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Finish this sentance: "NZ is great, but?"

Finish this sentance: "NZ is great, but?"

Old Mar 31st 2002, 10:32 am
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Default Finish this sentance: "NZ is great, but?"

I am going to live in NZ, I have yet to hear anything terrible about the country, it all seems pretty sorted, so I wonder if anyone knows what to watch out for, or avoid .etc, etc.
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Old Apr 1st 2002, 3:35 am
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garrisondamn <[email protected]> wrote in message
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    > I am going to live in NZ, I have yet to hear anything terrible about the country,
    > it all seems pretty sorted, so I wonder if anyone knows what to watch out for, or
    > avoid .etc, et

As a newbie be careful with real estate agents, they will circle you like sharks You
could mean a new BMW to them.
 
Old Apr 1st 2002, 6:18 am
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Default Re: Finish this sentance: "NZ is great, but?"

it is a lovely country particuarly the south island. people are friendly.

i would be careful of auckland as we understand there is a lot of crime there and particular problems with the polynesian communities. we understand a lot of people have moved to the south island to avoid this.
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Old Apr 1st 2002, 8:35 am
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"garrisondamn" <[email protected]> wrote in message
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    > I am going to live in NZ, I have yet to hear anything terrible about the country,
    > it all seems pretty sorted, so I wonder if anyone knows what to watch out for, or
    > avoid .etc, etc.

Same here. The only negatives I've heard about so far are:

The silly rule that you have to fence off any water in your garden in case someone
breaks in and drowns(?) NZ crisps are a bit flavourless

Serious stuff there )

Winnie
 
Old Apr 1st 2002, 7:26 pm
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Default Re: Finish this sentance: "NZ is great, but?"

Where to start....

First off NZ is a much better place to bring up a family than the UK but.....

Crime, especially violent crime, is quite high but, to use PC speak, Pacific Islanders are over-represented in crime stats and they tend to keep it in the family (literally) which skews the stats.

The job market is very small, especially outside Auckland, so if you like to piss people off and then move jobs beware (especially in Wellington).

Politics is supposed to be left of centre but some may say it is left of Marx so if you like the thought of ever increasing State interference then come to NZ.

Tax is quite high and you pay twice for most things you take for granted in the UK (health, education, pension)

The weather can change in an instant - "shall I wear shorts? better carry waterproofs and thermal underwear just in case"

The Treaty industry - don't get me started!!

The Fencing of Swimming Pools Act - may sound silly Winnie but having to comply with it and undergo periodic inspections is not too bad and I'd hate to come home and find a child floating under the pool cover (thankfully all I've had is hedgehogs!!)

So there's my two pennys worth...

But before I get called a winging pom - I was just giving the warts 'n' all view. What you get out is proportionate to what you put in. We love it, although it's a culture shock (albeit a slow one) the first six months you are in heaven and then you come down to earth and see that NZ has all of the problems of the UK but on a smaller scale and if you are like me you want to stop it happening.
I would never have dreamed of coaching kids rugby in England and getting involved in local politics, community groups etc. etc. but over here you get the impression that you have a chance of halting the decline...
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Old Apr 2nd 2002, 7:05 am
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"lmaynard" <[email protected]> wrote in message
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Thanks for a most interesting post!

Re this bit:

    > Tax is quite high and you pay twice for most things you take for granted in the UK
    > (health, education, pension)

I don't know how long you've been away from the UK but the above is also true here
now for health and pension.

Cheers Winnie
 
Old Apr 2nd 2002, 7:09 pm
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Default Re: Finish this sentance: "NZ is great, but?"

Winnie, not as long as it seems...

GP visits are still free in England aren't they? they're around $40 - $45 here.

As for pension there's still SERPS as part of NI contributions and the choice of opting out.

I forgot to mention gangs... you don't see them in the 'better' areas but the Mongrel Mob and Black Power are always in the papers...
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Old Apr 2nd 2002, 7:41 pm
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Hello

I am a Scot who lived in NZ for 12 years (Wellington and Auckland), who now lives in
Quebec, Canada. I left NZ for economic and personal reasons. I wrote a couple of
articles last year on this newsgroup outlining a little of my view of life in NZ.

