An American’s Take On “Rip-Off New Zealand”

rip off pharmacy prices in nz

Pharmacy prices put some medications out of reach in NZ

Today’s tale is taken from an online forum. The author, an American married to a Kiwi, gives her opinion about how expensive New Zealand is. The thread was discussing the recent newspaper article “NZ: 100% Pure Rip Off” written by journalist Peter Bills (see here for our blog about it):

I’m American and my husband is a Kiwi. We lived on and off in West Auckland, NZ for the past five years. At this point we have given up and are staying stateside for now.

NZ is beautiful and the people are super friendly and it’s very fun to live there. It is just like the postcards. We really do love it there…

BUT it’s different when you’re not there on vacation.

It is very expensive and difficult to make real money there in order to save up or get ahead. Anyone looking to relocate there needs to do a lot of research and have a huge nest egg. NZ is a fantastic place to raise a family or retire…. if you’ve already got money. But nowhere is a fantastic place if you’re struggling.

The rents and housing prices in Auckland are astronomical compared to wages. Our rental in Glen Eden was $400NZD/week for a small 3 BR. The quality of the rentals there is very poor. I don’t know how people working on average wage do it. Wellington and Christchurch aren’t much better and these three areas are pretty much where all of the actual professional jobs are located.

We’re not the only ones that had to leave NZ to make a living. A lot of younger kiwis leave to go to the UK or the US to work and travel. A lot of them don’t come back. My husband’s family members and close friends are scattered all around the globe from Hong Kong, Amsterdam, Scotland, Canada and here. Very few are actually in Auckland. We have to coordinate our vacations so that we all meet up there.

Most of the problem is that it’s very isolated, so it’s very expensive to get cargo shipped, and there’s not a lot of competition there. It’s such a small population. There’s more people in Nassau and Suffolk County in Long Island, New York than the whole country of New Zealand.

Also I noticed while I was there that there just isn’t the energy or drive to innovate or “do more” there. I didn’t feel like there was any spark there. Kiwis are perfectly happy to make do. “Whatever bro”…chill out, drink some Steinies, and watch the rugby. They are ingenious in their own way, to make things work for them personally. But few have any interest in making any kind of business, investing or becoming entrepreneurs. All the dairies and small shops in Auckland are owned by immigrants. (The immigrants from India are having a field day there.) Kiwis are very easy going and friendly, but overall are not a bunch of go-getters. It’s just not valued in their culture. They like everyone to be on the same level, they don’t reward achievement. Anyone who’s a “tall poppy” get cut down one way or another. I don’t know how it got to be like that, but it’s a shame because it’s what is going to hold them back.

It forces the ones that actually do go into business to squeeze every penny out of every customer. I have never been so nickle and dimed in my life.

This is also partly because Kiwis are very cheap as buyers. They have no interest in buying quality, only what’s cheap and will do the job for now. If an item is better quality and will last twice as long but it’s 20% more expensive, it won’t compete with the cheaper alternative. Part of this is that Kiwis don’t have money to spend, part of it is just the mentality there. Consequently it’s very difficult to do business there, the chinese make out like bandits exporting there.

Just Google “Kiwi” and “No. 8 wire” and you get a better idea of what I’m talking about.

It’s very difficult for Americans and Europeans to relocate and be happy over there without having a good idea of the sacrifices involved with living in such an isolated country. Not only will you take a 50% pay cut, the retail there is *god awful*- just a bunch of cheap stuff imported from China that breaks in a few months. And then has to be duct taped together. With cheap chinese duct tape. Sheets and clothes are polyester, towels are thin and scratchy, everything’s plastic, kid’s mattresses are foam. Seriously, yellow foam like you’d get in outdoor furniture cushions. Furniture is particleboard, appliances are 10 years behind, and nothing comes with any kind of warranty. It’s horrendous. And what they charge for this stuff is insane. It often costs me less to buy quality stuff in America and import it than to buy it in NZ (if I can even get something of similar quality – which is rare.). Electronics are a hassle because they’re on 220V there. I haven’t figured a way around that one yet. It would probably be cheaper to buy an appliance and have it re-wired in the US and shipped. It’s crazy.

The average housing in Auckland was of very poor, cheap quality. Nothing’s insulated, no central or baseboard heat, single pane windows, cheap carpet and linoleum, mold all over the place from condensation from LPG heaters, cracked and warped sheetrock/gypboard from moisture damage, no such thing as a dehumidifier. Even the newer houses were super-inefficient, wasteful, environmental nightmares. They might not get snow in Auckland, and it rarely gets below 40 degrees for long, but the rain and the humidity is unrelenting. Yet nobody builds for that. What passes here for adequate is like 5 star accommodation there. The lots are small because everyone has subdivided the place to death so you’re right on top of your neighbors. Honestly, I didn’t like Auckland at all. And all the other urban areas are just the same. Once you get out in the country where you could breathe a bit, it’s a different world.

The taxes there are also high, but not really much higher than in NY or VT (not that that’s saying much) but you get full socialized (OMG the horror) health care and a lot more social services there. (You can also get private insurance there, and the situation is completely adequate. Don’t believe the FOX news hype.) Maternity leave is paid, and there are child subsidies and all that. But the bad thing about having such good social services is that it attracts people who game the system. There is a large percentage of the population that is on the dole there- the majority of them are rural people and some of the native Maori population who have fallen behind socially and are having health, social and education problems… and then go and have 5 kids to make it even better. It’s a very difficult unique situation. Although I do believe that there is existing prejudice against the Maori population, a lot of the troubled ones don’t avail themselves of the massive amount of programs available to get an education and do better for themselves and their whanau (family/tribe/group). And there is really no excuse because there are plenty of upstanding, motivated, super-bright Maoris there that have done really well. The lazy ones give the good ones a bad rap.

**** is right. We pulled all our money out of NZ when the US dollar was weak and the NZ dollar was .81 USD a few months back. We won’t be sending any money back until the Kiwi dollar goes below 0.60 cents American. And we certainly won’t be going back for more than visits until we can afford to semi-retire there.

Rip-off indeed. Unfortunately it probably means RIP for the economy there at some point, unless they do something to promote massive investment and economic development.

Sure a lot of this is my opinion based on my personal experience there, but I don’t think I’m far off the mark in most aspects. Anyone who is thinking about moving there, do your research and crunch the numbers.”

331 thoughts on “An American’s Take On “Rip-Off New Zealand”

  1. Bravo! I would sign under every line of this post as if it were my lines, my thoughts. I’ve been in NZ for 4 years, and every single day the word “fake” tick-tocks in my head. “Max charge for min quality” , dull, dump and drab, time travel back – these are the my every day NZ associations. What keeps me here?… Well, there is no war and almost no corruption, the nature is beautiful, the air is fresh and the beaches are scarcely populated. However, even these qualities hardly keep me from moving back to my corrupted, populated, cruel and intense country… What keeps me? My partner :).

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  2. Alex, in his comment above, states that one of the things that keeps him here (in New Zealand) is that “the air is fresh”. I’ve seen this same thing said by expats numerous other times in various other forums, and I really have to scratch my head over this:

    This year, 2010, the city of Christchurch finally put into place a ban on use of open fires and all ‘non-permitted’ logburners (though only during the ‘winter months’. But more on that another time). This ban was actually supposed to have been effected 5 or 6 years ago, but legal challenges (a large percentage of NZ homes are heated entirely by wood fire so there was much resistance to the ban) delayed it until this year. The purpose of putting the ban in place was to reduce exponentially the number of high pollution days/nights right down to zero in sommething like 6 or 7 years from now – because in Christchurch alone, maximum=acceptable pollution levels were being breached on average up to 30 to 45 days a year in the recent past.

    In the local paper, The Press, on Saturday July 31 2010, here is the page-5 one-paragraph article describing how this ban is going is going so far this winter (and we are not even 2/3rds of the way through ‘winter’ yet, and even then cold weather does often extend well beyond August in the South Island):

    “Smog hits Christchurch – Christchurch has had one of its worst runs of smoggy nights this winter, after a series of frosts. On Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday nights, the city breached air pollution levels of 50 micrograms of particulates per cubic metre of air, including its highest single reading this year of 90mcg on Wednesday. The city had four consecutive nights of high pollution earlier in the month. It has had 12 high-pollution nights this winter, compared with 13 last year. Timaru has had 43 high-pollution nights this year and Kaiapoi 23.”

    “Fresh air” indeed! And 43 pollution nights already SO FAR this winter in Timaru!

    p.s. Alex also comments that there is “almost no corruption”. That’s another one that has me scratching my head:

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10656590

    NZ ranked eighth worst of 55 countries in 2010 global survey on fraud!

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    • The opinions of 85 NZ companies versus 2915 others (in a world with an estimated 2.8 billion companies) and that makes NZ 8th most fraudulent country in the world! Presumably that means it’s ‘ahead’ of less-corrupt countries such as Yemen, Syria, Colombia, Panama, Nicaragua, Brazil, Russia, Afghanistan, Azebiazhan, Turkmenistan, Pakistan, India, China, Tonga, Indonesia, Malaysia, Spain, Italy, all of North Africa, Ukraine, Belorussia, Albania, Serbia, Rumania, Bangladesh, Taiwan, Myanmar, etc.

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    • Bro Im a kiwi who has moved to OZ(better money,true) and have worked and lived in south east asia so I feel I have a good knowloge of the whole pasific and i can tell you New Zealand is just as good if not better than any country around, that chick from america the most bull**** country on the planet is just a bloody crybaby no one said living in new zealand is easy its an ADVENTURE…..fake my ass we are more real than any bloddy yank.

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      • Have you ever lived in America…Bro? I too am a Kiwi and also lived in OZ. I had a similar distrust towards Yanks, however living in America has opened my eyes, yes as all countries do, America has it’s share of “not much chop”, people but I have found the general population to be kind, friendly, welcoming, not to mention incredibly courteous, and my flawed perception of Americans has been totally turned around. Moving and adapting to any new country is difficult, I think the “fake”, being referred to may be the tourism spin on N.Z. rather than the day to day reality of life there perhaps?
        Couple of years late in responding to this but better late than never aye!

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        • Hi, really do appreciate the fact that kiwis who have been to America don’t act as ignorant as some people on this post. “More real than any yank”……hmm these are the sort of comments that say less about you as a kiwi and more about you as a person. It is a fact that racism and xenophobia exists in the world but I doubt very much that anyone wants to be called a racist or xenophobic (that means you have a bias against people from other cultures based on stereotypes…like america). This post is also a little late but I think its worth mentioning in case there are others out there who feel this way.

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        • even longer in replying to this……but i must say, i wholeheartedly agree with beguely’s comments…open your eyes, be receptive to new culture, and have a more empathetic understanding of of how shit works….simple. No one place is perfect, its natural to have a bias towards where you’ve spent the majority of your life. That doesn’t make somewhere else lesser by default….accept whats better or worse and see it for what it is.

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      • This post demonstrates exactly the low achievement level and attitudes of most Kiwis. “Bro,” your poor grammar, punctuation and spelling is doing nothing to promote your cause.

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      • Pacific Islands? Yes, NZ might be a smidge ahead of Tonga or Fiji.
        What is “bloddy”?
        Incomprehensable.
        Product of the NZ educational system, gota be.
        NZ has got to be the least honest place I’ve been, NZers don’t say what they mean, or mean what they say.

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        • Very, very late reply to this, i’m a kiwi born and raised
          and i agree with some aspects of the post, i do think Auckland has
          got some disastrous housing issues. But i don’t agree with what
          carpentaro said about New Zealand people don’t say what they mean,
          or mean what they say. it depends on the person you are talking to;
          most of us will tell it to you straight; we will be polite as
          anyone else would, but you ask a question we’ll give you a straight
          answer… unless you are referring to our government then in that
          case your right. hehe…. Also about our education system, it can
          be held responsible for kids and teens, but once an adult, it is up
          to them how they spell, if they don’t spell it right that’s their
          doing, and i don’t think a kid posted that.

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          • Kiwigirl, we agree adults must take responsibility for their shortcomings, only so much may be blamed on a mis spent youth. That includes grammar and spelling.

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        • NZ has got to be the least honest place I’ve been, NZers don’t say what they mean, or mean what they say.

          Kiwis dont know what they mean and if they did they dont know how to say it…Its like asking someone that suffers with bad concussion and alcoholism to wake up and join the 21st century ….. Be prepared to wait a long time for them to go “OH YEAH”

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      • Look , this sort of replies epitomizes the very reasons why NZ is unable to progress , it’s one big doorslammer , not to the American lady in question but toward themselves tragically.

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      • When you call someone a YANK, it means from NEW ENGLAND, or the East Northern coast of America – the term YANK called out to someone from the South of the USA, can get you in a lot of trouble. In other words, YANKEE (where YANK comes from) is not all Americans, only the ones from the Northeastern coast from New York up to Maine. So all Americans are NOT YANKS.

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    • Thanks for your candid comments. I totally agree with you on the front of NZ being expensive. It totally is and like you I am a Kiwi born and raised here, albeit spending sometime in the UK and the last 8 years in Australia. Yes,I have also been to the states – which I love and you get a lot more for your money.

      I came back to NZ to be near a family member who had become ill early this year (from Melbourne). I am very qualified with 20 years experience in Film and media as well as general office management and I cannot find a full time job here. Instead I have been offered minimum wage at the age of 45!

      You are totally right with your comments on housing here also as we have experienced that since our return. The biggest thing I cannot get over apart from everything else in general being more expensive than Australia, (power, internet, mobile phone costs, insurance) is the cost of food! It is outrageous!!!!! Some grocery items here are double the price of Australia. NZ maybe green but I attribute that to all the rain!!!!

      Hello Australia once again – NZ is just way to expensive for what it is and offers.

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      • your comments are also extremely valid too Kate, until you’ve lived elsewhere you don’t have a yardstick by which to measure living standards.

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      • Even though you are a “Kiwi”, you find that your resume [if your work history is not from NZ] is not looked at. As soon as a clue is found that you’ve worked elsewhere, it is circularly filed.

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        • Very true – if you are not a Kiwi, the cv usually goes in the bin. Jobs are VERY hard to get if you are a foreigner, and it is all WHO YOU know – not WHAT You know.

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  3. One thing you haven’t mentioned is the shameless cheating of foreign customers in Kiwi stores (read Warehouse, New World..), personally I have had lots of bad experiences with employees not giving the right change, but shouting if I tell them to give my full change back, prices which look good at the shelf, but are different at the counter, employees charging for items but not putting them in the bag (I guess they like the free stuff, like in a reversed shoplifting), etc etc. I would love to avoid these rip-off shops, but lack of options makes it anything but impossible…
    Can’t wait to get the h… out of here!!

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    • When living in NZ in 1991 , I regularly was a customer at the Warehouse in Christchurch. I was aware of the fact it was a shop selling everyday items at a low price , imported from China mostly.Nothing to do with the quality range I was used to in southern Netherlands and bordering Germany. But I did’nt feel unhappy because of that. I cannot remember one single occurrence those days that I would not have been attended properly let alone cheated at the till. People were always very friendly and helpful , and I never gor the feeling that I was met differently because of being a new migrant.People were even inquisitive about it , and together we could stand whining about everything that was deemed going wrong in NZ. Mostly those were moments of pleasant human connection . Staff were just courteous always wherever I went. A bit like in the US , although the feel there is more plastic as we say in Europe , nevertheless friendly! In my idealized version of NZ , I still miss these connecting moments here in Holland. The feel in NZ was like ” we here in these far flung isles have to make the best out of it , and we hope that you stay here to do that with us” Sure it was a world without internet and without investers from abroad scoping up whole streets. I think it realy boiled down to my own attitude and way of interaction , conveying a heartfelt longing to belong in my new country. Unfortunately my genuin intentions have been cruelly annihilated through the NZ immigration system , to the point where one could argue that there is a sense of perversion in the fact that I still feel drawn to know how that NZ is faring today. So much about a migrant that gave all but got nothing. Of which testimony in other stories posted here.

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  4. This specific topic of cheating foreign customers in stores is one that we haven’t covered much in this blog, but we do know it goes on, we’ll be sure to write about any incidents we come across.

    Fraud in small businesses, including shops, is widespread in New Zealand, despite its perceived freedom from corruption. For specific examples take a look at our Fraud and Dishonesty page, specifically the section with the heading Kiwis using fraud to maintain lavish lifestyles.

    Shoplifting costs NZ shopkeepers up to $800 million a year, the most popular items stolen include lipsticks, shaving products, perfume and infant formula. Not all of this theft is by customers, over the past four years, employee theft has cost New Zealand and Australia over $4.7 billion. (We don’t have separate figures for the two countries yet)

    But those stories are just the tip of the iceberg, we simply don’t have the resources to cover them all.

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  5. Yes, this person is speaking the truth about everything. It’s all crap value for high prices and you can’t get ahead because people are always trying to suck you dry. Shopkeepers do try to shortchange foreigners, as well. It has happened to me a number of times. They figure you are fair game because you come over here “cashed up”. They don’t even see you as human. Just cattle carrying piles of easily made money that you are waving around and don’t care about. They don’t see it as criminal at all. The attitude here is “if you can get away with it, you rock”.

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  6. Kiwis are surprized to see how inexpensive things are in the US. Unfortunately, they will cuonter Americans’ complaints of overpriced living in New Zealand with an accusation that Americans are materialistic. It isn’t that. It is the fact that the cost of things makes daily life a hellish struggle. I work two jobs in New Zealand,still do not have the quality lifestyle I had in the States (we are talking home, food, heat, not luxuries like dental care and haircuts, which were not luxuries back in the States) despite the fact of working hard to keep my family above the waterline.

    http://www.ruskin.co.nz/trips/?trip=usa

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  7. “Part of this is that Kiwis don’t have money to spend, part of it is just the mentality there. Consequently it’s very difficult to do business there, the chinese make out like bandits exporting there. Just Google “Kiwi” and “No. 8 wire” and you get a better idea of what I’m talking about Not only will you take a 50% pay cut, the retail there is *god awful*- just a bunch of cheap stuff imported from China that breaks in a few months. And then has to be duct taped together. With cheap chinese duct tape. Sheets and clothes are polyester, towels are thin and scratchy, everything’s plastic, kid’s mattresses are foam.”

    I have no sympathy for New Zealand’s racist treatment of immigrants but the compaints of this American woman display her own barefy concealed form of chauvinistic racism, not to mentioned sense of entitlement and privilege.

    I would remind this woman that those “cheap Chinese products” you rail against are made by workers in China often laboring for *American and other Western corporations* who are there to exploit these workers for superprofits.

    indeed, the majority of “made in China” products are made by and for American, Western, and Japanese–not Chinese–corporations. These corporations are the ones who are making off like bandits.

    In general, Americans and citizens of other Western industrialized nations are literally living off the blood, sweat, and tears of workers in the Developing world, who make the products that you consume so you can live your unsustainable and obscene consumerist way of life.

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    • I have family in NZ and thanks to a few visits and their years of living and loving NZ, we’re thinking of moving there as well. We’re tired of the rat race of American capitalism. I’m tired of living to work. I just want to work to live and enjoy real life- my family and the beautiful world around me. Screw “doing more” and chasing money. I want to go to a place that values a laid back approach to life and spending an afternoon laying on a beach or something. The original poster does come off as privileged, entitled, superior and fairly condescending. Kind of like the typical American. Our reputation seems to be well earned. Americans, from birth, are trained to spend more time at work than with our families, never take all of your short vacation time, and rather than invest in experiences and opportunities, get more things and put more value in possessions than anything else. No country is perfect. No country ever will be, but to think that the rat race of American capitalistic, corrupt values is the standard the world needs to adhere to- you’re sorely mistaken.

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      • @ThoseWhoWanderAreNotLost
        Ironically, you sound like the spoiled brat with the attitude problem. You want to escape the U.S. and American capitalism and come to New Zealand to live the good life. You’re tired of working hard – screw that, you can move to New Zealand and pretend to be a kiwi since you have rellies here, and can find an easy job to slack around at – right? Well, good luck with that. You may not have to work as hard as in the US, and you may get a few extra vacation days per year (if you actually are allowed to take them), but you will be on the fast track in nowhere and to nowhere.

        So, please come to New Zealand and trash-talk the U.S. all you want. Work hard to ingratiate yourself with anyone who will take pity on you for having been raised in America. Your kiwi mates might even let you hang around them once and awhile, as long as you continuously stroke them and act guilty and subservient. Try to learn the fake kiwi accent to disguise your Americanness or, worse, pretend to be a Canadian. At the end of the day (or your life), you will still be an American to the kiwis, and they will see through you as the spoiled brat who gave up on a country that has everything, to live in their little country where you don’t belong.

        You may be an American by citizenship, but you don’t deserve it. And you don’t deserve to live in New Zealand or anywhere else, for that matter.

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      • America and New Zealand are not what they use to be, and as an American who lived in CHCH for 16 years, I do not regret leaving NZ for many of the reasons listed on these post. Most Expats who live in NZ, have expat friends, because the Kiwi’s are so slow to accept them for who they are. My wife and I worked hard in NZ, to the point where we did not have time to explore, it was too expensive, why bother. You do not think Capitalism exist in NZ, you kidding yourself.

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      • We are also American and are thinking of moving to NZ so our young sons can grow up in a society that seems to value family and leisure time then the 15 hours days my husband works 280 days a year!

        We are far from wealthy, so some of what I’ve been reading in this post scares me!

        I was a teacher, so education matters greatly to me, so does NZ’s art scene, which looks pretty interesting.

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        • Many people in New Zealand work long hours, just because it’s on the other side of the world doesn’t mean that the working day is shorter for them (Google “long hours culture NZ”).

          Many families have to hold down at least 2 jobs to make ends meet and state assistance isn’t available for new migrants. Also be aware that New Zealand has one of the worst rates of teen suicide and depression in young people in the OECD, and far from being a country with ‘family values’ also has one of the highest rates of child abuse and preventable child deaths.

          Many parents report their children are bullied at school – one of the reasons why home schooling is so popular in New Zealand. Another reason is because the educational standards are shocking.

          If you’re looking to give your child a quality childhood New Zealand should not be on your list.

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        • Can you say what art scene you mean? Outside of NZ landscapes, Maori art/Jewelry.. there is precious little if any art world to be found here, trust me I’ve looked. The U.S. is FAR better in terms of art and culture – in fact pick ANY other western nation for that. Best of luck – (visit, sure — even a visit is expensive for what you actually get — but you will likely sorely regret moving here!)

