Your Exit Interview

Leaving NZ? share your exit interviews here

Leaving NZ? share your exit interview here

March 14 2012

Migrants in New Zealand are very rarely given the opportunity to say why they’ve decided to leave the country, often after investing a great deal of time and effort getting there.

We here at E2NZ would like to give you the chance to give feedback in your very own exit interview and we’re throwing this open to New Zealanders too. Perhaps we can find out if the same things are making both categories of people leave and why New Zealand is failing to keep people.

You can use any, or all of the questions; or just tell us in your own words.

  1. What country did you come from and why did you come to New Zealand?
  2. What visa did you enter New Zealand with?

  3. What sort of work/skill-set did you have before entering New Zealand and did you continue in this when you arrived? If not, why not?

  4. What were your initial reactions when you arrived. Did NZ meet your expectations and how did that change?

  5. What were the major challenges you faced and how did you try to meet them?

  6. What are the good things you found and what did you enjoy the most?

  7. What was the deciding factor that made you decide to leave New Zealand? Was this a single event or the culmination of a combination of circumstances?

  8. How easy was it making plans to leave New Zealand, what stumbling blocks are/were in your way?

  9. If you could have your time over again this there anything that you’d have done differently? what would your advice to other potential migrants be?

  10. What would it take to make you want to stay in New Zealand?

  11. What are your major challenges and aspirations after leaving New Zealand?

Leave your comment on this page, or any other suitable page.

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35 thoughts on “Your Exit Interview

  1. We were in New Zealand for 4 years and I can honestly say my mental health improved 150% only two months after we returned home to the U.S. We went there because we believed the marketing, hype, and surveys about one of the “best places to live in the world”. We, like others here, were concerned about the trajectory of the U.S. economy. For the first 1 1/2 years I had my rose colored glasses on. Big Time. I was insanely happy to be there. The views were magnificent and I believed the environment was 100% pure. Laugh out loud. I happily hung my laundry out, recycled, and learned to make the meals everyone else was making. I wanted to blend with the “Kiwi culture”. What I didn’t realize was hanging out my laundry and making vegetable curry from my garden vegetables were more cost-cutting measures rather than environment preservation. Kiwis would be happy to use their dryer in the middle of the day but it is ghastly expensive to do so. They need to dry them late at night after 11 p.m. when the cost of electricity goes down. They say they prefer to hang them out which does have it’s pluses but I assume that the families who are working multiple jobs and raising a family would love to throw their laundry in the dryer carelessly at 3 p.m. before they have to be somewhere. As for the environment, the stories of the uses of pesticides and poisons resulting in cancer cases are astronomical. One Kiwi pointed out that just on one hill, up over the road, there was one guy here, one guy over there, and another family down in the valley who all got cancer. Well, if you are unlucky enough to get cancer then don’t depend on the healthcare. On “family doctor” out in the country failed to diagnosis two people that I knew about until they could ignore their symptoms no longer. This is just my opening paragraph. There is so much more to tell.

    Job and Cost of Living: My DH went over first and surveyed our selected city. We had a retired pension from his prior U.S. job so we were lucky to still have that and some savings before we arrived. He, like others on this forum, took a lower paying “immigrant” position to have a job and pay his dues initially. The problem was that he never left it the entire 4 years we were there. He was promoted after a year of being there but I believe this was only because he worked for other immigrants in the public sector, not a Kiwi directly. After being there 4 years we blew through our savings and realized we would never be able to have a comfortable retirement with the high cost of imported goods, expensive petrol, and lower wages.

    Education: We have very bright children. We wanted to home school initially but wanted to “immerse” our children in the Kiwi culture. This was a big mistake. Our oldest daughter was two years ahead before we moved there only to be two years behind after we left. If you want your children to learn something, teach them yourself. In public NZ school they will learn how to kayak, sail, orienteer, garden, cook, camp, make trinkets at “technology” and have access to computers. However, forget any of the traditional or classic curriculum you might have acquired in the U.S., Canada, or even Europe. It has been largely forgotten or doesn’t even exist. The children there rarely, if ever, do homework; not even in high school. For maths they do “mental math” instead of the traditional way of calculations. You might think this is great but my oldest daughter told me that her Year 10 classmates were unable to do long division. My youngest son and daughter cannot borrow, carry, or rename at the ages of 10 and 8. I also just introduced multiplication to them so we can begin the process of catching up. I volunteered some hours over at their school in NZ but it was met with skepticism and resentment. Kiwis thought we must have had a lot of money in order for me not to work. They didn’t see it as a sacrifice on my part or even a welcome plus to having an extra warm body help with the workload. I never once saw any textbooks or workbooks come home. There was NEVER anything provided to the parents about what they were learning. We were invited to parent-teacher conferences where they would go over some metrics and goals they had set out for our children but they seemed “random”. I’ll admit that I didn’t push their teachers because I had heard about the “Tall Poppy Syndrome” in NZ and I didn’t want them to think I wanted “elitist” treatment. I was happy that my children had an hour for lunch everyday at the primary and intermediate levels. They also had a morning tea (recess) for 15-20 minutes each day. Our time in New Zealand allowed them to be kids but they suffered academically. The large break times would have been wonderful if they would have been given some rigorous mental prey to chase after in the classroom.

    Culture: Kiwis do think they are wonderful as a population. They are constantly pumped up by tourists and new immigrants who come over and tell them how great things are. This is only on the surface. The longer we were there the more we realized they are leading a life of quiet desperation. Yes, the have more space. Yes, the have less population. Yes, their views are wonderful. But, then reality hit us like a ton of bricks. The comments that were made about us behind our backs. The jealousy, sarcastic comments, and endless questions about “Why did you move to New Zealand again?” is an underlying way of saying, “We are stuck on this island knowing that we can barely make ends meet and we can’t get off. Why the heck would you leave the wonderful U.S.? You must be out of your mind, unskilled, stupid, or running away from something.” Indeed, I fully didn’t research this country before we arrived.

    Jealousy: Kiwis are incredibly jealous. There is the passive-aggressive nature that other people on this forum describe. They have to be that way because they cannot adequately defend a verbal accusation or criticism. They have no intellectual legs to back it up. So, they backstab, slander, and culturally eviscerate you until you disappear. Which is why most people from the U.S. don’t make it past the 1-2 year mark before they cry uncle and want to go home. If you want to sue for slander, forget it. Kiwis don’t use the legal system. Plus, you would never find a lawyer who would take the case, even if you had solid legs to stand on.

