“NZ is f*cked up and getting worse for the average middle class and nobody cares”


Want to live in NZ? kiss goodbye to your cash.

More in the What Kiwis Say About New Zealand series.

This post was first made on /r/newzealand and talks about how hard it is to get ahead in New Zealand.

Much of the advice given to the author involved somewhere else in New Zealand to live, which isn’t possible due to job opportunities and low pay.

The most obvious advice – to leave New Zealand for somewhere more equitable and well paid – was beyond the wit of most respondents. The post is also interesting because it shows how low the bar is set for the definition of “middle class” in New Zealand, a country traditionally proud of its allegedly classless society.

If you’re a migrant intending to live in New Zealand you may find the following useful.

NZ is fked up and getting worse for the average middle class and nobody cares

Young family, me 27 and partner 25 with a 3 year old baby girl. After tax, student loans , rent and basic living expenses we are left with around 350 per week. After food and child expenses etc it’s less than 50$ week left. Last week she was sick and we had some unexpected expenses.. left us in the negative.

How do we stop living week to week?

How we are going to ever save for a deposit I don’t know, if we have an emergency I don’t know if we will get through it.

We have both been trying to find work outside auckland and simply have not been able to in our line of work, though after the salary hit and moving expenses I actually dont think we will be much better off.

Wages for both of us are nearly static and we are working more hours then ever before.. a sign of the times I suppose. We have gone to winz multiple times and been laughed at and turned away.

The truth is the thing that hurts the most is leaving the house at 7 and getting back at 7pm with horrendous traffic I barely get to spend time with my wife or girl.

I don’t know man… when did life in nz become so depressing….

Nobody cares, not the politicians, not the average worker , not business workers riding the wave of immigrants willing to work horrible roles for a wage that won’t even allow them to ever have a family.

I remember growing up even in a low/medium income family with just my dad working life was never like this. I worry for my child, the effect a society like this will have on them.

Just remember that 10, 20 years from now they will be the future.

Sorry for the incoherent rambling… I just need some place to vent my misguided sadnes.

Some responses

Jam71 I feel for you. My wife and I left Auckland in the mid 90’s because of the reasons you describe.
I have no doubt that the house price issue is a bit worse now, but at the same time our incomes were much lower 20 years ago and we struggled to save and buying a home looked almost impossible.
We went to Melbourne for 7 years, loved it and were able to buy our first home before coming back to live in ChCh in 2005.
Why leave Melbourne? Well, the traffic there is shocking as well and I found in Christchurch you can live very well without ever having to experience anything like the commuting issues that are found in other cities I have lived in (Auckland, London, Melbourne).

Lol_alex I visited NZ in 2006. I may have only been to the touristy places and enjoyed the scenery, but I caught some strange vibes even then. For instance, houses were cheap by my German standards but interest rates were sky high (I like to wander into banks and check out the real estate and rates wherever I am).

It’s sad that the country and people I have so many fond memories of seem to be in such a miserable state (I seem to see a lot of posts like yours about housing, education, substance abuse issues etc.)

In your view, has it been a steady decline or did something major make it that way?

Isoprenoid It’s not that we don’t care, it’s that we don’t have time to do anything about it. The middle class is the working class, after we’re done at our jobs we don’t have the energy to do anything else.
The game is rigged before even get to play.
Then we’re told to chase after material wealth, buying shit we don’t need with money we don’t have. Many of us are in debt spirals.
We need to stay educated but many of us don’t appreciate the learning institutions that we have. By the time we leave school, we’ve learned that we should have learned more. It’s too late.
Patdude I feel for you, this isnt living, it is a slow death by a thousand cuts.
First things first, get out of Auckland. It is a stupidly expensive and unpleasant place to live if you are not well off.
Second thing is dont be hard on yourself, I care and so do plenty of others, Hang in there!
third thing, vote for change or things are likely to be even worse for your children….

Screamingkaka Some of you people are just awful. You don’t know this person. Have some compassion.

The attitudes of so many New Zealanders to the struggles of of their countrymen is disgusting. We’re a petty, smug, small-minded bunch.
Kia kaha, OP. I know it sucks now, but keep things tight, do your very best for yourself and your family and things will get better.

You may also be interested in

Don’t move to New Zealand:

A US migrant in New Zealand tells how grinding penny pinching becomes a way of life in NZ with nothing to compensate it, rather than a short term measure to get ahead.

The poster also tells of how carefully ‘Brand New Zealand’ is manipulated to attract people who turn out to be unsuitable migrants.