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        • I don’t like to put would be immigrants off from coming to New Zealand but it is important they come with their eyes open. I moved here a few years ago and live in the South Island. I enjoy walking so there is a never ending supply of great walking tracks. My trip to work takes 10 minutes which I also appreciate. There is a sense of isolation that is sometimes nice but can often feel oppressive (In the South Island). The rest of the world is a long way away. I don’t really feel unsafe walking anywhere. I feel unsafe driving anywhere here. I remember a lady moved out from the UK and had been here a couple of weeks and was badly beaten in a random assault and was in hospital for a long time. She had been told that there was no violent crime in New Zealand. Her thoughts turned towards suing someone and she was then shocked to find that the legal framework protects people from being sued. (I am not a lawyer but believe you can only sue for defamation here). There is compulsory accident insurance to compensate accident victims but there are many shocking stories such as a drunk driver getting a big payout for rehabilitation medical costs but the person he kills getting a small funeral grant that doesn’t even cover costs. An American friend of mine gets annoyed that New Zealanders take a passionate interest in American issues but seem to have very little interest in addressing problems here. If you come out here expecting and wanting a challenge you will be in a better position than someone looking for utopia.

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        • See:

          https://e2nz.org/tag/gregg-smith/

          http://tvnz.co.nz/sunday-news/goodbye-mr-smith-video-4782476

          http://www.nzpensionprotest.com/

          PLUS, to make you feel truly welcome, New Zealand will steal your pension (and your spouse’s, if you have one) if you receive any overseas pension. This is a HUGE cash grab for NZ (322 million dollars last year alone):

          http://www.nzpensionprotest.com/Home/the-truth-twisters

          http://www.nzpensionprotest.com/Home/media-coverage

          http://www.nzpensionprotest.com/Home/media-coverage/reports-about-nz-pension-protest

          http://m.nzherald.co.nz/personal-finance/news/article.cfm?c_id=12&objectid=11592453

          http://www.migrants-to-nz-beware.info/

          And if that doesn’t give you a good idea of how unfairly you will be treated if you immigrate to New Zeland, then you should do our own web search.

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          • Auckland University’s Centre for Retirement Policy Research prepared a document for the Commission for Financial Capability, as part of the Retirement Commission’s review of retirement income policy. It advised extending the residency period required for eligibility for the pension to 25 years. It’s 10 years at present.

            Immigrants are going to be hit particularly hard if the recommendation is adopted.

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  8. The typical Kiwi take on exploitation of workers is smug,articles such as this –
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/news/article.cfm?c_id=2&objectid=10483620

    Deplorable, and these abuses need to be rectified. However, it is common in the Kiwi media to point the finger abroad as if these things do not happen in New Zealand, or happen to such a small extent that NZ does not need to look in its own mirror.

    But it does need to.

    Nannies exploited
    http://tvnz.co.nz/national-news/au-pair-exploitation-prompts-new-group-3171059

    Trafficking -Typical treatment in New Zealand. Press delete. No problem.
    http://www.rykenlaw.co.nz/web/article_4025.htm
    [1]Hon Mark Burton, Minister of Justice responded to the US State Department report by releasing a statement (6 June 2006) which asserts there is no trafficking at all in New Zealand, and that assertions suggesting otherwise are based on anecdotal information and a difference in definition. That workers are “trafficked” into New Zealand and continue to be “trafficked” cannot be doubted. The justice system mostly does not encounter the trafficked workers because once discovered by immigration authorities they are whisked out of the country.

    WWOOFers –
    http://www.igougo.com/story-s1365887-New_Zealand-WOOFing_New_Zealand.html
    more lack of regulation.

    Slave sailors in the Wild West?
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/4842357/Slavery-at-sea-exposed
    Talley says New Zealand fishing is like the wild west, and getting worse.
    “I think because of the higher price of fuel around the world, and as more of these boats get displaced, New Zealand is ending up as the junkyard for these fleets. I think I can say without fear of contradiction that nothing has improved one bit, and, in many ways, things have got markedly worse.”

    Sex worker trafficking? Just because it is legal in New Zealand does not mean that abuses do not occur. “Don’t sweep it under the rug”.
    http://www.ecpat.org.nz/

    Exploitation occurs everywhere. People in these developing countries exploit one another, kill girl babies, pay pennies to workers, have bribery and corruption in their governments, you name it. Having row upon row of Michael Moore docos in your video stores and keeping the worst of it under wraps so other nations can’t see your dirt doesn’t make New Zealand more virtuous than any other place – no worries, mate, we can smell the dirt. Some Americans who might be fleeing their own country’s policies of catering to corporate interests over human rights might view New Zealand as a kinder gentler place to get away from it all. Let me inform them before they bother coming – it is not. What New Zealand IS, however, is a place without its own Michael Moore.

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  9. I agree, the cost of living in NZ is higher, and the wages are lower. There is a huge migration from NZ to Australia. Kiwis can’t afford to live in their own country.
    Other aspects; although reputation and integrity are said to be valued, it’s really just a hoax.
    The “tall poppy” thing here is rampant. Don’t try too hard, you’ll get cut down. There is a double standard of being seen to be “respectable” and actually being “respectable”.
    I was going to service my vehicle, so I went to the Warehouse [similar to Walmart, K-mart] to get motor oil. $40 for a 5 litre jug. I thought that was a bit much, so left empty handed. I went home and looked up the same product [online] in the US, it was $15 [currency converted].
    Same product, nearly 3 times the cost.
    Most things can be brought in cheaper via internet sales [even though the postage is as much or more than the product. So, if I can do that on a small, personal basis, why can’t that be done on a larger commercial basis?
    Food that is produced locally is going for the same prices that can be had on the export market. Cell phone cost is big. When we lived in the States, we’d never learned how to txt, never needed to, calling was affordable. Electricity is very expensive, even though most is produced via hydro, then they added on the bogus ETS [carbon tax] that saw prices jump on an already expensive commodity.

    So, if you want to get paid 1/2 as much and pay twice as much, NZ is for you.

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  10. We’ve had similar negative experiences. NZ advertises for skilled professionals from abroad and then when they get here often treat them badly . My husband and I have both been bullied in the workplace. Because every one knows every one else people are afraid to complain. Nepotism in the work place is rampant.

    Goods and services are extremely expensive. One or two large companies monopolise supermarkets and as for milk don’t get me started on Fonterra!

    There is a huge gap between rich and poor and much racism and prejudice against anyone and everything that isn’t Kiwi. Small man syndrome, I think.

    I find life here extremely boring with the most mind numbing press and television

    I find Kiwis only superficially friendly.

    I shall be retiring back to England.

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    • Bang on! We’re going back as well. We’ll take our chances with the muslims and the rest of the undesirables back in the UK. Beats being endlessly screwed and racially discriminated against here and at least they’ve still got the NHS.

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  11. What you say is so right. Having lived and done business in NZ these past ten years, we’re outta here as soon as we can sell our place.
    NZ really could be Godzone if only the govt. would get its act together and stop giving the nations wealth to the maori mafia (iwi stands for I want it…). $37 billion and counting. Just think how much infrastructure that could have bought. We could have had our own version of the NHS and the air force would be a force and not a farce!
    While the Kiwi “white zombies” have their heads stuck in the ground in denial, the maori racists are robbing the rest of the country blind. I can’t see it changing apart from getting worse…

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    • The worst part is that all that $ has not improved the outlook for any that have recieved it. The over representation of this demographic in the criminal justice system is still high, productivity levels still low, educational results low, representation on the “dole” high.

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  12. * Wow! Farewell…Haere Ra and all that.
    It’s a real shame that those who come here expect to live the same life they’re used to. That they’re accustomed to. Unfortunately for you, you come with your own agenda expecting everything to be done your way because obviously your way is “right”. You come from a master race, world power and all “that”… This is where you fail.
    Try to take that “white” attitude to China and see how far you get?

    New Zealand has a history of social problems stemming way back to colonialsm. Like South Africa vs The Blacks. French vs Tahitian. America(British) vs Indigenous American. Australia(British) vs Aborigine, New Zealanders(British etc) vs Maori. etc etc etc…
    * Please by all means explain to us the wonderful benefits that have come to the indigenous races you have systematically tried to wipe out in order to get your piece of the “World” pie?

    * We were born and bred here. The culture is rooted IN the land. Whenua. The changes made in 1642, 1769 and 1840 are all part of WHO we are today. The 2 cultures have successfullly lived side by side without civil war since the 1800s. We disagree on many things for sure but we also try to live together and get along in the very short space of time we are on this planet, this small piece of earth.
    Civil War will never happen here because we have come together in life, in death as whanau(family). There are those with warped views, certainly but they are the minority and will never go “viral”.
    Our whanau now consist of white, polynesian, micronesian, asian etc..
    We are affected by the same problems as the rest of the world…violence, drugs, debt, racism, crime, hatred, death, pollution, poor housing, suicide, white collar crime, injustices of every sort. *Please point us in the direction of the countries that DO NOT suffer from these things? I have yet to find them.
    As for the “Fake” comment – I am still put off by the amounts of plastic surgery that passes as acceptable in other countries. But that’s an entirely different subject.

    This is reality folks. While you complain that you can’t get rich here and live the “American”dream. My concerns are more to do with the fact we have children going to school starving-turning to crime-getting sick or incarcerated- having children at a very young age and starting that cycle all over again…and sadly being raped and killed by those who are supposed to care for and protect them.
    My other concerns are the sewerage that goes into our oceans where we collect our seafood.
    The runoff from farms and industries that pollute our waterways where we collect our food.
    The pollution that goes into the air that we breathe.
    The dodgy ingredients from all over the world that enters into our food and drink that we have no control over and must blindly trust those in “power” to be looking out for our best interests.

    So.. Is this Paradise full of money making opportunities to all who come here? NO.

    Everything that is highlighted in the first post I tend to agree with. Because you hit the nail right on the head. We here, need to raise our standards, our values and STOP watching all that American and Worldwide crap on TV. Back To Basics. Whanau Comes First. Not Money.

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    • If you raise your standards and values,
      won’t more people fail?
      Remember: a world-class level of education – comes with a world class number of failures.
      Courses where everybody who enters it, graduates with a degree – are worth very little indeed, in my opinion.

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    • “Try and take that white attitude to China and see how far you get”

      We don’t have to. You know why? Good hard working Chinese people come to America in search of opportunity, and we are happy to have their input. And many Chinese that don’t go to America will stay there and work for companies that exist to copy or rip-off ideas or brands created in America. Why? Because the economic and governmental concepts are irrefutably better. By measure of the success they have created in the time span they have been used. Nothing you are even using as you type your nonsense, including the internet itself, would exist without America having created it. Your clueless argument is as arbitrary as telling a British person that their perspective is no good because they wouldn’t get far in the Mayan civilization.

      Thanks to this site for saving us from a wasted venture to NZ.

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    • I think you can protect and put first Whanau at the same time as improving elements in the economic value chain that benefit all in NZ . It is not mutually exclusive at all , in the contrary it should be complimentary.But it will need to start by letting the culture evolve and mature towards appreciation of what makes out real quality. The appreciation of quality and the mindful aspiration to attain it can only be found in a handful of countries that are for no surprise the most happy and affluent nations on earth , most but not all in Western and Northern Europe.

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  13. Wow. It never ceases to amaze me just what other people coming to live in NZ think. I agree with Jai.
    We are not the perfect country. Sorry if the tourism industry has mis-represented this. Anyways, tourism is for tourist – not for those wanting to live here. No brainer.
    Yes NZ is expensive. Yes lots of people cheat the benefit system. Yes we are behind in terms of electronics etc.

    FYI: I was born in a tiny rural town north of Auckland, have lived in Wellington since I was in primary school and spent a large amount of time with family in the rural west coast of the South Island. I now live in the UK.

    Currently (2012) 1 NZD = 0.5 GBP.
    In NZ it would cost me $10.50 for 3L milk + 2 loaves of bread. My cousins living here in the UK consider £5 a lot of money. Go figure.

    NZ has expensive living costs due to almost no competition, isolation internationally and isolation internally, etc.

    Expenses aside.

    To whoever wrote the original article: Yes, most of the dairies (corner stores) and take-away shops are owned by asian immigrants. So what? Do you have a problem with that? Because I don’t.

    In terms of housing it is not all as the original article has described: “Nothing’s insulated, no central or baseboard heat, single pane windows, cheap carpet and linoleum, mold all over the place from condensation from LPG heaters, cracked and warped sheetrock/gypboard from moisture damage, no such thing as a dehumidifier” – brings to mind of a mid 20th century house that has not seen any alterations/updates/repairs since the day it was built!
    I have lived in five houses (four of them rented) since my family moved to Wellington – trust me, NONE of them were anywhere that description!! ALL new houses built MUST have insulation, and all new houses I know of have double glazing.
    As a child I (and my younger, still school aged siblings) only had those horrible foam mattresses when sleeping in a camping hut.

    Auckland is heavily subdivided – but no more than what I’ve seen suburban towns in England, or than in Los Angeles (not talking about outskirts areas such as Calabases).

    NZ is a relaxed lifestyle. Each country is a different lifestyle. NZ really isn’t the lifestyle for “highflyer” types. It actually gets annoying hearing about people coming to NZ expecting to be able to “make money”, and to have a lifestyle that is considered quite lavish in NZ.
    Anyone who wants to emmigrate to NZ not wanting a relaxed (and isolated) lifestyle is disillusioned.

    The long rein of the former Labour government can be blamed for the “tall poppies” mentality (…hint at my political view).

    In comparison between NZ & USA, the two countries rank (out of the 74 OCED)
    NZ ranks 13th in Maths, USA is 31st. In Science, NZ is 7th & USA is 23rd. In Reading, NZ is 7th and USA is 17th.
    According to studies done by WHO in 2008, neonatal mortality per 1,000 live births is 4 in both NZ and USA; and infant mortality before 1 years old per 1,000 live births is 6 in NZ and 7 in NZ.

    Without entirely repeating what Jai said, IS there a country where the is no crime, racism, fraud etc???

    Personally, I left NZ because the relaxed lifestyle is not what I want right now (like most of my peers) because I want to challenge myself in my career and see how far I can push myself.
    However, NZ is the place where I’d want to return to to settle down.

    New Zealand isn’t a bad place to live, and neither is it a perfect place to live. But neither is America.

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    • “ALL new houses built MUST have insulation, and all new houses I know of have double glazing.”
      A couple of years back I lived in a house in the North Island with no double glazing – it was a new development that was probably 5 – 10 years old.

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  14. It is difficult to settle down when you have no money, everything is too expensive, and most rental stock is cold and wet. If your idea of relaxation is a camping trip you cannot escape from for years and years, NZ is your destination. That’s why many migrants say “nice place to visit, not a nice place to live”. Camping trips are fine as long as they are temporary. Living inside a camping trip for year upon year without relief – no thanks.

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  15. Money and connections make life easier anywhere you go. Sad but true. No Place is perfect. However, having higher expectations in a country that feels it’s at the top progressively, is frustrating. You end up rubbing people the wrong way. Compromising your standards in your ‘basic’ living is something you have to weigh. Should I stay or should I go is the constant internal dialoge. Make a decision, stick to it, and take action.

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  16. On the contrary, I as a research scientist, have found life perfectly enjoyable. I do not agree that Kiwis are superficial. Sure, there are jerks around. But hey! I am from Texas and India! So don’t get me started on jerks and knuckleheads. But I believe Kiwis are genuinely friendly people, if somewhat individualists. But to each his own! And I am not a social butterfly myself, and prefer to be left alone, with the occasional ‘hi-n-bye’. So I fit in perfectly. But yes, NZ is a low income-hig expense economy. But that’s just because of the way the country is built around services rather than products. But that is not necessarily a bad thing. Mindless consumerism does not lead happiness. I can vouch for that. If it did my beloved homeland would be paradise. But ask your average middle-class American about it. Sure, consumer product varieties are limited in NZ, and yes they do tend to cost more than in the US. But again, that is because this country functions in a very different. There is nothing wrong with a people trying to live a secluded, somewhat isolated and relaxed life. We Americans got to stop expecting the world to follow in on our footsteps. Now, don’t get me wrong. I am a conservative patriot through and through. It will always be red, white and blue for me… no matter where I go and/or live. But I do see the quaint poignant beauty of NZ, and the kind of life they have tried to build here. May be it’s a little naive and idealistic, but in my book those are qualities to be adored and enjoyed, not mocked or vilified. In a nutshell, I loved my time here. My research is taking me elsewhere in a month, but I will sorely miss living in Auckland. I absolutely dote on this city. And I will come back the moment I get an opportunity, even with a lower paycheck.

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    • Sam (uel), Man, you are certainly upon a different pedestal, but idealism doesn’t pays the bills. Try living an academic life with two degree and no jobs, then i can too vouch for what you said there. However, i agree that as an academic, NZ is not a bad place to be because you barely pay an international fees.And that shows in the stats that most academics in NZ are migrants.

      However, buddy, not everybody takes your route or mine. I bet that you can try living a quaint life in country full of morons, but that’s because you don’t have to deal with them in your everyday quest for ‘bread and butter’. Academia is a froth of the milk anywhere, the best people of any country are found there, be it in ‘Mozambique’ so you experience is itself invalid in the larger scheme of things here . However, try working in corporate sector and you will know what we all are victim of.

      Btw…i am Indian too, did my later schooling and Degree from US, worker there and then got entrapped in this sinkhole due to my idealism and academic bug. But now i am trying to get out of here by catching that same elusive rope of academia.

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  17. I don’t agree with this post at all I’m a kiwi and we have survived in NZ for years sorry you’re experience is different I think that’s you’re problem you got ripped off many of us have good jobs,wages etc and we don’t think NZ is a rip off do us all a favor and do your research before moving to another country. Stop whining no one really cares!!!!!

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    • No ad hom attacks please. Have you lived in another country and was the reality different to the marketing it used to promote itself to you?

      One more question, why do so many Kiwis leave New Zealand?

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    • This is a fairly typical point of view from someone who has never lived outside of New Zealand. You’re been brought up from birth to believe that New Zealand is the best place on earth and you haven’t questioned that. Stop believing the propaganda and get out there and experience life whilst you still can. You may find it’s not the great place you think it is.

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    • So what is your reference, what can you compare with? Did you ever live elsewhere, I seriously doubt it.

      You are like these Windows/Mac/Ford/Holden users who only ever used that one product and then claim loudly and proudly that it is the best.

      I bet you blindly vote for only one political party because that is the one your grandparents and parents always voted for.

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    • Virginia Ngata Tupou :
      I don’t agree with this post at all I’m a kiwi and we have survived in NZ for years sorry you’re experience is different I think that’s you’re problem you got ripped off many of us have good jobs,wages etc and we don’t think NZ is a rip off do us all a favor and do your research before moving to another country. Stop whining no one really cares!!!!!

      This is our point madam. You have survived your own country! That means, you struggled! We don’t come here for this. Immigration marketing campaigns picture NZ as paradise to lure us here. They don’t tell us that we will have to struggle to survive.

      Of course, you don’t think that NZ is a rip off. You were born here, you have a good job, quite possibly family support.

      It is nearly impossible for an immigrant to get a good job, no matter how qualified and experienced one is. We spend mega buck to come here to do what? Washing dishes and driving taxis because employers prefer to hire locals even with less knowledge and experience and wouldn’t give a chance to an immigrant. This madam IS rip off.

      We are not whining. We share our stories to help prospective immigrants make an informed decision. We know that nobody cares, I know it personally. Too bad for you guys, it only proves our point – you are not worth it. Cold & arrogant people!

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      • Well said and so true. They are not complaining because they might have availed of the benefit but that’s not what the migrants want…….as migrants want to work and live life productively. Thank you for your post. And I love what you said at the end ” YOU ARE NOT WORTH IT”. Kudos.

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      • Sorry, my message above on ” So pathetic ……………..” was addressed to V Tupou as I don’t think that’s the right attitude. The truth is people cares and we should be willing to listen.

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    • “Virginia Ngata Tupou April 5, 2013 at 10:38 pm – I don’t agree with this post at all I’m a kiwi and we have survived in NZ for years”

      Perfectly said Virginia Ngata Tupou – you have “survived” but life is not just about survival and those caveman days have long gone, people come here to “live” and I must say, live a quality “life”

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    • Nobody will contest what you say , but that doesnot change the sullen truth of things in NZ the way they really are versus how you feel and perceive them , probably having no valid comparison. Understandable reaction but flawed.Sure many comments feel nasty if you are a NZer, it is very confronting and sometimes painful to admit.

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  18. Who kind of temperament does a person have to have to acatually complain like this. Is she an actual dollar bill? Maybe a corporation that actually did turn into a real person? You know miss american, not everyone in the world cares about business. Some people find more value in other things and what you describe as a negative is what people find a positive but how dare others in the world live a non-merican way, right.
    Cheap Chinese products are everywhere in the world but just like other places you do get the option to buy non Chinese products too. Just because it sounds like she buys the cheapest thing, doesn’t mean others do. Imagine having a free market place, the horror.
    The idea that things cost a lot is true as it was a socially aware economy but people like this woman will be happy to know that rich are getting richer and poor are getting poorer so getting a lot closer to that ideal american way of “If you help others, you might just be a communist”

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  19. if u want to do wall in nz in go in to aquaculture were leading the would in this industry and that what makes new zealand money

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      • Yeah. Funny, when I was being interviewed by a WINZ Maori staffer, she refused my request to apply for the office position stating my English is “poor” despite my 8 IELTS. I did not want the kitchenhand position as I don’t cook. The funny thing is grade schoolers in my native country are surely better at spelling and arithmetics!

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        • Sounds like blatant discrimination Mark, who is she to make that decision for you? Surely it should be up to the employer to make the call if you meet the requirements of the job.

          Are you prepared to say where this WINZ office was?

          Ever thought about writing a Migrant Tale for us and sharing your experience of working and living in New Zealand. Tell others why you left.

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  20. Kiwis often ignore what the original poster said and revert to American stereotypes in their answers. They seem incapable of recognising that New Zealand is not the country it advertises itself to be. The poster was complaining that nothing was both made to last and affordable in New Zealand. It is wasteful of human and other resources, to operate like this, and the poster taking the moral high ground over consumerism has no leg to stand on. Marks and Spencer makes their clothing from FairTrade cotton. Lands End (American similar brand) clothing, made in USA. Good products do not have to be made exploitatively to be affordable. Everyone uses products. I assume this poster is not squatting in a cave eating dirt, and does buy things for his needs, as the OP needs to. Nothing comparable to Marks and Spencer or Lands End exists in New Zealand in any area at all, not merely garment trade. This makes normal family life difficult on top of the cost of living, cost of housing, weather coming “into” the houses, remoteness, uncontrolled crime, the “paradise egoism”, level of learnedness of the populace, and everything else. We had an organic enterprise back in the States. New Zealand sucked for us. We are happily gone.I know another family who had run an organic business abroad, who thought they would love New Zealand, brought their business over, and were surprised by what they found. They too have left. Both families were stressed beyond belief as a result of the insane lie of the “New Zealand lifestyle”. Even the ones of our sort who stayed there, with whom we are still in contact, do not intend to stay forever. At the time we were there, they did agree with us about the problems.

