citizen rights TV programes, and the Press. Feel free to shame them in public if they carry on bullying you. Once more and more people are no more afraid, begin to have the guts to stand up for their rights and when their numbers reach critical mass, the work culture here will have to change. Employers in Planet NZ will then have no choice then but to respect worker rights and learn to hire people on merit

    • I agree with your sentiment but I think you will find those that stand up to the employer quickly have there working visa pulled.

      I actually liken what you say to a pack of dogs fighting over a bone (worker rights). Those feeding out the food really don’t give a shit about the dogs and aren’t to worried if a few get injuries or die in the fight. The feeder may get there hands nipped a few times but thats about all. If a dog does bite however it will get ‘put down’ in the long run.

      By all means people can waste their lives fighting the bullshit but maybe a better idea is to go somewhere were there is not so much of it.

    • It will never change ,this has been ensured by overpopulating the country,most people are reaching some form of desperation and are way to scared to complain ,if you are unemployed you face a six month stand down period at the unemployment office and will receive $200 per week after six weeks if you’re lucky enough to be accepted ,that should be enough to buy you a can of soup for each meal while you freeze in your soon to be repossessed car ,apparently Auckland is the most liveable city in the world,I assume whoever decided that has never left N.Z and lives in Taihape.

      • Don’t forget they will strip you of every asset you have before you get the money for the can of soup and cardboard box.

  4. Oh, and that cretin Dean Hall who ripped off Arma is representative of the Kiwi mindset to pay people fuck all money in a job which should be paying 50 grand annually MINIMUM.

  5. “Think carefully before committing to New Zealand. It can be a filthy little hole.”

    Correction-it IS a filthy little hole, make no mistake. I still shake my head when in my car, I pass tourists walking by on the pavement with big rucksacks, and a smile on their face. I want to pull up and warn them that the place isn’t the ‘keeewl, chilled out, pretty place’ they were told it was. And to tell them not to stay for more than a coupe of weeks.

    Most of them will prob be robbed in a backpackers or assaulted in their camper vans by shit head deranged Kiwis.

    The many tourists I still see coming here to Christchurch means that NZ’s bullshit propaganda still works.

    Even family and Brits back home believe New Zealand is ‘beautiful’. Sick and tired of trying to educate them but they won’t listen, so fuck em.

    • You speak the truth,Everytime I see the young people from other countries hitchhiking or camping I want to warn them that this place is incredibly dangerous however I know they won’t believe me so I leave them to their fate

      • Yeh and they are only in NZ for a short time and will tell everyone back home how ‘awesome’ it was.

  6. And the comments from

    Betty2017, Birmingham, United Kingdom, 1 hour ago
    I am UK born and live in New Zealand, it is a beautiful place and great for kids, however, its very expensive a family of 4 will pay about $400 a week on basic food rent is in the high $400 + region housing in Auckland is just stupid 3 bedroom wooden houses sell for $700K plus wellington is also having a housing shortage meaning rents and houses are rising . i advise anyone thinking of it to do their homework on wages cost of living etc. I am waiting to get citizenship then of to Australia more affordable, Love Nz and the people but they certainly do not look after normal working class folk.

    ProudTrumpSupporter, Beverly Hills California, United States, 2 hours ago
    For the truth about the falsely marketed country New Zealand, go to e2nz dot org. There you can read stories from THOUSANDS of people who emigrated to NZ or who already live there who know the truth about the broken, failed nightmarish country of New Zealand.

    Polly.Glot, Auckland, 9 hours ago
    Hang on….my British husband applied for over 100 IT jobs when we returned to NZ 6 years ago. No interest in him, despite 35+ years’ experience – initially with Royal Navy Seaslug missiles in the early days of computers. The hint is in the 35+ years’ experience. He was over 60. Shock horror….FAR too old to be competent!

    Susanne, Auckland, New Zealand, 10 hours ago
    I live in NZ and this is the first I’ve heard of this. Last week in our news students about to start Uni couldn’t find flats in the overheated rental market in Wellington and now we are paying people to come over. This is madness. I’m pretty angry about it especially since the article says us taxpayers are fitting the bill for the tech worker’s holiday. I’d like to know which politicians are responsible for authorizing something so stupid.
    Itsjustmyview, London, United Kingdom, 4 hours ago
    As much as the points that you mentioned are important and no doubt your government needs to address them, there is very little correlation with the skills shortage. It’s getting a bit tiresome to read anti immigrant rhetoric particularly for highly skilled immigrants who contribute so much. I would understand if you were saying that these university students where IT students. I would also understand if you were saying that there are thousands of unemployed highly skilled New Zealand IT professionals. Since you mentioned neither, I’m a bit confused as to how you propose this is dealt with in the short term. Yes your government most certainly needs to encourage the local population to attain these IT skills in the medium term, however in the short term if there is a shortage it needs to be filled- regardless of nationality. High skilled immigrants who move thousands of miles to help struggling nations fill vital skills should be praised instead they receive contempt.

    • I wonder how many people fall for the scam. This is how New Zealand suckers people in. They are still up to their old tricks, the charlatans.

  7. Haha, that reminds me, I know a person at WREDA, Michelle. 🙂
    I wonder how many people from Asia will get suckered into this scheme, where the know-nothing manager will claim credit for the job done by the skilled workers.
    Or will they practice some kind of “management judo” and say that trying to claim credit when you are a worker is very dishonourable for an Asian person …?

    • I bet they initially get a ‘free’ trip to New Zealand, but it will be taken out of their wages weekly until it’s all paid up. Plus they will have to share a room with 6 other people.

      Sounds like such a great deal!

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