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One month in NZ - my impressions

One month in NZ - my impressions

Old Sep 2nd 2012, 5:24 am
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Default One month in NZ - my impressions

Those of you with rose-tinted specs and Waikatoguy, stop reading now.

Just come back to Vancouver after spending 4 weeks visiting friends and family. Spent time in Auckland (Greelane/Epsom, Newton areas), the Kapiti coast/Wellington and Christchurch.

Impressions:

Can see why people fall in love with NZ while visiting. Yes, it's beautiful, clear light, exotic trees, tuis singing, loads of gorgeous beaches, loads of countryside/farms, charming victorian villlas etc. etc. etc. etc. etc.

Houses: by and large and bar the one in Greelane with fancy heated floors, they were all lacking in insulation and bloody freezing. I spent a lot of time on my bestie's farm near Paraparaumu sitting as I close as I could to the heater/log burner without bursting into flame. Sadly being cold is my overriding memory of the Kapiti coast. The coast itself is lovely, still full of retirees. The traffic to/from Welly seemed a lot worse than I remember though.

Wellington: Still one of my favourite cities ever. Love the cafe culture, the fashion, the style. Just soooo cold. brrrrrr. Struck by how many of my friends own japanese car imports with GPS and the like they can't use cos it's all in Japanese. Just a little thing but a reminder that NZ people don't often get important products that are tailored for them the way north americans are used to - if that makes any sense.

Media/tv: TV presenters, by and large, dire, mediocre standards, laughable in fact. I was also struck when I was there by how the magazines etc are very inwardly and NZ focussed - photo spreads on Otaki! How people live in Orakei! Look, someone's renovated a cottage in Oamaru!. Not bad or good, but reminded me of how insular and parochial NZ can be.

Best custard squares ever.

Shannon isn't a gang-ridden shithole anymore! In fact that whole area (Levin, Foxton, Otaki) is looking a lot less shitacular. That was nice to see.

Best creme brulee tarts ever.

Christchurch: I confess - I've never been a fan of Christchurch, but went down to visit friends for a weekend and do some disaster tourism (their word for it, not mine). The scale is very hard to comprehend from pictures. I find it hard to believe it's going to be rebuilt to anything near the same level it was at any time soon. There is still so much work to be done with dismantling the buildings that are there that need to come down. Very sad.

Auckland: Not a city I'd spent a lot of time in in the past, but I enjoyed it. The weather was warm. It's pretty. It seems quite small compared to Vancouver - someone once compared the two cities but I can't see any similarities at all. It makes me sad that there appears to be no vision or ideological belief about how the city should be planned - instead it kinda seems to be a mish mash without a unifying vision (my OH described it as a 'hot mess'). But I think that's very Kiwi though - we're not a visionary bunch as a rule. Even though it's our biggest city, I was still struck by how insular it was. I think that's largely due to isolation and that islander mentality you get with island nations. It's like being in a hall with reflecting mirrors, where all the mirrors reflect back is you, so you feel all self-congratulatory about how amazing you are because you don't really have anything to compare it to. If I was an immigrant I would think very seriously about whether I would get island fever after a while or not - because, like, everywhere you drive there's NZ. Y'know? I felt like I had island fever after about a week.


I'm so over the All Blacks. They're everywhere. No one I know in NZ cares about them. Some of the stuff they get up to (fake charities etc) is pretty bad, yet nothing seems to happen.

The farming/rural way of life, with all it's conservatism and resistance to change, is clearly still strong.

It was crazy the number of people I saw who were somehow connected to other people I knew or saw. It's like one degree of separation in NZ.

Someone I know was going for a job at a museum in Auckland...she had a good chance of getting it, she thought, not because of her skills but because she knew 2 of the people working there and they would put in a word for her. It's still who-you-know.

I met up with some old schoolmates in Auckland - 2 of whom had returned from years and years overseas. If it's any consolation to all of the expats here who've had trouble getting a foot in, both these Kiwis had a hard time adjusting when they moved back. They both found it very who-you-know and the standards, um, different, and found it hard to get work at the same level as they had had. Both have ended up making career changes. Both have struggled with the 'management culture' of NZ. Both have mixed feelings about being back.

