Time To Leave – Can’t Find Work

Continuing in our series of Migrant Stories: first hand accounts of migrant life in New Zealand, taken from locations around the net. This post is taken from an emigration forum. In it the poster tells of how difficult it is for even a skilled migrant to find work in New Zealand, how savings are being eaten up whilst he suffers rejection and rejection in a country that told him he was needed there.

“Auckland is a desperate place to find work. I’ve applied for countless jobs. Some, I have 110% confidence I could do well. Others, I could turn my hand to easily. I’ve been told 5 times I got the job only for the employer to withdraw the vacancy or project. I work hard at finding work. I have many, versions of my CV. I’ve sought professional help with the CV and interviewing. I spend every day looking for work and find almost nothing to be positive about. My confidence in this job market is shattered. Even if I get a job now I cannot picture myself being happy, valued, confident and progressing here. The situation has by now, affected my personal confidence and I find the length of my unemployment an embarrassment and an issue in itself.

New Zealand is a lovely place but if you cannot earn a living, what is the point ? I feel lost and isolated here. I think I have made a huge life changing mistake coming here. I spend most days alone trying to grind out some opportunity for work. Its a miserable depressing existence. Also, we are gradually losing everything we have. Living off money we brought here for a house. Its a sickening feeling. Total financial free-fall and I have no way to reverse it except to consider leaving.

I know things are bad in the UK right now but looking at job sites there, I feel like a starving man peering through a restaurant window. I see opportunities which simply don’t exist here. I see opportunity and a means to to carry on. I see friends and family I don’t see here. I see potential and a better “life” than I have here in this place. I’ve never given up on anything in my entire life, ever. But with the annual christmas employment slump on the horizon (usually 4 months long) I am now days or weeks away from buying a ticket out of here.”

32 thoughts on “Time To Leave – Can’t Find Work

  1. http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/better-business/71079813/waitress-sacked-for-not-smiling-it-wasnt-worth-11000

    Looks like employers have a reason to smile, when the people they employ are “afraid to speak up even when winning against a (proven case of) unjustified dismissal”

    “The only thing I would advise anyone who was thinking of taking their employer to court is not to do it, it’s not worth it.”

    For me, last I checked if a person does a job properly or to the best of their ability with the tools they have on hand – I don’t care if you’re faceless – (honest) results matter more than “outward smiles that can actually be faked”.
    Maybe I’m in the minority of customers who believe people who (fairly) get their jobs should keep them UNLESS they engage in UNLAWFUL or CRIMINAL behaviour. “Not smiling” (what if you’re born that way like Tayla Clement), is no reason to fire someone.

  2. Also I would not recommend people or families who have children and etc with psychiatric disabilities immigrate to New Zealand at all, from what I seen, the New Zealand Mental Health System is a serious let down

    • Whats wrong with NZ’s mental health system? As an Asian living alone in NZ, I had depression for a short time but got it treated with meeting with a counselor. But working at a telecoms industry where your/anyone’s privacy can be violated, and having to change channel to talk to different people using different languages, plus insane work deadlines and bullying, it made me break down and later on got psychosis.

  3. I agree despite doing my bachelor of info tech in wellington the tutors were surprised I could easily program a switch a router and have a network within 30 min to a hour, I am going to bring my talent back to Asia

  4. Working in NZ is a absolutely miserable, soul destroying affair stuck on low salaries with little or no advancement. poor training and no mentoring. There is no management support generally arrogant bullies that think treat their employees like slaves. The bully is mostly covert not the in your face shouting usually minor threats. Management think its ok for the employees to work large amount of overtime and not get compensated for it i.e 20 hrs, Similarly if you work on a statuary holiday they don’t want to paid because they say its included in the salary. The best job or higher leave job are reserved for there friends and associates. The work colleagues are generally strange the women are the worst backstabbers with Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde complex and with a high opinion of themselves . There so few jobs for graduates one is usually stuck in one job.

