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”

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

  1. I’m going out on a limb here.
    I still feel as though there is some remediation required and I do not relinquish that responsibility. Most that I’ve trained have appreciated my input, so I will continue to train all that will listen. Defiant, I know.

  2. I know this has been mentioned several times here [probably by me] but reoccurrence is prompting me to mention again.
    Kiwis would really like to be Americans! Only with an occasional slip of the tongue will you hear them admit it, but this is true. With longing they say how things are better and cheaper in the States then descend into a soliloquy relating of how the US is bombing this place, they all have guns and kill each other, or some other spacious critique. But, when push comes to shove, they envy the quality of America and inwardly want to be them. Just dangle a pair of Levis or some other uniquely American product or life style [music, fashion…] and see how fast they drool over it.
    So, they are compelled to try and diminish America because they are not America, and that makes them sad.

  3. I have been working with some Kiwis recently [can’t avoid it].
    Very disorganized, poor work ethic, lacking in knowledge.
    Even though I’ve got vast experience at this work, they don’t want to hear it.
    Also, picking fights about politics [gun control, shootings].
    NZ has a terrible infant mortality problem, they don’t mention that, though.

    • “Very disorganized, poor work ethic, lacking in knowledge. Even though I’ve got vast experience at this work, they don’t want to hear it.”

      That’s one by-product of the good old tall poppy syndrome of many Kiwis as well as their tendency to gett butthurt over criticism.

        • “Young country” as in showing that they think that they know everything but are really ignorant?
          Anyone with kids knows how that plays out.

          Disorganized and unorganized. People get used to walking around looking for stuff because nobody know where anything is, waste because things get left out/can’t find, production levels down, and this is a time sensitive project. That must be kiwi ingenuity, figuring out how to waste time and $. She’ll be right?

      • “gett butthurt over criticism”

        I’ve been very careful to not SAY anything, just DO.
        New ways of attacking problems provides faster results while achieving desired product. When given tasks, I’ll approach it with fresh methodology, and can usually out produce someone that has been doing same task for awhile [and doing it the “approved way”]. So, I can’t overtly criticize, but try and set an example that may or may not be taken up.
        Many times I’ve been asked to do something once, just so that I can be observed [to see how I’d tackle a problem] then moved somewhere else as those watching can carry on with a new methodology. Stalking horse.
        The adversarial environment is stifling and unproductive.

    • “Very disorganized, poor work ethic, lacking in knowledge. Even though I’ve got vast experience at this work, they don’t want to hear it.”

      The good old tall poppy syndrome at play again, as well as the tendency of my Kiwis to get butthurt from criticism.

    • It’s ALWAYS like this. Just take a look at the comments of any news site, they jump on ANY article related to problems in other countries, yet remain DEAD SILENT on any featuring kiwis as the culprits. There was a recent one where an Asian couple, sorry I don’t remember exactly, who had committed some sort of tax fraud. The kiwis were all over that. Even more recently a kiwi guy got done for the same thing, and not a single comment.

  4. A good percentage of kiwis dislike what they represent and how they have changed the world for the worst.

  5. I have been there on two occasions. In the broadest sense of the word- sick mentally and sick physically.

  6. USA is the sickest country on earth. Very sad. Why do so many kiwis who travel overseas go there? It is beyond me.

    • Not as ignorant as you maybe?

      Sure there are a lot of issues, but they also have a larger population. The same level of violence would be present here if we were a larger country. In fact we already have a level of violence too high for our population, with some of the highest rates of child abuse, domestic violence, and elderly abuse on the planet. Who is sick now?

      Kiwis are not some kind of morally superior race.

      • It’s funny, even the potus gets it wrong, perpetuating the myth that “things like this” don’t happen anywhere else. That is simply not true. Bad stuff happens EVERYWHERE, you just hear about it more from the US as lots of people like to watch them.

  7. Reading this has terrified me because I’m an American who just decided to take a gap year between high school and college in NZ. I did this so I could travel, experience different culture and see beautiful landscapes. NZ looked absolutely perfect and a peaceful place. Someone tell me I didn’t make the wrong decision because most of what I have read is negative. I’m working on getting a work visa so I won’t be totally broke, that is if I can find a job. If what I’ve read is true, I will not get a job because I’m American. I’ve put all my money into this with a organization which is suppose to help me find work and place to stay but there is no guarantee they can accommodate me. I’m worried that I will end up in a town with no job, no place to stay and in a county that dislikes/hates me. If anyone can shed some light on this please feel free. I need to know if what I want is hopeless.

    • You will be fine. The outfit that you are going with probably has connections that will see you doing [seasonal] ag/farm/orchard work and staying in a hostel. I’ve seen this arraignment before.
      Life in NZ as a resident is vastly different than going to NZ as a tourist with a fixed departure date.
      You may still hear a few anti-American comments and hopefully they won’t grind on you.
      Whatever you do, DO NOT get “trapped”. No serious commitments and leave. The difficult part of living in NZ is the long slow grind of most of the things that you’ve been reading about on here. Short term exposure should not have any long term damage.
      NZ can be an interesting place, if only staying for a year and travelling around and you have $.

    • Hey I’m a New Zealander and I don’t necessarily hate Americans just the way your government is run, how you guys think you are the boss of everything and your retarded gun laws. I mean seriously what is up with your nation! Every week I see a killing or two maybe more in America! It is ridiculous! when will your stupid pathetic nation wake up! Otherwise I don’t hate Americans just the way your nation is run! The only Americans I dislike are those who run your nation and the one’s who have half a brain or no brain at all!

      Thank you have a a good day/ time in New Zealand if you are hear or were.

      • “how you guys think you are the boss of everything…” That’s Kiwi speak for you have nothing to say in our country and your experience and opinion are worthless here.”

      • “Every week I see a killing or two maybe more in America!”

        Have you checked the news in NZ? Don’t need a gun to kill someone. Killing going on all over. Guns are not the problem, people are.

      • “retarded gun laws in Ameeica” you are joking right? A six year old kid can fill out a fake licence with a crayon and buy a mail order gun in New Zealand. The only reason why Kiwis aren’t shooting the shit out of each other is because they can’t afford to buy the ammunition.

      • I agree our politician are bloody idiots. I believe if we spent more time fixing our countries issues and let the world handle there’s as it should be things would flow better.

      • I’m also a New Zealander. Here, every week I see a stabbing, murder, severe beating, domestic violence incident, nonstop road death, MURDERED CHILDREN, abused elderly. Yeah, what were you saying again?

      • You must have one eye closed about your own Gov as it is doing things that would be considered human rights violations in America and getting away with it.

    • If you don’t mind me asking, what organization is helping you travel, work and stay in NZ. I am American and want to do the same thing..
      Thanks.

    • Honestly the only reason why we (New Zealanders) are sick of people coming to our country from over sea’s is because we are a small country with limited housing and employment, Who ever made this article clearly doesn’t no that much about New Zealand, to be honest nobody really cares where your from and New Zealanders are really just people who have strong opinions in just about everything.
      and in the article is says” Cant believe how many people in the USA seem to be gullible and just not all that intelligent” That is because all we ever see from some american people are viral videos of people jump of the roof of their house, obviously you have very intelligent people it just the only thing that New Zealander’s see are stupid video’s, this article is very fake i am a New Zealander grown up here all my life and i have never heard anyone say anything about america, and most peoples dream here is to go to america

      • nobody really cares where your from and New Zealanders are really just people who have strong opinions in just about everything.
        Laidback and nonjudgemental I see. /sarcasm
        A strong opinion without concrete knowledge, some facts or reference (not some “Jackass” videos – remember, New Zealand has “Back of The Y Masterpiece Television” – would kiwis like to be judged as a whole on that?) … is simply bigotry and prejudice.

