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Calling Kiwis who have moved back to NZ after a long period abroad

(22 Posts)
chickychickyparmparm Tue 01-Nov-16 20:56:36

I moved away 16 years ago or thereabouts. We'll be moving back next year. DH is British, kids born overseas. They're young enough that I'm not too worried about the impact on them.

What was it like moving back? Was there anything that surprised you? (Other than the extortionate prices of everything, I've heard all about that from another thread I started!).

Did you find it difficult to make friends? I've read a lot about Kiwis being polite but distant. We'll probably be living in quite a small community and that is something that worries me a little - as someone who is outgoing and very social.

Anything else?

pollyglot Tue 01-Nov-16 23:54:30

I moved back with an English DH after 11 years away. 6 years ago now. I was shocked at how expensive Auckland was, even then, and housing is WAY dearer now. We worked in Akld for 5 years, then retired to the Far North, where housing is much more reasonable. I have never found Kiwis to be difficult to get on with, and neither has the DH - in fact he loves the Kiwi character, the kindliness and helpfulness, the outdoorsy, relaxed attitude and the lack of "side". He thinks he' died and gone to heaven up here in the sun, and shudders at the recollections of Manchester's bleak hopelessness. He would never go back, except to see elderly parents. I miss the museums, the history and architecture, and the bargain flights to Europe. He, on the other hand, thinks that nothing in the world would compare to our simple life.

ToastedOrFresh Wed 02-Nov-16 00:07:05

in fact he loves the Kiwi character, the kindliness and helpfulness, the outdoorsy, relaxed attitude and the lack of "side"

Pardon ?

We're leaving NZ on Saturday to return to Britain after living in NZ from Feb 2011 to what will be 5 Nov 2016.

We've said our goodbyes to anyone we've met and got along with. That didn't take long muttered my kiwi husband, and he's right.

He came to live in London (after growing up in Auckland, NZ) on his O.E. in 1990, met me in 1992 and we married in 1994.

On his own admission Auckland is not the place he remembers. Property prices are just a whole other story.

He's made no friends. I've made no friends. As a couple we've made no friends. Acquaintances and co-workers, yes. Friends, no.

Kiwi's do have a 'side' to them. I'm looking forward to getting back to the real world Britain.

In fact the packers and movers are downstairs packing things ready to go in the sea container that comes tomorrow.

ToastedOrFresh Wed 02-Nov-16 00:17:08

I've made more friends in the last 6 months than I've made with kiwis in the preceding 5 years.

That's an American lady who likes me and was pleased to make my acquaintance. I messaged her on Facebook to say goodbye and she said she would miss me.

The other lady is from Thailand and she looked genuinely hurt when I said I was leaving the area.

Says it all about kiwis, frankly, as far as I'm concerned.

I've been deliberately shunned and ignored by kiwis in an exercise group I go to regularly. Basically, when there's an odd number in the group and the instructor asks us to pair up, that's me on my own again. Surprise surprise. I've asked someone to partner me and been told outright that they are paired with whomsoever.

I catch they eye of some of the people I've done voluntary work with in the past and they act like they don't recognise or remember me.

I've walked into a shop and someone has deliberately looked at the ground just to avoid so much as making eye contact.

Someone was nice to me at work once. I gave them a hearty smile the next day. I didn't even say hello, just smiled. She looked at me as if to say, 'alright love, cool it.' We never spoke or made eye contact again.

They are a funny lot, those kiwis.

Pluto30 Wed 02-Nov-16 00:17:33

I'm not British, I'm Australian, as is my husband. However, my mum is a Kiwi (moved to Australia in the 80s).

I've spent a lot of time in the South Island, and think it's stunning. Husband and I have talked about moving over there eventually, as I'm sure my mum would move back (because of her parents, more than anything) but my being here keeps her here.

I often find it funny just how many non-Kiwis you come across. Australians run the ski resorts, Irish run the pubs etc. Sometimes you don't come across a Kiwi the whole day! But they are lovely. On the whole, I think they're less stand-offish than Australians. They're certainly more chatty and willing to help.

However, the offputting factor about moving to NZ is that we'd likely never be able to afford to come back to Australia. With the median house price in our area increasing 100k in the last 12 months, we'd be priced out of the market the second we sold our house.

Also, the weather is nothing to write home about. But if you're currently in the UK, that shouldn't bother you too much.

chickychickyparmparm Wed 02-Nov-16 01:10:13

Pluto when you consider the fact that one in four people in New Zealand was born outside the country it's not surprising how many non-Kiwis you come across!

I'm worried about the winters, actually. I live in South America, I haven't had a winter in many years. So that will be interesting.