    • Another problem is also if your former employer … threatens current staff to monitor your private social network page, and then tries to manage your informal disclosures or activity – WHILE you are NOT their staff ANYMORE and actively works to stop your employment elsewhere if “you have displeased them, while no longer their staff”. Sounds … just a repressive secret police.
      I just LOL at that idea of “there is lots of freedom of speech in NZ” … why do people have to use pseudonyms if that were true?

      Harris said it was accepted that (former employee) Hammond’s privacy was breached when HR Manager Louise Alexandra sent emails to the employment agencies.

      Her privacy was also breached when NZCU chief executive Gavin Earle sent an email to all staff concerning the photograph, as well as Hammond’s resignation and other matters.

      Earle admitted the company had made mistakes and told the tribunal that, in hindsight, it had been “irrational” to press for Hammond’s dismissal from Financepoint (which was her new employer) on the basis that she was a commercial risk.

      • What a surprise … NOT
        ‘Bullying’ manager still at NZCU
        By Sam Hurley
        6:54 AM Wednesday Mar 4, 2015

        Ms Alexandra, who, according to her LinkedIn profile, still works for NZCU and has also worked as a HR manager for Tumu Group and a senior HR adviser for Scion, was told on April 12, 2012 that a picture of a cake had appeared on Ms Hammond’s Facebook page, by an employee who found it offensive.

        The food blogger, who has posted about baking cakes under the name the beauty foodie, noted an NZCU employee, Hayley Edmondson, was one of Ms Hammond’s “friends” and neighbours.

        Ms Alexandra told her that Ms Hammond had deleted all her NZCU “friends” and that she was the only person who could access the photo.

        Click here to read more on the NZCU cake story.

        ‘Why I left NZCU’ – bullied woman tells her story.

        The HR manager told Ms Edmondson she was “a smart girl” and that by being an employee of NZCU, by law and policy she had to give up any information she might have and added she did not want to have to go down “the policy and procedure track”.

        Ms Edmondson said she was not comfortable about the request but Ms Alexandra became “quite stern and asked [her] to keep [her] voice down stating [they] were having a closed door conversation”.

        “Under duress” Ms Edmondson followed the senior manger’s instructions before a screenshot of the cake was taken.

        Later that afternoon, Ms Alexandra phoned at least four recruitment agencies around Hawke’s Bay to “warn” them against employing Ms Hammond and sent them a copy of the photo.

        Ms Alexandra, who holds a degree in human resources, admitted to the Tribunal that Ms Edmondson was “hesitant and not particularly forthcoming”, but denied threatening her, adding she pleaded with her to do “the right thing”.

        And THAT, is why at work – if you are an employee … RECORD YOUR ENTIRE DAY.
        A 2GB recorder can easily go for 2 weeks @ 8hours-5day-workweek.
        Because these people get away … when there is no record.
        Youtube is a gallery that can shame them – shame early, shame often.
        Because workplaces that allow abusive people to be in positions of authority … will become abusive workplaces!

  5. Hey Rachel, if you read this

    realize that there are ways to get out of your routine
    if you feel like you’re going nowhere

    really it starts with you, think about it

    just google, start with quora.com

  6. Rachel has twenty years of conditioning holding her back, it’s hard to overcome that and make the break. Hopefully she’ll find a way.

  7. Resisting the urge to go real hostile on you right now, crossed with empathising with you lol. The hostile part because I am envious of you being in a position to just up and escape this place. I grew up here and sadly am stuck here. Depressed and spiralling downwards, all I live for these days is to get wasted on the weekend drinking myself almost to death with my friends. 20 years young and living the life! -_-

    • Rachael, you make your own destiny. You are not stuck here in Nz unless you are in jail or have a criminal record. So if this is not the case and if you are young the world is your oyster so go for it, don’t sit around feeling sorry for yourself!!

  8. I left a good job in Auckland to be part of the rebuild in Christchurch. Being part of the rebuild was very rewarding, sadly working for an Australian engineering company was very disappointing, we were not treated as individuals, worked hard, long hours, stressful work environment with no company or work culture. Rat race!