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  21. A Kiwi’s Point of View

    The truth hurts like a needle pricking the skin, I return to NZ for short stays, but can’t wait to leave again. New Zealanders have a skin deep mentality! they’re friendly on the outside – for a while, but resent the fact of anyone getting ahead or having a different agenda to themselves!
    The countries rivers are polluted and stagnated by decades of greedy dairy farmers spilling their runoff anywhere and everywhere. All national parks are napalmed with 1080 toxin that kills everything that breaths – in inhumane ways.
    The cost of living is insane!!! Food prices are controlled by only 2 major outlets!!! the average salary cannot maintain, feed or cover a small family with a mortgage or renting!!! – unless the cheapest staple food produce is purchased. The Food Banks throughout the country prove this, including the feeding programs of undernourished kids at school (who’s paying for this?) The mark up of any imported items within NZ are not price controlled!!! One has to research on the net (Priceme) before buying anything!!! – or get ripped off!

    The last 40 years of Government are the blame for the dilemma that NZ is now suffering from – Bad Politics with short term goals!!! The amount of different Political parties & regional bodies across the country (regional & district councils) are absurd for such a small population.
    Every New Zealander should have savings without excuse!!! – its now impossible for those that live in debt – which is most of the country!!! The middle class (whats left) are now squeezed even more as tax gatherers to fund the lower class and unemployed – The money has to come from somewhere!!! NZ is in the same dilemma as Ireland & Greece, theres only a short time left before the country dissolves into oblivion – especially if theres a change in Government in 2014 or if Fontera collapses off shore!!!

    New Zealand’s landscape and wilderness is awesome – Its also what foreigners, tourists and immigrants visualize, but the guts of the country is on its knees without any long term future status to resolve the important issues to keep the country sliding more into poverty!!!

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  22. I’m Russian,

    Lived in NZ for 20 years. If not for my name you would never know I’m nota Kiwi. While I love NZ dearly because there is no shooting and killing here yet, I agree with all of the above. Also low aspirations of Kiwis are slowly killing this country.

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    • What are you talking about of course there’s shooting and killing, it’s happening all the time. But I do agree with you about low aspirations killing this country, so does apathy and selective amnesia!

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  23. It is unfortunate that the author of this op-ed article had a difficult experience in New Zealand, many of the points raised were not accurate or representative of the situation in New Zealand.
    The author of this article chose to live in West Auckland which is a medium to low socio economic area where housing is at best adequate but not as bad as the author claims.
    The government has been financially assisting home owners to improve their home insulation with low interest loans to install under floor insulation and double glazed windows which has been widely accepted by owners of older homes. People in New Zealand do not live in trailer parks but do have the option of cheap homes that provide accommodation to a minimal standard.
    Due to New Zealand’s geographic isolation from marketplaces primary industry products such as dairy and timber are sold at a discounted rate to offset shipping costs. The returns from those products are sufficient for New Zealand to provide free healthcare, subsidised education, and care for the sick, unemployed and elderly. In some industries due to economy of scale wages are low but more than adequate to live on.
    New Zealanders through necessity are innovators, recently Team New Zealand competed in the America’s Cup in San Francisco where a high level of technical innovation was required to build a competitive yacht to sail against Larry Ellison of Team Oracle. Although we lost that series New Zealand was more than competitive than other international teams from more affluent economies.
    The indigenous people , Tangata Whenua, Maori, are lifting their education and health outcomes to record highs and have turned a corner from being a colonised race to a more self determined race who take their place in the countries economy and social fabric. Native American Indians have visited New Zealand to learn from Maori on how to succeed in a modern world.
    New Zealand is a beautiful country that offers freedom of will and a closeness with nature that is unique in the world. Many North Americans live here and love it. It is still possible to have your little piece of paradise. Please visit our country and make your own observations, you won’t be disappointed.

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    • Even though Kevin is a clearly a troll (he used the name Kevin herlihy, google it) we’ve decided to publish his comment to demonstrate some of the falsehoods that are bandied about as truisms. Just because they’re said with conviction doesn’t mean they’re accurate, some people genuinely believe this stuff. You get a lot of this in New Zealand, all part of the kool aid.

      New Zealanders through necessity are innovators, recently Team New Zealand competed in the America’s Cup in San Francisco where a high level of technical innovation was required to build a competitive yacht to sail against Larry Ellison of Team Oracle. Although we lost that series New Zealand was more than competitive than other international teams from more affluent economies.

      What a shame New Zealand can’t put a bit of that ‘innovation’ into building houses that meet more than the minimum standard.

      The report Children’s Housing Futures, showed that children’s housing in New Zealand was worse than the OECD average and many were living in poor quality, insecure and crowded premises. One estimate is that a quarter of a million homes in New Zealand are so damp, cold and poorly insulated that they ruin people’s health. That’s a bit more than just West Auckland

      Articles tagged Housing and Health may be found here https://e2nz.org/tag/housing-and-health/

      Do our readers think that West Auckland is representative of the rest of New Zealand? we’re of the opinion it is very much the same wherever one goes. Is it, for example, better or worse than Kaitaia or Turangi?

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      • Probably better than Kaitaia. The desperation in which people live there has a number of different faces, and Westies are just one of them. I DID live there for 10 years. in NZ. I was anxious to leave after about 2 years. Unfortunately, many of the people who need that weather-upgrading of their homes the most are renters. They own nothing. They couldn’t afford to pay a loan off. The landlords are too cheap to upgrade the shacks they rent out, and wouldn’t improve the homes either. I call them “homes”, but really…too many of them are…they’re the sorts of places that homeLESS squat in over here. The healthcare is better than nothing for the price taxpayers pay, I’ll give them points for that. The education is the same – getting what they pay for, better than Third World. No one gives a crap about their boats. I certainly hope America’s (and Canada’s) native peoples don’t follow the Maori example. We don’t need more gangstas and potheads, thanks.

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      • I think its tragic that so much money is thrown at sport and the America’s cup etc and yet so little attention is paid to child poverty and abuse, where help is so limited due to lack of funds. How disgraceful is that. I find that these very sad facts are swept under the carpet and ignored.

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    • I recall in 2004 there was an outcry in New Zealand because public money was being given to Maori to travel to the US & study hip hop. Seem like a mutually beneficial arrangement?

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    • ‘Not typical’ client seeks food parcels’ in today’s Marlborough Express.

      “Alana Jones is not your typical foodbank client.

      Her husband has a good income, she was employed until the birth of her 5-month-old baby and she is not eligible for a benefit.

      But with up to eight mouths to feed, constant rent increases and only about $200 for bills and food each week, she needs help.

      This is the second time in two weeks Jones has visited the Christchurch City Mission for a food parcel.

      Between Jones and her partner they have six children. They live in a “cold, damp” three-bedroom rental in Avondale. Two children have asthma and one has a heart defect.

      She is $25 over the threshold to be eligible for a Housing New Zealand property, and her husband earns “just” too much for them to qualify for a benefit.

      After rent, bills and petrol are paid from her partner’s $700 weekly income and their $420 Working for Families supplement, Jones estimated they had $200 to spend on food “if we’ve got it”.

      Making ends meet was now getting “harder and harder”.

      “We look back at what we used get and you can’t get that any more.

      “We’ve lost internet, phone, TVs – so you can imagine it’s like camping. We can’t afford the bills.”
      http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/9506569/Not-typical-client-seeks-food-parcels

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      • Yes, BUT thats the problem of having too many children without thinking how expensive it’s going to cost. If one cannot afford to feed & clothe 2 kids then why have 4 more? This is a no brainer that many kiwis do! Just let the govt. tax more from the middle class and put it through the system for those that are baby producing. Making bambinos is the easy part – its who in the long term that ends up paying for it! Its certainly nothing new in regards to having large families in NZ – Afford what you can Pay for!

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        • Richard, having kids is expensive no matter where you are in the world.

          The difference is that NZ sells itself as being a great place to raise them.

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      • It does rather read like Propaganda Speak 101. Thanks for the tip about proxy servers, we get them from time to time. Kevin probably arrived from a link that was recently posted on Kiwiblog. He’s using an email address with kevin Herlihy in the title, which in itself is extremely poor taste. We let it through because it was such a blatant piece of propaganda we thought our regulars would like to see it.

        This part raised a few eyebrows

        Due to New Zealand’s geographic isolation from marketplaces primary industry products such as dairy and timber are sold at a discounted rate to offset shipping costs.

        How much is a litre of milk in New Zealand compared to Britain, Australia or the USA?

        Let’s see some prices for timber too, oh and some photos of typical New Zealand homes would be great. Let the evidence speak for itself “Kevin”.

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        • I can assure you that the New Zealand government, or rather, individual New Zealand government agencies have their own “Ministries of Propaganda”. I suspect they monitor and comment on your blog. “Kevin” probably has the intelligence of a bogan staffing a government department, so the incongruities in his arguments are understandable.

          As a fan of George Orwell, I constantly marvel at the amount of newspeak and doublethink that pervades New Zealand. I often wonder whether people genuinely believe this rubbish or whether they simply want to believe things hoping that repeating a lie ad infinitum renders it true. Human beings are exceptionally adept at masking reality or believing what they want to believe. This is perhaps why I enjoy children because many of them have not yet learned that duplicity and mendacity seem to be a necessity in the modern world.

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          • Well official trolls certainly censor Wikipedia and 1080 information, pages and videos, that much we’re certain of. There have also been a few dirty tricks going on with regards to pro-1080 propaganda

            Ref:

            Palmerston North’s Wikipedia entry censored

            1080 Documentary Wins Out Against NZ Propaganda Machine

            1080: DOC Staffer Censors Wikipedia To Remove Anti 1080 Information excerpt follows:

            Christchurch man Alan Liefting, who set up the “1080 usage in New Zealand” page last September, resurrected the information within 30 minutes.

            He told The Press debate was being “stifled” by “bad-faith editing” by public servants wasting their time.

            “It’s not up to DOC employees to do this sort of thing…

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          • My Swiss in-laws remark that Switzerland is the richest country in the world, but also the most expensive. However, they have not lived in New Zealand, the country that offers the least value for money of anywhere I have been! My wife and I did our sums on living in Switzerland compared to New Zealand. As a somewhat anal person with a background in investments, we meticulously keep track of every receipt and categorise it. We have been here for not even two months and we are thrilled to have escaped the incompetence, stupidity, corruption, extortionate living costs, and absence of professional opportunities in New Zealand. My wife is a Kiwi/Swiss who is Swiss citizen by descent and I am an American who moved to New Zealand three years ago after selling my business in the US.

            At any rate, our monthly grocery bill in Switzerland came to slightly less than what we paid monthly in New Zealand! Admittedly, we buy most of our stuff from Aldi, a German discount grocery chain and then we buy some speciality things unavailable at Aldi at either Migros or Co-op, which are admittedly more expensive, but the quality of products would be impossible to find in New Zealand and the price is reasonable based on our earning power here.

            Food is expensive in Switzerland compared to the rest of Europe because the government heavily subsidises farmers, wages are high, and rents for stores are expensive. Swiss farms are small (e.g. a Swiss farmer has a dozen cows compared to a few hundred for a New Zealand farmer) and the government wants to produce as much food domestically as possible should a war or international crisis prevent the importation of food, so it subsidises agriculture. The farming subsidies definitely increase prices, but I agree with the Swiss that having a domestic food supply is a matter of national security.

            Anyway, I paid the following here when I went to the grocery store yesterday.

            CHF 1.15 (NZ $1.55) for a litre of milk
            CHF 5.99 (NZ $8.09) for a kg of honey
            CHF 1.79 (NZ $2.41) for a kg of tangerines
            CHF 1.49 (NZ $2.01) for a kg of bananas

            Incidentally, the supermarket chain Aldi pays its employees a minimum wage of CHF 4,200 in Switzerland or CHF 54,600 (NZ $73,000) per year (You get paid double in December in Switzerland so it is x 13). For employees in Zurich, the minimum salary is CHF 4,600 per month. Here is the German article http://www.gmx.ch/themen/finanzen/wirtschaft/10ax80y-aldi-suisse-erhoeht-grundlohn-2-1-prozent#.hero.Aldi%20Suisse%20erh%C3%B6ht%20Grundlohn.606.329

            The packaged products here are all generally cheaper than in New Zealand, but the products are high quality products that come from Switzerland, Germany, or Italy. It will no doubt amaze Kiwis that Aldi can pay its Swiss employees nearly triple what people earn at Countdown whilst charging lower prices and still manages to turn a tidy profit. Aldi is very efficient German company unlike Kiwi businesses comprised of busybody bogans.

            You will see the supermarket employees in Switzerland work efficiently. If there are no customers, the people at the register stock shelves instead of blabber to each other about their cousin’s crazy girlfriend before they help the customer. Likewise, customers put a 2 Franc coin into the trolleys, which gets returned once they return the cart, so they do not have to pay a guy to push shopping trolleys. Kiwis always express indignation at automation or anything that improves a process believing incorrectly that reducing the need for physical labour produces unemployment. If this were the case, we should abolish machinery and all own little plots of land and start living as subsistence farmers. We would all be busily working acquiring the bare necessities with no time to do anything else.

            You will notice that the job adverts here have very few openings for “managers”. I remember in New Zealand how an office of about twenty-five people was comprised of about sixteen managers and a CEO! At my wife’s company in Switzerland, they hardly have any managers. Not having an inordinate number of managers that “supervise” and produce very little means Swiss companies can pay people good wages. BTW, the median salary in Switzerland is CHF 6,000 per month, or CHF 78,000 per year (NZD $117,000) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_in_Europe_by_monthly_average_wage For illiterates, that means half the people earn more than NZD $117,000 per annum. You can get more detailed information confirming the information salaries for different professions, but you will have to know German, French, or Italian to follow it http://www.lohnrechner.bfs.admin.ch/Pages/SalariumWizard.aspx?lang=de. Many of the Swiss are highly specialised workers. Companies provide good apprenticeships or training programmes that match young people with the skills they need and suitable employment after they complete their training, hence unemployment is about 3% here. The tax system here rewards excellence and business. Cantons compete to lower taxes, so many large multinationals relocate to Switzerland or have a presence here. Businesses also want access to a well-educated and highly skilled workforce, so many have substantial operations here.

            Public transport here is very cheap and of far superior quality to New Zealand. In Wellington, I would have to pay NZ $3.88 per bus trip (with the discount card) for a short ride to work or NZ $155.20 per four weeks/month or NZ $1,862.40. The bus was often late or would break down regularly and I would use my car the rest of the time because the bus in my area only ran during commute times. In Zurich, you pay CHF 729 (NZ $984) per year and you can ride unlimited on all trains, trams, buses, and boats within the city. You literally only have to wait a few minutes at most for a train or tram to come. The trains, buses, and trams are on time 99% of the time, very new, and clean. In Switzerland, you just board the bus or train with your ticket or card. The train crew or transit police occasionally check to see if you have a valid ticket in addition to your Swiss ID or relevant residence permit for foreigners. If you do not have a valid ticket, they issue a huge fine. However, not checking everyone’s ticket every single time makes things more efficient and quicker. I remember how much time ended up wasted for someone fumbling for change etc on the bus or the silliness of having several people standing around to sell train tickets on the Wellington trains. Here, they have machines and people are honest, so they pay. If not, they do end up getting caught during the random spot checks.

            My wife and I have an annual GA card, which allows us unlimited use of all the public transport in Switzerland (trains, buses, trams, boats) for an entire year. She is under 25 and I get the partner discount, so we pay CHF 5,000 (NZ $6,750) for two people. Otherwise, you pay CHF 3,400 (NZ $4,590) for full price for one person. At any rate, we do day trips around Switzerland on weekends, which is awesome. You can go skiing, hiking, visit Christmas markets, go to old cities and towns on weekends in contrast to New Zealand where many people will not drive the car on weekend because the petrol is expensive. We take maximum advantage of the GA card and we have so much to do here compared to New Zealand. We can go to listen to music, watch sports, or check out a ballet.

            As for housing, we move into our new apartment on 1 January. We will pay CHF 1,230 per month (NZ $1,660) for a 78 square metre apartment in a town about twenty-five minutes by train from the centre of Basel. In Wellington, the cost for our 90 square metre house In Broadmeadows was NZ $475 per week or about NZ ($2,058 per month), which takes about the same time to get to by bus or fifteen minutes by car. The difference is that our apartment has actual parquet and tiled floors rather than the unsanitary cheap carpet of New Zealand, a large refrigerator, proper tiles in the bathroom, and a kitchen that would be hard to find in New Zealand. Most importantly, we have central heating, so my poor wife no longer has to freeze in winter.

            Utilities are very cheap here. I have not had an electricity bill, but my wife’s Swiss relatives were horrified at New Zealand prices. Fortunately, Switzerland has nuclear plants, which is taboo amongst anti-science and technology crowd in New Zealand but help produce cheap electricity. Telephone, Internet, and television are very cheap. You can get an entry-level package in Switzerland for CHF 89 per month (NZ $120) that provides you with unlimited calls within Switzerland, unlimited Internet, and 140 channels http://www.swisscom.ch/en/residential/packages/vivo-casa.html.

            Taxes in Switzerland are much lower than in New Zealand and it is hard to compare because different cantons and municipalities tax differently. However, a married man earning CHF 100,000 (NZ $135,000) with two children will pay between 2.6% and 10.7% actual tax rate. http://www.expatica.com/upload/CH_Bonfina_table1.png. I would also add the other compulsory insurances (unemployment insurance, state pension, accident insurance, which add another 10%. This would still bring the actual tax rate to between 12.6% and 20%, which is still much lower than New Zealand. VAT here is 8% compared to 15% GST in New Zealand.

            The social safety net is fabulous. If you become unemployed in Switzerland, you receive 70% of your previous pay capped at about CHF 100,000 per year, meaning you can get up to about CHF 70,000 for one year. However, they cut off your insurance after one year, so there is less of a benefit underclass than in New Zealand.

            You must buy your own private health insurance here. We have the very basic plan, which is about CHF 400 (NZ $540) per month for two people. This covers doctor’s visits, hospitalisation, and free births. If we have surgery, we pay the first CHF 2,500, but no one ends up with a catastrophic medical bill like in the US. The quality is superb. My wife had to have an emergency appendectomy and the quality she received was superb. The hospital food was proper food, unlike the crap made in the US, UK, New Zealand, and other English-speaking countries that do not know the value of a good meal. The medical system is 100% private, except the government will help you pay for your health insurance if you are too poor to afford the premiums. The physicians and nurses were superb. They actually communicate with you and methodically explain what they intend to do. They come across as much sharper than the New Zealand doctors I have met.

            We plan to have children in about two years, so we researched the schools. My wife went to a local Swiss school as part of her job induction. The facilities were superb and teachers receive excellent pay here. The average Swiss person knows 2 or 3 languages well, unlike the average Kiwi who does not even know his mother tongue properly. Switzerland was number one in Europe on the PISA results. The education system is very practical. For example, if you are not academically gifted, you start learning a trade at about 15. The schools segregate older kids according to ability, so there are separate tracks for people and gifted kids do not end up stunted. However, university attendance is not that high, as most people do apprenticeships that match young people with skills and employers. In New Zealand, the focus is on putting everyone through university. Consequently, most kids receive a pseudo intellectual education that is far below the standard of a proper university trajectory, so they do not actually learn anything useful. They also do not learn anything useful if they are less academic. Kids in New Zealand pay high prices for university, but cannot find jobs because they have learned nothing useful in New Zealand’s subpar academic institutions. In Switzerland, tuition is about CHF 1,500 per year (NZ $2,025). However, admission criteria are strict, so only top students go to university. The universities also focus extensively on business, engineering, and hard sciences, unlike New Zealand where the university education lacks rigour and students learn useless things, usually socialism masquerading as academic research in soft disciplines like the humanities. I happen to love the humanities, but they have suffered so much dumbing down.

            Lastly, the professional opportunities are superb. My wife found a job earning triple her New Zealand salary within a week of landing here in late October working for a multinational. She has moved up considerably in terms of pay and responsibility.

            I have not found a job yet, as the job market dies at the end of the year because no one wants to leave their job before the Christmas 13th month pay and companies generally do not recruit. However, I have spoken to a couple people in my profession, who said I should find something easily earning top money early next year. I am not too concerned and I expect to resume a proper career trajectory that took a tumble in New Zealand. While my wife works, I have been organising the new apartment, buying furniture, searching for a job, sorting out all the little logistical things, and posting on E2NZ!

            At any rate, we are thrilled to have left New Zealand and we are not looking back. I just wanted to post this to encourage other migrants that are stuck. I know most other countries do not offer the phenomenal opportunities that Switzerland has, but there is life outside New Zealand. Even an expensive place like Switzerland is still cheaper and provides much better value than New Zealand in so many respects. My wife and I are looking forward to having our children here and raising them in Europe where having an intellect or drive is not a crime. We are also so close to so many places and things, so we will be doing a great deal of travelling.

            My advice to migrants that are stuck in New Zealand is to cut their losses and leave. I also recommend the same to the intelligent and industrious Kiwis to take them and their skills with them overseas. New Zealand is a land of parasites that survives, in part, by lying and fooling credulous migrants and tourists into coming there. The best way to rectify the situation is to rid the parasites of their hosts.

            We are thrilled to have escaped New Zealand and we are both very grateful to the person or people that run E2NZ. I hope that many of you avoid making a colossal mistake by coming to New Zealand.

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          • Do you remember the scathing comments about NZ being the “anti-Switzerland” on a certain other forum? Because it was “all generalist” vs “all-specialist” a society? I know which place I’d rather live in.

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        • “Kevin” never returned to answer the challenge. This is usually what happens when NZ propagandists are made to explain their rhetoric – they can’t because there is no substance behind it.

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          • New Zealand was up there in quality of life, education, standard of living, healthcare and all with Switzerland and everywhere else. Until 1984, when a series of Governments decided we should follow the dysfunctional USA into cutting taxes, wages and government services

            Liked by 1 person

  24. Yeah so many have been ripped off. . . I know University of the Philippines PHD scientists who have worked as cleaners, AINs, factory workers while their counterparts who went instead to the USA, Canada, and Australia enjoyed respectability. And sometimes it’s so hard to erase the stain that your work in New Zealand has left. Skills have already left in an ever changing work environment. Yeah so go before they consume you!

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  25. Another part of me wanting to leave New Zealand is that my parents have lost touch with reality,this is what happens when people put money or work first,I have noticed that when comparing food prices and cost of living and other costs with other countries,New Zealand seems to be the most expensive,lets take Japan for example,they have 5% GST and New Zealand 15% GST,when I lived in Japan for a month,I found their food was cheaper and also entertainment was also cheaper in Japan,and then transport costs were way cheaper than New Zealand,all I want to say is that it is really easy to lose touch of reality with the outside world if people like my parents decide to put work first because when I try to tell them living overseas is way better than New Zealand,this is why I tend to try to travel a lot because relegating yourself to New Zealand can make people lose touch with the outside world,it can happen to any migrant who puts work first as well

    I hope E2NZ can publish this comment

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    • @Mr Alex: You are completely right. The longer you remain in New Zealand, the more you lose touch with reality. I noticed this even happening to me when I was there, but thankfully, I had the ability and means to travel or watch news from international outlets, so I managed to mitigate the effects of the Kiwi Kool Aid.

