Welcome to our Migrant Tales series – first hand accounts of the migrant experience of New Zealand.
Today’s tale was part of a thread here at E2NZ.org. The author, a Canadian who had previously lived in Australia, felt like she’d stepped back forty years when she moved to New Zealand, and not in a good way…
“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.”
For more Migrant Tales click here.