    Medical system: One word…STINKS. This “free” system is not free. You pay high copayments which would have been the actual cost of the care at your local doctor if you would have just paid in cash and he cut some of his staff and bureaucratic middlemen. The U.S. system is headed this way and I cringe at the prospect. The NZ doctors are highly unqualified and don’t know what they are doing. The medical system was initially sold to the NZ people as free but copayments were initiated shortly after (oops, we miscalculated). Classic bait and switch. Getting a specialist in NZ is a treat. There are few of them and I was told that my family practice guy could handle most everything. No thank you. Waits are long for specialist care and surgical care. I missed my American physicians (all of them…even the “bad” ones). There is little care for children with disabilities. They have a saying, “She’ll be right”, which means “Don’t worry, you can’t do anything about it anyway. We don’t have the tools, specialists, or knowledge.” There was a family who, not long ago, needed to leave NZ for Dyslexia care in the United States: http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/education/8755641/Family-heads-to-US-for-dyslexia-support
    One of my daughters had problems speaking in public and I addressed this with her teachers and physicians with no resolution. She had the long, inappropriate stares and other classic autism symptoms. The other two children were fine. The NZ “professionals” defaulted to “it must be abuse”, although they never outright made that accusation. I asked if it could be autism but they wanted to believe what they wanted to believe.as they didn’t have the tools or knowledge to consider that it could be autism. They are uneducated. My daughter has since been officially diagnosed in the United States. The NZ professionals defaulted to abuse because of their experience with it. There is more abuse in New Zealand than in America. I am convinced of it. There is a notorious history of alcohol and drug addiction in New Zealand which makes it more possible for people to abuse their loved ones…physically, mentally, and sexually. I watched a man berate his teenage son after running his bicycle off a curb accidentally. He yelled, screamed, and told the young man how worthless he was using expletives that would make a sailor blush. He did so until I yelled back at him, “Enough!”. I felt so sorry for the child but somehow the event made me realize how pervasive the unacceptable behavior is within Kiwi families. My children would often come home from school and tell me all the four letter words that were being used on a regular basis. Kids in U.S. public schools are rarely heard using these terms (not as often as what we encountered in New Zealand).

    One last word: Jealousy.
    I know I mentioned this before but it is worth mentioning again. We sold a used minivan in the U.S. before we moved to New Zealand for $7800 (about NZ $10,600). When we wanted to purchase the same year, make, and model in NZ we were surprised that it would cost us NZ $25,000. So, we decided to buy one family car and one back-up smaller convertible sedan. The convertible sedan was red and “fun” and very old….1995…and New Zealanders called it a “flash car”. It cost us only $8,000 NZ. What I have come to understand is one of three things:, “How dare a woman with three children drive a fun convertible car”…or, “I would love to drive that foreign car but it is too expensive to fix”….or “You must make a lot of money in order to afford that type of used foreign car…we are jealous…and secretly hate you”. That is the kind of thing

    Three immigrant comments and stories that are not my own:
    1) From a man from India: “Stay in the city and stick with your own kind, you’ll be better off”. (True, I should have bonded with Americans or Canadians from the outset. I might still be there if I had some sort of safety net…”Yeah, Nah”.)

    2) From a woman from Denmark: “You are lucky we have not burned your trees down yet”.

    3) A young 20-something told me this about her South American father: “Dad was more highly skilled than his NZ coworkers. He turned off a machine before he was to go in and fix it. While he was in the machine his coworkers turned it back on and he lost two fingers. When he came out of the machine his coworkers laughed at him and told him to call his own ambulance.” Not surprisingly, the man moved back to South America without his wife and daughter.

    If you move to New Zealand, keep your eyes wide open. I greatly miss the food and coffee and overall nutrition is better than in the United States. Before we left NZ, the cons heavily outweighed the pros. I might go back to NZ if things continue to deteriorate in the U.S. but I can honestly say that the quality of life in America is definitely better. If you move there get a solid home country support network. If there isn’t one, then start one. That is the only way to survive there. The Chinese do it well. The Indians do it well.

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    • Thanks Michelle, and congratulations for making it out. If things do deteriorate in the US our advice is not to return to NZ but to find somewhere else that suits. The world is a big place and so many countries have more to offer than New Zealand. Our readers will assure you of that.

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  2. Thanks for making the great website, i thought i would add my own comments based on my experiences.

    New Zealand – 10 years in.
    After a decade in New Zealand, I am in a pretty good position to give a review of New Zealand life and culture. Coming from the UK I landed off the plane into New Zealand looking for less people, friendly environment and a chance to start a small business, which was hard to do in the UK. New Zealand is a great place for a holiday, but staying any length of time will have an effect on your life in ways hard to imagine unless you experience it. NZ leaves many financially, emotionally, and in some cases physically scarred for life. I highly recommend reading through the different sections below, and get a seasoned, non-sugar coated opinion on the true realities of living in NZ.

    The People
    Coming from the UK, a complete mixed bag of less desirables and decent folk, were you can find everyone from high class gents, through to the hard working middle class (which unfortunately is shrinking) all the way down to the council sponges, I find a large majority of Kiwi’s are very mono colour, bland, carbon copies of each other which I would best describe as similar to council estate sponges in mentality, but they are forced to work 80 hours a week to (almost) make ends meet. If you would like a discussion regarding the finer points of morality, key notes in history or anything else where thoughts need to be created and not regurgitated you will be sadly disappointed. Most Kiwi conversations will be made around sports, beer, hunting, farming or stroking their own ego, and the size of that ego makes Mount Everest look small. The mountain sized Kiwi ego also fuels a rampant jealous streak, which in turn fuels hatred and animosity towards anyone working hard and making something of themselves (because getting ahead in NZ is insanely hard), and especially as a foreigner – why should you do any better than someone born here? (Except the fact, you don’t have a choice but to work smarter, not just harder, as NZ only takes and never gives on virtually every level).

    Sense of Humour – Lack of it.
    Kiwi sense of humour? To be completely honest… The sense of humor of the majority of Kiwi’s is about as great as the UK weather. Grey, wet and boring. Kiwi’s generally don’t get a foreigners sense of humour, and you might as well crack a joke with a brick wall, it will give you as much feedback.. You will often find also that Kiwi’s cannot accept jokes made about New Zealand or about the people here either. If I said, English people like to whine as soon as they exit the womb and rather than being breast fed, they are given a cup, a saucer and a choice of tea bags.. I can laugh at it and even relate to it without a single hint of defensive posturing. If I said NZ people are all born similar to most of the livestock here, and only live to shit, eat and sleep I would likely be set upon by a pack of mongrels. You learn to keep your humour to yourself, and only use it in the presence of other foreigners and family. The lack of humour also takes its toll in the work environment. These stale, dry offices sure make the days drag on much longer then required, and the old saying of ‘sometimes it’s the people you work with, and not the job that really counts’, really hits home.

    Politeness & Fake Friendliness
    After arriving in NZ, you will be hit with the friendly hello, how are you doing today? By almost every place or shop you go to and for the first few months, you will find this quite nice and seemingly friendly compared to some other countries where you can enter a shop and complete your business without virtually speaking to anyone. After sometime though, you will began to notice things about this ‘friendliness’ which make you question the sincerity of it. The deeper you explore the conversation with the majority of Kiwi’s the more you realise, there is normally some hidden motive or agenda being pursued, whether that be extracting dollars from your pocket, probing for information and suckling off the fruits of your experience or just generally wanting information on where you live, what you drive so they can unleash the ego rhetoric and put down the fact you bought a Honda car, and why they suck, and why everyone should have the same car as them.. and on and on it goes. I have never met a Kiwi who has ever given a compliment, just for the sake of it. Maybe it’s just my mind set, but as an example, If I saw a young person in the UK who wasn’t born with a silver spoon, carving out a life from the ground up driving a new BMW M3 and wearing a Gucci suit and I talked to them, I would say something along the lines of ‘you’re doing well for yourself kid, you must be working hard to own items like that, good on you’. In NZ, the response would be, German cars are shit, and break after 10,000k’s and I don’t wear new Gucci suits because I can buy a second hand ones from 1950 on trade me for only $20. So after the years, it makes me think – sometimes maybe silence is a good way to interact when little positive interaction can come from a fake friendly conversation.

