4 April 2014
Welcome to our news series of articles called Just another day in the most socially progressive nation on earth. The series was inspired by New Zealand’s ‘zero-to-hero’ appearance in the Social Progress Index. Read
New Zealand Tops the Social Progress Index, From Zero to Hero – The Silly Season has Begun (3 April 2104)
How did New Zealand go from ‘No information’ (image above, data below from Jan 2014) to top of the index so quickly? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_Social_Progress_Index
Four months later, according to The Social Progress Imperative website, New Zealand now
“tops the world on indicators of personal rights and freedoms, and comes in the top four for water and sanitation, access to schooling and tertiary education, and tolerance and inclusion of minority groups.
Of course, the NZ press seized on this blatant piece of propaganda, without giving it a second glance.
Any journos out there ever considered finding out who chose to supply the data for these indices, and who decided that they should be reported on by the NZ press?… read on
Today we present for your consideration armed police (above) storming a Napier suburb looking for an armed offender who held up a Kiwibank and Postshop with a shotgun. It sure makes you value your personal rights and freedoms when armed cops outnumber the crims, and they pay a visit to your neighbourhood.
Armed police have surrounded an empty state housing block in Napier as they hunt a suspect believed to be behind a bank holdup this morning.
Police have been combing Napier’s suburbs looking for a man who held up a Kiwibank and Postshop outlet in Marewa about 9am.
A man approached a staff member in the Kennedy Rd shop with a firearm and demanded money, they said… full report here
You may remember that Napier is famous for its architecture, earthquake and armed sieges.
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Study reveals startling new data on wellbeing – or the lack of it – in NZ (July 2013)
“On the day that the NZ Government launched a fresh campaign to rob beneficiaries of their basic human rights (further evidence of the runaway poverty gap the country suffers from) Sovereign life insurance has issued a press release showing that New Zealand fares badly in international standards of wellbeing.
In comparison to 22 European countries using the same set of measurements, New Zealand consistently ranked near the bottom in personal and social wellbeing – far behind the Scandinavian countries in the lead.
Among the most surprising results were New Zealanders’ disconnectedness from their communities (this sent them to the bottom of the table) and nearly two thirds of young people showing signs of depressed mood. Last year Sovereign announced it was to sponsor Youthline, which provides a 24-hour helpline that fields more than 15,000 contacts a month from young people needing support for issues from bullying to loneliness. It subsequently provided much of a $100,000 contribution to the organisation in May… read on”
More in the series
Foreign Doctors Squeezed Out of Jobs in Socially Progressive New Zealand, Priority Given to ‘Local’ Doctors
Te Awamatu in Lock Down. Tear Gas and Stun Grenades, Just Another Day in Socially Progressive New Zealand
Just Another Day in Socially Progressive NZ – Inequality forces many to leave
NZ TV News Anti-British, Anti-Australian. Everyday Racism in New Zealand – the social progress imperitive
Christchurch Earthquake: Elderly Russian Immigrants Nikolai and Irina Zvyagin STILL Homeless in Socially Progressive New Zealand
Socially Progressive New Zealand, a Nation of Middle-Class Substance Abusers
Royal Tour of Socially Progessive New Zealand, Culture Shock Anyone?
‘Motorway Masty’ in Socially Progressive New Zealand
Socially Progressive New Zealand. Does Statistics NZ Actually Give Cash Prizes to Reporters and Why?
Amnesty International Report, Human Rights Eroding in New Zealand
Seen a good example of New Zealand’s ‘social progressiveness’? share it with us.
20 thoughts on “Just Another Day in the ‘Most Socially Progressive Nation on Earth’”
Just dropping this here:
Cancer patient told hospital would rather spend money on others
Last updated 21:54, March 20 2017
A woman with terminal cancer says she was told by medical staff the hospital would rather spend its money on people they could actually help.
Alison MacKenzie was shocked to learn she had bowel cancer after multiple doctor’s visits left her with no indication anything was wrong.
