Don’t Move to New Zealand

starving piggy bank

“I am so tired of Kiwis making a virtue of necessity – there’s nothing here to compensate for the forced pennypinching”

This story was originally published on the discussion forum Expatexposed.

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

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

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

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

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

If you are rich, boaty and/or fetishize nature, you will LOVE it here, and you won’t have to make sacrifices, or the sacrifices may well be worth it. I am not rich, boaty and do not fetishize nature.

I DO wear woolly socks and jumpers inside, and I did that before I came here. I shop secondhand “just because it is sensible”. I make food from scratch. I totally agree – it’s sensible and no less, regardless. I have NEVER had central heating or double-glazed windows in any house I have lived in, though I aspired to such back home where I was able to afford to buy my own house. I used to put thermal plastic sheeting on my windows to keep warm in winter. I will hunt that stuff down for this year in NZ if I haven’t been able to leave by winter. At home, I had a gas furnace (not a standalone heater) and my heating was, under a special distributive program where they spread the money out for winter heating to summer months so you don’t get these big lumps to pay in winter) about 80 a month USD (that’s about, what, 100 NZD?). Just to give you a comparison.

The difference is that back there, I lived this same way and was able to save money and get ahead by being frugal. I could afford better food and I didn’t have to darn big holes in socks. I’d darn a little hole or two and then when the socks persisted in developing more holes, I would give them away to the local animal shelter inside a pillowcase for the animals to use. I had money to travel and visit people.

I’ve lived frugally before – and was able to GET AHEAD by doing so. I was able to save thousands a year doing that. Here, you are FORCED to live that way just to keep your head above water, and you are lucky if you can save anything. Maybe some year upward mobility will pull you into its wake if you can catch the wave at the right time…you can only climb the rungs of the ladder with great difficulty in New Zealand, and just hope you don’t have a setback that sends you back to START. It’s easy to have that happen to you if you have no family here to cushion your setbacks for you.

I do not consider that the people of New Zealand are beneath me. I perceive that they “make do” valiantly with what they have. I have seen them be amazingly creative making good useful things out of nothing. The housewives use everything but the squeal. Jesus, do I have to want to live like that, though? This is admirable, and I’d do it if I had to, but why pay out the nose to do that? Kiwis are both shaped and limited by having to live that way. They don’t have time for intellectual pursuits? Just LIVING here occupies enough of their effort, so ok, it’s understandable (Google “culture of New Zealand”, “anti-intellectualism” if you think I am being a snob). People have crafted the Wiki entry to reflect reality, better, I think, since I came over some years ago, and I think prospective migrants should read it: (See below*)
I don’t think you’re aware of how carefully they manipulate Brand New Zealand to attract people who in actuality turn out to be highly unsuitable migrants. That’s where I perceive my fight to be on EE, is representing the reality of New Zealand as I personally experienced it, as one of those unsuitable migrants, so I can prevent other people from making the same mistake I did. It’s the only way I can make lemonade out of my own lemons! That’s why many of the members post here – they are either venting or making sure the downside gets “out there”, hoping that googlers will be able to find and read it through all the net-bombing by “paradise”-mongers who are trying to represent New Zealand as a place that it is NOT.”

*Anti-intellectualism in NZ (Wikipedia)

Unlike many European countries, but in common with other ‘Anglo’ countries such as Britain, the United States and Australia, New Zealanders do not have a particularly high regard for intellectual activity, particularly if it is more theoretical than practical. This is linked with the idea of ‘kiwi ingenuity’ (see above), which supposes that all problems are better solved by seeing what works than by applying a theory.

This distrust of theory manifested itself in social policy of the early and mid twentieth century, which historian Michael Bassett described as ’socialism without doctrines’: although the policies of the first Labour and other governments pursued traditionally socialist goals, they were not based on any coherent theory. A major break with this tradition came in the 1980s when the fourth Labour and fourth National governments enacted a series of reforms based on free market ideology.

This reinforced many New Zealanders’ distrust of intellectual theory, as many consider that the reforms increased poverty and inequality in New Zealand. Despite the prevailing mood of anti-intellectualism, New Zealand has reasonably high rates of participation in tertiary education and has produced a number of internationally renowned scholars and scientists, including Ernest Rutherford, J.G.A. Pocock and Alan MacDiarmid. It should be noted that both Rutherford and Pocock spent most of their professional lives in Britain. For many years this was a common occurrence, and a consequence both of New Zealanders’ attitudes and the low population which made it hard to support major research.


Because New Zealanders often have to relocate to achieve worldwide fame and fortune, New Zealanders are keen to claim famous people as being New Zealanders, however short their residency in New Zealand might have been.

While people born in New Zealand are certainly identified as New Zealanders, those who attended a New Zealand school or resided in New Zealand also qualify, irrespective of national origin. This sometimes leads to famous people and innovations being identified as coming from both New Zealand and another country—such as the pop group Crowded House, the race horse Phar Lap and the actor Russell Crowe, all of whom have been associated with Australia and New Zealand.

Because the measure of New Zealand success was often how well a person did internationally, anything from ‘Overseas’ is seen as holding more cultural capital than the local equivalent, regardless of its quality.

This means that New Zealanders are often lured to the performances of “international acts”. This is exacerbated by New Zealand’s isolation and small population causing it to be skipped by the international tours of all but the most commercially successful musicians and performers. The flipside to this phenomenon is that famous people from overseas can be quickly embraced by New Zealanders if they visit regularly or for an extended period or claim an affinity with the country.”
“We invite them to live here, then set them up for failure. Immigrants and refugees have a tough time settling in New Zealand, and it’s costing them – and us – dearly”

“New Zealand has never been particularly welcoming to immigrants, but a National Business Review-Phillip Fox poll this month suggested that attitudes of ordinary New Zealanders to non-white immigrants are hardening.”

“The requirements for immigration and the requirements for registration [as a teacher] are very different and it’s never been made explicit. So they come here on the basis of their teaching qualifications and can’t register. We suspect it’s the same with other qualifications, particularly those with a registration component, such as engineering.”

Although politicians attack migrants for “taking taxpayers for a ride” by claiming sickness and hardship benefits, a recent Victoria University survey found that a majority of New Zealanders are accepting of immigrants, but they have little to do with them. Those at the bottom of the socioeconomic heap who have most contact with them often perceive them as a threat. Chile was called in recently to sort out a dispute for an African migrant family who bought a house in South Auckland. “The people next door set the dog on the woman of the house and the children have been beaten up.”

( is being updated all the time, for the latest of hundreds of migrant tales click on this link If you would like to send us your migrant tale please leave it in the contribute section).

Everything you read on this site is genuine. We cite all our sources so people can judge the authenticity for themselves. People may not want to believe what they read here, and its easier to dismiss the site than deal with the numerous issues it raises; BUT that is what we call the “New Zealand condition.”

Let’s face it, if New Zealand was that great why does a country larger than Britain have more sheep than people, and a population of a little under 4.5 million. Did you know  >1 million Kiwis live overseas, ever wondered why they do that if ‘everything is awesome’?

Please take a while to read some of the comments that were left on this thread since it was first published in Feb 2010 – scroll to the bottom of the page to get them.

779 thoughts on “Don’t Move to New Zealand

  1. As an immigrant to New Zealand who has lived herefor ten years I don’t regongnise any of the gripes on this website. New Zealanders are far less racist and more welcoming than than Australians where I lived previously, and also the job and business opertunities are easier to come by. I love it here and the land of milk and honey that so many of the posters on here think it will be actually require hard work and dedication. No you will not get rich quick, and yes houses in Auckland are expensive, but if you look to the regions there are lots of bargains there. New Zealand is better to foreinerd than most countries I have been.

  2. Amelia is from Kaikoura: South Island’s Royston Vasey? “we don’t bother the outside world, we don’t want it bothering us”

  3. I wish I could have found this blog prior to skilled migrant application to New Zealand. Most of comments here are quite true as I’ve been living in Auckland for one and half month since October,2015.

    I went for free seminar and did study about economy in New Zealand especially the income and work life balance. I thought this place would be ideal for a young family like mine but as soon as I landed Auckland airport, I realized that I could be wrong. Coming from one of the most prosperous country in the world located in Southeast Asia made me wondered the first touch in New Zealand because the airport was so quiet.

    Walking in CBD Auckland within the first few days had me worried more and more about the economy. The financial / Stock exchange hub are tiny small compare to where Im from. The bus / train fare are so expensive which isnt really sensible for so-called developed country like New Zealand. Homeless is everywhere in CBD and all ATM machines fulled of urine scent. I came to know more about that this country has no money when I approached sale person when I was looking for a car. I was stunned when I learned from him that the interest rate for car loan is high as 12%, yeah ! 12% for car loan, I had ‘WTF’ in my mind and sale person continue explained me the rate is high because of there is no money flow in this country. They heavily rely on money that borrow from other countries and sub-lend to local people in New Zealand.

    Over 5 weeks, I’d been hunting job actively, I am an IT guy worked in reputable companies for over 10 years and I only received plenty of rejection emails from recruiters / companies without even having a single conversation with them. I managed to get very few job interviews during my stay and those are probably the worst job interview experiences that I ever had. I do understand that the company looks only right people and the skills must be matched. But in New Zealand, it means the skill set they looking for must be 100% match to yours. If you’ve never worked on just only one or two things that they listed in job listing, they will just simply decline your application and this is why the same position listed on / stay for very long period of time. I do accept from employer’s perspective but what If 100% born New Zealander who just graduated and wanna get hired in their own country? This narrow mindset that all employers have wouldn’t let fresh NZ graduates be employed eventually. I really feel so pity and sorry for new generation of New Zealand.

    I think 5-6 weeks for me in New Zealand is good enough for me to make up my mind whether this is a right place to live. If you could get your first job in New Zealand in few months after your arrival, then it’s good for you. But what’s next? How about your career in the future? Do you think you could find the 2nd job / 3rd job and how long would you take? Look, it is a small economically country, Think many times before you come here. If you get Resident Visa , Job Seeker Visa whatever that allow you to live and work here. Just plan it properly, don’t put all your eggs into one basket.

    For now, I will go back home. I will be watching the job market in New Zealand and I will only come when I am really convinced that the economic is acceptable. If not, I will just simply ignore my resident visa and let it go.

    Sad to say, but I look for my future, not only present.

    • For a job … only move to New Zealand AFTER an offer is made in black and white, listing job scope, salary and company contact information.

      Surprising to me that you could not get a job, because overseas workers are in demand when they have D&D (debts and dependents) – they can be snookered into taking on more work, and can’t escape a tyrannical workplace.

      Of course, you’re damned on both ends – whether you’re fluent in English or not – as …
      if you’re fluent, you “are not a good cultural fit” (read: can pick up on racism and being jerked around via nuances of language)
      and if you’re not fluent “our company is results-driven and we feel you wouldn’t understand the communications, thus wasting time” (nonsense: in many companies … the managers have few qualifications and got by on connections).

      Don’t hold out because of hope … which can change to hopium – because, while hope keeps you going, hopium – keeps you addicted to stay in one place “for a better future”.

    • My son graduated with a Masters degree in engineering from a NZ University (first class) in October last year (13 months ago) and until now hasn’t been able to secure a permanent job. He got many interviews and was treated like a school boy by “engineering” employers which is so unprofessional you would feel ashamed to be working for them. Eventually he scaled down his CV to just a Bachelors degree and got a lot more interviews, because many of the “engineers” conducting the interviews are either “self taught” or only have a Bachelors degree and feel VERY threatened by these young people. If you have a surname that would indicate that you MIGHT be an immigrant you will find it even harder to find a job!