      New Zealand is a bit of cult and people there lose touch with reality.

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      • isolated places and enforced homogeneity of attitude produce that brainwashing effect, don’t they! That’s why cult leaders move out to the middle of nowhere. Less truthiness leaks into their bubble.

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  26. SafefromNewZealand,this is why I have decided to leave New Zealand for good within 5-7 years,my dad and my mum have basically shunned communication with their family or extended family and even their brothers and sisters who live in Hong Kong and this is why I decided to go to Japan with a stopover in Hong Kong so I could alert my own family what was happening in New Zealand,if I stayed anymore longer in New Zealand I could end up like my parents,thats why I decided on Japan

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    • @MrAlex 5-7 years is too long. Get out sooner. The longer you remain in New Zealand the greater become your opportunity costs on what else you could have been doing in Hong Kong, Japan, Australia, etc. You also end up stuck in New Zealand in a dead end job, which makes it even more difficult to have the right skills that enable you to move easily to another country. Trust me, you do not want to waste a single extra day in New Zealand.

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  27. Over in Wellington where I live there are numerous cults and if anyone wants to know,the can even brainwash people into losing their touch with reality and in the end the results are not pretty,I have heard that New Zealand has cult mentality too

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  28. I will also include that it happened to my father,my father has now lost touch with reality after he allowed a new age cult in Wellington to convert him,he has basically shut communication with my mum and his own family and relatives in Hong Kong,the warning is if you let the cults in New Zealand gain access to any of your parents or family,consider it GAME OVER,because the first moment the cult brainwashes its going to be hell in a handbasket.I watched it happen to my father and also I suggest people visit http://www.cults.co.nz there are over 2,000 cults in New Zealand that are dedicated to brainwashing,to the migrants who are married or wanting to leave New Zealand,make sure the cults do not gain access to your family or children

    I hope E2NZ can do a small posting on cults in New Zealand as they are pretty dangerous as well

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  29. It’s bad enough to be the object of brainwashing attempts by people who will not accept that your New Zealand living experience is sub-par. Imagine being sucked into a cult within a cult.

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  30. Wow. So much negativity. I’m considering migrating to New Zealand (Wellington) in March this year. To be honest, after reading this forum, I’m having serious doubts. Were there any good points to living in NZ?

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      • NZ is a country with many problems and small mindedness but also a country of great beauty and peace. We have decided to leave for Australia but going with heavy hearts and sadness.

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        • That must’ve been a difficult decision to make Michelle. You’re from Africa aren’t you many years ago, what made you decide on New Zealand originally and not Australia? How have the countries changed in the last decade or so?

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      • The scenery is fantastic. You can’t eat it and it can’t heat you, though. That’s about it. The fact that the beaches aren’t built-up with condos etc. That is nice too. Though you can find those in other countries. Not every beachline is built up, after all! Seriously, some people do well enough in New Zealand. I would love to see a quiz-type instrument on here (a serious one, not a biased one) that would allow people to select themselves out as unsuitable migrants beforehand.

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  31. My fiance and I are thinking of possibly taking a year off from the states and move to NZ for an adventurous year after we get married this June. After reading this article I am feeling a bit nervous. We want to work and travel on the south island. He has lived there before, about 5-6 years ago, and he has convinced me that it’s a great way to spend a year together while taking a step back from the ‘rat race’ we feel in the USA. Any thoughts? Advice? We are not planning to get ‘career’ jobs. Just things to get by and stay even, not go there to get ahead.

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    • If you are only staying a year and have no desire to get ahead, you will probably do just fine. He is already familiar with it. Mind you, women tend to like it less than men do because of the expensiveness of things we consider normal (shampoo, climate control, etc.). If you can picture yourself on an extended camping adventure, and don’t expect to come out of it with any money left to your name but some beautiful photos, you’ll love it. We moved there with an expectation that we’d be avoiding a rat race, but it turned out that life was so hard there (everything incredibly expensive, and there was a pettiness and viciousness/readiness to exploit regarding money, because no one had any and everyone needed it, and Americans are perceived as “having too much of it”) that we weren’t actually avoiding a rat race. Or rather, we had moved from a place where everyone’s working hard to stay competitive and create a comfortable life for themselves to a place where everyone wants to pick your pocket. It was like going to an Anglo Third World country, where you’re viewed as fat cat Yankees and “have it to spare”, so be prepared for the “Migrant surcharge” when trying to buy things. You might consider WWOOFing.After reading this first – http://www.expatexposed.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=33302

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      • Apart from english being the lingua franca in NZ there will be less and less “Anglo” in NZ in the future demographically. What always strikes me is that in all the media from and about NZ you can only see english names. Where the hell are all those immigrant names , korean chinese , german , etc….never ever see them.Oh right, of course , they never got a chance with their inferior educations , wondering how they complied with entry requirements in the first place . Oh no, actually they did not need them , what they did need was their money to uphold and nurture their frail real estate Ponzi scheme.It is also a nuisance to be confronted with possible alterations in your workflow by those silly newbees , better stick amongs each other and thwart any improvement. Oh no , it cannot be an improvement , it was already perfect according to ” she’ll be right” worldviews.

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  32. I was born and bred here. never lived in another country. Yes a lot of what you say is true, although one sided. I respect that, but don’t put us down, we do what we must, and the best way to cope is ‘relax’. Take it easy lifes too short for hassles

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    • she means, “relax, after enough drinks and some weed, this 4-foot tire iron up your bum won’t hurt at all”. That’s New Zealand!

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  33. You cannot live else where if you don’t have the money for travel, living expenses etc. Also if you are low payed and have a child (like me) it is even harder to save money especially with rent, food and everything else being so expensive.

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  34. I currently live in the UK, have travelled extensively & have no doubt I will head home to NZ. It is the most beautiful country in the world. The high cost of living is what you have to pay to live in such a sparcely populated country. The tiny population is one of the many things that keeps NZ amazing! It’s isolated pacific location will hopefully keep it this way while other countries around the world are experiencing a population explosion they don’t have the resources to cope with. I will certainly raise my kids there as it is safe & the climate, landscape & people are, for the most part, lovely. All countries have problems. From what I’ve seen overseas NZ’s are relatively few. Perhaps kiwis having a ‘lack of ambition’ is an indication that they they are generally happy with what they’ve got?? If that is the case then how wonderful.

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    • If you think that about New Zealand you’ve not travelled as extensively as you think you have.

      Good luck raising your kids there, no doubt they’ll do the same as you when they reach adulthood – leave.

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  35. Having an OE is a long established Kiwi tradition &, for the most part, they return home hopefully having had some awesome experiences but with a greater appreciation of NZ. I hope my kids go out & experience other countries so they can come back & feel the same way. I’m not saying NZ is perfect but it has a lot going for it in comparison to the huge social & economic issues other countries are facing (causing). Having lived in the UK for a few years now I can certainly say that the cost of living here is significantly higher than NZ, people are far less friendly, there is a higher crime rate, higher taxes, more poverty, hopeless healthcare, terrible standards of education, impossibly competitive job market, low salaries & ingrained racism. Friends have told me similar things about living in the US. Granted NZ certainly can’t compete with the UK in terms of choices for consumers or the options for holidays but you’d expect that with 63 million people & the UK’s proximity to Europe & America. It seems that this site’s purpose is to criticise NZ, how very negative & narrow minded. I’d be interested to know if admin has ever lived overseas? Where is it that you’ve been that makes NZ seem so terrible?

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    • How long since you left NZ sstick?

      A lot of your questions would be answered if you’d taken the time to read our What they say about E2NZ.org and Introduction pages.

      We’ve heard it said a lot of times that New Zealand is a country that looks better the further away one is from it. Simple, but true. Good luck with settling back in. You may want to prepare yourself for reverse culture shock after living in such an advanced country for so long, you may even start to see it as a migrant sees it.

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  36. Advanced? You’re talking about a country where a portion of the government still inherit their titles & positions. Not to mention the fast crumbling healthcare system & wages that barely or fail to meet living costs for much of the population. Point me to a country that has fewer social, economic or environmental problems than NZ & perhaps your abundant criticism could be taken seriously.

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    • Are you referring to the upper house of parliament in Britain – one of the oldest living democracies in the world?

      Think of how NZ would benefit from the moderating effect of higher layer of parliament not beholden to the simple span of a single term: no more laws passed under urgency and less chance for Hollywood to dictate workplace legislation and social policy.

      Having a one tier parliament simply broadens and entrenches the opportunity for nepotism and cronyism.

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  37. First of all you are an idiot for moving to auckland in the first place should of done your research. New zealand isn’t as advanced because it is a very young country we had settlers in the late 1800s and because it is so isolated it meant it was harder to get things to new zealand so we couldn’t advance it as fast compared to other country. but you ignore the fact we have some of the best schooling in the world and considering we are such a young country and have some of the best education that means we are building a bright well educated future for this country. Our dollar is gaining so you all grandpas can complain about the present and the past but you should be looking at the future. People like you are going to be our downfall if you keep thinking about what we don’t have and be grateful for what we do have. Didn’t you ever learn that at kindergarten???

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    • Thank you Sarah, that has to be one of the funniest comments we’ve had for a long time at E2NZ.org 😀

      Judging by the high number of spelling and grammatical mistakes, your inconsistent capilisation and your overall misuse of English our readers may arrive at the conclusion that a New Zealand education isn’t as great as you’re led to believe. “Should of” Really? that’s just bad :O.

      Didnt ya never learn propa english @ kindergarten? Never mind, if you don’t dwell on what you don’t have we won’t either.

      NB. You’re banned for your ad hom attack in your opening sentence. Look it up in a dictionary after referring to our comments guidelines.

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  38. While much of what you say is true, particularly the housing situation and the tall poppy syndrome, I have a few gripes with this borderline rant. Expecting the same power sockets in a different country is exactly the shortsighted arrogant sort of thing Americans say that gives them a bad reputation overseas. The world and it’s technology is not birthed from the United States. Also… where are you buying your electronics? I’m keen to know because last I checked I purchased stuff made in Japan & Korea at very competitive prices. Good quality stuff too. Kids mattresses made of foam? You shopping exclusively at the warehouse? Hell even they have some decent wares. This article is written in the same way I would write about the states having only lived in Alabama and without any local guidance.

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    • “Kids mattresses made of foam? You shopping exclusively at the warehouse? Hell even they have some decent wares.”

      You see what you did there?

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    • With all due respect, if you travelled around the world you would realise that the US is not the pinnacle of advancement when it comes to electric infrastructure. Much of the power distribution occurs over wooden poles above ground making it vulnerable to weather related problems whereas the electric distribution elsewhere is underground.

      Have you ever been to stores in another country to compare the retail scene? A Mexican person I met in New Zealand remarked that the items at the Warehouse were of much lower quality than even Wal-Mart.

      I am not a materialist, but I do want the few things I buy to be of quality and I am even happy to pay a high price for it. New Zealand retail scene is Switzerland prices at sub-Saharan African quality. Actually, one has better shopping choices in sub-Saharan Africa.

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      • Ultimately, it makes more sense to buy higher-quality goods and have them last. Rather than serially buy lower-quality and have them fall apart. So when migrants complain about no shopping, it is not because we are materialistic. It is because we just want value for our money, and NOT to be wasteful. It’s only good sense.

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  39. I have to say after reading this it’s a transparent attempt to discourage people from overseas from looking to move to New Zeeland.

    Yes, you naysayers are that transparent. You’d been better off keeping your mouths shut.

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    • Andy, you should’ve read our Welcome page before you opened yours https://e2nz.org/introduction/. You read one single page and that makes you an expert about this site? Stick around or follow E2NZ on Twitter.

      FYI, WYSIWYG. E2NZ.org aims to be transparent, thank you for the validation of that.

      Don’t drink the Kool_aid.

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  40. Wow, now I’m nervous.

    Our family of four is strongly considering moving to NZ from the US for 2 years, to have an adventure, to have more open space, to have a safe place for our boys to run, explore and play.

    We’ve always lived relatively simply, and are not in it to strike it rich, but we do need to make enough money to pay rent/utilities/transportation, buy food, and save for airfare. We are currently in the squeezed middle class of the US, and are looking for something new. The idea of extended camping – so to speak – is not entirely horrible so long as we don’t freeze in the wind. Although a dishwasher and washer/dryer would be really, really nice.

    What I’m seeking isn’t a list of complaints, but a solid list of “here’s the best advice to prepare to move to NZ from the US” with regard to what to bring/what to leave behind, the best industries to look into for decent jobs, what did you find the most useful for your transition to NZ from the US?

    Socially, politically, economically, I’m not expecting NZ to be similar to the US because every country has it’s own unique good/bad/other qualities to it. That’s part of living abroad. It is good to know that it’s so expensive, though! Maybe I need to plan on shipping over more than I had originally planned?

    I’d appreciate the good, the positive, the reports from those who planned, prepared and knew what to expect. Thank you.

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  41. To have an adventure, to have more open space, to have a safe place for our boys to run, explore and play. Simply put, we’ve always wanted to live there.

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  42. There’s a lot of reasons we are considering this move. Personally, it’s what we want.

    I’m thinking/hoping that despite all the bad, that those who have had positive experiences along the way (and I saw them in the thread above) might be willing to offer advice.

    Fine, you can say, “Even thought I think NZ sucks, here’s my best advice to someone moving there from the US,” but I’m looking for someone who can do that in a helpful way.

    I get it. Many people have had horrible experiences there. I just spent an hour reading through this thread, so I get it, loud and clear. But not everyone did. I’m looking for advice from those who want to help out others – maybe with advance notice, those of us preparing to live in NZ can learn from your experiences.

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  43. You’re going to do it anyway, what you want is validation and re-assurance and sugar glazing. Sorry mamacheeta but even though I think NZ sucks, here’s my best advice to someone moving there from the US: DON’T DO IT. Not if you’ve got kids, don’t do that to them.

    Reading one thread isn’t good enough, there are plenty of threads on here about New Zealand screwing up kid’s lives through bullying, its brutal culture, tall poppy syndrome, rampant child abuse, poverty, crime etc. you need to do your research more thoroughly.

    Admit it, this move is for you and not your kids. They’re just your excuse for a mid life crisis.

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  44. You won’t find much ‘sugar coating’ on this site mamacheeta. Our members tell it like it is.

    Some would say that’s refreshing. Both of your comments are within the guidelines because they appear to be honest, rather than trolling. At present.

    If you’re a fan of Kool-Aid take another read of our Welcome page when you have the time https://e2nz.org/introduction/, you may prefer to drink elsewhere.

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  45. I would suggest you read the Migrant Tales. Those will get you an unmatched insight into what New Zealand is like and you will find answers to most of your questions. You could even use the search function and locate things relating to key words such as kids, careers, etc.

    With all due respect, you come across as rather lazy. The information you seek is easily available throughout this site, yet you seem to want to have someone to do the research for you. This type of indolence and inability to do things for oneself is classic Kiwi, so perhaps the place might actually be a good fit. If you belong to the squeezed middle class of the US, then spending a fortune relocating your family to New Zealand for two years will cause significant financial harm.

    My suggestion is to read the Migrant Tales. Additionally, consider that if New Zealand is so great, then why do 20% of Kiwis (usually the best-educated, hardest working, most intelligent and skilled) live abroad. Also, consider why migrant turnover is so high in New Zealand. Many migrants cannot wait to get the New Zealand passport and then go to Australia, which is why the New Zealand government changed the residency requirement from three to five years.

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    • Mamacheeta, I suggest you seriously consider what SafeFrom has said. Think. There must be a reason for the low population. Many people are looking for a place as you describe. If New Zealand really was as it sells itself, don’t you suppose it would have filled up already? That there would be long waiting lists of people wanting to join up? Instead, NZ selling itself very aggressively as an immigration destination to make up the numbers. A LOT of people leave.

      Anyway, just wanted to let you know, dryers aren’t all that common. White goods (and most everything else) are much more expensive in NZ than the US. I suggest, more than anything else, you do research on the quality of the housing. You might have gathered that housing is horrendously expensive, but what is as important is researching what you get for your money. Research the damp and mold problems, the interior temperatures of the average house, how difficult they are to heat, how much it costs to heat them even to a bare minimum, the fact that rentals often have little or no heat, that your belongings will get ruined by the mold. Really, do it thoroughly before you commit. And always remember to look at websites that don’t have an interest in enticing you to move to New Zealand.

      I would also consider the country of origin of the so-called satisfied emigrants. People from different countries have different expectations, depending on the living conditions of their own home. I find it amazing that someone living in the US, with its large expanses of open space, national and state parks, and enormous opportunities to enjoy the great outdoors, should look to NZ. It probably has less open space than much of North America, unless you want to explore the great cow pastures, which are increasing at an alarming rate. I was an avid hiker and amateur naturalist in the States. I find NZ slightly disappointing in this regard, especially living in Auckland. The NZ bush is sadly lacking in wildlife, relatively. There are interesting trees and such, but when you become more familiar with the native flora, you realize NZ has destroyed much of that, so it’s sad in a way. To live in Auckland you have to really, really love beaches. I know from experience that children soon grow bored with beaches if you take them everyday. There has to be more.

      Also, you’re not going to be finding too many houses with nice big backyards in Auckland, Christchurch or Wellington. Most people don’t have big sections, and anyway, the houses with large sections are even more expensive, of course. People in the cities live very closed together, not spread out like the suburbs of the North East of the US that I was familiar with.

      Some people say that NZ is a great place if you have money. I haven’t found it to be true. We have more than enough money to travel throughout NZ, take trips abroad, and enough money to live in a warm, dry, extremely well insulated home (a rarity in NZ). We have enough money to eat out frequently, and save well for retirement. Yet we cannot wait to leave. We have already built a home in the States and are making the transition. All the money in the world isn’t going to change the fact that NZ is a somewhat backward, remote, expensive, rugby-obsessed country that’s been absurdly hyped-up to keep the punters coming in through the revolving door of its borders.

      The final straw for us was the birth of our child. My New Zealand born husband would not even consider that our offspring should be raised in NZ, with its culture of binge-drinking, sports over academics, bullying, and openly racist populace.

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  46. Thank you for your candor and honesty. I’ve done gads of research, and continue to do more every day. Every country has people who will scream, “don’t move there!” after having expectations that don’t match the reality.

    We have acquaintances who moved to NZ and LOVE it, and never looked back. I wanted a more “this is how it really is” perspective, and “if you’r really set on going, here’s what I wish I had known…” You’ve all certainly supplied that, some of you keeping your judgement more veiled than others.

    We are not married to NZ, but for a 2-year adventure, it is still in the running. NZ is clearly not for everyone, and whatever decision we make, it will be a well-informed one. Thank you for your time and your input!

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    • Yeah, come on in for your ‘two year adventure’, seems like you have got sufficient cushioning (financial + emotional). So my good luck to you.

      Come here on a tourist visa first, stay here for while and see if it is for you. I personally know some Americans/ Canadians who can fit well here, you seem like you will do well in NZ.

      As about me, I am 25 old guy with a baby on the way, and i am already hell bent upon taking the flight away from here asap. I don’t want my yet to be born kid, to grow up in a culture which doesn’t values respect for parents, hard-work and knowledge. I don’t want my yet to be born kid to be intellectually limited, and grow up in a culture of teenage alcohol abuse and tall poppy syndrome.

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    • Which part of NZ are your friends in? That really makes a difference. I would consider moving to the same place they are so you have the support, experience etc if you do go.
      Please don’t think of NZ as some safe haven from the darker sides of modern life, there is plenty of methamphetamine there, and correspondingly a heck of a lot of violence.

      Be aware of the anti American sentiment, it can be pretty strong. I would suggest you do a lite move, bring the essentials but leave most of it back in the US. Treat it like a sabatical. You can rent a house, get second hand furniture etc, then moving back is no such a hassle. I am sure you can have an okay two years if you choose a safer part of NZ to live in, have enough money, are extremely careful about your personal safety and have your tickets back already booked/paid for. I would just say that a lot of assumptions you might have about people being basically friendly, outgoing, good , decent etc might be challenged.

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    • I would second what mdc said about anti-americanism. It pervades the culture here, from the top down (with the exception of the current Prime Minister, who will do anything to please Hollywood, including rapidly pushing through changes in the labour laws to please Peter Jackson and his immensely wealthy backers, after they threw a hissy fit). The media is full of it, and so are lots of the people I’ve met, including some of my in-laws.

      That Kiwis are among the friendliest people in the world is one of the many absurd hyped-up memes started by Kiwis themselves. They boast A LOT, especially about how humble, friendly and unassuming they are. In reality, they’re mostly like everyone else, some are friendly some are not. In general, I find common civility and manners lacking in many of my encounters with New Zealanders in public. Far fewer thanks you, or excuse me(s) than I was used to. People just tend to brush past you as if you don’t exist. They do it to my NZ husband too. It seems to be the Kiwi way.

      Mamamcheeta, you say you have acquaintances that LOVE NZ. I can tell you many people will tell you that, because it’s the easiest thing to say, and because it makes them feel better to say it. It will make you envy them for living in such a beautiful little paradise. When I’ve visited the States and have run into acquaintances, I’ve been told things like “Wow, You must love it there!” What am I supposed to say to them? Tell them it’s actually cr*p, mostly? I just agreed with them, and the conversation immediately turned to other superficial niceties. I’m sure some people I used to work with would say the same about me, that they know someone who lives in NZ and loves it. My close friends know better. You really can’t go into why NZ is so not as advertised without sounding like a whinger. The government has spent so much money on advertisement, and I must say, their efforts have worked well. It also helps that Kiwis are more than happy to tell everyone what a paradise they live in. They want to believe it so badly. I have family here in NZ that live in what would definitely be considered third world conditions, in a grungy industrial section of Christchurch They have little money, rarely eat out or entertain themselves except for free (they almost never visit the most interesting parts of the South Island, because of lack of interest mostly, but also because of cost of petrol). They would tell any outsider that NZ is a paradise, and much to be preferred to the rest of the big bad world. I can see their real situation, and I sometimes worry for their mental health. They are deeply miserable, depressed people. Like too many New Zealanders it seems, they have openly anti-American attitudes and say shockingly racist things on the one hand, and on the other they self-consciously use Maori words and spout all the correct opinions to show how they commiserate with their Maori compatriots (they’re of the younger generation). In reality they fear and resent people of less than pale skin. For all their correct opinions, some of the racist things I’ve heard them say would make your hair curl. Actually, I’m not sure who they like. Let me give you some quotes I’ve heard on my most recent visits – “English people are fat, and dirty looking. No really, you should see them. They look like misshapen potatoes. They have horrible complexions.” and “I hate Australia, the scenery, and I hate Australians.” “I don’t care what you say, I still don’t like them [referring to Asians]. These are certainly not the words of happy, contented, open minded people, lucky to live in the most beautiful country in the world. Unfortunately, I’ve heard talk like this throughout my time in New Zealand – at work, at school functions, overhearing conversations in public. Asians seem to get it the worst though, for now. My older in-laws extend their racism to Maori too, unlike the younger ones.

