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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