      • “are sick of people coming to our country from over sea’s”
        You should talk to your government about this because they are out pimping NZ.
        While you’ve got their attention, could you have them change the information available to prospective migrants to mention the ” limited housing and employment”?
        ” to be honest nobody really cares where your from” That’s not really honest, heads snap when an American accent is heard, that’s not not caring. And I wouldn’t mind if it was limited to head snapping, it’s the other stuff that goes with it that is unattractive.
        ” i have never heard anyone say anything about America, and most peoples dream here is to go to America” They talk about America all the time. The last statement is true, you can see it in the envious emulation of fashion, music….
        Maybe you’ve just never “tuned” your ear and haven’t noticed, it goes on all the time.
        I’ll give you the benefit of doubt.

        • Kiwis are pimping their own country and allowing others to buy it up as they get more money. Kiwis do not own NZ but those of Maori decent who have Moriori and Waitahe blood. These people should be charging each and every Pakeha Kiwi for pimping their land and destroying their culture and using their natural resources for capita gain. NZ is very good at pimping btw and even allows pimping in its prostitution act. If you want to know human slavery, just come to NZ and work for someone as you will be lucky to even get a bathroom break as if you are an ‘other’ plan as working 2X harder than the average kiwi who often likes to bolster themselves up and chit chat while they work. But know you must know someone to get a job here as you cannot get a job by merit unless you are a prostitute.

      • No.
        I’m a New Zealander and can safely say you’re wrong and I am now of the opinion that you have never left your house.

    • [Don’t troll, don’t like what you read here? don’t read it. Bye. Admin]

  8. One of my good friends is American and because I’m a gamer and speedrunner most of my online time is spent with Americans. Never had an issue.

    As many have already said, NZ is saturated in American media loves it.

    My friend who is over in Japan now is great. He gets me on skype calls for his stream and often makes fun of my accent in a fun, good-natured way and would actually research stuff about NZ.

    Anyway, America brought us 24. You can’t argue with that. THANK YOU AMERICA.

  9. I’m sad to say I’ve experienced this anti-American attitude among some of my best friends in New Zealand. I lived in NZ for four years back in the 60s, and I loved it and my friends there. I felt totally welcome and even felt assimulated. I only learned since from my Kiwi friends that we Americans were not welcome and were even viewed with some suspicion before we even arrived.

    That alone would not be enough for me to believe in the current, apparent dislike for Americans, but I still hear insults from my Kiwi friends this many years after. It hurts my feelings deeply, sometimes, but reading about the Tall Poppy Complex helps me to understand a little. Is it a national inferiority complex that makes my friends and perhaps other New Zealanders want to tear down a country such as the United States that, although far from perfect, has done so much good in the world?.

    My friends tell me they doubt the United States would come to their aid if they were ever in need. I hope they never need us, but I’m certain we’ll be there in a “New York Minute,”if they ever do.

    • “Is it a national inferiority complex”?
      You’re on to it. Kiwis are very different when abroad. They know they’ve got to get along and generally they do. But, when you get them on home turf, watch out. They will take every advantage to make you feel not very welcome.
      It is paradoxical that the things that they love [American culture; music, fashion…] comes from a place and people they loath.
      But, don’t get me started on NZ paradox.

  10. One of my favorite quotes from Charles Barkley during the “Dream Team” Olympics:

    “Everybody in the world has an ego. The only difference between us is we have a reason to have an ego.”

    This is what and why I think that many do not like Americans. Most believe this and for many, this is true.
    Significant factor is that we can back up our egos.

    • Hi Moana,

      How exciting! I’ve never met someone from New Zealand. I may have to save up my pennies and dimes to get there, but It would be wonderful to visit. My e-mail as well schawnyboi@gmail.com

      Shawn.

  11. I have lived in NZ for a total of 17 years. I am a dual national and hold NZ and US citizenship and travel on a NZ passport when needed. I was 1st discriminated in employment by my employer due to country of origin (USA) in 87 when I went for a manager position here in Auckland. I was told in the interview that they wanted to be seen as a “NZ company” and preferred to promote a NZ’er to the position. Years later a light bulb went off and I realized I had run into discrimination. Employment in NZ is all about who you know. Other than that they prefer locals over immigrants. There are some exceptions. IT, medical and academia. Age discrimination is really awful so if you are over 35 think really hard. In the late 80’s they used to advertise for jobs with age ranges (25-33 year old). When they passed the Human rights act that defines discrimination in employment they put country of origin, race age, gender etc. However there is no teeth to this law and violators only receive a letter from the HRC saying they have been bad. No fines etc. So employment law is skin deep. I would not consider coming to this country to seek employment unless you are in the 3 categories I mention above.
    After 17 years I still get stupid comments directed at me about the US. “they don’t know how to make coffee” “they speak slowly” “They are war mongers” etc. I gave up looking for work a few years ago.
    If you want a great climate consider Hawaii. Cheaper to live there than here.

    • There is actually a quick and easy way for people to find out if Kiwis are willing to accept them as more than just tourists with dollars:
      (however, I am sure a lot of misinformation is thrown around to keep jobseeking non-tourists away AND to play mind-games or increase the cost of entry for those people)
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Working_holiday_visa

      New Zealand[edit]
      Available to the following 42 countries or region, Citizens of Argentina, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Latvia, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Singapore (6-months-work exchange programme), Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States of America, Uruguay and Vietnam.
      No working holiday visa is required for Australia citizens. All Australian citizens, regardless of their age or education (but subject to being of good character), are granted a residence class visa at the border upon entering New Zealand by virtue of the Trans-Tasman Travel Arrangement.[74]
      Citizens of the United Kingdom can work in New Zealand for 23 months on a working holiday visa; citizens of other countries can work up to 12 months.
      Most travellers can enroll in one training or study course of up to three months duration during their visit. Australian citizens can study in New Zealand indefinitely.[75]

    • “Employment in NZ is all about who you know.”
      This is so true. Most relationships date back to grade school and there are lots of people that have not moved more than 100 miles from their place of birth. So, unless you’ve developed a close personal relationship with someone in a position of authority [power to hire], things will be tough. The “skin deep” apearance of doing things right is rife, not just in employment. Age discrimination is a hard one to overcome, if you have lots of experience you’d think that that would be viewed as a valuable asset.
      I’d always considered Hawaii to be one of the more expensive places to live, but I recon that you are right that Hawaii would be cheaper to live in than NZ. Maybe the same cost of living wise, but miles ahead as far as climate and quality of living.

  12. CHEERS! Shawn!!!! I love Americans and adored my trip to your country…. I’m a kiwi. I love the big smiles and patriotism! And there are many many like me Here. If you ever head to NZ please email and I’ll ensure dinner and drinks… take care

  13. takes off reading glasses and smiles across the keyboard …. awesomely said Shawn. And just so yah know mate…if you lived closer I’d happily share my Vegemite with you.

    • Too bad I’m so far away, I’ve never tried Vegemite. Course I’d have to return the favor by bringing along some green chilie for you to try.

  14. After reading through the various comments on this form, I wanted to share a few thoughts.

    In general I believe most Americans know full well there is a certain level of dislike for this country in parts of the world. As far as stereotypes go I’m sure if you were take a look at our country you would find loud mouth, obese, and ignorant Americans. I also believe you would find a great many people who are the exact opposite. Unfortunately, American media does tend to focus on the negative, as well as play up stereotypes. Most people, should they visit the United States, would be amazed I think at the size and diversity of the country. For 324 million people, we get along surprisingly well, better than you would think listening to our media. Absolutely we have problems in this country, and we work through them in a very public fashion.

