“Close Minded Kiwis Ruined NZ For Us”

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

Today’s tale comes from ExpatExposed.com,  a self help and support forum for emigrants to New Zealand, one of the very few un-moderated and not for profit New Zealand emigration forums left on the internet.

The author is an American woman married to a Kiwi. They are trying to escape from New Zealand second time round. She tells of the culture shock and difficulties they both suffered from upon returning to NZ, and of how Americans are regarded by Kiwis and expected to conform to the infamous and immutable ‘Kiwi Way’:

Close minded Kiwis ruined NZ for us

I must say I have met some really nice Kiwis and some rude ones. It seams the Nice ones have spent some considerable amount of time outside their own country e.g. Oz, UK, or USA. As for the rude ones they may have never left NZ or Have taken short trips to oz not spending more then 2 weeks away. So when I say I have issues with New Zealand and its Kiwis its more to do with the rude ones.

My MIL is a classic Kiwi as she is very proud to live in this hell hole. BTW I think its cause of people like her that make this place a Hell Hole. Most Kiwis are close minded people who believe that song “We Don’t know how Lucky we are”. As for my MIL she thinks that all Americans are loud like the guy off of Extrema Home Make Over and wishes they would just shut up. For she and others who are so proud of the kiwi way feel that if you live in NZ then you need to conform to the NZ way. As Far as i can see that means Bend over and take it up the rear end when it comes to everything. Food is over priced well its the conversion rate so bend over. Most Clothing Cost $50-$100 per item, Bend over. It doesn’t matter if it makes life easier, don’t do it that way cause kiwis don’t do that.

My Husband and I are HUGE internet users and use the internet for almost all of our needs e.g. Phone, banking, entertainment. So we expect great service but instead we get customer service that doesn’t care and People all around who just accept it(bending over). My Mom live in Nevada and is a costumer of Charter. Charter Provides her TV and internet. With this crap economy she called up her customer service and told them she can’t afford them any more. They immediately do everything they can to keep her as a customer giving her any and all deals they can find. They take care of her and she can stay with them for a further 3 months cause of the service they provided and she gets better internet and TV, e.g. Faster internet speeds and Free HBO and showtime.

Yes My home Country America has its Issues but we are more open minded then the average Kiwi. Never once did we tell my husband to stop being kiwi and to do it the american way. He missed NZ Pies we tried to find a way to make or get him NZ pies. He missed his weet-bix and Milo we would drive 4 hours so he could stock up on supplies. He missed those god awful fish and chips we would try and find something as close to match. When you move to NZ they don’t care and just say “Your in New Zealand now and we don’t have that stuff”

When I First lived in New Zealand(December 03 to October 05) i was 18 and they had just about won me over and I was ready to be a Kiwi. Once Me and my husband were married he wanted to see what it was like Living in the USA as he had only spent 6 months there. after about a year and a half he started to miss NZ and once we had been their for two years we decided to move back. He was really home sick and i couldn’t stand to see him that way so once we had lived in the USA for 3 year we moved back to NZ. It took us about 1 month to realized we had made a huge mistake but we weren’t ready to openly admit it. We both were suffering massive Culture shock and Hearing “Your not in America any more your in New Zealand now” didn’t really help at all. His family wasn’t very helpful or supportive of us at all and getting jobs took us about 7 months. Any money we had that could have helped us escape we spent trying to get jobs and living on our own as his family was driving us nuts. his parents told us we could live with them till we were able to get jobs.

So now we are trying to save up for the day we escape this place for a warmer climate.

You may also be interested in this other tale

It’s true – Kiwis really don’t like Americans

78 thoughts on ““Close Minded Kiwis Ruined NZ For Us”

  1. Oh my gosh. I am an American and have been in NZ for 10 years. Over this period, I have been bullied by 4 different bosses (I have an advanced degree of which none of the other employees, who did NOTHING, had) all for being a bit different. But in saying that, I had changed a lot of lives — in a good way. But Tall poppy syndrome is very real here. If you are good at what you do, you will be bullied. If you are even remotely attractive you will also be bullied. Typical 3rd grade mentality and no one has social skills or manners — It appears that bullying is just “part of the culture” where I had never in my life experienced this in America. Over there, uniqueness is celebrated. Here in NZ – if you are not a sheep (follower) you instantly get bullied. They don’t like people who can think for themselves or attempt to make life better – it’s so much better for Kiwis to bury their heads in the sand to believe that somehow they are “worldly.” I tend to laugh at that one.

    • I couldn’t live with the idiots you are 100 percent correct……they are huge in the mining industry her in oz because the monies good and being a cock sucking idiot is the norm…….they stick together like school kids and are really very thick….nobody trusts them as dobing to get ahead is rife……I would like to see them sent home and replaced with Asians at least they have skills and some style.

    • As a Kiwi I think what you’ve said has a lot of truth and it’s pretty sad. I do hope that some of us have treated you better though.

  2. simply put kiwis do not understand how to live life, similar to the kiwi bird – go and hide!

  3. E2NZ: I think it becomes very awkward and tricky when minors are allowed to participate in contentious discussions on websites that are controversial. One wonders if, judging by the nature of the comments, the poster is actually a minor or someone pretending to be one. Engaging the “minor” in any way other than in a protective fashion could become a liability, or could invite undue attention and misrepresentation by critics, adversaries, or nutjobs.