MacKenzie, 44, was told she had weeks to live, before being turfed out and then told chemotherapy should be for people they could actually help.
middlekiwi 5 hours ago
Overworked doctors and nurses, constant cost cutting, many nurses and doctors have left.
Also – many hospital/DHB managers and executives are no longer doctors or nurses and it’s a worry how this impacts on patient safety. They do not understand the whole picture and definitely do not fully ‘get’ what clinicians do yet make the funding decisions.
Steady creep of non medical management downward – nurses at supervisory level now answering to non medical managers
My comment? This is the reality and result of leaders, not being able to do the job of their staff. Because “leadership” is more important than “competence”.
As everyone knows, if you can afford your own room you can’t possibly be homeless! You’re a tourist (in this case, touring the room) /sarcasm
Government counts homeless in tourism stats
By Jenna Lynch
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Duration Time 0:52
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The Government has been counting homeless people living in motels in its tourism statistics.
Statistics Minister Mark Mitchell has confirmed the Statistics New Zealand Accommodation Survey includes people who are being put into hostels or motels through emergency housing special needs grants.
It is used as a measure of tourism levels, with the definition used to define the domestic tourists as “one New Zealander spending one night at an establishment”.
The Government uses that figure to trumpet a booming tourism industry.
However when Newshub asked Tourism Minister Paula Bennett if homeless were included, she said no.
“No, because they’re not tourists. Sorry, I’m not sure what you’re asking.
“No they’re not included in the tourism stats for accommodation.”
Labour leader Andrew Little said he was flabbergasted.
“My god. I’ve never heard that before.That is outrageous. I don’t know whether to laugh or cry to be honest. That’s off the wall.”
Ah, a wonderful place with friends you can count on, where everybody knows your name. Oh, sorry, that’s from the sitcom “Cheers”.
A woman abandoned in the bush by her friends had to be saved by a police search and rescue team.
The trampers were in the Wairere Falls area near Matamata on Thursday when they became separated.
already 1 contradiction … and we’re just 2 lines into the report.
“The group said they left her halfway because she wasn’t able to keep up with them,” Waikato Police Senior Sergeant Andrew O’Reilly said.
so they weren’t “separated” … she was ABANDONED!
The woman left behind became lost. Her friends rang police about 9.45pm.
I guess she should be glad they called the police on the same day, unlike the family of Ashleigh Dargusch, who was only contacted later: “Giving evidence during the coroner’s court hearing in Hamilton this morning, officer in charge Senior Constable Carl Redaelli said although the incident occurred on December 27 they were not informed until January 3.” (http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11555973).
what a wonderful, caring country … is not the sentiment you come away with from reading those articles.
WOW – as if anyone needs a reason to get out of New Zealand, a group of maoris violently dragged white kiwis from their desks, before throwing them out of their workplace, and police won’t act. New Zealand has serious racial problems and as a kiwi, I am sometimes ashamed of the false front we put up to the world. Here is the link to the video. This happened on Monday the 28th Sept. I was enraged when I saw this. It is the second time maoris have done this in three weeks. http://file2.stuff.co.nz/360/12763360.mp4
Here is a link to the newspaper report. http://www.stuff.co.nz/auckland/72600964/footage-emerges-of-activists-dragging-out-office-employees
HNZ & Globug combine to take advantage of people in poverty –
Fair enough, but the majority of foreign drivers involved in accidents are British and Australian used to driving on better classes of roads, to them NZ may be the “developing nation.”
Maybe the poor roads, relative absence of safety barriers and signage, lack of safety engineering and lack of a police presence to regulate speed and bad driving has something to do with this?
[Deleted. Ad hom attacks. Don’t troll. Banned. Learn some manners, you and NZ are a good match.
A small handful of Kiwi and migrant resident friends send me horrific links about awful life and events in America. Life here in any given year has been bizarrely (considering Kiwi reportage) better than any year we endured in New Zealand (and endured is the word!). In New Zealand, the media posts positive things about New Zealand and negative news about other countries, so it appears that nothing bad happens in New Zealand. Plenty bad happens. They just don’t publish anything about it.