    I have since left and currently looking for work in a market where there is supposed to be a shortage of engineers, yeah right !

  9. I’ve been in New Zealand for almost eight years. I am a 40-something white foreign female with too much experience in too many industries with the downside of currently studying towards a masters degree in business. I have been told that my CV looks “too good to be true” and like so many in the above posts, I have been told by recruiters, career counsellors and hiring managers that I need to dumb down my CV, or as they put it, “only mention what is relevant to the role”.
    I’ve been unemployed for almost eighteen months after having held senior management roles in marketing and project management. I have applied for over 100 roles, from management to shop assistant and everything in between.
    NZ companies have the lowest average remuneration compared to most countries in the OECD. The other problem is, and research has shown that Kiwi managers value loyalty above creativity and innovation. Cronyism and nepotism is rife in this country and in response to the above question, I would most certainly never have come to New Zealand, had I known what was in store for our family. My husband has just received an offer from a company in Australia paying double his salary for the same job. He’ll be working for a company that assists with change management. Ironic.

  10. So glad to find this page as I thought I was the only person struggling to find work. I come from UK and have lived in NZ for nearly 6 years; 2 years in Auckland and then the rest of my “time served” in Tauranga. Auckland was not a problem to secure work in my field (healthcare/ social services admin) but could never have afforded to actually buy property there so decided to move to Tauranga. Managed to get a temporary contract with the local DHB doing admin work which unfortunately after 18 months was ended due to funding. So I did what I thought was a good thing and commenced a short path of study accredited by NZQA. Well, I completed that almost a year ago and have applied for going on 100 jobs- I have not even had one interview! I have applied for jobs in all sorts of areas, jobs that match my skills and experience, jobs that I am actually overqualified to do, jobs that you could train a monkey to do and unbelievably- nothing! I have looked in to continuing my studies and commencing a degree but this seems impossible as I have a partner so wouldn’t get a study allowance as my partner (not my husband!) is expected to finance my studies for me, which of course we can not afford for three years, not to mention there is nothing offered in the BOP Polytechnic that I actually want to study. I went to WINZ with my dilemma and asked if they could help in anyway- to no avail! My partner earns just above the mean income rate so is expected to pay for my living expenses in this country and the woman at WINZ actually said that I should move to Australia as it is easier to find a job there. I replied to her that for me and my partner to actually to relocate to Australia then we would need money and visas and plus we have a mortgage in NZ, etc, etc. Plus I now have a years gap in my CV so the prospect of finding employment is now looking slim. Feel like i’ve been sold up the river without a paddle moving to this country.

    • Welcome Tania, thank you for sharing your story with us. The situation you find yourself in is manifestly unfair. Despite your willingness to work and study doors are still closed in your face.

      Had you known what was in store for you now would you have still emigrated to New Zealand or done things differently?

  11. What is a Kiwi exactly? The dictionary defines it as a flightless bird which is native to New Zealand…. Perhaps this should have been a sign to all immigrants that there is something wrong with a country where the birds cant even fly!

    In any case whilst I start this thread with a jab let me tell you a much more personal story about my own experience here in New Zealand, which primarily relates to experiences I have had in trying to find work but before I get to that bit I have to tell you a little bit about my journey.

    My parents moved to New Zealand when I was just a young child, I was always schooled in New Zealand from primary right up to university level. I am originally from the Pacific Islands with Asian descent however I had only spent 2years of my life as a baby in the Islands and the past 29years of my life growing up as a Kiwi in New Zealand!

    My experience with racism began in intermediate school where I found teachers were quite happy to isolate me and would often bunch me in with the naughty children at the deans office (most of whom were Maori) at my school. Whilst I eventually developed truancy problems, and ended up making friends with most of the Maori children since all of us were apparently poor students (according to our mostly white teachers) one of whom told me I was a complete failure and wouldn’t achieve much of anything in life.