    The Passive Aggressive Attitude
    One trait, I really don’t like about many Kiwis’, is that they are very, very passive aggressive, and when fuelled with alcohol the passive drops off and physical aggression appears (I prefer the physical, its more honest and usually only lasts a few minutes). Back stabbing, talking about you while you’re stood there, comments about foreigners and the ‘locals talk to locals’ are all part of the culture here, if you upset the wrong Kiwi in any shape or form, you can easily be labelled and banned from any jobs in which that person has connections. I highly advise you do not under estimate the power of this small country and population mentality, it can make life very miserable if your skill sets are in a set area with few jobs such as the medical profession, upset your senior (Can be done as easily as offering a suggestion) and your ability to get a job in certain sectors can be banned city wide, island wide or throughout the full country by the higher establishment and inner circles. New Zealand is by far the most incestuous country I have ever lived in on a personal and professional level. The level of this passive aggression towards foreigners has led many to severe depression, suicides, feeling isolated etc, this effect is also amplified when you have limited family assistance locally, and as I describe below – finding any true friends in NZ is a rare thing.

    Making Friends
    Do not come to New Zealand expecting to make any ‘true’ friends unless they are not New Zealanders, and when I say true friends, my idea of a true friend for example is if you lost your job and your family was on the verge of starvation they would offer you a place to stay and financial assistance, you will never get this level of commitment from a Kiwi, especially as a foreigner. You can have as many fair weather friends as you could ever want however, as long as you are willing to discuss sports, beer and hunting, and as long as you don’t say anything negative about NZ. A large amount of New Zealanders do not like foreigners from any country and have different beefs with each of them independently, they have a very big chip on their shoulder against anyone from overseas as they think you come to NZ with massive amounts of capital, and are very jealous because of it, even though most people don’t come to NZ carrying silver spoons.

    The Poverty
    The level of poverty in NZ cannot be under estimated, governments or independent bodies can quote as many facts as they would like, but living day to day and interacting with at least 20 different individuals during business hours, over a prolonged period gives me a far more accurate picture (Untainted, and less manipulated then data released), and in my humble opinion 85% of working people in NZ are worse off than people on UK Benefits. This is due to three main factors, House/Rent prices being astronomical, the cost of food being through the roof and the salaries never increasing. It’s very hard to understand just how poor people are here without living it. Some disturbing things I have witnessed which might give you an idea include:
    · People buying tins of paint from second hand stores which have 25% of the paint remaining because they can’t afford a full tin.

    · Kids walking around with no shoes (Because there parents can’t afford them), and charities supplying over 80,000 pairs to kids in the country.

    · A person with terminal cancer working until they die as they cannot afford to take time off.

    · A professor with a PHD living in 1 room shared accommodation who needed to cycle to work each day because he couldn’t afford to live anywhere else, let alone a car.

    · A person walking down the street with a cardboard cut-out around there neck saying ‘Please give me a job, I have 2 kids to feed’

    · A funeral where a coffin was placed hanging out the back of an estate vehicle as a Hurst was too expensive.

    · People crying on the Radio when they win $100 cash.. and comments like ‘You have changed my life being uttered’.

    How Kiwi’s See Many Foreign Groups Who Come To NZ

    So, how do Kiwi’s view the different groups of people who arrive fresh off the boat/plane into the Venus fly trap?

    UK people – You must be from London, You must have just sold your two million pound one bedroom property and come to NZ with a nice juicy bank account, to any store/shop owner you are a ripe cherry to be plucked (Foreigners with money, very nice). You will always moan, complain, and buy a lifestyle block (bigger section of land) which you will steal from kiwi’s who cannot afford them anymore because of you.

    Asian students from any region – You are a great succulent form of income (Licking their lips). They do something called ‘Home stay’ which basically allows a foreign student to stay in their house while studying and the Kiwi’s proceed to bleed them dry of about $200-$400 each week, these poor kids get hammered hard when they find out they are stuck in a freezing room, not allowed a heater, and are fed on a diet of cheap sandwiches for their entire stay – (very different from what they were told/sold in there motherland).

    Americans/Canadians – Your expectations of civilized life are not welcome here, don’t compare NZ to America/Canada because expecting your house to have insulation or heating is just plain wrong. Your highly educated self is intimidating and your progressive ideas which are normally years in advance are only perceived as arrogant and unwanted.

    Indians – Without a doctor’s degree, the only jobs Kiwi’s want to give you is washing cars, working in a petrol station or you’re always welcome at Mcdonalds/KFC or on dairy farms working 80 hours a week for less than minimum wage.

    Chinese – You must be filthy rich to leave China (Or so most think), and kiwis want to make sure you have access to deposit your dollars into their hands, NZ banks will always have a smiling Chinese representative to make you feel right at home while in the bank and depositing your princely sums into their coffers. After you leave the bank, the big retailers will also have a Chinese representative for you to come and kindly waste your hard earned $$ in their shops while the local kiwi’s hate your guts for spending more in 10 minutes on ‘non essentials’ then they earn in 1 month.

    Japanese – The golden guys of Asia, every shop in NZ sings praises when they see a bus load of Japanese (Unfortunately the Japanese tourists are being replaced with Chinese), as they spend and they spend well… you are the royalty of all imported people and are much welcome and what’s even better is that after you have been wiped out of all your cash, you rarely stay in NZ and head back to another 100 hour working week in Tokyo so you can come and repeat the same process in NZ on next year’s holiday. Come back soon!

    Finding A Job In New Zealand
    Finding a job in New Zealand is very very hard. Its common place here that trained doctors are working in care homes wiping bums, and trained engineers are flipping burgers in McDonald’s just to survive. (I kid you not) The NZ job market is abysmal and there are very few opportunities for anyone, I strongly advise never coming to NZ before securing work, or this country will chew through your cash/savings and spit you out faster than you can ever imagine. 90% of the jobs advertised by recruiting agencies don’t exist, and are only listed to get your CV and contact details, so as and when required you can be pimped out for their commission.

    Work Environment
    Bullying, discrimination and harassment are all common place in any job in NZ. I managed to leave NZ employment and start a successful business but before I managed to escape the NZ job sector, I had been almost run over by a psychopath with a forklift, but luckily (Or unluckily as most Kiwi’s might be thinking) he stopped just before the fork tyne impacted my face and told me ‘I would have hit you, but you’re a good cunt’ which I can only take as a form of praise from a Kiwi. I had a cut above my right eye after an unstable office worker threw a stapler at my face, I had my car tyres slashed multiple times because I refused to accept verbal abuse from gang connected staff, I had abusive emails from managers threatening me numerous times and dragging me into rooms where 3 of them would lace into me with verbal attacks, and a wide list of other abuse over the first few years, and this wasn’t limited to one company, it was across a few. Many people working in NZ companies have mental health conditions which are untreated, or the drugs which they are given to ‘treat’ the high level of metal disorders make them highly unstable, from extreme highs to big lows and coming to work each day can make your nerves bad, as Forest Gump said – you never know which chocolate you’re gonna get. Managers who watch this obvious workplace abuse don’t do anything about these people because they make up a large segment of their staff, and hey.. There Kiwi’s, not foreigners so your already a second class citizen.