For the uninitiated, this is a common thing for Americans to be subjected to at work in New Zealand – especially in your first few years. Some jackass will send around emails to all your coworkers about some tragedy, or worse, some really stupid person in the US who made the news – you know, a burglar that robbed someone’s home but stopped long enough to log in to Facebook – that type. It is clearly aimed at you, and if you respond as they want, they will pile on, gradually at first. I chose the high road my first few years and ignored it. When it kept coming, I sent the source a point-blank, professional email and cc’d my group manager that I did not want to receive any emails that were not work-related again. Needless to say, that contract ended a few months later and was not renewed.
Yes. I used to respond to these (and aren’t they relentless about it) with NZ news stories that were comparable. I became a compulsive tit-for-tat responder, determined to keep them intellectually honest (ha. ha. ha.). I collected these stories that were either in the local paper (not online) and/or were online at one point and had been tossed down the Kiwi memory hole. The instant I sent something in return, they always came back with “oh, well, it’s that way everywhere”. So I would ask them, “then why do you keep posting and sending these things like it’s only in America that these things happen or exist?” Alllllways moving the goalpost eh, the f*****s.
Anon is 100% spot on about New Zealand. The only thing you’ll read about Napier is what a pretty little town it is. They keep the crime and other unpleasant statistics under strict wrap, the better to keep the tourism flowing in. That is, what statistics they do manage to measure. If you don’t measure something, it’s not on record, is it? And people can’t find out about it. New Zealand is the most cunning and profile-conscious nation on Earth.
Correct, because tourism makes up a significant portion of New Zealand’s GNP, any negative information spread about New Zealand is highly damaging to the tourism industry.
New Zealand is isolated, it costs a lot of money just to get here, it’s also complicated to obtain visas. However, New Zealand’s government excessive reliance on communal self-regulation have created the socio-economic mess we all see: virtual absence of private life as privacy laws are just another fiction in New Zealand, wide spread online crime, total surveilance of private individuals, gang-style backstabbing semi-racist society.
There is a clear destintion between “local born” and “foreign born” in New Zealand.
You may live and work hard here all of your life, get old and die, but for the locals you will still be a “tourist”, a “foreigner”, someone who does not deserve to have the same rights or treatment as they do. It seems they utterly enjoy inequality!
Once you arrive here, and attempt to settle, you may become just a mere silent cattle that is meant to create an income. You may be purposedly isolated from the rest of New Zealand’s society because of your foreign origin by being bullied anywhere you go.
At a certain point you may “boil up” and start being racist/nationalistic yourself, them they may throw this at you.
You may never experience the same rights or dignity in your life as the locals while being in their crowd. One of the ways you can achieve the lifestyle you want is by completely isolating yourself from them and living your own life without their influence. If you are prepared for this – then give it a go.
They may consider it fine and acceptable to bully you and commit any outragious persobal attack act against you, and they may never have any form of punishment for it, but when you retaliate just out of complete dispair, you will be punished to the full extent.
Above mostly happens in “kiwi employment”, partly in neighbourhood, because kiwi firms are probably the only place where employee set-up cangaroo-style courts are still possible – the rest is under police and government control, you can lay complaints and they will be attended to by the government workers and the police. Nevertheless, we still often see acts of violence committed against tourists in the streets every now and then.
In employment, some of the locals may gang up against you, and may consider it being absolutely okay to violate your human rights, call you paranoid, schizophrenic, signle you out, lie about you and “do numbers” on you. Some of them may be extremely pleased if you loose your job because of their low life actions, because apparently you as a person may be worth less than the money they are fighting with you for.
If some of them see that by kicking you out of your job they may create a pleasant environment for themselves, they may as well do it.
Certainly not all New Zealanders are like that, but in my 14 years here I have met quite a few, more than two or three dozens, that upset my life quite a lot and made me worried about living in this country and in the local community.
