New Zealand. The crunch report and what I like/and don't like

Discussion in 'Super Crunch' started by Linda, Jun 30, 2006.

  1. Linda

    Linda Amity's Focus Member

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    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.
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2006
  2. Sunflower_Momma

    Sunflower_Momma "Christian"

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    Very cool. Now, remind me of why it was that you moved there in the first place. I remember your move, but cannot remember why.

    Do your kids like it?

    Do you have plans to stay or move back?
  3. Linda

    Linda Amity's Focus Member

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    We moved just because~for the adventure. We wanted to try living internationally while the kids were little. Dh had spent tons of time down here as he worked for the Antarctic program(US) and spent tons of time on the ice.

    Kids love it. It is *really* kid friendly here.
    Don't know if we are going to stay. In 9 months we all will be eligible for citizenship. I believe we will try to stay here until then even if we plan to leave. We am going back to school and dh is thinking about a career change and we might need the family support back home to do it. So, not sure.

    We have also started talks with my dearest friend and her husband about starting a B&B in France. She lives there...(she is Swiss) and this has been our dream for ages. I want a farm for sustainable living and a B&B. I would do it here, but the only person I want to do it with is her. SO that means it would have to be in France.

    Hmmmm...I have big plans.
  4. Sunflower_Momma

    Sunflower_Momma "Christian"

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    I totally understand all those reasons.

    I've said it multiple times before, but one of the most life changing experiences I've ever had - no, wait, the most life changing experience I've ever had - was when my parents moved to the South of France when I was 8. That changed me in so many ways and I wish so much I could give my children that same experience, but my dh is not comfortable with it.

    I would love to move back to France (because we lived there at such an impressionable age for me, I really do feel that I am part culturally French - I go there and feel an inner sigh of relief that I'm "home"). So, it is such a wonderful experience you are providing your children. I'm in awe and envious all at the same time.

    But, open a B&B in France and we will stay there. I have no doubt of that.
  5. Linda

    Linda Amity's Focus Member

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    :hbeat:
    the only down side is I am starting to feel like a gypsy and I am ready to settle down. Moving to France would not be emotionally hard for though as being with my best friend is like being with my dh. Maybe better and that is saying a whole hell of a lot. She is my other half so to speak.
    I am also fluent in French and I love speaking it. I too, feel so at home in French culture. I swear I must have been French in a past life. It is a dream to live in a small town in Southern France.

    You can come stay with us any time you like. We might have to name a room Amity.

    Hmmm I wonder if me kids would speak French with a Kiwi accent~lol! (j/k)
  6. Sunflower_Momma

    Sunflower_Momma "Christian"

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    oh, now I'm getting all excited.

    Where in the South?

    I lived in St. Paul de Vence and Cap d'Antibes. I love Provence and dream of moving back.

    But, I'm also hoping to spend about 4 weeks in Australia and New Zealand. Seriously, if my dh won't let us move out of the country, my salary (once I actually start making any money) is so the kids and I can travel out of the country for more than just a few days here and there.
  7. Linda

    Linda Amity's Focus Member

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    I am not sure where. I don't care where. Well, I do. I would love to live in a tiny town about an hour away fomr a bigger one. I am very familiar with a town called St. Sauveur Gouvernet. population 100. It is about an hour from oh man, the city is excaping me. It is in the direction of Aix~en~Provence. I prefer the mountains to the ocean. You know growing cherries, apricots, lavender...oh man...I want my own lavender field.
    http://www.drome-provence.com/villages/saintsauveur.php

    ETA~I loved ST Paul de Vence. just a yummy place to be.


    4 weeks in Australia and NEw Zealand would be good. You will need to research exactly where you want to go and customize your trip to your preferences. They are both big places and you will only get to see a little bit.
  8. Kristerae

    Kristerae Amity's Focus Member

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    Still sounds like a touch of paradise where you live, Linda.

    I am glad you have been able to live this out and that it is going ok:)
  9. Kerri

    Kerri New Member

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    I know, so much about New Zealand doesn't make sense. It's beautiful, and I miss it, but my sister and I b!tch long and hard to each other about how houses don't have good insulation or heating and there's always an energy crisis. I know they could solve that, because other countries do. But it's just low on the priority list. People just wear warmer clothes inside and suck it up. Which is good from an ecological point of view I guess.

    And it's ridiculous what things cost. Some are so expensive and some are so cheap. It's weird by North American standards anyway. You can eat better there, I'm sure. And the social programs are awesome.

    I miss it. I haven't been home for almost 10 years. Sigh. And with my sister there, it's just torture for me. I love Canada. But I love New Zealand too.

    Kerri
  10. Linda

    Linda Amity's Focus Member

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    OM goodness...If I stay here I am building my own well insulated open plan house(and our house *is* well insulated, but no double paned windows). We were at a party last night and almost everyone kept there jackets on for *an hour* until the house warmed up a bit. There were easily 30 people in the room and a huge wood burner for heat...but when you don't insulate the heat just goes outside...I have been warmer around a camping fire outside!

