Three Weeks In. An American’s First Impressions Of New Zealand

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

Today’s tale is taken from a NZ forum which has since closed down.

This story was written by an American whose Kiwi partner tried to warn that “Kiwis are not cooler versions of Canadians.”

“Thank you for having this most excellent forum. I am thrilled to find it, as I am at my wits end with this place. I have been here two months, and the adjustment is not going well. Hearing other people’s experiences is validating, humorous, and encouraging (in the sense that it isn’t me that is crazy!)

I am not a good writer, so let’s get that out of the way up front. However, I intend on interacting with you wonderful people, and writing is how it must be done in this forum. I am also not technologically gifted. I apologize.

I came to NZ to be with my partner, who is a kiwi, but one one of those kiwis who has been away from NZ enough to be well aware and embarrassed by his fellow countrymen and their “norms”.

He tried to warn me that American ideas of kiwis are off-base, that really they are not a cooler version of Canadians, and that there is no good amount of liberal guilt to counter balance their unabashed consumerism like you might find in progressive communities in the States. I poo-pooed all his warnings, thinking he has been away too long to know, and that he must just not know the right people. He tried to tell me that people here are not interested in politics, the way the world works, how countries interact and effect one another, that all folks here cared about was real estate, looking like rock stars, and whatever is on the 2 television stations they have. He tried to warn me, he did. Well, silly silly me, I didn’t listen, I couldn’t believe it was possible. All the kiwis I have met abroad, well, turns out I must have been projecting a whole lot of coolness onto them that they never rightfully earned.

Without further ado, I would like to mention that I have been an immigrant before, so culture shock is not new to me. But I am surprised at the lack of awareness kiwis have for others and their environment. The lack of common interests has left me longing to interact with others who feel similarly. This is my attempt.

I will just follow up with a list of strange and interesting things I have observed. Some are superficial, some are disturbingly fixed traits that seems to go unquestioned. Bear with me:

1. Bikes. There are few bike lanes and less designated bike parking areas. Motorists are hostile and bikers apparently do not know the rules of biking, hand signals, how to warn they are passing another biker or pedestrian. There are no bike co-ops to tool share. Used bikes are about $200-$300. This is all insanity to me.

2. Heated towel racks in bathrooms. Really? No insulation in housing, but every bathroom has a heated towel rack? Hmm…that seems efficient. Whatever.

3. Race. Huh. And I thought Americans had some issues with race. Wow.

4. Price of rent. I don’t know how much more complacent people can be here. But it seems as though rent is ridiculously high. Weekly? Sigh.

5. Speaking of complacency…my partner was notified he would not be paid on time, but rather a month late because admin wasn’t on time processing paperwork. A month went by, he was notified it would be another two weeks. His co-workers as well. We were told there is no such thing as a labor department (yes, there is).

6. I can only speak of Auckland, but seriously, people here are the most dull but dolled up bunch I have every encountered. I keep looking for the DIY types that I have heard of, you know the “can-do” blah blah blah. Seems to me people are more than happy to pay to look the part than actually DO anything that might mess up their hair.

7. Willful ignorance, grasping at straws. What seems to get to me most often is the pride kiwis have in their country and its accomplishments. Someone told me they flew before the Wright brothers http://www.squidoo.com/rich…-wright-brothers. I have read they think they invented the Flat White (uh, in the US is is called a “latte”, oh, but they just got into coffee, so I guess they just didn’t know it’s already been done) see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flat_white They publish studies in their newspaper that to an outsider are just complete nonsense..like NZ women are the most sexually experienced? http://www.monstersandcriti…ually-experienced

8. Car culture…I am used to that, but on an island? There must be good public transit…a railroad etc…? Hmmm…not really. Bus fare is outrageous. Train system? Largely dismantled.

9. Pretending to be “green” while consuming relentlessly. I do not see a lot of reducing, or reusing…I do see lots of paid for bins in my neighborhood full of wonderful pieces of usable wood, furniture, and other materials. So sad.

10. People are just outright unfriendly. I have asked my flatmates why this is, and they do not know. Asked if they feel good when they are nice to strangers they say yes. Asked why they do not do it more often, they say that people will think they are crazy. Well, at least that it something we can agree upon.”

115 thoughts on “Three Weeks In. An American’s First Impressions Of New Zealand

  1. Wow… Just, so accurate! THIS is the real deal immigrants from developed nations (US, Canada, Japan, South Korea, England… etc.) are faced with when coming here, thanks for your input.

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  2. Thanks for this. I am an American and have been here for 2 years. It is isolative (my partner works with foreigners so has no idea what I feel like) – pay is substandard and they don’t like high achievers or Americans as we are considered to be a threat. If you are a high achiever, they target you, and make an example of you (Tall Poppy Syndrome). Try to get a job part time doing ANYTHING – and being American…they have big racial issues here that I have not seen the likes of anywhere, and hate Americans. I have found the most solice with the people from the expat exposed, since the Kiwis really don’t understand what emigration is like. How could they?

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    • Thanks for your comments. I am an ex South African and have felt exactly as you have. At least now I don’t feel quite as alone. I agree that the racism in this country is staggering, even coming from the background that I do. I thought I was coming to country without the burden of prejudice: that was part of the attraction. Well, I was wrong. We are also a a fairly well educated family and have received nothing but being snubbed as a result. At this stage I am not really sure how to move forward here.

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      • It’s not racism though. Racism is when your race is the issue. I don’t think it is your race that’s the issue. It may be xenophobia or insular thinking. I am part Maori and I have an understanding of racism here. Wow, being my race can be horrifying. Back in the 1970s a Maori woman answered the phone for the company she was working for with with Kia Ora (Hello in Maori). The white backlash was extreme and really showed an unfathomable fear of Maori. Same thing happened when a Maori woman sang the national anthem only in Maori
        (Which is SO beautiful in that language)at an international rugby match. The white population went beserk.

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        • Now they all say Kia Ora, even the Pakeha. But it is all fronting for effect. I do not see many of those actually rubbing shoulders with Tangata Whenua, having them as friends and in out of one another’s houses in the close sense They do not live in the midst of them. I know a handful of Pakeha who are a small percentage of Maori and they will tattoo themselves and exploit their claimed identity. This is usually for perks, to impress foreigners, or “trump by out-ethnicking” their fellow Pakeha. It is not anything they feel in their bones. When you look at these fakers’ actual social circles, they are nothing more than snobs and don’t hang with “REAL” Maori at all.

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      • I am also an SA expat, been here 2 years just been offered a full time job, not sure if i want to accept it for fear of that bad Kiwi attitude i have come so accustomed to. I was living in the UK before i came here, i did not realize how lucky i was there. Good thing i can return.

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    • Hi Asheley, I agree with you with what you say about the Tall Poppy Syndrome that exists in NZ and they will target you if you are a good achiever or have anything that is better than them. They mostly act idiotic in public and I am not an immigrant, I have been raised here but my background is middle eastern. I have been to US several times and I feel I wouldnt like to return to NZ.

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  3. I have found that they really like to try and make Americans either lose it or grovel. As one escaped American told me, “the more you stand up to your treatment, the more they try to subjugate you”. I think this treatment is in direct proportion to the degree of hubris they think all Americans have, due to cultural differences but also due to their own collective projection. Do not dare to be individual. Do not dare to be different. Do not challenge their way of doing things. Shout their mindless party line twice as loud as they do – and maybe you’ll fare half as well.