Therefore, this is a personal account of how I see this country and it’s workplace. Right now I work for a foreign owned company and this seems to be the only place where I can peacefully, productively and successfully work in my profession that I spent years and years studying. In this company I look forward to every day. It was quite different in other emplyments.
I am honestly scared to give myself to a locally owned firm again if I do not know it, and I will never do it unless I learn a lot about the company, know and trust it’s management, or receive some guarantees that I wont be unlawfully abused at work.
Unfortunately the wide spread rapist and criminal abuse culture in New Zealand is a fact that our government cannot fully cope with. It can only be sorted out on the community level. This fact is now being recognised in New Zealand’s society.
Beware: You are very likely to be chosen as a target for it, most likely in your employment, because police has no direct control for it, and because you do not know the local laws and there are only a few chances that you will complain about the treatment you receive.
I am saying this based purely on my personal experience, what I say is my personal account of 14 years in New Zealand and in all 3 major cities.
I am not blacking anyone on purpose, I am not inciting racial disharmony against the local born population. They are the same people as we are, good and bad, many of them are willing to learn about your culture and habits in a good way, are willing to support you and make good friends with you, but unfortunately parts of their culture is xenophobic and toxic. Thus – very carefully choose your contacts in New Zealand.
People who come to live in New Zealand need to know the truth about its society, because they sell their overseas properties and forfeit all the opportinities they may have otherwise had in their country of birth.
Be prepared for this risks of coming and living in New Zealand and carefully weigh your options. If you come to live here, be prepared to fully pay your bills for at east until you qualify for a benefit from the government.
Do not accept jobs that are way below your overseas qualifications, even out of complete dispair.
When interviewed, ask the company about the record of in-employment abuse for their company, best of all google and search the internet.
By all means make them clearly realise you are not going to sell yourself for cheap and you are not going to put up with abuse at work because they want you to work for them below your qualification and for cheap and smile about it. Good luck!
Wow. Awesome. Could not have said it better myself.
Except you should drop the disclaimers and partial excuses about “not all New Zealanders,” blah, blah, etc. It doesn’t matter, and you know it. Good kiwis act like bad kiwis when they are in a group, which is just about always. They have no spines, and just like all the good dragons in How to Train Your Dragon 2 they will turn vicious or turn on you as if possessed, whether they are a “friend,” a “friend with benefits,” or a kiwi-born spouse. And you will lose (lawsuit, complaint, job, child custody, sexual harassment, misconduct, ad nasueam), and then you will hate yourself for believing otherwise.
No. Don’t even go there. If you are lucky enough to get the interview, this is a sure way to sabotage any chance you have of getting the job, regardless if it is a kiwi you are interviewing with or another immigrant.
If you are not ready to slither with the vipers, stay at home.
Yup, even though the official policy is that you can’t be fired, it happens all the time and usually for the wrong reason. You can’t be fired for being incompetent, but they’ll go after you if you disagree, are not “loyal” [willing to lie, cheat, and cover the company’s reputation, at any cost], you know more than the guy in charge, you out produce your co-workers [makes them look bad], come up with or explain new methods of doing something [WWINZ], critical of lack of resourses…
Then, even though it is illegal to do, you’ll get black balled, it is a very small country and people here LOVE to gossip, talk behind people’s backs, spread rumors, and you will find it hard to get work [in your field].
Did I say it was a small country? With “small country syndrome”.
Business Migration to Retardicon 6 (AKA New Zealand)
This blog has already chronicled in exhaustive detail the pitfalls of immigrating to New Zealand including the following:
• the challenging job market for migrants
• the xenophobia and racism towards migrants
• the utterly abysmal quality of housing
• high cost of living and low quality of goods and services
• poor education system
• rampant crime and the inability and/or unwillingness of the courts to punish criminals
• the propaganda machine created by the New Zealand government to lure credulous but well meaning migrants into relocating to New Zealand.
If you want to learn more about these things, then just look at the blog’s migrant tales.
