I was born and raised in the amazing country of New Zealand. These pros and cons come from my personal experiences of what I feel are good and bad parts of living in New Zealand. That being said, it will always be home to me. When I was younger I grew up near the city, then beside the beach and the other half was spent living in the country side. New Zealand is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful places in the world, with the most breathtaking scenery and nature. The air feels incredibly clean and fresh. This is most apparent if you have traveled to a polluted city before. For example, when I traveled to a city in Asia, the air was not very good, and it really made me appreciate the fresh air in New Zealand.
New Zealand is incredibly beautiful and perfect for the adventurous. It is truly a wonderful place with natural beauty. People generally spend more time outdoors, and as most Kiwi’s I grew up going to the beach, going for bush walks and traveling to trails. North Island and South Island each have their own certain beautiful areas, with different things you can do. Whether that’s paragliding, surfing, fishing, trekking, snow boarding, bungy jumping and so on.
The people are generally very friendly (and the population is small). As someone who doesn’t like over crowded places, New Zealand is great, because even the most crowded places are very spacious. I believe New Zealand is one of the most friendliest countries in the world. Of course not everyone is friendly, but most Kiwi’s are friendly and willing to help.
It’s a very active country with a carefree nature. There is no doubt that Kiwi’s love their sports. Hence being very outdoors. If you grew up in New Zealand, you have probably gone on school camps kayaking, rock climbing and abseiling. When I was in college, I did swimming and hockey, even though I wasn’t the best at it, it was normal for most people to do some kind of sport.
The roads are far more wider and spacious. This is a big one for me, because as I mentioned, I love my own personal space. Unless you are in Wellington (as the roads are more narrower), but the paths are definitely more spacious compared to most big cities. Touching on that, it is also relatively safe due to less people (however, as with any country, there is still crime).
There is much less materialism. Most people aren’t concerned with what the latest car you’re driving or what phone you carry. Of course, there are a lot of people who do prefer to have the latest technology. In bigger cities there are much more people with an attachment to luxury items and more exposure to designer wear.
A great place to raise children. I really believe this, as it’s much easier to make friends. Most kids are very friendly and won’t judge you. It’s a peaceful place that really makes you an outdoors, down to earth and healthy person. It also (touching on the previous one) made me not materialistic, as I spent more time walking on the farm and going out, then staring at a phone.
Christmas is spent in the Summer time. Some of the best memories is spending Christmas at the beach every year as a tradition. A warm Christmas swimming and having lunch with the family. Everyone is traveling, going outdoors and enjoying the sunshine. It’s the perfect time to enjoy New Zealand at its best.
There is not too many things to do. Although there is a lot to do for the adventurous and those who are very active in sport, there just realistically isn’t as many things to do for those who are searching for something different. There are wonderful galleries and museum, but it can often not be enough to take up your weekend.
Most places in New Zealand require driving. Most of us would be getting ready for our drivers license in college, as 90% of the places in New Zealand require driving, unless you are situated in central city and may like to take the transport. However -another con- the transport system in New Zealand is not the best. It’s quite slow, costly and not completely reliable.
The drinking culture is quite high in New Zealand. Similar to having not many things to do, I think that part of the reason is due to less things to do. It’s common for many young people to go out drinking, clubbing and partying every weekend.
Many things cost very high and the living is expensive. I rarely ate out, and ate in most of the time because food costs quite a bit. The occasional weekend meal and night during the week was fine. Living is definitely quite expensive, and the best thing to lower it as a student is to live with other flatmates.
There are four seasons in a day. Growing up in Auckland the weather is very unpredictable. I always carried an umbrella and sometimes a jumper, because it could be very sunny one moment, but showering in the afternoon.
The creative industry is not as appreciated as sports. This seems obvious because of the love of sports in New Zealand, but I don’t think the creative industry is nearly as appreciated as it should be. There are amazing talented people in New Zealand that I personally knew and I felt as if they deserved far more recognition for what they do.
New Zealanders are more judgmental of those who stand out. This is due to the lower population, and that most people want to be able to fit in with the crowd, rather than be left out. It can also be called the tall poppy syndrome.
There is still racism (and it’s inevitable in a multicultural country). To be fair this will happen anywhere if you live in a cultural melting pot. The truth is there are quite a high amount of Asians in Auckland, and whatever race you are, you are likely to face some form of small or big expressions of racism.
Career opportunities are significantly less. There are less working opportunities in New Zealand, especially if you may have a specific work position that you are striving for. Whether someone is already in that position and there are no other positions available, or the job position you are searching for may have very limited numbers.
Pros & Cons (The Good & Bad)
New Zealanders are very laid back. This is great for when you don’t want to get into a quarrel. However, when it comes to being on time, it’s a bit too laid back. Most fast paced cities have a lot of people who are in a rush and cannot have any time wasted. They need to be on schedule. However many Kiwi’s are fine with being a little late. Although, the good is that most people can take it easy and not be rushing through life.
It’s hard and easy to make friends. As mentioned previously, people are generally very friendly. But the main con, is that most people are in their own circles, and it can sometimes be a tight one.
Everything is far more slow paced and a no worries nature. A good example is the speed of construction in New Zealand. It’s incredibly slow. Certain places, such as hospitals and other medical places require bookings that may be a while away. Whereas most places in other countries will squeeze you in that day, if not that week.
Many people who live there long term are likely to settle. I feel if I stayed in Auckland till I was 20, I was far more likely to live there for the rest of my life, rather than travel to a different country/ies to experience a different life. Due to the relaxing nature of living in New Zealand, many people love it and choose to settle long term.
Not many people have heard of New Zealand. This is more of an entertaining one not related to the pros and cons of living in New Zealand. However, I noticed when I have traveled, not many people have heard of New Zealand. Otherwise, they have, but they are not sure where it is on the map.