Overall: Lovely place to visit, wouldn't want to live there.

ex-Kiwilass.

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Old Sep 2nd 2012, 7:54 am
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Default Re: One month in NZ - my impressions

Happy to be back in Vancouver then

Your last sentence is a good summary of what I think about NZ.
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Old Sep 2nd 2012, 9:21 am
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Default Re: One month in NZ - my impressions

Originally Posted by Kiwilass View Post
Overall: Lovely place to visit, wouldn't want to live there.

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ex-Kiwilass, you brought many smiles of appreciation to this face.
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Old Sep 2nd 2012, 10:13 am
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Default Re: One month in NZ - my impressions

Originally Posted by Kiwilass View Post
Overall: Lovely place to visit, wouldn't want to live there.
You don't, not your fault, we do, glad you enjoyed your visit, missing you already
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Old Sep 2nd 2012, 11:00 am
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Default Re: One month in NZ - my impressions

Originally Posted by Kiwilass View Post
It makes me sad that there appears to be no vision or ideological belief about how the city should be planned - instead it kinda seems to be a mish mash without a unifying vision (my OH described it as a 'hot mess'). But I think that's very Kiwi though - we're not a visionary bunch as a rule. Even though it's our biggest city, I was still struck by how insular it was. I think that's largely due to isolation and that islander mentality you get with island nations. It's like being in a hall with reflecting mirrors, where all the mirrors reflect back is you, so you feel all self-congratulatory about how amazing you are because you don't really have anything to compare it to. If I was an immigrant I would think very seriously about whether I would get island fever after a while or not - because, like, everywhere you drive there's NZ. Y'know? I felt like I had island fever after about a week.


I'm so over the All Blacks. They're everywhere. No one I know in NZ cares about them. Some of the stuff they get up to (fake charities etc) is pretty bad, yet nothing seems to happen.

The farming/rural way of life, with all it's conservatism and resistance to change, is clearly still strong.

It was crazy the number of people I saw who were somehow connected to other people I knew or saw. It's like one degree of separation in NZ.

Someone I know was going for a job at a museum in Auckland...she had a good chance of getting it, she thought, not because of her skills but because she knew 2 of the people working there and they would put in a word for her. It's still who-you-know.

I met up with some old schoolmates in Auckland - 2 of whom had returned from years and years overseas. If it's any consolation to all of the expats here who've had trouble getting a foot in, both these Kiwis had a hard time adjusting when they moved back. They both found it very who-you-know and the standards, um, different, and found it hard to get work at the same level as they had had. Both have ended up making career changes. Both have struggled with the 'management culture' of NZ. Both have mixed feelings about being back.

Overall: Lovely place to visit, wouldn't want to live there.

ex-Kiwilass.
AGREE, AGREE AGREE WITH IT ALL

I'm just not sure I could leave here and live back in blighty, time will tell
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Old Sep 2nd 2012, 7:09 pm
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Default Re: One month in NZ - my impressions

Thanks for the feedback guys. I had a feeling you guys would agree with me

I would consider moving back if I wanted to 'drop out' of life - if that makes any sense. Like, done with the rat-race, buy a plot of land somewhere remote in NZ (I wouldn't live in the cities) and grow veggies and have a few chooks and just drop out, wear second-hand clothes and never go to the dentist for the rest of my days. But for the OH and I at this point in our lives there is nothing for us career wise there at all, on top of all the other problems....plus there is no push factor in Vancouver to make us want to leave. I'd also consider it if we ever became independently wealthy, cos then we could leave whenever we wanted. I think it's a whole different kettle of fish for people with money.

Col, would you consider somewhere else- Australia? Canada?

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Old Sep 2nd 2012, 10:08 pm
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Default Re: One month in NZ - my impressions

I agree with almost everything you said but I still love it here and am glad we moved here

And as for the cold - it's winter
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Old Sep 2nd 2012, 10:18 pm
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Default Re: One month in NZ - my impressions

Originally Posted by Assanah View Post
Happy to be back in Vancouver then

Your last sentence is a good summary of what I think about NZ.
Me too, I pop back now and then and it's always nice to visit and catch up, but.
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Old Sep 2nd 2012, 10:21 pm
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Default Re: One month in NZ - my impressions

Originally Posted by RobClubley View Post
I agree with almost everything you said but I still love it here and am glad we moved here

And as for the cold - it's winter
Then why is there no decent heating?
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Old Sep 2nd 2012, 10:25 pm
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Default Re: One month in NZ - my impressions

Originally Posted by Kiwilass View Post
Then why is there no decent heating?
There is in our house!
But for some reason Kiwis seem to think they don't need these modern things like proper heating and insulation.