  4. I’m 16, lived in New Zealand for 12 years of my life and in America for four years. School is very different, I’m a maori and if you are ‘ugly’ in nz your gonna get bullied, if your from a different cultural background your gonna get bullied or questioned, and if your not christian people will not like you, my school mates were shocked that I wasnt a christian, it was bizarre. However, sense they were so upfront, and really fun, and funny, I always felt at home in nz, and happy. In america people are more to themselves and uptight, not laidback like in nz. They think very differently, and school is way more boring there, in nz most of school is outside, in usa its indoors, which was a major shock for me, I hate being indoors. The weather in seattle where I live is at times very extreme, ive traveled throughout the states and the weather is so bipolar here. It was easy to make friends in nz sense most people are so chill, but in the usa its wayy more diffuclt cause their stuck in their own ways. So the pros of nz is that its fun, active, laidback, relaxed, (non processed foods) free health care, and I was always happier in nz. Cons are rude people, small minded people (idiots) the party culture (nearly everyone got drunk in nz) the racism and over priced merchandise. Pros about usa are most people arent as small minded like nz (west coast) Everything’s way cheaper, you can change location so easy, the people are more accepting and helpful, its easier to pursue a dream here or find a fitting job, cons is the society is very boring and depressing, people are selfish, homeless people are everywhere, the healthcare is expensive, its more industrialized here hardly any nature, and the rednecks and american flag waving ppl.

  5. I’m a kiwi… The US is better… U r so right! Everyone waxes on about NZ, but it’s a small minded culture. The US is bigger, better and more free! Hope u made it home

  6. I immigrated here from Fiji more than 25 years ago. Immigration was a very different thing back then. Now I feel like all you winging immigrants have an overblown sense of entitlement which makes me sick. I have interacted with many westerners and kiwis are by far the most amazing and caring people in the world. I am a kiwi not because I grew up here but because I am a part of this culture and I can sing along to every kiwi rock ballard and remember heaps of cool stuff. Yes I speak to some new white migrants from the UK, South Africa or America and they treat me like I’m the migrant. What? Cant you hear the kiwi accent? I’m sorry but I might be brown skinned but here, your the immigrant! Thank god, kiwis are coming back in droves like never before and we can afford to tighten immigration laws.

      • They must find it hard overseas for others to accept all their dysfunctional and biased behaviour so it is better for them to be back home where they can practice it- on each other and accept it. Sad thing is that is makes NZ such a narrow-minded world.

    • I recon that from Fiji, NZ would be a step up. But, that is not as NZ projects or preceives itself. I don’t think quite as many NZers are coming back as you think, many [on here] have stated that they are better off elsewhere. Maybe if a few more came back [with 1st world experience from elsewhere] things might improve. Yet again, they [returning NZers] might run into the same resistance that many migrants have run into. Maybe that’s why they go and stay away?

    • I know many Fijis in NZ and it is a step above as back home the life is very corrupt and high crime and women are not even allowed into politics. Most the Fiji Indians I know still have some of their tradition but adopt and live the Kiwi lifestyle including drinking and rugby. Most Fiji Indians do not have the same ties with their cultural heritage as India Indians who can also find things a bit tough here because of the drinking culture.

  7. I was born and bred in New Zealand….(as idiotic Kiwis say) And yes she is right, It is one of the most ignot

  8. Agreed, im half middle eastern & half American, i spent 17 years in Auckland New Zealand, i would say most people i met were very racist, constantly trying to confirm the “in this country we don’t do that and this” and often either being put down for being middle eastern or american, either way at the end thou i tried my hardest to get along and look at the positive side, after 17 years i gave up and came back home to LA.17 years of hard ship i tell you, from high school to adult life, high school was the worst, i mean every day some bully of either pakiha or maori or pacific islander or of the skin head gang back the would gang up and beat the crap of all immigrant kids and tell them go back home, selwyn college it was, we had immigrant kids being stabbed and shot, i got stabbed personally,as for work it doesn’t matter how overqualified you are or how much experience you have if you are a foreigner there is no such thing and growth and promotion or raise, over all, i dono what to tell you there are good and bad every where, but my experience was the worst, new zealand is such a beautiful country but my experience was that they are very close minded, even against the aussies & brits…….

  9. Basically here is what I found out on the negative side about New Zealanders after living there for 8 years
    – very low self esteem
    – very tight with money and food sharing, happy to eat their dinner infront of you and not offer you anything
    – putting eachother down sense of humour
    – putting down Australians and other cultures because they are jealous of them
    – very boring
    – love to try and sue their bosses for anything to get money
    – depressed

    saying all that they are great workers and very competent in trades and physical work. They are great road and house builders
    also they have the most beautiful country naturewise in the world and should stop whinging and learn how to have fun and enjoy life

    • “They are great road and house builders”
      I’m not so sure that I’d agree with that. Roads notorious for being thin [asphalt<2"] and breaking up being placed mostly without a paving machine [hot patched with hand placed asphalt] and the buildings are shacks with very low standard of weather proofing/insulation/double glazing or central heat [what's that?]…

      What they ARE good at; shearing sheep [have to be with that many], playing rugby [a game that is little known and little played except for the Antipodes].

