Continuing in our series of Migrant Tales – first hand immigrant stories about life in New Zealand, taken from locations around the net.
This post was left on an international emigration forum, one that caters to migrants in many different countries. It was made by a New Zealander who comes from Christchurch and although it is brutally honest don’t shoot the messenger, s/he admits these are sweeping generalisations and there is no intention to offend.
We’re showing it here because it may help many Americans to understand why they find it hard to be accepted into small town minded New Zealand:
Its True – Kiwis dont really like Americans.
We generally don’t like or trust Americans. Sad but true. Sorry. If you are an American, make sure you know other Americans that you plan on socialising with when you come out to NZ. Otherwise unfortunately, as many of you are finding out, you are likely to remain socially isolated. Out of all the English speaking world, Kiwis dislike Americans the most (probably unfairly).
Don’t shoot the messenger but here is a bit of a heads up about how we Kiwis think. Please try not to be offended; be aware that these are sweeping generalisations, they are NOT necessarily the truth of the situation but I have outlined some of the ways that Kiwis generally perceive the USA and Americans.
Rightly or wrongly WE:
a. View your political antics on the world stage with suspicion
b. Are scathing of the arrogance with which the USA has dismissed UN directives (eg over Iraq) and initiatives such as the Kyoto Protocol – truly your arrogance on the world stage is breathtaking;
c. Believe that your country thinks it is a law unto yourselves and we don’t respect that
d. Feel you selfishly gobble up far too much of the world’s resources – much more than your share
e. Believe that given the size of your country, you have had the capacity to do things like end world hunger but because it is not in your political interests to do so, you don’t bother
f. View your extroverted nature with suspicion as some sort of attempt to dominate others by being the biggest and loudest and having a superior attitude (much as you attempt to dominate the world stage)
g. See much of your sense of humour as being corny and simplistic (eg the only sitcoms we really like are those that rely on an ironic, more sarcastic or dry humor)
h. Cant believe how many people in the USA seem to be gullible and just not all that intelligent (that’s the result of those day time chat shows/media/trashy magazines/Hollywood superstar silly behaviour that don’t present you in a good light)
i. Resent that the USA sets a trend and a few short years later we have it happening in our society eg increasing obesity. Given media influence and the economic power of your corporates, we feel powerless to stop this and really really don’t like it.
These are some of the ways we think and the attitudes you are up against. Thought you should know then you wont be surprised when you don’t get a fair welcome and open offers of friendship.
You may also be interested in the following selection:
An American’s take on “rip-off New Zealand”
Studying in New Zealand – An American students tells what it’s really like to study in New Zealand
Immigrants caught in a cold poverty trap – An American and Australian couple
American says Tauranga mis sold
An American asks himself “why New Zealand”
American ‘put downs’ in the NZ media – 2 examples
1:30 “What happens is these big fat americans, of which there are plenty you gotta admit, they’re up to here with MacDonalds..they’re huge blubbery people…”
0:24 “You’re fortunately then one of those Americans who are aware that Australia and New Zealand are two separate countries?”
10:13″‘Well Rugby is our national game, it’s a little bit different to (American) football, you have to be a real man to play it”
399 thoughts on “It’s True – Kiwis Don’t Really Like Americans”
I’ve enjoyed reading the posts / comments placed on this site. As a counter cultural response to what I think someone said was (and I paraphrase) the cult of NZ and one based on a near mythical (maybe that should read hopeful) view by NZers and NZ media – this site is an epic read.
Now to be fair, I’m a born and bred NZer with what someone said was a “the blood, sweat and tears of the settler running though me” along with a healthy dose of Polynesian blood for good measure. So my following comments aren’t representative of this sites core demographic.
A little about me to begin. I’ve had the pleasure of living and working in the US, Australia, UK, France, Germany, Peru, Egypt, Russa and South Africa. This has allowed me to visit (always a skin deep experience so be taken with a pinch of salt) many dozens of other nations.
