What I don't like~ ~that NZ is one big clear cut farm. there are so many heads of cattle and sheep it is obscene. ~it is provincial~especially in the South where I live ~that the touriism board advertise 'Clean Green New Zealand' to get people to come down here. Yeah, it is green and pretty, but not because of good environmental practices, just because of all the farms and low population numbers. ~the lack of availablity of quality children's clothes. ~lots of trades are getting shipped over to China~it is so CRAZY. They ship sheepskins to China to make boots, then ship them back here for sale. We ship timber to China to be made into furniture then the furniture is shipped back here. ~The Governement wants to have a free trade agreement with China. ~stuff is expensive here. But it is hit or miss and has no rhyme or reason as to WHY certain things are expensive.. Like a really nice stainless steel pots and pan set is similar in cost to the same set in the states(with the exchange rate conversion). But, a large rubbermaid container that you would store clothes in your garage is $20. Both are imported. ~travel to the States is sooooo expensive. ~the houses are built like crap IMO. Double paned glass windows is not part of the building code here. Considering they are always talking about power crisis here...and it is supposedly clean green NZ, I think that is so horrible and short sighted. ~organics cost a fortune. I mean a fortune. ~food is expensive in general. However dairy is sooo cheap.I think meat is cheap too, but Kiwis would argue with you over that. What I like~ ~things are EXPENSIVE...like bread machines, telephones, cell phones...etc. But it is good, because that does mean there is less consumerism. I do really like that. People just do without. But I also notice that people are really pack rats because of this, I think. ~it is provincial ~it is beautiful. ~the environment is less polluted because there are less people. ~all dairy and meat animals(well, sheep,cattle and deer~pigs and chickens don't fare so well) are free range/grass eating. This makes the dairy and meat products so much healthier . ~people are in less of a hurry here. ~people take time for families and friends. But, I see it moving to be much more like the US lifestyle probably in 10 years or so. I am sure Aukland is crazier than my small town. ~alternative medicine is very much along side mainstream medicine. There are Naturopaths and Osteopaths everywhere. ~My husband has 5 weeks of paid vacation a year plus sick days. He can carry it over year to year up to a certain point. He actually takes 5 weeks of vacation a year. Family life is very important to Kiwis...and businesses respect that more here. ~Health Care is nationalized and *everyone* has it. I had a c-section and as a Nurse I feel that I had good care.(don't get me started on the section rate here, though) I did not pay one cent to my midwife or the hospital for my maternity care. ~If you are working when you have a baby, your job is guaranteed to you after a certain amount of maternity leave...I know at the University you can leave for a year or more, then return to your old job. Also, the government gives you a pretty large stipend if you are home with your baby. I am not quite sure how this works, I'll have ot ask my girlfriend(I was not eligible as I was not working) ~no snakes, or poisonous creepy crawlies. I think there is only one spider in the North Island that has a bite that can make you sick. ~travelling here is just beautiful. Travelling to Australia and the Pacific Islands is affordable. ahhh........................................................ ~flat taxes. ~If a husband and a wife both work, their incomes each get taxed separately no matter how much you earn. ( I just asked my husband) ~another tax goodie, is if we had a business together as husband and wife, we could adjust our incomes to keep ourselves in lower tax brackets. Lets say the business earned $78 k that year. dh could pay himself $39K and me $39K to keep us both in the lowest tax bracket.($39K is the lowest tax bracket) There would be no sense in paying dh MORE...like $50K and me $28 K because that would put him in a higher tax bracket. It is totally legal to do this. Hmm if I think of more I will post again.