      • EV has obviously never been to Europe where people still manage to build things correctly. Even the “manufactured homes” in the US are built to a higher standard than the average Kiwi home.

        As for Rugby, no one cares about the sport except bogan Afrikaners and bogan Kiwis. Kiwis can only compete internationally when the rest of the world does not care enough to apply itself.

        If Kiwis were half as good as they say they are, then they would rule the world.

        • One way bridges, putting “cones” around a washed out section of road with one way signs, repairing the same section of road two or three times [within a few years], twisty “hiways” [major roads from one major area>other area] that regularly have bends so tight that the speed limit is down to 25kph…
          And the houses, very low standard for insulation, energy standards, glazing, weatherstripping…
          They haven’t got a clue, yet won’t listen to advise as to how to improve.
          I’ve given up trying to help.
          “If Kiwis were half as good as they say they are, then they would rule the world.”
          They’d really like to.

    • i think so too, nz is far from reality of life, kiwis trap them selfs, blame others and repeat the cycle!

  10. How is it not close minded to pass these massive judgements of an entire culture of being close minded? It sounds like a lot of people have VERY high expectations of New Zealand, expecting there to be no compromise for any of the benefits the country has. People can’t always expect to live the lifestyle they once did when moving to a new country, people do have to expect to adopt a new way of life to some degree. But I have never really heard of some of these acts of “close mindedness” happening from “rude New Zealanders” to people that do not conform to the “kiwi lifestyle”. It just seems to me that it is being blown out of proportion.

    • asdf you really do need to try to be more open minded about these things, people are entitled to their opinions and everyone has their own. Don’t invalidate other people’s just because it’s different to yours.

      • Well I’m not trying to have much of an opinion at all. I’m trying to look at it in the most unbiased way possible and only state facts. I think the idea of explaining to people wanting to move to NZ what the country is really like is a great idea, but it is being so misused. I have been reading through the things being posted on here and such a high proportion of them are just personal attacks towards New Zealanders and the way a lot of us live our lives, and all of them are just subjective opinions of people who are obviously very quick to judge people. There really needs to be a much higher quality of dialogue or debate between people that want to move here, and the people that already live here. I would defiantly like to help people make informed decisions about moving to NZ, but to come on here and read posts about people labelling the entire population under this stereotypical “kiwi culture” shit and passing massive judgements like they are is just sickening to read.

          • I read an article about Google’s rather racist suggestions and how a lot of the suggestions are being removed for being offensive. After typing “kiwi’s are ” into Google, it suggested dumb, racist, stupid and rude as suggestions. I clicked on the first site under “Kiwi’s are stupid” and here I am. I had no idea these misleading stereotypes even existed, let alone believed by people to this extent. It just shows how judgemental some people are. New Zealand has pros and cons like anywhere else, and if people want to move here they have to carefully analyse the facts of these pros and cons and not make assumptions about the people who live there, then decide the push and pull factors of moving. Coming to the conclusion that the New Zealand population is “close minded” and “rude” are for a start downright wrong, but also just subjective opinions of people who are probably close minded and rude themselves.

          • Doesn’t being closed minded extend to censoring Google’s search engine for coming up with the ‘wrong’ answers? Surely those results are simply based on the frequency of search strings that people put into Google?

            Here are some of the searches that brought people to this site today:

            what is it like working in new zealand
            nz embezzlement charges financial planners 2011
            how come nz and america look the same
            разбитое пианино (broken piano)
            what does a p lab smell like
            jobs for americans in new zealand
            does blacks live in auckland, new zealand?
            hard to make friends in new zealand
            bullying statistics nz
            single parent expats in new zealand
            jacqueline joe
            kiwi’s will get this
            why people leave new zealand
            worst things about new zealand
            notorious mongrel mob man dies photos
            american doctor new zealand criminal
            living in new zealand blog
            charlotte dawson+e2nz
            muckdog murder
            is there racism in new zealand
            bullying statistics in nz
            cargo vessel mv rena before crash
            facts about bullying in new zealand
            new zealand good for immigration
            carolina anderson dog attack

            There are many more but you get the drift.

            When it comes to analysing the cons, and you have to admit from a migrant’s perpsective there are quite a few (The Migrants Tales series for instance) that is what this site is about. You didn’t read the welcome page, did you.

          • I never said the Google suggestions were “wrong” or should have been removed. But I see many suggestions for other nationalities have been removed. If it is close minded to remove suggestions then I wonder why the search “Americans hate “ returns no suggestions? I’m very well aware New Zealand has cons, like everywhere else. We could compare pros and cons of New Zealand to other countries if you like? My problem with this is the things being said about New Zealanders and the way we live, a lot of which just isn’t true. I could say an equivalent generalization on an entire population by saying something like, “All Americans are fat and loud, they keep invading countries for no reason, and they’re hopeless with firearms, complain about everything and are extremely racist”. You see, not only is that not true [I hope], it would also be highly offensive to the 99% of the population that cannot relate to those things. So maybe you could keep the discussion on here about the facts of New Zealand, and not subjective judgements of ignorant people on the actual people who reside here and the life that we’re happy to live. I have no interest in commenting any further on the matter. Goodbye.

