Hello! I’m going to publish this so that my fellow New Zealanders can maybe add to this since I’m sure it won’t be comprehensive, and I’m probably not the best person to ask, since I’m not a huge fan of New Zealand. But in my view…
- Publicly-funded health care (for the most part). Not sure how it works with visas but basically we don’t pay to be in hospital. Because that’s insane. Prescriptions are subsidised so that we only pay $5 for prescription. GP visits vary in price depending on where you go and if you fall into a subsidised group (high-dependency, students, low-income earners, etc). Dental care is expensive but it could be worse.
- We’re a pretty liberal country for the most part, despite our equivalent of your Republican party having been in power for the past like six years or so (I think? Someone correct me if I’m wrong, I can’t remember when John Key became Prime Minister). We have gay marriage, that’s fun. And other stuff. Government isn’t trying to control our uteruses (uteri?). I mean, it’s far from perfect, but it could be worse.
- Um, I’m sure there are more but I’m struggling to think of them right now.
- I deal with a lot of foreigners in my job (and have a few foreign friends), and they all say how much they love New Zealand so I suppose that’s an indication that we’re at least okay.
- Nice scenery, I guess. if you’re in the South Island? There’s a bit of nice scenery in the North Island, I guess.
- Our accents are less annoying than Australian accents. And none of our wildlife wants to kill you. No snakes, no bears, nothing like that. The worst that can happen to you in terms of wildlife is being bitten by a rabid possum, but that’s unlikely. Oh wait, no we don’t have rabies in New Zealand either (supposedly), so you might just need a tetanus shot if you get bitten by a possum. Which is good?
- New Zealanders are supposedly friendly/helpful/welcoming people. I’m not sure about that, I’ve been to the US twice and I found people in the US to be a lot friendlier on the whole, in my experience, but I haven’t lived there, so I couldn’t tell you.
- Everything here is way more expensive than anywhere else because we live in the middle of fucking nowhere - and if you find something cheap on the internet, expect to pay three times the price of the item itself for shipping. Not sure if you’re a smoker, but here a pack of Marlboro 20s costs NZ$18.20 (US$15.63). I remember seeing them for sale in Nevada for approximately US$4 when I was there in 2012, I’m not sure how that compares to now, wherever you are, but yeah. Again, in my job, the thing that foreigners complain about the most in New Zealand is the fact that cigarettes are so fucking expensive. And everything else, also.
- Because we’re such a small country, we just don’t have everything that you’d expect to find in a bigger country like Australia or the UK or America.
- Weather here is pretty shit a lot of the time, depending on whereabouts in New Zealand you’re planning to move. Summers are nice, though.
- New Zealand culture is shit. Like seriously. I’m not talking about that of the Māori (indigenous people of New Zealand) - that’s a beautiful and fascinating culture. I’m talking about just general New Zealand culture - binge-drinking, rugby-obsessed, vaguely racist, completely devoid of anything other than smashing back Double Browns at Warriors games and then going to town and getting wasted and yelling at people in the street who are just minding their own business. I don’t know, some people find it endearing, but I find it depressing.
I’m a terrible person to ask about this stuff, honestly. But, like, there are worse places to move, I guess. Just, don’t move to Hamilton. Or Palmerston North. Or Hastings, which is where I’m from. Auckland or Wellington are the best places - I live in Wellington, it’s the best city but we have some of the worst weather. Christchurch is supposed to be cool I’ve heard, never been there, but they had a huge-ass earthquake a couple of years ago so they’re kind of fucked.
I don’t know. This is probably incredibly unhelpful. Anyone else got something to contribute?
Also, sodavalley is a good person to ask since she grew up in New Zealand, but moved to Seattle a couple of years ago.