    Are we patriotic? Yes, but I would challenge you to think of it in this way. Presidents come and go, members of Congress leave office(most American’s would argue that our politicians can’t leave office soon enough.) The only real constant in a county as diverse as we are is nationalism. The -idea- of America is the only glue holding a country of such differing cultures and values together.

    We tend to also pull together as, when tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, fires, and disasters hit Americans have to help each other for we know others won’t be sending aid. The rest of the world says let em’ take care of it, and so we’ve learned to do just that. As a result, we’ve become on the whole, a pretty friendly group of people because its a big country with loads of ways to find yourself in trouble. Plus life is difficult enough. We say hello to others just because we do. We ask how your day is, even if we know the pat answer will be “Good” We like to look you in the eye, and shake your hand firmly, cause that’s what we’ve been taught our entire lives. (And to not do so raises our suspicions about you). We laugh loudly when hearing a good joke, because that what we do. We expect things done precisely right every time and give unrestrained tongue lashings if it isn’t. Why? Because at our work we get held to the same high standard and catch hell when we screw up.

    As for the charge that America goes it alone, that we disregard international law and sometimes appear to do as we please I can only say at times the answer to that is – yes. As with all things though, the reasons behind that are often ignored. There was a time when this country wanted nothing to do with the rest of the world. George Washington warned us about entangling alliances with Europe and most American’s were loathe to get involved in others affairs. just as we would rather not butt into the neighbor next door’s business. So the question is, why the change?

    Americans were told in 1917 that we have to fight to “make the world safe for democracy.” and so we did. Then we were discouraged to see a failed peace process after a war which seemed to illustrate how base western civilization had become. So what did this country do? Withdrew from world affairs though the 1920s and into the 1930s. We blamed the big arms manufactures for pulling us into conflict. We said, let Europe deal with Hitler and Mussolini after all, its their problem. Perhaps if we ignore Japan they will go away and leave us be. The result, was an even more terrible conflict. After which in 1945 America and Americans still wanted to leave be and just go home. Next up came militant communism, and in that was the change. The country moved to be more engaged in world affairs, vowing to not let another totalitarian regime go on the march. Who else could have stood up? Europe? Bombed and battered, the Pacific? much the same. America’s leaders told us that we had to act in world affairs and we agreed. From that point on, this country acted, blunders, missteps, mistakes, and all.

    Now again, after Korea, Vietnam, Gulf Wars, and various other conflicts, this country begins to turn inward again, forgetting commitments we made round the world. An easy thing to do really. Remember in addition to the goings on among the blowhards in Washington, the average American is bombarded by news from 50 state legislatures, and 50 governors. Add to that local city government, as well as country government and that becomes quite a bit to pay attention to. Now add in family, friends, our favorite T.V. shows, Facebook and Netflix and we’ve got loads to distract us from happenings in say… New Zealand.

    American should travel more… Yes we should, but we don’t. There really is no excuse for that, we should be experiencing other cultures, listening to what people unlike us have to say. However, and I use myself as an example. Lets say I wish to visit Europe. I must drive 3 1/2 hours to get to a major airport. (I live in the West so we don’t use miles, but hours when talking distance.) So I drive to Albuquerque, then board a flight to New York. That would be $600 bucks on a great day and perhaps up to 5 more hours travel time. I’m still in country. Now I must fly across the Atlantic… Or, perhaps I will drive to a nearby state, far cheaper and I don’t gotta pay 85 bucks to Uncle Sam for a Passport.

    I just say all this to give some insight, just as I’ve gotten loads of insight from this board. If you do meet an American in New Zealand, say hi you will be rewarded with a wide smile and a hello. From reading this board, I’ll bet we’ll be relieved that someone said hello to us after wondering why everyone who passes by so far said nothing. Please don’t tell us our government sucks. First, more or less we agree with that statement already. Second Its one thing for us to criticize our own, but it raises our hackles when others do. That patriotism thing again… If we compare your country to ours, sorry we shouldn’t cause it rubs you the wrong way. We New Mexican’s don’t like being compared to Texans but people in both our states agree that everyone northeast of the Mississippi is a “Yankee.” So we don’t always understand what Yank means when you tell us that. That conjures up images in our minds images of heavy snows, congested cities and clam chowder

    Yes, we are brash, and should, display better manners. Especially when in another country. Still we think that everyone in New Zealand is great, cause we just do. If you were here we’d take you all out for dinner and a drink if you’d let us. As you speak we will be spellbound at every word you utter, no worries, we just wish we had such a great accent.

  15. To Shelly Williams:

    I’d like to chalk your response to misreading what I said, yet you quoted me in your response. I’m terribly sorry to have to break this to you, but New Zealand was simply not founded in the 1980’s. If you find that farfetched, I would kindly direct you to the 1840 Treaty of Waitangi….
    Lange barred the USS Buchanan from making a port of call in February 1985. It wasn’t until two years later that your parliament finally got around to passing the New Zealand Nuclear Free Zone, Disarmament, and Arms Control Act.
    That Oxford debate I may not have heard about in March of 1985 was televised in the United States on the then big three networks, in….. March of 1985. In a year when cable television was still a novelty in a handful of American cities, I couldn’t not have watched it. I had some sympathy for Lange’s sentiments. Many Americans did. I found him a trifle arrogant, and very much pandering to Labour’s base back home. As for Falwell… I couldn’t stomach him then any better than I could later.
    You stated that Lange’s actions resulted in a 20 year embargo. Nonsense.
    Despite some very asinine comments from the then President Reagan, Dick Cheney, and a very mild, very vague threat of a Department of State spokesman, Defense Secretary Weinberger, the Congress was never going to allow any form of economic sanctions against New Zealand, never mind an Embargo.
    All that happened in the real world is that the U.S. government initially agreed with Britain that it would not violate Lange’s wishes to avoid jeopardizing the ANZUS agreement, until such time as Lange lifted his ban. When that didn’t happen, the U.S. washed its hands of its security obligations to New Zealand – downgrading NZ’s status from “ally” to “friend.” Lest hay be made of that designation, the United States has used the word in a technical sense for military allies since the Nineteenth Century.
    Your claim that the United States has withheld intelligence to locate and capture terrorists is, I presume, really only about Louis Pierre Dillais. I didn’t know when the story broke why he was allowed in the states, and I have no idea if he still is. I’ll assume he is, as his extradition would have certainly made the major press.
    To reiterate point #4; asinine comments and sentiments are one thing; actions quite another. Despite the rhetoric from a more-than-a-little-pissed off Reagan administration, Congress was never remotely willing to consider any kind of sanctions, let alone an embargo, of New Zealand. In reality, due in the main to widespread, if fleeting, celebrity status, NZ exports to the states after June of 1985. Further, the French threats of excluding NZ from trade with the then EEC came to….. nothing.
    That embarrassing credit downgrade of New Zealand early in 1991 was New Zealand’s fault. Not because of any imaginary embargo or sanctions on the part of the United States, or any other country, or organization of countries.