Culture: Of the principal immigrant countries, NZ is probabaly the closest in culture
to England, after that Australia, Canada and the US. That being said, NZ does have
its own distinct culture and history just like the others, but as it is the youngest
of the former British 'colonies', and therefore ties to England are stronger than
elsewhere. The role of NZ in the world has changed a great deal in the last 20 years
and it will continue reafirm its unique identity.

Arrival-Services: Once you exit the airport, thats your lot Im afraid. The NZ
government takes your money but there are no government services to help new
immigrants, ie job search, housing, health, language tuition etc. There are a few
private orgainisations for special interest or ethnic groups. By contrast in Canada,
and especially here in Quebec, there are many organisations both govermental and
private to assist new immigrants, from the moment you arrive at the airport.

Settling In: Most people who immigrate to NZ (and probably the other commen immigrant
countries Australia, Canada, USA) usually have few regrets and settle in well.
Certainally if you are white, English is your mother tongue then it is easy. Sadly if
you are not white, and English is not your mother tongue then you will find it
difficult in New Zealand. That does not mean that you cannot successfully settle in
NZ, its just that for people of different ethnic backgrounds, it is just more
difficult. I found that here in Quebec as French is the everyday language thus I
struggeled at first.

Work & Housing: Most jobs are found by word of mouth and if you apply for a job
advertised in the public domanin you will be competing with many other people. Wages
are alot less than the UK, Australia, USA and Canada. However the cost of living is
relatively cheap. However the prices of houses particulary in Auckland are very high
compared to what you earn. This is because many New Zealanders were badly stung by
dodgy companies during the 80's who went bust after the stock market crash of 88.
Subsequently they invested the majority of their savings in bricks and mortar thus
inflating the cost of houses.

That being said if you live in a smaller provincial centre or the country then there
are some very good bargains to be had, though anything by the sea will be
significantly higher.

Transport: Because the vast majority of people in New Zealand live in a city, and due
to a combination of geography, lack of public transport, poor organization and
depending on where you live you could end up commuting longer than you did in your
home country. The roads particularly in Auckland are very busy, and Wellington is
restricted by the hills, thought it does have a reasonable public transport system.

Food & Drink: One of the best things about the country. The amount of fresh meat,
fish vegetables, dairy produce is second to none. Supermarkets have heaps of choice
and opening hours are sometimes 24 hours in busy places, or very late. NZ is famous
for its wines and there are some very nice beers as well. In the main centres there
are top class restaurents to suit all price ranges. Many you can bring your own
wine (BYO) though this is becoming less common. There are many cafés to choose from
to hang out. In smaller less touristy towns the choice and quality does tend to be
alot less.

People: On the whole New Zealanders are very friendly welcoming people. They will
show a genuine interest in where you are from, particularly if you come from the UK
(as for many NZ's their ansesters came from there). They will be keen to know about
your background and reasons for comming to NZ. The old adage of 'What do you think
of NZ?' after you've just got off the plane is waning, and people are more open to
critisim of NZ. However more amounst older people critical opinion of the society by
`outsiders` is still not well received. Although I have been a naturalised citizen
for many years I found that I was still not completely accepted as a genuine New
Zealander because I was not born and brought up in the country. This is an example
of the growing up the country still needs to do, as this attitude does not prevail
in Canada.

Racism, Indigeoneous people: Racism exists in every country and society. The level of
racism in NZ is difficult to gauge as it is a very personal observation. Racism in NZ
is not open like in the USA and even Australia. People will not publicly give their
views so it is very hard to gauge. You get a feeling when speaking to people though,
of their views on another ethnic group. One could argue that that is worse than overt
racism as at least you know where you stand. There is quite alot of tension between
various Pacific Island immigrants (Samoean, Tongaean, etc) and Maori people. All
these people are disadvantaged in some way and as a result often disputes mount
between these various groups.

Health: The level of primary healthcare in NZ is fine. So if you have an accident or
heart attack then you will receive healthcare similar to any other Western country.
However for non-urgent services it is a different story. Very long waitlists and
certain specialised services are not available in New Zealand. In rural areas in
particualar there is an acute shortage of GP's and nurses.

