What were your reasons for leaving your home country:
Something different. Probably a change of pace. In Kuala Lumpur, work life was a real rat race. A lot depends on know who and not technical know how.
What were your reasons for choosing New Zealand:
An opportunity arose in New Zealand that I was able to take up. I’ve been on holidays here before and have always enjoyed it.
Emigrated from: Kuala Lumpar, Malaysia
Moved to: Dunedin City
When did you arrive in NZ: June 2004
My Story Written: October 2004
What differences have you noticed between your NZ town and your home town?
The main difference I found here was the slower pace at which everything is done. It’s very laid back here…. sometimes too laid back. Cost of living is definitely higher but disposable income is marginally better than in Malaysia. Other differences include food, culture and the weather. Upon arrival, I had to do the full driving test (not just the theory accorded to some other nations). I do accept that in general Asian drivers are terrible and the driving exams there are not exactly stringent like it is here. With this in mind, I expected drivers here were better but I find them to be the same and on some occasions, even worse than Asian drivers. However, this is just a general comment.
What do you like best about New Zealand?
The temperature! Coming from where it is 30 degrees all year long, you really appreciate the cold temperatures you get here. (I suppose it’s the opposite for people from here). The pace is excellent and I actually have time to relax after work (I normally come home by 6.30pm at the latest as compared to after 11pm every day in Malaysia). I also like the fact that I can get to anywhere in Dunedin within 15 minutes.
What don’t you like about New Zealand?
There seems to be some racial tensions around. To the people I meet around here I have been able to get along very well, but to the people on the streets, they still see and generalise my wife and I as Asians. We have been called names by people in cars passing by. I don’t put the blame entirely on their ignorance but a major portion of the blame should go to Asians who do not mix around and don’t even take the trouble to learn to communicate in English.
What do you miss from your home country?
FOOD!!!!! family and friends.
How easily did you find work in New Zealand?
I found work before I decided to come here. It just so happened that the company I work for was looking for someone with my experience and I was browsing the internet for overseas work.
How does your working life in New Zealand compare with your previous work experiences?
More time for myself.
What is your daily commute time:
How does your standard of living in New Zealand compare with your previous country?
Better in some ways but worse in others. There are pros and cons to everything you decide on in life. I don’t believe that there is a perfect solution to anything.
How does your quality of life now compare with your previous country?
Do you have any other personal experiences or observations that would be useful for people considering immigrating to New Zealand?
Migrating here has created other opportunities for my wife and I. I would not entirely say it has been better for us but neither would I say it hasn’t. What you lose out in your home country you gain elsewhere. It would depend primarily on your goals that you set out to achieve for migrating and to a certain extent, the country and life you are coming from. The biggest struggle would be change, especially if your culture is different from the western one. For anyone who is reading this, it is not meant to be a negative or positive view, but a realistic one. If you intend to migrate here, I do believe that it is important to learn the English language and when you are actually here, DO NOT just mix with people from your own country, culture or race as it may create misunderstanding and animosity. If you treat people with respect they will eventually return the favour and life would be much easier for you here.
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