    I managed to get my act together by 5th form or Year 11, and passed school c, growing from this result I did significantly better in 6th form (mostly due to a nice PI ass kicking and a bit of tiger parenting from both my folks)… by the end of 6th form year I was one of the top 5 brightest students in the entire school, (and yes it was quite amusing how quickly the same teachers who had once written me off as a failure, tried to take credit for my efforts when I pulled out amazing results). More importantly in 7th form I faced a choice stay on at high school and go for Dux (highest possible achievement award in High School) or to leave school take my sixth form cert and go to Uni. So I chose the latter option and at the age of 17 enrolled in University in a science degree.

    I had spent 2.5years at uni doing reasonably well until I realised that what I was learning was not practical and so I decided at the age of 20 to pause my study and go out and find work. Whilst it was difficult at the time I still found a 3 month contract in Wellington which gave me some commercial experience. So far so good right?

    After I had finished my contract I kept searching for more work in the technology industry where I had relevant skill and some experience, I spent more than a few years (7 to be exact) unemployed, went through every hardship one could imagine, had to put up with the insulting services of work and income. Had to deal with interviewers and employers who asked me silly questions related more to my ethnic or racial background rather than my ability to do the job. To give an example I had one employer who asked me “Whether I had a problem working with White people” I had another employer who said to me “Oh I thought you were a kiwi cos on the phone you sounded white” and these were from interviews I did get!

    Needless to say after 2500 job applications over the period of 7 years I only managed to secure 1 real job which was that 3 month contract. To survive during that time of unemployment I tried running a small business, doing odd jobs independently all sorts of stuff.

    I finally got to a point where I felt at the age of 28 that maybe it was time to go back to Uni and finish my qualifications, so I did this and graduated with a Masters degree with honours where my research also got published internationally and I earned a scholarship as well as the title of being an expert in digital marketing.

    So in 2012 at the age of 31 where am I? having spent such a long time trying to gain commercial experience and learning a lot from operating my own businesses and then going back to study and qualifying myself to earn that extra credibility believe it or not I am still struggling to find work, now facing a totally different set of obstacles where apparently I am overqualified and being told to dumb myself down and to undersell myself in my CV..

    However I know very well that my inability to get work is not at all related to what I can do or how good I am at doing it, it is entirely related to my race. Because I am a Pacific Islander of Asian descent, because my skin is olive brown, the opportunities are not extended to me.

    My kiwi friends who are white are all employed and have been since their early 20s, most of them are not half as qualified as me nor have the experience. Most of those white friends have permanent jobs, most have purchased their first homes, are on salaries of 85 to 100k, have married and started young families, whilst I still have to live at my parents place and wonder where the hell my next dollar will be earned from.

    But whilst the story is dismal my point is this:

    I have spent 28 of my 31 years alive in New Zealand.
    All my schooling was in New Zealand from primary all the way to tertiary level.
    English is my first language.
    I have adopted all aspects of kiwi culture as my own.. (not consistent with what most kiwis say about migrants where they claim migrants do not fit in or adapt well to kiwi culture)
    New Zealand is my home and has always been my home, so why then does this country treat me like a 3rd class citizen?
    Why when I have worked hard to earn credibility and achieve a respectable career should I settle for discrimination which prevents me from getting a job which is adequate to my skills?
    Why should I settle for a crap job?
    Why should Kiwis classify me as a new migrant when I have been here all my life?

    The reason is simple its just cos I am brown, I am visually different, my ability as someone of an indigenous or ethnic background is viewed more as a threat to white kiwis here rather than an asset.

    Whilst I speak about this type of discrimination, there are no boundaries here in New Zealand when it comes to issues like xenophobia, racism, nepotism or developing ethnocentric work environments. Anything goes here as long your white, when your not the opportunity does not exist for you!

    It was not until I faced this level of discrimination first hand that I woke up to the plight of all migrants from both Asian, PI, Indian and other backgrounds… to add to this even the Maori people who are native to this land have a lot of difficulties. So as I began this thread I end with the same question, what exactly makes us Kiwi?