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  4. Here’s a remedy. Forget the Kiwis and fall in love with the environment. The free walks at Mt Cook/Aoraki, West Coast of South Is and Fiordland are so goregous you might forget your horror at heated towel racks and flat whites.
    We don’t pretend to be green. We know we are about as green as a brown beetle’s arse….it’s an advertising campaign – the Pure NZ campaign, you know how much truth there is in advertising.

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  5. That’s not a remedy – it’s escapism. It’s all well and good looking at the scenery but there isn’t much of it in the workplace, in the school yard or at the local pub. It’s hard to ‘forget the Kiwis’ when there are the likes of Paul Henry around.

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  6. To argue that racism is a problem that is created only by one race in NZ, is very very laughable indeed.
    There are people who side with the racists, because they think they will be next in line when a job comes up. Much like collaborators in a war. And then they discover some unpleasant truths when they are next for the chopping block.
    Naida Glavish (the kia ora lady) seems to have either been co-opted or chosen to be part of a political movement that is racially-based, and we are supposed to believe that she is inclusive? Ahahahaha, that’s funny indeed. Sort of like the naturalised Asian (Chinese) lesbian who wrote that international students have to be grateful and give even more, as they were being educated and taught on stolen land therefore they were in collaboration with the people who stole the land.

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  7. We were looking for a lifestyle property for a few years. We were thinking of moving to New Zealand, and a friend who lives there sent me a picture of one of those beautiful old villas they have down there, off of trademe.co.nz. The prices are crazy!
    http://www.trademe.co.nz/property/residential-property-for-sale/auction-355435601.htm

    A relative in Florida reminded me I could buy myself a whole island in the Keys, with a livable house, for less than that:
    http://www.privateislandsonline.com/sea-shell-key-florida.htm

    Isn’t that what many people think they are moving to New Zealand for? Some kind of South Pacific paradise? Apparently, according to a couple American residents I have spoken with in Kiwiland, it ain’t so?

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  8. The thing about Americans is true.

    I’m an American and in my field [building] was drubbed out for being a “smart a$$”, “know it all”. Even after showing that [as a builder somewhat past his physical prime] I could out work 2 or 3 Kiwis, I was treated with disdain and in two cased; actively tried to be discredited, and “let go” on a pretence because my honesty was seen as a liability.

    Kiwis love everything American; cars, fashion, music, culture, they just don’t like Americans.
    Maybe, they are wanting to be able to “claim” American culture, with out giving credit to those that created it. Kinda like patent infringment. Steal someone elses idea, then claim it for yourself.

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  9. I’m an american and have been living on the northisland for roughly three months. I agree a lot with the original post even though I think everyone’s experience is subjective. I myself have seen a lot of hypocritical behavior, which is not necessarily uncommon from any other culture or country, but the lack of awareness about it (not to mention the national superiority complex) is very strange. The idea for instance that New Zealand is exceptionally “green” from other places in the world – as if they were different – is completely false. Lots of New Zealanders want to protect their native bush and I hardly ever see any trash next to the roads, BUT where is the organic produce?? The fact that many New Zealanders are ignorant to the importance of organic produce is shocking. Protect native bush at all costs but feel free to spray crops and fields with pesticides and herbicides and chemical fertilizers. Absolutely the definition of ironic. You can find more organic stuff in a Walmart (like a warehouse here) in the states than you can in a regular grocery here in NZ. Who controls the supermarkets? Certainly not the farmer…..so why doesn’t anyone get upset and uppity about this? (They certainly get uppity about a lot of other minor things) Don’t get me wrong…I know there are new zealanders and NZ farmers who appreciate organic produce and do what they can to get it or produce it (you’ll find them all at the farmers market on Saturdays) but compared to the states they seem few and far between. Which brings me to my next observation of hypocritical behavior: people in the united states are not grotesque and fat. Where you to simultaneously visit both countries in one day, picking a random town anywhere in the country, I bet you would see more plump, giggly, fat bottomed women here in NZ (wearing ridiculously short skirts) than you would in the states. Whether its the awesome cheese and yogurt, the not so awesome rainy weather, or the fact that women like to get pregnant at an early age (comparable to the number of young women getting pregnant in Mexico) or all of the above, I have to honestly say that its shocking that Kiwi’s would even dream of making fun of fat americans (um…projection much?) And I could go on but I’ll leave it with one last striking observation of the kiwi culture: xenophobia and outright racism against maoris. I thought it was bad in America; there is a huge immigration problem, latinos and african americans are the majority in jails (which means outright descrimination) some conservative dumb-asses want to blame mexicans for the countries problems (can we say “stu-pid!”) But I have never heard anyone, ever, in my life ever blame the native americans for the countries problems. If anything its the other way around. Whites came into america well AFTER native americans were here. Most people realize now that descrimination, unfair and biased distribution money and power, ignorance and lack of education, lack of opportunities and resources are all causes for ghettos, gangs, and crime amongst targeted and discriminated groups like african americans and latinos. Where-o-where is the idea that here too, in New Zealand, Maoris are also at a disadvantage? (Oh, and reparations in the form of endless seafood quotas hurts only the environment and is a sorry bandaid and lolly – not to mention a set up for the “I can do anything I want” destructive spoiled-kid syndrome) New Zealand is a budding nation and can learn from other countries mistakes but the people in it need to open up their narrow minded point of view and lay off on the better than thou attitude.

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  10. I like that same poster’s remark on the expatexposed site that “I thought I didn’t have expectations when coming here. I was wrong. I had a lot of them, but they were so very basic I didn’t think they counted.”

    You do expect certain standards, attitudes, level of services, and other things out of a country that calls itself First World. And you will be surprised when you do not find these in New Zealand, because you have been led to believe it is in the same league as places like Canada, UK, US, Germany, and so on but minus the big city problems. It is not true. It is a second world country, with an unrealistically high self-image.

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  11. well by reading this it is obvoious you were only in Auckland. Go to some rural areas and you will learn the gems of nz and that it really is this nice place as it is stereotyped as.

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  12. Have to agree with the last comment here. @ Kyle
    My expectations of the country were pretty high. I found Aucklanders and Wellingtonians to be pretentious self serving assholes, but once i left those urban areas, for the most part, the rural kiwis i encountered were good natured , willing to go out of their way to please me, talked about all manner of things etc. It would appear to me that for the most part, travellers here need to make sure they leave the bigger centers and experience kiwis for who they really are, its interesting to note that most non-urban kiwis i spoke to are well aware of the other sub-culture that has developed in Auckland. They have a word for Aucklanders “JAFA” which stands for (just another fucking aucklander), they loath the kind of people that adopt the auckland lifestyle, excess, ego, racism, etc. But really outside of those places it was a lovely experience.

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    • “make sure they leave the bigger centers and experience kiwis for who they really are…”

      Yeah, I guess the approx. 2.5 dwellers of Auckland, Wellington, and Christchurch aren’t the real Kiwis. Considering the population of the country is only 4.3 million, that means the majority of Kiwis aren’t real and are, in fact, leaving a poor example for all the visitors and migrants.

      “they loath the kind of people that adopt the auckland lifestyle, excess, ego, racism, etc…”

      Too bad all these good, tolerant people feel a need to loath anyone.
      Your post is quite revealing of the kinds of attitudes I’ve encountered here in New Zealand.