  16. To Jeff G…. you wrote that …”New Zealand has no founding myth based upon supposedly “standing up” to the American colossus” ….you are wrong sir.
    NZ did stand up to America in the 80’s., when the popular no nukes law was enacted in NZ. No nuclear weapons in NZ waters. It was not popular with American politicians at the time and resulted in a 20 YEAR EMBARGO on NZ by the USA. During that time period the French government sent agents to sink the Rainbow Warrior (the Greenpeace flagship), while she was berthed in Auckland harbor. An act of terrorism which the USA government of the day supported by refusing to share intelligence with NZ authorities to aid in locating and capturing the terrorists.
    Perhaps you have never heard of the famous debate David Lange participated in at the Oxford Union Debate held on 1March 1985.
    Quote…”To compel an ally to accept nuclear weapons against the wishes of that ally, is to take the moral position of totalitarianism, which allows for no self determination and is exactly the evil we are supposed to be fighting against.”

    At that time, the American state department stance of trampling an ally nations right to self determination, in order to assert USA interests was a shock to all NZ’rs who had fought side by side with Americans during WWII. Prevailing opinion at the time was that Americans were WONDERFUL people who were oblivious to what their leaders were doing to overseas nations.

    And so…after a small nation in the Pacific had the temerity to say no to the USA state department, economic sanctions were imposed and a whole generation of New Zealanders grew up with their eyes wide open to what happens when you say no to ‘an ally’.

    Yes, saying NO to nuclear weapons in NZ resulted in economic hardship for the whole country.
    Yes, saying NO to nuclear energy plants resulted in what some Americans might perceive as a ‘lower standard of living’. In NZ, if you are hot, you open a window. You don’t turn on the air conditioning because hydro energy is expensive. However that’s why you travel overseas, experience different cultures, step out of your comfort zone

    Here is the link to a recording of that Oxford Debate

  17. [ “islandised” culture ] I’d say “tribal”. This seems to be the current “anti-western” mindset. Active in most hotspots of anti-western culture.

  18. @Shelley Williams: The observation that the Maoris assimilated the colonials into their culture is one of the most poignant observations about New Zealand. My wife, who was born and grew up in New Zealand, often expresses her disgust at the “islandised” culture of New Zealand. For example, very few people have any kind of ambition or set goals. Similarly, people lack basic time management skills such as punctuality. Moreover, people work sloppily and just do the absolute minimum required. We are much happier living in Switzerland amongst people with culture.
    I find your observation about the Kiwi outspokenness interesting. Kiwis are often eager to offer their opinion, usually a rather ill-informed one that lacks cogency, about certain topics. For example, Kiwis love to criticize the USA, its policies, or dumb Americans. Similarly, they love to attack the rich etc. I was usually pugnacious towards these ignorant Kiwi cretins, which tended to elicit a lack of confrontation on their part or rather an unwillingness to discuss the matter further.
    On the other hand, the Kiwis have a surprisingly amount of uniformity in thought. Kiwis will not stand up collectively towards bullies at work nor will they stand up to those who are flagrantly ignoring the rules of decency and decorum. This type of passiveness and unwillingness to do something to rectify what is wrong was one of the most infuriating things about dealing with the Kiwi inbreeds.

    • @safefromnewzealand: To build upon your last thought, I’d say that the native, or non-travelling, Kiwi’s ‘most infuriating’ trait is their – almost – collective militant ignorance of the larger world; particularly so the United States.
      Yes, they have very strong opinions about American policy and culture; but their sources are, more often than not, few, and hopelessly biased and naive.
      As a former Canadian, now an American for many years, I am all too familiar with the behavior. New Zealand has no founding myth based upon supposedly “standing up” to the American colossus, as Canada does, but the inferiority complex, and cultural resentment, rings true.

  19. I’m a kiwi and I’ve lived in the USA. Although both nations speak English… vastly different cultures. I think it is the cultural differences that has resulted in many Americans visitors feeling the sentiments expressed above. Biggest difference: In America people don’t like to openly discuss politics, religion or birth control matters like abortion… not with other family members, friends, co workers and definitely not with strangers. In New Zealand everyone will discuss those topics at the drop of a hat. Many American will try to be polite and non committal in reply. Many NZ’rs take that as an insult. NZ’rs take great stock in people standing up and speaking their minds. It is not a gun culture…you will not get shot, fired from your job, kicked out of your church or any other form of retaliation because you hold different views. In most of the countries that Britain colonized, the indigenous people were assimilated. In NZ it is more a case of the Indigenous people (Maori) learnt English and assimilated the colonialists into their culture. Both nations might speak English but how those words are used comes from different cultures.

    • “NZ’rs take great stock in people standing up and speaking their minds.”

      Yet when you do, you get shot down [figureatively]. So, it is all the same, except for the fact that being from the US, you’ve got more anti-US sentiment going against you.

      Nice try, WWINZ.

      Take off your “kiwi tinted glasses”. NZ is not as open to outside influence as you might think, especially when you present a different point of view.

    • Take it from a Kiwi who lived in Los Angeles and worked REAL jobs for quite a number of years, dealing with people and companies from different states the cultural foundation is the same, how we live day to day, who we are and what we do, western culture if you like and yes there are a few different flavours here and there but no big deal.

      People are people,where you see the differences, I see similarities and American friends of
      mine made the same observations when visiting NZ on business and recreation.

      Regarding the discussion of politics what you say is not representative at all, my experience
      is quite the opposite and they will listen to opposing views and uphold the right to have those
      views with friends and complete strangers while maintaining respect, and have a bit of fun with it.
      There are exceptions and those people generally occupy the polar regions of politics.
      (Hey, doesn’t that have a ring of familiarity to Kiwis!)
      As far as loosing your job goes or getting ostracised, workplace bullying happens there the same as NZ, BUT my experience is when rubber meets the road Americans get on with the task at hand and small issues don’t get in the way and I am proud to say I have been part of that.
      As far a New Zealanders speaking their minds, many parrot what they hear in the media, certainly
      when it comes to the U.S. and when challenged to look at the bigger picture or context they react childishly with exception of those of us who are not prejudiced.

      Unfortunately for NZ the entitilement culture has permeated possibly further into the general populace than in USA and close behind follows the Tall Poppy Syndrome.

  20. Be sure to have him apologize for American colonialism. His new mates will lapt that up, never once appreciating the irony.

  21. On second thought, come on over. I’m sure your attitude toward your homeland will save you from all the hatred. The’ll naturally see that you are one of them and accept you as a kindred spirit. You’ll be loved and all your talents will be appreciated here. As will your superior intellect. They really like people with a superior intellect. Especially well educated ones. Because the are like that, willing to drop their hatred of Americans if they see that you agree with them. And they are a kind and forgiving people too. Pack your bags and come on over…(mwahahahahahahahaha!)

  22. Great. Just what we need over here. Another disillusioned expat with a moon fetish. Stay home. You make life even harder for us Americans living here. Seriously. Stay there.

  23. I am a college student in Denver, Colorado in the United States. This post took the words from my mind, to be honest it still feels new to me to know that I live in a nation so horribly deceptive. No one knows anything about why we’re in Iraq (oil), that Reagan’s administration brought cocaine into our country and introduced it into black communities, that the moon landing was faked (… it was faked), etc. Everyone is addicted to social media also. I eager to escape and New Zealand sounds perfect. 🙂 I hope I’d be relieved well.

      • If you like blaming America for the world’s problems, you’ll fit in. If you like to bash American “policy”, you’ll fit in. If you like to point out how Americans are “fat, dumb and lazy”, you’ll fit in.
        Don’t to forget to pick up your “kiwi tinted” glasses on your way in, she’ll be right, mate.