This is the sort of honesty that seldom gets published about New Zealand, and we’re honored to be able to host it here:

I am so tired of Kiwis making a virtue of necessity. They should be honest that THAT is what it is – making do on a cute remote island. Nothing more than that. Not an arcane “lifestyle” to be aspired to (cue: clink wineglass of Sauvignon Blanc, look out to blue water, flash impossibly white teeth at partner that you would never see on a Kiwi because most of them don’t do dental).

There’s nothing here to compensate for the forced pennypinching – little opportunity, no rich culture, you can’t easily travel to other places for a change – nothing. The government and migration agencies are dressing New Zealand up and not being honest about what it is really like here – THAT is my biggest gripe… read on



15 thoughts on ““NZ is f*cked up and getting worse for the average middle class and nobody cares”

  1. Like most other things in New Noddy land ,N.Z redefines the term middle class,things which are taken for granted by working class people in other countries are basically privileges of the upper class in N.Z.Most people who consider themselves middle class in N.Z have no savings ,no disposable income and can not afford to visit a dentist for anything other than emergency treatment.N.Z incentives crime by its policies and weak stance on criminals ,middle class in N.Z is a welfare recipient who keeps themselves below the radar and grows marijuana in the garage.

  2. Fuck the middle class in NZ. They’re singularly responsible for the series of National wins at the polls. Too scared to lose their overpriced shithouse homes and their double incomed lifestyle of shopping at Noel Lemmings every weekend for more landfill and paying off a behemoth motor car that runs on $2 a litre petrol. Only worried about their lot in life. The other day I walked past a Warehouse car park early one freezing morning and bumped into 3 homeless people huddling together. One guy didn’t have shoes. I walked past them with my head down. I felt a sense of shame and guilt. How on earth can we not shelter everybody in this country? They can spend millions racing a yacht to win a tin cup and even more millions developing a group of thugs to carry a pig skin across a white line but when it comes to housing the needy and sick they don’t give a shit. Middle class problems are not life and death. Debt is self imposed. Less reliance on credit will fix that. The middle class here choose to remain silent out of fear and rejection. I have zero concern for them. I hope they lose the lot in life then it may spark them into action.

    • Yep, the middle class should take what they own and hand it over to a bunch of no hoopers who can’t be bothered doing anything in life to better themselves. I mean, it’s not like those in the middle class have EARNED what they have is it? While they are about it, they should take care of all the poor people, hand over spaces in their homes and give them even more handouts; it’s not like the poor are responsible for their own lives, is it? And, it’s not like the poor should be treated like ADULTS, instead of dependent children? It’s not like they should be told to grow up and stop blaming everyone else, instead of looking at and looking after themselves?

      If anything, New Zealand needs to take a much tougher approach and stop penalising those who take responsibility for themselves, and have the get up and go to do something with their lives. It needs to stop handing over their results to a bunch of enabled apathetic loosers (the MAJORITY of Kiwis), who think they are ENTITLED to take advantage of the results of other people’s work — they’re not. Taking from the rich and middle class and giving to the poor isn’t charity, it’s STEALING. The fact that the government endorses this, and carries it out according to the mafia model of forcing people to hand over a percentage of their earnings every week, (and sends around its thugs to enforce the payment if necessary) does not change the nature of what is going on.

      In essence, NZ is a nation of codependents, with the rich and middle class forced by the government to enable the bad decision making and irresponsible behaviour of the poor. Anyone who has dealt with codependent relationships will tell you that the first thing that needs to happen is that the dysfunctional individual must face the full consequences of their own actions. Drug addicts NEED to be allowed to hit rock bottom, same for alcoholics. Those who are abusers NEED to have EVERYONE they care about abandon them. Only then does the dysfunction have a chance of stopping. If it doesn’t, then at least it only affects the person causing the problem. The only assistance a person like this needs is for EVERYONE to stop helping them. Only then will they make a serious effort to take the action needed to recover. This applies just as much to those who are financially dysfunctional. Businesses that cannot keep going do not need a bailout, they need to be left to go bankrupt, and individuals are the same. The person who refuses to earn or manage their money properly SHOULD be left to face the consequences of their actions, even if this means they become homeless.

      • It seems like you have bought into the economic rationalism that blames the victim for their woes. EARNING is the key to life and those who do not EARN are locked out in the cold and that’s okay because they deserve it anyways. That’s the sick and heartless game you’re quite happy to play as long as you work hard and don’t get taxed too much. The middle class is allowed to be selfish while the ones that can’t keep up can all freeze to death. That’s the world I want my kids to destroy not champion.