    To any migrants who plan to come here or are already here, its best to either not come and save your money and just work hard in your respective countries or if you are already here then return home or find another country where you may not be treated as poorly. New Zealand has left an extremely bitter experience with me and when I have enough money I am probably catching the first place out of here and likely going to end up in Asia!

    Don’t forget your roots my friends!

    • I’m seeing a pattern here, in that many migrants who experience long periods of under/non-employment happen to be male, Asian, speak English fluently, educated in NZ.
      I have not seen many females with that problem. (A few years back some NZ universities began a longitudinal employment study which bears that out).
      So I would say it’s a combination of sexism AND racism.
      Of course, this sorry state of events can only continue for as long as the foreign investment , taxes for the wealthy and ability to price services high hold out.
      Given that foreign investment will only come in when they can OWN something, the wealthy will under-declare their assets and more people start becoming self-employed (and thus a threat towards those who overprice their services or speak about unprovable “intangibles” like “customer service” and “staff are our greatest asset”) … I don’t give it more than a few years.

  12. I have had a very interesting experience here, but I too although highly qualified am unable to find work regardless of the “skill shortage” story being passed around.

    I arrived after being headhunted to this country. It did not take long to understand why: The -> salary sounded fantastic, but soon realised the cost of living erodes the salary very quickly Take Away: Kiwis will pay peanuts to unsuspecting immigrants!

    ->After you arrive, in my case I had a talent visa, which required me to stay with the company for at least 2 years: No problem,. Then it became quite clear why the employer was willing to bring a “desperate” foreigner in: They do not want to pay salary increases, nor do they want to pay bonuses, and they certainly don’t want you to complain about it either..oh and forget about training !! They don’t pay for that either. (this is despite the company I was working for were making record profits: The CEO famously said at a staff feedback session : Yeah, we made great profits, but we have decided not to pay increases, because we think you should be grateful for your job ! )Take Away: Kiwis are happy for you to kill yourself working, but will not recognise good work with fair increases!

    -> Being highly qualified in my field with a number of years of experience, I did not take too kindly to being told how to do my job my the new boss who had no idea (and had never been involved!) in I.T in all his life. IT Best practice? Tossed out of the window! Who cares what best practice is when the Kiwi boss has a she’ll be right attitude? I walked ! Guess what I was told when I left? If you leave, you will never come back ..ever. Take away: Kiwis are vindictive!

    -> I had made a deal with the Devil (unbeknownst to me!) and expressed an interest in a new role, which a “friend” knew about. The role sounded good. I got the role, and was then subjected to two years of hell.
    During this time, the employer on more than 1 occasion flouted NZ labour laws quite openly .

    So much for Kiwi land being the land of labour! This employer on more than 1 occasion when employees wanted to leave because they were being subjected to terrible working conditions were threatened with: ” You will never work in this country again”.

    [Terrible working conditions Example 1: an employee was sent on a contract to Russia. The contract was for a certain amount of money. When the employee came back, the employer refused to pay the agreed contract price- and was told: if you do not accept this you will never work again….
    Terrible working conditions Example 2: an employee worked new years day, and 13 hour days for two months. In the contract with the employer were provisions for overtime. Come the end of the period, the employer refused to pay overtime, as well as refusing to honour labour law for the time worked on a public holiday: Employer responded with : You agreed to work overtime, so we will not be paying overtime, nor are you entitled to anything else]

    Amongst other things that happened I decided to leave on my own terms when I was ready to leave, no matter what.
    The “friend’ who recommended me for the role, took exception to the fact that I decided to leave the company on my own terms and has effectively killed any employment prospects for me.
    The industry in which I work, operates like a cartel. If one of the members of the cartel decides you are persona non grata, all members of the cartel declare you Persona Non Grata.
    I now am unable to find work regardless of my skills and my experience – effectively the Cartel has ensured I am unable to work in my field !!
    Thus giving life to the threat told to all if you do not go with the flow : You will never work again in this country.
    Take away: IF you do not push your morals and principles under the carpet, and just accept what these unscrupulous people do, then your livelihood is threatened. Effectively, shut up or be damned ! Don’t you just love being treated like dirt?

