Migrant Tales – Now we feel as though we’ve stepped into a nightmare… I’ve stepped back in time 40 or so years moving here

Leaving the present day behind isn’t what you think it will be…

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.

10 thoughts on “Migrant Tales – Now we feel as though we’ve stepped into a nightmare… I’ve stepped back in time 40 or so years moving here

  1. Come and work in New Zealand. Be open about where you were born. Buy a house and integrate. Don’t modify your accent. Wait ten years. Get back to me.

  2. All of the above experiences are remarkably similar to my own. Returning to NZ after a decade in Europe, only to be viewed as a “threat” and actively persecuted by the community for it. The very first impression – which was extremely obvious – upon my return to NZ was the inherent sense of false superiority that Pakeha feel towards non-Pakeha. I live rural, remote, and it is especially palpable in the “wop wops”. Most local Pakeha (minority of the population) are business owners who seem intent/entitled to personally profit from exploiting the deprivation, illiteracy and poverty of local non-Pakeha (majority of the population). The whole process of colonisation has created a societal chasm of the “haves” and “have nots”, and this is considered to be socially just and acceptable. The second evident phenomenon was the blatant misogyny. I’ve lost count of how many times I have had to endure the sight & sound of a female being beaten by a male, whilst her own family members watch and do nothing. If she does get the gumption to “run away”, her own family members will return her to her abuser. Positively medieval indeed. The rate of child abuse and neglect is horrific. Again, I continue to see/hear scenes of children left to their own devices due to their primary caregivers (parent/grandparents) drinking and drugging elsewhere, day or night. If their own family members see absolutely nothing wrong with the abuse and neglect – how is a community/society supposed to change that fact? Another obvious aspect of life in NZ is the chronic abuse of “Government Funding”, otherwise known as the NZ Govt offloading their social responsibilities by contracting out essential services such as Health/Education/Social Services/Corrections etc. Indeed, our local police actively participate in criminal activity, be it cannabis cultivation or sexual abuse. Sexual Abuse is HUGE in NZ, it occurs at all levels of society and a search on google will come up with: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11715079, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Louise_Nicholas, http://newzealandchildabuse.com/, http://www.newshub.co.nz/home/new-zealand/2017/04/opinion-state-care-abuse-robbed-thousands-of-their-futures.htm – and many more besides.
    How did NZ become so f***ed up?? Your guess is as good as mine, but there is a definite inter-generational pattern of abuse & neglect, functionning from the top down. If you wish to keep your family safe, do not move to NZ. You will live to regret it.

  3. Ahhhhh this is such great therapy for me. Thanks to all of you who have taken the time to write down your experiences. So it would appear that we are not the common denominators. The unmistakable, it’s not me, it’s you philosophy. It has been a humbling experience, as I’ve always travelled with the “popular” crowd and have never had an issue with making friends or relating to others. I suppose the one major issue I have (if I can trim it down to that) is the lack of two sided, stimulating conversation, where debate is encouraged in a healthy atmosphere. Here, it’s either shunned or used against you. I feel slightly more sane after getting this off my chest, so thank you all.

  4. I am currently in the Middle East, and I am terrified to go back to New Zealand, with its crime and lawlessness and its bizarre culture of non-culture. It is anti-environment and anti-community and anti-law and anti-culture and anti-learning, and well, anti -everything. It is darn anti-social and most probably anti anyone who is not a stereotypical Kiwi. I am so sorry for your situation, and I can fully empathize. A similar thing happened to me in a small remote rural community, within a most beautiful scenic reserve in the South Island, East coast. I purchased the house while overseas, due to the stunning vista, and the natural environment, and thought (imagined) that the community would be manageable, like anywhere in the world. I am well traveled, and I have lived in Asia and the Middle East (where I am now) and basically I am still here because I am too scared to go back to New Zealand, to my home (and believe it or not I am a Kiwi;- and this makes it even worse for me). I have been run out, and I have received several years of criminal harassment, and two major attacks on my property (cutting down my trees). These attacks were because I am a conservationist, and I wanted the existing law and legislation to be followed. Yes – rules and law, heaven forbid.
    The village is located within a scenic reserve and when I purchased the house, in 2010, the village was stunning. It has been continuously trashed in the last seven years by a small group of residents who think that trees are rubbish (yes I know that this is bat-shit crazy). I thought at first that maybe it was an education problem, but now I realize that they are a collection ofsick and perverse people with absolutely no values. They are running on empty inside and are filled with crazy ideas and madness. The core group uses alcohol and drugs of course- and its culturally accepted. Some of them are really cruel to animals (I have had to contact the SPCA several times) and they are misogynistic as well. I am really hated apparently because I am international, educated, an environmentalist, and a strong woman. And I have a vagina. This seems to push all their buttons. At first I thought that it was a bizarre time warp harking back to the 1950’s, but it seems more insidious than this. They are people who do not know the word “no” and they simply have no respect for law, and no empathy. They appear almost like zombies with very little intelligence and the nature and inclination of sociopaths. I am scared, freaked and grossed out, and deplore any contact with them now.

    The houses are now worth virtually nothing and the body corporate management fled – I am surprised that they stuck with it as long as they did. They too were getting harassed and receiving criminal threats it appears. The men in the village responsible for this atrocity feel no shame and embarrassment in all of this and the destruction of what was once a beautiful stunning village within a scenic reserve.  If I announce that I am going to take them to court or to the tribunal, then they will feel the inclination to trash my property again.
    The criminal justice system has not served this village well, and that is why today it is a bankrupted disaster zone.