          • Hear, see and tell no evil. The Kiwi way?
            So what you’re saying is that because you don’t agree with the experiences of the hundreds of “ignorant” people you want us to restrict discussion to the people who reside in New Zealand and live happy lives. And all because of a Google search that you wanted censored.

            Thank you for giving our readers and excellent example of close mindedness in New Zealand.

            When you’re up for a bit of mind expansion perhaps you’d like to read Macarthy Jones’ comment left yesterday.


    • ” It sounds like a lot of people have VERY high expectations”, these expectations are put forward by the immigration sites.
      NZ markets itself as exceeding these expectations.
      The point that many are trying to make here is to bring to light that many of these marketing ploys are just that, ploys, and a deceptive practice.
      So most people doing research will receive false information put forward.
      I think that this is the most significant issue, the idea that you’ve been lied to, but once here you sort of learn to accept this as being an integral part of the culture.

    • This is a true example of how Kiwis think- if it does not happen to them then it cannot be real for someone else. It is very small town thinking and that is the prob.

  11. I have met some really decent Americans I really liked an elderly couple from Philly that I met while they were on holiday here and my late uncle showed them around S.I. I have relatives that live in the States. I find the kiwi attitude closed minded and downright rude. Experienced this first hand. I have left a country town because I wasn’t from there and got s**t from the locals and didn’t fit in only in their small minds, it is crazy nonsense. It shames me to hear how immigrants come to N.Z. are treated. I am a N.Z. Maori and I live in a street with immigrants and I get on well with them all. We own our own properties and watch out for one another. We have shared lunches and dinners, bbq’s occasionally. One family is Rwandan and one couple South African and Indonesian. I am a chef and love cultural food, wine, music and conversation, always bridges the divide. My youngest son has asian friends, a couple of his mates were exchange students and have returned to their homelands. I can’t get my head around the kiwi mentality.

  12. Wish there was a like and dislike button…. nothing more annoying than ‘born again kiwis’ who feel the need to try far too hard to fit in!!

  13. There was a discussion on an immigrant forum about certain types of people who are glad they moved to New Zealand, lower-middle class Brits for instance with attitudes similar to those of Kiwis, especially material ones, who felt they were fleeing unsafe hometowns overrun by Muslims etc. Professionals who made enough money to cushion their life against the worst of New Zealand, such as doctors. People who only live here part-time and love the outdoors, like yacht people. Political and other refugees who see the isolation or neutrality as a bonus or like the fact that it’s secular or non-militarised. Surfing enthusiasts. People fleeing crime or racial strife like Saffers. A few other types. There are a good number of job slots open in Christchurch now so it’s unlikely Paul….. or Mrs. Paul…..will lose their jobs – no one wants to go work or live there now. It is great to know that some people do well in New Zealand. But it doesn’t invalidate the fact that some people are very poor fits for the culture. We certainly wish we had weeded ourselves out before we learned the hard way! And we can roll off a rather long list of people who feel the same.

    • I think there are basically 2 types of people who fit here, like you said:

      1Well heeled anglo-saxons (mainly) who are into the outdoors and dream of a lifestyle-bloc type of existence. These people have no interested in intellectual pursuits and no real ambition. They are things people, not peoples people, and made their money abroad.

      2People who know no better, like the ones coming from slums and refugee camps.

      Others fit more or less in those categories. If you are ambitious, a culture-vulture and like excellence, nz is hell.

  14. Paul… do you know if your child will be able to afford to stay in New Zealand once his/her degree is finished and how much will their student loan amount to?

    New Zealand was a great deal more prosperous when you came over 10 years ago, since then the job market has contracted and immigration criteria have changed a number of times. Not everyone has it so easy.

    Good luck with getting your house repaired, hopefully you’re one of the fortunate ones who’ve been recompensed fully for earthquake damage.

  15. Stumbled upon this site by accident..It’s quite revealing reading .. so whilst I sit waiting for my broken bones to mend and commence physio(thank you ACC!!!)I think some positivity is in order.To P Ray:After 10 years I can guarantee that there are no rose tinted spectacles in regarding my life here. But…I earn the same salary as I would be in an equivalent job in the UK but am infinitely less stressed by it. My house is significantly bigger(and has survived ChCh earthquakes largely intact).My wife is happier in her job than at anytime she worked in the NHS.My children are doing well in their jobs and varsity.It hasnt been easy (but then not particularly hard)to build a new and successful life so it can be done.As for employers always choosing a kiwi first or being passed over for promotion because you weren’t born here I haven’t found that to be the case but then perhaps we(an Irishman and an Anglo Indian) are a “good fit” for NZ.

    • You may change your tune over the course of your employment. It is getting harder for people to gain another job after having lost a first, and children “doing well in their jobs while at university” to me means stacking shelves while doing soft-touch degrees.
      Perhaps you are a “good fit” for NZ, but your lifestyle doesn’t depend on your efforts alone: a lot of the money for the amenities and upkeep of facilities in NZ … comes from international students and immigrants being overcharged for basic services.
      Being there 10 years qualifies you for the same fees as the locals (since you are most probably permanent residents) so I’d certainly thank my stars instead of turning up my nose at the people who finance your safety net.