  4. This website is a must read for all thinking of moving to N.Z. It gives a very good insight into the pitfalls and traps one can and will fall into unless enlightened otherwise. Some very good information shared here….

  5. I have noticed no one mention about even worse things in New Zealand for applying the PR, is you need to pay the company which provide you the evidence of work. This scenario is more common in Auckland as well as in Hamilton now.

    You may ask, why you have such a good qualification and work experience yet cannot find a job or KIWIs will tell you even their still hard to find a job, and why the bloody job such as I.T still in Long Term Skill Shortage. But how come a lot of young rookies just graduate from Degree or even Diploma especially in I.T. can easily find a job this later on obtained their PR within a year. The worst thing is after that, most of them will quit their job, either back to their home country or just do whatever they want. You will notice this is quite common for Chinese immigrant.

    Please don’t be upset. The reason not just only you’ve lack of luck, this is also because you’re poor. In other culture especially Chinese. “Gift” is such a habit over few thousand years. They bring this habit over NZ. Therefore, when you intend to apply PR, you need to pay a certain amount to the company to assist your application. The “market price” is between 30K to 60K. Please don’t be surprise, this is often happened in NZ. The authority already knew but feel like keep “cooperate” instead of fix the bug, even thought they have had caught some insects. For the authority, they should ask themselves. Why people who have so much experience and higher education hard to find a job. Of course, the reason also included they don’t hire “non PR”. And yet the people who have just graduated from school and “zero” experience can have a “Technician” job. Why? How?

    In my opinion, People who work and continuous stay in NZ up to three years or more, with the proper position can apply their PR without company support. This will avoid the company bring up the excuse to ask repay. The greedy company may ask requite for giving you up to three years work opportunity, The authority should offer people who report this kind of corruption can apply their PR without any condition. I can tell, in the near future, this will be extinct kind of thing happen. Agree?

    • It’s probably important to note that in New Zealand, I.T. usually means call centre operator. I was in I.T. for several years here as the I.T. manager (I am a Kiwi born and bred). I created and administered the network, designed and printed brochures, ran up a few databases and built updates to all the software. I am self taught! I got this job through word of mouth, the way it usually happens here. My innovations took the company to a $1.2m turnover fro only $600k, 5 years later, the bosses wife decided she’d rather have $50kNZ in her bank than in my pocket so I was laid off, and all my innovations were taken from me by the company and I was served a “restrain of trade” order, preventing me from using them elsewhere. I was gutted. The company fell on hard times and has since been sold. Very short sighted business people in NZ. I went on to work as a postie for 6 years after that because it’s all I could get. I don’t work now, mostly because I no longer have to, but at 58, I’m too old to get a job here. As a Kiwi, this is how I get treated. I feel really bad for any poor person coming into New Zealand, the land of milk and honey – yeah right. Stay home or go elsewhere. I say this with love.

  6. I have lived in NZ and was born here unless rich avoid like the plague minimum buy in for a Kiwi life 2 million dollars. Most expensive country in the world! No jobs no food no future

    • I was born in NZ and moved to the US when I was 9, and have lived here ever since. I’ve also visited NZ several times. It’s always been an overpriced country which under-delivers. A lot of stuff costs more than in the US but often has a lower quality. Not to mention a shocking dearth of opportunities. “100% Pure New Zealand” is a load of nonsense.

      • Why on earth would you expect a remote two island country with a population of 4 million to have the same opportunities as larger countries? Does it occur to you that that remoteness is what has made NZ more and more expensive to live in? I have no idea why people move here and do nothing but airfare back to the UK is available at $700 one way currently and no doubt even cheaper to return to the States if you wish. I am NZ born with UK citizenship as well and I doubt I would sit on the computer moaning about how disappointing the UK is, I would vote with my feet and just go home. Where I work there are many people from the UK and it has been this way for the 40 years I have been a working adult in NZ, I count a number of ex pat UK people as friends and funnily enough they look aghast when I say do you ever miss home? They consider New Zealand to be their home and I know it upsets them..I only say it because I like the UK so much, not that I do not consider them New Zealanders after all the time they have been here. You will get out of NZ what you put in generally, but if you cannot find a job, you would need to consider your long term future here.

        • If remoteness makes New Zealand expensive why is the milk so expensive? that’s not imported. Why is it cheaper to buy NZ agricultural produce in Australia than in New Zealand? What you mean is NZ has a captive population and getting ripped off is the Kiwi way.

        • if I could have a dollar for every Kiwi like you I could afford to leave this miserable godforsaken rock in the middle of nowhere. You’re welcome to your piss poor little country, have fun swimming in your own bile.

        • Typical insulting Kiwi. Of course New Zealand our home. People like you love to remind us we don’t belong here, putting the screw further in with every turn. I’d rather leave tomorrow than become like you.

  7. This has been a very interesting read for me. I am a New Zealand citizen who left in 2004 to live in Ireland. We returned in 2012 and it has been much as expected. One of the reasons we left in the first place is we were living a very hand to mouth existence in Auckland with two preschoolers and a single income. We always knew Ireland would be in our future as my husband is Irish and it’s part and parcel of an international marriage to live in both places. After my husbands NZ residency came through (which cost a fortune and took forever) we left.
    We landed right in the middle of the Celtic Tiger and landed on our feet as a result. Our son’s enjoyed the Irish schooling and way of life but as things spiraled downwards and work dried up for trades people nationally we made the decision to quit our jobs and move back to New Zealand. We really agonised over this decision as we didn’t want to go back to struggling financially. Being honest I certainly missed my family and the sunshine and that contributed to the decision also. The house we lived in was too small for our growing sons and it was time for another change. There was a huge shock in moving home. We bought a house reasonably quickly, got our boys into an expensive but relatively good school nearby and both got jobs quickly also. Saying that, I found supermarket shopping borderline traumatic for months. Would have to fight back tears while fighting my way around pack n save (this is called Push n Shove for a reason). I am not that emotional as a rule but the price of food and what was on offer was heartbreaking when I was used to feeding my family wonderful healthy meals for a fraction of the cost. I soon discovered I was going to have to get very creative.
    We found archaic and misguided attitudes towards Irish trades people and an attitude that kiwi workers are the best and hardest workers you will find. This is seriously misguided and blinkered. We had a kiwi apprentice come to service our heat pump who proceeded to tell me how his boss would never hire any British workers as they were slack and wouldn’t get on with the job. (read: question and challenge status quo, wont blindly follow direction) I explained that my husband had 20 years fully qualified and he was Irish. “same thing” he chuckled to himself. He was told pretty quickly that husband trains people more qualified that this ignorant arrogant apprentice and would have no trouble finding work. I tell this story to highlight the common attitude we have come accross since moving back.
    – Even at our lowest, financially in Ireland, with contracts few and far between, there was more disposable income than NZ with both of us working.
    – Cost Euro 120.00 per week maximum to feed family of 4, here it’s closer to $300 plus per week.
    – Both children were initially bullied at school for Irish accents and told to F off back to Ireland. Kids here are hard. My teenagers were shocked at how kids spoke to teachers in class and how they spoke to each other at school.
    – We have been broken into twice. We live in an OK area (family are estate agents, you have to know where to buy) we are not in Auckland
    – Building materials and reasonable quality home ware is VERY expensive. This kiwi ingenuity is often a “close enough is good enough” perspective and they have no problem throwing a fence up made of rusty iron, chicken wire, pallets etc in a very cobbled together (not in a good way) look. It looks terrible, but people are very proud of themselves for it. Houses might have a brick front but the back is made up of a cheaper building material. It looks very patchwork and if you are used to a higher quality of home you will be shocked.
    – The sense of humour is terrible (I put my hand up as a kiwi, it took ages to learn subtle humour) Kiwi’s think they are funny. They are not. The lack of craic is miserable, there is no banter or story telling etc
    – In the 8 years of living in Ireland we got the 4 of us back to NZ twice, as well as trips around Ireland to the UK and Italy. While in NZ (pre 2004 departure we didn’t visit Ireland once. In the 3 years since coming back husband went of his own to Irish wedding.) It is very expensive to fly topside from NZ
    – The lakes and beaches are fabulous, the forests are wonderful for family walks and the weather is an absolute dream
    – Gardening. I have discovered gardening and its great here.
    – Houses are expensive here but not so much if you don’t live in Auckland. We paid $235K for 3 bedroom weatherboard (timber) home with huge section. We have been doing it up, it is warm now thanks in part to HRV and mostly v handy husband. House valued now at $275K 3 years after purchase so if you buy well you will see a rise in your investment.
    Happiness at the moment is due to a happy family, good kids, a job and house that I love. Ireland was wonderful, it had it’s pros and cons but it was really hard to settle in. I knew it wouldn’t be easy to move to NZ and that is after growing up here. I had emigrated before and I know what it takes to live somewhere very different and leave what you know. Go anywhere with your eyes wide open. Don’t expect it to be easy, don’t listen to hype. Make your own decision and expect to work hard to make it work.

    • I find it very hard to budget for food and to eat healthlily. A 125g punnet of blueberries is priced at $15, yes $15 in New World right now!

      “‘Often people tell me how envious they are of me living in NZ, what they don’t know is how ff*{%}+ n’ expensive little things are!'”

      Amen to that! it’s fricken terrible, can’t wait to leave at the end of term.

    • We have discussed moving back to Ireland when they kids are finished high school. The first year was very hard but they have made friends as they do. My eldest would like to go to university here but the likelihood is he will go in Ireland, even if he is required to repeat or do his leaving cert, as university in NZ is so cost prohibitive. regardless of how you feel about the choice you make, at this age you have to suck it up and give them some stability and consistency. They are dual citizens so it’s up to them where they live in their future. I would like to think they’ll travel and try different countries for themselves. Eventually they will be adults and will have to find their own path. We will live in Ireland again eventually and the plan is to go “home” for Xmas 2016 so it’ll be interesting to see how they feel about it then.

    • Hi Kyao, It’s so good to hear your perspective. I have been living in Perth, Australia for 8 years and I lost my job in May and struggled to find another. I decided to move back to Ireland as I had found a job over there. I live in Cork. I have found it a major struggle. I grew up in Ireland, have a social number and drivers license etc but trying to open a bank account, sign up for utilities and buy a car that doesn’t rip you off for insurance is criminal. As for going to the supermarket, once you wade past the aisles of processed drinks and foods, chocolate and crisps yes, you can find some good food which generally is cheaper. Green seedless grapes for €1.99 and 125g punnet of blueberries for €1.25 in Tesco. The weather is grinding me down and I have been sick since I got here in August. The last bout of medicine has cost me nearly €200!! Am I missing something here? The way people seem to work here is not in-keeping with how I’m used to working. I am a senior manager and I am made feel like a clock in clock out worker. Is this usual or specific to the company I am working for?
      Anyway, the long a short of it is that I am being contacted from NZ about possible work opportunities and I am seriously considering it. I lived in Wellington about 10 years ago and really only left because of the earthquakes and the feeling of being quite remote from my family in Ireland. The money seems good and rentals don’t seem that crazy, well not Perth like anyway. I am concerned about the gang culture that is developing but I am also concerned about the attacks in Paris of earlier today. I have a partner who is based in NZ but is moving to Ireland and is now concerned because I hate it here. We don’t have any children and I totally agree with you, the Irish schooling system is brilliant. I am in a dilemma as I don’t want to keep moving around the world as it costs a fortune! I’m in my forties now and am looking for somewhere I can work, and live, more emphasis on live!

      • You’ve got to be kidding right? I can’t see what you’re complaining about. The risk of getting killed or seriously injured by an earthquake in New Zealand is orders of magnitude higher than getting killed or seriously injured by a terrorist in Europe. You may have to wade past isles of food in Ireland (you poor thing, my heart bleeds for you) but it will be less processed and cheaper than food in New Zealand which is now the OECD’s 3rd most obese country. Ireland’s food has less pesticide and weedkillers than New Zealand. I know which country I’d chose.

