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Thread: "What shocks foreigners about living in New Zealand long-term?"

  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Asteger View Post
    There have been some very nice posts on places to live and good locations here and there in NZ, but in one comment quite a nice and helpful member remarked that less desirable neighbourhoods had a more multi-cultural mix of people but that you would probably not want them as neighbours if possible. At best it was a clumsy juxtaposition of ideas which I think wouldn't have occured if there was more thought given to the issues.
    I find this a bit tricky. In NZ, the correlation between race/skin colour and your health, wealth and education is staggering. All of the most deprived areas are overwhelmingly inhabited by people of Maori/Polynesian heritage. The most deprived schools (Decile 1) have an almost exclusive body of dark skinned students. The health of Maori and Polynesians is worse than that of white and Asian people, they provide most of the prison population, and in every aspect of modern life, they do worse than people of other ethnicities.

    Pointing this out is stating something that, in my opinion, needs to be done, but with care and the right implications. Do I think this is fair? Obviously not. Would I send my child to a Decile 1 school? No. Not because of the skin colour itself, but the implications that poverty has for the student body and what it would mean for my white skinned child.

    This correlation between poverty and ethnicity is largely affecting Maori and people of Polynesian descent, not to so much Asian (as in Chinese, for example, but let's face it, that could be anyone looking vaguely Asian), who are doing better financially and education wise. The stereotyping and racism levelled at that 'group' is quite different.

  2. #22
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    Thanks for the comments, dharder. Would be interested to hear from others on this, esp people of Maori or Pasifika descent, too.

    Getting back to the original idea of the thread - what shocks 'foreigners' - I've had another thought regarding cultural/race issues and attitudes towards 'Asians' in NZ. Several people have said how they feel it's okay or tolerable for them, several self-identified Asians. However, I wonder to what extent perceptions can be influenced by country of origin, if in fact the people who have written were born outside of NZ. In the EAsian country where where I currently live, I (white fellow) seem to be treated differently than my wife (Indonesian, SE Asian appearance). We could list several examples. But, anyway, I am pretty confident that NZ would fare better in this regard, while I'm not sure how self-aware people from here are of how things are and so could be put off by something in NZ, in part due to a lack of perspective of their home context. In contrast, I've lived in a SE country too which likes to advertise itself as a tolerant, mixed place, but hardly seems so at all. I imagine many immigrants to NZ from there would feel that the NZ is a complete breeze in comparison.

    Quote Originally Posted by dharder View Post
    Most of these people would probably not voice these sort of opinions directly to anyone not white.

  3. #23
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    people of Maori or Pasifika descent
    You aren't likely to see any/many of them here, because they don't need to go through the NZ immigration process.

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by JandM View Post
    You aren't likely to see any/many of them here, because they don't need to go through the NZ immigration process.
    I imagined the same. However, I know it's different, but there is a system for Pasifika too I gather, and there must be some redtape so not a complete long shot.

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Asteger View Post
    I imagined the same. However, I know it's different, but there is a system for Pasifika too I gather, and there must be some redtape so not a complete long shot.
    I have no numbers, but would imagine that the majority affected by this are not recent immigrants. And because if they are, they are most likely coming as part of an already living here family, I'd expect them to get information from those family units. I cannot remember in my time on this forum any immigrants with a Maori or otherwise Polynesian background.

    But always worth a shot, and I'd be keen to hear of those experiences, too!

  6. #26
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    I must agree that there is the problem of casual racism here in NZ. It's easy to find friends and surround yourself with people who aren't this way but I've found myself in a few uncomfortable conversations with people I barely know. I must say, it hasn't always been Kiwis.

    As to the comments on this forum about Māori and Pasifika people, I don't think all of them are necessarily related to school decile. I've found quite a few of them racist. Sometimes they're called out by others. Sometimes not.

    There have been immigrants married to Māori on this forum. A few years ago there was a person of Māori and Pasifika descent who had a lot of interesting things to say about racism and poverty in NZ. I had a brief search but can't find that thread at the moment. It's worth having a search as there have been some quite good conversations here about this topic .

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Asteger View Post
    "Most surprising to foreigner is the average Kiwi's perception of Asian people, which can go from dismissive and stereotyped at best, to downright racist at worst."

    No comments on this so far?
    After living in NZ for a year I find this is sadly true. The racism here is not the nasty/aggressive type that you see in Youtube videos of Australians, but more subtle and just plain ignorant rather than nasty. Whenever there is a car crash reported on the news, people at work say it must have been an Asian driver - things like that. They don't realise they are being offensive.

  8. #28
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    1. I don't get what the big deal is about public transport. IMO it's really not that bad. The thing that stands out is the lack of after-hours trains, and no late-night buses on public holidays, but generally PT is fine!! You can't expect one bus per minute in a city with only 0.25mil people.
    2. I've not actually had an issue with internet speeds, although I find home internet on the dear side. Don't get this one either - maybe it's more relevant to people living out in the sticks?
    3. Yes, everything is far too expensive. Our weekly shop is probably about 30% more than what we'd pay back in the UK, although I think rent is relatively cheap (10 mins from Welly CBD is a damn-sight cheaper than the same from London central...).
    4. Don't get this one either - I find administration etc. to be pretty much the same as in the UK. I never would've noted any difference at all, personally, but I think this really just comes from having a smaller population.
    5. THIS. I saw somebody wrote earlier that they barely knew anybody living in uninsulated housing...I don't know anybody living in INSULATED housing. What I find really hard to understand is definitely the lack of a) double-glazing and b) central heating/built-in radiators. NZ isn't a cold country but the lack of housing infrastructure makes it worse than a UK winter, which, despite snow and sub-zero temperatures, I never noticed as being cold. We dread NZ winters because it's almost 6 months of being cold in your own home or forking out $300p/m for plug-in heaters. Maybe this is more of an issue for renters, though?
    6. I'm not sure about this, I think it's probably the same as anywhere else. As somebody previously said, if you grow up and live in the same place you have much less need to make friends. In some countries, foreigners are rare so they make friends extremely easily, but NZ has so much immigration that there's no longer any 'novelty' on being a foreigner. I don't think NZ is inherently harder though.
    7. I haven't noticed this except perhaps in relation to Aus. I find that many Kiwis have this thing about going to Aus 'where it's better', but really it's no better or worse than here: just different. I think any 'inferiority complex' people are noting is probably, again, just a normal mentality, for example when teenagers say 'I am NEVER living in my hometown' because they see it as boring, while many people are more than happy to live there.

    Everything is relative.

  9. #29
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    I've been living in NZ for about a year now and just took the train for the first time about a week ago. I was surprised at how easy and clean it was. I've taken the bus from Auckland to other cities in NZ before and thought it was simple and easy. So I would disagree with #1 here. If you're looking for public transport in Auckland, I'd also check out the AT Card and the AT Transport application for smart phones -- https://lifeinnz365.com/2016/08/07/d...land-by-train/.

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oregonkiwi View Post
    There's a big difference between "insulated" and "properly insulated"
    THIS ^^^
    I lived in Christchurch for 5 years and almost every house I went into was not properly insulated. Very cold! Of course the newer homes and the more expensive homes were warm enough.

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