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  13. Has anyone actually tried being themselves if a nzer is rude don’t be nice be rude back demand what you want put them in their place i’m a kiwi and a maori one at that. This is how us kiwis are we don’t like to beat around the bush we say what we think. And i do agree with yous the ladies do put too much make up on you can scoop it off with a spoon. Also if your looking for the DIY people maybe your looking in the wrong place however just because the ladys wear too much makeup don’t think they can’t do anything other than that my sister is like this very small but can pull a car apart and put together again working better than before apearances is not everything if you have friends that talk about you and can’t be straight up with you get rid of them chances are their just jealous of you and your right we do not get into politics, why is this because it is the most boring subject to talk about with kiwis we are more interested in you and where you come from. Our living expenses is way too high and the insulations is really slack i totally agree with you on this. The public transport is ok for us here as we are just a small country compared to some states in the US and England etc you have to remember there are more sheep than people so there is no point in having all the public transport that other country’s are used to having maybe people should stop comparing us to the rest of the world and just live life as it comes you would probably enjoying it more just being yourself around whind down and relax.

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    • Problem being that IF you do give it back, you’ll be backstabbed. You’ve got to understand that we’re the “visiting team” and endure all of the abuse that comes with it.
      Most Kiwi donn’t want to be told that they are anti-intellectual, behind the times, have crap houses, low wages…
      Most will just shut down, get [quietly] angry, then figure out a way to make you life [more] miserable.
      “whind down and relax”. That’s why the produtivity is so slack.

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      • The problem is that it is advertised as being one way and then when you move there you find out the advertising is very false. This site exists to point out how false. It’s VERY false.

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  14. I am an immigrant and have been here 10 years now. What I find quite staggering is the back stabbing that goes on. I work in a supermarket and have been stunned at how people there rejoice in the downfall or misfortunes of their fellow workmates. If you are pleasant and friendly or dare to greet the bosses, you are viewed with great suspicion and they wonder what you are up to or what you are after. Instead of supporting each other, the place is filled with gossip and insinuations from jealous, bitter mouths. I have tried to make sense of it but have failed.

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    • I found that too. The Schadenfreude was so intense. I am glad to be back home now, where if someone does well, everyone is happy for them, doesn’t try to drag them down. It is so much more positive here, interpersonally speaking. It is not perfect but we go out into the community more because we fear people’s reactions less.

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  15. I m a kiwi and have found by and large most of the Americans commentary here very interesting. Interesting perspectives offered. On a different note, I think there exists anti Americanism everywhere. I ve seen it myself all over the world and it looks and sounds much like the stuff people talk about here. Also I ve lived in other countries and yes if your an outsider you come across a lot of the same problems and prejudice that are mentioned here. People make it harder for you because your not like them. It takes time to adjust to the national psyche.

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  16. We’ve been here 8 years and have adjusted to the national pysche. We have lowered all our standards and expectations and built more metaphorical fences than I care to have! Fitting in nicely now. Seige mentality. We will please our new fellow countrymen by going home. Example, the first time we spoke to our neighbour was when he reversed a delivery truck up our driveway and was unloading it into his back yard. He couldnt be bothered moving his car and when asked what he was doing he told us to f**k off back to the s**t hole we came from. Funny thing is we come from a nice friendly place but wanted an adventure. We have tried hard enough so time to leave and go back where we are welcome.

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    • I hope you can tell your story for this website? I am a reader and I plan to tell mine one of these days when it’s safe enough and I don’t have anyone left over there for them to harm.

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  17. Interesting comments by all on this site. I’m NZ born ( Parents – Father/Maori, Mother/English Scottish) and wish to offer some feedback also. I was raised in a town with a population of 2000 people, in the middle of the North Island, next to Lake Taupo. Though we always had many visitors from other country’s visit to either fish, snow or lake ski, they were always treated as we were treated. And in most instances, created great, friendly-relationships with these visitors. Smaller towns tend to welcome others quicker than the large city’s. I personally found the American culture very interesting (as I played basketball growing up) and when I moved from my small town to Wellington, I found that people there were very fast paced, and self-centered, until you broke into their circles.
    As I played Basketball at a very high level, several of my team mates were American, and tbh, loud and believed that the sun rotated around them… As a teenager who had met a young american from Boston ( exchange student at school ), I knew that every nation has different types, ( with him being extremely nice, and we became good friends) and I also know that NZers including myself, are very “awe” struck when speaking to Americans, but the impression that does come across from most I have chatted with is that “everything is better and bigger in the US”. NZers tend to feel they need to defend themselves, when this occurs ( not saying this is right- but just happens), so I guess we have both a lot to learn.
    Lastly, I can relate to those of you that feel ” I’m in their country”. Being in Australia, as a NZer, I hear sheep jokes every 2nd day. I also bow down and try not to cause any issues, as I feel as though I am a visitor. In saying that, I have held many full-time positions in Management, and still do. I personally believe average American people ( just like kiwi’s ) are extremely nice, and just like anyone, once you get to know and understand their quirks, can become friends for life.

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  18. Being an Aussie it’s not in my nature to defend kiwis, but I have to say something about the ‘pretending to be green point’. 77% of electricity generated in NZ comes from renewable sources, with a target of 90% for 2025 (which is bloody good!). I also admire NZ for being a nuclear free zone (and resisting US pressure to let their nuclear powered ships to enter their ports). I have noticed too, very little rubbish polluted in my travels – but maybe the big cities are a different story.

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    • New Zealand may generate a lot of hydro energy but to say New Zealand is a so called “green” country is ridiculous. Most houses are not insulated, even fewer are at least poorly insulated, and even fewer are well insulated, so much so that the well insulated ones are almost non-existent, even among the wealthy. The amount of energy New Zealanders waste in trying to heat dwellings and businesses such as these is appalling. Anyway, electricity, despite being a renewable resource here, is very expensive. Go figure.
      (The vast majority of double-glazed windows in New Zealand are framed in aluminium, with no thermal break. They’re almost as bad as single glazed aluminium, which is extremely common, and was regularly used in new builds until just a few years ago. No wonder respiratory disease is so common. The amount of condensation in these houses is horrible.)

      Also, no country that can boast about being green can also be a huge dairy producer. Dairy production is notoriously hard on the land, is an inefficient use of resources, and an enormous polluter of the land and waterways. It doesn’t help that New Zealand dairy farmers are lax in keeping cows away from water courses. If you travel around you will see plenty of evidence that farmers don’t fence off waterways. In any event, it’s a fairly new thing for anyone to even concern themselves with the issue.

      There is also no real standard for testing water quality nationwide, the regulations, such as they are, are all over the place, and many, many places are never even tested or tested sporadically.

      There is more, but you get the picture.

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      • New Zealand’s green reputation is based mostly on the color of its landscape, not its environmental credentials.

        For more see the NZ Wiki – Green credentials, or green wash

        In April 2011 a copy of the government’s draft energy strategy: Developing Our Energy Potential was released ‘mistakenly’ into the public domain. It quickly became evident that the present National government was placing far too much emphasis on the mining of fossil fuels in New Zealand.

        The Green Party called the strategy which promoted coal and oil exploration, 19th century and said it put “petroleum and mineral fuel reserves (essentially oil, gas and coal) ahead of investing in renewable power sources and new technologies.”

