WELCOME please read


There’s a reason why so few people live in NZ.

To borrow a phrase from Glenn Greenwald, we commit journalism here.

Through this site and our Twitter account we “actively trigger discussion and examination of claims” about New Zealand, “rather than mindless recitation, ritualistic affirmation and compelled acceptance.”

Accordingly, this is a Kool-Aid free site. You may find that something of a novelty when it comes to NZ information, but we are refreshingly honest.

Rest assured, everyone who runs this site was once either a migrant or a student in New Zealand. Our present locations are varied and include the UK, Canada US, Asian and Pacific countries.

We also have a group Twitter account which has a broader social media brief than just New Zealand, you can follow us at: E2NZ

On this site you’ll discover some of the unexpurgated truths about New Zealand, something that you seldom find in these days of mass marketing and nation branding.

Are you considering a move to New Zealand? perhaps you’re thinking of living there long-term, going out to join family (married a Kiwi perhaps) or you want to sample the lifestyle for a while and then move on.

Are you taking your children to NZ for a better life? Did you know in 2016/2017 New Zealand students had their worst ever results in the international education tests? and Kiwi youth have some of the highest rates of suicide in the world.

If you’re coming from Europe, or any other developed nation,  you may soon find out the meaning of the following (originally about Egypt and adapted from Michael Palin’s “Around the World in Eighty Days” TV series  )

“What, in Europe, had been problems to solve, in New Zealand will become limitations to accept.”

This is a blog dedicated to giving you as much information as possible to enable you to make an informed choice because it’s always better to go into these things with eyes wide open and rose tinted spectacles consigned to your back pocket. Because, as one of our posters commented, “too many people come here with what they want the place to be and not how it really is“.

We’re here to tell you how it is, no punches pulled – straight up. Are you ready to hear it?

There is a wealth of information on the world-wide web about the upsides of New Zealand. They mostly centre around the beautiful landscape, how pure it is, the laid back lifestyle and how great a place it is to raise kids. Whilst these things may have an element of truth how realistic are they? Usually when something sounds too good to be true it isn’t, perhaps a little balance and honesty is called for, its about time.

The days of the New Zealand Company’s propaganda are long over but has anything changed since the 1840s? this is from that era:

“The immigrants’ dissatisfaction was compounded by the misleading propaganda that the Company’s London office had put out. They had been told that New Zealand was a fertile Eden; that economic prospects were unlimited for the hardworking man; and that almost every form of agriculture, manufacture, and commerce was possible, and would yield high returns. The Company had depicted the Maori race as eager for the white man’s ways and merchandise. They had glossed over the difficulties of pioneering, and suppressed all negative reports of New Zealand…
By the mid 1840s, the four New Zealand Company settlements all had similar problems. The immigrants were angry. Many regretted their decision to come to this country and damned the Company for its misleading propaganda. They began leaving the settlements in droves, and by 1848, only eighty-five of the original 436 Wellington colonists remained.”

This following extract is taken from Wikipedia – Pakeha Settlers

“Campaign posters advertising New Zealand in England did give many settlers false hopes, manipulating their reasons. These posters often described New Zealand as an island paradise, complete with white sandy beaches and coconut trees. This heavenly image also did a lot to attract settlers to New Zealand, as it was such a welcome contrast to the rain and cold weather in England. Many settlers also believed that the paradise New Zealand was presented as would be good for their families’ health as the warm weather as well as the small population in New Zealand could keep dangerous diseases that were rife in England to a minimum in New Zealand.


Another factor in attracting people to New Zealand was families who had already settled writing to their relatives back in Great Britain telling them what a wonderful place New Zealand was. Sometimes these letters were sincere and people truly had discovered a much better life in New Zealand and wanted their relatives to share in the spoils, but sometimes there were other motives. Pure loneliness and isolation could encourage people to write exaggerated letters to their relatives in the hope that they would make New Zealand sound so good that their extended families would come and join them thus providing them with some comfort. There were also settlers who were too afraid to admit to their families back home that they had made a mistake in coming to New Zealand and so, to save face they chose to exaggerate the positive sides of living in New Zealand and keep quiet about the negative factors. This writing of letters by settlers back to their families in the United Kingdom resulted in what’s called a chain reaction as more and more people were encouraged to come out and join their families.”

