What were your reasons for emigrating?
To escape corruption, crime, pollution, unscrupulous politicians, terrorist threats etc. Wished to have a better life for my kids and myself.
Name: Atul Rege
Emigrated from: Bombay, India
Moved to: Hastings, Hawkes Bay
When did you arrive in NZ: August 2002
My Story Written: March 2005
Daily Commute Time: Only 5 minutes
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.
What differences have you noticed between your NZ town and your home town?
There are umpteen significant differences, don’t know where to begin. First of all, a politician in India (supposed to be a public servant) is an embodiment of corruption, who blatantly lives like a lord on ‘under the table’ money when half the country starves, nobody can touch him. Even multiple murderers, rapists etc are elected to the parliament. Here in NZ, a politician makes headlines for 4 consecutive days when he does not pay taxifare. This is the difference, the accountability of politicians. The other difference is the population, “dignity of labour” in NZ which is totally lacking in India, the clean, pollution free climate.
What do you like best about New Zealand?
The friendliness and warmth exhibited by the Kiwis. This must be one of the least racist countries in the world. In fact India is much more racist, with it’s caste system and class divide.
What don’t you like about New Zealand?
The only thing I do not like here is the system of handing monetary benefits or “dole” in an extravagant manner, to more often than not people who do not like hardwork and have no qualms about ripping off the system, at the cost of the honest hardworking taxpayer.
What do you miss from your home country?
My relatives and friends, nothing else.
How easily did you find work in New Zealand?
Took me only 3 months, my degree and experience was readily accepted here contrary to what some migrants say. I guess the most important thing a Kiwi employer wants are good communication skills which are sadly lacking in most migrants who complain about lack of employment opportunities.
How does your working life in New Zealand compare with your previous work experiences?
The major differences in NZ are: Your skills, knowledge and hardwork matter more than your relation with your boss, for you being recognised. As long as you do the work assigned to you properly and in time, its not necessary to impress your boss by staying later than he does. Your employer cannot threaten to unfairly remove you from work for not dancing to his tunes, for such an act is unlawful and taken seriously.
How does your standard of living in New Zealand compare with your previous country?
Economically, I was earning quite handsomely even when in India. We as a family are earning similar in NZ but are much happier here as there are things that money can’t buy, that we get in NZ but can only dream about in India
How does your quality of life now compare with your previous country?
Much better. My children are having a very relaxed life as the education system here stresses more on practical teaching than rote, medical system is much better, I am deriving more job satisfaction. Our health is better due to an almost pollution free climate.
Do you have any other personal experiences or observations that would be useful for people considering immigrating to New Zealand?
I would advise potential migrants to sharpen up their English (both written and verbal) before actually migrating, so that the process of getting a job is easier. Most of the unfortunate people who do not get jobs easily here almost always have shocking grammar and very poor communication skills. Difference in accent is natural is something that can be tackled with ease. Its the command over the English language that is important and the ability to use it effectively.
Also leave Mr. Ego back in India, since NZ offers “dignity of labour”, a plumber or an electrician can earn more than a Doctor or an engineer, an unheard of concept in India. So do not hesitate to take up a “cleaners” or an orchard workers job, no body cares here how you earn your living as long as its legal.