        • Sorry if you misunderstand my comment and that your heart bleeds for me. I didn’t leave Wellington because I was afraid of the danger of earthquakes, I didn’t like them. Waking up in the middle of the night to a metal house screaming is disturbing. Living through the Northern Ireland troubles probably does justify your comments on surviving terrorism though.
          I haven’t lived in either Ireland nor New Zealand for a while and this is currently where my options are. Trying to gather information by making a comparison in experiences is not complaining. I don’t like living in my home country and this is probably similar to you.
          Ireland has a similar population to New Zealand but New Zealand has a lot more open space. That’s what I like.

  8. Seriously people. NZ is a great place! Yes expensive but that’s beside wealthy foreigners have arrived & pushed prices up (esp in housing markets). It’s got so much to offer families. I don’t understand why people are so negative towards NZ when no one insists you stay or even come in the first place.

  9. I believe that does not just apply to NZ but also with a lot of other countries. However, I have to say that New Zealand is kinda boring and would be perfect for wealthy old people to live here.

  10. Guys,

    Wow.. your comments.. Really Applaudable…

    I was about to pay for Skilled migrant visa EOI.. now i’ve stopped myself.

    Guys tell me.. Should i apply skilled PR visa for New Zealand or not? or Should i consider Canada, Australia. I’m a Civil Construction Engineer. I’m looking to settle with family.

    With your comments .. i’m really thinking.


    • If it were me, I’d go to Oz.
      The pay/cost ratio is far more in balance.
      Australia IS more difficult to get into. Hence a lot of prospective migrants come to NZ as it’s easier.

      I’m looking to settle with family.

      From where, might I ask? You may be better off staying where you’re at.

    • There are several construction projects underway but that would mean you will have to compete with local “experts” for jobs & contracts. I’d rate Australia & Canada on similar lines, the advantage with Canada is that its geographically on same landmass as US so that might help if you ever wish to travel around. Basically it will all come down to what you want to achieve from the move. Education in NZ may not be best in the world so you might actually become villain in your kid(s) lives when they grow up (if they come across prejudice at uni or work) .

    • Where are you moving from? I know people who work in Civil Engineering in Canada, the pay is good but not great, like with everything in Canada for work you really need to have connections though usually working for a construction company pays well, depending on how many years you have under your belt you may make $60-80 K a year, you can make the most working for a government or municipality but those jobs are almost impossible to get unless you know someone within. I know lots of people in Canada who moved to California as skilled workers as they need engineers there and that were making way way better money there. One thing that really sucks about Canada is the winter, lately winters have been pretty bad, last year (2014) it was about -30 to a point where asphalt was cracking on highways and streets, (though that would mean job security for you lol) it was so miserable I think winter lasted almost 6 months. I am not one to get too affected by weather but I can tell you last year was tough. But in terms of affordability honestly it’s pretty good, we complain about gas prices and buying real estate seems a thing of the past, but if you are happy renting there’s plenty of options. Food is cheap, I would say I spend $50 a week on groceries and I eat fresh fruits and veggies all the time, even buy organic and it hasn’t beat the bank. However, sense of community doesn’t seem great people are nice but after work it’s like they go home to their own group of people and that is that, I would say unless you made friends through school as an adult it is hard. However, in construction they are friendlier guys, crazy drinkers though; working for a contractor pays way better than for a consultant. oh and political correctness is beyond ridiculous now here, cannot say anything anymore. good luck with your decision.

    • I am a New Zealander [gulp] ,and being honest and from my experience I now live in Australia, I have been going back and forth for work for the last 15 years,try Australia or Canada. I am really enjoying the honesty and experiences on this site, I agree with so much of the criticism, its painful but that’s what they say about the truth, I hate to say it but in later years I have had some terrible work culture experiences, discovered what is on paper may just not apply in careful …I hear Denmark is great..good luck

  11. I totally agree with every single post in here, NZ is such a beautiful country but the people of NZ are a bunch of fat, ugly, rude, racist and ignorant people. I hate everything about the kiwi way of life and wathever they insist on calling Maori culture, which is noting but sub – developed stone age thinking combined with a high rate of drug abuse and violent behavior. I work for the government so I can clearly see how every single statistic and data are manipulated to make it look like NZ standard of life it is compared to the developed world when in reality NZ level compares to third world country.
    Most kiwis are delusional, for some reason they think they are better than anyone else.
    Kiwis specially Maoris hate immigrants and blame them for “stealing the jobs”, reality is that most kiwis hold a high school diploma having the knowledge and cognitive skills of a 7 years old.
    NZ has one the highest rate of single mothers in the world, also is the only country on earth were women are more promiscuous than men, forget the moral side and the STDs, the low behavior of kiwi woman translates to a high rate of child neglection and abuse, why people in NZ carries on having babies like rabbits? The Benefit Payments. In NZ to be a single mother of children with different father is the equivalent of having a degree in any other country, like for real, then the kiwi government pushes those uneducated horrible women to become teachers or government employees because here to know how to get pregnant from random men it is considered a qualification.
    Kiwi drivers are careless and don’t know the meaning of the word stop.
    Prices of everything are ridiculously expensive
    Life is boring, nothing to do.
    If you move to NZ be ready to pay lost of money to the immigration system and to see your taxes being used to fund more family violence and drug abuse.
    NZ is awesome, kiwi people are the opposite.

  12. I came from Canada via Australia (3 years) 33 years ago when I married a kiwi. My first and lasting impression is that this is a poor (expensive) country populated by ill educated people. If you dare question anything here then the retort is “Well, why don’t you go back where you came from”. I love my husband, but I hate this backward country. The only positive note in my mind, is that we are far from the troubles of the world…the Middle East, refugees pouring into Europe, gun crimes of the U.S. NZ is far from clean and green, that is just a slogan to sell the produce. New Zealanders have an inferiority complex constantly comparing to other countries particularly Australia. Since troops from both countries fought in the trenches together in WW1 New Zealand feels that gives all its citizens the right to do whatever they want in Aussie and until the brakes went on tens of thousands went to Australia each year to live and work. Now they can still go, but no longer are able to receive social welfare benefits. Take a hint, the Aussies don’t want you, it is a separate country! Houses are terribly expensive and the average price in many areas is over $500,000 on a small section. They are poorly insulated and electricity can be $300+ per month. A single pork chop cost over $3.50. Lots of laws and bylaws that are generally ignored and seldom enforced. Why tourists come here is a mystery as other than hiking there is little of interest. Culture consists of the Maori chanting and sticking their tongues out. Rugby is a religion. New Zealand claims to be the top and best of absolutely everything, but most of the people believe this as they have it rammed down their throats from birth and never been anywhere else. The media focuses on the negative and tragedies of other countries just to let the people know we are better then that. Look twice before you leap if thinking of moving here. As many others have written, it is to expensive to be able to get out again and too late to start again in the real world.

  13. i totally agree with you
    i rather go to u.s or canada
    living in NZ is wasting money
    very expensive and people are crazy about
    money here

  14. We moved to NZ 2012 and returned 2014 – I would not recommend anyone moving there – it was the worst experience of our lives
    So in brief:- essentially its a 3rd world county in many respects.
    Although they have some free healthcare – you have to pay every time you see a GP/nurse – lots of stuff is not available on prescription – so you have to pay full price for the medication – which can be very expensive
    Housing – renting is very expensive – property is much higher than the UK
    No central heating – houses are very damp and mouldy – no matter what you do
    No double glazing or insulation – winters are unbearable – even though they are not as cold as UK
    Utilities more expensive
    Tax – 33% from $0 onwards, salary and savings
    Food – about 3 x more than UK
    Flights back to UK about 3rd more in money
    Choice – very little even in the cities
    Jobs – honestly they only want non NZ people to fill jobs they cant recruit to – so generally the jobs no one else wants – can be quite racist – we had we don’t want you pommies taking our jobs
    If you lose your job – you are stuck in NZ because you have to have nothing before you get any help from NZ – so its very scary.
    30 years behind the rest of the world
    Loads of people work in NZ until a very old age because they have only just implemented contributory pensions there
    In the first year – my daughter was mugged and someone tried to pick my husbands pocket – so we felt very unsafe there.
    School are mediocre – you have to buy your own books etc. and they ask for a yearly contribution to the school usually $250-500 per child
    It ends up being just an existence and a lonely one at that.
    Lots of people get stuck in NZ because they cant afford to come back to UK – which must be awful
    Don’t believe all of the hype of recruiters, conventions, TV shows – take note of things like this – they are mostly accurate – its an expensive in many ways mistake to make especially if you are dragging your family across the other side of the world!

    • very well said.. I am In New Zealand and I am suffering. They are racist in terms of jobs and renting a house. They post on job websites – Only for PR or New Zealand Citizens – then why the hell you called us here?? Just to earn from the fee we paid as an International Student(4 times more than the local student). and for the flatmate they directly post “Would prefer KIWI”. What the hell is that? I can say people specially KIWI – white (no offence i am only talking about few folks) are good on your face but talks behind you. This is also racist.

      • To make things even more funny, ridiculous or outright pathetic …
        a (domestic) child molester is more likely to be offered a job than an international student.

        Darren Simon Kihi – who has committed crimes against as many as 28 victims – was released from prison to live in Turangi last Sunday, after temporarily living in Taupo.

        However, a month later the Parole Board agreed to release him to Turangi, where he’d been on work release for two years, and had guaranteed employment.

        Again, I will repeat this: prisoners get fed better than fee-paying university students in the halls of residence in New Zealand. Makes you wonder how incentives are structured for this “country seen as desirable by non-locals”.

      • If I start penalizing people for using the word “heaps” (literally before every word) then I will be a billionaire in couple of weeks!

        What you must have come across on TM for “Must be indian” or “must be asian” requirements are isolated to the businesses for e.g. cooks, or sales roles where people coming to your retail store are from a specific community, you cannot just have any tom, dick and harry pick up this job.

        People commenting/complaining here are stating are the regular 9-5 jobs which based purely on qualifications & experience these can be filled by a bigger subset of people available in the market, when such people are filtered just for their ethnicity, that my friend is called “racism”.

      • “It’s not NZers advertising to you, FYI. It’s the government”.

        Please can you also enlighten everyone, who elects the government?? I’m sure its not the aliens.

    • Totally agree with your regarding the houses.Though its hard to hear the criticism of my home country, its quite eye opening to read the often negative views of New Zealand. I guess its like any thing don’t believe the hype but at least you will appreciate your home country even more now.

  15. I left NZ in 2004 to live and teach in Hong Kong. After 9 years I was sick of the pollution so tried West Australia for 1.5 years but left after finding myself in a school with a criminally incompetent management. I took up a job in Dubai but that didn’t pan out. I came back home after 11 years away partly to have a break and decide what and where to go next; partly to spend time with mum who’s been ill recently.

    I made the foolish decision to stay here and took up a FT teaching job. bad mistake!
    In the 9 years I was in Hong Kong I never actively tried to save, did a lot of travelling (over 20 countries), a lot of socialising, made some poor investment decisions and yet still managed to save around $150,000NZ.
    In the 18 months I was in Australia I bought a brand new car for $18000Au with my visa, lived what felt like a frugal life but still went out probably once a month plus movies once a month. At the end of the 18 months I had paid off my visa and saved $21000Au: $23000NZ. And travelled to Singapore, Hong Kong, New Zealand and Brisbane/Sydney.
    (During that time also hooked up with a girl – hence my use of we from now on)
    Dubai in the 4 months we were there I saved ~$17000NZ. Again, while we lived frugally, we didn’t scrimp and scrape to make ends meet. And, again, we went travelling – to Oman, Hong Kong and Singapore.