    Another shocking aspect was the local police and their stance in all of this over the last few years. Quite a few people have been run out the village, and it is usually people who are more successful, or foreign, or anyone who challenges these retards in any way. Intelligent / cultured people who know anything about law are absolutely detested and reviled.The police unbelievably was in the same camp as this group of retarded lawless people, and I noticed that they were not investigating crime properly and were actually letting the local inbred psychos get away with everything;- probably they would also get away with murder in all likelihood. I know all of this hard to fathom for outsiders to New Zealand. I received testimony from a South African woman who was run out of this village some years ago, and she fled to Australia. She was being directly threatened and criminally harassed and even had the name of the man who has an extensive criminal record to provide to the police. She was also elderly and had just come out of hospital at the time. The police said that they could do nothing, that it was a he said / she said situation. Her property then did get extensively vandalized by this man, just after she signed the contract to sell it, and had sold at a very low price to get out as quickly as possible. She called the police yet again, and once again they said that they could do nothing. This is why now it is mainly just the thugs, criminals, mentally ill, the retarded morons living out there, and some really oddball nature haters, who regard themselves as middle class. Trees are really awful apparently. One should cut them down and leave the weeds. It is all so utterly perverse and hopeless.
    The brilliant TV series, by Jane Campion, “Top of the Lake” speaks volumes to me. There is something very wrong in the psyche of the people in New Zealand. It seems so deeply entrenched. That is why you cannot fix and improve anything yourself, the local people are simply too messed up, lost, ill, and chronically evil. They are adverse to positive changes, and will resent you for it. I think that these types are bitter and resentful of their own narrow and boring livse, but who knows and who cares, they are really dangerous. They will hate you for your experience, especially if you are progressive and international, with a fully functioning brain and soul. It is like they are vampires and zombies who want to devour you. They do want to destroy you. as you appear better than them, and you are still alive with a soul. You still have light in your eyes, and they want to remove it. You are not imagining it at all.

    The Dark Isles are simply that. Maybe the country has a really bad collective karma or something, harking from its past. Maybe humans are not supposed to inhabit the Dark Isles. Or only the Maori are the ones who can placate and live with the spirits and inherent forces that dwell within the lands and seas surrounding there. Despite me being born a Pakeha I feel that the Pakeha are a lost people;- dislocated, culturally dissonant. They do not know who they really are at all, and have no real and applicable belief systems.
    Unfortunately they appear now as flotsam and jetsam, white trash. Yes it is sad, and yes I am embarrassed,
    to the point whereby I would like to cut all ties.
    Image result for pakeha culture
    Pākehā is a Māori language term for non-Maori or for New Zealanders who are “of European descent”. Recently, the word has been used to refer inclusively either to fair-skinned persons or any non-Māori New Zealander. Papa’a has a similar meaning in Cook Islands Māori.
    Pākehā – Wikipedia

    • So true, Mayadevi – Exactly why we left. Anti intellectualism, anti open discussions, anti world views, horrific workplace nepotism, inability to take criticism to reflect on and change, and the tall poppy syndrome. Definitely not a good place to raise a family. The only thing that NZ is pretty much known for is that thuggish sport that Kiwis raise up on a pedestal, flying banners and tooting trumpets as if it were literally the greatest and only thing on Earth.

      • Thanks guys – the more response the better (please respond) as I need therapy too, and I do not want to re-enter that stinking, vile, morally bankrupt country in order to get more damaged. I am worried about how much I am damaged psychologically as well as financially, for living in New Zealand, the dystopia.
        Note that the UN Committee Against Torture, is onto the stinking country and is giving the government twp years to respond to around 30 serious issues..


        We Happy Few’s brainwashed citizens won’t let you escape from their …
        Jul 2, 2016 – Playing We Happy Few in a bar packed with people isn’t the best way to … Few’s brainwashed citizens won’t let you escape from their dystopia.

    • We have the same demographic in the US, except with an authoritarian streak running through it. Maybe the torch & pitchfork crowd is everywhere and it’s hopeless to find a place without them. At least you don’t have Trump firing them up.

  5. There is something not right in this place. It might be the isolation or the climate but this place is hell frozen over. The only migrants that thrive here are like minded bigots and bullies that find this place a haven for their exploits.
    I remember growing up in Australia in the 70s as a Western European immigrant kid and putting up with the overt racism that existed back then. This place takes me back to those times. 40 years back seems about right to me too. Australia has come a long way since then. Multiculturalism was worked despite what you might hear in the press. New Zealand is a different kettle of fish. Rotten fish to be sure but they’ve never had the influx of migrants that Australia welcomed and I very much doubt they’d have the tolerance either to handle it from what I can see. They’re basically dickheads set in their own ways and proud of it.

  6. I too find that the social gulf is way beyond what I would expect. It is way beyond what I feel when I go overseas to completely foreign countries and jump in without any understanding of the local languages. In NZ, the people have an air of ‘hey, back-off’ about them. There is no way I can just go up to anyone, in one of my social clubs, for example, and have an truly open and critical, two-sided conversation with them.

    I think many decent NZ-born New Zealanders MUST see it, but I don’t hear them discussing it at all. They must be concerned.

    On a side note, have you noticed that many, if not most of the OECD migrants that you’ve met in NZ, have now left? Try counting them.

    Before I came NZ from the UK, I did not understand the US. But since being here, I have developed a massive interest, almost an obsession, with US culture and landscapes. It is so rich. Everyone appears to have an opinion and a world view, and they are out there telling everyone else, no matter how crazy or weird they are. I love it.

    • You’re kidding me, right? The US has become so closed minded and hating that I’m looking to leave.

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