      Anyone who approaches NZ with the misapprehension that they are visiting a kinder, gentler corner of the world is surely to be not just disappointed, but shocked at how it is in fact, the opposite.

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  47. I recently had to do some air travel, and met a nice drugstore manager at a motel. We got to talking, and she said she knew two black gay health professionals who had moved to New Zealand after being recruited for one of those expat medical staff arrangements. They had lived there for a few years, or as long as their contract was for. She said they came back not because the Kiwis gave them a hard time for their orientation, but because of the racism. They are definitely not used to black people. Rural Iowa in the 1930s? Something along those lines. They were uncomfortable, they became tired of being treated in an ignorant and immature way, and all the scenery in the world could not relieve their discomfort. Despite all the security checks while traveling, I am always so cheered by the general air of people in the States, because of the difference from New Zealand, where we lived for half a dozen years. In America, people meet your eyes, are generally speaking warm and “in touch”, and will chat politely. So different from New Zealand. Living in New Zealand, we could not put our finger on exactly what was missing in this particular respect, but it was something social and human. Over and above the attitude the two medical professionals experienced, there was some kind of general human life connectedness feeling that was utterly absent in the “social air” there, and typically, in any relations you undertook. It was hard to explain, but some of the people posting on this forum echoed what we perceived. http://www.expatexposed.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=50077#50077

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    • As shown by the levels of fraud, corruption, sexual offending, murder, child abuse and general violence which this country is repeatedly shown to have the only conclusion that can be drawn is that a large number of New Zealanders have personality traits that promote these problems.

      So what kind of traits could these be? A complete of empathy, ongoing anti-social behaviour and a total lack of remorse are all clearly shown by those who will rip another off without a second glance, with the racism that dominates this country, with the high levels of child abuse, through tall-poppy syndrome and the unfriendly nature of New Zealanders to outsiders. This combined with a boldness to criminality far beyond what is reasonable, partly due to a police force and justice system rife with incompetence, creates a clear picture of the personality traits that dominate New Zealand people.

      Interestingly, a total lack of empathy, ongoing anti-social behaviour, a total lack of remorse and a boldness of criminal action are ALL the hallmarks of a psychopath.

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    • Honestly I think it’s the fact that over time, you really start to question your own sanity living in a place where customer service(and interactions in general actually) are cold, listless and somewhat hostile. You start to wonder if you are the one with a problem for constantly being hurt/offended by it.
      Having left NZ I look back and think “yeah, that is intolerable so I should have been offended”. When you live with it day to day, it takes a toll on you I think.
      People who are even remotely sensitive should not move to NZ.
      It’s funny how many Kiwis are willing to have a go at other people when they themselves are nothing to write home about. I have had people at my old job openly criticise and make racial comments about friends of mine to me, as if they expect me to agree with them.

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    • Oh my goodness – that cake really does say alot about the lack of professionalism in NZ. I am a health care professional and have been bullied several times over but chose to stand up to it. Really, what happens here (if you are an American anyway) is that you bring to the surface –even without trying –all of the Kiwis insecurities, and they react via defense mechanisms, even when there is no threat. My education compared to the same one here is laughable at best — and my pay is 1/3 of what I made overseas. I do, however, love the scenery. THe people, you can have them. My partner was floored at how polite everyone was in America. When I stated a simple observation about my partner’s findings – another Kiwi said to me (and you will get this alot here when making a simple observation) “if you don’t like it here, you can just go back.” Defense mechanisms rule here – very big bully, tough guy mentality. I agree with one of the other posters who likened this to a schoolyard mentality…So my thoughts are this – we can stay here and try to be a good role model or give up and go back to where we came from. Over time, good behaviour is catching – is it not? Or maybe I am just grasping at hope.

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  48. This article is so true, its good to read the truth about our country because the dimwits in the local media never will. NZers are always told how great it is, because generally speaking most of us don’t know anything else, so its just accepted as been the truth. The key thought above was when the poster said “No where is great if you are struggling.” Also about how laid back we are – I just call it straight up laziness. When you couple how hardworking the immigrants are and how the politicians have opened the floodgates to them, you can see how in 100 years time this will be an asian/indian country. Good luck to them.

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  49. I just found this site. I have a nephew who visits relatives in New Zealand periodically. I hate the way he acts when he comes back. He has lost all his graces, seems to have forgotten how to show normal casual affection towards his people, and has a brusque brush-off way about him. He acts as if he is unaware of other people having feelings. Entitled little mini-jock. He’s back to normal within a few weeks. But his parents tell me that’s why they don’t live in New Zealand anymore, but they don’t have much to say outside of that. I am always left with the impression that they don’t want to talk about it or don’t think others will believe them, because everyone has this “idea” of New Zealand formed from the media. Glad this site is easy enough to find on Google if you want to learn more about the bad parts of life there.

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  50. I completly agree , anyone with the slightest amount of intelligence can see the difference in quality of life and the reasons for the differences , Im an American male who married a wonderful and loving kiwi woman and moved here to wellington NZ 3 months ago , I quickly realized that no one wants to do a good job of anything here.

    Buy cheap stuff as cheap as possible and live day to day with no real security for tomorrow .
    I love my wife but I hate this place and it’s over priced junk .

    I’d like to add That all in all I’m here to stay because this is where my wife’s family is and she’s my life . NZ isn’t a bad place , everyone really is nice here . ( unless there behind the wheel of a car lol ) .

    There’s good and bad with any place you go , I was very comfortable and successful in America but I wasn’t happy in the way that I am now . Being here with my wife happiness compared to no other for me. Yea it’s over priced , cluttered and moldy but it’s all those things with her at my side .

    I regret nothing I’ve done , regret are for those who have done nothing .

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  51. New Zealand is probably the most beautiful place you’ll ever visit, I immigrated to New Zealand over a decade ago with my parents, I love it here I really do. But the lack of motivation to develop and move forward has really taken its tow. I always say that Kiwis don’t understand the meaning of the expression “Economy of Scale” every infrastructure built is built to accommodate the current need with no room for growth and because of that things became undersized too quickly which forces new infrastructure to be build but instead of building it for the future it is built again to accommodate only the current need. This vicious cycle is breaking New Zealand’s back. I am genuinely scared with the future of New Zealand, yes the health system here is quite good, and there are benefits paid to people in need but there is no incentive to grow. Politics here while very honest by international standards are much centered in the politicians personal lives and gossip instead of who will actually help the economy grow. Few months back I watched the debate on about what to do about Auckland and if foreigners should be prohibited from buying real state in NZ, opinions aside, no one, absolutely no one in that debate asked the real important questions, they all had crazy ideas to change the situation but none of them, not National, not Labor not the audience not the presenter asked: WHY.
    Why are houses so expensive? WHY?
    Before trying to solve a problem with exotic contraptions that only add another layer of complexity to a particular situation you must understand the problem, understand its reasons and underlying issues.
    To me Auckland’s real state issue must be traced back to its roots:
    Lack of adequate transport: Most people prefer to live further away from the noise of a big city, but when living in a quiet suburb area on the outskirts of a big town means you are subjected to a 4 hour daily commute to work it is natural people will try to move closer and closer.
    • Lack of infrastructure elsewhere: everything is in Auckland and for Auckland. I live in a small town and work for the biggest employer in this town, the amount of hurdles imposed by the local council that we have to jump through makes me understand why every business in NZ want to move to Auckland, I am not saying that councils should be at the mercy to big employers but more should be done to nourish local business away from Auckland to spread the wealth and facilitate growth
    • Immigration: The amount of highly qualified immigrant professionals that are forced to find simpler jobs due to the fact that job associations just simply won’t recognize their qualifications due to lack of will and basic laziness.
    • Construction (material prices and local regulations): this is a tough one, for example insulation prices in NZ are absolutely ridiculous, anywhere else in the world the insulating foam costs next to nothing making a DIY insulating job extremely cheap, but the lack of local production makes these astronomical in NZ. On top of that local councils require ridiculous amounts of pointless regulation without realizing that a worm home is much more important than if there are 2 houses of different styles in the same street.
    • To name a few
    Now I am not saying that these problems alone are responsible for all of NZ issues, my point is: we must act on the causes not on the symptoms the Auckland housing issue is a symptom of many much deeper issues.
    Now I know I veered of the point a little, but, I do believe New Zealand have tons of potential, but we must not stand by and let all of this potential go to waste, we as kiwis must improve ourselves to compel others to do the same, I know this sounds cheesy but it is the absolute truth.

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    • The biggest problem is that none of the issues you have pointed out will ever be solved. The New Zealand people are not interested in fixing the issues that plague their country. Look through this site and you will see one example after another that indicates only too clearly that the vast majority of New Zealanders are lazy, incompetent and dishonest. They won’t lift a finger to make the changes that are so desperately needed, they would rather pretend the problems don’t exist, or complain endlessly to the wrong people. When given the chance to actually make a difference all their voices go suddenly silent.

      You will encounter this in all it’s disgusting glory if you try to get involved in any form or activism in New Zealand. When the opportunity to actually make a change is there all the people who were so vocal and pretended they would actually take action suddenly disappear. I’ve had this happen several times to the point now where I point blank REFUSE to stand up for anyone in this country. I have, however, become involved in solving certain issues overseas, where the people don’t behave like a bunch of apathetic, self-absorbed wimps.

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      • [Ad hom attack deleted. Admin] We are NOT dishonest, and to create that stereotype of us is just mean. If we are lazy, why the heck are we spending around $25m to CHANGE OUR FLAG?? I mean sure, we need to sort out our priorities, but we are NOT lazy, under any circumstances.

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        • “Whey the heck are we spending around $25m to change our flag?”

          Why indeed? Why are the New Zealand public tolerating their government spending TENS OF MILLIONS of TAXPAYER dollars on a vanity project of the Prime Minister? Why are the New Zealand people not marching on parliament in droves and demanding the resignation of an individual who has shown that spending money on pointless projects is more important than solving the REAL problems the country has? Apparently it is considered more important to change the flag then to deal with New Zealand’s drug problems or booze culture. It is considered more important to change the flag then to deal with New Zealand’s violence and child abuse problems, or the gun problems, or the level of fraud, or the backward schooling system, or the woefully incompetent medical system that has people dying on medical waiting lists, etc. etc.

          You could not have picked a better example of the laziness and incompetence that plagues the country, and the unwillingness of the Kiwis to do what it takes to make REAL changes.

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  52. I believe that [in one of those “step programs”] one of the first steps to solving a problem is admitting that there IS a problem. It seems as though the “she’ll be right” attitude is prevailing, and everything is just fine.
    The ammount of information available to NZ industry from outside sources [migrants] is vast, yet only NZ “experience” or training is recognised. So all of that information is lost because NZ does not want to know what anyone else is doing. This is probably the most frustrating part: many migrants have moved here with a good and positive attitude towards contributing to the knowledge and skill base of NZ, and what do they find when they get here, ready to contribute? Migrants find that their knowledge and skills are NOT valued and [sometimes] actually make it harder to find a job that they’ve been employed in [successfully in other places] for perhaps decades.
    Shot themselves in the foot, yet unaware that they are wounded. “She’ll be right”.

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  53. New Zealand is definitely a different place from thirty years ago. I have lived here all my life and saw definite changes from the mid 1980’s onwards when Neo Liberal policies were embraced. These policies changed the way people were treated with thousands put out of work, factories closed down and cheap goods imported. This has resulted in a less friendly, less hospitable way of life. In my youth New Zealanders would invite anyone in to their homes and visitors were welcomed. Our society is much more isolated now and it has become a virtue to buy cheap. I like to buy good quality goods and clothing and often feel I have to justify that.

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  54. Yes, it may have looked greener, and the NZ government said it was greener, and NZ immigration said it was greener, the [now to learn fake] stats said it was greener. This is why some are bitter, because they feel that they’ve been lied to. It is a sad day when you figure out that you can not believe a word that they said about how wonderful NZ is.

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  55. I’m an American and I’ve lived in NZ for almost two years now with my wife and two children. We are both educated professionals, who work in the healthcare field. I can only express my own reality based upon what I have experienced and been subjected to in NZ.

    It is a beautiful country, we live on South Island. Our home we’re presently living in is one year old. I’ve been disappointed by the lack of quality in the construction overall. Yes, there are double-glazed windows, but windows come in various grades of quality.

    There is a lack of proper insulation, as it becomes very cold, especially noticeable during the winter months of june, july, august. Space/room electric heaters must be used in order to make it comfortable for sleeping. I still don’t understand the rationale for not having central heating installed within the homes here, especially the new construction. Utilities are very expensive here, especially electricity and other necessities such as shoes, trainers/sneakers, clothing, food.

    I have seen and lived in homes which were of better quality for around the same price-range in other countries in which I’ve lived.

    I have lived in Europe, UK, India, across America and NZ and have traveled to many different countries throughout the years.

    I will also be the first to admit that the US has many shortcomings, issues, problems like most, which need resolution. However, I feel that overall it is stil one of the best countries to live in the world.

    One of the area’s which has been most disappointing to me is the interaction of kiwis, their communication style or lack thereof. I have found the men to be hypersensitive passive-aggressive personalities and the women to be aggressive, rude, hostile and argumentative in general. There are some exceptions to this observation, of course.

    I have never been so condescended, talked down to, spoken rudely to other than by some people within parts of the UK, in my entire life.

    If you ask a question, some kiwis take this as an offense. If you make an professional or personal observation on a specific subject matter, they will become defensive and often offended. I’ve even had perspective employers here in NZ tell me that Americans scare people, so they wouldn’t hire Americans to work with/for them.

    I have had retailers in NZ actually become rude, nasty, argumentative for making a point about a product on something I was interested in purchasing. In the US, the general demeanor is the customer is always right and you’re not to argue with a customer. The US in general is a customer service driven marketplace.

    In summary, every experience is just that, an experience, be it good or bad. I cannot nor would Itell anyone what to do, what they shoudl or shouldn’t do that’s a personal decision only the person can make for themselves. I would encourage anyone who is considering making a move to NZ, to first come and check it out thoroughly to see if it is really what you want to do and where you would enjoy living.

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    • “One of the area’s which has been most disappointing to me is the interaction of kiwis, their communication style or lack thereof. I have found the men to be hypersensitive passive-aggressive personalities and the women to be aggressive, rude, hostile and argumentative in general. There are some exceptions to this observation, of course.”

      Yes, this. It’s true that you will find exceptions to this behavior but it is overwhelmingly true. The rudeness and hostility of people who will happily take advantage of any hospitality, generosity or honesty you bring to the table. This is rip-off central because most Kiwis regard foreigners – and each other – as stupid rubes to be fleeced. There is a reason there are the highest rates of bullying, depression and suicide. This is a nasty place to live.

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        • Thanks, Like a Boss. Some interesting issues there and more than the usual consumption of Kool-Aid. Let’s look at a few of the points you’ve raised and examine the reality behind them.

          health services, clean environment and is the number 1 country in freedom and safety. So Gun control outweighs depression etc as seriously two news people were killed on live t.v never happened in nz

          Yet people get shot to death in WINZ offices, people fire their rifles in McDonalds and others shoot up police stations with shot-guns and innocent children get killed in drive by shootings in New Zealand. Wasn’t the Napier siege shown live on TV? Is death less confronting if its not screened live?

          Have you ever lived outside of New Zealand? There are 1.1 million firearms in circulation in the country, none of them are licensed. There are reports of shootings and gun crime every day yet you still have this belief that the country is number 1 for freedom and safety? Far from being safe, New Zealand is one of the world’s worst countries for safety due largely to its high assault rates.

          The country’s health service is poorly funded and understaffed, its afflicted with bullying culture and high levels of stress. Health staff are assaulted at work. New medications are held back from release because they’re too expensive and Kiwis have to wait decades before they become available in generic form. In April 2015, according to the World Health Organisation, New Zealand health system ranked 41st in the world, behind Singapore at 6th, the UK at 18th, Australia at 32nd, the USA on 37th place & Cuba at 39th.

          As for clean environment, New Zealand’s towns and villages suffer from appalling air pollution during winter, exacerbated by pollution from vehicles (NZ has one of the highest rates of car ownership in the world) and smoke from wood burners. Around 1,100 New Zealanders die prematurely from air pollution with an associated health cost of $1.14 billion every year, according to a Health and Air Pollution in New Zealand (HAPINZ) report. Much of the pollution comes from the solid fuels (coal and wood) that many households use as their chief source of heat during winter.

          Half of New Zealand lakes and 90% of its lowland rivers are classed as polluted. Much of that pollution comes from intensive dairying practices, and some from the petrochemical industry. Agrochemicals from years of intensive farming practices have rendered some land unsafe for development and toxic chemical dumps, such as the ‘agent orange’ dump at Marfell present significant long term health risks.

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        • “Like a boss” – Have you ever thought if 80% of your fees is subsidized then who ls paying up for that 80%?

          We have accepted John Key since 2008, basically I’d say he’s not that different from Trump (hair pulling and all that naughty games your know) and more so Trump is not the first businessman running for the top post of a country, Mr JK is the best example.

          Lydia Ko has been exceptional at her sport but do you think average Asians gets same kind of respect here? I can guarantee that 9 out of 10 times this litmus test will fail.

          I’m speechless when you talk about rugby and love in the same sentence. However I definitely agree on the consumer spending when the AB’s win a k a binge consumerism 😉

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        • With all due respect, you come across as borderline delusional. First, university costs are much cheaper or nearly free in most Western European countries and the same applies to many poorer countries throughout the world. Second, many other countries have no nuclear weapons or terrorist bombings. Even in the much-maligned USA, the number of people that die from terrorism is miniscule. However, Kiwis in New Zealand are much more likely to die from an assortment of diseases largely eradicated in the developed world or in a car accident attributable to bad roads or dumb Kiwi drivers compared to a North American or European dying in a terrorist attack. Similarly, countless Kiwis end up ill due to the substandard housing, far more than North Americans or Europeans injured by gun crime.

          Third, you are free to trust the Kiwi government, which also spies on people just as the USA. The Kiwi leaders are satraps of the US Empire and they have no independence from Washington. Lastly, the fact that the All Blacks are the best at a sport that only a few countries take seriously should not be a point of comparison for judging how great a country is. If New Zealand is so great, then why do 1 out of 5 Kiwis live abroad and why is migrant turnover so high?

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      • I just want to point out that we didn’t invent Facebook, Twitter, etc. I’m sad about my anti – social generation – sometimes I really wish I grew up in the 70’s…

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      • Oh for heaven’s sake there are rude people everywhere I like the English but they will barely give you the time on the Tube some of them, always a big sigh, you are taking two seconds of my time unbelievable. Bullying, yes I was bullied as a Kiwi working overseas, it happens everywhere, people are much the same. I know I am banned for being a bad Kiwi. Which you think most of us are anyway

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        • Judging from your comments that weren’t published you’re a very bad, very rude Kiwi with a massive chip on your shoulder.

          Haven’t you got supermarket or something to boycott? 🙂 Thanks for flying E2NZ.org

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        • 100% agree with your statement 100% – “there are rude people everywhere”.

          Do you know the proportion is exorbitantly high among kiwis? I don’t have to go too far to figure this out, you can just drive out on a weekday (and even Sat/Sunday) and see for yourself – the number of rogue drivers I see here are way more than what I have seen in my entire life, The fun doesn’t stop there – this records breaks everytime I step out and drive on the road. SIGH!

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      • yes sevice to the public is an area that NZ is very behind in. Service in IUS is geberally fantastic, you get the feeling peple like serving you. service is better in Australia and in japan. NZ service is shocking.

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    • I know the South Island and it is lovely, scenery wise. But that doesn’t make up for some of the people.
      The customer service in NZ really is terrible and I think it comes down the fact that people grow up with a deep inferiority complex and cannot bear the thought of being the one serving someone else. It as if giving good service means you are somehow being subservient and that must be avoided at all costs. It’s just ridiculous. The hostility, slack service, rudeness etc is crazy.
      I would suggest you move to Australia if you are looking to stay in this part of the world. It’s totally different here, you go to the supermarket and generally you get a pleasant engaged friendly person helping you. They actually make an effort to serve you like a customer.

      NZers are deeply insecure around Americans. They may act hostile etc but growing up in NZ, American beauty, teeth, education, lifestyle, popular culture were all idolised and yet also viewed as utterly unattainable. The whole openness, positivity, go-getter attitude of most Americans is deeply threatening to many NZers who have tried to convince themselves that their underachieving depressed lives are just great.
      I feel you will always have to “hide your light under a bushell” as an American in NZ.

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  56. The ironic thing about employment in NZ: it is difficult to get a job in NZ without NZ work experience, yet the calibre of service and standards is so poor, the external quality of service and standards are needed to improve NZ service and standards. So a bit of a “Catch-22” situation going on.
    It seems as though most would rather be oblivious of what “world class” service and standards are, and continue along in the ways that have come to exist.

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    • My Swiss/Kiwi wife and I watched a Jamie Oliver show where he went to a town in West Virginia that was supposedly the fattest town in the United States to introduce them to proper food. The suspicion and hostility with which the cafeteria workers, school officials, and the local townspeople seemed to treat him reminded me of the reception from Retardicon 6 (New Zealand). The general ignorance, slovenliness, and blank stare that people gave Oliver were identical to what I had experienced in New Zealand. What an appalling lack of culture.

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  57. I’m an American who has lived in NZ for almost 13 years now – although I agree with some of what the original poster wrote, I think NZ is one of the best places in the world to live. I did not have a nest egg when I came here – I had less than $5,000 in savings, but I got a job straight away, worked hard, saved harder and was able to purchase a beautiful home WITH central gas heat! You just need to change your expectations and perhaps be willing to “go without” and live outside your comfort zone – I personally believe the pay off of being able to call this beautiful land home is the pay off, I miss my stateside “home” but not for any monetary or materialistic reason, more for the family & friends I left behind. I’m sorry NZ didn’t work out for you but to be honest, I’m not sure anywhere other than the USA would work for you – you’re perhaps just too set in your expectations and lack of trying to see beyond the “problems” or differences. Comfort zones, sometimes you need to expand out of them.

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    • A lot has changed since your arrived in New Zealand in 2001, back then the country was different and houses far cheaper than they are now. After 13 years almost anyone can get to enjoy the taste of Kool-Aid. Maybe you’re too set in your perceptions to notice what is going on around you right now?