  16. P Ray :
    Is this the “Fit In or Fxxk Off” mentality?
    Because what I actually saw was that immigrants who went to stay on became “excessive” in their praise of everything around them that was ascribed to local culture, and very disrespectful of the places of origin that provided the material wealth to get them to NZ.

    I hate these people. I hope I dont become one of them. I know some of them already.

  17. Wow once again, take a look around the country. If one city doesnt suit – try another.
    I have lived in Auckland and hated it. I had the same difficulties faced by the comments here. So I moved on and found my slice of paradise. Paradise by my definition only, perhaps not yours.

    Kiwis are insular and all the other bad things commenters have said. We are also friendly, family oriented, proud, community minded. Seek and you shall find us.

    Kia Kaha
    Kia Toa
    Kia Manawanui

    • Kiwis are insular and also community minded? Wow! how’s that for an oxymoron?
      Auckland is the only place big enough to be a “city”, it is bad, but the rest of the country is even worse, unless you are a hillbilly of course.

    • Why stop at the city Kiwigirl? if one country doesn’t suit – try another. Thousands frequently do, hence New Zealand’s low population.

    • I have lived in most all the cities in NZ and the only one that seems to be progressive in accepting others is Auckland but that is only because many ethnic minorities live there. The Asians are kinder to me than the Kiwis overall and I get better service from them than the Kiwis.

  18. Isn’t it interesting how similar the complaints are from so many different individuals on these forums! Everyone notices the same New Zealand problems. Even people who don’t post on expat forums have the same things to say, but in person. Most Kiwis think they live in paradise – leave them to it and stay home, or go home, foreigners, because they are deluded and project their collective hallucination so confidently that some people get a contact buzz and make the mistake of moving here.

  19. Having tried to migrate here in NZ is one HUGE mistake my family ever made. For readers out there who are thinking of trying to move here and live permanently. Think again.

    Yes. The scenery is good (but boring). And cleaner as compared to where I came from. But the culture and the attitude of Kiwis here are really bad.

    1. Tall Poppy Syndrome – Kiwis will never like you if you are smarter and have better ideas than you. They like to boss someone around and HATE being given suggestions about how to run things better. With this, I am not surprised that they are one of the most backward country in the world.

    2. Bullying in the Workplace – No professionalism whatsoever. No directions. No organisation. No value in the job being done. Who cares if you have an MBA or have a respectful degree? If they don’t like you, if you are not a Kiwi, they will hate you or will just ignore you 99% of the time.

    3. Expensive – Come on! I’ve been to better parts of the world and the cost of living (for example in the US) is way cheaper than here. Even their own products which are made here is expensive. 100% Pure New Zealand? Come on!! Lower the price to fully appreciate your products. Every country that I visit, if it’s made by their own, it is way cheaper.

    4. Anything you say that is not kiwi, they will just set aside. If you want to be accepted, love rugby, fish and chips and more rugby.

    5. Racisim – If I don’t emphasize it enough, “if you are not a Kiwi, we dont give a “f**k”. If you are not a kiwi, they won’t give you a raise nor a promotion. They would rather promote a kiwi who is doing lesser job and has lesser responsibility than a deserving migrant. They will protect their own even if they are not right.

    Most migrants we know are experiencing all of these and more. Just giving a heads up to my fellow potential migrants who are thinking of moving here. Beware! We are rich back home and invested a lot of money moving here. But at the end, we have lost A LOT. No return of investment (business-wise). It is like we toured the country for a couple of months and made NZ richer for a thousand of dollars. If you want to scratch that “I need to try at least”, then go ahead. But make you sure you have enough money save up when going back home.

    • Amazing to hear this from someone else as it is exactly my experience and it never goes away. Kiwis have some of the most insensitivity than any culture I have met. Even England and Scotland have nicer people who can be inclusive of other cultures.

  20. They seem to think they have all the advantages of the developed world and few of the disadvantages. Having migrated from the developed world, I can assure you with 100% confidence that they have few of the advantages and many of the disadvantages in New Zealand. It is not worth coming here unless you are very rich, so you can buffer yourself from the cost of living, and aren’t stuck here, so you can avoid contact with most of the population.

  21. In regard to Kiwi’s being close minded it is true. We are to a large degree.
    And as for only doing things the Kiwi way – ever heard the saying “when in Rome”. Do not expect to import your way of life to this country and have it totally embraced – isn’t it why you left your homeland in the first place, because you didnt like it there? I don’t understand how people expect NZ to become a little USA, England, South Africa. Intergration is the way forward not isolation.
    I enjoy meeeting people from other countries when they visit here until they moan how much better it is at home. So yes my standard response is “Go Home then” and then wonder why they dont.

    NZ is an awesome place to live. Meet some genuine locals – we are lovely 🙂

    • Is this the “Fit In or Fxxk Off” mentality?
      Because what I actually saw was that immigrants who went to stay on became “excessive” in their praise of everything around them that was ascribed to local culture, and very disrespectful of the places of origin that provided the material wealth to get them to NZ.
      In short, they became (sorry to my bogan friends) bogan. Normally sober people would become drunks in an attempt to fit in, normally truthful people began spinning the most elaborate lies.
      As I had earlier said, even the mother of an overseas student tried to pressure me to fall in with the idea of a life of bedhopping and drinking.
      Given what I saw as well, where the people attending CUP courses expected marks for turning up in class… this type of behaviour isn’t sustainable.
      Should I add that these people were “real Kiwis”? (Seems a lot like the “No True Scotsman” logical fallacy)

    • Kiwi Girl, thank you for your comments. This one was interesting

      isn’t it why you left your homeland in the first place, because you didnt like it there?

