With rising fuel prices, food prices, the ever-so-tempting 'Big Brother Country' Australia looming over us (which for the record pays a lot better), and with terrible crime, gang and drug problems that resemble places like, oh I don't know, South L.A., is New Zealand really a great place to live? I'll tell you what I think. Living in NZ myself and growing up here, I can quite easily say it's an awesome place: Great scenery, lovely warm summers, great sporting pride (Go the All Blacks! (National rugby team - look it up on Wikipedia)), and nothing too dangerous here at all whether it be animals, or natural disastors or even 'smaller' problems like racism. NZ is a great place - no doubt about it, we're a really relaxed bunch of people living in what we all refer to as paradise. Puting to one side my thoughts on NZ, take into consideration people living in South Auckland (New Zealand's major city). They are prodominantly Maori (Native New Zealand) or Polynesian (People from the Pacific Islands). South Auckland is notorious for youth gangs, P labs, crimes and particularly murders, which for a country of only 4 Million is at a rediculously high rate. Here's why I believe it happens.
The Maori's Aotearoa (New Zealand) was a couple of hundred years ago, flooded with European people (not all at once obviously), and ever since then they have had trouble over land and race. The Islanders as we call them, often come to NZ to bring up their family in a more western environment and or because most of their relatives all ready live here! A lot of the time they don't know english, so can't get a good job or education, they tend to have many children who then go and steal or get lost on the streets of South Auckland (Because it is a cheap place for them to live) and then get involved in gangs and the like, feeling they are more 'accepted' under their arms. This is a similar case for the Maori.
However, it is not only the Maori and Pacific Islanders that get invloved with this (I say this for fear of being called a racist). Allthough there are a lot more European New Zealanders living here, many still get into similar situations.
It seems every night on the 6 'O Clock news, the main headlines are of another murder or two, rising food and oil prices (which may I add, will not help the already struggling Maori and Polynesian communities), and generally all things possible going down hill. I know rising food and fuel prices are a problem globally, but because New Zealand is so small, yet with SOOOO much ingenuity and potential, it is costing too much to ship overseas and make here - Why do so when it can be made HEAPS cheaper in China. It's so frustrating for us.
NZ is also a very proud sporting nation, with our national rugby team - the All Blacks being ranked Number 1 in the world. However, recently the Rugby World Cup was held in France. We lost. In the Quater finals. To France. In front of a crowd on 90, 000. It was sooo devastating. It was the headline on the news - and the only thing on the news that night, and I think the team's fans lost a lot of faith in the All Blacks. Our fantastic players are being signed off to high-paying clubs in France and Japan. I think New Zealand sport is going downhill from here on in. We definately have the talent - we're probably the best sporting country according to per capita in the world. Our stars are going over seas (as well as normal citizens) and we just don't have the money for the facilities.
To give you an example, New Zealand's most sought after meet and other foods, are much cheaper to buy in say London then half the world away back here in NZ.
I'm writing this not only to discuss this 'issue' but to warn travellers (after all this is under the travel section), that although New Zealand has stunning scenery as portayed in the Lord of The Rings trilogy and in the Narnia films, and is far, far, far less crowded than almost anywhere, we are, as a nation, moving towards some dark times ahead and are now up there if you look closley enough with crimes of New York, South L.A., Detroit and London to name a few. Just take this into consideration when you next visit NZ.
It used to be considered a crime to leave for Ausrtalia of all places, and I'm a proud New Zealander, but I don't blame the 500, 000 NZ's now living in Australia.....I really don't.