So my wife is trying to persuade me to move to New Zealand

Dudes, I want to remind you that moving to a nation to permanently live and work there is not easy. Every nation (that one would want to move to)has rules on immigration. You cant just pick someplace that looks nice and became a resident.

New Zealand has a navy, army, and air force. They are not particularly big or strong and mostly do peace keeping / support duties. The air force no longer has a strike / fighter squadron, which is what you may be thinking of.

For people wanting any kind of professional career, NZ is a small pond with a limited number of posts, and most of them end up packing their bags and heading for Australia, or England.

@Omar_Little’s link to the government roster of skills shortages seems to say that NZ is short of nearly everything in engineering, medicine, and IT. Which are generally well paying skillsets in demand everywhere on Earth.

Which leads me to wonder about what @Richard_Pearse & @MK_VII have to say just above. If the government believes there’s a worker shortage in some field, that implies a) they’re wrong, or b) there are unfilled openings in commerce.

I suppose the rest of the story could simply be that net of the high cost of living, NZ industry can’t pay competitive wages. Ref the recent WFH threads, it isn’t wage levels or living expense levels that matter, but rather their balance.

So perhaps NZ suffers a net brain drain that’s only offset by folks coming to NZ for non-financial reasons. Some of whom find that works long term and some of whom don’t.

I can remember similar recruitment issues in Southern California back in the 1970s as I was working through school. Because way back then the living was easy & the weather good, big employers got used to paying substandard wages and still the recruits pored into the state. The saying was you were paid in “sunshine & seashore dollars.”

Then rampant real estate price inflation took off and suddenly they had to pay 110% or 115% of the national wage get people to move there instead of the 85% they were used to paying. All kinds of dislocation followed that still hasn’t settled out 50 years later. In fact I’m told by family out there that it’s still getting worse.

High housing prices are a cancer on commerce even as they make homeowners feel real happy. It’s a fool’s paradise because when they sell they find all that money they thought they made doesn’t buy them anything better. But somehow each fool needs to learn that for themselves.

Absolutely right. I’m always somewhat bemused by folks who think “hey, I’ll just move to country X”, without stopping once to consider if country X will even let them in. It just seems like that (non-minor) step is simply assumed.

Me too. Moving across the world is a big deal, possibly insanely expensive proposition, with potentially huge repercussions. It’s not a decision to be taken lightly, especially on an “oh, it sounds nice there” mentality.

I was ready to tell you about the “Great New Zealand Brain Drain” and how all of our talent move overseas, but apparently it is not true, although it has happened in the past.

Note that the headline is a myth that is busted by the content.

Yeah, I have no doubt that lots of talented, educated people leave NZ, but a modern affluent nation with close to 5 million people still needs loads of professionals of most every ilk.

I would like to believe I am counted in that exodus of 1998-2000, but I was just an unemployed wannabe web designer.

Which is interesting. And in a way deepens the mystery.

Ultimately I suppose the way to square the stated shortage of certain high skilled labor in NZ is that those are growing fields everywhere on Earth. There are shortages of those folks everywhere. Both large & small countries try to fill the need for more bodies both by home-grown and by imported labor. The US certainly has its skilled labor import processes such as H-1B visas.

In NZ’s case the absolute size of the shortages are small on a global scale and so might easily be fulfilled by importing a globally negligible number of people.

Ultimately, I suppose it’s the union labor guy in me that gets confused when any employer can’t find the employees it wants. If you’re not getting what you need, pay more. Or train the skills you need. It isn’t rocket science. ISTM management totally believes in supply and demand, market elasticity, and all the rest as applied to all of its business’s inputs and all of its outputs. Except labor, where they seem to think it’s their birthright to find the right skills growing on trees in great abundance for nil cost.

My mother-in-law has lived in Auckland for about 25 years. My wife and I live in the U.S. and visited her 20 years ago for a couple weeks. Drove around the north and south islands.

My impression? An absolutely beautiful country, and the people seemed very nice and laid back. I would love to go back for a visit. But I can’t think of a good, practical reason for wanting to move there. Anything I can do or see there, I can do or see in the U.S. Plus my money goes a lot further here.

I’ve lived all over the world, usually without a preview. I’ve previewed New Zealand for three weeks, and I’d move there readily, given prospects and financial ability.

I’ve not been to the UK, but I suspect that New Zealand is more similar to the USA than to the UK. I don’t mean “Trump” or “Never Trump,” but actual, daily life for most people on most days.

I also have family friends and my own friends in New Zealand that kind of confirm my beliefs. And this is going to be kind of strange as an American, but I’ll say that New Zealand is pretty much Ontario, Canada, with more geography and without Toronto (because Toronto is Sydney, Australia).

Really, I should visit the UK. Having been to a lot of ex-UK colonies, one would think I’d understand the UK, but Australia, South Africa, New Zealand, Canada, seem a lot more American than European, so maybe Brexit isn’t wrong.

QFT. My parents sold their house in Culver City in 1976 for $69K. It’s currently valued at $1.633M. We bought our condo for $159.9K in 1984. Comparable townhouses are going for $800K now. It’s insane. And if we sold and wanted to stay in our neighborhood? We’d have to buy a small crappy crackerbox, with maybe 2 BDR and 1 BA.

If your parents had taken that $69,000 and immediately dumped it into the S&P500, they would have $8.2M right now so real estate inflation isn’t that crazy at all.

Nah, they dumped most of into a house in AZ.

…are not the UK. Alien as all those countries are, my n-generation Australian friends have told me that people from those countries are all colonials when you meet them in London. It’s only the English that you find foreign.

I’m curious now - in what way? And which parts of South Africa did you visit?

Yeah, pretty much this, which I find ironic.

And, I still haven’t leart to multiquote. In South Africa, I dealt with white people for the most part, and that’s South Africa’s problem, not mine. The white people are also divided, though, between the English and the Afrikaans. By “American” rather than “European,” though, I mean the pioneer attitude and the love for hunting, on the plus side. On the negative side, the politically correct racism was just like us.

WTF is politically correct racism???

For example, “I have nothing against black people, but black people always hate white people because they’re white.”