      Would you like to offer an explanation as to why so many New Zealanders are leaving New Zealand right now? Half a million in Australia, same again in Europe. That’s a very high proportion of the resident population (4.41 million)

      What is about New Zealand they don’t like? And if they don’t like it why should immigrants to New Zealand feel any different?

      • Everyone has choices to make, and those Kiwis who leave have made their choice. Nothing wrong with that. However we must all live with the consequences of our choices and if that is an unhappy consequence – remedy it.
        I would never complain that a place or its people are unaccomodating simply because I didnt fit in. I would make every effort to do so.
        I welcome the opportunity to meet new migrants and introduce them to our way of life. Perhaps life outside of Auckland is something many migrants do not experience. We are different – much more laid back and carefree. If that is considered to be less than ideal in terms of attitude than so be it. Try looking outside of the main cities if life is so intolerable – you may be pleasantly surprised. 🙂

        • Sorry, kiwi girl, you’re part of the problem, not the solution. I’ve lived in Europe, Asia and NZ and Australia, and most places are secure and confident enough that they can take criticism. NZ can’t. NZ needs to face up to the fact that it’s suffering from entrenched racism, and has a huge underclass. Too many kiwis genuinely believe that NZ has escaped the problems of racism — they’re wrong. I took my family to Asia rather than have them grow up in a thuggish, narrow-minded society where any questions about the status quo were met with a simple “why don’t you f**k off then”! It’s those kiwis who are holding NZ back, and it’s because of them that most of our best and brightest are in Oz and reluctantly learning to cheer on the Wallabies during the TriNations.

          • Spot on! The moment you say “Oh I don’t like this about NZ” you get bombarded with nonsense about how you should leave. Settle down, stop, consider we might be trying to improve things.

            Why are kiwis so insecure about NZ?

            Kiwi Girl completely missed the point and goes on the typical kiwi defensive, as most NZers seem to – which is what this post is all about.

          • [Deleted. Maybe we don’t pimp Kool-Aid here? why not start your own site if that’s your objective. Don’t like what you read here? don’t read it. Regards, Admin.]

    • Kiwis created English and Scottish culture in NZ and it never belonged to them so the Maori or Waitahe or even the Moriori could say they same thing about the Pakeha. Kiwis are easily insulted because they are very narcissistic and closed minded, esp the women who are brash and insensitive about other peoples’ feelings. They do not care to improve their culture or to accommodate other people of other cultures. An example of this is their drinking culture. At work parties and get togethers drinking is always the theme. Kiwis are inhibited emotionally and model off the English culture and have to drink to feel normal about feeling. Christchurch is a mini England and the English or Scottish can come to NZ and be accepted. Kiwi people like this lady I am replying to are narrow-minded. They expect you to conform and that their way of life is the best- this includes no insulation in houses, mould, crappy diet, drinking alcohol problems causing many health problems and no integration of other cultures in mainstream Kiwi culture. There is extreme segregation in NZ culture even among the Maori and Pacific Islanders. There is also no self-analsysis or psychoanalysis as it is always brushed under the rug but most Kiwis cannot live outside of NZ and they come back as they too get discriminated against when living in other places as they fail to conform. so this attitude of doing in rome as the romans do is not the approach and is definitely not the approach when the Kiwi does things without thinking of their health or the future of the country. Basically they want you to follow them as they think of themselves as perfect and their country perfect.

  22. After studying me for awhile and deciding I could be trusted, the girl (who was about 10) confessed, “New Zealand is just all about New Zealand. They aren’t interested in anything else but New Zealand. When they draw things in art class in school, it’s like, it is always only New Zealand animals or things, or it’s the Kiwi view of everything else, like “Americans are just McDonalds and The Bomb and nothing else”. .

    From the mouth of babes!

    • Kiwis will take what they want from american and cash in on it any day they can or use it. Trelise Cooper used American Indian themes in her fashion show without the rights of these tribes and only apologised. Kiwi culture is insensitive and pigheaded to say the least and have very little understanding of other cultures.

  23. Jen the new citizen hasn’t been here long enough to run into problems with anyone or anything, I assume. Migrants who come here with money and keep it, find circles to hang out in (for instance, companies employing a high percentage of other migrants in more cosmopolitan areas) and never really lose anything to NZ, can enjoy the best of NZ. They can stand on one of those scenic view pull-outs from the road and drink their sauvignon blanc and keep a positive perspective, because they are treading a path which in reality is not that much broader than the tourist path. For some people, their migration falls into place. They luck out and do all the right things. But all it takes is a small brush with the vicious and very-well-hidden dark side of this nation to send you toppling off the side of the pull-out into hell. And just because you haven’t fallen off the pull-out yourself (yet) doesn’t mean that others have not. Or that if they do fall, it is somehow their own fault.

