British Cop in Northland: NZ’s “Crime Statistics a Work of Fiction” – redux

December 2013

Continuing in our series of Migrant Tales – first hand accounts of the migrant experience of New Zealand. For more about Migrant Tales please click here – link

Today’s story was sent in by a British man who emigrated to Northland as a ‘Brit Cop’ under the NZ First agreement.

Despite having 10 years experience of UK policing he was treated as a probationer by his colleagues, some of whom were so incompetent it reminded him of the TV series Life on Mars – 1970s version.

His tale confirms what many people in New Zealand already suspect – crime statistics are a work of fiction and a criminal underclass has free rein over the country. He also talks about some of the most common problems that migrants encounter in New Zealand – well worth the read.

Here’s his story.

Hi All,
Long-time reader of this blog but first time poster. Wanted to agree with a lot of the comments I read about how NZ doesn’t live up to its propaganda and the traps you can find yourself in over hear, plus the Tall Poppy syndrome is alive and well.

I came to NZ back in 2005 as one ‘Brit Cops’ under the NZ First agreement, settled up in Northland as it looked sunny with sand and surf, something a NW England lad like myself rarely get to see. At first I really like the job and my colleges (it help that my boss was a South African immigrant himself). So I overlooked the fact that my UK training and experience was ignored and i was virtually considered a probationer, or that fact that my colleagues were so amateurish in their work I felt like a member of the cast of “Live on Mars” (UK Original version) stuck in the 1970s.
The level of incompetence is unbelievable and any suggestion to try something new (to them) is treated with scorn. I’ve never seen the levels of repetitive drink driving and family violence I’ve seen in NZ and I spent 10 years in UK Policing. As for the crime statistics their a work of fiction worthy of a Booker prize! There is a huge criminal underclass in this country and everyone knows who they are but aren’t prepare to do anything meaningful about them due to ‘political correctness’, meanwhile they rape, rob, harm and kill with almost impunity.

Unfortunately my boss left to work in Auckland (and later emigrated to Australia) and the series of replacement bosses wasn’t interested in doing anything but the bare minimum and blocked every initiative I suggested to reduce crime through Prevention (something 5 years later they are apparently totally in to now but still failing at). More and more of my UK colleagues left but I had bought a house I couldn’t sell and was stuck, job got more and more boring as my boss allocated all the unpopular office/I.T. based duties to myself (most Kiwi Police officers don’t even own a home PC).

After 2 years I’d had enough but wasn’t looking to return to the UK, I had my residency and wanted to get citizenship so I could give Oz a try (didn’t know about the 2nd class citizenship status of Kiwis back then). Luckily a UK colleague of mine tipped me off to a job with the UN over in the Middle East and a year later this lead to another posting in SE Asia. I loved the job and the lifestyle (plus the money) but was worried I’d fail to get my Citizenship status due to my time outside NZ, so I quit my post and moved back to NZ, think I’d just walk back into my old job with NZ Police or at least another enforcement agency with my qualifications and experience…nah!

Spent 18 month unemployed in Wellington as job up in Northland was never going to happen as I’ve learned as so many immigrant do, all the decent paid jobs are in the urban areas (they hardly qualify as Cities in my mind) but turn down again and again for jobs I was highly qualified and experienced for.

Frequently didn’t even get offered interviews which i worked out later was a strategy. If your short-listed and rejected you can ask for review to justify why your not the best candidate (in the public sector anyway) by not even short listing you, you are left with no recourse at all. The Corrections Service is renowned for this giving all the good jobs to guys on the inside, but now the Police Service seems to do the same. Turned out my UN experience was a big handicap though a combination of envy (one guy at the start of an interview said my CV read like an ‘adventure novel’ and then proceeded to disagree with every answer I gave to the panels questions) and unwillingness to go the extra yard to chase up my references (different time zones, etc). This also ruled my out of many public sector jobs requiring security checks as my time abroad with the UN was considered ‘suspect’. I discovered the same attitude amongst the Dept of Internal Affairs during my Citizenship application as they wanted documents from my former employers (UN Missions) on ‘original headed paper contracts’ they wouldn’t accept scanned copies which is how they UN an international organisation sends them out. They suggested I contact UN NY and get them to send my the originals…from 4 years ago…like that was ever going to happen!