        There is pollution from oil drilling and fracking waste is used to fertilize dairy pasture in the Taranaki. The Green party says milk from the area could be unsafe and want it tested. 12 farms could be affected and the region has 30 more sites where the waste is distributed in “mix-bury-cover”. 400 wells have been drilled in Taranaki in the last 20 years, “many of which are on or immediately next to dairy or beef farms.”

        The controversial method of “land farming” involves spreading mud and other waste into poor quality soil, which is then returned to pasture.

        Green MP Gareth Hughes said a 2005 report showed cows were grazing on a dump farm with elevated levels of hydrocarbons, but almost a decade had passed without a testing regime for petroleum toxins.

        source and source

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      • “No country can boast about being green can also be a huge dairy producer.” So that means Canada can’t be green due to their oil sands addiction.

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  19. The quality of life in nz is above anywhere in the world. Don’t you watch doco’s about life in other countries? Its rough out there in the world & NZ is by far one of the most “liveable” countries in the world. Now that’s fact just Google it. Other countries are no comparison. You can live in NZ for free by living off the land & sea! I bet you can’t do that in London or Atlanta. Like I said Google the facts then make judgment not maters about your own personal experiences. Also NZ was the last landmass to be discovered on earth. Its a young country still thriving for greatness.

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  20. Can’t complain there I’ve lived around that poverty life & hood life in NZ. I know exactly what I’m talking about when I say don’t judge other peoples lives that’s not yours. What else are you going to try & pull up from under the rug. Somebody went to hospital for a spinal injury (I’m not laughing). Every country has there gangs so what? get over it! NZ is great but we have problems just like every other country does but not as much!! Stop the hate & use your time talking about positive aspects about NZ.

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    • So in essence what you are saying is that New Zealand is just as crap as anywhere else and that you’ve become inured to the environmental degradation, poverty and violence in New Zealand because you’ve been told you can live for free and be happy in the ‘best country on earth.’ Sounds like you’re living in a cult there. Good luck with that.

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  21. Wow I didn’t know there was so many hate. Did you google anything before replying haha You make me laugh!! I said live for free meaning grow, fish & hunt your own food!! Build your own house on land that you own. I’m a Maori we own our own land…. get it yet??? If it wasn’t a good life then why would we live here. We have poverty but nobody dies from it. We don’t walk around with guns. Don’t bother replying cause i wont read it who cares about your little blog. Your not from here thank God for that!!. Good luck with your assumptions & judgments cause life must be pretty bad for you by the sounds of it. Bye!

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    • There are an estimated 1.1 million legal firearms and 270,000 children living in poverty in New Zealand. Unfortunately people die from both. it can’t be that great a life if a quarter of your population live abroad and Maori make up a higher percentage of the NZ population in Australia than in New Zealand.

      Good luck with continuing to live a subsistence lifestyle in ‘cult world’ but don’t expect anyone else to drink your kool-aid.

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    • The “wonder that is New Zealand” is its population’s cult-like addiction to Kool-Aid, not a single thing you’ve said there involves an iota of original thought. More like a litany you’ve been taught from birth.

      Farming nation? c’mon, why do dairy and sheep farmers, growers of Kiwifruit and grapes need guns? How many ‘farmers’ are there living in South Auckland or Gisborne and what ‘crops’ are being protected from whom? And why does the NZ police need an Armed Offenders Squad – to round up dangerous bulls and rams?

      To your credit, you’ve come across this site which means that deep down you know something is wrong. For homework tonight read our most popular articles from the tag cloud on the right of the page: take the first step on the path of enlightenment.

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    • Lydia this bloke totally looks like a unassuming farmer from Opotiki.

      ” “I’ve got a gun, and I’m gonna kill you,” he yelled at two Hastings police officers.

      Taite, who was known to police, was wanted on burglary charges.

      He had a previous conviction for attempting to murder a police officer by threatening him with a shotgun more than 20 years ago in Wairoa.

      In the weeks before the shooting, Taite had threatened to burn down his landlord’s property in Dannevirke and spoke about killing people.”

      http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/crime/10122412/Police-shooting-was-justified

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    • @Lydia: Thanks for reminding me why I was so happy to leave New Zealand. You obviously do not know the difference between an objective statement and a subjective one. When you claim, “New Zealand is the most beautiful country in the world” you are merely stating a misinformed opinion. An objective statement is something such as Usain Bolt is the fastest person in the world, which anyone can empirically demonstrate through observation. In contrast, you might struggle to demonstrate the amazing natural beauty of Palmerston North to any group of impartial observers.

      Rather than citing the ignorance that many Americans have about the world as a way to deflect attention from the appalling ignorance of most New Zealanders yourself included, why not cite actual facts? The United States does have an appalling problem with violence, yet mass shootings do not occur weekly and most areas in the United States outside the inner cities are relatively safe. As someone with training in mathematics and statistics, I can tell you that you are much more likely to die at the hands of one of your drunk Kiwi bogans driving behind the wheel than you are living in the United States in a mass shooting. Similarly, an incompetent Kiwi doctor is much more likely to kill you through negligence than a demented American gunman is likely to kill a particular individual in the United States.

      Perhaps closer to home, your fellow incompetent Kiwi hunters is more likely to kill you by accident than a mass shooter is likely to kill a person in the US intentionally. Lastly, the shabbily constructed Kiwi houses are much more likely to cause you serious health problems that will reduce your life expectancy and significantly increase the likelihood that you will develop a myriad of avoidable health problems.

      I know mathematics the New Zealand education system forgets to teach children basic mathematics, reading, or writing. However, mathematics does not lie nor does it have a biased agenda from which it will obtain a pecuniary benefit.

      I look forward to hearing your response.

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      • Some girl moving from Taranaki to the “big city” and thinks with the possible exception of a couple OE stints that she knows everything about the world outside New Zealand, and what those other places are really like to live in for a long period of time – as a comfortable native, like many of the rest of us were when we went to New Zealand, lured by nothing less than collusive national propaganda. I should point out that sensationalistic bad news is available about other countries, especially the U.S. But due to statistics cringe and positivity fascism, New Zealand isn’t used to having its negatives focused on. Hence the outrage when in recent years the clear lens has penetrated the long white cloud. The myth of satisfaction, or one of them, can be read about here: http://www.expatexposed.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=828 I concur with “Lydia” (if that’s her name) that people who aren’t able to love New Zealand, or who are dissuaded from visiting by reading this site, don’t belong there and would benefit from spending their time and money elsewhere. I disagree that this would be any loss to them. They can experience New Zealand through photos on the web. Anything more is resource ill-spent. If you’re lucky enough to only lose resources. NZ has swallowed whole chunks of some of these posters’ lives. Never to be returned to them. Callow people with blinkers on, like the thickhead I met the other day who had never had bad eyesight, never seen an eye doc, and seemed to be finding it hard to believe that some people just couldn’t see, only accept what they themselves have experienced. Lots of growing to do.

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      • Have to admit, kiwi’s can be just as ignorant as anybody from any other country, there’s fault on both sides. But seriously; New Zealand’s education system is near flawless. NCEA pushes students to excel in all areas- and many pass L1, L2, and/ or L3 with great results.