  24. Villager intellects, villager lives, villager outlook, Living there was like living in a straitjacket, I’d rather have lived in Royston Vasey UK. At least you have continental Europe a hop skip and jump away in far-flung areas of Europe. With New Zealand, you’re being bled dry and have an ocean all around you. You become like a prisoner being kept for plasma donation source if you can’t afford to leave. Impossible to just hop anywhere for a break from living with them and their tiny friggin minds, cold abnormal personalities, sneering smug mugs, crafty expert hiding of all their dirty laundry, and robbery of any penny you make.

  25. I am North-Eastern European and to be honest I like Americans way better than I like a lot of kiwis. Americans I’ve met are great, they open, approachable, they don’t sit in their little shell and try to bite you, like a lot of people here do.

    Americans are easy to talk to, easy to find a lot of subjects to discuss. Kiwis I’ve aren’t like that at all.

    Kiwis here honestly say they don’t really like or trust Americans, but the truth is they don’t really like or trust anyone who wasn’t born in New Zealand. A lot fo them are xenophobic, they constantly pick on foreigners to make their life uncomfortable, unpleasant.

    They have to admit it sooner or later that quite a few of them are not ready to share this land with anyone but themselves (and mind you all of them are migrants) and that New Zealand will never make the social or technological progress America has made.

  26. I traveled to New Zealand 2 years ago and felt the dislike for Americans. I said nothing and did nothing to deserve the attitude. When I returned to America I mentioned my experience to my brother. A year later he visited New Zealand. He reported the same behavior.

  27. I also disagree with this article. Kiwis hate everyone equally except of course Australians who they hate with passion. Kiwis call Australians ozzies despite their being neither an O or Z in Australa, perhaps they find it easier to spell? The worst New Zealanders are the ones living overseas. They seriously think that they are superior people despite only excelling in Rugby which also happens to be their national sport unlike any other country. I have known many kiwis and individually they are ok but something strange happens when they are in groups of 2 or more. Massive chips develop on their shoulders. They also love going on other countries fan pages for sport making stupid statements with strage words like yous followed by hahahaha.
    Anyway don’t let any of this stop you from visiting New Zealand as it really is a beautiful country and they send most of the idiots to Australia.

  28. You clearly didn’t learn anything about these people when you were here. We don’t need to get their attention. The DO know about the lives they destroyed and they are proud of it. Some Americans tried to get their attention on the John Campbell show a few years back. He just mocked them. They are a hateful petty people. They like it that way.

  29. I don’t think Anti-Americanism exists in New Zealand. If they really hate us then why are they broadcasting our movies? Everytime I turned on the TV and if there was a movie on, it was an American film. Why are they playing our music on the radio? Why are they begging the hottest music acts who are mostly American to come and play in NZ? Stick to watching Shortland Street.

    • Mike – you seem to have made up your mind and fail to grasp what others are telling you. Maybe you haven’t read the numerous personal accounts on this site. Maybe you just don’t get it – yet.

      Or, perhaps, you can get in synch with the kiwi vibration. I would be willing to say no, however, as you had no success here for the first half year or so that you did live here.

      If you have the money saved and are hell-bent on living in New Zealand [don’t live on credit cards or debt to finance your trip], maybe you should give it another go and learn the hard way. You sound young enough and single, so maybe it will give you the answers and insights you seek. Who knows? If you do succeed, you can come back here and enlighten the rest of us.

      However, if I were you, I would take the life lesson you have been taught already, stay where you are, or emigrate elsewhere, and save yourself a big bag of hurt.

    • To answer your questions as to why kiwis watch American movies and listen to American music:

      1. Movies and music are products, and the US is very good at producing – and selling – enjoyable entertainment in affordable volume. The kiwi broadcast and entertainment industries then purchase American content and re-‘sell’ it for profit. It’s a business model that works.

      2. There simply isn’t a large, alternative supply of up-to-date, high-quality English-speaking content from anywhere else. You can only watch the Hobbit so many times, or listen to Lorde’s music for so long.

      3. Kiwis like to consume mediocre American entertainment to condescend and feed their superiority complex/ chip on their shoulder.

      4. Kiwis are followers. They secretly wish to emulate much of America, but would never admit it.

      • This is not to say that the UK or Australia don’t produce a lot of (good) content, it’s just that the US still produces a lot more. Also, piracy is a huge problem here, and I would guess that a lot of entertainment that is broadcast is bootleg or so old it is considered public domain. That has to be why they play mostly 70s music the Carpenters, Eagles and BeeGees alot in retail and grocery stores. There is also a widespread KimDotcom mentality here that stealing (and reselling) American content is fair game if you can get away with it, which is apparently easy to do.

    • I just wouldn’t bother Mike, the world is a big place and NZ is the very dark, very lonely and rather backwards corner that people mostly forget about.

      Life over there, in the long run will consist of trying to make friends and trying to fit a round peg into a square hole, it just doesn’t go. I am mid 20s and I was offered work out there maybe 4-5 jobs in construction, I could go out there tomorrow and work on the farcical ‘christchurch rebuild’.

      NZ is a strange place, it has a very seedy underbelly and it is not the place it was 20 years ago, it is very, very expensive and you do not get your monies worth for ANYTHING, housing, food, clothing is all overpriced crap, the housing especially.

      It is not a place for young ambitious people, I would be very cautious settling with your wife there, the boredom will soon set in

  30. Yes. They didn’t hire you because you are American. My story is similar to yours. In LA, I was a multiple LA Press Club Award Winning Photoshop artist. Here, I work retail. I’ve been told that I’ll never advance in my retail job. It doesn’t matter how hard I work. My old career is finished. I’ve been told I’ll never be hired to do what I did for over 20 years. They “don’t need my flash Hollywood design….” If I claimed to be Canadian, all that would change. But I cannot lie. I still get some work from companies back in LA, but I have no design career in New Zealand. Here, they have put me in my place, meaning beneath their boots, to prove that they are stronger than America, because we’re all a bit up ourselves. Bigotry is the rule here, not the exception.

    • I have to agree. I worked in an industry that easily out produced the entire country, from one county, in one state. When the inovation of some high speed/productivity was offered, it was flattly rejected for “she’ll be right”. And I recon that that is mostly because this was being offered by an American.
      If I had been a Kiwi, gone to America, learned new techniques and come back, I would’ve been “quite clever”, but as an American, they don’t want to hear it from you.

    • That’s really sad Carvin. We have to do something to fix this! We need to get the country’s attention. I bet we could get our story on Breakfast! Those people seem very lovely. I’m sure they would be willing to tell our story on TV.