Finally landed a job with the a Public Sector agency (which will remain nameless), but it doesn’t use a 10th of my skills and find many of my colleagues hostile to me on a daily basis (the women mainly oddly?). Anyway as I find their inane conversations boring in the extreme I’ve given up talking to them unless i have to. Here in Wellington ALL my friends are immigrants, mainly Americans, who at least have some understanding of the world outside NZ and know what’s expected in a developed first world nation.

I still cant sell my house in Northland after 5 years, but I’m going as soon as my Citizenship comes through. I’m either off to Oz to work for my old boss in Perth or if that doesn’t come off I’ll go back to UN and work is some hell hole for a few years to get back in the system. The UK just isn’t an option at the moment, economy is too depressed and I’ve already moved my Pension out.

Looking back I made a lot of wrong assumptions about NZ, I though would be more like Oz and it dam well isn’t. I didn’t know about the lack of good jobs, pay or even the hole in the Ozone layer. The ‘Kiwis first’ attitude and the Tall Poppy syndrome, nor did I know about ACC and its perpetuation of a culture on ‘no accountability for your actions’. I just read those skewed international ‘quality of lifer surveys’ and saw the scenery in the Lord of the Ring film…lol
If I’d know about a blog like this beforehand, I’d have held out for a job in Oz.

UK police feel careers have stalled in New Zealand and the’yre making up the numbers, UK gives Kiwi cops a leg up

Viv Rickard
NZ’s Deputy Police Commissioner Viv Rickard

Whilst UK police are dissatisfied with their treatment in New Zealand and are leaving in droves, a law change in the UK proposes to give Kiwi police officers a leg up the promotion ladder.

Deputy Police Commissioner Viv Rickard (above) reckons that the NZ police who emigrate to the UK have got a learning curve ahead of them. We shall be watching to see how many leave and the impact that has on law and order in New Zealand – already in a parlous state. Mr Rickard went on record recently saying that the drop in recorded crime was partly due to people being given cautions rather than being prosecuted.

UK Cops leave NZ force dissatisfied – Story – NZ News – 3 News

“Ten years ago in 2003 New Zealand began a drive to entice British police to migrate but half have since left…

Reports obtained under the Official Information Act reveal on the whole, the British recruits felt their “careers had stalled” and were mainly there to fill gaps. And 40 percent weren’t happy with the recruitment process, with one saying, “No one has ever sat me down and said ‘you are from the UK with 20 plus years service – what have you done?

Meanwhile, a law change is on the cards in the UK that would give Kiwi and other international police a fast-track up the British ladder to senior rank without having to do time on the lower rungs first.

A spokesperson at the home office told 3 News consultation was over and a decision is yet to be made.

So what lessons should be or have been learned from New Zealand’s recruitment scheme?

“In terms of recognising their rank, dealing with them in terms of the training, and really focusing their training on the areas they needed to acclimatise to,” says Mr Rickard.

In other words, those eyeing up the UK should go prepared for change”

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4 thoughts on “British Cop in Northland: NZ’s “Crime Statistics a Work of Fiction” – redux

  1. I can tell you this. Never been to New Zealand, live in the Mid West United States, however, the movies coming out of New Zealand make it seem like a paradise. And they must have quite a tourism bureau. I see a lot of internet ads for New Zealand. You might say that they are “selling” the country, with the help of Peter Jackson. Reading your blog with interest. I am alarmed to read about the anti- US, anti- UK, and even anti- Australian sentiments. That is not good for business.

    • It’s not that special. If may seem beautiful from a tour bus or a theatre seat, but go mix with the locals for a while and cognitive dissonance should start to kick in. NZ wants your tourism dollars, but there isn’t much here to keep you engaged or entertained. The scenery is nice – for a few weeks or months at most – but it simply can’t fill the void in the vacuous kiwi soul.

      Many Americans find it difficult to live here because kiwis simply do not want to hear what they have to say. They don’t like American ‘accents’ and simply do not care about most anything Americans think or care about, except to engage you in put-downs about America in order to make you feel bad and to make themselves feel superior. Flash the cash and spend freely, but unless you have oral love to share about their totally awesome country (30 seconds or less, please), your opinion and voice are simply not wanted.

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