Let’s talk frankly about New Zealand

Let's talk frankly about New Zealand

Millions goes into marketing New Zealand as the ideal place for an international relocation for migrants. And so thousands of people emigrate here every year from abroad.

New Zealand has a lot going for it if you love nature, have a lot of money and can afford to cruise around on a yacht all day. For the majority of people who aren’t particularly outdoorsy, and who don’t have money for a yacht and a place in Queenstown, it’s a completely different story.

Let's talk frankly about New Zealand

So let’s get real here for a moment about things. There is a lot, and by that I mean A LOT about New Zealand that is either breaking down or is completely broken.

However such is the sensitivity of local people here, that if you ever call out any negative feedback on New Zealand, you are met with absolute and unremitting hostility. It’s actually pretty terrifying how people get so protective when you give any bad feedback on New Zealand.

I rarely talk about this publicly, I only think it and only discuss it with my partner and close friends. And yet they all seem to be having the same concerns and annoyances as me. So it seems I’m not imagining this.

Here is why you probably shouldn’t move to New Zealand any time soon.  And by New Zealand I mean Auckland, which is where 67% of new migrants end up when they move here, because that’s where the lionshare of jobs are.

Let's talk frankly about New Zealand

1. Expensive food

2. It’s expensive to rent. The housing shortage has meant that in parts of Auckland whole families are living in sheds and garages. 

3. It’s expensive to buy a houseDue to a severe housing shortagethe average price of houses will hit 1 million next year in Auckland.

4. Public transport that never comes on time

5. Overcrowded and congested, Auckland has terrible traffic

6.  Problems with domestic violence along with drug and alcohol-related violent crime.

7. A massive gap between the rich living in the north shore and those living on the streets in Auckland and other parts of the country. 

8. A chaotic and disorganised healthcare system with overstretched GPs and expensive medicines.

9. A comparatively low average wage compared to other OECD countries.

10. A widespread apathy to politics and world events. 

11. The paranoia and hypersensitivity of local people when ever anybody criticises New Zealand.

12.  The lack of access to a variety of consumables and every day items here. Shopping malls are tiny here if you compare them to other countries in the world.

13. Poorly made clothing and shoes that is sold for exhorbitant prices, sometimes with a mark up of 200% even though it is clearly low quality and made in China. Also shipping for online shopping is pretty expensive too. 

14. The anti-intellectualism of the media – the media only show stupid reality shows or fluffy news, there is no real current affairs program to talk about issues affecting every day people. There is no media outlet that properly holds anybody to account.

15. The holding up of sportspeople as gods. It’s all so boring and pointless, it doesn’t add anything of value to the world (Although to be fair that’s a western culture thing, not a NZ thing).

Let's talk frankly about New Zealand

16. Auckland is over populated and yet the rest of the country is practically empty- a planning or immigration fail.

17. The bi-culturalism of the country: this ignores the fact that Asians are now as numerous as Maori but are yet invisible in the media and in social policy. A more outwardly looking and international country would honour and recognise people from other parts of the world who come here and promote learning not just Te Reo but also all the other languages. Also Auckland has a more culturally diverse population than London and yet the thoughts and opinions of those people are rarely talked about anywhere in the media.

18. The massive amounts of corporate tax evasion in New Zealand. Also not surprising that privately owned media stayed largely quiet about that, given that the media is owned by rich  New Zealanders.

19. One in three New Zealand children are living in poverty. It’s just not right for a so-called developed country.

Let's talk frankly about New Zealand

20. The finger-pointing and blame-gaming of new migrants for numerous economic problems.  

21. The roads are really dangerous here and New Zealand has one of the worst rates for death in cars in the developed world.

And now for some of the good things: people are cool here mostly – in a laidback and fun way. The weather is mostly easy to handle. The nature is nice and pretty. And food is pretty good, just be prepared to pay eye-wateringly expensive prices for it.

What are your thoughts…am I being too harsh or is it a realistic assessment?



  1. OMG. Why do I think it sounds rather like modern day Australia? Or other so-called civilised countries in the 21st Century? You¹ve traveled a lot, surely NZ doesn¹t have all those faults to itself?

    From: Content Catnip Reply-To: Content Catnip Date: Sunday, 10 July 2016 at 7:33 PM To: Nancy Patton Subject: [New post] Let¹s talk frankly about New Zealand

    WordPress.com Athena posted: “Millions goes into marketing New Zealand as the ideal place for an international relocation for migrants. And so thousands of people emigrate here every year from abroad. New Zealand has a lot going for it if you love nature, have a lot of money and ca”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Nancy, yes I think I will add a disclaimer at the bottom, this article could equally be talking about Australia or Britain. Both of these places have an uncertain political climate and shaky economy and people who are not happy with the widening gap between the rich and the poor.

