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Thread: Caught this on TV1: "New Zealand's friendly image trashed"

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    KiwiHopeful's Avatar
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    Default Caught this on TV1: "New Zealand's friendly image trashed"

    New Zealand's image trashed by migrants | TRAVEL | NEWS | tvnz.co.nz

    New Zealand is marketed overseas as a country offering an idyllic lifestyle - an ideal place to bring up a family.

    Few would argue that a key to our future economic growth lies with importing skilled workers from overseas, and the New Zealand immigration service works hard to attract such people.

    But now a group of immigrants is challenging that image.

    They say they were lured here with false promises, and describe New Zealand as bigoted, intolerant and uncivilised.

    Christchurch is internationally-known as the Garden City and it is a popular choice for migrants.

    To help people through the process, Mike and Tammy Bell founded Move2NZ.

    "A small difficulty in a faraway place can become huge if you got no support network of friends or family, so we try and provide that support network," says Mike Bell.

    They also make sure there are regular meetings with the new arrivals.

    Many migrants who come to New Zealand do agree with the government about New Zealand being a great place for migrants.

    "We pretty much had an idea of what things would be like and things are like we expected them to be," says a female migrant.

    "The best choice we ever made in our lives really," says one English bloke.

    But other migrants like American Agness Kaku are far from positive and she has set up a rival website pointing out the negatives.

    "People are very hurt, they're very bitter, they've lost a lot of money - some people have experienced problems with their children and relationship and they need a place to vent," says Kaku, who started the website Expat Exposed: Behind the Hype in New Zealand.

    And vent they do, the website condemning their new country.

    Among some of the things said on the website, New Zealand is accused of having a lack of tolerance for others, a lack of civility in every area of life, of being a bigoted place, insular, intolerant, racist, and finally riddled with social, economic and environmental problems.

    "It just makes you very angry and I think it'll make New Zealanders very angry. It's rude," says Bell.

    Agness Kaku says she does feel bad if Kiwis are offended by the website, but says if they are really offended they probably should not read it.

    But potential migrants will read it and they are important to New Zealand, according to the Department of Labour, worth in fact $3.3 billion to the economy as of last year.

    And the government works hard to make New Zealand an attractive proposition, but the website accuses the government of false advertising - wooing migrants with an aggressive immigration campaign that successfully created an image of New Zealand as a progressive nation.

    But many say 'the image is false, the advertisement campaign a blatant propaganda, and what it does to many people a crying shame', which are harsh words for a potential migrant to read.

    So if migrants are unhappy why can they not just leave New Zealand and go back home?

    "I think it's very difficult to leave when you've spent $20,000 and I mean US dollars, shipping all your worldly belongings all the way here, when you've probably put two or three years worth of savings into this and you can't find a job so nothing's coming in," says Kaku.

    "It's like a guest coming into your home and complaining about the cup of tea you just gave them or breaking up the place," says Bell.

    The Department of Labour says 90% of migrants surveyed are satisfied and would recommend New Zealand as a place to live.

    Mike Bell's advice is basically that all potential migrants do their homework, so when you get to New Zealand, you actually want to stay in the country.
    If you click over to the site, you'll see that there's actually more to the story than TV1 presented. There's a history between the owners of the two websites the story mentions.

    I had a big problem with this quote though: "It's like a guest coming into your home and complaining about the cup of tea you just gave them or breaking up the place," says Bell.

    As we migrants know, that cup of tea costs us quite a bit, and to quote Rory Breaker from one of my favorite movies: "If the milk turns out to be sour, I ain't the kinda pussy to drink it."
    EOI Submitted: July 20, 2006
    EOI Selected: August 2, 2006
    ITA Received: October 12, 2006
    ITA Submitted: February 2, 2007
    Migrant Levy Paid & Visas Shipped: June 6, 2007
    Arrived in NZ: July 26th, 2007
    Leaving NZ: June 1st, 2008

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    They had an interview with the woman from the website this morning on breakfast.

    I give Pippa credit--she didn't try to sensationalize the issue and sounded like she really wanted to know what the woman's concerns were.

    I wish she had focused more on the employment/underemployment issue rather than the racism issue, though.
    EOI Submitted: July 20, 2006
    EOI Selected: August 2, 2006
    ITA Received: October 12, 2006
    ITA Submitted: February 2, 2007
    Migrant Levy Paid & Visas Shipped: June 6, 2007
    Arrived in NZ: July 26th, 2007
    Leaving NZ: June 1st, 2008

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    Okay, last update on this story ...

    They read some viewer response and according to the hosts it was slightly more than half who agreed with the idea that NZ isn't a great place for migrants and that racism is a problem.

