What’s it really like to live in New Zealand?
Welcome to our series of Migrant Tales – hundreds of immigrants’ stories and tales about New Zealand that contain first hand accounts of the migrant experience gathered from various places around the net, plus some that have been sent in by readers.
New tales are being added all the time, to read the latest click here: E2NZ.org/tag/Migrant-Tales there are hundreds to chose from.
What better way to find out what it’s like to live in New Zealand but from the experiences of others, the more you read the more you’ll see themes, patterns and commonalities emerging, from these you’ll have a good feel about how you’re going to fit-in to the country.
Some of the recurrent themes we’re seeing are
- Low salaries
- Problems finding work, overseas qualifications not recognised by Kiwi employers
- Xenophobia, racism, bigotry and discrimination
- Expensive, poor quality accommodation
- Problems with the education standards
- A lackadaisical attitude towards safety and security
- Feeling that NZ is actively mis-sold to outsiders
- Isolation, missing family, friends, old lifestyles etc.
- Crime and a frustration with the way its dealt with
- High cost of living -especially food, “Rip off NZ” etc.
- Lack of culture
- Dangerous roads and drivers, drinking and driving, hoons
- No future for kids, older kids feel isolated and cut-off from friends and family, no support networks.
- Bullying problems in schools and workplaces, harden-up attitude, not knowing where to turn for effective counselling services
- The ‘Kiwi way’, ‘WWINZ’ (won’t work in NZ) small mindedness, #8 wire mentality, etc.
If you’ve already emigrated to New Zealand these tales may help you to realise that other people are having the same problems as you and you’re not alone in your experiences.
Do you think you were misled before you emigrated to New Zealand, are there things you know now that would’ve prevented you from emigrating if you’d been aware of them?
There is also another section of tales called “What Kiwis say about NZ“ you may find it useful to know what New Zealanders are saying about their own country.
A Selection from our Migrant Tales
Migrant Tales – NZ v. UK Not All Its Cracked up to be
Migrant Tales – Californian Says Goodbye Windy Welly, Hello Sunny Sydney
“Do you think this country is too far gone?”
Migrant Tales – the story of John Doe and Kimiko Suzuki
Migrants Tales – Back in New Zealand but for How Long?
Migrant Tales – Ripoff NZ Not a Shangri-La of Utopian Values
Migrant Tales – “Shall I Make the Move? Take the Risk” and Advice to Intending Colonists
Migrant Tales – Why We’re Leaving. If New Zealand offered a “great lifestyle” the place would have filled to the brim a long time ago
Migrant Tales – The Ugly Underbelly of Te Anau (Updated)
Migrant Tales – Engineer says New Zealand is “not a place to work”
There’s a club and you’re not in it
Binge Drinking The Bane Of The Culture And NZ Is A Nation of ‘MJ’ Smokers
British Cop in Northland: NZ’s “Crime Statistics a Work of Fiction”
Hong Kong Chinese: Moving to New Zealand is a Big Mistake
NZ Not The Land Of Promise For Me
Teaching in New Zealand and the NCEA
The UK Plumber’s Tale (updated)
British Sparky Can’t Find Work (updated)Do not teach in New Zealand you may live to regret itGoodbye New ZealandNZ Promised Land?
England is the Best Place for Us Riots and All
Get Out of New Zealand or Die on the Street
New Zealand Culture is Brutal, Something is Seriously Wrong
I am young and I want to get out, Can you help me?
Brit Feeling “Foreign” In New Zealand. How About You?
Attention Nurses! You’re Getting a Rough Deal in NZ
Some of the Memories We Will Take Back With Us to Scotland
Winter is Coming and New Zealand Homes are Dank and Full of Draughts
“NZ vs UK – not all it’s cracked up to be. Is it just me?”