    Now back in NZ and despite being on a fulltime teachers salary of $73000pa – which is amost 1/3 higher than the median salary in NZ – and despite not living in Auckland, we are really struggling to make ends meet, living a hand-to-mouth existance. We simply cannot afford to do or go anywhere. Being forced to shop at 2nd-hand shops out of necessity rather than prudence; having to carefully budget and make lists before heading to the supermarkets; Being forced into a semi-vergetarian diet not for health reasons, rather the cost of meat; hoping the weird noise coming from the car will go away simply because we can’t afford to have it checked right now; using blankets rather than the heater etc etc.
    We’ve been here 4 months and our entire social life has been the cinema 3 times. We have to carefully budget and watch our expenditure. Regardless, we are ever going backwards. Last month despite our best intentions, we still spent $500 more than I earned (my partner, not being a NZer, is still in the process of getting her visa so she can work – not that’s there any jobs here other than stocking shelves at Countdown). During the term break just gone I wanted to take my partner up North to visit the area I grew up but it was simply far too expensive. That was a real shock to me: I’ve been used to, the past decade and a bit, of spending my term breaks in another country. So to find myself not even able to afford to catch the ferry to Wellington was a eye-opener.

    It’s a real paycheck-to-paycheck existance here. Just yesterday (Sunday) I remarked to my partner that this was the first week I’ve enough in the bank to pay for the rent before (BEFORE!) my pay goes through. (so of course sod’s law kicks in: today the engine warning light came on in. Lord knows how much that will set us back).

    NZ: nature is beautiful, the people are friendly and the air clean. But it’s not living, it’s subsisting. I have not lived like this since I was unemployed 20+ years ago. I don’t want to continue living like this. At my age, with my qualifications (2 degrees, 2 post grad diplomas) and experience (10+ years teaching overseas in International schools) I shouldn’t be living like this. I’m earning 30% more than the median wage ffs! How anyone on less than the average wage can possibly survive is beyond me.

    At the end of this year we are moving back out. Goodbye NZ: it was nice knowing you.

    • Wow! I thought our situation was bad! Don’t get me wrong I love NZ, its beautiful -that’s a given-, but I am staggered by how expensive food, rent and energy bills are since we left 4 years ago. We just spent $300 in Pak N Save for heavens sake!! Our weekly grocery bill was $150 in Australia, and I though that was bad, but $300?? I still haven’t bought any fruit and veg! We pay $600 a week rent for an old wooden house with no effective heating, yet still had a bill last month for $500! How on earth do families on a low income survive? We are both professionals (nurses) and earn above the minimum wage, but we still have to live frugally; rarely go out and basically just live from pay cheque to pay cheque. We too are seriously considering going back to the UK when my daughter finishes year 11. Oh and that’s another thing. We have been informed that NCEA level 1 isn’t worth the paper it’s written on, so she will have to repeat year 11 in the UK. :9

      • I was thinking the other day that I didn’t feel like I was in this bad a financial situation before I left NZ in 2004.

        Being the sort of person I am (some call it anal-retentive; I call it thorough), I did a bit of researching using the Reserve Bank of NZ (RBNZ) inflation calculator:

        The top pay step for teachers in 2004 was $57000. 2015, it’s $73000.

        Using the RBNZ inflation calculator solely for inflation: $57000 worth of goods in 2004 will set you back $75000 today.
        Using the calculator for wage rises: If you were on $57000 in 2004 you should expect to be on $85000 today.
        Using it for house prices: A house that cost $57000 in 2004 will cost $108000 today. (presumably this is average for the country; I’ve no doubt in Auckland it would be closer to $208000…)

        No wonder I’m feeling it tougher in 2015 than I felt in 2004. Anyway you look at it, teachers’ wages have gone backwards in the past decade. They haven’t even kept up with inflation.
        What a joke!

        More I look at it, the harder it is for me to justify staying here. (In addition I’ve come down with the flu twice in 3 weeks: First time with the flu in 5 or 6 years. No doubt the lack of insulation and double-glazing at home having something to do with that).

        • Kiwi Houses are notorious petri dishes for all sorts of illness during the winter months.

          Quite why anyone deems houses without insulation, double glazing , central heating are acceptable beats me.

          The eskimos have better housing.

          • The Eskimos build their housing for the conditions, unlike in NZ.
            The amount of unwellness due to the poor housing is fairly obvious and discussed periodically. Asthma and respiratory problems are brought to light but nothing seems to get done. Double pane windows are only “code” for selected areas, single pane is still being installed as per code in most of the country. New construction does require insulation, older houses get it in the attic/under roof space and under the floor. I have lived in houses that have been insulated while living in them and the before and after results are nominal. Comfort was about the same, and no real notice in the energy bill to heat. The comfort level in summer [cooler] was about the most that was noticed.
            One of the biggest factors in weather proofing/insulating a house is what is called “air infiltration” [drafts]. Single pane windows, unsealed siding, unsealed windows, unsealed doors…all contribute to a drafty, cold, and uncomfortable house. Most houses in NZ have very little in the way of weather stripping. And this is NORMAL?

    • Gee “Fo” your subsequent (unpublished) comments have firmly nailed you as a troll! Do you kiss your mom with that racist potty mouth of yours? Shame on you, you’re a disgrace. Try to look on the bright side, your life could be so much worse – you could live in Invercargill.

      Have a nice day 🙂

    • I’d say that [me coming from N America] that unless you have a GREAT deal [job offer, housing araingement…] or you have a specific purpose [for being in NZ, you are better off in N America.

  16. Disagree with one of Kate’s assertions, that people don’t steal – in my experience, they stole everything that wasn’t nailed down. But this was in the Far North where there was a lot of poverty and the morals were pretty low as well

    • Petty theft is fairly wide spread. There is a lot of justification applied to the taking of others’ stuff and may not be seen as theft when it realy is theft. We had our place broken into several times, and always locked: car, house, garage…

    • Doesn’t matter where you are in NZ, people will steal anything they can from you, your car, front yard, home etc.

  17. Oh yeah -Admin is correct – DO NOT MOVE YOUR FINANCES OVER. That would be a mistake. I should have mentioned that earlier

  18. To who knows how works the process to get immigration residency through professional skills: Once NZ are we able to get residency in Australia too? Someone are knowledgment regarding it?

    • The weather is mostly cold in the South Island, but in return there is no central heating in the houses which makes it hell and intolerable life. You only have to buy one of those electrical heaters to afford the cold indoors. Beside the heater you also need an electric blanket under your bed sheet or you have to hide inside a sleeping bag to feel some comfortability. I am just wondering, why should I give up my job, country, moderate life and relatives to end up as a beneficiary in a deserted place like New Zealand? They don’t want qualified people especially if you are Asian or African decent origin.
      I am looking for anyone who can be able to persuade me about the advantage of being a citizen of New Zealand.

      • Most of our readers say there is only one advantage of being a citizen of New Zealand – the ability to live and work in Australia.

        Only you can be the judge if it’s worth hanging around long enough to do that.

        Usually our advice is to cut your losses and break a break for freedom, chose carefully where you go. Read some our our Migrant Tales.

      • Safer than living in Europe mate… with all the problems societies have handling refugees, but yes you´re
        right it´s hell without central heating. And yes it´s a society that is rather discriminatory towards qualified international people, and cost of living is quite or very high…and to the advantage of businesses… they also don´t like to do deals here, unlike other places… and as for government, just as bad as anywhere else… governments help themselves instead of the citizens they are supposed to represent and assist…
        Let me know where you end up.

  19. Hi guys,
    I lived in New Zealand for nearly five years, I was studying for obtaining a PhD. Based on my experience in New Zealand I can literally say that New Zealand is not a good place to move in. I realised that since the 2nd day I arrived in the country. I discovered how the truths were totally polished out. I was talking to myself about how I ended up here while what I was reading about New Zealand was just a bullshit?? New Zealand has an amazing nature but in the same time the joy of this nature is not attainable. You have pay an unnecessary hell of bucks to enjoy. Compared to Europe, say Germany you find that NZ has a premitive transportation system I ever seen in a precalled developed country. Transport system is crappy in the South Island, however, it is somehow good in the North Island (Wellington and Hamilton) and it is a disastrous in Auckland. Auckland is a piece of hell city, everything is carppy and is shitty expensive.
    Most of Aucklanders and generally Kiwis are loyal customers at Salvation army and OP shops for second hand cloths and stuff. If you are aware of fashion you will recognised that the pattern of dressing is somehow archaic. New Zealand is not worth to sacrifice your saving and business or job to move in, don’t think that you are moving to Paradise. You will relaised that you have drained your money to pay it for immigration and then sit waiting for the benefit every week. I am going to talk about the crappy houses and the miserable life under the uncontrolled weather because many have talked before me. What I really hate is the scam about immigration to New Zealand, and unfortunately this scam is deliberately made by NZ immigration. They make money out of applicants and go further phases in their applications to come to regret about their in-eligiblity at advanced phase after pulling out thousands of dollars.

    • I agree with the immigration scam you mentioned. You forgot to also mention the time it takes to process application in their slow, antiquated, bureaucratic process that should, and will, replace the people with computers and automation. Anything really takes 10x as long to get done in that country than it would in most other countries. I lived there for 2 years and would say that in general the people are kind. But I always got the feeling from adults that I wasn’t welcome there. The only people who wanted you to be there were the younger generations who are more aware of the outside world and how connected everyone is. Tall-poppy syndrome is a terrible disease as well in that country, which can be contagious, and brings out terrible negativity in people. In the end, I think the country is one of the most beautiful places in the world, with mostly friendly people on the surface (more than likely they have something negative to say about you behind your back). This makes it a great place to visit, but, for all of the reasons people have mentioned on here, it is a poor place to live. Hopefully attitudes change as younger, more socially aware minds become older, and the country realizes it’s xenophobia causes great damage to the economy and culture, leading to the brain-drain and blog articles about it being a terrible place to live.

  20. I have been here a few years and a few things stand out for me- immigrants are given less opportunities than anyone unless you are a hotshot with a lot of work experience from a big name. They do not hire here by degree so much but by who you know and what is on your resume which they call CV.
    People are stoic overall in nature.
    People tend to get easily insulted but they can say bad things about everyone else and expect that to be okay.
    Expect to be told what to do as that is common practice here. funny enough that is what Kiwis hate about American Gov but they do it.
    Yes, the culture is passive-aggressive and they are very English in nature.
    Some Maori can be quite outspoken and different but it is conservative here despite the sexual liberal views and yes they are liberal – very much so.
    So ladies be very careful dating Kiwi guys over 35 years old as you actually might be almost date raped on the 1st or 2nd date alone they have little self-control and used to ladies giving out very easily. You can also get the opposite- shy and inexperienced. I was with a Kiwi guy for 4 years and he never took me out to dinner. Frugal is the common thing here but it is also very expensive to live here.
    Drinking alcohol is a serious problem.

    A few good things about the culture:

    There are some nice people despite the mainstream.
    There are some good things about driving without big trucks all around you…
    People enjoy the outdoors here overall.
    People leave you alone and do not interact with you if you are an immigrant.
    You have to sort things with people instead of calling the police as they’ll never show.
    There are many birds here…
    As long as you say you are now Kiwi and love the culture they will accept you with open arms.
    Remember that everyone is NZ is also a victim of oppression by the Gov and hierarchy.
    Mail is much safer here than in US as people do not steal as much.
    People are not that smart about crimes so you can protect yourself much easier than is more sophisticated criminals in US.
    If you like to drink and party hard then NZ is a good place for you.
    Gays and lesbians are not discriminated against like in areas of US and they can also marry.
    The Rocky Horror Pic Show was created by a NZer
    Rainbow Swiss Chard was also created by a NZer which sells are most health food shops in US.
    Manuka Honey and Tea Tree are from NZ.

