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Thread: A white American nurse's Kiwi migration experience

  1. #1
    wildgoose is offline Banned
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    Feb 2009

    Default A white American nurse's Kiwi migration experience

    A white American registered nurse's Kiwi migration experience from another forum, Expat Exposed :: View topic - EXPLORE: Is NZ's immigration drive ethical?

    This is her Kiwi experience...

    In my experience the immigration practices are not ethical because there is a serious disconnect between how NZ is portrayed by Kiwis and their government versus reality.

    I am a registered nurse with a bachelors degree in nursing and graduate studies in computer science. I came here 4-years ago with a job, strong work experience and money in my pocket. I came to NZ eager and ready to experience new things. I had done my research and felt that I had a good base of NZ history, politics and current affairs.

    I am very much needed in this country. When I came, I was 36, educated, healthy and highly skilled. I am also white and speak English just like they do in the movies. It would seem that I was everything NZ was looking for...

    I landed in Christchurch and met a lovely Austrlain couple on the shuttle to get my rental car. Later, I ran into them in Cathedral Square and they invited me to join them for dinner. I did and to keep it short, I enjoyed myself until they started with the racist talk. I was in shock. I was raised among some real racists and can say that some people in my family are racist, but they would never discuss their views in a restaurant with a stranger. I immediately thought "Thank God they are Australian." The experience was repeated about a week later in a Dunedin taxi by an old white Kiwi guy.

    These two experiences are two of my clearest memories of my first weeks in NZ. Nobody had prepared me for this or the dozens of episodes since. I now live in Auckland and instead of Maoris, the target is the "Asians." Nobody told me that racism was a problem and that it went mostly unchallenged. I have grown used to it even at work.


    Wow! At first, I loved it, but it gets old after about a million times. I live here and have for several years. First of all, did I ask you? And secondly, have you been there?

    The Fair Go
    Only if you are a white Kiwi. Society is more demarcated than a bleached-blonde's roots. Enough said.

    A national sport more popular than rugby. The euphemism for this is "Tall Poppy Syndrome." This subtle and systemic bullying has affected me most of all. It is a national shame. There is constant support of the status quo and pressure to conform and to never ever mention the elephant in the living room. Any reference to any problem or injustice is dismissed as whingeing or moaning.

    Last week ADHB nurses were paid their backpay: it goes back until 1 January and is a hefty sum for me. I did not receive mine and called payroll to ask why and was told that non-union nurses would be paid out "sometime in the new year." The Department of Labour was not helpful even though it is clearly wrong and in violation of law. I could tell you a millions stories, but to summarize, only some people must obey the law sometimes.

    Social Injustice
    As a potential immigrant, you are not told that housing is extremely expensive, of low quality, and poorly insulated, renters are exploited by investors and there are no minimum standards for housing. One of the first houses I looked to rent in Auckland had a 1 meter by 1 meter hole in the lounge floor; you could see the ground through the hole. It was so ghetto I was laughing out loud. It was in one of Auckland's better suburbs and the rent was high as. I have since learned that slum-lording is a respectable thing to do in NZ and one should never moan about the price and quality of housing or the lack of integrity of the government by allowing people to exploit others.

    Also, just because immigrants are invited, it doesn't mean you are wanted. If you don't like it here either leave or quit moaning.

    I did not come to NZ to get rich. I believe that a strong social welfare system is a positive. But I also did not expect there to be such social inequality. I can not afford to live decently in Auckland (as a nurse, salaries are set nationally) yet as my partner is Asian, I don't feel safe anywhere else but central Auckland. My partner may not work here (another issue altogether) and I support two people on my $56,000 salary with no tax relief. Not easy considering our rent (to live in a house with 5 others) is $10,000 per year.

    Many of the Kiwis I know are far from poor, but they are all scamming the IRD. It's no secret and everyone is doing it. I decided to see how to go about reporting it (just out of interest, no intention of doing so) there is no phone number or web address to do so. I have a large tax bill because of income I made in the US and honestly reported my refund. I have been labelled a fool.

    I think New Zealand needs to admit that there are problems and take action or stop immigration. There is not equal opportunity availabe here, racism is a big problem and there is no support for immigrants (because there are no problems here). I live here and I am staying. I have been a cash cow for NZ and will see return or die. I will not shut up or leave and I will not pretend this is Utopia. I also think this site is part of the solution. I felt so alone for so long and really wondered what was wrong with me. I lost confidence in myself and my skills because I had to dummy down or face ridicule.

  2. #2
    1happywoman's Avatar
    1happywoman is offline Senior Member
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    Apr 2008
    Kawakawa, NZ, formerly Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
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    Well, this certainly caught my eye, seeing as I'm a white American nurse that migrated here. I have to agree to some of what she says, but I'm not as negative as this person, overall. She sounds terribly bitter. I do agree that there is some "dumbing down" when coming here. I've found that some things I did routinely as a nurse in the US are simply not done here. The hardest thing for me here is the absolute, total resistance to change! I'm in my 50's and was totally shocked to come here and find things done the way I did them when I was a student nurse in the '70's. I could go on and did, but deleted it. Like that writer, I'm here and I'm staying. I have invested too much time and money to go back to the states to live, now.
    Arrived in Auckland on August 6, 2008.Now live in Kawakawa with my kiwi partner.
    I just started working at Bay of Islands Hospital at the beginning of December 2009.
    Work permit renewed and good until June 2010
    EOI submitted and selected, case manager assigned and ITA received. PR application submitted 28/08/09
    approved in principle 26/01/10, PR granted and received 19/03/10

  3. #3
    arian is offline Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Cool So thats why !!

    Now I understand why I have to do CAP course. I graduated as master in nursing in 2006 in Belgium and follow the research and everything. I was shocked I have to do CAP's but if you say nursing there is like it was here 50 years ago, than it is all right. hahaha
    Cant wait to see it. But I dont think we stay, I think Australia is an better idea.
    Even with the wild animals and people. :)

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