Foreign IT Workers Need Not Apply There Is No Shortage
Six years in New Zealand now I’m back in France
Indian Professional Faced Discrimination
Adele’s Story – Kids falling light years behind – A British mother’s tale
How resilient are we? a New Zealand immigrants perspective
House buying and divorce laws – A British woman’s Tale
An insiders view of the tertiary education sector in New Zealand – An American’s Tale
I Want Out : An American’s Tale
Immigrant Kid: A Hong Kong Chinese Tale (Chinese)
NZ, What’s To Miss? : A Canadian’s Tale
Green Migrants Beware of New Zealand’s Underbelly
This Is Why I Didn’t Like New Zealand: A British Tale
Why We Left New Zealand: An American Couple’s Tale
Civil Engineer Now Cleaning Ovens in NZ: A Filipino’s Tale
New Zealand Is Draining The “Me” Out Of Me: An American’s Tale
Expat In Christchurch Post Quake
New Zealand Expo, no it wasn’t
A culture of good enough will do
Perhaps We’re Just Unlucky But It’s Too Much. We’re Done Here
I’m cutting myself after move across the world – letter from a teenage girl living in NZ sent to a UK newspaper
Living Costs For One Person In NZ v. USA
Teaching in NZ – a migrant’s exit interview
Renting houses in NZ – a manual
Another work to resident visa issued from Shanghai
Effects of Christchurch quakes on expats
No Science or Skills Shortage in New Zealand
Trapped in NZ – father won’t let child leave
If you doubt discrimination in NZ read this…
Close minded Kiwis ruined NZ for us
An American’s take on rip-off New Zealand
Two and a half years in New Zealand – NZ like South Dakota
What’s it REALLY like in New Zealand?
No work in Blenheim, moved to Christchurch
New Zealand is like a postcard – “no sense of history or magic here”
7 months in and no work for tradesman husband
Three weeks in. An American’s first impressions of New Zealand
Teacher duped by the hype, couldn’t find work
Refuge from NZ found in a Muslim country
UK qualifications not recognised
NZ a more dangerous, more violent place
We chose to go with New Zealand. BIG MISTAKE
Lastly, don’t forget to read the pages “What Kiwis say about NZ”
117 thoughts on “MIGRANT TALES”
I have a couple questions for other immigrants to the land of the long white con. I am a qualified professional in the engineering field from and educated in America. I have lived in New Zealand for 3 years and I am now a resident after spending allot of time and money for the privilege to continue to live in poverty. I’m sure I also received some sort of psychic ability to see the future. After my last and only interview in the three years I’ve been here I had a moment of envisioning moving to yet another country where maybe I can find gainful employment so I may continue enjoy the lifestyle I’ve become accustom to, not eating out of rubbish bins and sleeping indoors.
I have been seeking employment since my first work visa was issued and have small collection of rejection emails, and I found out early on the old fashioned way of cold calling, personally delivering your CV to company HR or snail mailing your resume to the hiring manager isn’t proper procedure the land of the long white con as New Zealand is far too technologically advanced for such barbarism and non refinement.
New Zealand companies excuses for not pursuing an interview with me have definitely changed since the delivery of my resident visa. (At least with the very few that have had the professional courtesy to respond back to me.) Before I gave Immigration a small fortune and was given New Zealand residency the common response to me applying for a job was ‘you’re qualifications are great but sorry we’re looking for a resident or citizen’ so that gave me the push to fill out the 38 page application, pay Immigration New Zealand $1,250.00 for my residency and now that I have obtained my residency it’s easier to be brushed off the short list because “other people are more suited for the role.” (I’m not even sure what they mean by that statement it’s so broad, I would like to have a general in the ball park statement.) for most of the positions I apply for now, with no encouragement to reapply for other positions in the future.
I just had my 1st job interview this week after almost 3 years of applying for everything from environmental services (janitor) to general manager. This interview consisted of almost an hour and a half of an HR person trying to convince me I was not qualified for the position I applied for at one point, then the topic of conversation drifted over to the position they’re offering being a huge pay cut from my previous employment which is really a non issue for me right now I just need a job bringing in income.
My apologies for being rather vague but I don’t want to take a chance the chance of losing out on a paying job because an HR person found my story on Google and puts 2+2 together and I really need a chance for the job my wife’s pay is never enough to get us though the week.
My confusion is that I applied for this position because I would be by all accounts and pretenses more than qualified for because I was born into this exact retail business, raised and worked in this industry from the time I was able to help unload delivery vehicles and stock a shelf, to later in life business owner/manager/operator involved in all aspects. My great great great grandfather started this business in 1923 that evolved to a small family chain, and my family, siblings, and myself included decided it would be best to liquidate the businesses to assist in the medical care and living expenses incurred due a bad turn of events both my paternal grandparents and parents being diagnosed with terminal cancer in the early 1990’s.