Polly I miss Europe's architecture, museums etc too. Went back in the summer and found it all so amazing and "old world".

pollyglot Wed 02-Nov-16 02:59:35

It's certainly not our experience that people are stand-offish. We've thrown ourselves into community activities, and the local people could not be nicer. We've had people drop by with freshly caught fish, offers to help with lopping our huge trees... certainly a lot more friendliness than I encountered in the UK at the boarding schools where I worked. "Poms" have long had a reputation for looking down on the "colonials" and I suspect many Kiwis are just not sure how to deal with people whom they believe to consider themselves superior. Just a stereotype which will take a while to dissipate.

chickychickyparmparm Wed 02-Nov-16 03:48:09

My DH actually lived in NZ for a year before we met, he loved it. In fact, he's the driving force behind us returning. He still has good friends there. He does get teased about being a Brit but he's very laid back about it. He has no concerns, it's only me!

Glad you've had a positive homecoming, polly.

HearTheThunderRoar Wed 02-Nov-16 05:26:23

Ok, I'm a kiwi in NZ and have actually never lived in the UK but my late DH was English (moved to Auckland as a child).

I'm proud to be a Kiwi but i'm struggling of any positive things to say. It is expensive as hell here everything from groceries to petrol. I'm struggling to make ends mets and I live relatively modest lifestyle, I receive very little welfare support despite being a single parent and being well below the average household income. Our current Government (National Party) is horrific imo, they spent money like no tomorrow yet not for those seriously in need, hence our shocking poverty and child abuse rates. This is just the start, there are so many things wrong with our Gov't, I could be here all day, lack of support for the regions (and the focus on Auckland), poor maternity pay / leave...the list goes on.

Where are you planning to move to? I'm in Dunedin (lower South Island) and yes it is cold but it is no colder than the England winters, we get a lot of frosts here but you glorious crisp sunny days. For me living here in Dunedin makes it all worthwhile, I have a fabulous lifestyle here but it is home for me, it was where I was born and bred smile

chickychickyparmparm Wed 02-Nov-16 15:53:18

Hear I've been reading about the horrific levels of poverty - people sleeping in their cars etc. It's awful. I've been away for the John Key years and not regretful about that. Is a change in government on the cards for next year,do you think? I haven't been keeping up with the news.

It's not definite but I think we'll probably end up in Southland for DH's job. I am not prepared for the cold at all! I haven't needed more than a light jumper for years. My brother went to uni in Dunedin, he was always full of dramatic stories about people burning their furniture to keep warm!

HearTheThunderRoar Thu 03-Nov-16 01:48:51

I honestly think John Key will get into Government again, purely because Labour has a crap leader (I say this as a Labour supporter) whose policies would send us straight into deficit. Although people are starting to wake up that John Key has no concern for the lower income earners and everybody south of Auckland. The $26million flag referendum proved to a lot of people that he is an egotistical idiot.

I spent a lot of my childhood in Invercargill and my DD was born there, Southland is lovely and the local economy is booming there currently due to dairying industry. It is cold but the scenery is great, lovely people and the lifestyle is fantastic.

You do get used to the cold after a while although it probably will be a shock at first. I have no advise on how to climatise as I've lived in the south all my life grin I hope your prepared for that there will probably will be no central heating but most houses have fires. (We rely on our fire), they are nice and cosy grin

Yep, couches still burn at Otago Uni (some things still don't change) and people still live in the freezing cold flats like they did when I went there in the 80s grin Admittedly there are not as many due to clamp downs by our council. Oh well the students give Dunedin some character...

Pluto30 Thu 03-Nov-16 02:13:40

My family is from Dunedin. Cold as a witch's tit, but I'm climatised to Aus! My grandparents sleep with their bloody windows wide open in winter, the weirdos.

Personally, if finding employment were a non-issue, I'd move to the Queenstown/Wanaka region in a heartbeat. So frigging beautiful.

chickychickyparmparm Thu 03-Nov-16 15:04:06

That is depressing, Hear. Sounds similar to the UK at the moment.

Yeah the flag referendum - wtf was that all about! NZ isn't a rich nation, what an incredible waste of public money.

Good to hear about Southland. Have never lived that far south so will be an interesting change.

HearTheThunderRoar Fri 04-Nov-16 07:31:23

Ha, Pluto I lived in Queenstown for 15 years (left in 2003) before moving back to Dunedin as we couldn't afford to live there even back then, as beautiful as it is, it's an absolute mad house and an expensive hell hole. I can cope going back there for about a day before tearing my hair out. Traffic is horrendous, housing prices are astronomical and it's full of immigrants on their gap year, barely any Kiwis left there now. That said I do love Wanaka still way out of my price range I'm a hard out southerner but even I couldn't have my windows open in winter grin

Yep a complete waste of money the flag, you share the opinion of 75% of NZ grin

Vagabond Fri 04-Nov-16 16:44:36

I find Kiwis very parochial. My MIL is from Canterbury and I think the happiest week of her life was when Auckland had a long power cut back in early 2000. I'm not joking. "Show's them, doesn't' it!" she kept repeating, gleefully. What a horrible thing to feel.