    NZ is a Fool’s Paradise so just remember that.

  21. Thanks to the credit/mortgage bubble that burst, housing in the US is quite reasonable in many places, and is more desirable and attractive than much of NZ. There, the climate is diverse and can suit most any preference. Although many foreign investors have been buying property in the US, the dynamics of rental property are quite different than in Europe, NZ or Australia. The Japanese came to the US in the 80s and 90s and made a lot of bad investments in commercial and family real estate but were unable to get much of an ROI. I suspect that the latest wave of foreign buyers will eventually have just as many difficulties.

    In NZ, the problem isn’t only that housing is #the# business to be in for too much of the population, it is because the dynamics of the market are artificially manipulated by the suppliers (Fletchers), the regulatory bodies (local councils) and MBIE (formerly DBH), and the construction and trades industries. All these powerful groups work together to constrain the supply, manufacture inferior housing, and drive up taxes to the benefit of the large investors. Cost is relative: if the median wage or salary is too low, and the money supply is too tight, then housing becomes a market for large investors only.

    Ultimately, the rest of the world is returning to serfdom and feudalism; (un-)fortunately, New Zealand has a head start because it never left.

    • This is an excellent analysis. New Zealand is 21st century feudalism, a country of renters and those collecting rents. The productive people with brains and skills have left leaving the dystopian mess we call New Zealand.

      What astounds me is how utterly parasitic New Zealand is. It would be much better for all concerned if housing were affordable to prevent housing from consuming virtually all economic resources. It is amazing that in one of the world’s most sparsely populated countries, the price of house is perhaps the most expensive when one factors the atrocious quality of the housing.

      It also astounds me how Kiwis viscerally hate “the market”. If they actually allowed market forces to act then they would end up with far less expensive housing. I remember in one small town in New Zealand how the owners of crappy houses were upset the town had allowed too many new sections to open up because it undermined the value of their “investment”. If only natural selection could rid us of these cretins.

  22. When people go to live in another country it is hard not to compare, I am from England and moved to New Zealand, no it is not like it was advertized and I actually went down a peg or two in the social ladder, but that was my choice, being English was not. I left because it did not feel like home anymore with so many cultures being jammed onto a small island. One on the first deep emotion I felt in New Zealand, was that I had not felt so welcome, proud to be English, but not what England was turning into, I felt more English and at home here than my place of birth, which I find sad. England is just so full of cultures which simply seem to want to get as much as they can out of the system whilst making no attempt to realize that the English have a culture as well and it is being eroded rapidly. Yes I miss England, or at least my family, friends and fascinating history, but not the place it has become.

  23. I am feeling so frustrated because of the pgd board. I am a highly skilled and experienced plumber and gas engineer of 14 years from the UK. I have installed highly complex plumbing systems in both domestic and commercial properties. Plumbed out schools hospitals and have been head hunted by many companies who wanted me to close my company and become a director on theirs but I declined. My qualifications in the UK were achieved in modules after initially gaining my nvq level 2 which took 2 years. Because my domestic and commercial gas qualifications were gained by modules I.e not full time education or apprenticeship it is not recognized here in NZ even though I was corgi and gas safe approved in the UK. Likewise I added more qualifications To my existing plumbing one making me highly qualified in the UK. I was a registered plumber and approved by the water industry board. But despite all this the plumbers gas fitters and drain layers board will not let me sit the exams here in NZ to get my plumbing licence. They state that they have to protect the health and safety of the general public. I sent them all certified copies of my qualifications, evidence that I have been a practicing plumber and gas engineer since 1999, letters from satisfied customers the lot but apparently I’m unsafe. What a bunch of Muppets.

  24. what part of Scotland did you live in Pat? Lived there myself – didnt overstay for 6 years though 😉

  25. I’m a kiwi born and raised and like so many others had no idea how crap it was or how little I knew about the outside world until I spent 10 years living overseas (aus Uk) I have been back in Nz for 6 years now and can honestly say every bad thing you read about NZ on this page is true! unfortunately the people who have never left here are brainwashed from an early age to think its wonderful Even the telly spends a huge part of its budet on nothing more than ramming down your throat how amazing it is how lucky you are how much everywhere else sux don’t come here you’ll be bored poor and desperate to leave if there was any way I could get the money for a ticket out of here I would leave in a heartbeat and never look back but unfortunately I work in nz and get paid in $nz meaning I have just about 80% of the cash I need to get through the week There are no such things as savings here every penny you earn will be gone on payday, i was better off as an illegal immigrant in scotland for 6 years than I will ever be in nz (by the way the only reason I came back to this dump is because I was refused entry to the uk after 1 of many holidays I can’t afford to have here! or i would have gladly NEVER have returned to this boring shithole)
    P.S for all the nature lovers trees are everywhere so are mountains desert rivers countryside etc the difference is that’s all new zealand has and once you’ve seen it then you’ve seen it …

    it would be nice to be able to go the dentist but the quote I just got was for $25000.!
    same work in the phillipines including flights and 2 weeks holiday $4500.!
    Same dentist!!!!! books people here tells them to go there to do the work!!!

    NZ is shit you have been warned!

    • Lol trees mountains, rivers, countryside, clean air is all I want and care about. The problem is there are very few places which actually have a preserved natural environment, they’re rarer than you think. Most of the natural environment in Europe is destroyed, it’s either converted to agricultural (green dessert) land or a dirty, smelly, overcrowded, concrete jungle in the cities where the people live. Most Europeans, Asians and even North Americans can only dream to look out their windows in the morning and see trees and nature, for them the only nature they see is in a once in year, weekend, countryside holiday if they can afford it.

      Be a little grateful even your weather is better than most places in the world (no harsh severely cold winters and no scorching summers), your environment and air is clean, your country is peaceful and far from war zones such as the middle east.

      • Trees, mountains and countryside don’t pay a $500,000nzd mortgage, in a country with little work and low ambition, make the most of it too as the Chinese are buying your country.

        Europe is not destroyed, there is a great mixture of culture, history and plenty of natural, untouched areas throughout the continent and Britain.

        These windows you talk of, are they single pane, covered in condensation, you need to stop trying to convince yourself that NZ is the only place on earth that offers what you claim to have, you are wrong and are making yourself look a tit.

        The weather can be ok in summer, winter is cold and very, very damp, damp is very destructive and can cause asthma and just eats wooden housing.

        “Your country is peaceful and far from any war zones like the Middle East ”

        The world is a very small places and travelling has become very easy.

        • Housing is overpriced nowadays everywhere, its what happens when property goes from a “roof over your head” to a business. In Britain and Europe not only is it more built up and crowded than New Zealand but prices are ridiculously high and get you almost nothing, most Europeans live on lifelong rent as owning homes is a luxury for the super rich, but even renting is now becoming unaffordable. Not to mention Europe is even worse off economically than NZ.

          NZ is not the only place which offers what I want, my comment was to Pat as she disregarded NZ’s nature as if its nothing or meaningless.

          NZ’s winters may be cold but not severely so certainly not as cold as Moscow or Canada, I’ve been to Spain and Italy and they are not much warmer during the winter. As for Australia, yes beautiful dry, sunny, warm winters but very, very humid, hot and uncomfortable summers (particularly in the East coast).

          When referring to war zones it is highly unlikely groups such as ISIS will become a threat to NZ, it is very difficult to bring weapons in the country.

          • Thanks to the credit/mortgage bubble that burst, housing in the US is quite reasonable in many places, and is more desirable and attractive than much of NZ. There, the climate is diverse and can suit most any preference. Although many foreign investors have been buying property in the US, the dynamics of rental property are quite different than in Europe, NZ or Australia. The Japanese came to the US in the 80s and 90s and made a lot of bad investments in commercial and family real estate but were unable to get much an ROI. I suspect that the latest wave of foreign buyers will eventually have just as many difficulties.

            In NZ, the problem isn’t only that housing is #the# business to be in for too much of the population, it is because the dynamics of the market are artificially manipulated by the suppliers (Fletchers), the regulatory bodies (local councils) and MBIE (formerly DBH), and the construction and trades industries. All these powerful groups work together to constrain the supply, manufacture inferior housing, and drive up taxes to the benefit of the large investors. Cost is relative: if the median wage or salary is too low, and the money supply is too tight, then housing becomes a market for large investors only.

            Ultimately, the rest of the world is returning to serfdom and feudalism; (u-)fortunately, New Zealand has a head start because it never left.

          • It is much colder in a New Zealand house at 10C outside than it is in a European a house when it is -20C outside.

          • For a start I’m a he not a she! and for seconds I didn’t say nature was meaningless or worthless …I said it’s all NZ has! there is nothing else here ABSOLUTELY……NOTHING! and nature doesn’t pay the ridiculously overpriced food or rent! especially considering the rotten non quality of housing here. and actually my experience of rent in the UK is that its much cheaper than here! I don’t know where your’e getting your’e info from but mine is from personal experience, 2 bedroom apartment central Glasgow large rooms central heating walk to city center was 450 pounds a month yes A MONTH!!!! or 900 NZ dollars A MONTH!!!!!! Sh@t house in wellington 2 tiny rooms (one won’t even fit a bed ) no insulation single glaze windows no heating source no bus service and 40 min walk from city = $1600. a month or as i like to call it F!@#$%G OUTRAGEOUS! so Jay next time you fancy looking at the trees and swimming in the rivers and fairytaling up the mountains maybe you could spare some time to explain to everyone here just how you could possibly afford to do these things on the minimum wage part time jobs that are only available to people with an ever increasing amount of worthless degrees ( you even need a certificate in traffic management to hold a stop go sign here!) and as for the weather here, no its not so cold outside! its the $100 extra a week you have to spend keeping the inside slightly warmer than the outside that’s the problem. now on to war zones … You’re right we don’t have those particular problems here… what we have is gangs!!! or as I like to call them violent childlike morons, where wearing the wrong colour t shirt will get you attacked and beaten to within an inch of your life regardless of whether you know about the pathetic rules or not, or how about entire towns where if your’e white you may as well hand over your possessions at the town boundary to save yourself a mugging later on ( yes Kawerau, Ruatoria (I could keep going with the list but whats the point?) I’m talking about you) lovely little places provided you like being hated for existing and blamed for everything that’s ever happened to anyone that lives there,. do not be fooled by the mass brainwashing that comes out of your average (never been anywhere else kiwi) this country is a boring crime ridden, boring, racist and reverse racist, boring, incredibly expensive, boring, low waged, boring, over-educated (yet extremely-under informed),boring hellhole!!! did I say boring yet I could probably add a few more in but it still wouldn’t explain how boring it is here!
            P.s any idiot over the age of 18 here can buy a gun!

          • ” keeping the inside slightly warmer than the outside”.
            It always seems colder in an unheated house. It may be shelter, but does not feel like a house should.

            And, do you find it boring?

  26. Yeah, I know Humber. I just think that if I go back to Aussie I might be able to afford to put fuel in the mower.

  27. Hi, I’m from New Zealand, and I hate New Zealanders. After I finish my apprenticeship I’m going to be looking at places that will recognize my qualifications and immigrate there. This place is a shithole and I can’t in any good faith recommend people move here.