These days we have the benefit of the internet. Emails, blog journals and social networking sites  are replacing the letters home. Many a propaganda campaign has been launched and waged on sites like YouTube and Facebook.

You may also like to see how modern day marketing methods are presently being aimed at potential migrants from wealthy countries a comparatively short distance from New Zealand:

“The bait was better working hours, cheaper cars and housing – and in three weeks thousands from Singapore have registered their interest in living in New Zealand…”

Shame the campaign didn’t first stop to find out the correct spelling for Singaporean: “New Zealand open arms to Singaporians.” It’s not a good overture from a country that’s marketing itself on the excellence of  its education system.

But these hard sell messages are difficult to resist, New Zealand has gained an international reputation for being a leader in Nation Branding, a skill that has been honed to perfection ever since the 1840s. This is taken from the Korean Times

“A clean and green oasis, 100 percent pure, and the land of “Lord of the Rings” are some of New Zealand’s signature images that have been shaped over the years, transforming the southwestern Pacific dairy country into the world’s fourth most desired place to visit in 2006. How did this happen?

Competitive national branding, says the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA), adding that an equivalent tourism and trade boost would happen here if Korea benchmarked some of New Zealand’s winning points.

The trade group highlighted that the “all-natural” country has successfully positioned itself through an effective private corporation, thorough brand research and clear goal-driven strategies.

Starting in 1999, New Zealand _ well known for its environmental efforts _ campaigned with the catchy slogan “100% Pure” in all of its key markets for trade and consumer events, advertising and marketing.

Although the principal tag line is “100% Pure New Zealand,” the government allowed private corporations to extend the campaign to fit their businesses, such as “100% Romance” and “100% Pure Adventure.”

The catch phrase is now used by some 170 exporting and services companies, said KOTRA.

The country’s well-kept environment successfully translated into money as a 2001 study by New Zealand’s Environmental Ministry said the “clean and green” image would be worth “hundreds of millions, possibly billions of dollars.”

And to sustain its competitive national brand, KOTRA added that the birthplace of bungee jumping carries out ongoing market research with a global advertising agency, which also helps to tweak branding strategies…

read on

But one of the dangers of these campaigns is that if the country doesn’t live up to visitors’ expectations they are going to feel duped. Just take a look at any of our posts tagged 100% Pure Myth to see what we mean by this. It’s going to be even more difficult to maintain the 100% Pure advertising slogan now that pressure is on to open up the land for mining to release $140 billion worth of minerals and $100 billion in lignite.

Our Aim

Our aim is to try to cut through the hype and show you some of the present day issues you will encounter as a visitor or migrant in New Zealand.

These include archaic working practices, low remuneration, appalling poverty – especially when it impacts on children and young people, poor housing standards, the risks of damage from earthquakes, the high levels of crime, widespread drug abuse, the shocking numbers of deaths and injuries on the roads and those that arise from tourism activities.

Whilst you’re here why not take a look at our “Migrant Stories”  “Kiwi Talk” and “Facts and stats”  pages, get the inside scoop and see what migrants and local people are saying about New Zealand.

Read what a poet says about his home town in the Lawless North: “Ode to Whangarei”  and contrast that to the images that are put out about New Zealand and you’ll see the reality behind the façade.

We hope you get something out of it and a desire to find out more for yourself.

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125 thoughts on “WELCOME please read

  1. Hi admin, I want to share my personal experience studying in NZ tertiary institutes for three years as a foreigner. Is there somewhere that I can send you my story? There are a lot of things that I want to let others know before they consider going to study fine arts in NZ.


