Monday, October 19, 2009

Migrant Tales From New Zealand

People often migrate because of the push and not the pull, migrants are  looking for a better quality of life, keen to establish a better work life balance, somewhere better to bring up the kids and to escape some of the problems of their own countries.

Very often the reality of life in New Zealand can be a terrible disappointment for them when they realise that they are worse off as a result. This is a representative cross section of the sorts of issues migrants face, they relate mostly to common problems such as lack of money, their qualifications and experience not being recognised, bullying, racism, poor living/working environment, lower education standard, finding it hard to get a job, etc. These are taken from various migrant sites around the web and are all recent:

Like Podlings - Sucked Dry
"Remember the film The Dark Crystal - well we all feel like podlings with their very essence sucked dry since coming to New Zealand in Dec 2006. We came here full of hope for this new chapter in our lives. I had researched the place (well, I thought I had - and I was a Uni Research Associate in the UK) and we had visited for 6 weeks. My wife got the job offer as Nurse, I am a postgrad with 14 years research experience - well you can guess where this is going. I've had enough now that I couldn't care less about the place anymore. We've basically lost all our money, extracted by robbing kiwis during our house renovations - god I hate this place, all smiles upfront and knifes outback. I apologise if this email is not particularly articulate and structured as I'm just blurting it all out.

We bought a house to renovate and found out the survey (if you can call it that) was half fake and made up - the guys gone bust and no comeback. New floors, new roof etc all unbudgeted for. Builders (if you can call them that) doing crap jobs, never returning, etc - on and on and on. All adding another 0 to the end when they hear my accent. Oh, and I am utterly p*ssed for forever getting asked eh?, what? uh? with my mild northern accent - are they taking the p*ss? My daughter has moved school 3 times now in 3 years because of bullying and the kids incapacity here to accept or even acknowledge anything different to their own kiwi crap is unbelievable. She's not going on the school camp as the Principal has now made the biggest school bully who has driven other kids to almost suicide, the SCHOOL LEADER. Just reward the bully would you, she now knows she untouchable, well done that person. The woman even had the nerve to say that camp was not optional it was essential - get real lady. I just said do your worst then. My wife's employer works her to the bone (DHB) and we have about one in 5 or 6 weekends together at the most (thats 8 per year!). I have now applied for over 50 jobs, 8 replies, no interviews, not even for shelf stacking (no experience). We've run out of money (well I have some, not a lot left in UK), unfinished house, can't get a job to get money to finish it. Can't make friends, I have to say I find locals the most insular, inward looking prejudiced bunch of d*cks I have ever laid my eyes on. Local place for local people with no sense of humour, post 8pm it's like 2012 has already been and gone, oh I forgot the usual p*ssheads are out and about drinking and driving with impunity.

We had work, friends, family and lived in a rather nice place in Cumbria but alas were lured by the EnZid propaganda trap, like all of us were really. My daughter had a health scare last year (appendix and some cyst type thing). Not ONE person here offered to help out, not bloody one. Says it all really. When I leave this place, and I WILL, maybe not next year or even the year after but I WILL, I will never ever look back."

2 Years On And It's Still Crap
Can't afford it.
Don't like it.
Kids hate it.
both work full time just to pay bills.
Cant afford price to get out of here.
nuff said....The wife hates it. as you know the system over here sucks, she feels like she cant do her job in the hospital and is just left to clean up after the lmc's. She is looked down on by the maori folk even she is trying to help deliver a baby she is still looked on as a 3rd class citizen. The wage for a rm is pants, and if she were to go lmc she would be putting her life on call 24/7... which wouldnt work as we have two kids.
I do days she does nights, we meet in a carpark in the mornings where the kids get out of my car and into hers she then takes them to school then bed. I come home she gets up and goes to work....
I know there are people in this world worse off than us but all we want is a little bit of a life...

