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 therapeutic) 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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