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    • @Lydia,

      “We develop a negative view of people from other countries due to their lack of education regarding our culture.” That seems to be a rather unrealistic attitude, how much knowledge would the average Kiwi (or Australian) have of relatively small, distant countries, like Finland, Belgium, or Ecuador? They’re called ‘tourists’ or ‘immigrants’ and they contribute to your economy.

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      • Being a native born person of a small distant country, I can say with authority that NO ONE I’ve met in New Zealand even knows where it’s located, although a few knew the continent at least. Certainly none of them knew the principle language. That’s pretty poor, considering I spent several years working in the local schools among teachers.

        Anyway, seriously what’s to know about the culture? Is Lydia outraged that no one knew about a plastic tomato-shaped squeeze bottle, or that the national cuisine is KFC and McDonald’s?

        As for the other bits about New Zealand that are interesting, like the history, geology, or the rapidly diminishing and long devastated natural environment, I would bet relatively few Kiwis themselves know much about that. I would guess, though, it’s not extremely common to find people well studied in such things in any country, though. NZ is no different in that respect. I have to conclude, however, that ignorance about NZ’s environment is widespread. How else can you explain the numbers of people convinced that a country that is among the most deforested in the world, and that has been turned into a giant cow pasture is pristine? Or think that NZ is a world leader in environmental issues? You really do have to be delusional and gullible. Beyond anything else, NZers haven’t even learned to properly build new houses so they’re energy efficient. Nearly all existing houses are seriously substandard as to energy efficiency and insulation.

        If people really want to learn about New Zealand culture, they should first understand that it’s so last century.

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    • @Lydia

      “We develop a negative view of people from other countries due to their lack of education regarding our culture.”

      That’s really funny. What culture? Do you mean the binge drinking, rugby-worshipping, xenophobia that passes for a national identity?

      “New Zealand” is a brand, not a nation.

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      • You forgot the child-beating. I so often hear children in my neighbourhood screaming their lungs out, crying sounds like they feel very miserable.

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  22. Well to be honest I have made alot of friends with kiwis here and have found them to be extremely friendly polite and helpful. They have opened homes up to me with meals, taken me on sight seeing trips without even expecting any financial assistance, helped me when my car broke down by putting me up for several nights until my car was fixed. My experience I am afraid is completely different. How do you treat people? I am sorry but if you come across with a defensive negative attitude it is not going to warm you to any kiwi really is it?

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    • Hi Megan

      You don’t sound like an American to me. Whether that is true or not doesn’t really matter here at all.

      There are many Americans who have lived here and have spoken about their negative experiences. It isn’t about counting or statistical manipulation, it’s about true personal examples. So maybe you are young and pretty, part American, popular and have a lot of friends (I really doubt it, but maybe you think so). That’s good. There are also other Americans who have friends and have, from time to time, received assistance or good will from other kiwis as well.

      Does any of that change the character or the culture of the nation? No. Does that change the daily acidic reporting on the news and in the media, which feed the delusional kiwi mindset? No. Does that protect you or any other American from the all-too-common kiwi low-life who will curse you in public or bully you while shopping when they hear your accent? No.

      The character of New Zealand is what it is (and getting worse), and far too many have come forward to describe it from the inside and out. So, count your blessings, as you appear to be an exception (whether you are American or not), but don’t push your luck.

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  23. Megan, what brings you to this site then?

    Are you sure you’re a really a migrant? it’s just that victim blaming thing in your last sentence is very ‘New Zealand’ (maybe you’ve integrated better than you think?).

    The OP, who is married to a Kiwi, has been a migrant before. There’s every indication they did their best to integrate and yet you still blame them for not making an effort? Shame on you, why not show them the same kind of support you claim was given to you? You demonstrate very well the distinct lack of awareness they spoke about in their story.

    “I have been an immigrant before, so culture shock is not new to me. But I am surprised at the lack of awareness kiwis have for others and their environment. The lack of common interests has left me longing to interact with others who feel similarly. This is my attempt…”

    Please be advised we have a zero tolerance policy regarding trolling.

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  24. Just sounds like Saint Louis to me. Matter of fact, sounds like the whole seen state of Missouri. Bet the NZ cops don’t gun down unarmed Maoris on a regular basis. Do they have clan members or organized HATE groups. I deal with mean, pseudo-superior a-holes on a regular basis here. They speak condescendingly and if you’re black and match that tone makes them off guard and they play like they are victims and intimidated, but it’s another means of domination because they run and get support then you have a whole collective posse’d up against you. Your stamina for tolerating hate and negativity has to be infinite because you will encounter it incessantly here is Missouri. And unlike NZ rural areas, Missouri’s rural areas become more dangerous with a good ol boy mentality that is NOT just above the law but it’s perpetrated by the law, and their brothers and sister-wives, the whole damned town. Sounds like if I came to Nz, it would be like Saint Louis Missouri here in the US, only without the country twang

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    • Essential reading:

      1..“Small Dark Lives – Small Town Hopelessness Breeds Evil”

      OPINION:Featherston makes you shake your head and wonder. How can a small town, population 2325, get to have such rotten things happen in it? …

      But the south Wairarapa town, with the population (declining) of a big-city high school, has a dark side, as so many rural towns do. There are too many people living idle lives there, without purpose or dignity – if we can use such a big word.

      Four people were found guilty last week of murdering disabled local man Glen Jones, a supermarket worker, in a vigilante attack. A woman had accused him of rape, but how much truth there was to that claim is unclear. His killers, one of whom put on her “stomping boots” for the event, await sentencing..

      Together again the next afternoon, with the killing on the news, the four young, soon-to-be-convicted killers (their ages ranged from 23 to 29) were idly doing “burnouts” in Masterton. Catching them was a doddle…

      2.Paradise Lost, Crisis In Small Town New Zealand.

      From the Close Up website:

      “Sex for drugs. Organised fights. Suicide. Issues that no town wants to deal with, especially when kids as young as 14 are involved.

      Kawerau was once a busy milling town, a piece of paradise in the Bay of Plenty.

      But those days are over. The jobs have dried up and many families are struggling to raise their kids. Some are endangering themselves and others.

      The Government is spending millions on Kawerau, but is it making a difference?…

      3.Outspoken Ex-Mayor Says “Many Small Towns in New Zealand are Failed Communities”

      Outspoken New Zealand politician, broadcaster and writer/columnist Michael Laws, has made a scathing criticism of small town New Zealand in an column headed “Failed NZ towns attract losers“

      Commenting on the mob beating of the sole police officer in the township of Kawhia, Waikato, Mr Laws touched on a problem experienced by many small towns and villages in New Zealand – a disgraceful lack of law enforcement officers (many of these communities only have one police officer, some have none) versus an over-abundance of people living outside the law.

      Laws dryly observes that Kawhia’s local cop, Perry Griffin, is the third officer to be run out of town “by local thugs” in the last ten years…

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  25. Cycling in NZ is very dangerous. I call the brave ones who do it: suicyclers.

    The heating issues many children to be too sick too go to school in winter.

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  26. [Deleted. Please don’t start your comments with the inevitable put-down about other people. No ad homs. Maybe you’ve been in NZ for too long? Admin]

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    • @”Aiden”
      You’re also getting deleted for post-ban trolling. Read the comments guidelines. Try spending less time on r/newzealand and Whaleoil.

      Have a great day 🙂

      p.s. thanks for the heads-up about Lydia being a troll too.