    The whole what is expensive and what is cheap topic is so strange. I have no guilt anymore importing stuff from the States over it.

    Oh, and the coal burning makes me ill. I hate the smell...and it is just gross.~lol!

    I do find Kiwi people to be super friendly. Men seem kinder over here.(yes, I know a generalization, *gasp*)

    It is BEAUTIFUL here.

    Kerri, Where is your sister?
  11. Kerri

    Kerri New Member

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    Belinda's in Wellington now! She's still around here on the boards sometimes too. In the expecting forum these days. Hint, hint. :)

    Kerri
  12. Linda

    Linda Amity's Focus Member

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    Oh..I thought you were friends, didn't realize you were sisters. Silly me. I know Belinda :heart:
  13. Ms.Belinda

    Ms.Belinda Getting there...

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    Here I am! Boring, freezing, grey, foggy, stupid, lonely, Wellington. Blah.

    I told my husband the other day, while we were driving downtown for a fun Saturday adventure, into the freezing grey fog, that I'm intensely dissatisfied with pretty much everything these days. The house we live in - sure it has a dishwasher, but no yard?!? And we pay $390 a WEEK in rent. For a small (although newly renovated and insulated) 3br house. We could NEVER afford to buy here.

    Our car (which my Dad has graciously let us borrow) is HUGE and cumbersome on tiny NZ streets. Gas is a crippling expense, so we only drive like once or twice a week, which is fine most of the time, but on a freezing sideways rainstormy day, walking to get groceries sucks.

    You can only recycle types 1, 2, and 3 plastic! And not plastic bags!

    Internet is slow.

    I think that just as stupid as having no central heating and poor insulation is having no ventilation! So mould grows on windowsills if you don't air out your house every day. No dryers! So you're drying clothing on racks INDOORS on a wet day. We have to have a dehumidifier on pretty much 24/7 in our house.

    Hmmm, what do I like?
    I do LOVE the social programs (such as my husband receiving a student grant from the government every week, and we get a disability allowance for my son's food allergies). I like the efficiency of a small country - mail gets around quickly, you can always get someone at the bank or a government agency on the phone. There are lots of foreigners - half of the people I meet (in Wellington especially) are from different countries.

    But I just curse Winter in this country. We're going to the Gold Coast (Australia) for two weeks in just 5 days and I can't WAIT to get out of this hole for a bit of a warm rest.

    There's no way we're living here forever. I do love New Zealand, but I've had enough. Only 3.5 more years to go! Waaaahhhhhhh. Bring on Christmas 2009!
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2006
  14. Linda

    Linda Amity's Focus Member

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    Another thing that is completely unique to NZ is the 'Right of way" road rule. The people turning Right have the right of way. Here, because we drive on the Left side of the road, it means that the people turning right are CROSSING traffic. But, they have the right of way. It is so dangerous. It means not only do you have to know the traffic coming towards you, you have to be able to see the traffic coming up behind you. Also, tourists never know this rule, so it is completely dangerous. They do not have this rule in Japan, Australia or England where they drive on the left as well.

    {{{Belinda}}} I hope the gold coast is fabulous for you all. We were just there. It was so wonderful and mild/warm. Wellington will get better!
  15. Ms.Belinda

    Ms.Belinda Getting there...

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    Linda - I hate that traffic rule too! It's so dangerous! And counter-intuitive - I've heard that there's talk to change it, but it hasn't happened yet.

    I agree with your comment about pack-ratting Kiwis too - my grandparents and uncles have so much junk in their garages it's obscene! I always tell my grandmother that I'll come and take pictures of stuff she doesn't want to sell on trademe, but she doesn't want to get rid of anything. It's all precious, even though it's out in the stinky garage covered in other junk.

    There's way too much domestic violence in this culture. The kind of violence that makes NZ the 3rd-greatest murderers of children in the OECD. There's a very public case in the media right now - three month-old twin baby boys (and they had been 29-week preemies) were murdered by someone in their family and nobody in the family is admitting to it. It's disgusting, but it's just a symptom of a greater problem - children are not treasured and protected here. They're taken for granted, even though our birth rate is lower than necessary to maintain the population.

    We just moved from a very low SES area, where most of the kids at my son's school were from very poor circumstances - no lunch, no shoes, etc. This is in a country where there are lots of income supplements are available for families - there is money, but it's not getting to the kids. The country is only now coming around to the idea that violence against children (spanking) should be outlawed. But then, when I was growing up here, there was still corporal punishment in schools happening! So there have been changes, but not fast enough, IMO.

    **I'm glad you had a good time in the Gold Coast - we're meeting my parents and youngest sister there and staying in some condo place by the beach. So I can un-hunch my shoulders for a bit and share my children with my family!
  16. chakag

    chakag New Member

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    I was thinking about moving to NZ until that last post. I don't understand why there would be so much violence against children there. Can someone explain?

    But, the disability for food allergies. Wowza! I'd qualify for 2 kids, probably! :lol:

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