    The other half seemed to be divided into two categories. The first is typified by this reponse, which I'll try my best to quote from memory: "Ching Chongs who don't like it here should go back to China."

    The second half of the half were, 'If you come from Zimbabwe (or South Africa, or some other third-world country) NZ is great!'

    So it seems that the majority of Kiwis may be good, sensible people ... of course, they're probably packing their things for Oz. :sigh:
    EOI Submitted: July 20, 2006
    EOI Selected: August 2, 2006
    ITA Received: October 12, 2006
    ITA Submitted: February 2, 2007
    Migrant Levy Paid & Visas Shipped: June 6, 2007
    Arrived in NZ: July 26th, 2007
    Leaving NZ: June 1st, 2008

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    I think the NZ idyllic lifestyle doesn't really exist any more, as much as the Govt would like to think otherwise. They are promoting what NZ used to be, rather than what it is now.

    NZ is still a great place to live, but it does have social, and various other issues. I know this site is always accused of making everything seem rosey (although I don't know why, everyone gives personal opinions, not lines from a script!) but setting up a site to purely bash NZ is a bit of a strange move. People should concentrate on the balanced opinions, not just the good, not just the bad. Whatever you do, most importantly you should make up your own mind.

    I also find it interesting that she is American. It does seem Americans have the biggest problems settling in NZ for whatever reason. Is the cultural gap that big? I know there is racism in NZ, but just look at some of the southern states in the US - race hate heaven!

    I think NZ is a good option if you're really and truely fed up of life in your home country. On the flip side, it's probably the worst place you can go if you just fancy a change. I personally think life is quite hard in NZ, but the good things it has to offer make up for it.
    Taffy

    The greatest mistake you can make in life is to be continually fearing you will make one.

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    Taffy, I couldn't agree more.

    It's been an interesting dust-up, to say the least!

    I think one thing people who haven't spent their entire lives in America don't understand is that it really is a deeply divided country. There's lots of violent crime, racism, poverty, etc. etc. etc. *but* those things all go together. American society is structured very, very well to keep the poor as isolated as possible. Visit any American city and its pretty clear where you should and shouldn't go.

    For example, my mother lived in St. Louis, which has one of the highest murder rates in the country. Did I ever feel unsafe there? Only once, when I had to drop my brother off at the bus station. My mother isn't well-off by American standards and her neighborhood wasn't that nice, but it was nice enough. It was far enough away from the housing projects (which have since been torn down and replaced with condos, because they were near the city center and so sitting one some valuable real estate).

    On my way out to St. Louis, I used to drive through Ohio. I believe it's in Columbus where the housing project is actually separated from the rest of the city by an 8 lane highway.

    East St. Louis, probably the worst city in America in terms of poverty, is completely invisible thanks to some smart planning by the department of transportation, which has made it entirely possible to not only by pass the city, but to literally not see it at all. If you want to go to the riverboat casino, you take a specially constructed highway that runs through the city right to the casino parking lot.

    I could go on and on, but as an American it is completely possible to avoid the unpleasant realities and surround yourself with like-minded individuals. I've had pretty heated discussions with other liberals who are from the South about racism--they actually argue 'it's not in my city/town/community, it's all those other places in the South.'

    What makes NZ different goes back to that egalitarianism. Of course, it can cut both ways. When you don't create too many enclaves and don't encourage or mandate separation, you can't ignore the realities of the underside of society. If you don't want to see racism in Boston, you stay out of Southie. If you don't want to see poverty there, you stay out of Jamaica Plain. And if you want to avoid reality altogether, you live in the People's Republic of Cambridge. (I'm probably the *only* person on the forum who will get that.) Here in Chch, it's both nowhere and everywhere. Because there aren't really serious 'bad parts of town' what trouble there is could be found anywhere (except for Sumner, of course ... oh, and Halswell).

    Does that make any sense?
    Last edited by KiwiHopeful; 04-12-2007 at 08:02 PM.
    EOI Submitted: July 20, 2006
    EOI Selected: August 2, 2006
    ITA Received: October 12, 2006
    ITA Submitted: February 2, 2007
    Migrant Levy Paid & Visas Shipped: June 6, 2007
    Arrived in NZ: July 26th, 2007
    Leaving NZ: June 1st, 2008

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    Default Don't I wish

    Quote Originally Posted by KiwiHopeful View Post
    Because there aren't really serious 'bad parts of town' what trouble there is could be found anywhere (except for Sumner, of course ... oh, and Halswell).
    Oh, I don't know about that. This Sumner-ite sees plenty of hoon trash hanging around the Esplanade on any given weekend. One nasty bunch made a crack about my weight singing "Big Girls Don't Cry" as I walked by with my husband and baby daughter.

