In reply to a post I saw on E2NZ.org (god knows why I went there, it’s like a car crash in slow motion) where I made two replies, the first was a reply to the following post:
Thank you for posting that. Your post really resonated with me.
I feel your pain – that is pretty much my story as well. My parents immigrated to NZ 18 years ago and I have grew up here. Like you I went to high school and university here, got a well paid job (thanks to having a couple of open minded UK immigrants as my bosses), bought a house on my own and doing my best to settle in.
But lately the anti-immigration sentiment is really starting to make me feel uneasy. All I hear is Asian getting blamed for all sorts of problems – rising house prices, pushing Kiwi out of jobs, causing traffic accidents to even the declining popularity of rugby (sigh…).
I guess unlike you I don’t have any families here. My parents went back home years ago, finding it too hard to settle in. And to Kiwi women, an Asian man is not seen as a desirable partner, no matter who successful I am. So I am isolated and staring down the prospect of dying alone here.
And I know exactly what you mean when you say your ‘newly-found aggressiveness worries me. It also makes me incredibly sad.’. I am normally a calm and caring person but I find myself getting short-fused, angry, bitter and just want to see the world burn. I guess that is what happen when one group of people is marginalized and no one cares.
If you hang around people who are the lowest rung of the socio-economic ladder then it is like writing off the whole of the UK because you spent two years living on a council estate then claiming that the noisy chavs down the road apparently represent the UK over all. If you choose to hang around with people like that then whose fault is it? it is like hearing people here whine about New Zealand and all they’ve done is live in Auckland – congratulations, now you know why Auckland is given the big finger by the rest of New Zealand due the fact that it is a wannabe Sydney which has all the grittiness but none of the excitement that comes with a big city.
I’m living down in Wellington and there has been a big influx of people from the provinces into the major cities which has resulted in many of the more provincial points of view floating around in cities that are pretty cosmopolitan and accepting which colours peoples perception of New Zealand. I’m hoping New Zealand over time such views fade but all countries are going through this urbanisation process where there is greater centralisation as people go where the jobs are resulting in conflict between the existing cosmopolitan culture and the xenophobic culture of the new comers where in the provinces their views were seen as acceptable but having to contend with the fact that those living in the bigger cities don’t have such a tolerance for small mindedness.
Regarding the original poster (the original blog post) and his/her experience, once again it not only comes down where you live but also politicians looking to blame others for their inept planning and when things turn to crap they look for a group to blame; immigrants, gays, Muslims and blame all of societies woes on them. Does this happen in other countries? too damn right – just look at the United States and the number of people supporting Trump, the rise of the far right in France, the overt racism in Australia with Pauline Hanson winning a senate seat – I know this website (e2nz.org) has turned into a New Zealand bashing circle jerk and yes I do believe we should be better than those examples from other countries but lets not try to make out the argument that some how the world is this giant peaceful racially tolerant utopia and New Zealand is some disgusting racism riddle shithole in the south pacific that is beyond redemption.
Whether you enjoy living in New Zealand is based on what decisions you make; if you come to New Zealand expecting bread, circuses and tacky kitsch entertainment then you’re better off moving to the United States and living in a state like California or Nevada (specifically Los Vegas) but if you want to settle down with a family and get involved with the community/workplace then you’re welcome. If you decide to sit in the lunchroom and only talk to people from your ethnic group and then bemoan that you feel isolated then whose fault is that? it reminds me of when I was working at Pak ‘n Save and working with a group of Chinese students who had come over to study and work part time. Out of the group of Chinese work mates there was only one who ever actually came and sat down at the same table as all of us and get involved in conversations and improving her English (her English skills btw were no better or worse than the rest of her Chinese friends) – the net result? she went to parties, met new people, her English improved to the point that after a few years she almost had a New Zealand accent. If you sit in the corner, isolate yourself, and create a mini-[insert country here] then don’t be surprised that your circle of opportunities drastically shrinks for employment and meeting new people. Your life is what you make it.