UK Qualifications Not Recognised
I'm a professional female from the UK. With two lots of separate qualifications under my belt. I am a UK qualified paramedic, with plenty of experience, as well a fully qualified and experienced Early childcare educator. I've paid ridiculous amounts of money getting both sets of qualifications assessed by NZQA. (Not to mention the hours of gathering all the crazy information they expect you to have, to meet their crazy demands!!). I've been subjected to all sorts of racist comments and other down heartening experiences also since arriving here a few months ago, which as I'm sure you imagine has also left me somewhat upset as I all I wanted was a job. (And I was under the impression that both careers are on the skills shortage list, which made it that much easier for me to get my work visa).
Today I have received my long overdue results from NZQA just to be told that they have been dumbed down to a standard far below that of a Kiwi's?! I along with a kiwi have been through the standards and compared them and in the case of my paramedic qualifications, I more than exceed the requirements, and I am also more than equal to those of the ECE qualifications. .......I was taken aside after an "informal meeting" to discuss future vacancies and was told "We don't like pom's in our organisation, in fact we can't stand them, if I was you I would find work elsewhere"

Leaving NZ
I am married to a kiwi and also lived there for 2yrs. Even my husbands fills with dread at the thought of living there again!! He says he has outgrown it, which is the case for many NZers!
I also felt as if i was in gods waiting room. Good humour is not one of their strong points, and a fair few of them can be extremely narrow minded. I suppose being so isolated fromt he rest of the world might have somehting to do with it. OH says that once he had left NZ and seen what the rest of the world has to offer, he really couldnt live there again, no matter how pretty the view from your window is!

reply: Hi we've been in NZ about 21 months now. Its several things for us. The very high cost of living just to buy everyday groceries, also huge power bills (over 600 - 800 monthly) because we're still living in a rental that has no heating to speak of but is a five bedroom home, also no insulation so the place is like a bloody freezer in winter and an oven in summer.
The price of buying a house that is poorly built in terms of insulation, glazing & heating etc. etc. We feel the houses are just not worth what agents are asking for them. I swear its warmer outside right now than inside our house!
We love the scenery and living close to the beach and going fishing etc. We're just back from a few days skiing and that was great but again it cost a fortune. I agree with the previous posters who said that to do the outdoorsy quality of life thing is really only possible if you earn lots of money. Also the lack of proper health care facilities and the way you have to pay for absolutely everything unless of course its a sporting injury (ACC) and then no redundancy safety net or welfare state to speak of as well.
Our main worry though is the standard or lack thereof in education. Our two boys are in the latter stages of primary school and to get a reasonable high school education we would either have to be in the right catchment area in Wellington or send them both to residential private school. We can't afford to do the latter and don't want to be without our kids; we might as well have stayed in UK if we have to live in a city for the former. My kids rarely get homework and when they do it is ridiculously simple stuff. They seem to spend a lot of time on art, music, maori lang., sports, RI and minimal time on Maths, English & Science. There are only two teachers in the school with any science background at all, the rest are all arts. Our school is thought of as one of the best here in our area...Goodness knows why. Sorry to whinge on a bit but hard to stop once started.
We hope to return to UK so that our eldest can still retrieve some knowledge from the last year of Primary education in Scotland.
Not so simple though as they're are not any suitable jobs in my husband's field available right now unless we're willing to go to London or Manchester. We really want to be somewhere in Scotland again. So here's hoping a good opportunity comes up in the next couple of month

reply: I have only been here 6 months....not long I know. My hubby came out around 6/7 months before me. I had to stay in the UK to sort out our house over there. I said before we came we need to give it a minimum for 12 months before we made any decision but I think we've made up our minds.

I have to be totally honest and say I don't really miss my family and friends that much. For us it's financial and work reasons. We knew before we came we would be worse off financially but hoped the "improvement" in our lifestyle would make up for it. As you say you need money to achieve that. I have found the cost of living shockingly high, add that to the shockingly low wages it doesn't make good sense to stay. Yes the views are fantastic, I drive the kids to school and think wow look at that but at the end of the day, (like lots of people said to me before we came) views don't pay the bills. Our work life balance has also suffered greatly. We spend less time together as a family than we did in the UK.

