Local shops for local people – there’s nothing for you here

There is a paranoia and fear of strangers in New Zealand

Popular opinion says that New Zealand is known as a socialist country. But its not at all, it is actually very capitalistic.

This is put across in the advertising, that it is a friendly place, when in truth it is anti social from my way of seeing things. Also the level of paranoia and fear of strangers, is something I have noticed, even from my own relatives who live in New Zealand.

Its like that League of Gentlemen BBC series, where those two characters who live in the local shop are afraid of strangers.

If there was an honest tv comedy made by NZers it would be less of them rubbing their backs of how unique they are and more about the “Strangers” who come here and would not understand our New Zealand customs and ways.

This site should focus more on New Zealanders attitudes to the outside world and visitors.

I have seen over seas visitors look visibly upset with the unwelcoming and cold attitude of New Zealand people, bikers and on travel buses.

To the point where they think all NZ people are just hostile odd balls. I have received treatment like that from European people (which I cannot say) and have not even spoken to them, just for looking their way.

Something is very wrong here, and something needs to be done about it. But for anyone reading this and thinking about coming to New Zealand, probably don’t bike around the country expecting friendly welcoming from locals.

Also don’t expect to be welcomed with open arms either and appreciation or anyone really interested in your background.

Its true, NZers are mostly just interested in their social status with others, how much they can buy of the latest thing which they generally don’t need, and very few actually go outside and try and enjoy the out doors.

They are mostly interested in what is on tv, and believe me, NZ tv only gets worse and worse. Source.


12 thoughts on “Local shops for local people – there’s nothing for you here

  1. Russell,

    Granted – many Brits do indeed see New Zealand as an extension of Australia (I used to have people coming up to me and assuming I would personally know places where they had family living in Australia).

    The ‘uniqueness’ aspect of life in New Zealand seems to be a myth based upon many myths. You show anyone pictures of palm trees, a deserted beach, a blue ocean, a lush rainforest, and people smiling as they surf or kayak; and they immediately think the word ‘paradise’. Also the word ‘Pacific’ seems to have all sorts of positive connotations associated with it – despite the fact that the ocean down here is freezing cold and (upon closer examination) the palm trees growing along the roadside are actually burnt black with frost!

    Also if you look at many London or New York published reference books (even educational textbooks) from the 1970s and 80s – New Zealand is generally just an afterthought – i.e. a few paragraphs at the end of the chapter on Australia. I guess it all depends on whether the authors considered New Zealand to be part of the ‘Continent of Australia’ – or of ‘Oceania’. And to further add to the confusion – nowadays the term ‘Australasia’ is bandied about without any real understanding of what it actually means. Surely it might have been a whole lot clearer if the Dutch or the French had colonised New Zealand!

  2. They’re not oddballs. They’re just rude and ignorant. That is perhaps the initial confusion to an outsider. It was for me when I first encountered their behaviour and excused it somewhat but after living here it became obvious and apparent that this country is littered with philistines. Shopkeepers here are also guilty of charging exorbitant prices. I recall an occasion when I had to buy a fitting for a shower head. I was astonished to discover at the local hardware store they were charging $130 for what basically amounted to a chrome plated rod made of plastic. The shop owner’s attitude was take it or leave it and left me pondering. The Mitre 10s and the Bunnings stores didn’t supply the piece and this guy knew it. I made a few searches online and found a store in Auckland that I rang. Spoke to a lovely lady who not only offered it to me at $20 but it was a quality item made of chrome metal but shipped 2 items to me for free! Had I come across a “regular” Kiwi it may have been a different outcome. Not all kiwis are dickheads. I’ve come across some good ones but they are few and far between. I got lucky. Almost of them will fleece you or at least try to. I’ve had plenty of kiwis admit that to me as a way of life here. The cost of living here confirms it as a salient fact. There is no real competition here just cartels and genuine rip off artists who espouse the myth of supporting local businesses by handing over your hard earned money to keep them operating. Stuff that for a joke. They can close down for all I care. Oddballs they certainly aren’t. Greedy selfish rude bastards. Big difference.