  31. wow! I cannot believe the amount of negative comments that have been left on this forum. Anti-Americanism in New Zealand? Really? I really want to believe that’s not true. Is it true? Okay, so here goes my story…
    I got engaged to a Kiwi earlier this year in January. We were so happy! We had been in a relationship for a long time and I felt that I had to pop the question when she came to L.A. to see me. I love this girl, she’s the woman of my dreams! So when she came to L.A. we went down to Mexico, I proposed to her and of course she said yes!! We had a beautiful future planned in New Zealand.
    A week later I was in Christchurch, NZ living with my fiancée, things were great. It was summer in New Zealand and Canterbury is just a beautiful place. I did a get a chance to travel to Dunedin, Queenstown, Wanaka, and other beautiful places in Otago and Canterbury regions. New Zealand really is one of the world’s most beautiful countries, definitely Top 5 in my opinion.
    I knew it wouldn’t be easy to get a work visa and as impatient as I am believe me! I was patient for way too long. I moved to NZ in February and got my visa in mid-May after hiring an immigration consultant who helped us throughout the process of submitting applications, letters from relatives and friends, pictures, proof of address, etc.
    Needless to say I was very excited when I got my visa! I was so happy! I couldn’t wait to start working. My fiancée is a medical imaging student and as part of her last year of study she had to do her placement in Wellington. So we were due to move to Wellington in June. I was very excited! Yes, I’m sorry! As beautiful as Canterbury is I used to complain about how dead and boring Christchurch was and I had heard Wellington was more of a cosmopolitan city with lots of job opportunities. I mean it is the capital of New Zealand after all.
    So we moved to Wellington. I was armed with my IRD number and my work visa. I was ready to go. I started applying for jobs on both Seek and Trade Me. I have a B.A. in both International Relations and French. Initially I was looking for a government job (i.e. city council, library). I then tried applying for international companies, call-centers, customer service jobs. No luck. I then tried applying to various different restaurants. I tried everything! I tried retail. I didn’t mind working at Farmers. I even applied for a job at McDonald’s and didn’t get it.
    At this point I went into depression. What was I doing wrong? I just needed a job. I needed an income. I was really frustrated and angry, so angry sometimes that I would start to take it out on my fiancee and well it began to take a toll on our relationship. I would stay at home all day and apply for jobs. Finally one day I decided I would try and go out and drop off my CV in person at various different restaurants. That didn’t work either.
    I just felt like a complete loser. My fiancée and I had a wonderful future planned. We had planned to get married in January of 2016 and now our wedding date is kinda up in the air. Some people told me that the reason why I was probably having such a hard time looking for work was because employers were waiting until after the elections to start making decisions on who to hire! WTF!? What does that have to do with me getting a job at restaurant? Needless to say I was very upset, unhappy and I wanted to get the hell out of New Zealand. I applied for a job at Wellington Airport and in my cover letter I told them I was having a hard time looking for work in hopes of them feeling sorry for me and giving me a job. That didn’t work either.
    I then thought okay…maybe these people don’t want to employ anyone with an accent like mine? They probably don’t want an American working at Farmers assisting their customers in a “horrendous American accent.” I met a young Canadian girl who has lived in NZ with her boyfriend for over 5 years and she’s now a resident and had a job and everything. I met a lovely Mexican couple who had just moved to NZ and they found jobs right away. The Mexican guy got a job as a project manager. They spoke English. To be honest, I didn’t meet that many Americans while in NZ. So this page here has sorta opened up my eyes, was I possibly discriminated against? Just because I’m American? Please tell me that’s not true!
    I spent 7 months in New Zealand doing nothing. I’m now back in L.A. I got a job within 2 weeks of arriving home. Unfortunately, my fiancee is still back in New Zealand finishing up her placement. Her family feels that I have abandoned her but I really had no choice but to leave. Those 7 months put me into a financial drawback. I need to get my act together. I do hope to go back to New Zealand to rejoin my fiancee. I want to live in NZ with her. I want to raise my children in NZ. I made sure to tell employers on my cover letter that I wasn’t just a traveler. I wanted to stay in NZ. Please, if there’s anyone out there, an employer? Please give me a chance, employ me. My work visa is still valid until May of 2015. I really need a job in New Zealand. I have faith in New Zealand.

    • Mike, take off the rose-colored glasses. It only goes downhill from where you were.

      The cardinal sin you committed was setting positive expectations, and then having the courage to display enthusiasm and a positive mental attitude.

      That simply doesn’t work here, especially for Americans.

      Sorry.

      • This is very true, a possitive attitude is viewed with curiosity and is suspect. Kiwis just want to make it to the end of the week so they can drink and watch rugby.

      • but why is that? What is it about Americans that they don’t like? So they don’t want an American as CEO of Farmers fine I get it! but have they thought about how they’re wrecking peoples’ lives? I left my whole life in America to be with my fiancee in New Zealand. All I wanted was a decent job and they couldn’t even give me that.

        • “What is it about Americans that they don’t like?”

          Your teeth, confidence, grooming. accent, cheerful attitude, your generosity, your relationship with your parents, your education, your country’s history, your country’s assumption that all things American did not actually start first in NZ, your tacit belief that all things American are not utter shit compared to all things NZ, your entire background, your parents, your grandparents, your pets (present and past) your face, your hair, your scent, your habits, your preferences and of course, you. And America. And they want to believe they are you, only better. Then they wish you would vaporize into thin air and that NZ really was American, but better. Good luck fitting in.

        • All these answers are so spot-on. Sometimes it is the way you look (could lose a few pounds? Nerdy-looking, not an outdoorsy or surfer look?), your manner (overly confident – they hate that!), your good teeth (yes, they hate those too – good white teeth are suspect, means you are part of the smarmy rich crowd that can afford dental care!), probably your accent and bouncy attitude. Do you have a non-rugby voice (high, nasal, expressive?), well, they won’t be liking that. Maybe they thought that you were “over the top” (we got that all the time, “oh, you Americans are so over the top” – too much of everything, not humble enough, mouths not shut enough, etc.). They hate our accent – they have a visceral reaction to it. Even if you are a nice person, they don’t want to hear that accent. Some expressions we use they don’t like. Kiwi relatives used to shudder when I used certain verbs that annoyed them. The employers want to wait until after the election because some parties who get in will change labor law (like, laws about trying workers out before hiring permanently etc.), immigration laws and tax laws etc. and because they have no buffer there, they are all on the bones of their ass, the tiniest change can force them to completely rework the way they do things. No room to maneuver there. That is one reason they are so conservative. If something’s working, they are loath to change it – the smallest change and it’s now “not working” and with huge debt loads and no savings, they don’t want situations like that. Dump the Kiwi fiancee (who doesn’t seem very understanding about your situation – red flag! Only interested in your “staying in New Zealand whatever the cost”, that’s very familiar to us!) and move to the Midwest of the U.S.. Nicer people. Don’t understand who the heck would want to live in L.A. or NZ. They both suck.

      • Yes that is true. For such a beautiful place you would not understand the amount of depression and bigotry that exists within this culture. I experienced this horrible prejudiced Kiwi bus driver on the Intercity bus-line who drove from Wellington to Auckland frequently. Probably the best views that many bus driver’s could ever dream of having. Yet he was a miserable person and caused me problems just to cause me problems- nobody stood up for me. I have met many living in beautiful places like Queenstown too who are just miserable people. If you smile at them they just retrieve and somehow think you are their enemy or after them for something. They are insecure and jealous most the time. A lot of childhood abuse and trauma including sexual abuse plus alcohol abuse or misuse. NZ has one of the highest suicide rates of males in the world. Feelings locked-up and must drink to cope. Infertility is also a problem among males. And do not think that fanatic Christianity does not exist here as it certainly does. Most Christians here feel unless you find Jesus you are not going to be able to become a good person and yet they lie who have found him. Lying is common here.

    • Actually her family is really lovely. We really had some good times together with her family. Her parents were nice enough to pay our rent because I was obviously broke and my fiancee was doing her placement (unpaid) at the hospital so we were just living off of her student allowance. Yeah, unfortunately there is no such thing as networking in New Zealand.

    • Sorry to hear that but not surprising considering you were looking for work in Wellington.
      Unfortunately that’s the capital and hub of the NZ Government and what goes with that is a sickly
      Hard Left mindset propagated in the universities and adopted by the locals.
      It is discrimination, it is racism, it is bigotry.
      Auckland would be the better bet.

  32. Wow this site got really personal….I’m a kiwi and I have no issue with the American people at all…. we have no control of what our governments do etc. I like to think of myself as someone who does not just believe what my news media tells me. I’ll look for more information. I do not label Americans please don’t label all us kiwi. I’m about to take my first trip into America in less than a month and I would hate if this attitude on here is spread. Take each person you meet by who they are not which flag they fly.