  28. Everybody has to live somewhere,and although the grass may be greener on the other side,you still have to mow it.

  29. Well there have been some very depressing things said about NZ. The fact is NZ is a tiney nation that lets 200,000 immigrants in each year, the tax payers pay to teach these people English, provide housing for them, they provide work for them and on and on it goes. Many NZer’s do not have jobs, immigrants will work for peanuts many working 2 or 3 jobs to survive, but while it keeps happening wages are kept low $14.70 is minimum wage. Many end up on welfare. There are many NZer’s who live with several families in one house, 3rd world diseases are appearing in our children. It is cheaper to feed children fizzy drink than buy milk for them. They are being rasied on cheap mince meat and fatty sausages. As to us not using dental care, I myself have many loose teeth, not because I don’t believe in dental care but because I have been unemployed for 10 years. A filling in this country costs anything from $89 to well over $100. Doctors charge $60 for an adult consultation. Children do get free health care up to a certain age. Approx 10% of the population are wealthy, 20% are probably middle class, the rest live either below, on or barely above the poverty line. Schools are having to give children breakfast as families can’t afford the food to feed them. We get taxed on earnings or benefits, we pay 70% tax on fuel, probably the same tax on tobacco products, we pay 12.5% tax on food, electricity, rates, insurance and every other imaginable service. it is a country of tax on tax on tax. The elections will be held on the 20th of this month. Why don’t those of you with relevant complaints about NZ and the way both citizens and immigrants are treated, look up Jonh Key the prime ministers email address and David Cunliffe the opposition leaders email address and any or all other political parties and tell them exactly what it is like living below the poverty line in NZ, competing for non existent jobs, being degraded, humiliated and abused by the social welfare system in this country. They don’t know what is like for the majority of people in this country who exist rather than live, who can’t afford to eat properly never mind travel around the country or go for holidays. NZer’s are angry, not racist, we continually see more and more people let into this country when there aren’t enough jobs for locals, where big business brings in experts from overseas instead of training locals to do the work or pay to send them overseas to train to be able to do the work. There are also many Asian people that come and buy expensive houses here, stay long enough to get permanent residency so their children can get an education and university degrees at the same cost as NZ citizens born and raised here, then they come in and out of the country going back to Asia to work in the wealthy businesses they own over there, and when their children qualify as dentists, doctors etc etc, do they stay in NZ and contribute to the economy that has given a much cheaper education than they could have got in their own country? no, the majority go back to Asia and just return to NZ with money to support their wealthy lifestyle here for a few months and take advantage of the tax benefits of doing so. To the man that says NZ’ers won’t go out with Asians that is rubbish I personally know some lovely well educated people who are NZ’ers married to Asian’s. You should try finding statistics for how many multi cultural families there are in this country. In my immediate family alone, there are many multi cultural families, Kiwi’s, Germans’, Maori, South American, Phillipino, English, Scots, Australian. No racism here. Compared to Europe and other countries, NZ and Australia are relatively new countries, you cannot expect them to have the history and culture of other countries that have been around since the beginning of time. But I would encourage each and every one of you who finds life in NZ so unbearable to clearly and concisely email your complaints directly to the leaders of the political parties in this country. John Key is so busy crawling up the backside of America and trying to adopt American ways it makes us puke. One huge advantage of NZ is we dont’ all go round carrying guns for self protection, we prefer peace keeping to war, people above flash cars and pretentious status symbols. Humbleness and honesty would be the best description for a true Kiwi. It is the sorry state of the world we live in and the ignorance and lies spread by corporations and governments that make so many distrustful of others, the main reason American’s are disliked by many in this country is their belief that war and violence is the way to peace on earth. I know many Americans are just as anti as we are. There are no perfect countries on this planet, no perfect race of people. If Some countries could stop their greed at wanting to own, control and rape every resource on the planet, and everyone could treat each other with respect and accept others as being equal and all were treated as equal with a right to their own beliefs, customs etc we would have peace on earth. There are more than enough resources in this world for everyone to have a roof over their head, healthy natural food in their mouths, warmth and enjoyment of life, but instead the wealth is hoarded by the few. The minimum wage in America is much lower than NZ. Australia is the contry that was supposed to be milk and honey, ask the average Australian what life is like there, I think you will find much the same as NZ. As to England, we watch programs here on life in England, it has put me off ever visiting there, my daughter in-law from there would not return to live if her life depended on it. Compared to many places in the world NZ and Australia are very clean countries, we try to avoid having American genetically modified food imported into our country, but the current prime minister doesn’t give a stuff about the opinion of the majority in this country so I would agree we are fast heading to ruination of all that was good in this country. With the high numbers of people immigrating to NZ and Australia we are also fast becoming as polluted and dirty as many other countries. As to the person who thinks India is the place to be, the culture of raping and killing women and girls at random and not being bought to justice for the offences is not tolerable and held in disgust by any decent person. BUT, we do not label every person of Indian descent as being a rapist. Do not judge every NZer to be racist, ignorant, uncreative, uneducated, or untravelled. If your own countries are so wonderful, why would you even consider immigrating to another country????? I’ve had some very unpleasant experiences living and working in a different country, but I also had some wonderful life experiences that I believe made me a better person. No it wasn’t the same as living in NZ, but I didn’t expect it to be, no two countries are the same, it is pointless to go to another country if you want it to be exactly the same as where you have come from. As to unfriendly, I think some need to learn the difference between what is a friendship and what is an acquaintance. It takes time and effort to build a friendship, common interests, morals, values etc. NZ is a country that seems to have a society for every imaginable nationality, if you are reading this and are in NZ and don’t have friends, go to the nearest citizens advice centre, it is free, and ask them for contact details for a local group. Any church will also make you welcome and introduce you to people regardless of race or religion.
    Sorry to rave on so long.

    • TL;DR? Allie, I was willing to listen to you vent until you got to the “true kiwi” part.

      FWIW, your post contained 1407 words and 7622 characters. You said “America” or “American” seven times, and “Australia” or “Australian” six.

      If you form one sentence from all words which are used four or more times, this is what you said:

      The and are for country many this have that there you countries not people their but tax them they with children every life other same some who would being here live own than what work all also American Australia don etc families food from get jobs NZer pay person will world.

      A little jumbled, but just as useful. Sorry.

    • I agree with you completely . We have very same situation in many countries in EU , maybe worse. European Union is in very dangerous situation. The thousands of migrants and refugees from Middle East come to EU without control . Someone of them is the member of ISIS, the terrorist organisation ? I’m so worried to the safe of my family and for our way of life . EU and NATO have not right answer to the terrorist threats . Establish own business in NZ , is it smart or I’ll lose my money ? Is NZ good place for family business for immigrants from EU , or I’ll stay at home? The beautiful NZ nature is good thing but for everyday life we must make money , not wait help from government. Any advice is welcome . To invest or not to invest , what you say ?

  30. Interesting website, I found it accidently this morning. Here I was all this time thinking I was the only one who had these experiences in NZ! I moved over here a few years ago for a realtionship. My experiences have been similar to those other comments found here in terms of not meeting friends, finding it hard to get ahead etc etc. Anyway I decided to go to Uni at the University of Otago in Dunedin (just finished) and Im pleased to say I meet good people who were open mined, driven and smart. I made a lot of good mates here but outside of those circles I if Im honest I find a lot of NZ society the same as I did before. So just having a think about what next.
    Must say Im glad to find Im not alone!

  31. I think that most Americans would admit that the US is in decline and also would lament that fact. It seems as though most Kiwis will NOT admit this fact [that most countries and world in general] that it’s in decline.
    The decline of Western civizilation is a sad thing to wittness. The only ones that seem to enjoy this are the bogans, tribalists, and savages. Loss of order suits them.

    • That is a good point Carpentaro. Americans can at least be honest about their country’s problems whereas Kiwis think that denying reality will make everything better. New Zealand is the manifestation of the positive thinking claptrap gone awry.

  32. I currently live in Portland, Oregon, U.S.A. I love Portland (often compared with San Francisco but probably the size of Wellington, you can walk from one end of downtown to the other in under half and hour…). I have wanted to get out of this country since as long as I could remember. Now that I am quite politically invested, I realize now more than ever how lied too we are, how controlled everything is. I would look at countries like China, North Korea, and wonder to myself, “How did these people allow themselves to be so brainwashed? How can they be so manipulated into believing these lies?” Now I look at my own country and think, “My God! We’re the same way!!!” I want out. I’ve wanted out. I want to move to a country where:

    People accept immigrants with open hearts
    People have a true desire to better themselves for the betterment of humanity
    People value life, cultural differences, and the environment
    There is lots to do, everyday is a new opportunity for some great adventure
    There is little pollution, or at least measures are taken to try to preserve, protect, and improve what damage has been done
    Offers great opportunities for college students
    Is family friendly
    Has low crime
    Has a government with a high satisfaction rate, and is a neutral country
    Has great financial opportunities
    Has friendly people

    Does such a place exist? I don’t think my wants are that unreasonable, but I could be wrong.

    • @Em – The US is probably still close to the top of the list. There are many, many things that have gone wrong in America, but I assure you, no country has escaped the same problems that US is struggling with. Anti-immigrant? Every nation has issues and hate groups, whether it be the skinheads or neonazis in Europe, the tea partiers in the US, or even the snobs and elitists which exist in every nation. You could move to Asia, but anti-Caucasian (or anti-African) and anti-immigrant attitudes are widespread in many countries, like South Korea, Japan, Singapore, et al.

      You could come to New Zealand, where if you are white and well-dressed, you will find that other white people might smile at you until you open your mouth and fail to speak with the retarded kiwi accent. In Australia, some immigrant groups are more tolerated than others, but I can imagine that being a South Asian can be very difficult much of the time. In Africa, whites are despised in many places, and in Mexico, gringos are fair game. In the Middle East, you can live in tightly-controlled enclaves that are separate from the mainstream society.

      I have visited or lived in most of these places, and I certainly have not found any one place that is perfect. At least in the US, it is large and diverse enough still that you can find safe pockets of like-minded people somewhere, and the rate of change and innovation keeps life interesting. Additionally, there are special interest groups and activities in most places that simply do not exist in many other countries.

      Control? The US uses external controls to maintain order and stability, but at least you can find out what the rules are if you try, even if the sheer numbers are mind-boggling. In New Zealand, the controls are arbitrary, hidden from view and cultural. If you are a native and in a position of power, you get to make your own rules or interpret the weak ones that are published to suit your own purposes, with little or no concern for accountability. Don’t like it? Well, you can leave, just go ask mousie. You can’t sue, you can’t complain, and if you fight back, you will be ostracize – and you might just be raided by the NZ Police (

      So, if you like Portland and have family, friends, and a purpose, thank your stars for what you do have. If you need to find work, change your career and/or move somewhere else in the US. If you are well-heeled and have itchy feet, renew your passport and be prepared to spend a half million to go live abroad, assuming you have been granted permanent resident status beforehand. Just don’t be surprised if you find yourself headed home after a few years with an attitude of gratitude for what you left behind, and the painful realization that much of life has passed you by.

      • I think your analysis is very good. The United States has some severe problems and I view its long-term decline as irreversible, which is why I left. However, some excellent pockets remain within the United States. Moreover, the country is sufficiently diverse and large enough that you can locate certain pockets that might be a better culture fit depending on one’s predilections.

        As for New Zealand, the country is far different to how it advertises itself. Most Kiwis are rednecks, albeit of an ignorant left-wing variety rather than somewhat right of centre. In many respects, some of the less sophisticated people in the US are still decent human beings. They might not speak three languages, read much, or have much of a clue about anything, but most of them are honest and friendly. I cannot say the same of New Zealanders. The per capita incidence of sociopaths is higher and people are extremely mendacious. Furthermore, if you do speak out, the society at large will ostracise you and Kiwi Big Brother will clamp on you. The difference between New Zealand at the United States is that the New Zealand government does not need to do much to keep the population in line because most people are extremely passive and cowardly. Otherwise, you would see much more aggressiveness from the authorities in New Zealand.