    Lovely Kiwi hospitality.

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    Yeah, a couple of the houses on the east end of the esplanade have some pretty sketchy looking guys hanging around them, I've noticed.

    Can you believe I said 'sketchy'? I spent *way* too much time with teenagers.
    EOI Submitted: July 20, 2006
    EOI Selected: August 2, 2006
    ITA Received: October 12, 2006
    ITA Submitted: February 2, 2007
    Migrant Levy Paid & Visas Shipped: June 6, 2007
    Arrived in NZ: July 26th, 2007
    Leaving NZ: June 1st, 2008

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    Sadly, the rough few can often overpower the greater good. In our last house before we left the UK, we had some fantastic neighbours but there were just 2 families in the street whos teenagers thought it was their God given right to terrorize the whole neighbourhood, causing endless damage to property and being vicious to anyone who dare cross their path, including our then 4 year old daughter.

    At the moment, there's a fair amount of the late teen generation who's idea of cool is to be a ganster, tag everything (graffiti their names) and drive 'old skool' cars and generally be a real pain. In the UK it was always put down to boredom, lack of jobs etc etc. I think here it is the opposite, where jobs are so easy to come by that there's no sense of committment to hold down a good job and get on with leading a good life. To them it seems the laid back lifestyle is equating to mean 'no meaning in life'.

    I've never yet run in to any problems with such people, because the hell we lived through in the UK has tought me to be suspicious before all else, which is really quite sad. Between 2010 and 2015 there's estimated to be 125,000 people per year leaving the workforce in NZ, due to the baby boomers retiring. With the younger generation with no direction, it does make me wonder just who's going to step in to replace the loss. Most of the western world will be facing the same problem, so it wont be from immigration!
    Taffy

    The greatest mistake you can make in life is to be continually fearing you will make one.

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    Americas trash is seen everywhere, state parks especially, litter bugs at there best make the scenery. There seemed to be very few areas on the SI with scattered litter, maybe the rosy glasses camoflauged them from me, but not seeing a plastic bag tumbling in a ditch was new to me.
    Building hate for a country and its people is only a dead end, how can anyone enjoy life when they're always miserable...
    I dont think all baby boomers will retire, some will stay for the money, they will have to, there is nobody else qualified, as taffy stated, there are fewer people being trained for important jobs. If they dont fill the positions, people will have to result in less consumption.
    In my trade(boilermaker), it is considered large heavy industrial construction work and the younger people they are bringing in are mainly focused on the money and not the pride of thier work as a craftsman, the absentism is unbelievable too, its troubling and difficult to witness. I am not about to pick up the slack for these lazyasses so they can get a respectable income.
    Only time will tell though, I cant change overnight, but I will strive for it everyday,,, maybe the human race will find a cure for ignorance. ,
    and for that website of disgruntled immigrants----->>>

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    There's an issue of style and substance over there ... she's obviously very bitter about her experience and it shows in her presentation. It's unfortunate because, frankly, there's little *factually* that I can disagree with.

    I would say, though, that some of the anecdotes she relates are more extreme than I've witnessed. For example, I would agree that there is racism here in Chch. I haven't seen the 'in your face' examples of it Agness cites, but I have seen the ways in which people react to Asians, Maoris, and blacks when they think no one is watching.

    For instance, I just came back from the grocery store, which is one of my favorite places to people watch. Some people react completely differently if say a black Muslim woman is blocking the aisle than an old white woman. A couple of weeks ago I saw an older gentleman go into one checkstand then leave it for another when he saw the cashier was Asian.

    So, yeah, racism exists here. (Of course, that observation wants to make me say, 'Well, duh!')

    But, if what she says is true (and I have no reason to doubt it), that is very troubling. I know how victimized and powerless things like that can make people feel. I've been a victim of minor crimes a couple of times, and it totally takes the wind out of your sails. If something like that happened to me here, I can imagine it totally putting me off the place. (I haven't been back to New York City since I was robbed there.)

    In terms of working conditions, Duke, I doubt you'll find anything different here. I'm sure many Kiwis take pride in their work, but there are obvious signs everywhere that many *don't* take pride.
    EOI Submitted: July 20, 2006
    EOI Selected: August 2, 2006
    ITA Received: October 12, 2006
    ITA Submitted: February 2, 2007
    Migrant Levy Paid & Visas Shipped: June 6, 2007
    Arrived in NZ: July 26th, 2007
    Leaving NZ: June 1st, 2008

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