Lots of people are telling me to give it more time but I think I could give it all the time in the world but the two main things (work & money) will not improve. I could go on and on but don't want to be a whinge!!

We are looking into the possiblility of getting our old jobs back.....fingers crossed if everything goes OK we will be moving back towards the end of the year/early next year.

Economic Suicide
This wasn't supposed to we are POOR

"We've been here for almost 18 months now.
We have a similar sized mortgage to the one we left in the uk (very small)
We are now both back in the jobs we were doing before we left the uk.
We have no expensive hobbies or extravigant toys.
We both run a car each (not gas guzzlers)
We now have NO spare money at all once the bills are paid and essentials (food) are payed for.
In the uk we had a disposable income at the end of every month that allowed
us to enjoy the occasional tirip out with the family, or a short holiday break at bank hioliday times, we could eat out every now and again,
on top of the cars i also ran 2 motorbikes, We bought new clothes when we needed to or when we saw something nice.
None of the above were done to excessive levels just occasionally.
We now count every penny....."

"NZ is NOT a bed of roses and nice scenery doesnt pay the bills. There are lots of lovely places in NZ but at the moment i cant afford the petrol to go and see them. You WILL earn a LOT LESS down here and the cost of living is equal if not higher than that of the uk."

"Coming to New Zealand has been economic suicide for us. I have asked before, but still don't understand how Kiwi's manage to run the toys you see on the beach and on the roads.I simply don't understand how they do it on the average NZ income."

NZ 'Mis-Sold', Migrant Felt Misled 
"Feeling a little disillusioned" "
We literally had 2 weeks to sort out accommodation and transport etc...and I feel we've made some bad choices already regarding our location. I dream't of a little villa in the country and we've found ourselves on a massive housing estate with little or no community spirit to be found.
We are really concerned with how expensive just about everything is and are worrying about our financial situation here. Back at home in the UK, I felt that I'd put a lot of research into emigrating through media and the internet and I really feel like we've been led astray. I purchased many books, one of which is entitled " Where to live in Auckland'. According to My husbands wages we fall into a population profile of 'Elite Professionals' and 'Comfortable and Secure" however I feel it couldn't be further than the truth!!!
It really isn't my intention to come over as a whinging pom, I'm just really worried and concerned that things here aren't quite as we'd expected or hoped.
We have managed to do some sightseeing and NZ is without any doubt a beautiful country and the people very helpful and friendly."

Struggling To Buy 
Is anyone else struggling to find anything to buy??

We have been looking for over 6months and all the houses are overpriced cr*p!!  (looking on the hibiscus coast.)

even the ones that are reasonable are so overpriced I refuse to spend the next 25years working my **** off paying for it!!

i can't believe we have spent so much money getting here, we lost everything in the uk housing crash, have a tiny deposit, but we do have good well paid jobs but still can't find anything that i want to bring kids up in, can afford and would be happy that we all wouldnt get ill in!!

Impossible Job Market
".....11 months ago every thing changed. I was marched in to an office at work and "dis-established" as they call it here (made redundant). A shocking experience but I tried not to dwell upon it. Since then I have made every effort I could to find new work. Initially I thought I could find work quickly but I have found the IT employment market to be impossible. There is deep recession in the job market here and some very dodgy practices such as:
  • false adverts (extremely common),
  • people interviewing simply to gather information from me about my former employer,
  • Interviewing for non-existant jobs
  • Agents Interviewing for vacancies which had knowingly already stbeen filled.
  • changing job descriptions as a means to exclude applicants,
  • poor pay,
  • pathetically short contracts
  • project withdrawals,
  • interviewing for projects which haven't been approved.
  • withdrawing the vacancy after being told I got the job.
  • Impossible sets of technical requirements. Bizarre combinations of tools which surely only a few people anywhere may have encountered.
  • Being excluded from applying because I once worked for a company they did not like. (this happened this week)
    A total in-ability to act quickly and decisively about projects and people.