    Empire Envy. I talked to an American girl a couple years ago, about 10 years old, whose parents had moved here. They had had trouble finding work, and seemed confused by their experiences, thinking they could just move to a different town and have it go well for them then. For them, it was just a matter of finding the “right” place within New Zealand. They had not figured out yet that, for many, it’s the entire country, the entire culture, that either fits you or does not. After studying me for awhile and deciding I could be trusted, the girl (who was about 10) confessed, “New Zealand is just all about New Zealand. They aren’t interested in anything else but New Zealand. When they draw things in art class in school, it’s like, it is always only New Zealand animals or things, or it’s the Kiwi view of everything else, like “Americans are just McDonalds and The Bomb and nothing else”. They think that Americans are all fat and stupid here, and don’t know anything, but in art class in America we didn’t just sit there and draw eagles and maple trees”.

    A strongly left-wing Kiwi acquaintance has remarked with breathtaking thoughtlessness things like, “my daughter was playing with a boy from a Chinese family, on the beach the other day, but it was okay, they were okay” (for f***’s sake, why would they not be? was her first primal assumption that they were ‘not-ok’?). Or, “I don’t know if so-and-so is one of ‘those’ or not, I mean, it’s okay if she is of course, but…” (referring to gays – ‘those’? ‘those things over there’? they are people first…). She is the most left-wing person I know here, a Pakeha who votes with the Maori party!

    In 2007 John Strausbaugh wrote,
    “The omnipresent culture of the United States is like a giant funhouse mirror in which Europeans see their own distorted reflections.”
    (continuing from his article, which was in the New York Times, and about Europeans)…
    “America is a very, very useful construct for us to ventilate our own inadequacies and frustrations with ourselves,” one Irishman confesses.
    The British novelist and journalist Will Self accuses his countrymen of being “blatantly hypocritical” and “extremely shallow” about the United States. They speak about American culture with great disdain, he says in the documentary, even as they consume it with a bottomless appetite.

    So that is a phenomenon Americans will experience here with some frequency.

    As long as America is the “800-lb. gorilla” in the world, paraphrasing from the article, living abroad will be a challenge for Americans. I never found anywhere else I lived in the world to be quite such a challenge as New Zealand, though.
    I never had to edit and limit myself so severely to interact with people successfully. I know this is not solely my perception, because others have shared this thought with me, and when I return to America on a visit, I have little trouble communicating with anyone. Good threads on this site –

    love Americans?
    who would fit in here
    some immigrants doing well
    suit or not suit

    I believe you are either a good fit for New Zealand, or you are not.

    Even those who might in some circumstances be a good fit do run into problems, though. If Jen believes that fitting in, in NZ, is “all about attitude” and nothing more, then she’s already thinking like a Kiwi, and I have no doubt she will thrive here. Good luck to her.

  24. Did you see homeless in NZ? Doubt it.

    That lens of yours must either be out-of-focus or heavily rose tinted if you’ve not seen homelessness in New Zealand Jen.

    Why not make some time to enlighten yourself about the other side of your new country. Did you know that the United Nations rated New Zealand as having the sixth greatest gap between rich and poor among developed nations last year?

    Here’s a primer to start your enlightenment:

    * NZ’s poverty Gap – fat cats feast while queues form for bread and jam

    * Getting the homeless off the streets, Auckland

    * A shortage of oncologists in some parts of NZ means that Kiwis are denied chemotherapy

    * Fees for after hours medical services are putting young lives at risk in places like Porirua: $17 for children under 6 and up to $56 for older children. Half of Porirua’s children live in low decile households.

    Read our Health and Death facts and stats page for more

    Beside the homeless there are a quarter million children living in unacceptable poverty in New Zealand and Kiwi youth have some of the worst health outcomes in the developed world.

    NZ has 14 times the average OECD rate of rheumatic fever, five to 10 times the rate of whooping cough and pneumonia compared with the United Kingdom and United States, and four to six times the rate of child maltreatment compared with the best countries.

    But what can you expect in a country where it is cheaper to buy cola than milk and where household overcrowding contributes to 120 deaths a year from chronic rheumatic heart disease?

    Don’t let that detract from your own “joy and success” in this country. Your social conscience is clean because you are contributing and doing your fair share in making it a better place for all.

  25. Oh my goodness… is this the official “Bash Kiwis” site? Ha. I am laughing, really. I am a new citizen of NZ–having been in the USA my whole life (almost 4 decades… and having been in most states for some duration as a military officer). I must say that all things must be considered. Yes, this is a small country. The people in small isolated areas are generally close-minded, as you would notice by visiting most of the USA Mid-west and less-poputed parts of the South. Anyone who has driven through the Ozarks would find it really hard to criticize NZ. Considering that we sit for 6 hours on average in an emergency room for inferior treatment in the USA and get socked with a bill for over $1,000.00… you can imagine my joy at very good med treatment, waits averaging 45 minutes and a bill of, say $0!! for emergency treatment. This encourages me, as most people really can’t afford to have a heart attack in the USA. You all talk like the USA is one little city of perfection. You obviously haven’t been to the poorer parts of the South. You haven’t been affected by the droves of homeless… Did you see homeless in NZ? Doubt it. You are judging NZ through an American lens. I would be annoyed with the like-minded American air of superiority too, if I were a Kiwi in the proximity of such complaints as I have seen above. You are comparing apples with oranges. (Apples are therefore bad, as their skin is thin and not pungent like an orange. Apples are horrid for their firmness, as oranges are soft. Likewise we can judge the orange for being simply awful for its lack of beautiful smooth skin…) Love the USA for the USA’s strengths and love NZ for its strengths. I have had no shortage of joy and success in this country. I HAVE JUST HAD TO TAKE OFF MY USA LENS AND PICK UP A KIWI ONE. No one likes to hear over and over how much more wonderful it was in someone’s mother country. The instinctive and natural response is therefore, “GO HOME.” Granted, there is no Costco, but there is less smog and walking trails everywhere. I love the Kiwi friendliness and frankness. I have met many rude idiots and road-rage junkies in L.A., trust me!