    The Wages
    The wages in NZ compared to the cost of living are appalling. Salaries don’t increase at all over time unless you hop from job to job, which is not easy to do in a place with extremely limited job opportunities. If you dare to ask for more money, you will see the friendly fake managerial smile turn into a slimy look of disgust ‘More MONEY? Did you say the M word! How dare you?’ you are actually asking for more money? This is against company policies. All the time you’re thinking to yourself, well yes I am asking for more money, I think I deserve a pay increase, i have worked in this company for 5 years, done an excellent job and each year I have been told ‘the companies not doing well’ no pay increase, but the CEO has a new $200,000 car.. And guess what, the local supermarkets, house rates, mortgage/rent payments don’t care.. They still increased 30% + since I started the job!.

    NZ companies in general, give you the standard BS about doing your best at work, being the positive light of helpfulness to everything and everyone and instead of rewarding you with the reason you go to the wonderful place each day (aka, money) the best your likely to get is a ‘Certificate of Appreciation’ (The same as the A4 paper you got at school for being a good little boy or girl) and a chocolate bar. (No I am not joking, this happens once a year in many companies).

    The Cost Of Living
    The cost of living in NZ is extremely high. Much higher than most places in the UK, barring London and I imagine much higher than many places around the world.

    Let’s take a look at a ‘civilized’ standard of living and the costs (Not surviving, but actually living), I will take a family of 4 as my example. Minimum wage is $14.75 an hour but you couldn’t afford to run your own property for this, so I will take two adults earning $40,000 a year each, $80,000 total.

    Monthly Total Income = $6666 ($5663 after tax) and a ‘Liveable’ house outside Auckland based on a $450,000 mortgage.
    So monthly income = $5663

    Mortgage payment $3677 (Based on 15 years)

    Car 1 HP $500 (Based on 6-10 year old vehicle costing around $15,000 spread over 3 years)

    Car 2 HP $500 (Based on 6-10 year old vehicle costing around $15,000 spread over 3 years)

    Petrol = $600 a month

    Food = $800 a month

    Car Insurance = $80 a month

    Electric bill averaged over the year = $200 per month

    Phone & Internet = $125

    Mobile phone contract = $120 x 2 = $240

    House rates = $210 per month

    School donations = $200 per month

    Car Maintenance $100 per month

    Sky TV $100

    I will leave clothes, holidays, updating the property, furniture, pets, dentists, flights, birthdays, having fun, savings for a rainy day, out of all of our equations as you already get the idea.. The basic living costs are already up to $7332 per month.. Which is already well beyond two people earning a standard NZ salary. Now you can see why, when people say they are trapped in NZ… they are really trapped! If you come to NZ without capital, the only way you’re leaving is through putting yourself through extreme poverty to save the amount required for an escape flight or banging it on a credit card, and getting somewhere you can earn enough money to pay for it.

    Houses
    Search anywhere online, and one thing you will never see praised will be NZ houses and it’s simply because they cannot be praised in any shape or form. They are overpriced, uninsulated, leaking boxes of depression. No central heating, no PVC double glazed windows, no insulation, no ventilation. Many are high maintenance wood similar to garden sheds, which in many countries the banks would laugh at when asking for a mortgage. Trying your best to bring these boxes into the 21st century will destroy whatever savings you brought with you.. as an example, a plumber wants to charge $650 to install a tap.. And what’s even worse.. You will never get the return back from your investment as Kiwi’s don’t pay for ‘modernization’.

    Renting Houses
    Renting houses is a nightmare in NZ, properties are easy enough to find and sign up for and get into, but don’t be surprised if your landlord enters the property when they like, arranges 3 monthly inspections in which they like to point out that the oven is a little greasy… the same 1980’s oven which was installed when the property was new.. And you’re thinking to yourself, is he really commenting on the grease? The thing was due for the skip 30 years ago. Updating anything in a house would cost ‘money’ and landlords don’t like the idea of that because when they sell the property, even if its 50 years out of date it doesn’t matter because Kiwi’s are so poor they only care about saving every last $$ off the purchase price, and you never get your $$’s back from investing in keeping a property up to date internally in New Zealand, so tenants must learn to love oil heaters, 1980’s ovens, 20 year old heat pumps, carpets which are worn down to strands of nothing, and boilers which were last found on steam ships.

    The Scenery
    When you first arrive to NZ you will be surprised by the accessibility of the natural countryside, and some of the views around you, at first glance it can be quiet stunning however after some years the landscape changes and you begin to see it for what it really is, it’s bland and boring just like the people. The forests are mostly 20 year old pine trees… and have no character (Most of the native forest was burnt years ago) the rivers are all shallow and have no character. NZ as a land mass is very new compared to the deep rivers and ancient forests found in Europe. The sea is nice and blue, but is freezing cold all year round. The scenery just repeats and repeats the same boring grass and pine tree forests through most of the country, great for a 2 week visit.. But very boring after staying here for a length period of time.

    My honest advice for people thinking to come here.
    My advice for people looking to come to NZ is that unless you are extremely wealthy and don’t need to work, and have enough income to travel frequently outside of NZ, is simply stay away. This country will chew through your finances, your mental health, and relationships to a point of total despair and regret. Don’t read the sugar coated fairy tales about ‘Friendly people, low crime, high standard of living’ and other propaganda aimed to sucker people in, take their hard earned $$ and flush them out when the countries done with them.

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  3. Totally agree with all the comments, I can’t get anywhere with the rude and insular people here. I used to have a lot of spark and always telling a joke. I am becoming quiet and insular like the rest of the cretins here.
    I really want to go back to the UK but my partner wants me to get the perm residence visa after 2 years. Not sure what to do. I have bundles of mates in the UK and none here that I can honestly believe to be good mates after one year of trying, I have given up. No one actually wants to socialise here because they haven’t any money. I earn reasonable amounts and can afford it, why can’t these other creatures?

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  4. HI My name is Tracy and I am posting this because I wish that my horrible NZ experience will prevent someone else from coming here.

    What country did you come from and why did you come to New Zealand?
    USA
    What visa did you enter New Zealand with?
    I came as a skilled migrant as I work in Biotechnology and got a job in Palmerston North. So I met several of the criteria for immigration the government said it wanted.

    What sort of work/skill-set did you have before entering New Zealand and did you continue in this when you arrived? If not, why not?
    As stated I was in Biotechnology, specifically technology transfer. I did stay in this for 18 months and then started a biotech company with University technology.

    What were your initial reactions when you arrived. Did NZ meet your expectations and how did that change?
    It was pretty much as I expected. But I quickly realized that many “working” Kiwis are threatened by people who are smarter, different, more skilled or work harder. As a result I was told on many occasions that I should go home.

    What were the major challenges you faced and how did you try to meet them?
    Racism, cost of living, poor wages, a government that says one thing but supports another. Mediocrity in NZ workers: their skills and their work ethic. The food was terrible, the housing is overprices and of poor quailty.