  3. A very good analogy. In many ways New Zealand is indeed like the ‘Local Shop’ on the hill above Royston Vasey – and the proprietors Edward and Tubbs resemble many (particularly small town) kiwis.

    Many small town New Zealand shopkeepers who I have dealt with over the years have certainly displayed some very Edward and Tubbs-like behaviours. I recall one day going into a store waving a wad of cash round only to be told I could only purchase two of the same item ‘within reason’. Like I had to justify why I was buying two of the same thing! (Incidentally they had plenty of the particular item in stock).

    I can also remember going into a second-hand bookshop and when I expressed interest in a series of books, being told “Oh no, not my collection!” Very Tubbs like…

    Then there was the woman in the local dairy who chipped me for asking if she had any Mars bars.
    “No one buys them!” was her stinging reply.
    “Um, I thought Mars was one of the most popular types of confectionary in the world?”
    “Well you’re in New Zealand now!” she said…

    You might well ask yourself – what has failed these people? In the internet age ‘isolation’ is surely no longer an excuse. The sad thing however is incidents such as these (although very petty in nature) – over time do compound and eventually begin to test even the strongest of personalities.

    And we wonder why New Zealand is a land blighted with drug and alcohol addiction, depression, and youth suicide…

    • Thankyou for commenting on that.
      It is interesting what stories indeed do “come out” of the woodwork, as the saying does go once people are encouraged to speak.
      That is another problem, many New Zealanders or people in New Zealand feel to afraid to say what they really think or are concerned about.
      Also there is another attitude I find which is – along the mindset of “Well it is not my problem it is someone else’s.”

      The trouble is when someone like yourself, anyone or myself wants to do something about it, a large group of people, in various situations, with an attitude problem will criticize you for trying to fix things.

      I actually think the internet has made New Zealand worse. Because the country is anti social enough as it is and cynical and quite negative.

      Now you have anti social people on an island sitting inside staring at screens getting all their information off “Google” …which is scary, being someone who has walked, biked and explored this country (South Island mostly) knowing what I know.

      A great example of a slice of a New Zealanders mind really is “The Unauthorised history of new zealand tv series”. It is dreadful watching it and some of the things that have gone on.
      But it also gives a real insight into the desperation people have to fill in time….as their is “nothing to do.”
      Yes much like Roystan Vasey!

      Including the Mayor of Invercargil on this tv series of archived footate, making excuses for the towns lack of excitement with a quote of “You can’t give us 3 or 4 days notice and expect us to turn it on for you, but we are very pleased to see you all the same.”

      Films like Worlds fastest Indian, paint a picture of New Zealand being this friendly warm, interesting unusual place.
      But if you asked me the truth, it is full of dried out, lonely or overweight isolated people who have given up on washing and are waiting for the end. That sounds awful, but I cannot help but feel that way when I see some people in the fish and chip shop down the road.

      Including hugely overweight woman and men, who should not be eating that meal for at least another 5 years of their life, but I see them in there often.

      It is at the end of the earth, and I guess symbolically it lives up to that….”the end of civilization.”

      I have warned many overseas people by email, about New Zealand.
      And I would have to agree, spending no more than 2 weeks here is ideal

      You can see all you need to see, in that time. Drive where you want to drive.
      But do not hang around for ages…and definitely do not come here to live.
      The world has changed, and New Zealand is a guinea pig country to be experimented on, and the sad thing is many people particularly the younger ones, are so busy wasting their time drinking and chatting about what “someone else said to someone else” they simply do not have time to realize.

      So naturally anything “about the outside world” or outside of that “way of thinking” is generally looked at as a waste of their time, to hard to think about or simply you are “nuts.”

      Of course, the real truth is much different.

      • I agree with your observations and thoughts about New Zealand.

