New Zealand's not perfect, but nowhere is
As another ex-pat, I read Derek Seymour's recent article, NZ a great place to live? Yeah, right, which seemed a bit of a rant to be frank.
As a young country, there is a wealth of opportunity to shape our future in New Zealand, we are not weighed down by thousands of years of ingrained preconceptions and cultural stereotypes.
I have been here seven years and had three kids born as Kiwis.
New Zealand is not perfect; nowhere is. There are good points and bad.
Some of the downsides include:
1. The driving. It is painfully bad.
2. Houses. What do you call Kiwi insulation? Curtains. The amount of money we waste through lack of insulation is painful. Plus crappy wiring, no central heating, etc.
3. The cronyism, grandstanding, bureaucracy and incompetence that is rife throughout the civil service. How many acronyms can we have for the Christchurch rebuild? CERA/CCC/EQC/EQR/ABC/CNN/BBC etc.
4. The tax system. It is so heavily skewed to favour the rich. No capital gains and the lowest top tax band in the OECD. The rich get richer and the rest of us work harder.
5. The 'we punch above our weight' cliche. If everyone punched their weight then China would run the world. Change the record - it's boring.
6. The lack of any punishment for drink drivers. New Zealand should enforce a minimum 12-month ban for a first offence. On the second offence, seize the car and give an 18-month ban. On the third offence they driver should get one month in jail. No questions.
7. The total inability of most Kiwis to take any criticism.
8. The Treaty of Waitangi. Get over it and move forward as one country.
9. The cost of living. Can someone explain to me how it is cheaper to buy New Zealand milk/wine/lamb on the other side of the world than it is here?
But, on the other hand:
1. Space. You are truly blessed in this country.
2. Climate. I love the climate here and its changeable nature. Plus no snakes/spiders/sharks like Aussie!
3. Loyalty. Kiwis can be difficult to get to know, but once you guys have decided to be mates with someone, you will move heaven and earth to help a mate in a tight spot. I love this.
4. Initiative. Kiwis like to get stuck in. This can cause problems sometimes but the positive attitude is refreshing.
5. Kiwis generally aren't materialistic. There isn't the same obsession with keeping up with everyone else as there can be other countries. Kiwis are generally happy with their lot if they have a car, a roof over their heads and a fishing rod (sorry for stereotype).
6. Lifestyle. It's all about the beach baby! Sailing/surfing/fishing/game of touch - so much better than Xbox and DVDs!
7. Safety. Although New Zealand has a high murder rate per capita, there doesn't seem to be the random violence here, and muggings are virtually unheard of.
8. The geography. It's a bloody stunning country, let's be honest. From the geothermal central North Island to the Southern Alps - breathtaking. I love the boat trip between the islands.
9. Lack of scammers. You don't have to worry about ID theft, credit card fraud, etc.
I miss home and family, but I don't plan on leaving New Zealand anytime soon.
Don't mock the mistakes of other bigger and older countries, learn from them and don't repeat them.
More power to you New Zealand.
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