    What are the good things you found and what did you enjoy the most?
    The countryside! And that is it!

    What was the deciding factor that made you decide to leave New Zealand? Was this a single event or the culmination of a combination of circumstances?

    My need to restore my life, sanity and be around people who are progressive thinkers, not either socialists or uber capitalists.

    How easy was it making plans to leave New Zealand, what stumbling blocks are/were in your way?

    Book a ticket and get the hell out of Dodge. Unfortunately, it is costing me more to ship my stuff out of NZ than into it, so I have to store it there until I can save the cash to do so.

    If you could have your time over again this there anything that you’d have done differently? what would your advice to other potential migrants be?
    What I would do differenty is NOT sell my home in the US, work for a year or three and THEN decide if it was worth staying. As it is I have lost everything.

    What would it take to make you want to stay in New Zealand?
    Ha! You are kidding right? Where to begin: Better wages, lower cost of living, a police force that actually works to “Serve and Protect” the citizens and not their backsides, lower crime, better built houses….and the list goes on.

    What are your major challenges and aspirations after leaving New Zealand?
    Getting my life back on track after 9 years.

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  5. My name is Aileen Connor retired here in NZ two years ago and loving it i am looking for my mothers family who left Dundee in the 60s her married name was Forbes and her maiden name Begg i would just like to know if i have any relations in NZ

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  6. Born in America I actually grew up in NZ and decided to move to the USA permanently when I was 24. Visiting the USA each year growing up I quickly became aware on just how terrible the weather is in NZ and how backward the people of New Zealand seemed.
    New Zealand actually depressed me with the constant rain and howling wind. It is cold most of the time and the people are quick to violence and very negative in general.
    The rugby culture is awful and the driving is extremely dangerous.
    Perhaps the worst thing about NZ is the fervent nationalism: if you dare criticize NZ in any way people jump down your throat. It gets tiresome hearing “NZ is the best in the world” shoved down your throat every day. It’s just a big lie.
    I grew up hearing about how jealous Aussies are of NZ and how crappy it is there. When I actually visited Australia in my 20s I was shocked that a place so superior to NZ in every way was that close! Sydney blew my mind with the culture and beauty. So much better than horrid Auckland.
    After moving back the USA (I have been here for 20 years now) I wake up every day thankful that I had the opportunity to escape that windy rock at the bottom of the world.

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    • Hi Jason, wow you have got it so right about NZ. The rugby culture is boring and pathetic. After 4 years in NZ I am also very bored with the howling winds, torrential rain and depressing New Zealanders. New Zealanders are very, very nationalistic and xenophobic bordering on hatred of people from others countries. New Zealanders bore me stupid with their propaganda about how wonderfull their country is. It’s all propaganda and half truths, & ask yoursellf why they have to keep telling themselves how great their boring insular country is?? New Zealand really is an isolated windy rock inhabited by xenophobic island monkeys.

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      • bang on Target Rich, thats Kiwis summed up perfectly. After 15 years here I still can’t get used to the fact that Rugby takes up most of the mainstream news hour, international news only gets a few minutes and that’s if a kiwi is in it. It’s laughable.

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      • Rich, from another Rich you are absolutely spot on with your comments. It is a shame as this place could be quite good but the people make it very hard to be happy here. I came here from the UK nearly a year ago as my wife wanted to return, I was not too keen but went along as she is a very good person. Some days I hate but as there is no connection at all to the locals as they are boring, uninterested and very backward in terms of culture and thinking outside their own retarded word. No one goes out or does anything and coming from the UK where people are very social this has been very hard to take and something I struggle with daily.

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    • I share your experience in many ways , born but not raised in Nz I actually feel that in alot of ways nz was more backward than where I grew up (french pacific). For many reasons NZ (still) is not outward looking, its sense of fear and intimidation about the rest of the world dose not allow it to have high levels of acceptance or tolerance.

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    • Bravo! Well said. I am so tired of hearing “World class” from people whose whole world is NZ. They have no idea what that even means.

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  7. A big thank you to everybody who’s contributed so far and shared their experience.

    We’re looking for more exit interviewees, please leave your feedback here.

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  8. I had a bad experience with a job offer in Auckland. After this episode, I realise that some of the posts and comments on this website make sense. It strikes me that I have encountered a negative aspect of New Zealand even before I have step foot into the country.

    I was offered a job and before the job offer, I was asked verbally for my expectation renumeration. I inform my prospective employer that I wanted $X for my base salary. The hiring manager came back with an offer of $Y, which is about 9% less than $X and offer the remaining 9% as a conditional bonus paid out annually. I wasn’t impressed with the offer as I did my sums on the cost of living and reckon that my family will be comfortable only with my original asking of $X. I also ask for relocation benefits.

    What happened after my negotiation request was what struck me as the unprofessional and a “take it or leave it” attitude from the hiring manager.

    The hiring manager refused any change in the renumeration offer stating that he went through many levels of approval to come to the current offer. He also stated that bluntly that the salary package with conditional bonus would come up to be the same as my asking package. In other parts of the developed world, bonus is a bonus and is never part of the base salary package. The hiring manager also refuse to entertain any relocation benefits and mentioned that he helped me saved money by not requiring me to attend in-person interviews. Again, in most other parts of the world, the hiring company would pay for air ticket and accomodation for flying candidates to the host country for interviews if needed. How not needing me to attend an in-person interview is helping me save money is beyond me.

    With his replies, I can sense that this company isn’t sincere about hiring a talented person for the posiiton and the hiring manager’s attitude does show that future advancement and salary adjustment may well be a brickwall affair.

    The worst part is that since I am not able to get the hiring manager to make any concessions to the offer terms, I notified him via email as soon as I can and that was a Saturday, no wanting to make a phone call during the weekends (to give him peace and quiet during his personal time). I paid long distance phone fees and tried to get to him on the phone on Monday but couldn’t get through. Call another 3 times on Tuesday, voicemail. Finally, the hiring manager picked up the phone on Wednesday and told me that my application was cancelled as soon as he had read my email regarding rejecting the offer. All the while I have not received any notification that he had received my rejection email and had acted on it. How unprofessional can the organization be?

    I am glad that I have rejected the offer.

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    • Smart move. I actualy had a signed contract that was rescinded a week after it was signed. I should have sued! You would never see that in a REAL world organization.

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  9. I’m originally from Taiwan arrived in New Zealand in 2006 for my kiwi partner. I entered the country with a working holiday visa then applied residency through partnership. I came here after dropped out of my first year of university. I wanted to have a break from study so I worked for a year under the working holiday visa. I was living in Auckland at that stage and mainly working at cafés due to my slightly inadequate skill in English. When I first arrived in Auckland I actually had a pretty good impression about the place. However, after many problems with landlords where tenancy tribunals only benefits crazy landlords…, lack of job prospects. It was very difficult for me to find a good employer who does not take advantages of a foreign worker. The minimum wage was $10.50 per hour in 2006/7. I had to live with that in Auckland, while my partner was also under paid for his first graduate job.