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  27. Not too surprising I guess, given how clear it is that you’re actually just a cowardly, spiteful little person interested only in spreading hatred and vile lies about this country. Even Whaleoil, the nastiest blogger in the country, has never deleted one of my comments, let alone called me a troll. So congratulations, you’re a bigger jerk than Cameron Slater, quite an accomplishment really. I really do wish you’d leave this country and go back to where you came from though, because people like you are giving all immigrants a bad name.

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  28. I have been reading comments here and feel very sad for the people who drank the governments Kool aid advertising campaign .Its a mystery to me why the N.Z government continues to lure people to this country with false promises of employment and lifestyle perhaps it’s because N.Z has become addicted to fleecing outsiders of their life savings and then tossing them onto the scrap heap.Many people come to N.Z with great expectations only to be devastated by the social isolation and the ignorance of the locals,some people begin to question themselves,what’s wrong with me ?why can’t I fit in or make friends?
    Surely there will be a turning point when things will suddenly make sense ,all the while eating their way through the money they saved somewhere else,God knows there are very few ways to make an honest living in N.Z..

    In general and of course there are exceptions,New Zealanders are mean spirited,they thrive on watching other people’s misery and failure.As mentioned above they are serial backstabbers and gossips,possibly some of the most racist people on the planet,arrogance is ingrained in this society to a point that you can actually see it on the faces of the people.
    Who would have known that arrogance could be such a debilitating trait for an entire nation but it is.Just think best in the world,best in the world,those people who have had the misfortune to live here will understand this one,I wish I never had to hear those four words used together ever again,but unfortunately I live here so I am destined to hear it twice a day for the rest of my life.Dishonesty and lying .This must be what the young woman in the above post meant when she referred to N.Z culture.There is no N.Z culture outside lying ,it’s so prevailant and acceptable that most people do it without even thinking,the Prime minister John Key even does it on an almost daily basis,when they get called on a lie their solution is to lie about why they lied,simple as that,there seems to be very little shame in being caught out .Rugby is a game which involves large men running around chasing a plastic air filled bag.These people smash into one another with incredible force often causing damage to their bodies such as paralysis ,brain damage ,knee injuries and many other forms of horrific and often permanent damage,the bill for these injuries is paid for by the employers of the country under whats called accident compensation insurance.This game is worshipped in this country,N.Z prides itself in being …..Best in the world ….at this barbaric sport.The local News channels usually dedicate 15 minutes to world and general local News(gossip) and 15 minutes to talk about rugby,most New Zealanders now more about Rugby than current events,global events or local politics ,this works very well for the government who get to basically run a dictatorship and line their pockets with taxpayer money while the Sheeple watch the Rugby,God forbid anybody talks about politics,this is socially unacceptable and will lead to further alienation of the perpetrator.

    Violence is O.K in N.Z, we are the best in the world at it,maybe this is another aspect of N.Z “culture”. Nobody is immune to violence in N.Z that includes women ,children and the elderly unlike many countries where a person can avoid violence by not getting involved in criminal activity or going to known trouble spots and thus avoid violence,it doesn’t work like that here in N.Z ,people get beaten raped and robbed on a daily basis an incredibly high number of tourists fall victim,perhaps because they believed the hype about how nice N.Z people are.lastly ,New Zealand is a low wage economy,expect to receive about 30 to 50% of what you would get for the same job in the U.S also remember that you will probably not get a job as you will be discriminated against because you are a foreigner ,Americans are hated openly no exceptions although American culture is embraced.Goods and services cost an average of 70% more than they do in the U.S there is a limited selection of available choices and the quality is often very substandard,many stores which sell these defective goods will not accept them to be returned when they fail to perform there intended function.Houses are of poor quality ,often little more than a barely habitable shack with no insulation which will overheat in summer and be about the same temperature as the outside environment during the winter,for the privelage of owning one of these shacks in an area of Auckland where it is relatively safe,without constant dog barking,stereo music from neighbours etc expect to pay about $800,000U.S.D as mentioned earlier,be sure to bring this money with you from your country of origin as you will never earn it or save a deposit in N.Z.If you would like to rent the shack instead of owning it be prepared to pay between $600 to $800 N.Z dollars not to bad says you,that’s per week and you will be expected to pay at the end of each week,if you get cold you can always turn the heater on,if you leave it on it will cost you about $100 extra per week on top of your regular overpriced electric bill.Hopefully your accomodation will be fairly close to your employment as fuel is very expensive ,about$100 U.S.D to fill the tank on a very small compact car.A word of warning here,if you exceed the speed limit by 1km per hour bear in mind average human walking speed is about 4kph ,you will be photographed by a fixed mounted or sneakily placed speed camera,you will receive a ticket in the mail for around $40u.s.d.Its best to drive around with your eyes glued to the speedometer to avoid getting to many tickets,this is how it’s done in N.Z.When you park the vehicle its best to walk up and down the st for a while checking all the signs and making sure that they do not conflict one another,if you intend to park in a pay and display area make sure you pay the full amount for the time required ,often when you return you will find the tow truck already backed up to your car and waiting to hook it up if you are late returning,they love to tow cars and it will cost you a small fortune to retrieve it.

    This is getting a little long winded but I really hope it will serve as a warning to anybody considering making a move to this country,unless you are in a really bad situation in your present country don’t do it,if you read this and believe well that’s just the rantings of an unhappy person,it’ll be different for me ,wrong and it won’t .

    I was born in N.Z and schooled ,not educated here,I left here aged 22 I lived and travelled in Europe before moving to the U.S where I happily lived for 23 years.I made the mistake of returning here to support my parents through their ill health,cancer etc.I used to be a happy joyful confident person,N.Z has made sure I did no remain this way,I have singlehanded my own sail boat around South America and crossed the Pacific Ocean ,not that anyone here has ever been the least bit interested in discussing my adventures and experiences ,being that it wasn’t in N.Z I guess it’s irrelevent I used to wake up and look forward to everyday,not so anymore ,I will be leaving here and returning to California when I’m sure my parents are o.k DONT MOVE TO N.Z UNLESS YOU RISK DEATH OR TORTURE IN YOUR COUNTRY.

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    • Thank you for your comment, Tony. Sorry to hear about your parents, hope they are well soon.

      It would be an honor for us if you’d consent to that being made into a Migrant Tale.

      Good luck with making it back to California and civilization.

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    • Thank you Tony, I hope your warning is heeded by those considering a move here. I have six weeks until departure, I cant wait to put the last 8 years behind me. This is a mean spirited parochial place.
      The only thing I will miss will be the easy parking! How sad is that?

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    • Tony, As an American doing research about New Zealand I appreciate and will take to heart your comments.Should you ever visit Virginia I would be fascinated, I’m sur, about hearing of your travels.

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  29. So accurate. Unfortunately I was born here but left when I was 18. Came back after 25 years thinking I was coming to the land of the lost and the greenest land on earth as nz would like to think they are. Bid mistake. Get me back to the north shore of Boston on the next plane. New Zealand and the people left here who haven’t travelled and experienced life are ignorant idiots who live in the land of the list for sure!!!

