New Zealand is proving to be a popular place to live, as witnessed by the increase in net arrivals.
More people are arriving and fewer people are leaving.
We have our issues, but it’s nice to reflect now and then that yes, we do truly live in a place where people want to live.
I’m reminded of that each day as I look out the window at work at the crowds of happy tourists visiting Auckland’s Art Gallery, or as I wander through the streets of downtown Auckland, Britomart, the Viaduct and Wynyard Quarter.
I’m reminded each time I fly to another city in New Zealand – on average one a week – and feel blessed not just for the wonderful destination and people, but also for the simplicity of the journey on our national airline.
I’m reminded whenever I listen to the National Program from RNZ, and compare and contrast with any media outlet offshore.
I’m reminded when I experience our healthcare system, our natural abundance, and, even, our taxation and welfare system.
We are a beacon of political sensibility in a world increasingly pressured by political turmoil.
We are a society that has deliberately worked hard at fixing underlying issues caused years of institutionalised discrimination, recognising the central role of the Tangata Whenua in New Zealand, working through treaty settlements and along the way realising and promoting a true multi-cultural society. We welcome all people.
We are consistently ranked as one of the best places in the world to do business – and it’s increasingly clear to me that this is based on fact.
We are the lucky country – lucky because we have worked hard at being a great place to live.
Locals and people from offshore are voting with their feet. Right now it’s a great time to be in New Zealand. Join in and help us get even better.
Well said, Lance, and particularly timely. Thanks for the reminder of what we have, and what we’ve done to deserve it!
I agree that our response to past Treaty grievances and the hard work we are doing to overcome “institutional discrimination”, i.e racism, are central to what makes New Zealand a great place. Nowhere in the world is this happening to the same extent. The Treaty is indeed our founding document and efforts by all parties to make it real are only to be applauded. I wouldn’t have said that 10 years, or even 5 years ago, but now I genuinely believe that Treaty settlements and concepts such as ‘Tino rangatiratanga’ are important to our sense of nationhood and wellbeing. Most of us, I think, now embrace this new reality. My adult children prefer the Māori verse of the national anthem, rather than the English one. Secretly, I do too! All of this would have been unthinkable when I was growing up in 1950’s/1960’s New Zealand.
I do worry that new immigrants, no matter where they are from, may not fully embrace the concept of a Treaty partnership between Tangata whenua and the Crown. I am already seeing concern amongst some Māori academics about the growing influence of Asia in New Zealand. Interesting times ahead.
But yes, Lance, the New Zealand of today is a fabulous place to live in. Long may it continue!
There is some good work happening to help address the issue of immigrants understanding the specialness of the Treaty and Māori. Many foreign students from AUT, for example, get to spend quality time on a marae. Arguably the “Asian” immigrants, many of whom come from cultures that share similar traits to Māori, are not the issue. I would challenge whether we are preparing the South African, UK and returning Kiwis well enough for our evolving society.
Wow that’s pretty blinkered. Who worked hard, and a great place to live for who exactly? Is it a great place to live for the homeless? A great place to live for those on minimum wage? Or is it a great place to live for you Lance? One of the privileged who “worked hard” to get where you are. And how about that bottled water company that Punakaiki is investing in? Money for jam?
David the post is a step back to consider that overall we are doing well, a respite from the relentless efforts to say we are not. We do have issues, and I am not denying that we can do a lot better.
But yes – like most New Zealanders I’ve earned minimum wage before and I’ve lived in sub-standard housing. But I was also lucky enough to be around when we got generous government support for tertiary education, and appreciate what governments can do to change the trajectory of individuals, peoples and a nation.
But to take one issue, a bugbear for a while now, our minimum wage is actually not that bad. It’s currently $14.75, and moving to $15.25 per hour on April 1.
– The USA has a minimum wage of $7.25 per hour, or NZ$10.08. It’s even down to $2 or so in some states for tip-earning workers.
– The UK minimum wage is £7.20, or $12.45 per hour.
– The South African minimum wage is about NZ$2.50 per hour – hard to tell really.
– The Australian minimum wage is $17.76 per hour – much higher than ours.
While Australia still beckons, you’ll not be getting much of their social welfare net due to their anti-New Zealander stance.
And yes we need to address homelessness – it’s on the political agenda and media are giving the issue attention. We also need to address climate change, our stuffed rivers, our world’s highest car ownership dependance and our under investment in public transport, but maintain or increase investment in health, education and everything else that keeps this country together. It’s not an easy job, so let’s step back and say “not bad, not bad.”
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