  2. Hi Admin,

    I stumbled across your site a couple weeks ago. You’ve some interesting articles. I wasn’t sure where to post this comment. However, I hope you continue to post your articles. They’re good. I was born in NZ but never saw myself as a ‘Kiwi’. I felt ‘Kiwi’ was reserved for some, and not for others. How the media portrays what a ‘Kiwi’ is, is interesting. We’re only ‘Kiwi’ when we make the All Blacks, Silver Ferns, etc. Then on the news we’re scum, and tbh I can see why people can think that of Pasifika people.

    Well done on your ‘Migrant series’ thus far. It reminds me of my grandparents migration story. My grandmother was a nurse, grandfather a tradesman. Their qualifications weren’t recognized here, hence worked ‘low-skilled’ jobs to support the family. The prejudice, racism and hardship they experienced, a similar thread in shared migrant stories. They left paradise for a promised paradise.

    I look forward to future postings on ‘Tangata Facista’.

    Best wishes.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I can’t believe how utterly aggressive and unhelpful to tourists NZ people are. Thank god we dont live here permanently, and we’ve got our return flight booked. Tourists, you have been warned. Dont get pulled in by the saturation advertising in Australia.


  4. I wonder if you could post my comment here to a more suitable page:

    An Aussie on holidays in NZ – shocked by the reality.

    First commendations to this site for telling the truth about NZ.

    Since coming to NZ on holiday about a week and a half ago, I must say I am shocked by things I’ve found.

    Since driving around for about 10 days, I’ve been abused about 5 times, by angry NZ drivers, this is while driving around hills and cliffs, in the rain. Given that in Australia I am lucky to be honked at every five years either (a) my driving has suddenly deteriorated in NZ or (b) New Zealanders are terrible drivers. I’ve going with the second option.

    The sheer aggressiveness of the drivers here has to be seen to be believed. They seem to think that its your duty to throw yourself off a cliff so they can get there 2 minutes early.

    I have also been amazed at how unhelpful people are to tourists, and how utterly unwilling/unknowing they are about opening times and giving simple help.

    Within our first hour of driving into Auckland, we were honked at twice, and sworn at by a man with no teeth (a common occurrence here) for parking in the ‘wrong’ spot.

    The prices are very high, and there are a lot of rip offs. Nobody seems to do dental, as noted above.

    Of course, there are other problems not the fault of the people – it never, ever stops raining, and every drive is a clifftop winding experience.

    More power to this site and the people telling the horrible truth about NZ.


  5. I was a visitor to New Zealand as a foreign tourist from the US and I am absolutely appalled by the way I was treated as a visitor. I got nothing but rude comments about my country “oh you Americans are losers” “bloody Americans”. 100% pure new Zealand – that is a lie if I ever called one.

    I spent over $3000 American and I
    got nothing but grief. I am alarmed about how so far New Zealand is behind the rest of the world. It’s not funny. The amount of poverty I saw was shocking. Do not get me started on the infrastructure for example trains oh my GOD.

    It was a horrible trip and I will never go back again thanks a lot for disappointing me.

    The people in New Zealand are so not nice to foreigners they hate foreigners especially the girls there. Customer service is so Third World absolutely despicable.

    Am so angry!! what a waste of $US3000 like what the fuck!?!

    New zealand is so expensive ohmy god no wonder is so far behind the rest the world.

    Stop lying to the American people and Canadians because you are the one of the worst countries the world ever!!

    Am so glad I am a North American! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Hi Letta,
    how’s your degree-less life going? Keep that attitude that is all too-common to some Kiwis, coming.
    It lets more Asians know that they need to have a bigger stake in the country if they expect to be treated fairly …
    and lets the Kiwi Asians know that they’d better bugger off after their (relatively low-cost since they’re considered domestic students) hard sciences education is complete. Also that racists are unlikely to discriminate based on ethnicity.
    Because your attitude is precisely what’s keeping the country backward (and unproductive/unimaginative LOSERS like you employed).
    P.S. You get what of more you reward, and less of what you punish. Reward the small-minded people and you’ll get more of them … also competing for YOUR job.
    I’d think about that if I were you. If you can’t see that perspective, carry on.
    The next 5 years should be VERY interesting for New Zealand.
    My sympathies to the few good Kiwis out there … they’ll be working cheek to jowl with those who are trying to hold honest progress back, and will have to deal with many shysters falsifying their qualifications (Hohepa Moheru Barlow / Joseph Hikairo Barlow, Mary-Anne Thompson (spelling?) and Stephen Wilce come to mind).