      For instance, what is your opinion on the current #dirtypolitics scandal and John Key’s disregard and disdain for poverty in NZ?

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    • @CelticKiwiShill:

      “straight away” the inevitable ” stateside” and ” central gas heat”

      You really suck at pretending to be American!

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  58. I am also a kiwi born and raised and will agree with some aspects of your article but I can assure you there is more to New Zealand than auckland. yes the wages and cost of living are a problem and always will be a problem as New Zealand is very isolated and with such a small population the cost of living there will not change anytime soon. However the pluses far out weigh the minuses of living there. I also think that the government has focused so much on tourism instead of the actual day to day living but I suppose that’s what you get when your pm is also the tourism minister. I too have been to America and loved it but i don’t think you should be compering New Zealand with America as both country’s are completely diffrent in every way.

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    • Please you can share with our readers why you’re now living in Queensland, Australia and not New Zealand. Something to do with pluses and minuses perhaps?

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    • > I am also a kiwi born and raised…

      Do you live in Australia?

      > However the pluses far out weigh the minuses of living there.

      I thought so.

      > I suppose that’s what you get when your pm is also the tourism minister.

      Definitely. Trying to distance yourself from the country so as to elevate yourself above average bogan status to sound more authoritative, perhaps?

      > but I can assure you there is more to New Zealand than auckland.

      OK, so you don’t actually live here, but you feel the need to enlighten about where we live(d). You’re a kiwi born and raised, so you have a lifetime expert badge.

      > the wages and cost of living are a problem …

      For most kiwis, certainly. Yet I’ve earned >$100/hour, and our household income is way above average, but it buys, well, not much. Why? No value for money.

      > New Zealand is very isolated and with such a small population the cost of living there will not change anytime soon.

      No, not really, but that’s what kiwis like to tell themselves and uninformed onlookers, especially. The truth is that kiwis are poorly-educated, unmotivated, and mentally limited. An American or even Aussie, asks, how can I do this? A kiwi asks, why would you want to? An immigrant asks, why do your crap houses cost so much? The kiwi asks, how can I flip my house and get a piece of the action? Immigrants come to New Zealand to create value; kiwis have only the desire to overprice and profiteer from it.

      > I too have been to America and loved it

      Careful, a two-week trip to Disneyland counts for nothing here, and will make you the instant target of derision.

      New Zealand’s cultural psychosis is it’s pathological need to rubbish all American things and people whilst plagiarising everything they can. If coming to NZ from the US for the first time you will be floored at the blatant rip-offs of business concepts, names, logos, and product from the US especially, and other countries as well.

      > i don’t think you should be compering New Zealand with America

      That is the last thing an American who has migrated to New Zealand wants to do. Unfortunately, NZ’s superiority complex depends on constant, rigged comparisons and cheap shots. What you read here are the collective defensive reactions of people like us who are fed up with the daily barrage of kiwi insecurity.

      No, double-DD dog (what, pray tell, does a name like that refer to?), your post is so typical, it’s cliché.

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      • >An American or even Aussie, asks, how can I do this?

        Sorry, I should have said “new migrant,” but the thread is titled “An American’s Take….”

        Americans aren’t alone in wondering how to get things done or make things happen.

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        • I’ve just about given up trying.
          With about 40 years [39 actually] of carpentry/building/construction experience, I’m NOT looking to contribute to the collective knowledge base here, anymore. I’ve forgotten more than they’ll know about high speed production. At 50+, I can still whoop most framing crews, but I’ll keep that to myself, because “that’s not how we do it here”. Most of my clients are quite happy and amazed and usually ask “why isn’t it done like that here?” Leave them in the dark [ages], that’s where they seem to want to be/remain.
          But, that’s not how I started out, I came here wanting to help introduce high speed methods, yet they were flattly rejected. Let them remain ignorant.

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          • I feel your pain. New Zealand: the perfect cure for optimism.

            You should consider blogging about NZ housing construction – I would certainly read it. It could be therapeutic and might lead to bigger and better things, if you could keep it mostly professional. I would love to read a knowledgeable American perspective on housing construction. Here are a few suggestions for blog topics:

            Why do Kiwis prefer polystyrene for foundations (or “we don’t need much concrete, mate”)?

            Why kiwis have a love affair with 1/8″ (3mm) hardboard for walls?

            The best ghettos for kiwi builders in-the-know to get their carpet from – or Is shag making a comeback?

            How to spot the kids’ DIY P-lab that has been painted over by Mum and Dad before renting?

            Is double glazing the future of pastry science in New Zealand? And is 1080 good for your teeth?

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          • One of my favorites:
            1/8″ hardboard to cover over sheet vinyl [usually with asbestos in it].
            Why bother to peel up the asbestos when you can just cover it over? This makes it more dangerous because if anyone were to cut into the floor [with a saw], the dust would have asbestos in it, the most dangerous form for asbestos to be in.
            She’ll be right, indeed. Ticking time bomb for some unsuspecting builder to trip over.
            Health and safety, what a joke.

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  59. Getmeouttahere – you are right, Celtic Kiwi is a Kiwi. Can’t hide the Kiwispeak (“materialism, yadda”). They hate comfort zones because there are none in New Zealand, just like they hate people who show relaxed confidence – like Americans. Kiwis like to “take the mick” and start things with you. So nice to come back to the States where average people treat you with a basic and earnest respect and politeness at a level unheard of in New Zealand. I have lived in a couple other countries, and the U.S. offers the most of everything across the board (and no, not “buying stuff”. We are talking about opportunities here. Celtic Kiwi can have New Zealand – I’d happily see it sink to the bottom of the Pacific after our years there.

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    • @TomHeydon – The sad thing about the Kiwis and their weird attitude about all things American is the disconnect between their outright hostility to all things American and their pathetic need to been seen as exactly like Americans, only more so, so much they will try to pretend. But they have no idea how to “sound” like an American. A Kiwi pretending to be American sounds about as American as “righto, pip-pip cheerio!” to me, I can spot it a mile away.

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  60. We have been in NZ now for coming up to eight years, just for the record.
    I don’t want to address all of the issues raised here, but would just like to give an overview of our findings and a couple of examples.
    There has been much mentioned about the tall poppy syndrome, and yes, this does exist, very much so. On the occasion where I have to mend something or make-do (given the lack of the “real thing”), I have noticed that you get a pat on the back and a “you would make a good Kiwi” comment. The same doesn’t always go however, if you have the real thing (you might have bought it with you from overseas) or if you want to improve something that the kiwi’s have, or improve on a method they use. The number of times that my wife and I have heard things like “we don’t do it like that here…” or “this is New Zealand mate… what do you expect?”, or “We’ve always made do…” or, “this (describing an object or method) has always been good enough for us!”, etc.
    It sort of reminds me of an old werewolf horror film where two Americans travelling through an old English village are warned by the yokel locals, “whatever you do… don’t stray off the path!”

    Bullying. Yes, well my wife has a good corporate job, and she has been bullied by some colleagues at work. It got to the point where she nearly quit her job. As it was, she changed from a warm, happy, easy going lady, into an edgy bag of nerves. Her boss was useless, as he (by his own admission) didn’t want to upset the pair of bitches who was making her life hell. It took dogged determination on the part of my wife, and intervention from the all but reluctant human resources guy, who eventually had to get involved; in order that the problem be looked into.
    More recently, my wife also witnessed the same aggressive bullying of an older lady at work, by another member of staff. This was for no other reason than the bully disliked her. The older lady was tormented to the point of near breakdown, and this was from a woman whom herself was in her fifties!
    Now I’m going to say something which will offend some kiwi’s, but it can’t be helped, and it is my honest opinion and not a cheap shot of sorts. Kiwis (generally) have a schoolboy mentality. They are overly competitive in such things as sports, driving on the road (my God, you have to just see some of the driving here in Chch!), boozing, being “tough” and not showing pain, discomfort, sadness, emotion etc. Bullying fits right in here! If you don’t stand up for yourself, or if you tend to shy away from in-your-face conflict, you will be a target for bullying. My wife, well she is good at her job, has no agenda’s, and doesn’t like conflict for fun. Unfortunately, this may be perceived as being weak, an easy target.
    Racism or dislike of tall-poppy poms. Well for want of a better way of putting it, that’s how we sometimes feel. A few days ago for example, I had a tradesman over to do a job which I couldn’t do myself (I do nearly absolutely everything but didn’t have the large machine needed for this particular job). The guy was arrogant on arrival, obviously didn’t want to speak or have any form of dialogue with me whatsoever it seemed. Before he started the job, one which was about to make much mess, noise and throw stone chips everywhere, I asked him if he had a cover for our NEW double glazed door/windows. He didn’t even glance at me and just said “no’. It was obvious that he wasn’t bothered about damage to the $5000+ unit, so I said, “errrm okay, maybe I can find something”. I did, and started to fix it best I could to the unit. Being curious, I asked what he would normally do to prevent damage… his answer “Nothing”.
    Now this wasn’t a handy man picked from obscurity, this guy had a newish vehicle, a registered company, business cards etc…
    Anyway, he then started the machine up, before I had quite finished taping up the door, and right at the side of me. Unlike him, I had no safety glasses, hearing protectors etc… he didn’t care.
    I went inside and left him to it, until I noticed that he had started using out brand new hose (which cost nearly $200 with fittings!). I saw him dragging it behind this machine, and I just knew he would wreck it! This one being a replacement for the one that a previous tradesman had used and mangled up!
    Anyway, I went outside, saw that he had taken his own hose from his van, and just not used it. So, I uncoiled his hose, layed it out across to near the tap, and gestured (he had hearing protection on) with a smile, could he swap hoses. This guy flipped out. He stopped the machine and went off on me, seriously. He tore our hose from his machine, breaking the brass hose coupling in the process, then started to berate me how dare I blah blah….
    I was speechless. He shouted at me, asking what the hell was wrong with him using our hose (it was now covered in crap and had a broken fitting)….
    I said, look, why didn’t you just use your own… his answer, I saw yours and couldn’t be bothered uncoiling mine!
    When I said well just didn’t want another hose wrecked, he said (and I swear this is true) “you’re in New Zealand now mate, spread the wealth”!
    It was at this point I knew who I was dealing with. A 120kg schoolboy bully. A kiwi who saw a “rich pom” with a big house, and he didn’t like it! Man he was so transparent. But more importantly, this guy squared up to me like he was going to take a swing at me, I mean he came charging up and just stopped short. What a moron, what a complete and utter moron. And this is from a tradesman with his own business, who has come onto someone else’s property in order to do a job of work!…. its mind boggling!
    THIS is the extreme, but this is an example of the prejudice you are likely to come up against. Oh, and yes, we are seen as cash cows. That is why I try and do most every job myself (we are renovating a large property), save going over it every time when trades come around. By which I mean telling them we are getting multiple quotes, yes we are poms, but also we are clued up with costing jobs etc. Nearly got caught a couple of times previously. Had a fencing company come around to give a quote. Got his quote, nearly died of shock. Decided to ask a friend (a kiwi) to get a quote on the same work. He rang them, gave them a detailed measurement (same spec as ours), his quote was about 50% lower! This wasn’t the last time we experienced this. Once, I even quizzed a contractor, and he told me “yeah, well you’re a pommie, you can afford a bit more than the locals can.. your pound by three times what our dollar does!” This upset me so much, I thought what the hell we have done coming here. Not only are the people stupid beyond belief, they are also in your face offensive, whether they even know it or care less!
    However, to give a balanced view, not all are like this obviously. We have made two lovely kiwi friends, who have been so supportive and welcoming. That said, you must see how bad the flip side is though!

    With the global climate what it is, I can say that the feeling of safety here is a good thing. Well, at least from the threat of Islamic terrorists that is… so far! We do have crime, and locally we have started seeing much more of it recently. Burglaries, theft, armed assaults at corner shops, banks etc. The trend is worrying, but still lower than many other places we could have moved to I guess.
    Are we glad we moved, well on the whole yes. Is it as good as we hoped it would be? Well, maybe not. We have traded some bad stuff for some good stuff, and vice versa.
    I think for us, the feeling of being safely away from the growing European conflict/s, huge crime rate, cramped living etc, well it trumps not having the best material goods available, and we have weathered the jibes and bullying, and are aware that we have a “kick me” sign on our backs. Fortunately we have a tenacity of our own, and we are intelligent enough to not let school kids bully us into submission!

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    • It sort of reminds me of an old werewolf horror film where two Americans travelling through an old English village are warned by the yokel locals, “whatever you do… don’t stray off the path!”
      This is the clip you are looking for:
      An American Werewolf in London (1981)

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  61. Totally agree. Been here two months and want to leave. The world view of NZ is much different than actually living here which is unfortunate. The good thing is that I’ve learned what a great country America really is, truly the land of opportunity and freedom. Don’t move to NZ unless you are financially set for life and like getting ripped off.

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  62. I’m a dual citizen (US/NZ) I lived in the US for 22 years and then NZ for 14 and currently live in Christchurch. My opinion is that New Zealand is a civilized country in terms of its public services and social programs and the country is ‘bite the back of your hand beautiful’. Furthermore, the weather is fantastic, there are plenty of holidays, good gun control, a sense of communal humor and in general can be a nice place to raise a family.

    …but.

    For alot of people life in New Zealand can be a very, very tough. I myself struggle with the isolation and cost of living. (E.g. the average house price in ALK as of today was $800,000 according to tvnz). I get the feeling that many people are really squeezed, there seems to be an underlying financial tension in NZ that you can feel, but no one talks about. Culturally, I find that sometimes the people can be quite cold and I don’t get the same sense of optimism that I felt in the states.

    I don’t know if I’ll move back to the states, I’m kind of stuck in a rut right now and don’t really know where to live. Anyway, from one human to another, good luck on your journey and I wish you all the best

    Kind regards,

    Joe

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      • If you follow replies in Yahoo Finance on articles about retirement and financial soundness of Americans , you will soon read that a general perception has become the notion that Americans feel compelled to fake it to a neurotic level , being reticently suffering of the reality from which they have learned , they cannot escape , despite a US passport , or by virtue of having it.You are supposed to radiate optimism , it’s a self fulfilling lie that makes things worse and erodes your character. Europeans like Americans in various degrees and for different reasons , never take them serious though , for their perceived plastic fakeness .The feeling that anything is possible is an expat dream , but has long fizzed in US conscience.

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  63. The reason New Zealand suffers economically is because England left us behind. It’s our fault for being baiting into accepting independence. (Long Story Short) As long as China keeps buying our dairy products, we should be fine.

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  64. In some ways, I find the twice yearly inspections to be intrusive.
    I take the more individual responsibility view and prefer to maintain my own vehicle to my own standards.
    So, having the government dipping its’ hand in my pocket twice a year and telling me to do what to my vehicle is not a selling point.
    Seems all the “good” points are not as good as one might imagine.

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  65. Interesting reading – although I constantly hear about how people take a 50% paycut to live and work in New Zealand and I wonder where this figure comes from.

    I’m a New Zealander who in the next year will be moving to North America and from my perspective, all searching around salary information and jobs indicate that I won’t be receiving this apparent 50% pay increase for taking my skills over there and my tax liability is likely to be higher.

    I’m a senior technology professional, sixteen years experience and I’m reimbursed over $200k per annum in New Zealand both as a salaried professional or in my current capacity as an independent contractor. From what I’ve seen in the States and Canada, I’ll be expecting anywhere between 120-150k a year for a similar position over there.

    Also, conversely, my partner is Canadian and moved here a few years ago, she has managed to find a role here paying her around $1,000 more (NZD) than she was being paid in Canada.

    While I completely agree with your points on living expenses ( I pay $700 a week rental for my property ) and the cost of items like food, shoes, etc – I don’t agree with your assertion that you can’t earn a good wage here in NZ because ultimately, it seems that I would take a paycut to go overseas.

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    • I’m not sure your situation fits the norm.
      Generally speaking the wages/cost of living [in NZ] = lower wage, higher cost. A $200k job in NZ is not normal. Check some of the mean annual earning figures, your current salary is way ahead of the curve and not normal.
      Moving to North America: pay cut, maybe. Quality of living increase, certainly.

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    • Lets see: NZ$200K = US$135K. So, yes at 120-150 you may not get the 50% bump, but your money will go a LOT further, effectively giving you that bump.

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      • If you cost it out using a decision tree the estimated value is zero. It is financially better to stay put, you’d stand a good probability of getting a cost-of-living pay rise in that time.

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  66. NZ is an expensive place to live and yes, it is a tiny country population wise BUT (after growing up and living in SA) it is such a wonderful feeling to have that freedom and feeling of complete safety which is elusive in South Africa!

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    • I am SA citizen done the whole expat thing 10 years back whilst abroad we were also drinking some serious cool-aid and all us expats were all motivating ourselves that it was the right decision for “complete safety” blah blah blah (that was before I got held up at gun point – false sense of security). It was the most difficult decision ever to come back to SA and today 10 years on I can tell you it was the best decision I’ve ever made to come back to SA and help make a difference – just mindset change. We were group of 5 families and we are all back today the last person returned 6 months back. Jip we have some serious crime issues however at least you can mitigate that by staying in a security estate and keep out of problem areas. I sleep like a baby every night and kids run around in the estate till 1:00 am if they want to. I understand that safety is an issue what I have read from NZ it has some serious problems with crime, gangs, drugs, suicide, etc – same as us so keep up with the cool aid and hanging on to that feeling of “complete safety” it’s also called false sense of security. I Don’t think it’s fair to compare SA with a population of +- 50 Mil vs a population of less than 5 mil. Keep on telling yourself how “safe” you feel. Jip we are all alive and kicking living a good life and I still don’t have burglar bars on the windows but that’s just me. Cheers from sunny SA.

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  67. Sorry but new Zealand has one of the highest rates of entrepreneurs in the world. Get your facts straight and also yeah aukland is expensive but the rest of the country is relatively cheap

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    • Come on Isaac you can’t expect to make comments like those and not back them up with facts :). Let’s see the hard evidence to support your claims, otherwise our readers will dismiss you as just another Kool-Aid drinker.

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      • I would very much like to see” the hard evidence” in support of the claims made by those posting anti-New Zealand comments but it would appear that the bar is set higher for those who post positively…please don’t hesitate to correct me if I am wrong though!

        I live in NZ and have done so since my youth…I won’t say it was easy to begin with and my attitude toward this country probably would have echoed some of the views posed by others in here(but definitely not all – some comments are just plain inflammatory, patronising and maybe even a bit bigoted in my opinion)but what I came to realise is that for many years I had held myself apart because I listened to my mother voicing her anger at how different, how substandard NZ is when compared to the UK – everything was awful for her because she couldn’t change to fit her environment!

        My Dad was a different kettle of fish though…he was a hard worker who got on with everybody, didn’t judge people based on their points of difference to himself, was happy to embrace a new culture and perspective and was grateful for the opportunity NZ gave him to be gainfully employed in the profession he was trained to do and support his family comfortably…something he couldn’t get back home sadly.

        He died, a good man, a hard worker who was proud to be a Brit but also very much in love with his adopted country…my Mum is still alive and still very anti NZ: I mean come on, a Scotswoman who cheers for the English every time they play sports against NZ says it all – what I realise is that it IS to a great extent about perspective and expectation and a refusal to let go and move on into a new experience positively – I’m not saying it is as simple as that or that you need to lower your standards as someone else in here suggested, I am saying you need to open your eyes to the experience and accept that things are very different but not necessarily worse!

        Years ago I worked for a Rabbi here in Wellington (when I was pregnant with my son)and knowing they were to return to The U.S very soon he offered to take me back with him and his family. I declined his kind offer and he was, to say the very least rather taken aback when I explained that I could’t think of a better place to raise my child than here in NZ and I have never regretted that decision…my son is a generous and intelligent young man of whom I am very proud and rightfully so!

        I think if we look objectively at this issue we can see that ALL countries have their faults and many have problems that in my opinion far outweigh anything I have come across here in NZ…all we need to do is google something and we can come up with any number of crime stats and horror stories about any given country and post them all in one spot and of course it is going to look bad(if they are even all true)…but if I was to do that with lets say Britain with it’s high crime rates, binge drinking, welfare dependency, high unemployment and teenage pregnancies along with increased levels of domestic violence and hate crimes, would you consider that to be the whole picture? Would that be representative of the majority of Brits? Or America with it’s armed and racist police force shooting African Americans because they can, high numbers of drug users, shootings within schools, bullying in schools, murder, theft, serial killers, videos of wee toddlers being taught how to fire guns, gang violence, drive by shootings…..and the list goes on!

        When a person is murdered in NZ, it is still newsworthy and I may be wrong but I think you can count the number of serial killers in the history of NZ on the fingers of one hand…give or take a few!

        Don’t get me wrong, NZ has many faults but can any country in the world, especially in this day and age claim otherwise…throwing stones when you live in glasshouses really isn’t a good practice!

        To those of you who have had an awful experience here, I am truly sorry to hear of it and I genuinely wish things could have been different for you – I imagine it would fall on deaf ears if I was to regale you with stories of migrants I know who have had far more positive experiences so I won’t bother…it would be anecdotal anyway and apparently that is only permissible if it has a negative slant(once again feel free to correct me if I have gained the wrong impression, but I doubt you can in truth).

        Seeing all this angst and bile aimed at one small, sparsely populated country down under makes me feel very sad, as much for the people spewing it as for this beautiful, young country being targeted by it!

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        • You came here at 4 in the morning to tell us this ^^^?

          I mean come on, a Scotswoman who cheers for the English every time they play sports against NZ says it all –

          Your mum sounds like quite a character and a woman with high standards, we’d love to have her here please pass on our regards. But cheering for the English is not that different to the many Kiwis who cheer for any team that plays against Australia.

          Seeing all this angst and bile aimed at one small, sparsely populated country down under makes me feel very sad, as much for the people spewing it as for this beautiful, young country being targeted by it!

          Fine, don’t read it then. NZ is sparsely populated for a reason (not everyone likes the taste of Kool-Aid).

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        • I agree that there are many good and bad points to any Country. However, you are taking this website in isolation without seeing the vitriol on other social media sites against anyone making the slightest criticism of New Zealand. I really took note of this when the families of Emily Jordan and Bradley Coker were upset when their children where killed in separate accidents in New Zealand and were subject to shocking abuse for criticising the New Zealand Tourism Industry. There is a cult like mentality to protect a mythology that New Zealand is perfect. I noticed the same backlash against the Pike River families that they wouldn’t go away quietly.

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        • “When a person is murdered in NZ, it is still newsworthy and I may be wrong but I think you can count the number of serial killers in the history of NZ on the fingers of one hand…give or take a few!”