    Fortunately I am a non-going with the flow person! I CHOOSE not to be subjected to this cartel, nor the kiwis that operate it. I CHOOSE not to be a victim, but to take control of my life and move on!
    If you intend to emigrate to NZ, I HIGHLY recommend that you read a little book called Emigrate with Caution by Nicola Butler ISBN 0-9535942-0-3

    My two cents worth? Don’t waste your time moving here. You are not missing anything.

  13. I’m a Kiwi and I just wanted to share with all the expats on this board that they are not alone in their experience of feeling scammed by the NZ Government policy and finding the job market extremely difficult.

    At high school we were pressured to attend university and promised great jobs upon graduation. Of course when we graduated there were few to no jobs which is why so many of us go overseas. I graduated in law and despite applying for countless jobs I was rejected from everyone, even a law firm where I had been working part-time for nearly two years. The reason was because I am female and New Zealand is a very sexist place, and I did not have family or other connections in the legal profession here. It was essentially a closed shop, and hard for me to see guys with worse grades than me sailing into jobs. I am also 1/16th Maori, and although I never disclosed this fact, I believe my slightly non-White appearance may have been as issue.

    Racism is an issue here. Certainly in my family, I was the first to discover this truth that we are part-Maori, the rest of the family have kept it a secret and did not want to know and told me I was wrong when I found out our history. What led me to discover it was a DNA test, which I took after years of looking in the mirror and knowing I just did not look completely White. I was in my mid-30’s when I found out.

    I really feel I was scammed by the NZ govt. The fees were higher than I would have paid in the UK, and I had to borrow on a student loan which at the time was charged at 8% interest from the day you started studying. Students in other countries only paid interest after they graduated and at a much lower rate. By the time I finished university, I had a $60,000 debt, $20,000 of which was from compound interest alone and the rest was to pay fees and some living costs over six years. I worked near full-time throughout my degree, lived partly at home with my parents, and still barely could afford to live so borrowed small amounts to cope.

    I was extremely fortunate because upon graduation, I was able to secure a job overseas and repay my debts after about five years of hard work. I would never have been able to repay my debt had I stayed in New Zealand given the extremely low salaries, even for a local and a lawyer (albeit junior). I have now let go of the grudge I held against the NZ government for the student loan scheme (scam) but still find the thought of returning here to live too much.

    When I went abroad I quickly learned that so many of the things which I had been taught to believe since birth were normal were not in other countries. For example, in England I could live in a brick home with carpets and central heating and be very comfortable, and it’s not normal to live in a wet, freezing cold and mouldy home. I remember when I was growing up I only knew one family that had carpeting and central heating in their home, and they were very rich. They were generally regarded with a very toxic mix of contempt and jealousy in the community.

    I also found that the cost of living was so much lower, and consequently the quality of life much higher in other countries. For example, in America, I could buy the same pair of jeans for $50 that would cost $150 in New Zealand and I had money left over to enjoy my life and not scrape by constantly. Kiwis in general disappoint me with how mean they are over money, and I don’t know if that meanness is innate or caused by the suffering we go through all our lives on low incomes and ridiculously high expenses. All I know is the country has been severely mismanaged and public finances are a mess and the private economy is stale.

    I also found I was much physically safer in other countries, experienced less crime personally. I used to think it was normal to be burgled every few years when I lived in New Zealand, and to be fearful for your personal safety at night, particularly as a woman. At university I went on a protest march against rape. Really we had to protest that we wanted to be safer? I personally experienced an attempted sexual assaulted by a man on Queen Street in Auckland, the case went to trial, and he was found not guilty in a verdict where the judge ruled that I was too pretty and the man simply could not help himself. I’m also aware that it seems in New Zealand we have many mentally ill people at large residing the community and accordingly they do not have regular meds or treatment. We used to care for them in facilities but it was too expensive and they were turned loose for “community care”. And of course there are the gangs, and drug problems. For many disenfranchised and disempowered Maori whose land has been stolen by settlers and with no whanau or tribal associations, gangs are very appealing substitutes where they can feel powerful again.

