New Zealand: Not the Paradise Americans Think It Is

I am a New Zealander (or "Kiwi," as we affectionately refer to ourselves) who has spent many years outside my home country — including several years in the United States.  At present, I live in Asia and cannot see myself returning to the land of my birth and upbringing anytime soon.

My home country is simply not the paradise that many people, including a lot of Americans, perceive it to be.


It's important to note that I drafted this article back in April — soon after the mass shooting that took place in Christchurch — but opted to have it sit in limbo for several months.  I needed to give my home country some time to emotionally and spiritually recover.

In the aftermath of that shooting — New Zealand's deadliest single act of violence in the nation's history — I noticed an unprecedented level of international support and praise being bestowed upon my country, especially from left-wing Americans on social media.  They saw a national leader (Jacinda Ardern) whom they deemed far more agreeable to their SJW sensibilities than Donald Trump.  They saw a nation that can make sweeping gun reforms within a few days.  They saw "they are us" as a popular hashtag for Kiwis to show their unwavering support for Muslim residents, who are one of the darling victim groups of the woke age.

Most notably, I saw many of these people making the assertion they wanted to leave the United States and move to New Zealand — a move I am here to warn against, and that goes for Americans of all political affiliations.

Kiwis Have Less Civil Liberty than Americans

This needs to be mentioned first and foremost, because I am aware that many U.S. citizens take the concept of civil liberties very, very seriously.  I will tell you right now that Americans craving a move to New Zealand — who nonetheless love their Constitution and Bill of Rights, 'til death do us part — need to cancel all of those plans immediately, and don't ever look back.

In New Zealand, as well as in Australia, we do not have the comprehensive search and seizure protections Americans are granted by their Fourth Amendment.  What results is that the New Zealand police regularly deploy roadblocks — euphemistically called "checkpoints" — which infringe on you being able to go about your daily driving business unmolested by the state.

At all of these roadblocks, the intention of the police is to find ways to either drag you away in handcuffs (failed drug tests or carrying contraband) or shank your bank account (fines for expired warrants of fitness, expired registrations, etc.) in order to help the government compensate for their — by global police standards — very high salaries.

In the United States, Americans enjoy the great privilege of being able to go out for a drive at any time without "your papers, please" moments such as these.  Additionally, American police can (legally) pull you over only if they have probable cause to believe that a crime has been committed.

Elsewhere in New Zealand — thanks to the Christchurch massacre — freedom of speech and gun privileges are circling the toilet.  And yes, Americans will be horrified to know that we do indeed have a 1984-style "chief censor" who determines what's naughty or nice to watch, read, andn listen to.  This New Zealand equivalent of the "Ministry of Truth" blocked access to one of my favorite websites, ZeroHedge, among others earlier this year.

Overall, Americans with strong libertarian sensibilities will feel flagrantly violated in New Zealand.

Cultural Marxism and Feminism Are Here, Too

Americans who are looking for a haven from clown world politics and anti–white male browbeating will be disappointed with their choice of New Zealand.  The exact same leftist lunacy that permeates the United States is all here, too.

White settlement of New Zealand in the 19th century is increasingly being reflected upon as shameful.  Perceived sex and racial inequalities are given media attention as if they were some unbearable national crisis.  Muslims, homosexuals, and various non-whites are coddled with media protection and (advantageous) victimhood status, while white men must be held publicly accountable for a minor transgression.

Robotic social justice phrases like "diversity is strength" are just as much Kiwi mantras as they are American ones.  "Hate speech" (challenging statements to left-leaning state and corporate orthodoxy) must also be stamped out of an inclusive and tolerant New Zealand at all cost.

Is this the kind of stuff you were trying to escape?  Well, you must continue to look elsewhere, I'm afraid.

It's Really Expensive

Financial security should always closely follow behind life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness in terms of its importance for Americans.  I can safely say unless you are truly a multi-millionaire, New Zealand will not be good for your financial health.

All of life's necessities (housing, food, clothing, transportation) and near necessities (smartphones, laptops) are all vastly more expensive than their equivalent product in the United States.

New Zealand has an ongoing housing affordability crisis, car imports are very costly, and petroleum currently costs almost $6 USD a gallon.  To put some food prices in perspective, a modest cooked breakfast at a Kiwi cafe will set you back about $20 NZD ($13 USD).

All I can tell you is that four years of a U.S. president you don't quite like will more than compensate for the lifetime of a just-over-broke wallet that awaits you here.

You Will Not Be "One of Us"

Finally, as a (presumably) white American of Christian heritage living in New Zealand, you will never truly become a Kiwi, despite all the hoopla about my country being so welcoming of everyone.

First of all, there will be constant inquiry into your accent if you are presumed to be anything other than a tourist.  While this will be a novelty at first, it will inevitably wear on you as the months and years pass by.

Being white and a native speaker of English, Kiwi locals will also feel free to ask more obtrusive questions about your status in my country — questions they would not dare to ask someone of a different racial or linguistic background.  (Isn't that funny how "white privilege" works?)

Puzzled questions of "why are you in New Zealand?," "what made you decide to come to New Zealand?," and my personal infuriating favorite: "when are you going home?" are annoying inquiries that you are going to have to field at many new social interactions.

Does this sound like a lot of fun after you having been living here for two, three, or ten years?  Americans, on the other hand, are the most accommodating people on Earth with regard to how their country accepts its new (legal) immigrants.  I find it completely unfair how a New Zealander who moves to the United States would be so wholeheartedly embraced as a local, while this courtesy would not be extended to Americans who move to New Zealand.  (Oh, and even if you're from the Deep South, you'll be a "Yank" in New Zealand, no matter how many times you try to educate or correct the locals about proper usage of the term.  Get ready for that.)


At face value, it's completely understandable why a lot of (primarily white) Americans hold New Zealand in high regard and routinely place it near the top of their potential relocation destinations.  This is especially true for those who espouse they are "sick" of the United States in some way and are looking for greener, and yet culturally familiar, pastures abroad.

Like the United States, it's (for the time being) a majority-white nation.  It speaks English as its primary language.  Its core settler population was chiefly composed of British people, and it's undoubtedly a first-world nation in terms of development, hygiene, safety standards, and comparative income levels.  I can see, without any shadow of a doubt, that it's probably tied with the home nations of Great Britain (England, Scotland, and Wales) as being the third easiest country in the world for white Americans to resettle into comfortably.  Only Canada — followed by Australia — has a culture and lifestyle that would hit closer to home.

Combine these ease-of-transition factors along with a hatred for Donald Trump — or Hillary Clinton, if she had been elected — and running away to New Zealand will always be a relatively common threat for a vocal minority of U.S. citizens.

But I have outlined the reality that awaits you if you choose to take the plunge.  Prepare to leave your guns at the door, leave many of your civil liberties at the airport, keep the same thick skin for social justice hysteria, get used to being a "Yank," and start getting used to having a fast(er) depleting bank account.

Hamish Carter can take your fan mail or not-so-fan mail at

Image: The.Rohit via Flickr (cropped).

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