          Give or take a few…..HANDS? The problem most people cite is the full content of news is covered with only murders, accidents, good weather (which for some reason is always +/-2 degrees to project as ideal climate), housing crisis, Mike Hosking on RadioNZ goes one step further in making his own news that there is no slowdown in economies, no inflation in “overpriced” real estate , everything in NZ is hunky dory etc etc. To an extent, a friend of mine played audio clip from 2nd week of January’16 where the Radio host (Jack Tame) was disrespectfully referring Aucklanders as “JAFA”s – this was around 1pm my friends when most of the people are up & most likely listening to radio crap.

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    • Isaac September 14, 2015 at 5:34 pm – “Sorry but new Zealand has one of the highest rates of entrepreneurs in the world. Get your facts straight and also yeah aukland is expensive but the rest of the country is relatively cheap”

      You are probably mistaking “Entrepreneurs” with “tradies”, the latter (most of them) do business only to discount their tax obligation. I do see articles once in a while about innovations but these are same set of people that are going out of NZ to prove their mettle, isn’t it?

      I would have expected at least correct spelling of “aukland” to say the least. The only expensive thing in Auckland is property market, most part (50%-60%) of average wages go towards the walls (and roof) otherwise rest of the country has similar (if not same) cost of living.

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    • Issac, having the ‘most entrepreneurs’ in the world? How do you qualify that? I would disagree completely. Have you ever been to Brazil or any third world country where thousands sell whatever they can? Those people are entrepreneurs by definition. NZ produces a lot of ‘entrepreneurs’ who come up with poor ideas rooted in a general lack of knowledge of what the rest of the world has already done. As an entrepreneur who tried to make a significant business in NZ I left after 6 years of fighting with cheap investors who ultimately killed the company. There is no VC industry, no real talent and no government supprt unless you are already part of the old boys network.

      Trust me, NZ is great to vacation in or retire in, but as a place to create and innovate, you would have to be second or third tier innovator to stay there and not go to Europe or the US.

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      • No real talent? Coming from someone who has talent and can recognise talent? I’d really like to see that backed up by ‘facts’. Oh hold on surely something as wishy washy as talent is subjective? Same with all of your opinions.

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    • highest rates of entrepreneurs

      Most of what I’ve seen is entrepreneurs bringing something from somewhere else and introducing it to NZ.
      No real innovation, just expansion of franchises.

      As far as recognizing talent, most kiwis must be beaten over the head with talent before they’ll see it.
      Anything non-kiwi based is viewed with great scepticism if not rejected out right.

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  68. Most relevant part
    “EI: Right. I had to get up in the morning at ten o’clock at night, half an hour before I went to bed, (pause for laughter), eat a lump of cold poison, work twenty-nine hours a day down mill, and pay mill owner for permission to come to work, and when we got home, our Dad would kill us, and dance about on our graves singing “Hallelujah.”

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  69. The text in quote blocks are from a post made on another forum in response to the above article on E2NZ.org – An American’s Take on Rip-Off New Zealand.

    This is what happens when people develop a taste for Kool-Aid, E2Nz.org’s response follows each section:

    I’m an American who has lived in a few countries in Europe, Asia, currently in NZ. While some of the issues mentioned in the article are correct, the key to living in any different country is your own perception. Don’t assume/expect everything to be exactly like it is in your home country. If you want to live exactly like you do in the US, then why did/do you leave in the first place? Realize that different places have different ways of living, and people in those places do fine (mostly) living that way. And yes, sometimes the different lifestyle may not be for you — and it may take living somewhere for a while to realize that.

    You may call it perception, other people may call it liking the taste of Kool-Aid. Are you really suggesting people let their standards slip? Weren’t they brought into New Zealand as skilled migrants to improve standards, not become part of the problem?

    No-one emigrates because they’re looking for more of the same just in a different country. The problem is they arrived in New Zealand believing it to be as was described to them, unaware that the country is knowingly over-sold. Its called bait and switch. Drinking kool-aid to overcome the feeling of disappointment and being ripped-off doesn’t address the problem.

    For instance, the lack of ambition/drive is something I’ve noticed. Sometimes I find it a bit stifling, but at the same time, I realize it also results in the laid-back lifestyle that I do like. Where people value things other than career progression and material gains. Not being able to buy whatever I want whenever I want via Amazon was a bit tough in the beginning, but I got used to it — now I don’t miss it. Yes, many retail items are expensive, so you learn to be more selective — either think hard about if you really need it, or figure out a makeshift/homemade solution (the No. 8 wire approach!).

    Laid back lifestyles and ambition/drive are NOT mutually exclusive. People in other countries manage to handle both without having to struggle to make ends meet. And what of the hundreds of thousands that rely on the state (and tax payers) to pay for generations of their family to live on welfare. How do you feel about paying for them to chill out with your hard earned salary? Maybe if people were more productive the cost of living wouldn’t be so high.

    Auckland is very different from the rest of the country. AKL is similar to any other large city anywhere else in the world (crowded, expensive – relative to NZ of course!). The rest of NZ less so (although rural Canterbury can feel like the American Midwest). If you’re working seasonally in a place like Queenstown or Wanaka, it may not feel very NZ-like. Queenstown feels like any other holiday resort town anywhere else; I used to live in a ski town in Colorado, and Queenstown reminded me a lot of that.

    Auckland bears little resemblance to elsewhere in the developed world and is not a ‘large city’ by world standards, it’s more like a poorly planned, badly laid out, over-populated town. You’re getting Auckland region confused with Auckland city. People go there because that’s where the best jobs and educational opportunities are.

    As some of the other posters have said, a lot of your experience will depend on how you approach it. My wife and I have never had anyone be rude or aggressive to us on finding we’re American. Typically they’re interested in knowing what brought us to NZ, how we find it, etc. Yes, a lot of boasting about how the US is better than NZ will probably not endear yourselves to many Kiwis, but I suspect that’s the same anywhere. One Kiwi explained it like this — it’s okay to have a lot of accomplishments, but talking about them is considered bad form.

    In other words you’ve learned not to speak until spoken to, never talk about your own country unless asked and under sell yourself at work. Is this part of your perception altering perceptions? Does living in New Zealand require diminishment of self?

    NZ can feel quite isolated from the rest of the world. Can be good because it’s far away from much of the effects of global geopolitical turmoil. Can be bad if you want/like to travel the world a lot.

    Can be bad if you also want first world education, working conditions, roads, transport systems, infrastructure, medical treatment, medication, remuneration, freedom from nepotism, separation of state and police, genuine democracy and multiculturalism.

    There is more but you get the point. What do our readers have to add?

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  70. I agree totally! After 9 years in NZ I had to bail because if I didn’t I would literally be ‘stuck’ ther and that was not what I wanted. Moving to NZ cost me essentially everything I had and I am having to move back to the US just to rebuild.

    I started a company and was shocked at how lazy the Kiwi workers are. Late to work, tea breaks, lunch breaks, another tea break, knock off at 4:30. When does the work get done?

    As someone said, mentally dull and uninspired. Absolutely. Even the research is second order with the rare exception of a couple of researchers who get it. The government drinks its own kool-aid daily and although they say they want skilled migrants, they really don’t because once you get there, your opinions and suggestions are viewed as being inappropriate for kiwis or just simply wrong. Consequently, most immigrants I know ultimately move back to their homes. The folks who stay are frequently not the sharpest crayons in the box, or they would have made it in their own countries. NZ is at best a third rate country and is unwilling to change because the people who hold all the power would have to yield to that change. Something they refuse to do.

    So eyes wide open, NZ is a rip-off and horribly expensive to live there. It is beautiful, but I can’t eat or live in beauty. My house in Palmerston North, a sh**ty little bungalow that was cold as ice in the winter and hot as hades in the summer cost more than an equivalent house in Portland, Oregon. And, no one wants to live in Palmerston North. The ONLY positive about New Zealand from my perspective was the single payer medical system, but even then I had to have private insurance to cover what I needed.

    So what will I miss about NZ, the beauty and nothing else. But, I can find similar beauty all over this world, so in the end NZ really has nothing special to offer.

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    • Lol, u got me cracking real hard…

      I started a company and was shocked at how lazy the Kiwi workers are. Late to work, tea breaks, lunch breaks, another tea break, knock off at 4:30. When does the work get done?
      So what will I miss about NZ, the beauty and nothing else. But, I can find similar beauty all over this world, so in the end NZ really has nothing special to offer.

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    • totally agree with you. after reading all these comments about NZ, i consider myself lucky. i stayed in nz for about 5 yrs. then i decided to go to Australia and i am much happier here. Better lifestyle, better people, and certainly more money. i did not want to talk about my experience since it is pretty similar to most of the comments stated here. Though, one thing i’d like to advise those who are willing to come to nz:
      “pls. believe me don’t waste your time and money, try the states, Canada, Europe, aust., save your money and effort. No NZ.”

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    • YOU ARE SO RIGHT!!! YOU ARE THE MAN.. PLEASE REMIND ME WHATS LIFE LIKE IN YOUR COUNTRY ? WHY DIDN’T YOU GO TO Detroit, Michigan? TO COMPARE WITH YOUR OWN ? REALLY.. COMPARING KILLING IN NZ AND ALL THE BAD STUFF ABOUT NZ? HAVE YOU EVER EVEN LOOKED AT THE LONGEVITY OF AGE SPAM IN NZ VS THE REST OF THE WORLD? THIS IS ONLY YOUR NEGATIVE FEEDBACK MAYBE YOU GOT RAPED IN NZ? I ALWAYS HAVE A SAYING… LOOK AT YOUR SELVES BEFORE YOU POINT AT OTHERS THAT’S FROM 2011.. BY NOW WOULD OF INCREASED AT LEAST 10-15% . HERE: http://www.mapsofworld.com/world-top-ten/countries-with-highest-reported-crime-rates.html
      SO EACH COUNTRY HAS THEIR OWN UP AND DOWNS AT LEAST POLICE IN NZ DON’T SHOOT THEIR CITIZENS ON THE STREET FOR A BAR OF CHOCOLATE! ANYWAYS BAN ME AS YOU WANT BUT THE TRUTH IS ON THE INTERNET! PEOPLE DON’T RELY ONLY ON ONE SITE TO GET YOUR INFO FROM A LOW LIFE HANGING ON THE COUCH SUCKING ON HIS BEER.

      AND NO I DON’T WORK FOR THE GOVERNMENT YOU NERD I AM JUST ANOTHER CITIZEN!

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      • AND NO I DON’T WORK FOR THE GOVERNMENT YOU NERD I AM JUST ANOTHER CITIZEN!

        No? your server IP address is 49.50.247.187 = NSIS.co.nz. Please don’t troll. You’re banned, read the comments guidelines: ‘don’t like it then leave’ and ‘ad hom attack’. Learn some life skills. Admin.

        😀 “age spam”

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      • A HAPPY NEW ZEALANDER! October 26, 2015 at 4:04 pm
        YOU ARE SO RIGHT!!! YOU ARE THE MAN.. PLEASE REMIND ME WHATS LIFE LIKE IN YOUR COUNTRY ? WHY DIDN’T YOU GO TO Detroit, Michigan? TO COMPARE WITH YOUR OWN ? REALLY.. COMPARING KILLING IN NZ AND ALL THE BAD STUFF ABOUT NZ? HAVE YOU EVER EVEN LOOKED AT THE LONGEVITY OF AGE SPAM IN NZ VS THE REST OF THE WORLD?

        Clearly this person has had a successful lobotomy, or is just another “average Kiwi” that has never been out of NZ before. Many people in NZ do not live to a ripe old age as they die in a mangled car wreck or at the hands of an inbred psychopath. Failing that they commit suicide as it appears to be a logical response from living in such a social environment in such a limited country.

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      • Seriously, I rather be killed by a police officer in a country that allows me to live my life to the fullest than live in NZ. Living in NZ is like being dead already.

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  71. Dairies (convenience stores) in NZ beg belief – like a school tuck shop gone really bad.

    There also seems to be an unwritten 2 freezer rule.

    1st freezer – solely filled with single serve ice creams – magnums, cornettos/trumpets etc
    2nd freezer – half filled with family serve ice cream , the other half – a combo of pizza, pies , peas and chips/fries.

    Even in the depths of winter!!!

    No wonder obesity is the 3rd highest in the OECD.

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  72. I have finally figured out the best way to describe this hellhole of a rock,It’s the novel “lord of the flies ” but with older players and without the rescue at the end ,also fused with the movie Groundhog Day without the last day.

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  73. Hi all, what can i say? New Zealand has some beautifull scenery,plenty of sunshine, very small population, little pollution, relaxed lifestyle. However, this is not enough to keep me in NZ, after living here for 5 years after coming from UK. New Zealand is very boring, outside of the handfull of large cities, there is nothing of interest in New Zealand. The rural towns are so insular, parochial and on the surface New Zealanders appear friendly to newcomers, but once you live here you realise that they are passive aggressive and they appear very bitter and insecure about their isolated and insignificant country. If you are not obsessed with rugby or outdoor sports then you will find New Zealand very, very boring as there is nothing else! Do not emigrate to New Zealand unless you have given up on life!

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  74. Has there been changes since 2005 in the crime rate (maybe against tourists)?

    I hitch hiked for six month and so i had to walk everywhere. Sometimes i have been worried but there was never a problem. I walked through the cities and the souroundings (car salers etc.) at every time and talked/”hang out” with (groups of) residents.

    One Maori woman told me that there is alot of blaming (residents) in NZ. White blame Maori. Maori blame Asians. Asians blame Indians. But other than that and the normal “be safe” when you hitch hike i didnt recognize anything, and i had a lot of times all my belongings with me 😉

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  75. I just moved here recently to be with my kiwi partner.I am from Europe.won’t say my country because it’s not a country many people come to here. I don’t like anything here. I seriously want to go back but my partner can’t come and just begs me to give a try.
    First of all food sucks.people have no idea of hygine.I don’t want to eat anything anywhere:(
    People look nice but hospitality is zero. But somehow they think they are super friendly.
    I am keeping all my money in my account in my own country. Missing my lifestyle,culture, etc. I made a huge mistake coming here. I hated my job over there but now I miss that too. I want to give myself and my partner a chance but I urgently need European friends. Here people think greeting and kissing on cheek is gay. That’s what they tell me. How silly thing to say.Can’t stay here more than 3 months.oh let me know there are no jobs here

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    • An advice: Don’t stay here if you don’t feel comfortable. It only gets worse when time passes. I did that for my partner too, and 6 years after i’m leaving anyhow. So, what’s the point of suffering for nothing?

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    • Hey Minty,
      I can relate to your feelings about NZ and being homesick. I am an American, have been living here for 19 months, about 12 of those have been spent trying to get out of here. The housing is awful, the food expensive and mediocre, the mentality is closed, insular and I feel, also quite racist. I can not tell you how many people make fun of my accent, make weird jokes trying to mimic the American accent or otherwise speak disparagingly about Americans. I find this distasteful and small minded. Living in a multi-cultural country, I appreciate diversity, I would not make fun of someone’s accent. I have also found the “tall-poppy” syndrome here is very real. My sense is that Kiwi’s harbor resentment towards anyone who has more ambition/skills/knowledge than they do. One can practically see them turn green with envy, and then make snarky comments or otherwise be passive aggressive, when you discuss your qualifications or show more knowledge of something than they have. The small mindedness here is oppressive. I feel I have had to dumb myself down. The skill level in my field of work is shockingly low. In all truth, I would be embarrassed to deliver what is considered quality skill level here. Of course, I would never say this to a kiwi, never. I remain polite even when I feel they are rude.

      New Zealand is backwards and out of touch in many ways. they do not seem to know this because they live in this insular reality bubble. I have heard educated kiwis make comments about the reality of the rest of the world, which are SO off base. One that comes to mind is an assumption that all of the Earth’s deserts are flat and sandy. Truly, this was an assumption of a University graduate. Such small mindedness is common. True openness to another way of life, another culture is rare. My experience is that kiwis are exceedingly ethnocentric, patriotic and nationalistic. If I, as an American, behaved as they do, I would be snubbed even more than I have been for being American. I feel there is an underlying jealousy in the kiwi culture, hence the tall poppy syndrome. Desiring to better oneself or achieve something seems to threaten their she’ll be alright mate mentality.

      Sure, NZ is beautiful, no doubt there. And yet, it is over the top expensive while also being backwards and dysfunctional. The weather is not that great, a long rainy season and an intensity of sun that makes the summer less enjoyable. I feel like I need to hide from the sun here, it is so strong. We are leaving soon, thank goodness. New Zealand has been a major disappointment and I would not recommend it as a place to live. The housing market in Auckland is, as we know, over the top expensive. The poor quality of housing here is shocking. Most houses here don’t friggen have screens on the doors and windows. In the summer heat you get the added fun of fly killing because kiwis seem to not be aware of a thing called a screen. WTF? Screens, insulation, central heating, it is not high tech people. We live in a very nice neighborhood and pay way too much for, what is in our standards, a totally crappy rental house. Sure, it looks nice enough with modern kitchen, bathroom etc…….but it is only a facade. The house leaks, single pane windows, no insulation, cheap appliances that do not work properly and shockingly poor craftsmanship. There is still globs of grout on the new tile in the kitchen and bathroom because whoever laid the tile did not bother to wipe up the excess grout so now it is permanently smeared with little globs of grout cemented to the new tile. Really? Who works like that? My husband and I joke that it seems like it was designed by monkeys. That sounds mean but truthfully, it was put together so thoughtlessly. A brand new bathroom without a towel rack! Really? Who designs a modern bathroom without a friggen towel rack? Kiwis do.

      I could rant on and on about how narrow minded and backwards NZ is. I have met plenty of other immigrants who do not like it here at all. Some of them are women and have stayed for their partner. Whatever you do, DO NOT have a child here with your partner! You will be stuck here. I have met several women whom that happened to. The government would not allow the women to leave the country with their kids without the consent of the father, so they had to stay. Others have stayed for love and are miserable. Get out before it steals your spirit and makes you depressed. NZ is a weird place. I will refrain from the gut turning violence and cannibalism that took place here, the modern day glamorizing of the warrior culture of the Maori- a warrior people that committed heinous acts of irreverence for life.

      Hope you make it out soon!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thats a crazy story to hear, I’m currently working for the state department and have a Masters in Public health, I was looking into moving New Zealand in the coming year but am definitely having second thoughts. As an American I feel like I would go insane if everyone is really as bad as you say, thanks for the heads up!

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        • Hi John,
          I would encourage you to carefully consider moving to New Zealand. Our decision to leave here has come down to a careful assessment of what our priorities are in life and how much we are willing to compromise to live a life aligned with them.

          There is no arguing the beauty of NZ, (though it is true that it is not as ‘pure” as is advertised. There are growing problems with water pollution. The use of roundup here is rampant. It is used as an alternative to trimming around walkways, highways, parkways on and on……….. Being that dairy is a major industry here, as well as sheep, you can surmise the impact on the “pure” environment).

          At any rate, for us, we are not willing to live with the 50% wage cut, the weak kiwi $$, the ever increasing cost of housing, 28% income tax plus 15% GST taxes, high energy cost combined with housing that lacks insulation or central heating and a home loans that are typically only fixed for 2, if you are lucky, 5 years before they become variable. We considered all of these economic factors and decided we are not willing to pay that price to live here. If we loved it here, maybe we would consider the cost worth it, We do not. The social factors of the prevalent tall poppy syndrome, the underlying dislike of Americans that is palpable and the general small mindedness that we have experienced here, the insular and isolated society, are factors we might decide to live with if the issue of finances was not so massive. And, btw. we are in the 6 figure income bracket. In our opinion, the Auckland housing market is heading for a big crash. We do not want to be here for that.

          If you do come, consider doing so with a limited amount of belongings and check it out for yourself. At least then if you do not like it you will have saved yourself the hefty (approx 18k USD) of shipping a container here and then back to the US. If you do like it, well, then you can ship your stuff at a later date.

          Not to be a real downer, but something else which is very relevant to consider when moving here is your health. As the housing lacks insulation and central heating and humidity is high, mold is a real issue here. NZ has a VERY high, if not the highest, rate of asthma in the world. We moved into a newly remodeled 2 bedroom duplex in a very nice high end neighborhood (we are the smallest house here) and I became incredibly sick for the first 7 months I was here. I had a chronic chest/sinus infection and pneumonia twice. The second time I had to take antibiotics for 21 days!! It was scary, not to mention downright depressing, to be sick for so long. My kiwi born Dr. told me that it is very common for immigrants to move here and get sick. The pollen is different, the molds very high, the housing damp and COLD. Interestingly enough, in the same sentence, my Dr. also told immigrants often find when they go to Brisbane or Sydney their health issues clear up. I spoke to a kiwi woman here who took her kid to the Gold Coast for a week just to clear up their lungs! I would not bring kids here unless I could afford to put out big $$ to buy a home that I was sure had no mold and was properly insulated and heated. Mold and asthma are truly rampant here, that is no exaggeration at all. Even my cat got sick and needed steroids and antibiotics to clear up his lungs. He still wheezes:(

          So there is my lowdown. I do not mean to be pessimistic or to harp on NZ. Rather, to let you know what my experience has been to hopefully give you some realistic things to consider as you decide whether or not to make the leap to NZ. It is a hard thing to come to a place full of hope to be let down again and again. It is also very costly! And, we did not come here with rose colored glasses, not at all. We will happily be leaving before winter and I do not feel we will ever look back and question our decision.

          All the best in making yours. Good luck and best wishes.

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          • Thank you for your input. People from other countries seldom realise how much environmental contamination there is in New Zealand, not least exposure to mold in residential accommodation. Everyone involved in the running of E2NZ.org experienced respiratory infections while living in New Zealand that cleared up when they left.

            Interestingly, New Zealand has one of the highest asthma rates in the world and a growing number of children are developing bronchiectasis, a lung disease that can be fatal if not treated early enough.

            Bronchiectasis affects an estimated 4226 people in New Zealand, and the number of people dying from it each year has doubled in the last decade to 84. Dr Byrnes said, untreated, it led to a build-up of mucus and scarring in the lungs, with a lung transplant carried out as a last resort to save patients. She used to refer one child every three years or so for a transplant, and it was considered a very rare occurrence, but that had changed, she said. “In the last year, I’ve referred three children for assessment for lung transplant, which would be unheard of in virtually any other clinic around the world, so it’s very severe here by the time we’re picking them up…

            “It shows there’s an escalation of severity of disease and escalation of the disease starting early in children.”

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          • the underlying dislike of Americans that is palpable

            This is what makes it much more difficult for Americans specifically. Those from the UK, even Pacific Islanders seem to get an easier pass than Americans [they really do hate them].
            So combine all of the other “issues” and stack on top the absolute loathing for Americans and it is not a very welcoming place.

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          • Well. I have lived in alot of other countries around the world. I have to say “There us no place like home”. Why? The main reason is because I am constantly comparing these countries with my homeland. Plus, I miss my family. I have come to the conclusion (and have told my family) that the only reason you change countries is if you are guaranteed ” awesome” financial benefits. If you truly believe you’re going to have a better life in another country (ANY other country), suck it up because it ain’t gonna happen.