I'm from Canada - cold in winter. But I've never been as cold as I've been in NZ. Houses have barely any heating apart from a gas fire in the living room. i used to sit in my MIL's front room in my winter coat until she "lights the fire at 4pm" .

I think of Kiwis as being closed, parochial, fearful, insular and unfriendly. BUT, when you meet a great Kiwi, you meet a friend for life and it's a beautiful country. But, can you swim in a lake that's 12 degrees? Or...just say, fuck it, and drink one of their beautiful wines and take in the great view. If you're self-reliant, go for it. Just expect a lot of unfriendly, curtain-twitchers. Frankly, they call it the brain drain: good kiwis go elsewhere and retire back when they've made their money and can buy a nice house and enjoy the view.

But, it's a helluva view

chickychickyparmparm Fri 04-Nov-16 20:06:03

Hear I quite like Queenstown and Wanaka too but if I could live somewhere down there I'd pick Glenorchy. Just beautiful.

Handsupbabyhandsup Fri 04-Nov-16 20:27:37

I'm a kiwi, living in the North Island.

It's funny reading this thread from the opposite perspective.

I see that we are friendly and welcoming and we are fiercely proud of our country. I think things can be taken the wrong way easily by both New Zealanders and foreigners.

For instance - moaning about our weather and houses. Yes it's true, NZ is not a tropical island and our houses are not built with the level of insulation and heating found in other countries. We also have expensive electricity costs so heating often is extremely expensive and many of us (me included) just don't feel the cold.

Moaning about these things sets you apart from New Zealanders because we don't complain about these things because it's just how things are and we don't know any different.

chickychickyparmparm Fri 04-Nov-16 21:17:18

That's why I asked for views from other Kiwis, Hand. It's different returning to where you're from, as opposed to moving there and finding it all brand new.

I think I'm going to slot right back in (cold winters and all), I'm just curious as to how other NZers found it after being away a long time.

AmIbeingTreasonable Fri 04-Nov-16 22:11:39

The referendum was about WonKey wanting to go down in history, that is all and yes a disgusting waste of money angry

HearTheThunderRoar Sat 05-Nov-16 01:29:54

Vaga People down south do love seeing Aucklanders suffer, I don't but I can see why, the north-south has only gotten a lot worse since 2000. For example electricity is much cheaper in the north island yet it is produced in the South Island, petrol is cheaper up there, the Politicians are very Auckland focused (some money needs to be pumped into the provinces imo). So I suppose some people down here feel some sort of resentment, and I'll be honest I do to some extent but I don't blame Aucklanders for it iyswim. The fact people call their own countrymen Jafas (stands for Just Another Fucking Aucklander) is just awful.

Houses a cold here, I'm used to it but I remember my poor southern English MIL when she visited us in our Queenstown house almost 20 years ago when my DD was born (in winter) when we only had a wood burner, one tiny heater (days before heat pumps etc) and no installation / double glazing. The poor woman almost froze even with the heating on full blast and fire going constantly, she's never came to visit in winter since grin

Vagabond Sat 05-Nov-16 15:34:50

Isn't it the Christchurch daily newspaper called the "Mainlander" too? I actually think that's quite funny.

I do love NZ. Beautiful country. I remember playing netball at Hagley park and being freeeeeezing cold, girding my loins to get in a cold bathroom/hot shower/ cold bedroom/hot blowdryer for my hair......and then 2 hours later, dancing in a club and forgetting about it all. People in their 20's cope with all that.

The problem with NZ house -builds is that its not hot enough for A/c and not cold enough for central heating.

And by the way, I'm sorry for what I said up-thread about parochialism and all that. I should have been more kind. I'm actually very very very fond of New Zealanders.

habibihabibi Sat 05-Nov-16 18:34:32

We have been thinking about a move to NZ where I spent my childhood and this what we are afraid of :
My ( non kiwi )DH :
Living costs (though it's a magical place to visit when you are spending foreign currency )
Housing costs
Job market
Being so far from Europe
Me :
Shoes - NZ shoes are either scarily expensive or just scarily ugly .

I find kiwis , if anything overly friendly . I have lost a recognizable accent and my children are non NZ looking but when we visit everyone is curious to chat.

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