This Kiwi Talk entry was taken from a thread on ExpatExposed a self help and support forum for migrants in New Zealand.
Occasionally New Zealanders contribute to the discussion and their experiences demonstrate that it’s not just migrants who have problems. Locals have have them too and struggle to work out their feelings about a country that they’ve been conditioned for a lifetime to think of as ‘Godzone.’
If Kiwis are having a problem marrying up the reality with the illusion is it any wonder that migrants are finding it hard, even if they try to maintain a positive outlook on life? This Kiwi’s account explains why so many of them leave (a quarter of the population live abroad) and why so few return:
“I found this site a few months ago when I started to research why I felt so discontented with New Zealand.
I found some relief when I found EE, just knowing there were people out there who felt the same about NZ as me was great!
I have now realized that the vast majority of kiwis are extremely delusional and ignorant of the truth and will defend their views on this illusionary utopia with the righteous frenzy of a brainwashed cult member!
For quite a while I had shared my views on NZ with my family, backing up my views with stats and facts from various places but got laughed off and told to grow up and realize just how good I have got it. I showed this site to my father once and he scoffed at what was being said and told me it was just typical whinging Yanks and Poms! That would be the typical response from most kiwis, there is no hope!
I have a great interest in history, folk lore, mythology, art and design and so NZ for me is a beautiful yet soulless “paradise” being devoid of any real culture or tradition. I am told that once I travel I will see just how much of a paradise NZ is, yet the reason I want to get away is to see and experience all that NZ is missing. It would seem that most kiwis just need fresh air and sunshine to be happy….blissful ignorance and lack of curiosity or ambition I suppose. I need so much more, this place is slowly destroying my soul!
From an early age I didn’t conform to the “kiwi way”, I was more interested in academic pursuits instead of sport which was a huge disappointment to my parents and furthermore I hated rugby which was an embarrassment and source of shame! I saw rugby on TV when I was young and remember players being taken off the field on stretchers with blood all over their faces, broken teeth and more and then people were surprised I didn’t want to play it! Why anyone would want their child to play rugby I will never know, what kind of developed country has a culture almost entirely based around a sport where brain damage, broken necks, backs and facial disfigurement is a common occurrence anyway!
Non conformity to the “kiwi way” led to my school years being a tortuous hell of constant and relentless bullying, leaving me with depression and social anxiety! The schools would rather tolerate and turn a blind eye to bullying at the cost of students emotional states rather than attract bad attention or a bullying flag on their ERO report. There was nothing I could do other than endure the torment, this went on for around 10 years starting in primary school right until leaving secondary school. It is a sad fact that bullying is part of the school experience here and serves as a baptism of fire for future life in New Zealand.
I have always been interested in other countries, cultures and races but this interest feels like a guilty shameful pleasure which I feel very embarrassed about sharing with family and friends. I know I shouldn’t feel guilty or embarrassed but it seems to be a natural reaction after all the racist and xenophobic conditioning kiwi society puts us through.
I continually read about Europe with its Christmas and Easter traditions, festivals and folk lore, history and mythology and sigh, that is where I need to be. In my heart I know it is. I just have to escape! Somehow….”