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  30. Came upon this site as I was researching about NZ. Was thinking about a move there to be with a Kiwi who worked here in NY as a nurse and returned home. Anyway I would like the people reading this blog who aren’t from the states; to know that the post about Ferguson Missouri was obviously made by an Obama Kool Aid drinker. The officer just the other day was exonerated of all charges and it was found that his account of the story was totally true and the hands up crap was just that. Even after that judgement came down our disgrace of a President, while speaking at a college the following day basically called the whole police force racists. An apology by him, all of the hollywood assholes and the athletes who walked onto the field with their hands up owe that officer an apology. Sorry I know it’s off topic but I can’t stand for the bullshit. On a lighter note I think I have to convince the nurse to come back to NY lol.

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    • Thank you for your clarification of Ferguson. There have been continued misinformation about the Racial strife in the US as most of the individuals who have been shot either attacked the police in addition to have committed a crime which brought the police to the situation. I will be traveling to New Zealand in a month’s time and have found these posts a cautionary tale. I will approach the “people” with care and a smile, all the while keeping an eye out for trouble. Thank you for this information and I hope I find a few refreshing individuals who will be helpful.

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  31. Yes I can write properly, lol. I was getting so worked up just thinking about this a-hole we have for a president I screwed up my sentence. I meant an apology was in order.

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  32. Please don’t judge too harshly, A lot of New Zealanders are super nice. You should look at some different places around the country, Auckland is very busy, not the greatest place in NZ(Plus houses are waay too expensive.). I am only in intermediate, I have lived in New Zealand my whole life, and although it has flaws(all countries do), It ish an amazing place, try to be optimistic.
    Thanks.

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  33. Hi Everyone,

    I’m sorry to hear of the unpleasant experiences some of you have of your time spent here in New Zealand. I am a New Zealander and have lived here all my life. Having said that I have travelled as well and enjoyed meeting people from all around the globe.

    In my experience New Zealanders can be harsh on ‘outsiders’ who move here but can be even more harsh on their own. Workplace bullying is rife, the suicide statistics are a tragedy as is the child poverty and lack of child emotional and physical welfare. It would be wrong and unwise to deny these problems. We, as a nation, are young, many cultures (such as the Chinese for example) are very established and have their own strong sense of identity (which brings with it it’s own problems I understand). I cannot, and do not, want to provide an excuse for New Zealand’s troubles but I believe that until we increase our self confidence as a nation and improve our own sense of identity (we are not British although many New Zealanders of European descent have ancestors who were) we cannot treat people who move to New Zealand how they deserve to be treated.

    This is a negative view of the people I grew up around, now for the positive. The New Zealanders I know have a very strong sense of family, they are loyal and are surprisingly resilient in a crisis. The ‘can-do’ ingenuity is there, not in the urban areas perhaps, but it is there primarily in the rural areas. Everyone I know would like visitors to NZ to have a pleasant experience, tourists, I believe, do leave with a good impression even if longer-term visitors may not. There are people here who are passionate about the environment and do everything they can to retain the unspoilt nature of our parks and reserves. We produce electricity in an environmentally friendly way, the farming industry (particularly dairying) has been told on no uncertain terms it needs to get its act together and massive fines have been imposed on farmers who do not comply with the much stricter regulations that are now in place.

    In short, yes we have problems but we are trying to solve them. In my opinion only individual communities can do that, the NZ Government has no place in telling us how to raise our children, we must care for them as a community and not leave the vulnerable (parents without any family support or who are financially struggling) to struggle by themselves. Our social problems are not being ignored, but seem overwhelming at the moment, we are working on it and it will take time. Our free-access public education system is one of the best in the world (at primary and high school level). I believe that every country has its own social problems, perhaps New Zealand’s issues are highlighted because we are a small nation struggling to keep our developed nation status? Our economy is influenced strongly by the economic fortunes/misfortunes of America and Europe.

    I am unable to comment on the race aspect as I grew up in a very small and very white rural community in Otago. At school I was trained in the basic Maori Te Reo language at school and learned about their culture in theory but there was no one of Maori descent to speak with or learn from which made assimilation between the two cultures impossible.

    This has been a long post, if you have got this far and are still reading, thanks. For those that have not enjoyed their time here I am genuinely sorry, I can only speak for myself when I say that I hope your dislike for our nation and for New Zealander’s is not permanent. For those who are still here but feel trapped, please know that there are intolerant and insular people everywhere, hang on in there, I hope that you meet someone who is pleased to meet you, and pleased that you are here, soon. 🙂

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    • “Our free-access public education system is one of the best in the world (at primary and high school level).”

      Except your free-access public education system is anything but free, one example is the annual donation based on the decile rating of the school. Countries that practice genuinely free-access education systems do not charge this, neither do they expect families to spend hundreds of dollars on expensive school uniforms. How “free-access” is refusing to allow children to wear warm puffer jackets to school in zero temperatures (where the heating in classrooms is turned off before lunchtime) rather than more prestigious (and expensive) school blazers? How “free access” is teachers having to feed hungry children lunch and breakfast out of their own pockets, just to be able to get them to concentrate in class? How “free access” is expecting children to learn in damp, mouldy and unheated classrooms?

      You may like to imagine that New Zealand has a world class education system, but in reality it falls well short. Most migrants say their children are two years ahead when they arrive, and two years behind when they leave.

      The difference between your perception of your country and the migrants who go there is this. They’ve not been raised on Kool-Aid, they come from well developed countries with rich heritages and many find New Zealand standards sorely lacking. Take for example this Russian family who say they are concerned about their child’s dumbing down at a decile 10 school, which they say “hardly teaches.”

      When Kiwi school children have the temerity to suggest their teachers should actually teach they’re stood down from school until the principal can carry out ‘re-education’ of their thought processes. So much for free speech.

      The teenager’s comments have ignited debate over the merits and flaws of the education system.
      Many have applauded her for speaking her mind and drawing attention to what they see as problems.

      Others have defended the profession and pointed the finger at wider issues, including teacher exhaustion, relatively poor pay, a lack of resources and a limited pool of qualified candidates. Source

      Interestingly, that student is leaving New Zealand to study in Australia.

      Our readers may find our Education and Children’s Issues Wiki of interest…

      Maths is a particular problem area, with more than two-thirds of primary school children lacking the necessary background knowledge for lessons – and their teachers admitting a lack of confidence to teach the subject.

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      • The “good education” and “produce electricity in an environmentally friendly way” are absolute crap.
        The social cost of expensive energy is staggering. I had a guy try and tell me that electricity in nz was cheap [relatively] considering that it was not produced from coal [like Oz and the US]. But while the cost of electricity may be on a par with some 1st world countries [it is more expensive], the wages [out of which you pay for electricity] are not, so electricity takes a disproportional bite out of your earnings. In other words, you think twice before you turn on the heater. There lays the social cost, cold, damp homes that are making people sick, unproductive…
        That is very expensive electricity, practically and in other unintended consequences.
        I don’t even want to get started on the myth that nz’s education system is “good”.
        Again, the “good” things that kiwis try and throw out there are not really that good.

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    • Best idea when you meet a Kiwi in N.Z ,speak to them like a maggot you just found in your food ,do not give them the benefit of the doubt ,do not trust them and do not be polite to them as they will see this as a weakness,they’ll either leave you alone ,up their game or make more of an effort with you

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      • A bit harsh, but not far wrong.
        I’ve crossed mental blades with many kiwis, and found that a lowly manual laborer [from the US] is the mental equivalent of those placed much higher. I think this is why kiwis do not like foreigners, as they quickly realize that they are really fairly uneducated, under qualified, lack confidence, haven’t got a clue.. ..