    I also found I excelled in the workplace in the UK and my race and gender have never been an issue to my knowledge, probably a plus if anything in these days of affirmative action type policies. In general I would never recommend that anyone move to New Zealand for work opportunities as it is a firmly closed door. Your best option would be to become self-employed if at all possible, and then don’t expect much other than high taxes and for your skills to quickly become stagnant.

    I have also grown spiritually from travelling. In New Zealand it is very racist, narrow and close-minded and right-wing Christianity dominates as the only accepted religion. It took me many years to move out of the mindset as it was indoctrinated from an early age. Unfortunately New Zealand is a small island isolated at the end of the earth, so it is very insular and encourages this kind of mindset. A classic example – it is a country of people who live surrounded by oceans with delicious seafood, but most Pakeha at least do not eat seafood at all, only beef and lamb. I personally never ate seafood until after I lived in Japan for years. In New Zealand you only eat seafood if you are Maori, Asian or very rich and cultured Pakeha, most likely well-travelled.

    The most unsettling experience for me has been trying to discuss these issues with my family and friends about New Zealand. Any objection I have ever raised has been met with completely blank stares and deaf ears, and I’m made to feel like I have the problem or there is something not quite right with me. They are very upset with me for living abroad and do not understand the choice. I am told that I am materialistic, selfish and vain to reject them and their way of life held dear. No other reason seems to compute no matter what I say or point out. My family bear a great deal of resentment towards me for my time away as they view it. They still expect I will move home eventually, despite living abroad now for over 10 years. So I have great difficulty with family.

    It’s also very strange to try and have an open and honest discussion about New Zealand with other expat Kiwis. Bear in mind, you’re talking with a group of Kiwis who have all left the country, and have been living abroad in some cases up to 10 years or more, and they will all say they love New Zealand, plan to return home just as soon as they can, retain their broad nasal Kiwi accents etc. etc. etc. But none of them actually mean it and just continue to live abroad. If you can get an honest admission from them on the truth, it’s spoken in hushed tones. You would think we were all defecting from North Korea.

    The thing is that in New Zealand from birth we are brainwashed that New Zealand is Godzone, meaning the best and most beautiful country on earth. We are told constantly that we have the highest standard of living in the world, and we are better people in cuisine, culture, intelligence, sports, values, essentially that we are superior in everything. In a way, you can’t be angry at the NZ Tourism advertising, because I bet the Kiwis who put it together truly do believe it.

    Also the images are fair as New Zealand is a truly beautiful place. Just what they don’t tell you is that if you live here, you would have to be wealthy to ever really enjoy that beauty on a regular basis and much of it is polluted. When I was growing up in New Zealand, I only ever went to the South Island once on a holiday my family saved up for over years and borrowed as well. We couldn’t afford to do anything except drive around so we mostly saw roads. There were beaches near us in Auckland but you could not swim at them safely because raw effluent was poured directly from the sewage system out into the beach from pipes very close to the shore.

    I did go to Milford Sound and Queenstown for the first time when I was in my late 20’s and had returned as a tourist and with plenty of ££ to burn. It was fun, and a very different image of New Zealand to what it is like to live there. I certainly burnt off very quickly indeed with the price of everything being so very high. The image of us all fishing and boating is a laugh, only the very wealthiest of Kiwis could ever afford that lifestyle, and to be honest most of the year it’s so cold and miserable wet that you wouldn’t want to go out on your boat anyway.

    As a Kiwi, I will always return here regularly because of my cherished childhood memories, it is a beautiful place and a spiritual home, and very strong family and blood ties, in particular I adore my little nieces and nephews and being an Aunt. It breaks my heart to be away from my family, but its the best decision for me because I am otherwise unhappy in New Zealand.