Sport & Leisure: If you are into outdoor sports then NZ is a paridise. There are
heaps of nice beaches to surf and swim. Plenty of oportunities to tramp(hiking,
hillwalking), skiing, kayak, sail, explore. Rugby is the national sport, but alot of
people also play cricet, soccer, netball, and other team sports. It is a very good
way of meeting people in a club and people are very welcoming.

Politics: The present Labour party has policies and personalities very similar to
that of the British Labour party. New Zealander's tend to be Conservative (yes with a
big C!) in their politics and the National Party has dominated politics since the
second world war. There have been some fairly major changes in politics in NZ
particularly during the 80's, and also changes in the parliamentry system. Extreme
views like in most western countries are not well received, though right wing
extremism is slightly more accepted than left wing.

Newspapers & Media: On the whole the lack of competition means that the printed media
is pretty conservative with right wing editorials. Articles are not exactly very
exciting, and do tend to be too New Zealand centric (Eg. Headline. 'New Zealand comes
second in Taiwan ad awards!' ) A clasic sign of immaturity in a nation! TV, be
prepared for alot of adverts, there is nothing like the BBC, ABC, CBC, Radio-Canada,
PBS. There are a few good British documentaries and dramas but these tend to be late
night and have too many ads. The news tends to be dominated arround local issues by
good looking presenters with very little substance. There are occasional local
programmes that are very interesting in arts and culture but they are few and far
between. The National programme on Radio New Zealand is the British equivlant of
Radio 4 and is very good particuarly if you want to get a good local and world
perspective.

Summary: In my view NZ is not a fully developed Western country, but at the same time
is it not the third world country as various politiciens say to make a point from
time to time. It is somewhere in between, though falling further and further behind
other western countries. This is mainly because of its size, isolation and reliance
on argricultural exports.

NZ offers a great many things to immigrants and many succeed. I met many people from
different cultures who had settled in well to NZ. I also met people who were
struggling and had decided to return to their home country. Despite the advances in
communications, technolgy, travel, etc, NZ is still very isolated compared to the
rest of the western world and most people feel it. Its smallness is one of its
greatest assets and yet at the same time one fo the biggest disadvantages. I wish any
one heading there the best of luck.

Ashley Watson
 
Old Apr 3rd 2002, 1:55 am
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Default Re: Finish this sentance: "NZ is great, but?"

Ashley, I agree with some of what you say but have the following comments, I suppose we all see things differently...



Culture:
The culture seems English on the surface but dig a little and you'll find a lot of post war American influence...

Arrival Services:
The government is putting money into arrival services, this is a new addition.

Work & Housing:
Word of mouth is a great way to find work in NZ but it's not the only way.

Houses are quite expensive but if you're coming from the UK with the equity from your UK property you'll have more than enough for a large deposit and your house will be much bigger.

Transport:

You'll commute for many not very enjoyable hours in Auckland but everywhere else I'd expect it to be less, especially in Wellington. In Wellington the trains are great (except from Johnsonville)

People:
People are (usually) great. I find that you are accepted easily if you fit in (holding season tickets to the Cake Tin in Wellington helps)

Racism:

Not widespread in my opinion but there is a lot of resentment of the wealth of the Pakeha and the positive discrimination favouring Maori and Islanders.


Sport & Leisure:

Paradise certainly for outdoor sports lovers but add to that a statutory 15 days annual leave and a typical 40 hour week and the paradise can easily be viewed from the wrong side of an office window.


Politics:

The present Labour party has policies nothing like English 'New Labour' One of the vote winning policies was a tax hike to 39% for all people earning over 60k this was designed to exploit the envy of these people by the lower paid. The Labour govt passed this legislation under urgency within a week or two of being elected. Since then they have embarked on social engineering and positive discrimination on a grand scale.
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Old Apr 3rd 2002, 8:05 pm
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Hi Its Tom I think, Just a few follow ups and additions to your comments. Hope your
settling in well to NZ, (if you are there already!)
    >
    > Culture: The culture seems English on the surface but dig a little and you'll find
    > a lot of post war American influence...
    >
Your right, certainally if you go to some of the outer suburbs of Auckland and
Christchurch, one finds vast parking lots with malls, multi-plex cinemas, fast-food
restaurants etc, very like in North America. (Though I hear things like that are
creeping into the UK?) One also can't forget the Polynesian influence which is
evident almost everywhere in NZ though particulary in the upper North Island.