Answers to the question 'Why are you leaving NZ?'
  • Leaving when I can (14 months!) because:Not as progressive politically and socially as I had thought it would be. Can't make enough money in my profession
    Nothing here feels like quality (I have this sense of everything being cheap and unsturdy, no matter how much I pay for something)
  • Hi from Sydney. We left Wellington 2 months ago, mainly because of poor job prospects. Other frustrating points: poor ratio of income to costs, lack of variety and low quality of goods. No city-buzz (although spectacular scenery to make-up for it).
  • In this current climate I wouldn't advice anyone to leave a stable job to come here, unemployment has gone from 12000 to 67000 they think it may have slowed down but more jobs could still be lost, I got made redundant in April and have been unsuccessful in finding work, have applied for over 100 jobs with no luck, it is not helping with the Kiwi first moto, although we have been here for 4yrs, intigrated into the local community, we are still immigrants..........Why do we stay????????The kids love it, but decisions have to be made, although I love NZ I would go home tomorrow.
  • It was a huge financial struggle living in NZ, job was not as decribed and totally mind numbing and boring....imagine if you can running around after your manager all day asking for something to do.... went back to the UK in 07 but couldn't settle there either and considered moving back to NZ. Oct 08 landed a job in Perth, Australia....great job, great people, great climate, huge 4 bed house with a pool and the ability to save....Do miss the scenery though.
Time to Leave
Auckland is a desperate place to find work. I've applied for countless jobs. Some, I have 110% confidence I could do well. Others, I could turn my hand to easily. I've been told 5 times I got the job only for the employer to withdraw the vacancy or project. I work hard at finding work. I have many, versions of my CV. I've sought professional help with the CV and interviewing. I spend every day looking for work and find almost nothing to be positive about. My confidence in this job market is shattered. Even if I get a job now I cannot picture myself being happy, valued, confident and progressing here. The situation has by now, affected my personal confidence and I find the length of my unemployment an embarrassment and an issue in itself.

New Zealand is a lovely place but if you cannot earn a living, what is the point ? I feel lost and isolated here. I think I have made a huge life changing mistake coming here. I spend most days alone trying to grind out some opportunity for work. Its a miserable depressing existence. Also, we are gradually losing everything we have. Living off money we brought here for a house. Its a sickening feeling. Total financial free-fall and I have no way to reverse it except to consider leaving.

I know things are bad in the UK right now but looking at job sites there, I feel like a starving man peering through a restaurant window. I see opportunities which simply don't exist here. I see opportunity and a means to to carry on. I see friends and family I don't see here. I see potential and a better "life" than I have here in this place. I've never given up on anything in my entire life, ever. But with the annual christmas employment slump on the horizon (usually 4 months long) I am now days or weeks away from buying a ticket out of here."

'People Leaving NZ. What's The Deal?' Answers
  • It's very hard to be a returning kiwi especially with experience and qualifications. It's difficult to get 'a job' let alone something in your field...even harder if you're over 30. The average wage is low (especially if you're female), cost of living high and kiwis are over taxed. The country has been mis-managed for some years (over spending, poor immigration, fraud) with very little to show for it. It's also become increasingly more violent (murder, rape, child abuse, domestic violence). I would advise anyone thinking about returning to do their homework seriously! There are not many opportunities and it can be very closed shop, insular and nepotistic so if you've been away for a while it's tough. The safe thing to do would be line up a job (if you can) before making any move.
  • You may not want to hear this as an potential emigrating expat but many leave New Zealand because there are better job opportunities outside of the country. Higher Salaries and faster career prospects entice people off the island.
  • I've heard that kiwis keep leaving new zealand because it is the most boring place on earth. there is nothing to do but go walking, or listen to crowded house records. there is no culture, jobs, excitement.

    No comments:

    Post a Comment

    Please leave your message here for review.
    In order to post comments, please make sure JavaScript and Cookies are enabled.


    Related Posts with Thumbnails