        The US has problems, but whistleblowers or political activists can at least take solace knowing that like-minded people and those with money that fund certain interest groups will stand alongside them. The same is not the case in New Zealand. I am very familiar with the Vince Siemer case and I can tell you that he received a raw deal. We wonder how much anti-American antipathy contributed to the Crown’s various vendettas against Vince.

        • Don’t think for a second that the problems are localized to the USA. The whole world is in decline, I’m from South Africa (which is in serious decline), I recently left to the UK then moved to Malta. I can safely say Europe too is in decline not just economically, in-fact economy is the least of its problems. If you live in Europe forget about owning real estate there is absolutely NOTHING which is not for super rich like Mafia, corporate bosses, bankers, politicians, and drug cartels. forget even small one-room apartments for rent are unaffordable if you are not of the 1% super rich. Cost of living is very high, food is expensive and of low quality (unless on a village farm). Europe is generally small and overpopulated with very few niches. Generally I am looking to go to a place which is less crappier (not at all looking for perfect or some paradise just less crappy).

        • I am relatively new to this blog and I am just reading these excellent comments about the US. I moved to the States from NZ in 1984 for graduate school since I was attracted to the US after meeting some ex-pats and visiting American professors – they always seemed so optimistic and encouraging – something I hadn’t been used to growing up in NZ. In the last 30 years that optimism I first experienced here has faded somewhat but it’s still great to live in a big country with a vibrant culture, where excellence is encouraged and people are pleased when someone does well. Sure there are lots of bad things happening in the US but there are always passionate, committed people trying to make things better. The US is a very hard country to generalize about because of the tremendous diversity in all aspects of life – this of course doesn’t stop the NZ media cherry-picking sensational stories to maintain NZers warped perception of the rest of the world. I get back every year or two to visit relatives but after a week of listening to how wonderful NZ is compared to other countries, and starting to feel the suffocating embrace of the society, I am ready to leave. A small part of me is sad that the place I grew up can never be home again but there is no value to looking back.

          • I have actually found that most kiwis that have been elsewhere [Europe, States…] are not as bad as the ones that have never left. That pile driven media produced image of what NZ is like vs what the rest of the world is like has these gullible guys thinking that they are doing pretty well when in reality, they are miles behind, they just don’t know it.

        • You are wrong about the rednecks being left-wing. If you watch or listen to the TV and radio news infotainment shows that dominate the air waves here you will witness the right-wing government toady rednecks in full flight. They operate as hate merchants – continually making disparaging remarks about foreigners, beneficiaries, racial minority groups, environmentalist, socialists, women and anyone who opposes the National-led government. Cronyism, corruption, spying and police intimidation – that is how the political right operate and they do it so well that most New Zealanders now accept it as normal.

  33. “my professors at Massey insisted on Kiwi spelling, got in the habit”

    It’s not your spelling that betrays you, it’s your actual words – not used in the US and your turns of phrase. They are not from the USA or North America.” Pip pip cherio and all that, I know you love baseball.” This is the voice that you give away with your togs and your grumble.

    ” I’ve lived in Europe when I was younger, so my experience is a bit wider than the usual Yank”

    HAHAHA your’re so FUNNY!! Do it some more.

    There are North American turns of phrase and compositions of phrases that seem impossible for NZ Immigration shills to mimic. I’ve seen and called this sort of thing AT LEAST THREE TIMES. You ain’t foolin’ anyone YA BIG SHILLY!

  34. Ah, figured it out. You’re not actually a real website. You’re the Cameron Slater of NZ blogs. Got it.

  35. Interesting. I express my opinion and personal experiences with living in New Zealand, and I’m jumped all over for being ‘a troll,’ insulted and called a “threat to the prosperity and well-being of this nation” (as if I had that much power!), written off because I’m in a ‘rural bubble’ (three years on my own in Auckland, then two years in Dunedin where I met my husband, and have travelled all over the country), accused of not really being American because of my spelling (sorry, my professors at Massey insisted on Kiwi spelling, got in the habit,) told my “equivocation and acceptance promote acquiescence and conformity, ignorance and retardation, and feed the suffocating cultural oppression and decay that make this country an isolated colony in decline,” (oooo, so impressed with all those big words you know, you be so smart!), and even told that if I ever ‘stop drinking the kool-aid’ I run the risk of marital abuse from my Kiwi husband – probably the kindest, gentlest, most loving man I’ve ever met. I don’t know who you people are, Kiwis or disgruntled ex-pats, but YOUR experience doesn’t invalidate MINE, either.

    Seriously, I love this country. It’s not perfect, far from it. I’ve lived in Europe when I was younger, so my experience is a bit wider than the usual Yank, but while there are certainly things I miss about France or England or the States, New Zealand has been the best place I’ve ever lived. But if you lot really hate this country so much… leave. Go back to where you were happier. Or go find some place that you like more. I did. It’s not a one-size-fits-all world, and this country would certainly be better off without quite so many ill-mannered, nasty asshats who find it fun to pile onto someone for simply saying ‘I love New Zealand.’

    We won’t miss you.

    • I, for one, am glad that your experience in NZ has seemed to work out for you. The opperative phrase is “for you”, while many others have not had such a good time of it. This place is here to give those with a not so rosey experience a forum to express themselves. A lot of the other ex-pat places look down on anyone expressing a less than glowing recomendation of NZ.
      You have your experience, others have theirs. Most here would point out that there are several factors that have made your’s unique, although probably not typical.

    • @Mouse:
      If you really want to make immigrants welcome, as an example, help them in lodging complaints against employers paying them below the award rate. You can try your local non-chain restaurants as an example of this shameful behaviour.
      Telling everybody how great you have it, while not giving a rat’s about how other people are getting along in Aotearoa (e.g. “calling them asshats”), does make you out to seem selfish.
      After all, people who trust a country, invest in it, feel proud and help others adjust in a way that doesn’t demean or minimise their sensitivities, and stay for the long term …

    • Sorry, E2NZ, I was feeling a little verbose in my previous post. I did go off the deep end trying to make a few points, and mousie’s post was not a good launch point for my rant. Mousie, it is regrettable that you took everything so personally. Also, I promise not to use big words when responding to your comments.

      FYI, Americans with any self-esteem or class don’t refer to themselves as “Yanks.” Also, McDonalds doesn’t have an “a” in the first syllable – either here or in the US – so don’t blame your illiterate professors in Dunedin for that. As for racism in the US compared to New Zealand, you either grew up in a trailer park wearing a sleeveless Lynrd Skynyrd T-shirt from Goodwill, or you missed the last 50 years of civil rights in the US, which is to say, you are a fake.

      Asshats? Leave if we’re unhappy? If there were a law that required unhappy people to leave, 90% of the kiwi population would be living in Australia. If it weren’t for the widespread availability of alcohol, antidepressants, meth and marijuana – and vicious poverty – only the stoners, farmers and die-hard Maori would remain.

      Criticism is not an indicator of unhappiness, mousie, it is a show of generosity*, character, sobriety* and self-confidence. I am very easy-going and kind, and I am happy to be here for my own reasons. I choose to vocalize my criticisms in order to make New Zealand a better place to live. Doing so makes me happier, and together with other like minds who congregate here, it gives us purpose and provides release. Why should that bother you, Stepford wife? What are you afraid of?

      *(sorry, four syllables, my bad)

    • Telling critics to leave NZ then calling them names is not really an adult approach is it? Besides many of us commenting here have left NZ, I no longer live there after growing up there. Your experience sounds like it has been pleasant. That’s nice for you.

      Perhaps instead of attacking people here you could acknowledge that it’s likely your personality, values, views of the world were already simpatico with the standard NZer, thus you fit in easily. And think about how an immigrant would be received if you were at a party with your husband and this immigrant started detailing their issues with living in NZ. Would people be able to listen to them like adults or would they get “Harden up or piss off!” and then “get a drink up ya!”.

      Being able to listen to peoples criticism of things that we love is a sign of adulthood I tend to think. New Zealanders don’t manage that very well in general.

      Saying “we won’t miss you” is also typical NZ – you don’t represent the country yet you are acting as if you are all one herd with the same worldview.

    • A lot of us have left already. We want to do other people a favor by letting them know that not everyone does well in NZ. Counter the insane PR. There are enough of us who have compared notes (I lived there for almost a decade, trapped by the court system, and I know a number of other parents that were, too). Do a little experiment. Tell your partner that NZ is not for you, and ask him to move back to the U.S. See if he loves you enough to say “ok”, and if he says “ok”, see how long it takes him to actually sit down and start making concrete plans (timeline, sell house, price air tickets, job hunt back home, etc.) instead of just brush you off because he doesn’t want to commit himself. You have never been in the shoes of a migrant who did not fit in, obviously. And many of us have lived outside of America as well – in places much more congenial than New Zealand. France rocks. I hated the drug scene and attitudes in New Zealand. The cost of living was over the top for what you got. If I want pretty scenery, I will go live somewhere that has that – and quality of life too.

  36. I thought I would just put this link up, this from British expats forum, reading further down that thread start to show the truth and how and it is really getting in NZ.

    Basically, a couple in their 40s want to sell up and move to NZ, they are discouraged from doing so by people who live there, interesting read and nice to see the truth is slowly creeping onto mainstream expat forums.

  37. Wow, I’m actually amazed by the amount of negativity here. I’m American, married to a Kiwi, living in the rural hinterlands of Taranaki. Been here seven years, punctuated with a 21 month disastrous adventure over in Australia, which I found to be MUCH harder to get on in than I have in New Zealand.

    I love it here. It hasn’t been an easy ride, you don’t just show up at the airport with your togs and surfboard and expect everyone to cater to your every need. I’ve found Kiwis to be incredibly friendly and helpful, been taken in by complete strangers for a couple weeks when I was suddenly made homeless. The food here is fine – anyone who bitches that they miss ‘proper’ MacDonald’s hamburgers gets pretty short shrift from me. Some things are more expensive, and some things are rare, because with a population base of less than 4 and 1/2 million people that’s not a big tax base to draw from for creating a seamless infrastructure.

    There’s a lot of things Kiwis could do better – the ‘clean green’ image is mostly illusion, because there’s just not a big enough human footprint to do that much real damage. If the population keeps growing without changing their habits, we’ll be just as dirty as any inner city in the States. The current government is corrupt – Key is being revealed more and more as a scheming, backstabbing, lying hypocrite. But he’s a politician; sort of an occupational hazard, and by comparison to some of the Tea Party cretins in the States, he looks almost saintly.

    It’s also true that immigrating to NZ is a LOT tougher than it’s sometimes make out to be at the Kiwi trade fairs trying to lure certain professions over. I’m certainly over-educated and over-qualified for some of the jobs I’ve had here. But I’ve found the immigration people here to be incredibly fair and helpful. It’s true that some things are expensive – but medical care even for those without residency visas to access public health care won’t break the bank. So to that woman complaining back in 2013 about the medical care here not being as ‘good’ as it is in the States, and grumbling about what would become Obamacare, you’re an idiot. New Zealand has some of the best medical research centres in the world (Otago rocks!), doctors here are as well trained as any in the States, and you’re not going to die because you can’t pay $150,000 for a simple appendectomy.

    It’s true housing is WAY out of whack, far too expensive, but it’s not likely that Bank of America will toss you out on the street and confiscate your furniture if you miss a single mortgage payment. It’s true that cops in Auckland and other cities tend to give out way too many tickets for bullcrap to make money, but they don’t drive armoured Humvees, dress in battle fatigues armed with automatic assault weapons and tear gas when there’s a protest. (The last ‘big’ protest I saw here was during the Occupy movement, where it more resembled a make-shift carnival, nobody paid much attention and cold weather and rain disbanded them more effectively than any police).

