NZ Made Me Appreciate What I Had in the UK


Glastonbury Tor. Living in NZ makes you realise what you've left behind.

Glastonbury Tor. Living in NZ makes you realise what you’ve left behind.

Continuing in our series of Migrant Tales – first hand accounts of the migrant experience of New Zealand taken from locations around the net.

Today’s tale first appeared on in response to its ‘Welcome to New Zealand’ assignment. The author, Leigh Martin,  writes about a reduced quality of life and says the scenery isn’t enough to compensate for all the downsides. She says the government’s method of attracting skilled migrants is nothing better than a confidence trick to increase the country’s meagre tax take.

Like so many migrants before her she now plans to leave New Zealand and return to Britain: ” Sometimes you have to leave what you knew in order to come back to appreciate it, this is how I feel about the UK these days.”

Life in New Zealand is full of annoyances and I struggle to find anything to counteract them.

The cost of living is ridiculous, the internet is crap, international travel is stupidly expensive. I earn a reasonable salary and I have to make sacrifices that I’ve never made in Europe. I don’t know how people manage to be honest on low incomes – you aren’t told this when you research and consider the move here. The quality of the housing stock is laughable.

The whole No 8 wire mentality is annoying, it’s an excuse for having to make do. The Government should hang its head in shame regarding the amount of people here that have to make do. It seems you have to leave NZ to get on, and only then can you afford to come back. Or you can stay and make do.

There is a level of casual racism here that is shocking if you’ve come from a PC country; I hear things that make me cringe, about Asians in particular, but I’m not immune to it as a Pom, having had it directed at me a few times.

Rugby is just a sport NZ, it really is just a sport. You have issues with family violence, family poverty and drug use yet an All Black doing anything seems to be the news item of the day when it happens, I can’t get my head around that given the problems you face.

I had hoped for more when moving to NZ than it ever delivered. It’s not NZ’s fault, it’s a confidence trick carried out by the government to get people into NZ to pay tax and work. Once here it is easy to become trapped because of the cost of living and the relative weakness of the dollar. If you come, make sure you have an escape fund because the day will come when you might need it.

I have no intention of spending a day longer here than I have to. Sometimes you have to leave what you knew in order to come back to appreciate it, this is how I feel about the UK these days.

I’m going home, as soon as I can.

It’s a beautiful country but people seem reluctant to kick back and say enough is enough – the tall poppy effect works as an instrument of social control. You deserve better NZ.