Continuing in our series of Migrant Tales, first hand accounts of the migrant experience of New Zealand.
Today’s tale was left as a comment on this blog and is reproduced here in full.
“Well, I look forward to the day I can leave. I have lived here for over 3 years and they have been 3 of the most boring, depressing and lonely years of my life. I lived in Fort Lauderdale, USA for 4 years and then I went back to the ‘motherland’ South Africa to see if I could make it work and try and ‘brush’ off the crime issue, but my wife and I decided to leave SA for ‘greener’ pastures and so I headed to the clean, green & adventurous NZ…more like propaganda! Anyway, I fell for it. I was in Wellington for a year and as soon as we got our residency I had to leave because my partner was also suffering from a mild dose of depression and boredom and the worst weather that I have ever encountered in my life. We booked our first tickets out of the place back to my country lifestyle in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. It felt wonderful to be back home, to be close to family, and to soak up the great weather…We just felt alive again! Well, we couldn’t stay there forever, so we decided to come back to not lose our residency and also the crime situation and job prospects for a young white male in South Africa are few and far between. If it wasn’t for the crime and political situation in South Africa, I highly doubt we would have ever left the place to come to NZ.
Another major disappointment for me is the lack of wildlife in New Zealand. Going for hikes or doing anything outdoors, I noticed that the forest(bush) had minimal birds and wildlife. It felt like a place that is completely devoid of any wildlife. I know that most native species are threatened, endangered and extinct because of the NZ people and government waking up a little to late to try and conserve what they had left. Their poor conservation efforts has resulted in the demise of most native species in NZ. What a shame! All they have now is a forest that is overrun with with invasive species of both fauna and flora.
NZ small towns are soulless and dead, it’s not pleasant walking around any town, there was nothing much to see or do. When my wife and I did a few road trips around the North island, I didn’t see any nice towns or villages compared to the towns in Italy and Brazil that were full of life and culture! It was cold, damp (most of the time wet), dreary, boring and so called ‘clean & green’ That’s must be the joke of the century. Cost of living in NZ is a complete rip off. Renting a decent one bedroom apartment in Auckland will set you back R400 a week which is insane compared to what I used to pay in the USA and SA. Food prices are way too high! The beaches are not that great and the weather in Auckland is terrible.
Don’t get me wrong, NZ has some nice places, but it is way oversold. I typically advise people that NZ has simply perfected their marketing. I might sound very negative and full of it, but remember this is just my opinion. New Zealand does have it’s + compared to South Africa in that the crime rate is low especially violent crime, minimal corruption within the government compared to the ANC, less materialistic and also no poverty stricken areas when compared to SA.
My wife is studying and after 2 years we will be leaving. There is no way we could ever live here. It is just a stepping stone even though the last 3 and half years feel like a complete waste of time. I’m getting older and with every year that goes by I keep asking myself why on earth I ever went through with it…The best answer I could come up with was the political and crime situation in SA pushed me to pack up and head overseas. If I had it my way I would of stayed in the USA. I felt alive and well there!
Anyway, it is what is for now. I must just be grateful!
“Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you now was once among the things you only hoped for.” Epicurus.”