    Due to the high living cost of Auckland suburb and the lack of career prospect, I decided to go back to study so I moved to South Island to study… for cheaper living cost, but crappier housing anyway. And I hope that a NZ degree would help with my future. However, it didn’t help because my degree is a BA and in NZ art degrees are under appreciated (let alone lack of teaching resources). After I finished my undergraduate degree I then qualified to apply for citizenship, which only took me three month to get it—I can have duo citizenship so why not!

    For me the only good thing about NZ is the natural environment. I came from a small, overdeveloped, and crowded country so I felt that it’s great to indulge in an ample living space. Other than that I really missed good food, good shopping, good public transport, and sophisticated cultures where I could not enjoy these in NZ. I think I would still come to NZ, but I would stay probably only 2 years not 7 years! And I would not go to university here. It was a waste of time and investment. I decided not to waste more money on higher education. I have witnessed enough of people that they would continue postgraduate studies just because they can’t find jobs in NZ. I refuse to make the same mistake.

    I struggled to find work after graduated and the only way for me to get an average graduate job is through my kiwi partner, sadly and ironically through the old boy’s network… at his work. It’s really not what you know, it’s who you know. Nevertheless, I’m not the only one who has the problem… my partner has been unhappy with his jobs. Leaving the low pay rate problem aside, the workforce here is extremely inclusive and I believe that (if you are lucky and if you are a kiwi) it takes at least 10 years of time for job promotions by hearing some of the stories from my partner’s friends and relatives.

    I really had enough of living in NZ. Ranting starts now sorry… I hate to say this but I felt really not welcomed here. I don’t know where is the hatred coming from towards Asians?? I often get bad attitudes from kiwis (i.e. terrible customer service, disingenuous friendships, verbal abuse from strangers etc.) People here seemed to have very low tolerance towards foreigners. My experiences in Auckland was a mixture of good and terrible, in Dunedin it has been ok only within the university environment, I didn’t live in Christchurch and Wellington long enough to judge, but I do noticed that there’s a slightly higher Asian employment than the deep south. I often get strange and unfriendly stares when I go out with my kiwi partner. People looked at us as if we are disgusting. Well, it only took me nearly 7 years to overcome and I really don’t care how close minded people are here. Endless frustrations… not to mention that it is extremely hard to make kiwi friends.

    The hardest part was to convince my kiwi partner to leave. I thought I would be stuck here forever until I got my kiwi passport. I am not proud of being a kiwi citizen nor do I need it for travelling. We are planning to go to UK for two years of working holiday and see how it goes from there. I really hope things will get better from now, we’ll be leaving in less than 2 months and I do not wish to come back!!

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  10. My name is Peter, and although I am Australian born, I have lived here in NZ for the last twenty nine years.

    Technically I am not an immigrant. I moved here when I was a baby. My NZ born parents briefly stayed in Australia, had me, then returned home. I have lived in Auckland and a small town north of it. I have traveled both within New Zealand and outside of it.

    What sort of work/skill-set did you have before entering New Zealand and did you continue in this when you arrived? If not, why not?

    I have been NZ employed/sheltered within the printing industry since I was a teenager. Recently, I studied to become an automotive electrician at Unitec. Then tried to get an adult apprenticeship, where I discovered they don’t actually exist in NZ. Instead I was expected to work for free (work experience) while collecting the dole and ‘looking for work’ During these ‘Imaginary’ jobs, I was expected to be punctual, financially independent and work as fast as paid employees. Making my qualification relatively worthless in practice.

    An apprenticeship seems to be advertised, but what the employer is actually seeking is a fully qualified or experienced person to work for apprenticeship wages. So I essentially flushed my 5,000 dollars in student loan down the toilet. Brilliant. I was forced back into the printing industry working as an assistant. For little above minimum wage.

    What were your initial reactions when you arrived. Did NZ meet your expectations and how did that change?

    Initial reaction to NZ teritary study and post-study employment prospects? Disbelief. Disgust. Dismay. Unfortunately, it has not changed one bit. Course I attended had a supposed pre-requisite of ‘basic knowledge’ yet they spent three quarters of the course teaching precisely that. The last quarter covered existing to older technologies. Despite this being an automotive electrical course, next to nothing was covered on hybrid vehicles, an important emerging technology in my opinion. Only one signal protocol was covered (CAN) there are four other main ones that were completely ignored. There was a dismal lack of equipment provided for the students, no off-car O2, MAF or knock sensors. Previous students had broken them all apparently. Extremely limited scanning equipment. Class of sixteen expected to share one scanner and two portable oscilloscopes.

    After graduating course with an average of A+, got only two interviews. One said no, the other jerked me around for two and a half months. I visited every local workshop, and applied for everything online. Nothing came of that either. So I widened my search to include entire country. No workshop has any interest in hiring anyone unqualified/experienced.

    What were the major challenges you faced and how did you try to meet them?

    Lack of equipment at course. I got around this by simply testing sensors on family and friends cars outside of unitec. Lack of revelevant topics covered was partially overcome by reading up online for the theory. The lack of practical experience with different signal protocol was dissappointing to say the least. The final challenge was securing an apprenticeship. It seems I will have to move to Australia to do this. I will probably not come back to work in NZ. What reason would there be for me doing so? Dismal wages, lack of career advancement, promotion or additional training? Third world housing? An enbarrassingly condescending attitude of business owners towards staff?

    What are the good things you found and what did you enjoy the most?

    NZ is my home. I grew up here. I could write a novel about things I like! Beautiful scenery, some sparcely populated, unspoilt country. Fresh produce available everywhere. Interesting variety of local musicians and artists. Good friends that I have had a lot of fun knowing and hanging out with. It saddens me to see rampant racism and descrimination towards immigrants here because, despite the bad, we are a melting pot of many, many cultures, as I am fairly open minded, I enjoyed meeting and conversing with people from various places around the world. I enjoy emersing myself in the melting pot of foreign cultures that is Auckland City.

    What was the deciding factor that made you decide to leave New Zealand? Was this a single event or the culmination of a combination of circumstances?

    Lack of employment prospects. All the good things about this country amount to naught for me if I am unhappy in my work. I am thirty years old. I need a trade qualification behind me. It would seem I can’t get that here in my industry of choice. I could put up with or get over NZ’s other faults and issues, but lack of a career is a deal breaker for me.

    How easy was it making plans to leave New Zealand, what stumbling blocks are/were in your way?

    As easy as booking a one way plane ticket out. As I hold Australian citizenship by birth, I have an Australian passport. Despite living in NZ most of my life, it was easier, faster and cheaper to get an Aussie passport when I wanted to travel. The only stumbling block is all of my immediate family (parents and siblings) live in NZ. But I can come back for hollidays and visits, plus keep in touch with skype.

    If you could have your time over again this there anything that you d have done differently? what would your advice to other potential migrants be?

    I would not have bothered studying here. Australian government seems to make more of an effort when it comes to study and upskilling incentives for employers. Plus there are better career prospects after your course ends.

    My advice would be; unless you are a backpacker, retired or independantly wealthy, seriously think twice about coming here unless you have a definite job sorted and waiting for you. To anyone coming here to upskill, forget it. Don’t waste your time. If you have a family or intend to purchase property over here, again, forget it unless you are willing to come here for a holliday first to decide if it is really your cup of tea.

    What would it take to make you want to stay in New Zealand?