I lived away from NZ for 15 years without a single visit “home” and returned to a different country to the one I left. I didn’t know where to buy the basics, how much things cost and felt much the same way I did in migrating to any other new country. I lasted 20 months before I “ran away” back to Europe and the culture, access and frankly – ability to read a newspaper and / or have a conversation outside of some quite narrow topics.
I lasted 2 years and returned to NZ for family reasons – and to be honest, it was out of a sense of obligation rather than something I really wanted to do.
Maybe NZ is an acquired taste or maybe I needed to reframe my approach to it or maybe it took a certain financial privilege or a certain age / maturity – but it clicked. I didn’t stop missing all the things I enjoyed in the wider world but I did start appreciating things unique (at least to me experience).
Last XMAS I hosted a party that included NZers, Chinese, Polynesian, Indian, American, Australian and yes, even expat Brits and Irish. Some were gay. Some were poor. some were wealthy. Some were religious. Some were atheist. Some were right, some left and most middle of the political spectrum. We played music. Sang songs. We talked about the good and bad of our society. We teased each other. We laughed.
I applaud this site and think it’s great (and possibly cathartic) to have a place of safety for people to share but I’d ask for one small indulgence. Try and remember that no matter how vast our personal experiences – they’re but a small lens on the world we live in and this applies as much to NZ and NZers as it does to every other nation / nationality on this planet we share.
I wish all of you the best.
That ‘reasons why we dislike Americans’ reads like the Kiwi’s own brand of sanctimonious liberalism and Elitism. The very thing they accuse us of, without knowing the facts. Newsflash, most American citizens aren’t exactly in line with our government on every single thing. Before, going off some lame TV show and then thinking we are just like those characters, why not pay us a visit and explore our beautiful country for yourselves? I guarantee you 9 out of 10 people would be welcoming, interested, intelligent, funny and warmer to you, than we are even towards each other! This is because Americans, despite the garbage low opinions of us that are promoted throughout the world, and because it’s just so popular to put down and beat up on “those stupid Americans”… are curious about and genuinely kind toward other people from other places. Why do you think we are a melting pot? Why do we love different foods and music and cultures? Americans are a diverse citizenry, and while NOT perfect, we generally don’t regard others with distrust and contempt, unless it’s proven there’s a need for it. All the so called reasons above, is BS – used as an excuse to look down their nose at a people they can’t even begin to understand.
I’m a Kiwi and I don’t think it’s fair for all Americans to be judged by their Government’s foreign policy either.
[Ad hom attack deleted, learn some social skills. Admin]
Good to know where you’re not welcome. NZ had long been on my bucket list to see but I think I can safely erase it and substitute some less hostile region….granted that as Americans are perceived less and less as benefactors or needed military muscle the anti American true feelings seem to be erupting all.over.
If I’m going to be despised and reviled by category I’ll do it someplace with a bit better value for my hated currency 😉
Kiwis dislike everyone other than themselves and try to think they are like Europeans- perhaps the racist side of Kiwi culture is like the racism in Europe. NZ is a very, very dysfunctional culture- mobbing, if they dislike you, they cause you problems. Very poor ethics and morals in NZ. Let’s face it- NZ is like the old Northern England culture way back, meaning it is back in time- backwards. The only thing they seem to be hip about is same sex marriage as they have always had same sex partners throughout time. NZ is only 200 years old. Lots of maturing to do.
I am a New Zealander, and I would like to apologize for New Zealanders. I am a white male and have been living in Korea for the last few years. I never knew how small minded, rude, macho, unkind bias, delusional most of us are until I went overseas. I want nothing less than to move back to NZ, I hate the culture there. Also it is astronomically expensive. I’m only typing this on my phone ands I have alot more to say. But if you’re reading this and your kiwi, just realise that NZ i a little rock on the bottom of the world, stop being so proud and thinking we have it right and Americans have it wrong. Americans are in my experience far more genuine and nice people than any kiwi I’ve ever met. I wish I was born in another country. Fuck you New Zealanders ( is that too harsh?), I really do feel like that though.
