Continuing in our series of Migrant Tales – first hand accounts of the immigrant experience in New Zealand taken from locations around the net.
Today’s Migrant Tale was posted by the partner of a British truck driver on a for-profit immigration forum.The couple have an 11 year old daughter and planned to settle in Nelson.
In it she tells of how difficult it is to find work in New Zealand and of how quickly savings become depleted, to the point where they cannot now afford to buy a property. Such losses are irrecoverable.
They were looking for a change in lifestyle and they got it, only it turned out to be different to what they expected – longer working hours and a job that makes her feel worthless.
Remember the recent immigration campaign targeted at Singaporeans? “the bait was better working hours, cheaper cars and housing” or our post “Hard slog for Chinese coming to New Zealand” based on a Massey University report that showed that Chinese migrants in New Zealand are working longer hours and have less time for family. They are finding their new lives harder in New Zealand than they were in China!
Is New Zealand being mis-sold to emigrants? There’s a very interesting discussion on Expatexposed about the ethics of the NZ Immigration policy that we recommend to our readers LINK.
This couple arrived in New Zealand with only a work visa (i.e. temporary work permit) and hoping that NZ Immigration will renew it. IF they do it is only likely to for a year. See posts tagged “Jobs for Kiwis” for background and details of the problems other migrants have had finding and keeping jobs in New Zealand.
It’s a salutary lesson that emigrating to New Zealand isn’t as easy as migrants are led to believe and it is a fiercely expensive process, savings go very quickly – and with good reason. Immigrants are a major income stream for the New Zealand economy, with each individual person being worth more to the country than their NZ equivalent is.
Readers interested to learn more about this could start by reading our “Economics and Demographics” sub page under NZ Facts and Stats where they will see data collected that showed that the migrant population of 927,000 people had a positive net fiscal impact of $3,288 million in the year to 30 June 2006. The net fiscal impact per head was $2,680 for recent migrants, almost three times that of the New Zealand-born population at $915 per head.
Here’s their tale:
Hi, we moved out hear a year ago last week. My husband is a HGV driver and I came in on the back of him.
We could only get a Work Visa and at the moment they are only giving out 1 year at a time, so we are filling in the forms as we speek and hoping for a three year one this time.
Anyway neither of us had a job and it took my husband 3 months to find work, we dipped into so much of our savings that we can’t afford to buy now.
I found it hard to find work I have the qualifications as a Chef but need the experience, however no-one is willing to help I have even offored my services for free. I only have a 12 hour week cleaning job and it just makes me feel worthless, when i really can do much more.
I still think this was the right thing for us to do. We never came over hear before and just wanted a different way of life.
The downside is that the hours my husband does is far more than he is used to and the Kiwis think nothing of working 60 hours plus a week. for little pay. anyway good luck with your trip and things will work if you want them to. Sorry I’m not much help though.”