        • In NZ there is a MASSIVE problem with adults not taking responsibility for their lives and behaving like children. This is exactly why the country is a nanny state. The idea of placing blame and of seeing people as victims is that of the victim/abuser paradigm, NOT that of a responsible individual who is capable of taking responsibility for their own decisions, looking in the mirror and admitting that they screwed up. If someone is a victim, then it’s because they are allowing this to happen. It’s far easier to blame everyone else, thinking that they are the problem then to look in the mirror and admit that the real source of the problems in your life is staring back at you. Putting the blame on everyone else, allows the individual to avoid having to change anything about themselves; the problem is “out there” and beyond their ability to work on it. However, until they admit THEY are the source of their problems, they don’t have the ability to solve them.

          Nowhere is this more obvious than the idiots in NZ who accept low wages and complain endlessly about their situation, while simultaneously abandoning all means to change it. A great example of this is with the unions. These were in place for a REASON. The origins of the unions go all the way back to the guilds of medieval Britain, showing how essential they are to fair payment for work. Abandoning the unions had the very predictable result of a loss of negotiating power and low wages. This was directly the fault of the New Zealand worker. If they actually DID something about it by banding together and refusing to work for such a pitiful wage, the wages would improve. Instead, they blame the employers and accept the situation like the victims they have CHOSEN to be. Compare this to Australia, where the wages are much higher, and the union presence is much stronger.

          Victim/abuser mentality is deeply ingrained into New Zealand culture. It’s so bad that it is ENDORSED and ENCOURAGED by the government. These are the very people that the NZ population have CHOSEN to represent their country. The government isn’t there by some kind of accident; they were voted in (at least they were by the percentage of the population who ACTUALLY vote). If the NZ population really wanted to change the government they could. The system the government has set up shows where the priorities lie. It has more money paid out in welfare than any other area. It is in fact so much money that it is more than the healthcare and education budgets COMBINED. This is absolutely strangling and ruining the country, and has made a very large percentage of the population dependent on the state. It is so bad that around half of NZ’s workforce isn’t in paid work and of the ones who are, many are STILL receiving some kind of welfare payout every week due to low wages or part time employment. But there is a major problem with this dependency; being dependent on the state, puts the state in the role of the parent, and the individual in the role of a child; it’s very literally a nanny state. Children actually ARE at the mercy of their parents, but adults are not; breaking away from dependency and becoming independent and interdependent is the very essence of growing up and maturing. Adults are responsible and accountable for their own actions in EVERY area of their lives. Sadly, there are very few actual adults in NZ, which is a country full of children in adult bodies, many of whom need a “grow up” talk. At its very core, NZ is a very dysfunctional place.

          Taking any kind of affirmative action or being involved in activism with this kind of climate is futile. The Kiwis will complain endlessly, but when it comes to taking any kind of action to solve a problem, they are nowhere to be found. They would rather place blame and be victims, than make the changes necessary to better their lives. This is probably why so many people leave the country every year. They are waking up from the nightmare of NZ culture, stopping drinking the Kool Aid, taking responsibility, and leaving the compound.

        • I agree paul. Though, I do think there are faults on both side. a large number of wealthy people need to address their own mental issues, such as: “WHY do I feel the need to accumulate so much stuff? WHY do I care so much about what others think of me and in turn feel the need buy bigger and better things?, why am I never satisfied, no matter how much I have?” and those with victim mentality need to ask themselves “why do I lack the confidence to do things without being dependent on others”. I also think ARTIFICIAL SCARCITY has a huge role to play. supply&demand. more houses built equals more supply. more supply equals less demand. less demand equals lower house prices. lower house prices equal pressure on political representatives to tighten building controls. a key tool of building control is the annexation of unused land by the government (their favorite excuse is “national park”, who would want to destroy nature??…maybe people with nowhere to live). its not the politicians fault its US! we are doing it to ourselves!

  3. Life is tough in NZ – there is no doubt about this – but politicians don’t address the real problems we have because they are so self centred about themselves and only give a front, that they care, etc. Auckland would be tough to live in, unless you have a good support network around you.
    Living in small city NZ would be better – or in another centre city. You just have to choose wisely because it’ll be a life changing move – hopefully for the better. Like most things in life – you have to put in the effort to receive the rewards out – that it’ll take time and effort to make things better – in a better place/environment which will allow you to do so.

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