    The bottom line is nowhere is perfect. If you immigrate from the States to another country, it’s unrealistic (and jingoistic) to expect it to be ‘like home.’ New Zealand is fantastically beautiful, the people here are as friendly as any I’ve met anywhere in the world, if not nicer, life isn’t going to be as easy for you as it is for someone born and raised here, any more than it is for immigrants to America, the racism here is NOTHING like it is in the States, you may not get what you hoped for but the opportunities still exist for you to get something you love if you’re willing to work at it, In the end, life in New Zealand is what YOU make of it, rather than expecting it to adapt to you. And that’s true anywhere you go in the world. If you don’t like cold weather, warm beer, and rain, don’t move to Ireland. If you can’t stand hot weather and are afraid of poisonous bugs, don’t move to Australia. If you can’t live without fabulous shopping, theatres and highrise cities where the lights never go out and five-star restaurants stay open 24 hours a day, don’t move to Bhutan – even if they’d let you. But if you want a country where there’s more variety than just about anywhere in the world, there’s nowhere like New Zealand.

    • “married to a Kiwi”. This alone is a game changer and will give you entre` to a segment of society and an experience that most migrants will not have.
      Low wage/cost of living is not easily overcome, and not to change anytime soon.
      ” New Zealand has some of the best medical research centres in the world (Otago rocks!), doctors here are as well trained as any in the States, and you’re not going to die because you can’t pay $150,000 for a simple appendectomy.” Access to medical care has been an issue in the States, private insurance has been the gateway. But, I don’t know of anywhere [in the States] that’d refuse to treat someone in need. You may have one heck of a bill to pay afterward, but you’ll get treatment, so that is a false statement. As far as “best” medical research centers? I don’t recall hearing of any [in NZ] in the same breath as Johns Hopkins, Sloane Kettering, Mayo Clinic. Maybe the L&P “world famous in NZ” is more like it. Lots of “locum” Dr.s, many from the States, and they are usually regarded as the “most highly trained” as soon as their boots hit the ground. NZ healthcare is mostly free [funded through taxes/government], but you do get what you pay for.
      I think that most people are taken a-back by the hype, contrast in advertising vs reality. If you think that you are moving to a modern, western society, you will be dissapointed. If you think that you’ll be going to a small Pacific island nation with slightly better than average [for small Pacific island nations] standards, you’d be better prepared to match expectations with reality.
      And this is the place where most feel as though they’ve been betrayed, the self advertising does NOT match the reality of the place.

      • Obamacare is working fine here. I get better healthcare than I got in NZ (more state of the art and faster) for $35 a month. That was the cost of one doctor visit to the local GP in NZ. Where you could try and talk him into sending you to a specialist if there was something wrong with you. Good luck.
        People who marry Kiwis generally start going on about “those who don’t like New Zealand because they want mink and SUVs yadda”. I know some counterculture very antimaterialistic types who didn’t like NZ either though. She’s chugging koolaid. It happens worse when you’re married to one. Got the t-shirt. Watch the marital abuse start when she stops drinking it.

    • Your beliefs about New Zealand are common myths which are spun and fueled by marketing hype and delusional oral reality. If New Zealand had bona fide independent, objective, and honourable institutions to regulate society, and if it were half as ruthless as the U.S. (as a nation) about collecting – and reporting – facts and statistics, exposing and debating its real problems, the cognitive dissonance and nausea that so many of us here suffer would not be so maddening. Sadly, the majority of kiwis, like you, are paralysed and scared, and would prefer to believe the myths in order to be carried by the herd, and are quick to equivocate or downplay issues and bully the stray sheep when they wander away. However, since 2008, New Zealand has been culling the herd and cutting off the ‘mistakes’ to live in isolation, squalor, crime, and on substances.

      There are many, many cheerleader sites and articles on the web which promote how ‘great’ New Zealand is. If you want to contribute to that whilst blaring your American heritage, you will likely be greeted with open arms among them. But don’t come here and expect to redefine everyone’s reality based on your isolated existence – the sheer numbers of those like us who (vehemently) disagree with you strongly suggest that you are, indeed, living in your own little pastoral bubble.

      You are more a threat to the prosperity and well-being of this nation than its critics who post here and who disagree with you. Your equivocation and acceptance promote acquiescence and conformity, ignorance and retardation, and feed the suffocating cultural oppression and decay that make this country an isolated colony in decline – and in denial.

    • ” your togs” “grumbling” “centres”

      Hahaha, this was not written by an American at all, just a sloppy shill for NZ immigration. Trolls should always check their spelling!

      • They’ve fully adopted the “kiwi lifestyle” including the change in vocabulary. Members of my family [all born in the USA] interchangably use commonwealth/kiwi verbage. That alone is not conclusive of trolldom.

  38. “My first job in NZ was below my educational level and experience and I made a fraction of what I made in my home country. I had to adapt and after a year I landed a job that was a better fit and I was paid accordingly. I am not sure how the situation is now I have been away for 4.5 years.”

    NZ has embarked on a “skills shortage” drive for skilled migrants, yet upon arrival, find out that you’ve got to do a down>sideways>up move to get anywhere. That is counter to what is said is on offer. False advertising, lies. Being lied to is a form of betrayal.
    The situation in the last little bit, since the GFC, has changed much in the field of employment. If there was a bias toward not hiring a migrant before, it has only been magnified since. Granted, before the GFC, it was easier to find a job, but at nowhere near what a “global” pay scale would’ve been, and the cost of living is still disproportionate to wages. The low wage/cost of living thing is one that people need to do their research on, and this is a place to get that information.

    Hypocrisy in that you are critisizing the place you are in [Singapore] for doing exactly the same thing that happens in the place [NZ] you are defending.

  39. @carpentro
    Agreed there are challenges when first arriving in a country as an immigrant but isn’t that so for any country you migrate too. My first job in NZ was below my educational level and experience and I made a fraction of what I made in my home country. I had to adapt and after a year I landed a job that was a better fit and I was paid accordingly. I am not sure how the situation is now I have been away for 4.5 years. But in my time in NZ I made many NZ friends that treated me as one of them, in my total time there I got 1 comment from a person that complained to me that “NZ jobs should be for NZ people” – something I ignored, there are idiots everywhere I guess. And the reason why I don’t like Singapore is the climate and the fact that the only thing you can do here is either shop or drink. Neither of which I do. So its a bit boring to say the least. How is that hypocritical?

    @safefromnz – I was referring the the shadow class of modern day slaves that are used to fuel the economic growth here in Singapore. There are over 2 million foreign workers here that have no civil rights, make less than $2 / hour, have no unions and have no rights whatsoever. There was even a politician that suggested to put them on one of the islands around Singapore in camps so they don’t add to the congestion in the subway system. Singapore households on average have 1 maid although I have seen families with a maid per child in the family. Mainland Chinese bus drivers did a strike last year because they are payed less than their Malaysian counterparts for the same work. Result: caning, work visa revoked and sent back to China.

    @Admin First point please refer to the above with regard to inequality. In Singapore there is a class of subhumans that are exploited yet it is ignored or minimized. You can’t compare that to NZ.
    Now that the conversation change to politics: Completely agree with you that the way Key is running the country is wrong and widening the gap between the poor and the wealthy. It has only got worse over the years he has be in power and it is still continuing. If people have to feed their kids with McDonalds because they can’t afford fresh food there is something very very wrong and I can only agree on that. But that is politics, if labour ever gets back in power lets hope there will be more money flowing back to education and grants for the poor. And do not say that from my comfort zone I was ignoring those facts – I thought the discussion here was about the country NZ and not the politics.

    But all of that said I met some wonderful people in my time in NZ, I was invited to hang out with muslims in their mosque, went to weddings, BBQ’s, fishing and enjoyed the scenery and the pristine environment. You can’t deny that there are a lot of positive sides to NZ too.

    • @Benjamin: I cannot speak about Singapore the way you can because I have not lived there. However, the conditions in Singapore must be an improvement for outsiders if many are willing to endure the conditions you cite. In contrast, 1 in 5 Kiwis lives overseas, so something is indeed rotten in New Zealand.

      This is a personal preference, but I will take the orderly Singapore over lawless New Zealand any day.

    • @Benjamin
      And the reason why I don’t like Singapore is the climate and the fact that the only thing you can do here is either shop or drink. Neither of which I do. So its a bit boring to say the least. How is that hypocritical?
      Well, it kind of sounds like hearing an expat complain about restrictions towards nightlife in Dubai.
      Does your salary make up for that inconvenience though? Must be better than that poor, oppressed underclass, right?

      Mainland Chinese bus drivers did a strike last year because they are payed less than their Malaysian counterparts for the same work. Result: caning, work visa revoked and sent back to China.
      It’s amazing how (new, not yet permanent-resident) immigrants to New Zealand are in that same situation. Not to mention, their kids get told growing up “You have to know who is in charge, you are not one of the people of this land, know your place.” Sounds similar, eh?

      In Singapore there is a class of subhumans that are exploited yet it is ignored or minimized. You can’t compare that to NZ.
      Repeat after me … business success and the taxman EVERYWHERE, enjoy the profits that come from underpaid labour. Capitalism in action 🙂
      “Employer accused of exploiting migrant workers”
      Oh, that Norajane Colos, is in the class of “patronising, condescending, established immigrant (social sciences degree from Philippines), that is trying to show new (read: thinks they’re savage, uncivilised) people how to “behave in their new land”.
      The behaviour of “teaching the new folk how to adjust” sounds a lot like many “ethnic community leaders” in New Zealand.

  40. You call me a hypocrit without even reading my post. I moved to NZ from Europe and lived an worked in Wellington for 7 years amd loved every part of it, as an immigrant in NZ. It was a great experience. Then my company moved me to Singapore. I don’t like it here. Did I at any point mention why? No. Again, you jump to a conclusion about something you don’t know crap about. Singapore is very accepting to highly skilled immigrants, I just don’t like the way people are treated in general in this country: Bangladeshi workers are paid $3 / hour for construction work whilst bankers cruise around in luxury cars. The inequality is enormous. Then you come back to me now and complain about NZ.

    • The inequality in NZ is there; overseas qualifications not being valid, underpayment of migrants, difficulty in obtaining a job if you have not worked in NZ before… There are a number of difficulties encountered by migrants, moreso now that the economy has tightened. Perhaps when you migrated to NZ, the job market was a bit more fluid? Things have changed in the last 5 years. When were you last in NZ?
      You critisizing migrants to NZ for expressing the same issues that you are seeing in Singapore is hypocritical.

    • @Ben: You are a great fit for New Zealand judging from your comment of being grateful for what you get in life. Actually, I do not expect life to give me anything. I must go out to earn my daily bread rather than have New Zealand or the government give it to me.

      What I despise about New Zealand is the way the society attempts to stymie and stultify those that want to achieve. Sadly, Kiwis are flightless birds that must attack and vilify anyone else that wants to spread their wings and fly.

      I also despise the denial of obvious problems. Every place in the world has problems, but no one is as adept as New Zealanders as pretending that they do not exist. I have not lived in Singapore, but former President Lee Kwan Yoo was very honest and frank about the problems in the country. Singapore has also transformed itself from a backward cesspool into one of the world’s most dynamic and wealthiest countries.

      Lastly and despite having low taxes and low levels of regulation, the Singaporean government does have a generous housing and income safety net for the poor. I believe the government offsets the difference in pay between what some poor people receive from pay and a minimum salary. We can debate the merits of this from a policy standpoint, but it is indisputable that poor people in Singapore are much better off than in New Zealand. Maybe you should focus on this rather than envying the rich for driving expensive cars.

      • [Deleted, please keep your comments on topic. This isn’t the place to talk about other countries, or Kool-Aid. Admin]

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