Welcome to another first hand account of migrant life in New Zealand – part of our very popular Migrant Tales series.
This tale is from a British migrant that has endured New Zealand’s infamous tally poppy syndrome. After 21 years of witnessing New Zealand’s increasing murder rates, pollution, family violence culture, mental health issues and one of the worst suicide rates in the OECD this is why she’s taking her family back to England:
“! came to NZ in 1996 from Lancashire. Tall Poppy syndrome rules the NZ workplace along with anti POM sentiment. I now have two daughters 8 and 10 and want to return to the UK at the end of this year. Maybe West Yorkshire, Solihull or anywhere really. I’m not sure how I would get the kids into schools or go about organising health care anymore but I am sure we would manage. I’ll be 48 when we move back. Even on visits over the years Ive made friends in the UK. 21 years in NZ and still floundering around with any real friends at all.
NZers get very defensive should you mention or compare anything, yet they are free to say anything they want including “go back to POm land” if they dont like what you have to say.
Those that have not travelled or have led insulated lives here are really not open to any kind of debate or criticism. Such attitudes that ignore issues contribute to the increasing homicide rates, mental health issues, self-harm of youngsters and one of the highest suicide rates of a ‘western’ world. People live with these issues and they pervade the whole of society.
NZ also has a terrible family violence culture. All true but largely swept under the carpet in favour of ads that outline the scenery (which is stunning) and overlook the disgusting filthy polluted water ways. There are many Pro’s to living in NZ but there are equally as many Con’s as anyone with half a brain can entertain. Unfortunately making any observation not in favour of NZ being shown as the land of honey and paradise is met with aggressive defense, abuse and intolerance – a way to ignore the issues which is contributing to why NZ is struggling with so many issues currently. It is impossible to fix a country unless the problems are acknowledged and accepted. So, I guess youth crime will continue to rise, family violence will increase, death of children and those vulnerable due to cold, damp, unseated housing and mental health and suicide rates will not significantly change.
Agencies trying to force change are vastly underfunded and mental health services in NZ are abysmal. Being an immigrant elicits comments of “if you dont like it leave” or “go back where you came from” and then people do leave because they get fed up of trying to help change a cycle of abuse that NZers don’t want to see or be bothered with. Its very very sad. Sad that children are still being battered to death, suicide rates are still high and mental health issues are tenacious.
I wonder what needs to happen before NZers see that it isn’t all roses and blooms and change is needed without the abuse towards and aggression towards those that have tried and continue to try and highlight those areas that need change for THEIR sake, sanity, children and future generations…… might never happen.”