My apologies for the long windiness of my experience. My question(s) are: Have any of you other immigrants or participant readers of e2nz.org experienced similar circumstances when seeking employment? Is gainful employment possible for new immigrants in New Zealand? Should I take my kiwi brother in law advise and volunteer my 6 year $170,000.00 tertiary education and well over 20 years in advanced sciences and technology and practice collecting shopping trollies at K-Mart (not that there is anything wrong with that as long as you’re paid for it) To I obtain that ultra strong Kiwi work experience, ethics and mannerism? or am I destine to hop the next train to nowhere because I’m not native, and professional networking is not even a concept in this country?
My suggestion is to cut your losses and go elsewhere. Australia is a good option. Admittedly, one experiences challenges relocating to a new country and finding work. However, the situation is much more difficult in New Zealand than elsewhere.
The real jobs you are are after are mythical. Why have people/migrants not worked this out yet!!!
The government numbers on unemployment are fake and the real unemployment rate is significantly higher in all disciplines and it is getting worse. Just take a walk around your local area during the working week and see what people are really doing!!!
It annoys me to have to keep on repeating this
If you look on Seek it is either the same job advertised 10 times with a different location or a recruitment consultant who only interest is gaining a commission off you (but knowing your chances are likely about 5-10%) advertising for a job that the have noticed on seek (i,e the same job is advertised over and over again
The only work you will get is low paid ‘slave’ labour.
Cut your losses and leave. The once magnificent countryside that is promoted is fast deteriorating and once the tourist work it out its game over for NZ. If you stay you will be stuck in the never ending cycle of debt this country is built on. In Oz you may have a better opportunity (but it is getting tougher).
Your call but don’t be fooled!!!
Post Graduated in construction management from New Zealand & looking for a job at entry level, am an Indian with over 10 years experience into multinational construction companies in India with fluent english and well understand the Kiwi mannerisms. All applications i made, dropping cv personally to whatever googled companies, cold calling, applying for internship to get so cold New Zealand experience. Nothing had worked out. The only thing i got in response you need to have New Zealand experience, or else sorry mails. Lost $45,000 in two years. Got back to india loosing time and money. I am so really repenting on my decision of going to the shit hole of south which has shittiest, extreme racist people in the world.
From Te Harold today
‘This week’s series on widespread cheating and fraud at schools for international students has prompted many readers with first-hand knowledge of the scams to contact the Herald. Here are some of their stories.’
Have you seen this admin? http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3191823/Twelve-elderly-men-decide-arranged-marriages-New-Zealand-s-Gloriavale-cult-use-bloodlines-ensure-family-members-not-paired-together.html
Campbell live – TV3 NZ (sadly no more ) did an extensive investigation into Gloriavale
Videos should still be available if you google
campbell live gloriavale
I also find in most shops, they couldn’t give a toss if you bought something or not. Either pay the rip off price or bugger off. No haggling or reductions, buy one get one free, etc..nada. Remember, kiwis think they are doing you a favour and its a privilege to be paying out your arse for their rotten ‘goods’.
Look at the likes of New World bakery section. It’s 8:45pm, they close at 9pm and they have a few Danish’s left, (I’m partial to a danish or two lol) and they don’t reduce them for quick sale… By that time they are actually quite stale, and will be chucked away, yet the tight cheapskate vermin still want to charge you full price.
All I had to do in Tesco in England was ask one of the staff fiddling around with the bakery section was if they minded reducing what they had left over, which was a few danish’s (I’m a fatty sometimes) and the guy put the last 4 danish’s in a bag for me and put a 50p price tag on it. I said thanks very much mate appreciate it alot.
You will never experience something like that here. Ever.
Go to any supermarket, shop etc, its always me saying hello to the cashier and thankyou, the role is reversed and its me giving them customer service ffs. I’ve even walked up to a checkout billions of times and said nothing, waiting for them to do the talking and I am not even acknowledged. The only thing the twat at the checkout says is the price while chucking my shopping to the end. The lazy wanker doesn’t even bag it.
I don’t bother making chit chat with staff at shops anymore, frigging waste of time.
” I think they don’t trust people who are different from them.”
This is true. If you didn’t go to school with them or grow up in the same town, you are “foreign”, and if you came from another country?