    A miracle. E.g. The government here to get serious about training and retaining tradespeople here in NZ. Also this ridiculous qualification system (NZQA) needs to be completely scrapped and rebuilt. It is a joke. Employers getting serious about upskilling and retaining their people. Regardless of what country they came from. Landlords to get serious about offering ‘developed’ housing to tennants. If I held my breath waiting for all this I would suffocate (or move to Australia).

    What are your major challenges and aspirations after leaving New Zealand?

    Paying off my student debt. As soon as I leave the country, I will be charged interest again. Oh well. Getting my foot in the door of a new industry with a possibly useless NZ ‘qualification’ may result in me having to do the equivilant certificate again in Australia.

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  11. My Name is Sam and I am a born Australian but have lived in New Zealand since being a child and have happily moved back to my home country.

    Without a doubt New Zealand is a beautiful country that has a nice relaxed feel to the place but like most place it has its problem. I found that the country lacks in many opportunities, particularly for young people leaving school. With so few people, and so few jobs out there, what can they do. Young people are given no sense of direction or guidance and many feel stuck as there are so few opportunities. I’ve heard the government now wants to decrees youth wage to just over $10 an hour to supposedly provide them with jobs. That to me is slave labour. Wages are low, taxes are high (although they are in Australia too, but at leat you earn what you work for).

    The weather in New Zealand is depressing and it rains pretty much every day. Houses are damp and cold beacuse of poor insulation. A majority of children go to school hungry. A nhigh amount of people are bludging of the dole. There is domestic violence rates. High teenage suicide rates. High crime rates in cities. Its a country fueled by alcohol and drugs. The people are friendly yet not too easy to approach and at times can be a little unwelcoming and stand-offish which can make for some awkard conversations. There is also an incredible amount of stubborness in the area.

    To me, nz lacks energy and it almost sucks the life out of you if you there to long. The towns and cities lack vibrance and life but the people make up for that. Its easy to get bored as you are o limited for options there. There is pleanty to do in terms of adventurous activities, if that; what your interested in but of course you need a good amount of money in your pockets to do these things.

    I am very glad to get back home to my warm and friendly country of Australia. After a while the cold and bitterness of new zealand becomes a little bit unbearable.

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  12. My name is Veronica and 2 months ago I started considering studying in New Zealand.

    One month ago I was accepted at one university in New Zealand for a Graduate Diploma and qualified for the same program at another institute. I was more interested in the second program, school told me I qualify but I needed to come to New Zealand asap as classes start at the end of October. I email Immigration NZ asking them if I can come as a tourist and apply for my student visa from inside the country and they confirmed yes, I can. .

    On 22 september I arrived at Auckland Airport with my husband very excited for visiting and going to school in New Zealand. I was given a 3 month tourist visa which I asked for in order to arrange with the school details for my program, pay the fees and visit the great outdoors new Zealand has. 1 hours later I find myself at the immigration office my passport being withheld , not allowed to leave the airport and having the most traumatizing experience of my life. What I mean by that is hearing a customs officer walking in the immigration office and saying: NO MORE ROMANIANS. My husband and I are both Romanians.. Clearly that comment was made about us..

    At Immigration office in Auckland Airport 3 people out of 5 held there were Romanians. The other two were held because they brought more cigarettes than allowed by customs. Consequences for holding romanian passports: 10 hours of interrogation , part of my documents withheld by immigration, sleep deprived for another 24 hours ( after a 36 hour long flight) . during the interrogation I showed immigration all my documents and explained why I should be let into the country: I had the acceptance letter from school, I had correspondence back and forth with another school which I was interested in ,email from Immigration that I can come as a visitor first, proof of funds to pay for school which costs 17 000 NZD, money to support ourselves while in New Zealand, hotel reservation made and places I wanted to visit as a tourist.

    My husband was interrogated separately by another officer and part of his interview was asked questions like: where he has worked 8 years ago, why he left the job, who lives now in the accommodation we used to rent and other questions that had nothing to do with my studies in my opinion. This may sound weird to you but I have all our interviews taped and transcripts. Firstly we were told that we have the right to have a copy of the recording and the transcripts. later immigration supervisor changed her mind and wanted to give us only the transcripts. we managed to get both transcripts and tapes and I’m amazed how big chunks of my declaration are cut from the transcripts and relevant information is misinterpreted. . My english is not perfect but I can make myself understood even after 2 days of traveling and 24 more hours spent at immigration. the supervisor ‘s decision was made based solely on the transcript

    There are a few facts that I would like to make public from this experience which I consider to be traumatizing . When we arrived at the airport the officer who made the comment : NO MORE ROMANIANS is the officer who pulled my husband aside. We were brought in front of another officer for a short interview. after explaining our reason to be in New Zealand he declared: I am satisfied, sounds good to me but I don’t understand what do they want from you ( referring to customs and immigration). We were taken at immigration office for some checks that “would last about 10 minutes” 12 hours later I am answering the same questions , i am fingerprinted videotaped and recorded.

    We were not allowed to leave the airport and could go eat only after asking for permission. while in the airport we had to wear a sticker on our body so security would know we are referred at immigration. sarcastic enough, people working in duty free shops would refer to us as: hey, you are being sent back home. That is humiliating. being looked at as criminals. but that’s not exactly what happened.

    I am being sent back to Russia not my home country, because that ‘s all Immigration could arrange for.Russia was the first stop on my way to New Zealand. from there I have to arrange tickets to my home country. If I were to refuse this flight, I would be in custody and escorted with handcuffs to Romania. I am talking here about two people with no criminal record, who have travelled to many places around the world and never had any problems but treated as criminals by Immigration New Zealand. I think a major abuse was made, I would like to make my story public and share documents that I have. Immigration New Zealand was kind enough to let us call our embassy but provided us with the wrong number. We eventually managed to get the right number and put in a complaint. But I would like to go further and share this with other institutions and newspapers , blogs.
    Our visa was cancelled and could come back to New Zealand only with permission.

    I strongly believe that our refusal to entry the country was based on racism. Immigration apologized and explained to us that the officer who made the comment ” NO MORE ROMANIANS” is from another department. To me is much the same as they work hand in hand : Immigration and Customs. And it was the first impact that I had with New Zealand: discrimination. Even if they tried to absolve themselves from this matter and put the blame on another department my question is: would you share such a harsh comment with someone who wouldn’t have the same views? Would you say : “NO MORE ROMANIANS” to an entire department who should be impartial if they wouldn’t agree with you? I think not. I think the comment made a clear impact on my refusal , especially in the way it was made: on an imperative tone.

    Again, I can backup everything written above with documentation and I am hoping to put a stop on this discriminatory behavior from authorities.
    Again, I came to New Zealand to study, to spend 17000 NZD from my own pocket to pay for school, had a letter of acceptance, Ielts test , return paid airfare, hotel booking and knowledge of New Zealand points of interested I wanted to visit.

    Today is September 23 and I am at Seoul Incheon Airport. My passport was given back to me and in 19 hours we will depart to Moscow but by that time I will get home to Romania I hope my story will get around the globe so others won’t have to experience this. By sharing my story I would like other people who were in similar situation to come forward with their story so we can bring attention to this matter.