The focus will be on the numberless dangers of migrating to New Zealand under one of the Business of Investor visas. The New Zealand government is exceptionally adept at constructing propaganda to deceive prospective migrants. Please visit http://www.newzealandnow.govt.nz/investing-in-nz for an example. Therefore, I will try to refute some of the lies and distortions.
First, it is important to know that Immigration New Zealand is not interested in you except to help milk money in fees. Furthermore, many of the investor or entrepreneur visas do not lead to permanent residence automatically. They only allow you to migrate to New Zealand and then you can apply for residence if the business is successful and you meet other requirements such as not having any medical issues. The Kiwi con artists in the government love to change the goalposts after the fact to swindle more money out of migrants.
One poignant illustrating involves a man from the UK who relocated to Northland and invested NZ $750,000 in a local garage that grew to employ seven people. Despite investing everything he had, having kids who were New Zealand residents, etc, the NZ government denied his residence visa because the man had a heart condition that could cause potential problems in the future. The man had declared this when he originally applied for the Business Visa that would allow him and his money to enter New Zealand to invest and which was not an issue at the time. The man obtained documentation from a doctor showing he was fine and he even offered to obtain his own health insurance or pay for any future problems he might have to avoid becoming a drain on the public health care system. Despite this, the New Zealand government has said no. This case has carried on for several years and the man once had to go to Australia and wait for the New Zealand government to make a decision after his previous visa expired. They allowed him to come back temporarily. Despite the prominent media attention from Campbell Live, the man’s case is now before Immigration Minister Judith Collins, an absolute buffoon. No country should treat someone that has created jobs in one of New Zealand’s most impoverished regions.
Many migrants interested in starting a business or investing hire lawyers or migration agents to help them with the applications. One agency in Christchurch told me the fees would cost NZ $12,000, which included the company writing a business plan, but the fee could vary depending on my business plan. No one in New Zealand can actually give you a straight quote. When pressed, the answer is “it depends”. The migration agency told me that they had teams of experts etc, but of course, they would not guarantee a successful application or make payment contingent on success. These “immigration consultants” are one of the parasitic industries that the New Zealand government is keen to assist at the expense of migrants with fat wallets.
The woman I met was a South African, but she exhibited the mendacity and treachery that is common with the lower end Afrikaners in South Africa and which you will find amongst many Kiwis. In addition, she seemed quite dumb. Anyway, I told her that for that money, I would just find a Kiwi girl and be able to stay permanently with much lower costs and fewer complications. In actuality, I actually did manage to find a lovely Kiwi girl of Swiss extraction and I applied for permanent residency that way.
Anyway, I later saw an advert on http://www.seek.co.nz where that same migration agency was looking for people to help write business plans. The agency’s “experts” were actually lowly paid part-time contractors, yet the agency billed some outrageous hourly fee to people like me. Thankfully, I did not use their services.
At any rate, many entrepreneurial migrants interested in escaping the rat race or older migrants with sizeable sums of money, but who are otherwise ineligible to migrate to New Zealand under the Skilled Migrant category because of age/skills gap ultimately still consider migrating to New Zealand under one of the Business or Investor categories. Many hear tales of the wonderful New Zealand lifestyle or they have even enjoyed visiting New Zealand on holiday. They also hear of the many and varied business opportunities in addition to New Zealand’s high rankings on ease of doing business etc.
Admittedly, it is very easy to open a business in New Zealand. You simply fill out a form online, pay a fee with a credit card, and fax your signature and articles of incorporation. Unfortunately, this is where the ease of doing business stops.
After selling a small business in the United States, I spent nearly three years searching for a business to buy or start in New Zealand. In fact, I actually opened a small online side business offering investment/relocation advice to Americans interested in living or investing abroad. I will tell you more about that later.
I looked to buy a business in New Zealand, but everything on offer was ridiculously overpriced given the actual earnings or earning potential of the business. The New Zealand government actively encourages migrants to buy established businesses because it offers a better guarantee given that the business is presumably profitable and has customers and revenue. Below are some of the most ridiculous examples.