This is what I’ve learned first hand from living with a Kiwi for 18 months:
Kiwis are raised to repress their feelings. Many deny they have feelings. But really, they are programmed from a young age to repress their feelings. They never express their feelings. Their feelings belong to them. So they don’t share their feelings. That includes happy feelings. They don’t share any feelings. They don’t talk about their feelings. Not really sure what they think they accomplish by doing this.
Normal relationships occur, in my opinion, because you want to share your life with someone else, be it a friend or a partner. That means sharing your ups and your downs. You want your partner to share your happy news and you also want them to help you get through the downs in life. So you share good news and bad news and they share your happiness and your sorrow. That’s how you can tell if someone really cares about you. Are they there for you in times of trouble?
Kiwis don’t share their feelings. So they’re never going to be happy for you. And they are never going to be there for you when you are sad or in despair. They don’t do feelings. This means no one is ever there for them when they are down. So, they bottle everything up and explode with road rage. Many Kiwis openly yell and swear at other drivers. It seems when you are in your car you can loudly, openly and freely express your pent up anger. And they do. This happens because they bottle everything up (at the same time denying they have feelings) and instead of dealing with their feelings (talking about them, meditating, working out), they drink, bottle up their feelings, then drink some more, then yell at other drivers on the road.
All the while they think this is normal. Thus far we’ve been in New Zealand for two years and I’ve yet to meet a happy Kiwi. I’ve met a few happy immigrants. And I’ve gotten to know about ten Kiwis quite well. But none of them seem happy. If they are happy, it’s in a very superficial way. Somehow drinking wine or beer leads to happiness for them.
We lived with a Kiwi for 18 months, so we really got to know one particular Kiwi. They are so unemotional, it’s scary. The whole robotic, non-emotional thing is really bizarre. It’s almost like they are trying to hide something from you. And perhaps they are. I think they don’t trust people who are different from them. So if you are openly expressive and you share your emotions, you are suspect.
I hope this changes with future generations, as I think this issue AND the tall poppy syndrome combined are holding this country back from being an amazing place to live. New Zealand could be a world class country. But, they are so busy repressing, brushing things aside, denying and pulling each other down (tall poppy syndrome) that they can really rise up to anything that matters.
Another Kiwi I got to know really well said “Kiwis are not creative.” Creativity and art requires feelings. Kiwis don’t do feelings. So art is stunted in NZ. It exists, but it doesn’t flourish. In essence, Kiwis are their own worst enemy. The question is: Why are Kiwis their own worst enemy?
You have made some excellent points and it helps to explain the high level of alcoholism in the society. The Kiwis rarely say what they mean or mean what they say. I find that this results in a superficiality and lack of genuineness amongst them.
The lack of feelings and emotions are probably why the men have no idea how to seduce a woman. New Zealand is a strange place.
I read here somewhere, (cant remember where) that conversing with Kiwis is like talking to an autistic person which is bang on. Not making fun of autistic people or putting them down, but thats exactly what they are like.
I find kiwi women to be utter slags, but stuck up ones. The dress horribly as well. Its just a horrible, insidious little country that seems so repressed and lacking. I find they beat around the bush with everything.
I figure that unless you have something to offer, you can expect that as a man you will be ignored.
Men display and women choose.
And of course, social value – meaning others have to big-note you for strangers to take notice.
In a society with very little where the only way to continue living is to breed, you are going to find a lot of lies involved in relationships until the child is born.
As house prices rise further, there will be more “economically motivated relationships” and some time later the divorces with the magic words “I LOVE him BUT I’m not IN LOVE with him”.
A big thing I have noticed amongst kiwi couples and marriages is the lack of intimcay that you would expect in any normal relationship of any stage. It seems to be status quo for the husband or boyfriend to be submissive while the female counterpart seems outspoken, dominant or demands equity in a argumentative way. Probably explains the high level of divorce in New Zealand! An article in stuff.co.nz explained how New Zealand had become a marital graveyard in present times.
Millennials have the lowest rates of marriage compared to previous generations, many are opting out of relationships altogether and living the childfree lifestyle. There is no longer any incentive for a man to settle down with court system rigged in the favour of radical feminazis, and most women don’t find emasculated men attractive either. The government will probably push for more immigration… The future for millennials is living alone with our cats and dogs
Millennials may have “the lowest rates of marriage”, but increasing law changes have made the marriage ceremony unnecessary “to be considered married in the eyes of the law”. That of course means serial monogamy or being part of a harem.