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        • Yes true and just as importantly they will default to a position of deception when made to account for themselves .the subtle brag is overused ,they generally don’t know how to react to a sincere compliment and do not compliment one another,they will only apolize when court ordered to do so often for an offence that would land them in jail or worse in many countries.

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    • Catherine says: “Our free-access public education system is one of the best in the world (at primary and high school level).”

      Don’t talk poop. How do you know?! You can’t, at least not by experience. It’s simply not true. Free-acces? Sure, but it’s not free. Nothing is for free, there is also no such thing as free health care either. Tax-payers pay for it and our future generations, by paying of the state-debt.

      This beside the ‘volunteery” school money donation and the expensive uniforms. School uniforms are okay, but the prices are a rip off! And the long woolen socks suck, so do the overpriced plastic shoes from the warehouses and shoe shops, that don’t even last one term.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Catherine says: “Our free-access public education system is one of the best in the world (at primary and high school level).”

        I absolutely agree, there’s a lot of truth in it – but only if the definition of the world means NZ 😉 , I hope Catherine does realize that primary and high school is not enough for good future unless one wants to be a carpenter, plumber or do menial tasks. It is indeed enough if one aspires a future in crime.

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    • I am a migrant who’s heard a lot about the “can do” spirit. It’s pretty much a myth. I’ve been here for five years and my experience is many Kiwis are shockingly lazy. The ambitious ones leave. The brain drain is real. I’ve heard countless of comments by migrants saying one migrant can easily do the work of three Kiwis, and I find this to be true.

      My sibling once had flatmate who was an African student doing a master’s degree. He got a part-time job and was really stoked. He came back home one day and wondered why the task he was given had taken more than a week for his Kiwi colleagues to do when he completed it by himself within one shift. He later found he wasn’t well liked because the other workers deliberately worked slowly to earn more in the hourly-rated job.

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      • When the flatmate you speak about finds out that he won’t get promoted very far due to the nepotism in the workplace he will quickly change his work ethic. I.e he works his butt off , gets paid $0.25/ hr more than the slackers and never gets promoted. Always exceptions but few and far between.

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  34. I have been to NZ many times and know a lot of Kiwi’s. I’m actually married to one. The one thing you keep hearing is that tired and over-used mantra ‘we are such a small country with such a small population’ as an excuse for the poor state of affairs in NZ and an excuse to not tackle a number of issues which IMHO need tackling. ‘We can’t help it, we’re too small.’ Well, so are Norway (which is very similar to NZ in terms of land size, population size and – spread) and Denmark, and look at them go. I know where I’d rather be.

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    • I have heard that, economies of scale, young country…
      If they were so small, problem should be fixed easier, faster.
      Young country, won’t have so many problems.

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      • Carpentro,
        I wanted to thank you for your comments. I, like you, am an American Builder, and I was thinking of visiting New Zealand. Thanks to your comments, and many others, I have crossed them off of my list……
        FOREVER !!!
        I have traveled the world as a proud and successful American and have never experienced the xenophobia anywhere on the scale I’ve read about here. There may of been a few minor instances in the several dozen or so places I have traveled, but mostly the citizens are friendly, helpful and polite, some even taken to time to show us places or invite us to their homes. America is always a focal point of dislike, fascination and discord. But when you are one of, if not the, player in the world it comes with the territory. Ironically, more often then not, we have found people curious and interested in America and usually ask lots of questions.
        It sounds to me N.Z. has a HUGE inferiority complex that may never go away. Too bad, if it’s attitude would change, so would the countries economics, and subsequently, many cultural issues. To quote Churchill –
        ” If you think small….you will be small “.
        I have loved most of the places i have traveled, however, there has never been a place I have visited that has kept me from being thankful and happy when I came back the The U.S.
        I always think of what Orson Welles said of Rita Hayworth…… “She’s not perfect….. but she is wonderful.”

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  35. Thank you so much for bringing to attention to what an individualistic culture New Zealand has. That’s a shame; because before this, all the research I had done, had pointed to me going global and I was thinking if this second coming of Hitler; Donald Trump is elected, it’s time to leave, because the empire that once was a nice place to live is no longer. It looks like I may be a woman without my island. Thanks, again!

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    • YA, and if lying Hillary gets in to continue the stupid policies of the current POS POTUS, will be worse.
      Unfortunately, you’d be jumping out of the frying pan and into the fire with a move to NZ.

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  36. The term racism is now openly deployed against anyone who opposes the lefts political agendas and control! It’s used as a weapon to silence the truth! Really people, you don’t meet others you just can’t stand at times or have life’s challanges? Yet this is often called racism! Obama is president because he and the left completely controlled and deployed this tactic! How so vary often did he open his mouth, accuse all America, criticize, and berate our nation and its past; Only to then say it would be inappropriate to comment and we need to lower our rhetoric on events that did not even happen? So if you think we’re a racist nation, well whose President again and why? Frankly, if he was a conservative, he would have been a joke and if White, the same with his background!
    Again, my point is that the term racist is so vastly misused and abused these days! Now try reading and informing yourselves as opposed to the liberal narrative, Try; The War on Cops to begin with, it will open your eyes. As it relates to New Zealand, well maybe they don’t want all the outside influences, or whatever but I doubt it’s racism! Myself, I’ve always found most European’s, Canadian’s, and Commonwealth folks to be pretty much anti American and frankly boaring snobs for the most part but that’s up to you! With so many people in the World, just move on! Same goes for Americans also, especially the self righteous, never wrong liberal types!!

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  37. I’m a Kiwi and I have to say, this article contains far too many generalisations. Most of us are a friendly bunch. Many of us ARE into recycling and living as self-sufficiently as possible. It isn’t our fault that our homes lack insulation. Prices for everything are just so high in NZ, especially when you consider we are generally low paid that we can’t afford a lot of things, besides which, it’s only recently that houses have been required to be insulated when being built. Many of us can only afford houses that were built decades ago, before regulations came into force. I love our Maori people. Those who are racist are simply ignorant of other peoples’ cultures. 56,000 Americans have crashed our immigration website since Trump was elected. We can’t be that bad after all! 🙂

    [Ester, why do you have the same IP address as Ken? https://e2nz.org/2016/02/08/another-100-pure-nz-fail-e-coli-alert-issued-for-kawerau-town-water-supply/#comment-232676. Admin]

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  38. Did you try not living in Auckland? LOL I’m Māori, I grew up in Whangarei. Every day was a new adventure, we own land in Rawhiti and I loved the tourists coming there they cracked us all up!
    You’re definitely not gonna find much “can do” DIY people whatever you call them in Auckland. My parents and family are the “can do” kinds of people. Genuine, really genuine, and clever. Try going to catch eels in a hinaki 😀 or swim in the falls, learn to poi, go walking on the rocks in rawhiti and pataua, walk through the forest!
    Of course, living in NZ is a bit of a struggle, but if you work hard enough, and are educated, you can live happily, just like we did 🙂 and if you’re stressed, go listen to the ocean.

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  39. [Deleted, you breached our comment guidelines “Keep it relevant and about New Zealand” and “don’t make straw men; or rant on about other countries’ issues and use them as a justification for poor standards in New Zealand.” If you think NZ is so wonderful why aren’t you living there? Admin]

    Like

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