        I am afraid the New Zealand of ‘The World’s Fastest Indian’ is long dead and buried – if in fact it ever really existed. I do however remember there being some very intelligent eccentric-type characters living in the small town I grew up in 40+ years ago. A very sharp contrast to the type of people you find in many small towns today (something which many kiwis do not like to be reminded of).

        Upon reflection I also agree with you in regards to the internet having a negative impact on society. Mores the point – I guess it is how you actually use it – either as an educational tool/information source – or as some people do – for malicious gossip and scandal; and the spreading of falsehoods and propaganda.

        Yes, there is a certain negativity and ‘fear of strangers’ which exists right across this country (and yet it would be many of these diehard ‘can’t see the forest for the trees’ kiwis who would label me as being the negative and cynical one for saying this). I am however the first to admit I have had to use humour (often very black humour!) in order to survive the whole experience of living here.

        Like you I have got out of my car and looked at quite a large slice of New Zealand – and I have come into contact with a good many people along the way.

        Being a walker in New Zealand has often seen me being stopped on country roads and asked “Have you broken down?”, “Can I help you?” or “Are you looking for someone?” To the untrained observer these might appear as genuine offers of assistance – but they are more than likely the polite way of asking “Who are you and what are you doing here?” (As I was born and grew up in a small town I am familiar with this tactic).

        As far as changing anything in such an environment goes – it is always interesting to note (in the small town context anyway) that implementation of any change for the better (community project or other) is predominantly embarked upon by ‘newcomers’ to the area – whereas it is the ‘locals’ who generally oppose it.

        • I’ll tell you whats bloody irritating since I’ve been back in the UK for almost 6 months, is the amount of Brits here who are envious when I tell them I’ve lived in New Zealand for the last 10 years. They truly believe its a land of paradise and “oh I’ve heard its sooooooooo beautiful over there” yet these muppets will never venture there or stay long enough to realise the reality.

          It’s hilarious though seeing their faces drop when I tell them its a fucking shithole inhabited by backward swamp life. They will even pretend they didn’t hear me and maintain their mental fantasy of New Zealand being the land of enchantment and paradise. They give you almost a dirty look and look at you as if you are bullshitting.

          When I was in New Zealand (Christchurch) I would go to Indian owned Dairy’s and avoid any Kiwi owned ones like the plague. The indian guys and gals were human and relatable and could actually hold a conversation. They might of had a Kiwi accent but didn’t resemble any Kiwi traits. Some of the Chinese/Asian dudes were cool as well, like the guy who owned the dairy near my last rental.

          Small Kiwi businesses are always owned and run by some arrogant big headed Kiwi bloke who thinks he’s the bollocks yet will lack basic manners and display fuck all customer service skills. They act like THEY are doing YOU a favour when you walk into their grotty little overpriced shack of shit.

          • I used to get the same when I worked in the UK. All the time I would be asked by people what I was doing there because they had heard New Zealand was so nice… And I would be told how I wouldn’t handle the rain and the cold because I wouldn’t be used to it LOL! It was also assumed I lived outdoors and barbecued 365 days a year… And some people would even tell me how I didn’t look like a real New Zealander because I wasn’t tanned enough! I had to tell them where I came from (coastal Otago) wasn’t California or the Sunshine Coast – it was/is wet, windy, overcast, and cold a lot of the time. Clearly we weren’t (once upon a time) referred to as the Britain of the South Pacific for nothing!

          • nebulafantastico,

            People seem to want to believe that there’s a earthly paradise somewhere and any don’t want facts to get in the way of their fantasies.


            Perhaps it’s because NZ is associated in some way with Australia which has, in the north, a genuine tropical/ sub tropical climate. The SE of Australia is wet, cold and miserable in the winter, believe me, however the myth of perfect weather prevails.

          • Was just thinking today of all the horrors I experienced over my 10 year stay there. I think I’m scarred for life.

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