Welcome to our series of Migrant Tales, first hand accounts of the migrant experience of New Zealand.
Today’s story was sent in by a British migrant from London who has been living in Queenstown for two years.
I have also been in New Zealand for just over 2 years and I also hate it. We moved here from London with 2 children to get out of the rat race and find a better quality of life. Unfortunately, I have not found it to be a better quality and rather a significant degradation.
We live in Queenstown which is beautiful. There is no traffic and we feel safe. We go skiing in Winter. But that is about the end of the list of pro’s.
The list of con’s is unfortunately quite a bit longer. The biggest for me is the sense of isolation and loneliness. The people are not very friendly. I never realized how unfriendly and unhappy New Zealanders could be. The only friends I have made are other expats. But I really miss the friends we had in London. I definitely think the quality of friendships that I have left trump any that are on offer in New Zealand. People are just so insular, judgmental or downright strange.
I have started thinking the problem is me but all I can hold onto is that I have managed to make many great friends over my lifetime in other countries. There is a severe lack of opportunities in New Zealand. Any previous work experience is not valued here. I am a well qualified professional with great interpersonal skills but since moving to New Zealand I have come to doubt myself and have little confidence after a number of run ins with locals. The tall-poppy syndrome is alive and well here.
We are financially well off and were happy, contented people before we moved here. But the culture here is very petty and close minded. Somehow everyone is cut down to size. I have become very depressed over the last 2 years. The impact on my mental health has been very difficult. I want to get out but given that I am so down, am overwhelmed by the idea of a big move again. Even though I know it needs to be done to save myself. We always had big concerns about moving here and were very naïve when we thought lets just give it a go and if it doesn’t work out we can leave. We underestimated how debilitating the process of it not working out would be.
I really wish we had never come here. There is 2 years of my life I will never get back and who knows how much longer while we remain in this ‘stuck’ state. I became aware of this website over a year ago but pushed it away. I didn’t want to believe all the negativity. I am normally a positive person and believe you make your own luck. But I am afraid that I am in agreement . If someone reads this it may help them not to make the same mistake we did. I can’t wait to get out of this god forsaken place.