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Common misconceptions and clichés about life in New Zealand

Hello everyone,

Old clichés die hard, as the saying goes... and living in New Zealand can generate lots of misconceptions in the eyes of the people.

What are the most common misconceptions about the expat lifestyle in New Zealand?

What are the most common clichés about life in New Zealand in general?

Did you have a biased view of the country before moving there? What is you view now?

Thanks in advance,

Priscilla

the biggest misconception that i had was that kiwis were really friendly. ive been here now for 15 years and have found kiwis to be very unfriendly. i have been in my home now for 3 years and do not even know my neighbours i find life here very lonely and miss the friendliness of the english people i have been told that you will not be accepted into the neighbourhood until you have lived there at least five years. i wish there was a club or something were ex pats could go and make friends here if anyone knows of one let me know

Look up "tall poppy syndrome."

I'd never heard of it-- but it is alive and well and can be very destructive; is inherent in this culture.

Watch your back.

Otherwise? Paradise.  ;)

There is a group in your area: HERE.

pammie007 :

the biggest misconception that i had was that kiwis were really friendly. ive been here now for 15 years and have found kiwis to be very unfriendly. i have been in my home now for 3 years and do not even know my neighbours i find life here very lonely and miss the friendliness of the english people i have been told that you will not be accepted into the neighbourhood until you have lived there at least five years. i wish there was a club or something were ex pats could go and make friends here if anyone knows of one let me know

There is a group in your area-- click HERE.

I didn't came across anything like that been here for last 11 years and now own a business so where are you from and what are you doing these days.

Regards

Hello,

That is strange to hear. I lived in New Zealand and been from the top of the North Island to the near the bottom of the South Island and found every Kiwi friendly and Maori(native) very friendly towards me. I got adopted into 2 tribes and have more clout than the P.M with tribes. I Christened a new building and was the first foreigner to be accepted into any tribe.But you have to also remember Kiwis are from other parts of the world, mostly UK, Australia, Ireland, Scotland and parts of Europe. So do have their noses in the clouds.
Might be better if you made friends with natives, they will give more respect as well.
But what ever you don't ever put them down or their ways of life. That will get you on their bad list so fast the ink will be on fire.
But 70% Kiwis are great people too.
I guess it does help when you know the the 3rd largest tribe of New Zealand.
I didn't worry about what I was in for when I moved to New Zealand. Being Greek, I adapt very quick and I adjust to their ways of life very easily.
In fact I like tribal better than anything else in the world, I was born warrior Greek blood, joined the elite US Marines and now Maori warrior as well. Very proud of it too.

Good Luck

This grates me when people say Kiwi's aren't friendly, definitely don't agree.  Been in Chch for 9 months now and have a really good group of friends that are primarily Kiwi's.
Bought a house here now and met a few of our neighbours who have all been pleasant, granted we don't know them yet but that's because me and the wife have made no effort to introduce ourselves, been waiting to invite to a bbq when we're properly moved in.
Don't think it's a misconception that Kiwi's are friendly, they really are, but you have to make the effort to introduce yourself and integrate with them. There's loads of opportunities to meet new people if your proactive about it.

Before we got out furniture we pretty much kitted the house out by things that people lent us, even a random person we spoke to in the super market offered to lend us a bed. We also had numerous invites to people's house for dinner. All we did was got involved with social media and put ourselves out there to meet people.

Since then we've had our second child and lost count how many people have brought round meals for us, a few being from friends of friends. This doesn't happen in the UK. Work have been amazing letting me prioritise my family time over work.

A few other conceptions I've found to be true:
- It's definitely a work to live culture here.
- Older houses are poorly insulated (but it's certainly liveable).
- It's not what you know, it's who you know.
- The majority of Kiwi's love outdoor activities.

Misconceptions:
- Eating out is expensive and bad quality (we eat out all the time and pay the same in $ as we would in £ in the UK and the quality is great - the range of restuarants/cafe's is great to).
- Racism is rife - Kiwi's aren't racist, they're just not as politically correct as the UK.

The other one is don't expect things to be all goodie goodie and they will be gentle. If you like your replies and responses sugar coated.
I suggest you invest in Bakery because they won't hold back. They will tell you straight up what they think and is on their minds. They know where B.S belongs...in the soil back on the farm.
Kiwi and Native will give you an ear bash if you screw up but they will NOT kick you when you are down. They are right there to pull you up and help.
Where do you find that?

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