    > Arrival Services: The government is putting money into arrival services, this is a
    > new addition.

I had heard that something was going to be implimented. Its about time too. I think
its shameful the welcome immigrants get when they come to NZ. When I arrived in
Quebec, after immigration I was directed to a arrival office, where I was given a
welcome pack with essential information for starting off in Quebec and an interview
was arranged with a counsilor to inform me of what govermental and private services
were available for immigrants.
    >
    > Work & Housing: Word of mouth is a great way to find work in NZ but it's not the
    > only way.

Again your right, and for the vast majority of immigrants they will be limited to the
public domain. I lost my job at the beginning of the year and the government of
Quebec put me on a course on how to find jobs in the hidden market (where the vast
majority of jobs are to be found) I found it very useful and helped alot. My last few
jobs in NZ were purely because of people I knew, and I realise that doesnt apply when
you are new to a country. The problem is (or the advantage!) is that often the domain
that you work in is very small and every-one knows every-one. Thus if you establish a
good reputation in your professional field then your 'home and hosed' as they say,
but if you make a mistake then your stuffed as people will hear about you and not
want to touch you with a barge poll.
    >
    > Houses are quite expensive but if you're coming from the UK with the equity from
    > your UK property you'll have more than enough for a large deposit and your house
    > will be much bigger.

Again your absolutly right (if you come from the UK!) However not all immigrants to
NZ or Australia come from the UK, though its interesting that this newsgroup does
tend to be dominated by Brits, whereas misc.immigration.canada which I also read
tends to have broader spectrum of participants. The point I am making is that
compared to the average income, house prices are very high particulary in Auckland.
Where I live in Quebec City (pop 650,000) the ratio of house prices compared to
average income is alot lower than in New Zealand. Even Toronto which has high prices
the ratio is lower. I do accept though that with the rate of exchange, and compared
to the size of houses in the UK, if you come from there you will get a better deal.

    > Transport:
    >
    > You'll commute for many not very enjoyable hours in Auckland but everywhere else
    > I'd expect it to be less, especially in Wellington. In Wellington the trains are
    > great (except from Johnsonville)

It would appear that you live or intend to live in Wellington (ah my favourite place,
though I only spent 3 years there!) The train and bus system is good in Wellington
(particulary compared to Auckland) but if you live in the Hutt Valley or North of
Wellington and drive, its an unpredictable commute every morning. As there are no
hard shoulders on the motorways then one accident and its chaos. The weather is very
influential on the travel time also.

Which takes me on to the subject of NZ drivers. Well thats a topic in itself. It
would appear that everyone in NZ is bad driver except the person who tells you that!
I realised how bad I had become after I had to retake my motorbike test here in
Quebec. Its almost like a Jeckel and Hyde when a Kiwi gets behind the wheel of a car.
Generally Kiwis are friendly welcoming and laid back, but put them in a car and they
transform into the most arrogant, impatient rude pricks you can imagine. Its
unbelievable and you can only see it to believe it.

Having said that, there has been a reasonable improvement in driver attitudes during
the time I lived in NZ, though there is still some way to go.

    >
    > People: People are (usually) great. I find that you are accepted easily if you fit
    > in (holding season tickets to the Cake Tin in Wellington helps)

Question (for my beneit and others) Is that the nickname given to the Westpac
Sports stadium?

    > Racism:
    >
    > Not widespread in my opinion but there is a lot of resentment of the wealth of the
    > Pakeha and the positive discrimination favouring Maori and Islanders.
    >
Well again your right, though that does depend on where you live, who you mix with,
your work environment etc, and of course your personal attitudes. I met and had to
work with some pretty racist people during my time in NZ, it wasnt very comfortable
at times. Given that though, if you express to someone that you neither wish to
discuss or have time for that persons views they will back off as New Zealanders dont
like upsetting people.