• A tour boat business had a boat valued at NZ $50,000 and $20,000 in annual profit was on sale for NZ $200,000
• A backpackers in Wanaka that earned NZ $30,000 was on sale for NZ $120,000. However, this did not include the building
• A small bus/van shuttle service earning NZ $50,000 per year in profit was on sale for NZD $150,000. The business had two small ageing vehicles that were probably worth no more than NZ $20,000.
In addition, I looked at other franchise opportunities. A Dominos Pizza franchise costs about NZ $400,000 to establish, yet the projected earnings after royalties, staff, rent, utilities, etc are only about NZ $70,000 per annum. The NZ $70,000 you earn after toiling seven days per week working the business yourself, which is simply not worth it.
Other franchises were even more parasitical. One fellow wanted NZ $25,000 to buy a recruiting franchise whose name I had never heard of. It would give me the rights to a region. In addition to the fee, I would have to pay substantial royalties in return for business cards and advertising. Of course, the franchise agreements never specified in any detail what the franchisor must do for me, but it did say that I was responsible for hustling and finding business.
Aside from the businesses that earn no money, one also has to beware of businesses that lie or exaggerate earnings. I encountered one online travel agency business that claimed to earn NZ $110,000 profit in its first year on sale for NZ $300,000. However, when one starts to ask questions or request things like tax returns or the ability to audit the business etc, one suddenly finds the vendor is not very willing to continue discussions.
In other cases, unscrupulous people will create businesses, trade for a year and actually pay tax on fictitious earnings, then sell the business to someone for an inflated price and leave them holding the bag with something worthless. If you then try to pursue the person for fraud, you quickly learn about the inefficacy of the New Zealand (in)justice system.
The police will do nothing because it “is a civil matter”. In fact, I know one migrant who established a business and partnered with a Kiwi, who embezzled about NZ $200,000 from the business. He went to the police, who said he must go to court because it is a civil dispute. He pursued the matter in court only to learn that the judge was a business associate of the man he was suing. The judge refused to recuse himself because New Zealand does not have corruption and, predictably, he sided with the swindler. The man subsequently appealed the ruling, but the New Zealand courts did not order a retrial because, in their eyes, the evidence was in favour of the defendant, despite the facts being otherwise. As an added insult, he also had to pay the defendant’s legal costs, which the lawyers always manage to inflate since their relationship with judges trumps whatever the legal merits of the case might be.
I raise this anecdote because New Zealand touts itself as the pinnacle of transparency and claims to have magnificent legal and political institutions. The reality is quite different. It took me about a year of living in New Zealand to begin realising the charade complete and put the pieces on it. Fortunately, I never rushed into anything and I managed to leave the country with more money than what I had when I originally arrived.
If you are foolish enough to migrate to New Zealand, then I would recommend you keep your investments abroad. One advantage of doing so is that you can become a New Zealand tax resident, but not have to pay taxes on income sourced from overseas for the first four years. Because of the double taxation agreements, you will no longer have to pay taxes in your own country, unless if you are from the US. This might be a good strategy for wealthy migrants that can shield themselves from the pitiful and unsavoury parts of New Zealand and avoid paying taxes anywhere. I would recommend only staying the minimum 183 days required to establish tax residency during the summer to avoid the cold, damp, and mouldy homes. None of the upmarket houses I have seen actually has central heating or proper insulation, but I digress. However, consult with an expert before trying this.
The funniest anecdote when searching for a business to buy was phoning a Kiwi about his business. He told me that I would have to show him a bank statement confirming that I could pay his asking price before negotiations would proceed any further! Of course, I politely declined. It never occurred to him that I might not want to disclose my financial position to haggle for a better price etc. The Kiwi con artist was trying to see what he could swindle from me. BTW, New Zealand has no bank guarantee, so do not leave more than the minimum in any New Zealand-based financial institution.
Whenever I dealt with Kiwi business sellers or brokers, one could see the predator like look on their faces. They were extremely stupid, but nonetheless crafty and cunning. They were trying to suss out how much they could get out of you and would tell you whatever was necessary to swindle you.