  7. For you and I, yes. I once set myself the task of trying to liken the Kiwi psyche to some style (you couldn’t go so far as to say “school”) of literature.

    What you can write home (…)? Coarse but bold nature sketches. This is the real New Zealand – nature, pre-industrial air quality (3 seasons a year, as the town woodstove smoke is excepted), distinctive plants, life at the edge with no “fat” to make it “softer”. THAT aspect of the marketing is spot-on. Give it its due, right?

    But there’s the rub – if you want more than that out of life. If you do not want to squat on a knoll, admire the clouds blown by the wind, feel the goosebumps through your threadbare jacket – and have that fill up your entire time on Earth. If your attitude is more than just “the world beyond New Zealand is flash clothes and cars”. Those obnoxious Kiwis who extol the natural living-in-the-moment as some kind of higher human value should drop the hypocrisy and eschew their computers, shingle rooves, heart bypasses, heaters, phones, 4wd vehicles, rifles, tinned food and cooking utensils – everything that makes their life more than what a caveman’s would be. Because the people who invented those things were not the ones lying around under swaying pungas thinking life’s sweet-as. Nor were they drudges with minds full of useless “theory” who stupidly chose a life other than vegetating on the beach every weekend, shouting “woo-hoo” from motorboats.

    I thought initially that the Kiwi psyche was “Jack London”, but it lacks’s London’s dynamism, sharp observation, his ability to “see” the “other”. It lacks dimension at all. The New Zealand psyche is roughly simple, self-absorbed. Their deep connection to the land seems to replace a sense of interpersonal connectedness, and for some immigrants, this creates a unique kind of loneliness which is not at all easy to explain, but I could say I do understand why some stop bothering trying to make friends or only socialize with their fellow migrants. It is too hard! The “reach” is so tiring, on top of trying to survive. The Kiwis do not seem to perceive events in a penetrating way or have a broader understanding of how many circumstances link together to create what they superficially perceive. One migrant said they are “naive, for good and for bad”. Their society is like a single cell organism.

    Hemingway? No. The Kiwi psyche lacks that metaphysical awareness of man and his relationship with nature.

    Kiwis are rough, immediate. The product of boatfuls of lower middle class British people who moved out to the middle of nowhere a very long time ago and interbred with the Polynesians who had made it that far from their own origins. Naturalism was the first thing that came to mind. But that school (and after all, it was a “school”) was influenced by social and scientific theories, and Kiwis have no interest in theory at all, nor do they have any kind of background that would have informed them along those lines.

    I would cast it as “naive naturalism”, and invite thoughtful responses. I am open to correction, of course. http://books.google.co.nz/books/about/Simple_mindedness.html?id=XjEihTaiPBkC&redir_esc=y


  8. I can see that no one is home :

    Some clown posted on that reddit thread, “If you want to change their viewpoint, invite them around for a barbie or a day out sailing or hunting or fishing or to a stripper bar or whatever it is you do that you dig. They might dig it too. And start to love this country!”

    That must be the (in)famous Kiwi lifestyle? Not much to write home about, a weekend in Prague sounds more fun.


  9. Some clown posted on that reddit thread, “If you want to change their viewpoint, invite them around for a barbie or a day out sailing or hunting or fishing or to a stripper bar or whatever it is you do that you dig. They might dig it too. And start to love this country!”

    You can do that anywhere in the world – for cheaper, and often too for better.

    And those are the very sorts of schmucks who love it already. Fishermen who BBQ and objectify women. Barry Crumps. And that is the point posters are making here. Not everyone fits in here. New Zealand is mis-marketed, and has the same problems all the other countries have. So you do not want to move across the world to STILL DEAL WITH THEM.


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