    > Sport & Leisure:
    >
    > Paradise certainly for outdoor sports lovers but add to that a statutory 15 days
    > annual leave and a typical 40 hour week and the paradise can easily be viewed from
    > the wrong side of an office window.
    >
Sure thing, Compared to Europe with less working hours and more holidays, it is a
bummer when you dont have as much holidays. But you can negociate with your employer
for more holidays sometimes, and also increasingly after 2-3 years with the same
employer many people recieve an extra week.

    > Politics:
    >
    > The present Labour party has policies nothing like English 'New Labour' One of the
    > vote winning policies was a tax hike to 39% for all people earning over 60k this
    > was designed to exploit the envy of these people by the lower paid. The Labour govt
    > passed this legislation under urgency within a week or two of being elected. Since
    > then they have embarked on social engineering and positive discrimination on a
    > grand scale.

Well I realise that I have lost touch with not just NZ politics but also the UK.
Though I was paying the extra tax before I left and I didnt mind. (thats my personal
view of course) You wouldnt want to come to live in Quebec thats for sure if you dont
like paying tax as I pay heaps more here.

Id welcome any comments on my comments as I hope that this thread will be of
assistance to people thinking of immigrating to NZ.

Ashley Watson
 
Old Apr 3rd 2002, 8:05 pm
  #11  
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"Ashley Watson" <[email protected]> wrote in message
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    > I had heard that something was going to be implimented. Its about time too. I think
    > its shameful the welcome immigrants get when they come to NZ. When I arrived in
    > Quebec, after immigration I was directed to a arrival office, where I was given a
    > welcome pack with essential information for starting off in Quebec and an interview
    > was arranged with a counsilor to inform me of what govermental and private services
    > were available for immigrants.

Just want to say how much I enjoy your posts Ashley - they always come across with
real thought and feeling.

A couple of comments from the individual point of view of a brand new Kiwi:

We have just been granted PR for NZ, and received a vey informative information pack
in the post, and a video which we haven't yet watched having sold our machine! So I
think something is being done. However I would not want to sit through an interview,
especially when information is so readily available ad hoc, nor do I think immigrants
should arrive with a "what can this country do for me" attitude, but rather the other
way round.

Cheers Winnie
 
Old Apr 3rd 2002, 9:05 pm
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Default Re: Finish this sentance: "NZ is great, but?"

It's great to read other people's comments on NZ. Yes the Cake Tin is the nickname for the Westpac Trust Stadium in Wellington - probably the best facility in the Southern Hemisphere (of course I'm biased) if only the Hurricanes could win the Super 12....

With regard to NZ drivers all of what you say is very true - "sooner they ban the things (cars) the better" I am sometimes heard to mutter when I cross the road and motorists speed up to hit you just because you dare to be using their personal race track. The love affair with the car is one of the least attractive parts of the NZ personaility..

Lawrence
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Old Apr 4th 2002, 8:35 pm
  #13  
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"dugongs" <[email protected]> wrote in message
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    > i would be careful of auckland as we understand there is a lot of crime there and
    > particular problems with the polynesian communities. we understand a lot of people
    > have moved to the south island to avoid this.

Is that where they filmed "Once Were Warriors"? The only film I've ever seen that
makes NZ look like a shithole.
 
Old Apr 4th 2002, 9:02 pm
  #14  
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Default Re: Finish this sentance: "NZ is great, but?"

Nice thread dude!!!

Worth a reply see you at jaz's for the last of the suicide sheep runs where all members will be present. (well the regulars anyway) This site ROCKS!!!!!!!!!!!

To all I Hope your god is favourable and you succeed in you endevour

Col.
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Old Apr 4th 2002, 11:35 pm
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Default Re: Finish this sentance: "NZ is great, but?"

Thanks to everyone who replied to this thread, it's given me food for thought, but when you look at the UK as an alternative.....well I think I'll take my chances... if you never try it you'll never know...who knows I may well be yelling " sorry England , all is forgotten" though I suspect some people may have a cross to bear, I may be wrong, everywhere in the world has it's problems.
Cheers all, see you on the weekend Col

HAIL EL PRESEDENTE!!!!!!
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