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          • It is a hard thing to come to a place full of hope to be let down again and again.

            As I’ve said in other posts, the skills and methods [in dire need in NZ] that migrants bring are almost an affront to Kiwis. They do not want to hear a bar of it and will cut their noses of to spite their faces in rejecting ANY changes to the “kiwi way”, especially when they are better, faster, easier…
            So, if you are highly skilled and full of ambition, NZ is probably not a wise choice as those attributes are frowned upon, more so if you are American. You will be “frozen out” so as to not make them look bad.

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          • I really can’t figure out what made you decide to come to NZ in the first place if you so self evidently mention to earn a six figure salary. There is a paradox in your story….

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      • I am quite impressed by your story , and I have difficulty in accepting it , but I know you are so true. Only the remarks about the towel rack are a bit over the top and very American spoilt brat sounding. There is one observation though that I want to mention : I regularly have been ” walking” streets in NZ via Google Maps , and I compare the images to what I remember from my life there in the early 90ies: Streets look impeccably clean and organised , almost no tacky fences anymore and people create pretty gardens with native elements.I see perfectionism in the facades of new builds , and I cannot believe that newer houses donot provide quality shelter. It just looks so much richer now , most places not all. Ok, I have a bias walking newer streets and neighbourhoods . Probably there is a different approach between dwellings for private use and rentals, would’nt surprise me…..

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        • A brand new bathroom without a towel rack! Really? Who designs a modern bathroom without a friggen towel rack? Kiwis do.

          Actually that’s just quirky sense of humor, There is a whole genre of jokes about towel racks in NZ homes – usually along the lines of ‘the whole house will be unheated but there’ll be a heated towel rail in the bathroom’. Hence the mirth about finding there aren’t any drying facilities at all.

          very American spoilt brat sounding.

          Please lay off the name calling ‘Geert S.’ or you’ll cop yourself a ban,

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          • Any towel bar would have been nice. We were not expecting a heated one, just a place to hang a wet towel. Guess if I wasn’t such a spoiled American I would, what? Hang over the door? Throw on the floor? Hang over the shower? Seems like in a house that is freshly remodelled and “modern” they would put up a towel bar. Guess that was an oversight as was a mirror over the bathroom sink. Yeah, maybe I am a super entitled American expecting too much from this rental we pay a fortune to live in.

            Thank goodness for the kind people we have come to know, generous friends and sublime beauty.

            Sent from my iPhone

            >

            Liked by 1 person

          • When we finally sold our house there weren’t any remarks about the new double glazing or insulation or heat pump system or new kitchen and bathrooms but the heated towel rails caused quite a lot of excitement! Priorities are a bit skewed when buying a house.

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  76. I emigrated to NZ in 2006. I had 2 suitcases full of the required paperwork to be a skilled immigrant- as a medical practitioner. My partner and I wanted to move to Nelson but the corrupt medical agency in Auckland directed us to Whangarei. It was the worst move in my life and I was destroyed working for Northland district health board.They seriously abused me such that working for them became totally untenable. For example they lied to me to make me, a guy then in late 40’s work first on call for an area 2 thirds the size of Wales as the only on call doctor, 70-80 hours per week, when I had a family with 2 young children to look after. I was forced to resign from my senior medical post, and lost my family, my career, as the New Zealand Medical Council, because I was off work with resultant stress and depression. made sure that I could not re-register with the GMC of GB without paying 7000 pounds GBP, which I did not have. I was destroyed by the women running Northland District Health Board, and we had to return to UK in 2010. My life has been destroyed by my experiences in NZ;I have not recovered

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yours sounds like an horrendous experience Colin but you’re not alone in it. The bait-and-switch tactic is one that has been pulled on many migrants, as is the promise of a work-life balance that doesn’t exist in New Zealand.

      It would be interesting to hear about your experiences in more detail, you may find it cathartic to get your story out there and realise that what happened was no fault of your own.

      Would you consider writing a Migrant Tale for publication when the site re-opens?

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    • They are a petty vindictive lot, ruining people for no apparent reason. They seem to particularly enjoy going after people that stop working for them [for whatever reason], if they can’t have you or you don’t want to work for them [because they are sooo brilliant] then you are defective in their eyes and must be kept out of the work force.
      It is a reaction to rejection that they turn around and reject you AND endeavour to ruin your reputation so you will not work again [in nz].

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    • i am so sorry to hear your version. i feel soory for the kids and your wife too.

      i moved to auckaldn with my wofe in 2008. i enrolled in their university post graduate business program . my wife got an accountant job too at the end of the 1st year. but i never was able to find a job. i also looked around for some qualoty business to invest into or buy out but nothing is attractive enough.
      new zealand is only for those who like true new zealand lifestyle that is boring and lazy and laid back

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  77. I’ve been WORKING on a project for about a month. I am also pushing 60.
    I have guys coming over and looking at what I’ve been able to get done in a short period of time with their jaws dropped.
    Pushing 60, there are not that many pairs of kiwis [20-30 yr olds] that can outwork me. I am aghast at the work ethic in nz.
    Yet, I’ll get “outsided” because I make them look so pathetic. And the companies do not appreciate the increase in productivity. Go figure.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kia ora I am a 56-year-old Maori woman. I really enjoyed reading your article and the comments below as they are similar to how I view the gradual decline of Aotearoa/ New Zealand over the last thirty years. I am saddened that you have been damaged here and hope that you can find some relief soon.

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  78. “Frozen out” is exactly what happened to me. I was not invited to an open house type event in which all providers gave a demo and presented themselves to the client base. I was stunned to not be invited. When I heard about the event, innocently questioning what time I should plan to be there, I was told I would not be presenting.

    I have also experienced backstabbing and clandestinely questioning my credentials to others. In anohter case, it was blazing obvious I was highly more skilled than the top performer and I feel she was seriously threatened by the new kid on the block who blew her away. Of course, she was very nice to my face. I only heard what she said to others through a true friend who was there after I left and told me what was said. She actually tried to imply I was not trained!! In this case, the acclaimed individual, (by New Zealand standards) did not match the skill level I had when I was in training 11 years back. I was actually embarrassed for her as her skill level was shockingly low. Sounds awful to say, but in the community I lived in in California, this woman would not last a month. It felt like her lack of skill actually undermined the entire training I did; it lowered the bar so much I was embarrassed to be in the same profession as her. After that experience I decided to branch out on my own. I guess she was pleased about that as it allowed her to continue to claim herself as NZ’s expert.

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  79. Wow. Hi all, an American (Yank?) here. I firmly believe that when one moves somewhere THEY need to acclimate to their new society. Not the other way ’round. How can they expect people from another culture to act like people from their original culture? Yes many ‘mericans are elitists. So are Brits, Aussies, whomever. There are gonna be nice people where ever as well. That’s the same everywhere. I’m retired with health concerns (I’m a mere 60) and am unable to run, bike and be in the outdoors as I was in my youth. From what I’ve read here I’d probably fit in fine in NZ. Do you guys have a decent internet connect? I spend lots of time on my laptop cruising the world. I’d love to visit Shetland in the UK. Cold and isolated (I’m an introvert). Now that bird sanctuary is a potentially boring place. I’ve often wanted to move to Canada as it’s cooler and more space available to live in. And friendlier people than the average ‘merican. I grew up in the South and it sucked. I’ve lived in California for over 35 years and would never go back to Florida/Georgia.

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  80. Being a resident for the past 3 years I love New Zealand and everything about it I even don’t mind paying extra for my household expenses but seriously if the housing remains like this for another year I plan to leave NZ it is absolutely a rip-off for new working class immigrants and young New Zealanders.

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    • This is one of the reasons why I moved to Australia. I live 35 minutes drive from a major city and I can buy a new house for under 400K. As you can imagine, there’s loads of other Kiwis living around me.

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  81. Hello My Fellow American,
    I feel compelled to respond to your post as my husband and I moved here 2 years ago filled with a dream of a simpler life, better work life balance etc… While we did not move here to get rich, we also did not expect to have to lower our standard of living so, so much. I know it is hard to hear news which runs contrary to one’s hopes and aspirations for a fresh start in a new place. And yet, it is also wise to gather real information so as to not have to far too fall when reality does not meet one’s ideal.

    We have a healthy 6 figure salary, and we can not, nor would we, buy a house in the Auckland housing market. The average cost of a house in Auckland is nearing a million. And, I promise you, that is not a home you may imagine a million $ home to be. Not only does Auckland have a housing crisis in terms of supply, the quality of homes here is exceedingly poor. I am sure you have read this before. If you could live outside of Auckland, you may do better. However, they are calling the creeping price of housing in Tauranga and Hamilton the “halo” effect. Prices are going up there too.

    Another aspect we consider is the state of NZ economy. The dairy industry is taking a hard hit now and has been for awhile. When we first moved here a local told us kiwi economy rises and falls on Fontera. I am not a whiz of economics, but I have done some research and read articles from those who are. NZ’s link to the Chinese economy also makes them vulnerable to fluctuations in their economy. China’s economy is at a downturn, so is dairy, the kiwi $ has dropped 15% since we moved here. The housing market is a bubble; we see the writing on the wall. We would not buy here even if we had the money to.

    One thing we have achieved here is a better life/work balance. My husband works in high tech and the hours he worked back home were unsustainable. He worked in the Silicon Valley, mostly for start ups. The work culture here, even if there are hard working people who work 2 jobs, IS different. My husband goes in at 8 and leaves at 4:30, pretty regularly. And, while some Kiwi’s will not like me writing this, the work culture here is lax to the point that it is frustrating and deadens one’s ambition and drive. I have heard this from many professional immigrants from various parts of the world, not just Americans. In my husbands case, his job is boring and does not challenge him at all. He and some of his colleagues that have been with the company for a long time, like 30 years, express their frustration at being undervalued and unchallenged.

    I do not want to harp on NZ, it is beautiful, you can create a slower paced and peaceful life here. I feel it is a matter of what one is willing to live with. I do not know what you financial situation is so maybe the high cost of living is not an issue for you. It is beautiful and while I do not have children, the area we live in (Eastern Beaches Suburbs) has very good schools. Like the states, the quality of the school is somewhat related to the socioeconomic demographic of where one lives. This is an upper middle-class area.

    At this very moment we are in negotiations for a job in Sydney. Ironically, it is with my husbands current employers biggest competition. That company is paying him overall, with bonuses, base pay and super- annuation, 50% more than the company here. And, the Aussie $ is stronger than the kiwi. So we get a pay raise globally with a stronger currency. When you live halfway across the world from your former home you like to visit, that matters a lot. This company is also arranging our visas with a highly reputable legal firm as well as paying them. We feel like we have the golden ticket and we are going!!

    We will be leaving NZ in a matter of months. Within the past 2 months, 3 overseas employees at the company my husband works for have left for the same reasons we are leaving; finances and limited career opportunities. We are grateful for what has been good here, our stress level has dropped considerably and we have been the recipients of kindness from many kiwi people. That being said, generally speaking, there is a huge chip on NZ”s shoulder when it comes to America/Americans All I can say about that is I try not to get offended or be too judgemental about those who express ignorance and are xenophobic, but it gets old. A time or two I have wanted to tell people off, though I do not. I take the quiet and reserved stance. All in all, I do not feel like I fit in here, I do not feel kiwi’s are that accepting. They seem to pride themselves on “kiwi culture” (not really sure what that is) and have an expectation that those who move here adopt it. Perhaps because I come from the great melting pot of cultures, I appreciate and respect cultural differences. It took me over a year to put my finger on how the xenophobia feels for me. The word is oppressive. Living in insular, isolated, xenophobic, tall poppy syndrome NZ feels oppressive. And, I have been back stabbed A LOT by people who are jealous of my skill level in my field. It is bizarre.

    As we prepare to move to Australia, we feel we are seeing things more clearly. We hope we will not be so disappointed there as we have been here. At least the finances have improved vastly, that helps. We can afford to buy there now though Sydney has it’s own housing issues. That is turning around, prices have dropped there this year for the first time in many years. Some are anticipating the bubble there will burst soon. We will not buy for a couple of years, we are watching the market.

    I wish you all the best in your decision, in your move. I would love to make myself available to answer your questions, so please do ask and I will do my best to give you objective answers.
    Cheers!!

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  82. Interesting reading this post and the responses. I’m a kiwi who has lived outside of NZ longer than I’ve lived in it. Last year we thought of returning to NZ so my foreign spouse started applying for jobs. He has 4 degrees and numerous qualifications and experience. Unfortunately for him, he also has an exotic sounding name. The jobs he applied for matched his skills, experience and qualifications, yet he didn’t get so much as an interview despite stating that he had NZ Residency. I have great sympathy for highly skilled immigrants trying to find jobs in NZ.

    I’m not a fan of the “she’ll be right” attitude (let’s just settle for not doing anything to improve the status quo) or poor quality/overpriced products, but I do contend that there is something very fresh and real about NZ and NZers. The place has so much potential.

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  83. I do not agree with the comment that there is something fresh about and real about NZ and NZers. My experience has been that there is an avoidance of being real, a superficial level of communication that is quick to judge. On many occasions I have experienced a weird silence from Kiwi’s as well as abrupt changing of the subject. It feels to me that there is a small scope of human emotions/experiences that kiwis deem acceptable to feel or discuss. Conversation is superficial, lacking the richness of depth, thoughtfulness and emotion that makes life interesting and meaningful. I believe this is part of the she’ll be right mentality; pretend it does not exist and it will go away. An unfortunate result of this way of living is that it hampers one’s ability to develop empathy, compassion or thoughtful inquiry. This has been my experience and I find it bizarre and also sad. One thing I noticed right away when moving here was the level of gossip that occurs here, conversation is full of gossip about others. This made me uncomfortable. I have also experienced, on many occasions, that kiwis will laugh at something one says, when there is no joke involved. It feels like they are laughing at something they perceive yet do not speak. In short, they are judging me, what I say, or another and, while they will not share their thoughts, they laugh. This feels so rude to me. If it happens again before I leave here, I am going to politely ask, “what is so funny?”. I do not find kiwis to be real, more superficial and judgemental and lacking depth. Sorry to say, I know it sounds harsh. I have lived in cultures where there is a simplicity of life and way of being that is refreshing in it’s simplicity and ability to be real. My general experience is that kiwi’s are afraid of being real and hide behind superficiality whilst harboring bitterness and judgement towards others who do not fit in to their limited mentality.

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  84. To the Canterbury Kiwi,
    Perhaps you may consider checking your facts about what other countries offer in terms of social services before you embarrass yourself further by being misinformed. The US does have a welfare program, as well as subsidized housing and medical. The difference being that it is intended as a safety net, not something a family is to rely on for generations. It is no secret that generations of families living on social benefits is a real issue in NZ. There is also a public education system in the US. You say the NZ education system is cheap, perhaps one really does get what they pay for. Are you aware that there is a huge illiteracy and numeracy problem in NZ? Are you aware that this problem exists even for those who have gone through the “cheap” Kiwi education system? Do your research, it is true.

    I have no idea what you are talking about when it comes to clean air. I live in a very nice neighborhood, pay over-inflated prices to do so and my neighbor burns friggen coal to stay warm in the winter. Coal, intended to be burned in fireplaces, is sold at Bunnings!! Yes, a black plume of coal smoke billows out of my neighbors chimney stinking up the entire block. If my cat sits outside for 30 mins in the winter, he comes in smelling like coal smoke!! Auckland has clean air because of wind currents, not because of government action. Research it.

    Are you aware that your government is bringing skilled workers to NZ because the skill and education level of the kiwi population is too low to compete globally? Left to it’s own devices, with it’s fabulous laid back mentality, social housing, cheap schools and socialized medicine, NZ would not be able to compete in a global economy that is technology driven. Yes, your government is strategically bringing in skilled immigrants to bolster your economy. Immigrants are little tax satellites for NZ, we even pay your government/you, taxes on income we earn in our home country. Yes, there are countries much poorer than NZ, and we have much to be grateful for indeed. You are fortunate to live in your state home with state sponsored air con and insulation and I am fortunate to make enough money that I pay 30k a year in taxes for your state housing. You may consider being a bit kinder to immigrants who come here with skills that Kiwi’s lack and bolster your tax revenues which are used by kiwi’s either less fortunate than us or simply less motivated to earn their own living. Somebody has worked hard to make your life so pleasant. As time goes by, it is more likely to be an immigrant than a kiwi!

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    • “Tax paying hard working immigrant” – I echo your sentiments on this, the rotten system here – it’s nothing less than crap. In the past 6 years I have paid over $210,000 just for tax and I still live in a overpriced rented house in Auckland. I never took any unemployment benefits when I was out of work for 9-10 months. Trust me there is no incentive for hardworking people here. At the end of the month, I’m left with little over $200 as savings, which eventually burns out for emergency expenses (for doctors, fuel, other unforeseen expenses etc), we hardly eat/drink out. Our daughter (in her 20’s) doesn’t get any benefits/living allowances because one set of parent earns way too much according to the government. It is such a shame that immigrants are seen only as “money minting machine” by the government to fund for poverty of “lazy” morons and “child making drums” in South Auckland. My blood boils every time I drive down to South or West Auckland between Thursdays to Saturdays. There are constant police chase, rowdy behaviour from these islanders, fights on the streets, risky driving on the roads. I wish I never made the move from UK to here – this is not the paradise which we were sold. I wish people research and read authentic experience (like on this website) before making any decisions to uproot entire family, relationships and moreso peace of mind.

      Like

  85. You guys have no idea how grateful I am by reading this loooong post, and I just wish anybody can direct me to similar posts/links to how American/English people feel after they move to Australia or Canada. The more informative the better!

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  86. Oh my god you’re a bunch of whinging people. No we don’t like arrogance and we don’t reward it. Americans have a love affair with capitalism and am shocked that New Zealanders don’t, in other news water is wet. Pulling someone up on their grammar and telling them that they are most likely a product of New Zealand schooling is both elitist $hi7ty behaviour and arrogance at its best. Also, what was worse is that you made a spelling error not but three words after.

    New Zealand is expensive, that is without a doubt the most accurate statement you can make. It’s also hard to earn money. A lot of the lifestyle here isn’t about earning the most money or having the most (another inherent American trait, not necessarily bad but definitely American), we’re not inherently a society that strives for that. This country has always worked on the basis of living a good life with what you have. Their is a lot of people in these comment section whinging about immigrants (ironically not taking into consideration you’re own immigrant status) whinging about New Zealanders being two faced? I mean, to even say that would require a vast knowledge of every New Zealander that resides in New Zealand and speaks. That seems highly unlikely.

    Next, some of these experiences seem like something you should be reporting to the police. Like I would love to know more about the shops where checkout operators are ripping you off?? Can we have store names so we can investigate this because never in my life has that happened and I worked in a supermarket when I was younger.

    Here’s a perfect solution for you, if you aren’t happy with our lack of innovation or the dairy owners that are Indians or the Chinese (please correct me if I’m not picking up on racist undertones, ironically someone tried to say that a kiwi was bias against Americans yet didn’t mention the blatant racism in the OPs post) or you don’t like the housing (because you’ve also checked all the housing in New Zealand and are backing it up with proven research) then by all means, please go back to your country and let in some immigrants who actually want to be here in.

    My god you’re all terrible people. Its one of the most beautiful countries in the world, surely you moved here for a reason

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    • Normally we’d delete garbage like this because it breaches our comments guidelines. However, after requests from some of our regular readers (who asked to be able to challenge the thought processes of our trolls) this rant has been approved so they may respond.

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    • So typical of kiwi aggression and ignorance. Indeed, we are taking your advice mean guy, and leaving in 2 weeks!! BTW- I have Chinese landlords and neighbours they are so gracious, refined and kind. Unfortunately, the next door neighbours, kiwi born, are racist and nasty. They sound a bit like you mate. Too bad. See ya!

      Sent from my iPhone

      >

      Liked by 1 person

    • Can we have store names so we can investigate this because never in my life has that happened and I worked in a supermarket when I was younger.

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    • “Alex b” – The whole effing country is full of arrogant people, your comment actually proves every single word people have been complaining here all this while.

      “This country has always worked on the basis of living a good life with what you have.” – REALLY??
      There are suckers in the property market just minting out money like anything. Why don’t you give this lecture to those greedy scumbags that are buying houses and keeping it empty for months & months. The so called “housing crisis” is a big BS and artificially created phenomenon to fool the tax paying immigrants for paying higher rents to landlords like yourself. If you can’t empathize with situation & challenges others have faced or have balls to change that “stale” way then better stick to your “NZHerald”, “Stuff” or “TradeMe” community groups.

      Why is it difficult for you to understand that the cycle of “new immigrants coming into the country and the old ones leaving after facing the racism, losing money & careers” is the cause to have a forum like e2nz. Another word of caution – it so appears from your moronic comment that you are feeling a sense of ownership on “immigrants” -> So, you see the problem!!!!!

      One more thing, immigrants are not moving to New Zealand to eternally pay for your cold, damp & downtrodden houses OR get abused/robbed and ill-treated by people like you, immigrants are risk entire family lives & future prospects to find “that” peace & 100% pure nonsense that’s advertised in glossy magazines at exhibitions & seminars all over the world.

      You give people their lost time & money/career etc and I’m sure all the “whinging” lot will make you their God – if you can’t then STFU and advertise your kool aid kit at some other forum.

      PS – You can’t run the country just on the “beauty” carrot for too long.

      Liked by 1 person

  87. It should and could be one of the best places but it’s certainly ain’t (is not)
    Bill Gates recently said life’s not fair I will go and correct him it’s people that aren’t fair

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  88. Can’t agree more on the dressing sense. If the government taxes people for their jandals, shorts and that “supa” ugly ‘black shirt – black trousers’ then trust me – no one will ever have to pay any other taxes.

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  89. Totally agree, was recently in Auckland (November 16), prices are crazy 2.79$ (1.20£) for a cucumber as an example!

    I grew up in Auckland but left for London 1995, nearly all of my kiwi mates live outside of kiwiland. The few who stayed are either filthy rich or on P.

    It’s a beautiful place, the real locals are cool but it has no soul anymore no punch no direction that’s obtainable, and the Maori want a dollar for looking at something they believe is theirs.

    Visit please, forget living there unless you love astromical prices, terrible traffic a liberal soft government (7 years for 1st degree murder) and after a long flight to Auckland airport been hassled by customs officials because your bag once had a banana in it.

    It’s cheaper or parity to buy nz exports in London than in Auckland, crazy.

    Still l’m told inflation has not hit the weed market so if pure mind destroying swag is your go to, then you’ll be off your bean cheaply (until you get the munchies).

    If you want to escape nuclear war or creditors then it’s the place to be, but just remember it’s a long swim to Australia if your luck runs out in the land of the long white cloud.

    Like

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