      Perhaps I have been too harsh here. Australia has plans in place for many things which New Zealand doesn’t though. Road accidents and road safety – nothing of the sort exists in New Zealand. Another thing that I didn’t mention is puppy farms, which is a big topic in Australia – nothing about it gets mentioned here but it’s certainly happening.
      I suppose though this is harsh, because we’re talking about a tiny economy in New Zealand in comparison to Australia. Perhaps living all over the place is a bad thing, it means you always have other places to compare to and it leads to dissatisfaction

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This all very sad, Athena. But I think many of us are beginning to get a sense of things breaking down, and of the widening gap between rich and poor, and the fact that the rich are able to cushion themselves almost entirely from any of the malfunctioning institutions that affect everyone else. I’m sure a lot of the votes for Brexit in the UK were really about this, and not about leaving Europe. Although certainly a fear of crowds of migrants arriving seems to afflict some communities. Unfortunately, with that vote came an instant rise in prices, and even more confusion. It did however reveal the dismal state of the British political system, which is no comfort at all. Thank you for this interesting post. Not easy to start whistle-blowing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes its true Tish. A lot of the discontent has to do with this ever widening gap between rich and poor. It seems like an old cliche but it has become more obvious I think with the release of the Panama papers which showed the extent of how much wealthy people can hide millions and not pay taxes. I feel terrible now that I’ve written this,it is really the same story as in Australia and Britain. Unfortunately for people here though, not much is really talked about in the media about how everything is breaking down. I don’t really know what the solution is either which probably adds to the problem rather than helping it at all 😦 A friend of mine has started a commune on the Isle of Bute perhaps we could all go and live there its based around the principles of Non Violent Communication 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Don’t feel terrible for speaking truthfully. Nothing can be improved if everyone pretends there’s nothing wrong. We know the consequences of that when writ only small in family relationships – undermining and destructive. I’m sure very many New Zealanders have it in them to create something afresh, or have already started as you suggest. Possibly old colonial ghosts/skeletons still need to be rooted out and disposed of. They can exercise a very toxic influence I always think. It comes of trying to make a new land like the old one, which is never going to work.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. That is very true. True for families as well yes, which are a microcosm of nations. I think you may be right about colonial skeletons or maybe insecurities which also make it hard for people to bring up the real issues or talk about them in a critical way here, so basically everything gets swept under the rug so to speak, in everyday conversation between people and also in the media. I believe though that it is apparent to people all of this, they just choose to pretend it’s not happening. Don’t get me wrong, New Zealand is almost painfully beautiful…like a paradise on earth in terms of nature, which makes it poignant that there is so much political and social things going on. Thanks as always for your insightful comments Tish xx

        Liked by 1 person

  3. You totally nailed it. And there are enough points in there that differentiate NZ’s problems from the rest of the world. The lack of an informed/intellectual media, the domestic violence, the blind nationalism and terrible driving. It’s the dichotomy between the beauty of the country, and NZ’s heritage of being laid back and egalitarian, compared with its current slide into being a quiet, unquestioning, right wing country.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Dan…I sort of regret writing it now, because it’s actually not as bad as many places throughout the world. I agree with you that the scary thing about it here is that laid back egalitarianism being manipulated and people are too indifferent here to actually do anything when the chips are down and when it matters. It is super easy for institutions to manipulate and control things here. For example the Auckland Transport system is a massive billion dollar money waster that is not held accountable by anyone, that includes having nowhere online for anyone to provide feedback to them…many institutions here are just crooked


    2. The overarching corruption is astonishing, when it comes to the wealthy having it easy in terms of tax evasion and capital gains tax. It’s very easy to stay rich here, but very very hard to get rich – the system is not set up for people to rise in wealth here sadly


    1. Hi Frank I feel for you so much here. It is so utterly upsetting what happened to you and I wish that the system was set up to help protect your child. It is absolutely absurd that you had to go through so much. I hope that things are getting back for you now, are they? My partner and I already live here, in NZ but we are considering moving to Europe, because laws are a lot more established there. It seems from your tale and many others that the law here is incredibly lax when it comes to anything from sexual abuse, rape and violence. I find that very disconcerting and I wouldt want to have a child here.


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