Of course, having a lot of men unwanted by society – when they discover it – it will become a problem for the future,
which is why governments like to talk about “being a man” through endless physical exertion and sacrificing yourself (nevermind whether your body responds and improves itself through such labour).
Also note that a large majority of people who go on to follow a life of crime, happen to come from single parent, but especially single mother families.
The “manly men” usually have their pick of women to choose from, and quickly move on from one to another – the cad society, is very unsustainable. Principally because the cads are not the ones behind scientific or technological breakthroughs – which the modern world requires.
Remember, every theory of society relies on a disposable pool of youthful labour which is expected to contribute meaningfully … but disappears before they have the chance to lay any claim onto the cake they helped to bake. It’s a little conspiracy that explains why the years immediately after World War 2 were so very good for personal development and rewards for hard work. That statement “work hard and you will succeed”, is not proving true for many people – and others have begun noticing.
There is really no incentive to work hard anymore because the corruption within the system has escalated and the concept of meritocracy has become very alien to us *sighs*
He has to go or I have to go. The international media seem to have him truly sussed out. New Zealand mainstream media does not.
I bet he’s as apathetic and one dimensional like his countrymen.
Is it really a mystery how such a deviant tool is the head of state Nebula; – considering the nature of the brainless and soulless freaks that constitute the populace of this down- under and down- dirty cesspit country.
It is a very macho culture and men have a huge sense of entitlement and engage in misogyny as routine practice. Maybe Key simply thought that it was a nice gift, and that everyone in NZ likes to/ must drink alcohol, and of course would receive it readily as a gift. But a gift of booze as a token to smooth out harassment? Yes, well his mentality is interesting, but I would not like to be married to him, and I do not like him as head of state. I think he thought his casual manner with the pubic was a cool and winning tactic, but I find him simply inappropriate and well….weird. It is worth reading the latest Lauda Finem blog.
Key is the perfect example of how brainless morons make it in high paying astute jobs in New Zealand. It’s also a mystery how such a tool makes it to such a position.
As the old saying / bitter joke goes:
“It takes an awful lot of people to run a government; and a lot of awful people”.
also consider that he is only being called out on the 6TH time he did this.
and consider that he needed some public tar-and-feathering
and his bodyguard or wife didn’t tell him to stop being touchy feely.
and nobody else bothered to either.
However, short of shouting “keep your filthy hands off me” and drawing obvious, sudden, publicised attention … you can’t control the behaviour of someone who has no filters. That may not even be reported, as newspaper editors – know what butters their bread. Don’t forget that, in the beginning, the full account … only appeared online.
The other problematic thing is of course, playfulness bordering on ignoring boundaries, is a trait that causes or promotes attractiveness _when done by the right person to someone else_.
Yup, it takes a lot of awful people … to ignore the failings in character … of the person in charge …who has the power to make their lives difficult.
The use of date rape drugs is quite prevalent here also. “Horse” or is it “Donkey” didn’t even to hang around to let Amanda explain that she does not drink red wine, as he scuttled off. Horsing around, my ass. How does ‘the wife” cope with his little misdemeanours? I suspect that she needed another two bottles of his red JK special, probably to whack him over the head later on back at the McMansion.
New Zealand Prime Minister John Key, once again doing his country proud around the world pic.twitter.com/RfbDvMRim
— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) April 22, 2015
You could get a job as a waitress and get your pony tail pulled. That is a real horse play and fun and games according to the Prime Minister. See you are missing out on something that is a real gas as you are not a girl working in Parnell in the PMs favourite café. And it has to be a gal with a pony tail to cater to the PMs kinky fetish that has made global headlines. See where the fun and games really begin in NZ. Maybe your sense of humour is not as highly developed and sophisticated as the real” fun-times for the whole family” Kiwi way. Wholesome or just plain down and dirty in Parnell? What a riot.
That will be it, the source of the problem. Your sense of humour just needs adjusting.