I agree entirely. I was born there and the country is a shameful embarassment. I also despise the so called culture. The country is only good for machos, crimials, and the brain dead. It a oorrupt and dangerous country.
Read Passionless People Revisited and Dirty Politics- they gives you a realistic viewpoint on NZers. The culture sucks and it is very hard to find nice non-opinionated people. Electric shock treatment and medical enforcement are still all done here on people who have mental problems or who are different form the norm. Do not ever get a medical certificate that shows you have depression or mental health issues as a doctor can enforce medical intervention on you against your will and electrical shock treatment. It is a dark culture.
I’m American and recall when I first got here (St.Clair/Dunedin area), I was looking to get my hair cut. All I needed was my fringe cut and couldn’t believe it cost $75-100 for a haircut. I walked by a completely dead salon (a large one, too) with a woman sitting at the counter. I walked in, smiled, said hello and asked how much a cut would be. She said $85 without a hello or smile. I said, how much to just get my fringe cut? She paused, stone faced, then said, you have to get it ALL cut. I said, ok..thank you…and walked out. Wouldn’t you think SOME money is better than NO money? I couldn’t help but think had I been a Kiwi, she would have obliged (AND been more friendly).
I found that the older generation seems to be nicer to me (I’m middle aged) and that making actual friends is difficult here. Generally nicer folks will have a conversation with you (ones you see often) but don’t take it any further. No invitations to do things together or share a meal. I’ve been here for a year 1/2 and can’t say I have a single Kiwi “friend.” I do quite a lot of in-person business through TradeMe with pickups and rarely has anyone acknowledged that I’m American. I’d say 1 out of 10 might mention it. Seems most couldn’t care less which is fine by me.
I certainly don’t feel like I “belong” here or have the need to stay. Australia seems more civilized and modern than here. It never ceases to amaze me when I walk into some homes here that haven’t been updated in what feels like 50 years. You can sell carpet that’s 40 years old and people will jump on it. It’s crazy how much basic things cost here and that I perk up when the prospect of K-Mart is in view. Sad, really. I’ve lived in third world countries that are more modern than here.
Women oppress other women in NZ horrendously and prostitution is an accepted profession. The police will often help a prostitute out more than you- maybe they get a little extra on the side. Kiwis have little morals and ethics overall. Money is their focus and being nice is not a part of the business attitude here. The attitude is we offer you a service so you can cater to us as we are god and you are a slave that must bow to us. I prefer to do business with Asians.
I’m glad to see that I’m not the only one who finds it racist when your so-called “defenders” always say “we need their money,” as if that is the only reason to be tolerant.
In the time I’ve been here, I have formed closer bonds with my Asian friends than the Kiwi ones. We just seem to have more in common.
Hello everyone so my story is unusual. My father is from New Zealand and my mother is from America and so am I. My two other siblings and the rest of my family is from New Zealand. My mother and I were thinking about moving to New Zealand to be with family and i was just seeing if we would get verbally abused like some of these stories I have been reading. Comment what you think.
Yes you will and they will not show it much. The abuse is passive-aggressive. I would not move to NZ again if you paid me. Australia is much better and more accepting of Americans. NZ are frogs in a well- can’t see outside the box. Have very little education about America.
NZ is a highly dysfunctional culture- it does not know what bullying is, bias, human rights violations, ethics or even allow you to get a job on merit. Impartiality does not come into the equation in life here. People act nice on the surface esp if they want you to buy something but they really do not care about you and only themselves. The country is so expensive to live that people cannot be even be generous with food. There is little hospitality in NZ and little care for others, meaning people of other cultures.
Kiwis seem to get offended and upset fairly easily. Kind of childish.
They have a huge chip on their shoulder – just ask the Aussies if you do not believe me.
I have to admit that most kiwis that have traveled to the US are mostly agreeable and enjoy talking with Americans and telling of their trip. Kiwis that have never been anywhere seem to be the most grumpy.
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