    MOANA

  33. I unfortunately married into a New Zealand family. My husband thankfully doesn’t have that God awful accent since he moved to the US at 8. However, his family are the most rude, over bearing, intrusive, cruel, selfish, embarrassing and heartless human beings I have ever met in my life. You can’t take them anywhere for fear of what they’ll say or how they’ll act. The father and older sister (who still lives at home at the age of 48) are raging alcoholics and the mother is a manipulative, conniving pill popper. I could write a novel on the crap they have put my husband and I through, as well as my brother in law and his wife. I’m just glad they’re currently estranged even though we here and there still have to deal with their stalker behavior. I would never let them within a certain amount of feet of my children. They’re not fit to be around adults let alone little kids. Worst people EVER.

  34. It is interesting, almost every Kiwi that I’ve talked with, that has been to the States, comes back and wants to talk with me [after hearing my accent] because they’ve had such a good time there. Recently I had a Kiwi, who’d been to the States recently, tell me “they [Americans} like us Kiwis”. And, yes, Americans like most folks.
    Seems as though the sentiment is not reciprocal. As stated here before, I’ve had people [after hearing my accent] say some of the most meanspirited things for no good reason. I didn’t cut in line, spill their tea, cut them off in traffic… But as soon as they hear my accent, rude comments follow.
    Just mean and looking for someone to take it out on? Envious and jealous of what they’ll never have?
    The difference of the experiences; Kiwis in America vs Americans in NZ is remarkable as they are so different.

    • The implication being, “with as much as we hate Americans, they’re dumb enough to still like us?”. This is because most Americans do not have regular access to their press (and are not interested enough to follow it, either) or to regular Kiwis living in New Zealand.Back home now, I am always clueing Americans in to the Real New Zealand and the Real Kiwis. They are always shocked, and frankly, many of them don’t want to believe me. The Kiwis hide it so well.

      • Or, Americans in the States couldn’t care less about what Kiwis [in the States] thought of them. Or, the Kiwis in the States were on their best behavior [not wantin’ to get shot by one of those fat, gun totin’…].

      • Presuming, of course, that Palmer11 can speak on behalf of 320 million Americans. Sad to say, but NZ has a negative reputation, and that before Palmer took it upon himself to spread the word.

      • Whenever I’m back in the US, which is often, I go out of my way to avoid the other English-speakers of the planet. Aussies, Kiwis, Brits, Irish – I’ve been on the pointy end of that stick for so long that they’re not getting any hospitality from me. Quite the opposite. And yes, it’s petty. but it makes me feel better.

  35. 3 weeks vacation
    Way different than living here and Queenstown makes its’ living on tourists [they have to be nice to make a living].
    I don’t know what anyone said behind our backs
    When I got to know a few Kiwis, I could not believe how much they talked about people, behind their backs. Even more popular passtime than rugby.

  36. I checked out this thread before we went on 3 weeks vacation in February this year on the South Island and later in Queensland. I was (very slightly) worried expecting that, as Americans, we would be treated badly as so many people claim to be in Paris for instance (though I’ve personally never had issues there either). Every one in NZ and AU were very nice – never had any encounters with anyone surly except maybe airline staff but that is the same everywhere. I don’t know what anyone said behind our backs but don’t really care either. Maybe different as a tourist than a resident but I would not dissuade anyone from visiting either country. The only rude NZ person I’ve ever encountered was in a NZ themed restaurant in San Francisco (where I live) but that was just after the America’s Cup so I’ll let it slide. That was pretty tragic from the NZ side.

  37. May I just point out that “Yank” does not equal “American”. A “Yank” or “Yankee” is a term to describe people from a region, New England in particular or another Northern state. If you called someone from California a “Yank”, especially someone under the age of 30, they would have no earthly clue what you’re talking about.

    • For many people outside the US ‘Yank’ does indeed mean ‘American’, the meaning of the term within the US is irrelevant. Also some Latin Americans resent the way that citizens of the USA have appropriated the term ‘American’ for themselves. It’s all a matter of perspective.

      • If by “for many people outside the U.S. one means the English and the rump parts of their long dead empire, then yes – many people call Americans Yanks. I would strongly suggest you do try and grasp the concept that, just as Kiwis resent being called derogatory names, whether abroad or not, neither do all Americans take kindly to the snub.

        • “Rump parts of their long dead empire”, that’s extremely offensive you should practice what you preach.

      • “the meaning of the term within the US is irrelevant” This means that how Americans feel about this name is of no importance to those that are calling them that. That’d be like saying that all kiwis are sheep shaggers, and I’m sure that’s not true.

        • I didn’t realise the term was offensive to citizens of the USA, I’m amazed that you regard it as the equivalent of ‘sheep shagger’, I don’t use either term, BTW. I’d presumed it was rather like ‘Pom’ — I.e. It rather depends on the context.

          I don’t know whether this still occurs, it certainly was common years ago, Australians in the USA were offended when they were referred as ‘Limeys’ by Americans who couldn’t distinguish them from the English, or didn’t care.

          My comment was in regard to the assumption that Americans have a proprietary right over the term, the fact that it might be offensive to Americans is a different issue.

          • “I didn’t realise the term was offensive to citizens of the USA”
            The most general usage of this term is in relation to “The War Between the States” or American Civil War, where one side [northern states] were “yankees” and the other side [southern states] were “rebels” [rebs, johnny reb…]
            Hence the NY Yankees [northern state].
            That is why I said to not call a southerner a “yankee” or you’d get socked.
            It is not offensive to all Americans, though highly offensive to some.
            So, while all yankees are Americans, not all Americans are yankees.

  38. I told my daughter before attending Auckland’s Massey Uni that she will encounter anti US sentiment and sure enough her lecturers began subtly and blatantly bashing US and colonialist powers. I always remind my kids that NZ would be a Japanese rice plantation if not for the US. Tounge in cheek yes except that my dad fought in WW2 so actually it has a truth to it. What most people including kiwis don’t get is that the US is so open it airs its own dirty laundry and enters public debate for all to see. Most other countries don;t allow cops to be filmed during arrests and suppress all criticism whereas America embraces debate. Kiwis think they are so open minded but they have been dumbed down by the academic elite and demi-god judiciary and not to mention the seeing all gods of science. Also everyone thinks America meddles but they never mention the billions of dollars of aid and infrastructure they invest that gives them the right to have a say in strategic areas. I love the yanks – they say what they mean and follow up with action. If allowed they would have gone and rescued the 200 girls in slavery in Nigeria but the PC mentality like kiws have would only go save the whales, not young girls. God bless America. I don’t see anyone lining up to get into the middle East but I’d go live in America today if I could. Yeah!!

  39. When we came over, we were careful to NOT say things like “you drive on the wrong side of the street”, instead we’d say “other or opposite”, trying to not offend. We bent over backwards trying to not offend, yet they seem to be offended by our meer presence.
    I think that envy has a lot to do with it, both from the Brits and Kiwis towards North Americans. Funny that the Aussies are very different, maybe they can relate better to North Americans. Aussies [generally] like Americans and Canadians, maybe that’s [one of the reasons] why NZers don’t like Aussies.

    • carpentaro,

      I suspect that the reason Kiwis don’t like Australians is simply envy, they refused to join the Australian federation when they had the chance, it was a bad decision, however they won’t acknowledge the truth so they adopt the ‘sour grapes’ attitude.
      The main point of friction between Australians and Americans is probably US foreign policy, I’d guess that envy is less significant as a factor with Australians.