    • “The people in small isolated areas are generally close-minded, as you would notice by visiting most of the USA Mid-west and less-poputed parts of the South.”
      I would have been able to believe you, had I not attended some weird lectures. In one of them, the male Ph.D holder conducting it said “short men are always violent”, and “women have never been violent in relationships”.
      Now how closed-minded is that?

    • If you have never seen homeless it means you never get out of your car and drive all around with those rose-tinted glasses of yours. Just a quick stroll in Queen street, particularly at night, or in Grafton bridge, near the old cemetery in Auckland will prove you wrong, but don’t drive, walk…if lucky maybe you won’t be mugged. Wanna see more poverty? go up north and walk around any Northland town, but avoid tourist areas, and tell us of your experience.
      You say that we are judging NZ by America lenses, sorry, but there are Europeans, Asians, South Africans, etc. here too!
      I have travelled a lot, and I’m certain to say NZ is not a first world nation, is second world, at best, pushing to become a banana republic judging by how bad it has become and the actions of its leaders.

  26. Some white Kiwis are really racist though, and have an excuse for everything. Some are too nice, probably used to being taken advantage of by the other half. But most are God awfully most narrow minded people you ever hear about or experience. Not to mention they completely lack any manners or social conscience, the rude ones, that is.

  27. ” My home Country America has its Issues but we are more open minded then the average Kiwi.”

    Sorry, you may have issues with an ignorant MIL, but please never suggest that as a nation Americans are open-minded. The USA has the lowest rate off passport take-up in the OECD, and the Amercian traveller stereotype is a cliche because it is a truism.

    • I think what she was talking about was that Americans like the differences.
      When in NZ, you’re constantly being told that we’re saying things wrong. We’re not saying things wrong, just different. In the States, we like to listen/hear the way others talk.
      There is huge pressure to “conform”. Don’t be critical or say there might be a faster, easier way of doing something [that someone other than a Kiwi thought up], it’ll be shot down and you’ll be ridiculed for being different.

      • Yes, if you do not drink or practice polygamy or if you are not a conformist to NZ dysfunctional culture you will be ostracized. It is similar to places like Georgia or in New England that have small town thinking except that they accept gays and lesbians in NZ and give them more rights than average and the same goes for Maori. You will not be accepted by Kiwis for being different and the more you can bash America, the more you will be liked. The irony is that most Kiwis watch American telly and listen to American mainstream music than myself and are more American than myself in respects to the mainstream lifestyle- they hold a love-hate relationship with America. Because of US history we have more human rights laws and better workplaces than in NZ. Ethics are higher and bullying is not acceptable in workplaces in American like in New Zealand. I had a Kiwi female boss lift her shirt and ow her boobs at a work party- she was a manager and this was acceptable. She also was allowed to victimize people as a manager who she did not like. I cannot tell you how dysfunctional some of the workplaces are in NZ and how racists they are. You really must focus on your life, your support networks and your friends and family to make it here if you do not follow the mainstream practices. some Kiwis are really nice but the nice ones allow the dysfunctional ones to be dysfunctional and modesty here is false modesty as if one kiwi is popular it seems to define the entire country. Racism is about 80% and it is not about colour but about the culture you come from or the religion you practice. Differences are not accepted.

      • Yes very true but the Kiwi is easily insulted and the modesty is false modesty as they always complain about Americans having flags up but then just yesterday I saw a building with several Kiwi flags- of course there are more flags up in America as there are more people but Nationalism is also in NZ as many people have flags up- the same in Britain too. The prob is hypocrisy and 2 faced-ness in NZ as there is little self reflection or psychoanalysis- the culture brushes everything under the rug. Laidback is the correct word for NZ but not easy-going.

      • Very close minded people, I’m a builder/project manager from Canada currently working in NZ for the Christchurch rebuild and I cannot count the number of times I’ve been told I’m saying things wrong, and Heaven forbid you suggest a better way of doing something. Pride and Patriotism aside, if there is an easier, more effective and efficient way of doing something…why not? Their minimum building code was recently updated due to the massive earthquakes that occurred over 5 yrs ago now, but is still decades behind other developing countries.

        • Ryan,

          You are not alone in your experiences. Don’t know how many times I have heard “This is New Zealand and we don’t do it like that here”. New ideas and ways of doing things (together with overseas experience) simply do not go down well in New Zealand. The kiwi workplace can be a very frustrating and lonely place. ‘Standards’ are something which are totally alien to many kiwis (in all areas of life). The well-worn adage “She’ll be right!” sums up much about life here.

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