It’s True – Kiwis Don’t Really Like Americans

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”

405 thoughts on “It’s True – Kiwis Don’t Really Like Americans

  1. 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.


  2. 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.


  3. 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.


  4. 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.


  5. 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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