    However if you are not born and raised in New Zealand, I would not recommend emigrating here, only holidays and working holidays of two years or less.

    I’m glad to find this website as it has validated some of my opinions where I have never had that before.

    • I was an expat that lived in Australia, I too moved back to NZ. I have been here a year now and have not been able to find a job. I have English heritage so I honestly don’t think its race related, I think there is a real issue in finding employment. I will also state that living in Australia was an eye opener to racism…. if you look at it in the scheme of things, NZ is not racist in comparison.

      I have no money, I have nothing now nothing at all. I can’t work in Australia anymore due to some of their newer policies but can’t find work here. So no idea where we end up.

      My mother was from the UK if I thought I had a hope of hell and back up there in some way I would consider moving there.

  14. Your blog post is not a mind opener but also I want to say that you are not the only one writing about this. I too am concerned with the fact how the New Zealand job market is still shut to many migrants out there. I wish something needs to be done

  15. I wonder if you have seen Pio’s study or articles relating to it. Racial profiling in recruitment and other matters.

    The comments are worth reading. One comment was utterly gormless – “Why dont migrants go farming or make pottery on the beach in a country town like many kiwis do?”

    Pardon me now, while I shove my eyes back into their sockets.

    This person has evidently never seen the marketing, or been to a recruitment expo. I, for one, among others I know, was told that New Zealand was of a size that allowed it to serve as a testbed for advanced digital technologies, especially in the area of telcom, and that foreign experts were desired for that reason, and that relevant jobs were available on that basis. Encouraging skilled migrants so they can weed silverbeet and throw clay around in the sand? Do they think New Zealand will develop by magic, simply by virtue of importing smart people to rub shoulders with their population?

  16. Have you tried looking for a job in other NZ cities? I started from a provincial small town before I managed to find a job in Wellington. Finding the last one took me a while, and put me lots of times in despair. Be patient, don’t give up.

  17. I maybe selling T-shirts next week or month. My first design coming from this forum: 100% Pure Ripoff NZ. My customers will be from the ‘disenfranchised’ migrants and kiwis. What do you think?

  18. gugel, that’s what the people who are practising deception want you to believe. That you are in a minority. That way, it makes it easier for them to tell you that your goat is a dog…

    Wait… so the only reason they’re wanted is BECAUSE of their money, and people have the CHEEK to say in a derogatory manner “You paid to be here!”
    I didn’t hear those migrants respond… “Well, we pay YOUR subsidies and doles…!”

  19. I thought I was the only one having ‘negative’ thoughts about NZ but expressing them verbally would mean that I complain a lot. I am glad (not really) that some people share my sentiments.

  20. one issue is that nz’s reported unemployment rate is artificially low and measured in a weird say that does not reflect actual conditions.

    such as
    unemployed often go to Australia to find jobs, thus no longer being counted as unemployed in NZ. though if they could not go to Australia, they would be.

    people are employed by family or through their social connections and the circles are tight here, so the actual obtaining of that employment is not as easy as it might seem

    the segment of workforce age that should be looking for, or in, jobs, many in that age range have left the country to look for them, so you have many children and many old people here living in poverty.

    From the labour website –

    “A person is officially unemployed if, *during the week they are surveyed, they did not have a paid job, were available for work, had been actively looking for work in the previous four weeks, or had a new job to start within four weeks*. Registered unemployed are people registered as job seekers at Work and Income New Zealand offices.”

    so you can imagine what sorts of human scenarios would not exactly fit that description but could still create miserable living conditions not accurately depicted by statistics.

    the numbers of “underemployed” are greatly minimised as well. anecdotally, most migrants seem to be underemployed and I do not know how they measure that figure as 5.5%.

  21. Yes, I left for that same reason. Sad though, it is taking a long time to recover not only my confidence, but my skills have become so outdated in only a few years. Also, jobs are very hard to find for a professional. I am here in one of the top 5 major cities and most IT jobs have already been outsourced to India except for the highly specific roles. You may have better luck there in the UK, as they are the least affected worldwide I have been told.

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