      • Living in Oz now, I definitely think that whole thing of NZers hating Australians is envy. Honestly Australians generally don’t say anything negative about NZ. I have not had one negative remark when someone found out I was from NZ. The only negative thing I have heard said was someone saying “Kiwis are such victims” in response to a story being told. And I think that comment is fairly accurate.

    • They don’t like anything about “certain foreigners”. They don’t like our accents, tone, way we dress or look, our confidence, our idiom – no matter how polite we are, we just set them off. Accent rage? Too much of that.

      • Granted, I’ve spent way more time in NZ than in Australia, but in the month that I’ve spent in Australia I did not hear or feel anything “anti-American”. Personal experience.

      • Ditto what carpentaro says. Is it just a Melbourne thing, perhaps? I have met a few retards in Australia on my many visits, but never felt unwelcome or the object of unjustified scorn. Also, by and large, the news channels and regular programming were nothing like the poisonous kiwi news programs (Prime News’ Eric Young, or TVNZ’s Hillary Barry).

        • In the month that we were there, I was befriended by an Aussie that saw me looking at a map. He had ties to the US via his wife [American nurse]. I gave him my phone#, couple of days later he called me up to invite me to a baseball game, his treat. I think that he wanted someone to ‘spain the game to him [kinda like cricket to a ‘Merican].
          I have not heard anything bad said to me, no nasty looks… Nothing like in NZ.

      • It is more clear that Aussies hate the American government and its policies rather than Americans as individuals. With Kiwis, they make it much more personal. They are less likely to be able (?) to draw a distinction between individual Americans and the government that keeps respawning itself against the will of the people. I have heard plenty of anti-American sentiment, almost all political, from Australian friends. They compartmentalize it in their relations with you, though. Kiwis, less so.

  40. Absolutely! I guess the way they view it is that we migrants are in their country, so we should put up with their comments and behaviour and shut up. As I have been told many times, if I have any problems with something here, I should get out of New Zealand – the Kiwi way or the highway! Since leaving Canada as a child I have lived in a variety of countries in Europe and Asia. The only places that I have encountered open negativity regarding my origins and rude comments were in the UK and here in New Zealand. As a child in Britain, I was regularly humiliated in front of my classmates, being told ‘you colonials must learn to speak English correctly’. Every time I forgot and said something in my Canadian accent, I was made to stand up in front of the class and repeat what I said ‘correctly’. At other times I was told that colonials were ‘backward’ and that I should be grateful that I was being given the opportunity of an English education. It was a completely humiliating experience. However, it was more as if they thought that they were bringing me up to the ‘British standard’ rather than being hostile or nasty. They genuinely did believe that they were superior to people from the colonies, who they were helping to improve themselves. Then when I came to New Zealand, having been forced to adopt the English way of speaking, I was described as a ‘Pom’. Since coming to NZ I have repeatedly heard people making openly hostile comments regarding migrants, even when people of several different nationalities were present. On one occasion, in the middle of a work meeting I was running, a Kiwi member of staff suddenly commented loudly to the person next to him ‘I’m sick of all these migrants coming over here and telling us what to do’. The Kiwi staff in the room all laughed, but I think it may have been out of embarrassment. My Kiwi manager also often observed to me that Kiwis are self starters, unlike ‘where you are from’. Sometimes I have wondered if it is something to do with an island mentality. However I lived in Sri Lanka, which is an island, and the people were nothing like that at all. In fact they were really friendly and welcoming. It sure has been a lonely experience for me in New Zealand. Especially since I came here on my own to take up a role I was recruited for overseas.

    • Amelia44,

      English immigrants here in Australia developed a bad reputation for that same smug, superior attitude towards the ‘colonials’ in their own country, I know, I’ve experienced it.
      So, perhaps, if Kiwis got the same treatment they might have become rather resentful of any criticism, reasonable or otherwise.

      ‘Pom’, BTW is originally an Australian expression.

  41. A bit of hypocricy or double standard as they don’t seem to be too concerned at offending with their comments. I’ve had people make [anti-American] comments in supermarket check out lines, sitting around smoko table, yelling from passing cars, yelling at me as I pass in a car, in stores…
    So even though you may have the decency to keep you comments quiet, a reciprocal consideration is not forthcoming.

    • That is just the way it is there. If you say something, they will take offense. If they say something, you are not supposed to. Cardinal rule of living in New Zealand, or maybe any country other than your own. I say you get yourself back to Canada or Sri Lanka or someplace where people are nice, and hold onto your sanity until then!

      • You know, even when I think something has nothing to do with potentially offending national sensitivities it still does. For example, I have returned defective items to shops, only to be told that New Zealand is a small country, that I shouldn’t whinge but support local businesses and that if I don’t like it I should leave. Somehow returning an item to a shop is turned into a serious criticism of New Zealand and Kiwis. That whole chain of logic has left me completely bewildered, as you can imagine. Particularly since I had absolutely no intention of causing offence. Yes, I would like to move elsewhere. My problem is that, even though I was recruited overseas 7 years ago to come to NZ to work at a senior level in a shortage skills area, after complaining about a manager bullying me and giving all my home contact details to a cult like organisation (who then kept calling me all hours of the day and night) I was forced into Mediation and then exited from my job. Although it was agreed that they would not be negative about me, I have recently discovered that they have been. This has prevented me from finding any work in New Zealand. Although I have worked in project management, business development and planning for over 17 years, I am being told by employment agents that I have nothing to offer NZ and should go back to where I came from. For the first time I have been forced onto unemployment benefit and am now facing bankruptcy as I can’t pay my loan and credit cards. Even though I have worked at a senior level for many years with different consultancies, out of desperation the other week I applied for a job as a casual carer. The interview went very well and things looked good. However, after I provided my referee details (which had to be my last employer) I was then told my application was not successful. I really don’t know what I can do now. Very frustrating!

        • Yup, the ERA is a crock. If you use it as it is intended, to prevent abuse from an employer, you get branded and it is very hard to get work.
          I had to go to the ERA [employment relations authority] for resolution to a breech of contract by my employer. An amicable resolution was [I thought] reached, and I moved on. While [officialy] my former employer was supposed to provide me with an affirmative recomendation as a term of the resolution, I haven’t worked in my field for over 5 years. Finally rewmoved them as an [affirmative] refference off of my resume/cv.
          So, there went my “NZ” experience off of my resume.
          The ERA is there for you protection from employeres that abuse their position, yet if you use it, you’re sunk.
          Total hypocritical, dishonest, and cheating policy, yet, this happens ALL the time here in NZ.

        • @Amelia: I would suggest contacting some recruiters in your field in other countries and see if you get some interest. I left New Zealand late last year and it took me eight months to find the “right” job, but it was well worth it. I had to spin my “New Zealand experience”, but it was well worth it in the end and the result was excellent. Get out and preserve your sanity.

        • Main rule of living in New Zealand is actually don’t rock the boat. Swallow everything unquestioningly. Keep your eyes open and mouth shut. Back out of situations carefully with care not to become too involved. We kept our mouths shut most of the time, because opening it or becoming too involved with people or going against the general idea that you lie there and let your blood be pumped out just made it worse for us. If you can borrow money from home to move back, do it now. We spent so much time on the bottom there, struggling for air and getting our blood sucked, that life was barely worth living. It was existing, not living.

        • That’s sick. I don’t know too much about it but there must be someone this can be reported to?

  42. One thing I have found since I moved here is that many Kiwis are very quick to take offence at what have only been meant as humorous comments. They seem to have a very different sense of humour compared to the various other countries I have lived in. Because of that I tend to keep quiet now out of fear of saying something they find offensive.

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