Migrants need to know that the legal institutions and enforcement mechanisms in New Zealand are nothing like the New Zealand government advertises. They do not deter bad behaviour because they do not punish the perpetrators. For instance, one “financial advisor” in New Zealand, told a couple from Singapore to invest all of their NZ $1.3 million in a start up business. The couple were in their early sixties and both were doctors nearing retirement. However, he did not disclose the fact that the person owning the start-up was the brother of the “financial advisor’s” best friend. This “advisor” assured that the business would easily triple their money.
Of course, the couple are at fault for being knaves, but proper enforcement institutions would put this crook in prison. This same advisor had also lost money after recommending to the couple that they invest in some of the finance companies that went bankrupt in 2008.
Chicanery in the investments industry is rife throughout the world, but the type of chicanery and the simplicity of the fraud schemes in New Zealand are difficult to find elsewhere. It would not surprise me if the aforementioned start-up paid the “manager” some ridiculous salary. Kiwis love to set up companies and lure investors with promises of great returns etc. In reality, the companies exist simply to award huge and inflated salaries to the insiders running them, whilst creating the ruse that the investors are funding a start-up. These companies will never make any money, but the investors do not realise this until it is too late.
Similarly, if you elect to start a business rather than buy one, you will find the climate excruciatingly difficult. New Zealand is already a tiny market and Kiwis do not have disposable income because the extortionate living costs consume almost all their disposable income. Additionally, Kiwis will seldom pay for quality. They simply buy whatever is cheapest irrespective of whether it offers value for money. The only exception for this rule is alcohol. Businesses funding the country’s alcoholism epidemic do well, but the cartels control the market. The notion of paying 20% more for a product that is twice as good or twice as long is anathema to these inbred bogans.
One of the few successful businesses in New Zealand is The Warehouse, a tinier and much lower quality place than Wal-Mart. The made in China junk that somewhat sophisticated North Americans and Europeans snub and is available for sale in the First World is of infinitely better quality than the Made in China junk from the Warehouse. It is as if some Kiwi importer found a niche selling the Made in China junk that no one in the developed world wants, buying it at a discount, and selling it to the Warehouse to add an outrageous mark-up and sell it to Kiwi bogans. Whoever created that business model is one astute man who knows exactly what the New Zealand market wants or needs.
Aside from this, one also has to deal with competition from the local Kiwi cartels. If you happen to do something better or more efficiently than the locals do, you will soon find yourself subject to a tax audit or regulatory hassles from the council. Your competitors will just make an anonymous complaint. New Zealand does not investigate anonymous complaints except when the person making the complaint is mates with someone at the agency. You can rest assured that this will happen.
Anyway, I had a tiny side business offering Financial/International Relocation consulting, which I did on weekends for extra money. I had someone, the demented partner of my wife’s friend, report me for “offering financial and immigration advice without a licence”. Anyway, I had structured the business to avoid having to register, but I had the inbreds bumpkins from the government agencies harass me a bit. Thankfully, I was on my way out by then and I was in the process of closing up shop and winding down the business. However, rest assured that the Kiwis enforce the law selectively. If you are a connected company whose negligence results in the death of twenty-nine people in a mine, then rest assured that the sham investigation will side with you. Interestingly, the Kiwis would never tell me the name of the complainant, but I managed to figure it out. It is perfectly acceptable for Kiwis to make defamatory complaints, but they will protect the privacy of the complainant just like the courts protect the “privacy of paedophiles”.
Another aspect of running a business is collecting GST and dealing with taxes. One has to collect sales tax and pay tax in other countries. However, one aspect of New Zealand taxes is that the IRD forces you to pay provisional tax on what you will likely earn. This means that you pay the taxman first and he will refund the difference after the fact. For a small business, the provisional tax can complicate cash flow.