Then again it cost us $60k to get our house up to scratch so that could be something to do with it.
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Old Sep 2nd 2012, 10:57 pm
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Default Re: One month in NZ - my impressions

Originally Posted by Kiwilass View Post
Overall: Lovely place to visit, wouldn't want to live there.
I found this such an interesting post . Recently we had Dannigirl ,who is also an expat Kiwi at the moment, whose pull to live back in NZ has meant she will return to where her heart is. I understand that pull .

Now we have Kiwilass , another Kiwi expat whose 'feel' for her homeland is very different . I agree with so many, if not all , of her points. She's moved away from the place mentally. I've never felt I truly understand or fit in with this place mentally.

Dannigirl remains a Kiwi at heart She will be happy back where she feels she belongs.
Kiwilass has evolved away from where she was brought up and is fine with where she settled.

Both these posters reflect so many of us eh?

Velly, velly intellesting.

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Old Sep 2nd 2012, 11:31 pm
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Default Re: One month in NZ - my impressions

Originally Posted by Kiwilass View Post
Then why is there no decent heating?
Because they don't see the value of it. Nor d/glazing.....which is now mandatory in new builds. Strange really re c/heating as we fitted 16 rads RETROSPECTIVELY (which is the most labour intensive but very easy to do in a new build) in 2005 and it was just a shade over $9k which I think bearing in mind it was very rare back then and pretty much only a couple of people fitting it is extremely reasonable. It is not stupid money to run either. I guess the average kiwi is made of stronger stuff than those of us who have just alighted from the steel bird.
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Old Sep 2nd 2012, 11:36 pm
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Default Re: One month in NZ - my impressions

Originally Posted by BEVS View Post
I found this such an interesting post . Recently we had Dannigirl ,who is also an expat Kiwi at the moment, whose pull to live back in NZ has meant she will return to where her heart is. I understand that pull .

Now we have Kiwilass , another Kiwi expat whose 'feel' for her homeland is very different . I agree with so many, if not all , of her points. She's moved away from the place mentally. I've never felt I truly understand or fit in with this place mentally.

Dannigirl remains a Kiwi at heart She will be happy back where she feels she belongs.
Kiwilass has evolved away from where she was brought up and is fine with where she settled.

Both these posters reflect so many of us eh?

Velly, velly intellesting.



Would you like to adjust your user-name?
I used to feel like 'I had arrived home' about how I felt comfortable here in NZ. I do not feel that anymore and feel like I do not belong. Not sure why I guess I have an urge for other, distant lands. Maybe I will never feel right anywhere. Certainly never felt at home in the UK. Having dual heritage may well scramble ones feelings. Ireland or France???

Having said that after much soul searching we will stay in NZ until our children are grown up and their formative education has ended.

During that period I know I will enjoy all the many, many positive aspects of life here in NZ and by contrast learn to live with the stuff I don't like in a more adult fashion.

Ner, so there.
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Old Sep 3rd 2012, 1:30 am
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Default Re: One month in NZ - my impressions

Originally Posted by BEVS View Post



Would you like to adjust your user-name?
Haha, yes, if that's possible

I think Dannigirl is a true child of NZ whereas I am more like NZ's barstard child, haha

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Old Sep 3rd 2012, 1:51 am
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Default Re: One month in NZ - my impressions

Originally Posted by Kiwilass View Post
Overall: Lovely place to visit, wouldn't want to live there.
Just how I feel about the Isle of Man.

I think those views tell us more about you and me than necessarily NZ or the Isle of Man though not that either are invalid in any way but just that many people in both those places obviously don't want to share those views or don't hold them to the degree we do...

Nothing beats actual experience of a place....
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