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…
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 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.
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.
You might also like:
- “Don’t be fooled by Work to Residence Visas empty promise” a thread on Backpack NZ forum
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