Another problem is the high cost of doing business in New Zealand. Rents are exorbitant along with other inputs such as electricity and petrol. I did tours before and I could buy a good second hand bus in the United States for $10,00-$20,000. In New Zealand, I would have to pay triple if not more for a comparable bus. Similarly, renting a place for a cafe is prohibitively expensive and the number of available customers with the disposable income is small.
Many migrants are attracted to beautiful tourism towns for the lifestyle and consider buying small businesses there. You will find that trading conditions are very seasonal and it is almost impossible to make enough to hold out during the quiet season. These towns are notorious magnets for the types of business scams that I have described. My wife and I looked to resettle into one of these places, but thankfully, we never fell for any of the cons and we managed to extricate ourselves out of New Zealand for Switzerland, where we are infinitely better off and much happier.
The experience I gained from three years in New Zealand analysing and examining businesses to buy. It is simply downright impossible to make money honestly in New Zealand. The only businesses that make money tend to have very good connections to the government. The notion that New Zealand is a bastion of free enterprise and an easy place to do business is derisory.
My tale is not the lamentable tale of those who lost everything relocating to what one posted calls Retardicon 6, but please heed the warnings before New Zealand sucks your wealth.
It was amazing watching the coverage of this on national news last night. It seems like NZ is the only nation on earth where such meaningless comparisons are touted as profound truths about New Zealand society. They have entire news segments dedicated to how “great” New Zealand is. In a country with a tiny tiny handful of media outlets, with barely an hour dedicated to the news each day, they spend 15 minutes talking about how someone mentioned how great New Zealand is — and here’s a carefully-manipulated statistic to prove it.
The fellow they interviewed, of course, immediately compared NZ (number 1! yay!) to the US (number 16! boo!), without mentioning that the US is still ahead of Belgium and France and other first-world nations. Not that I have a problem with either France or Belgium; I just find it amusing and typical. And, of course, the differences between the top 20 are minimal. It’s like thinking you’re superior to your classmate because you got a 95 on a test and they got a 92. It’s petty. Oh yeah, they also neglected to mention that NZ per capita income is ca. 25,000/year while the US is 45,000/year.
New Zealand: Socially progressive in spite of its best efforts.
With one of the world’s highest suicide rates New Zealanders need all the upbeat stories they can get. No wonder so many of them have a love/hate relationship with this blog! 🙂
What is it they say in 12-step programs? “Fake it till you make it”? New Zealanders will be the last to admit how deliriously patriotic they are. Their flag is on EVERYTHING. But they’re not patriotic. No no! Patriotism is “American” …
Auckland is one of the most livable cities in the world? What? No public transport, extortionately expensive, ridiculously spread out, soul-crushing traffic, no core, rampant poverty, generally filthy, bums and beggars and homeless EVERYWHERE, drunks falling out of bars and beating people up, professional people living with five other people in a dump just to make ends meet. It’s one big strip mall, interspersed with leaky McMansions and leaky dumps. It’s basically a sadder, less healthy, miniature version of Los Angeles — except completely devoid of culture. But if you pay enough to whomever will be ranking the cities (they don’t just choose to rank your city; you have to apply for it and pay), of course you’re going to make it into the top 20.
Wellington is the coolest little capital? I mean, as far as NZ cities go, it’s fine. It’s comparable to any city of similar size in North America or Europe; it just has a lot less to offer. But, if you pay enough to Lonely Planet to “rate” you? Yeah, you’ll make it into the top 20.
Don’t even get me started on Christchurch. How can it be one of the “hottest places to visit” this year? What? Most people have never heard of it. But if you pay enough to whomever is doing the ratings, of course you’ll make it onto a top 20 list.
The universities? The University of Canterbury has a “5-star rating” because it paid to be rated. Nevermind that it offers a 1-star education.
Okay, I’m going off on a tangent. Sorry. 🙂
They are extremely pissed off about the plain and unbiased truth being exposed about themselves. This is also why with the social media, blogs, smartphones now accessible by pretty much anyone in this country, there’s a growing “kiwi racism” when they start claiming their “birth right” to this land and openly incite racial disharmony that is punishable by their law.
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