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  13. I visit NZ once every 3-4 years to catch up with my friends. I was born in Singapore but because of my Scottish ancestry and private education in England, get discriminated even by customs officials at the airport who ask all sorts of questions about my accent. I get absolutely sick and tired of Kiwis reducing me to their level. To most Kiwis, I smack of being a privileged toff because of my allegedly posh Oxford English. Even as a tourist, I get rude treatment in stores. I was paying for fuel at the Challenge petrol station in Halswell, Christchurch when this rude proprietor gave me dirty looks never said a word and stared at my credit card when I paid as if he had never seen one before.

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  14. Its a shame but visiting immigration firms coming to South Africa preached a convincing message about New Zealand . A trip over here and 3 job offers later and we came with great hopes. The job went sour after 13 months and then the discovery that the predominant employment opportunity is contracting whereby the so called employer gets your expertise for a fixed period and then dumps you after the contract is finished . A scam whereby you are paid a slightly higher rate ( sometimes) but with no security of longivity. Amazing that this contrasts with the low unemployment figures published by the authorities. Also check out the number of people arriving versus leaving and the figures are virtually identical. Indicating its a stepping stone to other options. The other writers have spoken about the poor housing whereby you have to wear 4 layers of clothing – thermals included as the house is 8 to 12 degrees and 85 plus % humidity during winter months. The locals are insular,quite rude actually – a closed people not open and friendly as in other countries. Many locals are born again achoholics that spend their time abusing alcohole and taking drugs while beating up their children . Foul mouthed and vulgar.. The local IWI has a chip on their shoulder and will let let you know where you stand… At this stage South Africa looks like a better option despite the crime and BEE situation – NZ is really over sold – or should I say Lies upon lies. What a complete waste of Time NZ has turned out to be. By the way Ageism is a huge factor – dont try and find work if your over 30!! 55 is over the hill . Your regarded as a tall poppy anyhow and they love to reduce you to their level.. Final note they can be friendly as long as you are paying them money or they are getting something FREE..

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    • Hi Adrian, you are so right about NZ, New Zealanders are insular, rude, smug and arrogant. Having lived in NZ for 4 years now, I can also confirm that New Zealanders have an enormous chip on their shoulder about people from other countries which reflects the insecurity and isolation of New Zealanders. Coming from UK 4 years ago I have also found that New Zealanders are only friendly to you if they can sell you something, or use you in some way to their own advantage. However, do not believe that they will return the favour to you!! My experience has been that they will simply ignore you, unless you are foolish enough to be taken for a ride a second time! My experience and advice. Do not move to New Zealand. It’s not worth it. It’s a pretty country, but that’s not a good enough reason to emigrate to a second rate country. Especially, as the population: New Zealanders are such a vile and nasty bunch!

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  15. This is weird: wanted to give you the link and now I discover that if you look at ‘other sites we like’ it is actually there: “move to New Zealand: the real story”. I shall have to update the resource section with this website, which I have only discovered yesterday! You are right: people still want to pull the wool over their eyes, but in many cases I found that this was also because they simply are stuck in New Zealand. They have sold their home, given up their jobs and have used up all their savings to just get by in New Zealand. So they feel that they have to convince themselves that it has been the right move, even though it is obvious that it isn’t. There is a lot of hidden shame and sadness amongst immigrants.

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  16. Came to NZ as skilled migrants on work to residency visa. We had spent 1 month on the South Island and 1 month on the North Island to do our research. We wanted to live in New Zealand permanently because we could spend more time outdoors and because we believed that the level of education was good.
    Had to accept jobs well below our level of work to make it ‘fit’ with the skill category, which is a story in itself. We are white Europeans, fluent in English (because we have lived overseas for the last decade) so we did not experience a lot of racism or anything. What we did experience was jealousy. Lots of it. We found jobs which were considered ‘top’ jobs in New Zealand, and we still felt that we had gone back some 15 years in our career: work place conditions and management concepts are so archaic that it isn’t funny anymore. The level of education is terribly low; we had no choice but to transfer one of our kids to a private school. Way too expensive of course, even though we could afford it. Houses are of a ridiculously low quality, landlords use their short term thinking skills only and think they can fix everything themselves (not). Cost of living much too high but what really did it for us was the low level of thinking. We have never encountered so little ambition, so much jealousy and such a lack of spirit. The ambitious people who want to develop themselves leave NZ and go to Australia.
    Although we stayed for 3 years, gave it our best and have tried to integrate (by volunteering, helping at school, working etc. etc.), we have left and we’re so happy we did!
    I am very happy to see this site, because too much of the information out there is totally untrue and I have seen so many disappointed emigrants who are now stuck in NZ!
    I wrote a booklet about it (very therapeutical) and put it on Kindle for a few bucks. Just to try and spread the word that NZ is not all that…. (just type in “live in New Zealand” in the Kindle bookstore and you’ll find my 2 cents worth!).

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    • Maria. We also have no regrets about leaving isolated NZ. Someone once said that there were so many young people who were underachievers and they end up as sales assistants,or employees in the tourism industries which do not need much brain work if they are slightly better than the underclass. Hence they will not earn more money in their lives. Only the smart thinkers leave the country fast. For eg, working in the public sector gets you only 2% superannuation whereas in Australia, you get 9% ( 12% in earlier years). Eventually, a retired Aussie will have more money in his till than poor old cousin from Kiwiland. If you spent years working, the difference in monetary gains is huge.
      You will not be able to go for cruises, buy yourself some branded clothes, buy your relatives a meal ,etc as you have to make your retirement fund last as long as you are alive…that is how we learnt to use the word TIGHT in NZ…..never heard of it being used elsewhere…
      As regards to education, a friend’s son was top in the school in NZ but when he returned to Europe, he became average and had to work hard to keep up with the grades. So, it is an eye opener for the youth.
      People still want to pull the wool over their eyes to think that NZ is the place to be…

      By the way, I cannot find your booklet…so you have to give the link please.

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    • When you google kindle and living in new zealand, you come across jeffrey moosaiff or someone’s kindle book, which is not the same one, he’s the “known to say anything to anybody” and now nz happy clappy who fled the States after being sacked from the Freud Archives and then suing the journalist who interviewed him about it. Maria’s book is here – http://www.amazon.com/dp/B004VF67CA

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  17. It was a long story with my approx 1 decade’s experience moving to NZ and then back to HK. To summarise, Kiwi’s were very hostile to us whereas in HK I could coexist and get along with white and asians from all over happily and peacefully. White higher ups impose white terrorism at workplace and serious breach of human rights plus censorship when the media may bash about Chinese violations of IP, Human rights, censorship etc. My personal experience is that the violation in NZ is even worse. The good things were the cheap kiwi fruit and mussles. But they are not what all your life live for. There was no expection of being able to dig gold in NZ from us, but it was my hope to get along with locals, have happy friendship, being able to work and earn a living, enjoy the surroundings in peace. Even if there was no expectation of fair treatment at work or school, the harmful bullying and defamation/sabotage I think is uncalled for and unnecessary. If we got serious abuse from locals, there is no further conflict that we look forward to, so we went back. There was not much we could hope for in any partnership or win win relationship. We are often looked upon with distrust and suspiciousion, or treated like a traitor. Why should we bother carrying all these bad labels and wronged?

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