Nebula, I am a Kiwi and it is actually worse for that as I feel embarrassment and shame on top of everything else. It is painful and frustrating. I have lived overseas in different countries and travelled widely and the most turgid whacked out shit goes down here. And I have lived in places like Yemen, which is actually more straightforward than this!!! Here it is just perverse, warped, and everything is back to front. There is an issue with lack of culture here and lack of meaning to life. There is also the white-trash, hill billy thing that drives me stark raving bonkers. You see it all the time as that is what you are often referring to. And then because of the NZ PC wank you are not allowed to say it as it is.
Maybe here we can say it as it is?
I’ve taken 2 days off work just to avoid the tools there. No one talks to me, no one has a laugh, no one has any personality, no one does anything but worship their worthless minimum wage job and go overboard with the supposed importance of it.
You can do your crappy job AND have a laugh!!! Thats what gets me through the day, is a sense of humour. The guys I work with seem too scared to do anything other than mindlessly embody their job. It’s insanity, and coming from England I cant stand it. Like you said, Yemen was better. I bet theres more culture and friendliness there as well.
I did have a Kiwi colleague at an old job and he was a laugh riot. Very very rare to find.
I have to agree with you with a lot of what you said about ‘kiwis’! They truly are a unique bunch. I am from South Africa and although NZ has much lower levels of violent crime and corruption compared to SA, which makes it better than SA in that regard, i just don’t connect with most of them at all. I am around your age and life for me has been miserably boring for the last 3 years. I would rather watch doco’s, read books and browse online than hangout with the people i have come across here. There are a few exceptions, but the vast majority of people i have met here are not worth my time and the same is probably said of me and I couldn’t care less now! The Saffas i know here are either in denial or ignorant/arrogant or they are just apathetic like me. Depression got the best of me and I never used to be remotely close to having depressive traits..
Hey Dave. Right off the bat I can say South Africans are a laugh as I’ve lived in a house full of them back in England in 2003. Drinking Castle Beer and eating biltong haha.
I also like Die Antwoord lol.
All South Africans I’ve met in my life have been very chatty, friendly, open minded and cultured and switched on. I know what you mean when you say you meet fellow countrymen in NZ who are apathetic and impartial to the horrors here and say they wouldn’t go back home. I’ve even had fellow Brits say they are now Kiwis. Pathetic.
Are you going to leave NZ?
Ja boet, feel for you on this.
Inbred morons and the big ruler, King Shonkey Donkey. The henchmen are the NZ police. It is virtually a police state and it is dangerously fascist. Dumb people are preferred as they don’t make so much trouble and ask questions. Intellectuals and left wing arty types are despised, humiliated and ridiculed.
Yeah cops are thick and train for only six months. When I allegedly breached bail, I was violently handcuffed in my own kitchen, without even being told that I was under arrest. I was dragged out of my house with no shoes on, only socks, and I had to beg for them to get my house keys and shut the backdoor. In the car I was still handcuffed very tightly so that it hurt. The sergeant was beside me and would not release the cuffs and in fact tightened them so that my circulation was getting cut off. I attempted repeatedly to throw up on him and he hit me over the face and said that I think that I am a little princess. Clearly there was a big personal vendetta against me, hence the bogus arrest. By the time we got to Central station my wrists were bruised and cut, and my hands swollen. The left one had the circulation cut off. Just before we got to the station the sergeant was mentally abusing me and saying that I am a C grade actress etc etc. As I exited the police vehicle I wiped all the snot, mucus and drool off my face onto the seat in front. It was nice to leave a personal touch.
A friend of a friend who is a senior lawyer became interested to hear of these allegations made against me, and the conviction, and wanted to inquire as to why the police treatment of me was so illegal and over the top. He spoke to a cop he knows and found out that I did not pass the “attitude test.”
Basically I had all these heavy criminal charges put on me because of how I think. I am an environmentalist (very naughty) a feminist (even worse) and I am anti-govt (a heretic).
I guess thankfully that witch burning has been outlawed.
I believe everything you say. Anything goes here, its a very bizarre messed up country inhabited by abortions.
People always bang on and on about the scenery, as if thats all that matters. do people even stop to think what the people in New Zealand are like? I get fed up with my mates back home saying to me “how can you hate NZ??? I’ve seen it on Lord Of The Rings and it looks amazing”. I shake my head and can’t be bothered explaining why what they see is utter bullshit and a lie.
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