Migrant Tales – Here Since 1984 and The Grass Isn’t Any Greener

New Zealand isn’t a life hack – just more of the same with added BS.

Welcome to the latest in popular Migrant Tales series – first hand accounts of the migrant experience of New Zealand.

Today’s tale was written by a British migrant who has been in New Zealand since they were 10 years old. Its a good example of how parents construct a fantasy of New Zealand for themselves and their children to justify their move, and how the realty turns out to be very different.

Here’s their tale:

“I have been here since 1984 and arrived as a ten year old.

I was told that we would go for holidays every weekend and that life would be fantastic. In reality you work really hard for little money. Basic living essentials such as houses, food, power etc are over priced so you end up with very little disposable income. People are nowhere near as friendly. You have many acquaintances but it’s difficult to get close to people. I live in Auckland so it’s difficult to see friends in Auckland after work and on weekends due to the traffic problems.

I don’t feel any safer in Auckland than in England although I think the police do a great job. The scenery is beautiful but so is the English scenery when you haven’t seen it for awhile. It’s beautiful but in a different way and you have cheap travel to more beautiful countries in Europe just on your doorstep. There is so much more to do in England and in my town once you’ve made a friend you’ve made it for life. I definitely plan to go back to England and should have done it years ago.

If you’re thinking of living in NZ think what do you value. If it’s family and friends don’t go. If it’s beaches then go, but remember if you don’t have a lot of money you have to work which eats up most of your time. The weather is not all it’s cracked up to be (in Auckland anyhow). We get a lot of rain and we can have four seasons in one day just like England. The houses are very cold so New Zealand winters actually feel a lot colder than they actually are with most people only heating one or two rooms of the house due to expense.

Please think really seriously before moving over to New Zealand. You will still have the same problems in New Zealand – the grass is always greener on the other side.

Life is what you make it and unless you live in a third world country there are no benefits, unless of course you want to escape from your family and friends. If you have no family in New Zealand it is very difficult when at times you may need support. New Zealanders tend to like to keep to themselves and most neighborhoods are not neighborly.”

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4 thoughts on “Migrant Tales – Here Since 1984 and The Grass Isn’t Any Greener

  1. I’ve been here on and off for nearly 8 years and have one friend that I barely trust. I can get by on my own company plus I have kids to keep me preoccupied but the fact is I couldn’t be bothered anymore with the reaching out. I found myself doing the initiating even at parties where they all knew I was new to the country. I can be gregarious when in the mood but with kiwis its a waste of time and effort. They are mostly rude and obnoxious. Its like you have to say hello to them first to get a greeting or you get nothing. I got sick of all that after a while so I keep my distance and rather have nothing to do with them. I’ve had people in my house who then totally ignore me on the street or at sports events. If I don’t go up and make the effort they’ll sit back. That really irked me and still does. Now I have full on detached myself from them. I realise I am not missing out on much anyway. Their arrogance astounds me and I’ve had several confrontations with individuals at sporting events my kids are involved in. Accusations of cheating whilst volunteering to referee football matches cause no one else could be bothered. I’ve offered the whistle to them so they could do a better job of it than me and they always refuse and prefer to heckle from the sideline. To be fair, cheating is a way of life here. Everyone thinks everyone is a cheat so that’s why I get accused of it. I coached my boy’s football team after a parent dropped out because he couldn’t get to pick his side. This was a school team mind you and he wanted to choose all the best players in the one team and leave the other team with the stragglers. To the schools credit they mixed both teams up. I stepped into the role reluctantly and made sure every player got equal game time. This apparently was unprecedented. I learned even more about the backstabbing kiwi during my tenure as coach. I’d experienced it at work too. I’ve learned never to trust them or even like them. It’s all one way traffic. I’m from Australia and am use to people being brutally honest about things no matter how rude. It’s not perfect but at least it’s out in the open. Kiwis prefer underhanded stuff. The coward’s option I call it. They never look you in the eye and if they do they don’t blink for a second. Can’t stand them because I can’t trust them.

    • Wow! This post spoke volumes to me. I’ve lived here for 4 years now. I do have a handful of wonderful friends but don’t trust many others in our tiny community. I came from Oz also, and got to work trying to improve our very rural and extremely backwards coastal town. There were no toilets at a very busy surfing beach and tourists were forced to defecate on the beach. Another like minded half Aussie organised portable toilets over the busy Summer months. We also had no playground for our young children so I set about applying for grants and ultimately got one built. These are just a couple examples of the community projects that I’ve helped to manifest. From one of my projects, a few local people labeled me a scam artist and started spreading malice about me to anyone who’d listen. I continually get harassed, have had my letter box stolen, car door kicked in, dog almost run over, local gossip attempt to convince my partner that I’m a fraud, people arrive at our property to abuse us just to name a few. This has been such a bizarre experience and I occasionally feel like I’m perhaps missing something or losing my mind! It’s been a full on assault to the senses. As a Canadian born and raised who lived 12years in Australia without any problems like this whatsoever, I’m going to put NZ in the too hard basket. We have 3 children, live in the woop woops, have zero support besides a handful of lovely friends and frankly, I wonder what the hell we were thinking. It seemed such a romantic notion, living in a tiny town, just at an almost private surf break, big house on the hill looking down, fruit trees, veggie garden, living the Dream. Now we feel as though we’ve stepped into a nightmare. The majority of locals seem to have a solid aversion to tall poppies (we built a big, new, beautiful house) and we’ve become a real target since then. And the bullying!! Kiwis are the biggest bunch of bullies I’ve seen. This may just be a small town kiwi thing but truthfully, I’ve stepped back in time 40 or so years moving here. That includes human rights and knowledge of relating to others. Be careful what you wish for and be sure to make a VERY informed decision before moving here.

  2. I can’t believe that someone who came as a 10 year old has trouble making lifelong friends- that says a lot about this country. I have found that people are perfectly friendly and polite but no matter how many cups of tea you have together or how much you are starting to share with each other, you will still be in the outer circle of relationships. It’s very much a concentric circle type thing and only in the INNERMOST circle do people feel they can be their authentic selves. I came here as a 40 year old and have been very friendly with some people- meeting for endless cups of tea and breakfasts together- but have found that there is no way that I will ever be able to make “good friends” here, due to people already having their inner circles and with me being a foreigner, no matter how much someone may find you interesting or a breath of fresh air, you will never even get close to becoming real “friends”. So sad.

    Must agree with the financial part as well. Living on husband’s almost 100k income, but no holidaying, no road trips, no camping, no fun weekends- and not because we’re saving all of our money. No, there is none left at the end of the fortnight, actually none left after about a week and just on pure survival mode for about a week until payday. You can say that I’m mismanaging my money, or… could it be that this s***hole is so overpriced in every way possible that you are bled dry before you can say “WTF?!” So no matter how fantastic the scenery, you don’t get to even enjoy that. Reality check.

  3. Luckily i found more info about new zealand.Went there twice for vacation and love it.Even planned to migrate leaving everthing.but after reading so many article.ITS NO

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