Friday, January 29, 2010

Migrant Stories - My Work Experience So Far In New Zealand

This is a post taken from, it was written by a poster from Nelson, South Island. It is a first hand account from someone who is finding working in NZ a real challenge and is having problems with third world work ethics. The poster says that Kiwis do not like expats taking their jobs and there is preference for giving jobs to locals, despite them being less qualified than foreigners. Please take time to read some of the responses this post attracted from other people on the forum:

"I am finding working in NZ very tough and unfair. It has been a surprise as all the Kiwis I met abroad were 'good as gold'. I guess the dregs have been left behind. Then there are the rich foreigners who start business here and run it - unethically. It is like a cross between a third world country in work ethics and a first world one in work appearance.

Firstly I have found the Kiwis here dont seem to like foreigners taking well paid jobs.

I have found that the Kiwis get precedence even if they are not qualified and menial jobs are being left for foreigners who are qualified. It is ludicrous.

Then if you are lucky enough to get past all this and land a well-paid job that suits your qualifications, it wont last long - probably six months - before you are nudged out (life is made very difficult for you - bullying etc - until you resign) and a Kiwi takes your place!

I have seen unbelievable things happen such as rich foreigners running businesses here and employing poor foreigners at ten dollars an hour! If you dont like it, they get rid of you sharpish.

Then there is the instance where you are working for a firm and the manager is paying himself 46 dollars an hour which rises to 68 dollars an hour in 3 weeks and then he is difficult to track down as he is somewhere else and charging long hours at these rates. The owner of course knows nothing of this. People are being made redundant due to 'there not being enough funds' because the manager is using those funds to pay himself a fortune to do nothing.

Altogether and finally it makes one want to return whence one came which I am sure is their intention in the first instance."
 Other posters on the forum give their response:

I don't work out in the NZ world, but I have American friends who do and they seem to have the same bullying problems. I love the landscape here and the Kiwis that I have gotten to know personally, but as a whole I find the place a bit stand-offish--not overly friendly or open even after 3 years.  I would think that the bigger cites would be much more tolerant."
 "Dead in New Zealand
I have been here since 2007 August and after six years of being told "how welcome I would be, how desperately my skills were needed here, and that there was so much work to do I would be employed forever"....I moved myself and my cat here.

The abuse started the moment I got off the plane, and now 2.5 years later, I have been financially destroyed (I have not had a job here in 12 months), emotionally destroyed (I even had to find homes for my cats as I could no longer take care of them), I have not had a date with a woman since I got here (women here hate foreigners),  and almost everything that I brought with me I have been forced to throw away, give away, or sell for nothing.

Last time I checked there were almost 100 jobs with the government that they could not fill because they could find no Kiwis who were qualified, and yet I could not have any of these jobs because "I am too over qualified" / "I am a foreigner" - we would NEVER hire a foreigner / "I am an American" - we would NEVER hire an American - this from the Electrical Commission, a New Zealand Ministry.
There is a HUGE underground of under-employed or unemployed highly skilled migrants who's only dream now is of escaping New Zealand.  They are "frozen" out of their professions in New Zealand because they have committed the unforgivable sin of "knowing how to do their job!"

I never knew racism, bigotry, or prejustice until I came to New Zealand, which was 20 years behind the rest of the entire world in 2007.  Now, barely three years later New Zealand is 30 years behind the rest of the entire world - a Third World country very quickly heading backwards into the Stone Age.
I have finally admitted defeat - all my life I was "Mr. Positive".  I was the guy who could get the job done, and do it with a smile on my face, keeping everyone laughing, while doing a brilliant job - always under budget and ahead of schedule. 

I don't smile or laugh much anymore.
I used to pride myself on the fact that I could get along with anybody. But Kiwis have stopped me cold. They seem to be entirely different from any other culture I have ever encountered.  "Fantasy" is their way of life (the rest of us would calling it "lying").

I am only one of 400 people in the entire world with the levels of experience, expertise, qualifications, knowledge (etc., etc., blah, blah, blah) in IT, Corporate Governance, Service Management - I was told how invaluable I would be in New Zealand.  And because of my knowledge and years of real life experience - I have been treated like filth every single day since arriving in New Zealand.
Lying is so embedded into the New Zealand life style that every Kiwi that I spoke to for the six years PRIOR to moving to New Zealand told me THE SAME LIES!!!  That is truly astonishing, and why it took me 18 months after arriving in New Zealand to finally realize that "no, its NOT me - I am NOT doing anything wrong!"

I have gone back to rebuilding my international consulting business, and 2010 should be okay for me.  But staying in New Zealand?  Unless I can find income from overseas, and then go somewhere and find REAL WOMEN, and then back to New Zealand...I would really have to think hard about that. 
New Zealand is a good place to be when the next war starts, and god knows the Kiwis will not bother me (the good thing about Kiwis is that they want NOTHING to do with foreigners – or each other, for the matter) but its not the only place.
Good luck to you - I hope things get better for both of us.
Dead In New Zealand"
For more  Migrant Tales please click here
Today's posts - click here


  1. AnonymousMay 09, 2010

    John Wong:
    “Some of my friends who have been in New Zealand for 10 years have still not settled. They’re still trying to find the job they want. Some are unemployed, some underemployed.”

    Psychiatric doctor adds: “They come here with the illusion that New Zealand is a paradise, that their skills are welcome here and they can settle down with no difficulty and get employment.”

    In the absence of any national strategy, resettlement assistance can vary widely and is virtually non-existent outside the main centres.

  2. AnonymousMay 09, 2010

    This post and others in your great migrant tales series remind me of the woman's review of Air New Zealand at:

    Treated with every deferential courtesy imaginable as long as you pay the price and are still heading into the slaughterhouse. Then you actually get on board and can't leave. That's the cue. They drop the facade drops and the gloves come off, and you see the "real" New Zealand, which is not a courteous place at all. Here's a shovel - start digging, punk! You're here now.

  3. AnonymousJune 29, 2011

    wow, what a page, its all true. Its amazing that so many other people are in the same position as me. We still live in NZ but not sure why we have stayed for so long


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


Related Posts with Thumbnails