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

That’s a very small, very particular subset of White South Africans you’re talking about. By far not the majority.

Most White South African racists aren’t politically correct at all.

It is totally true. Most of them require you to undergo a deep process like naturalization, testing your language, checking how many years you’ve spent in the country and so on.

Ok, I have a theory here.

You stayed in upmarket tourist hotels, went on guided tours, visited touristy places, and did American touristy things.

What you didn’t realise is that all of this is specially customised for American tourists. This is not the authentic country you’re seeing. It’s a tailored version for American tourists. So you’ve wrongly concluded that all these places are like America, with some local colour added.

Believe me, if you wandered off by yourself away from the tourist trails and guided tours, if you went to places the locals go, and did the things the locals do, you’d see something totally different.


It’s South Africa’s problem that you chose not to deal with Black people?

Why do I get the impression that you walked around in an Hawaiian shirt, a baseball cap, and dark glasses, with a big camera slung around your neck, and a patronising attitude? :rofl:

Is it because you are not reading his actual posts, but trying to get in another shot at an American poster? Because that’s the impression I have of you. :rofl: :rofl:

If you had read his posts you could have learned for yourself that he lived and worked in most of those countries, along with others.

He didn’t say that, actually. He said he’d lived in New Zealand for 3 weeks, and ‘lived all over the world’ without specifying countries, and without saying he’d worked there.

I’ll leave it to him to reply for himself, but it’s clear to me (and I think to @MrDibble) that he doesn’t know much about South Africa, and is drawing sweeping and incorrect conclusions.


If one came to South Africa and mostly dealt with White people, that’s very much on oneself. It’s not like all the Black and other non-White people are segregated still. If it was South Africans steering one away from interacting, that still wouldn’t be “South Africa’s problem”, because one would have to be interacting with a very particular group of South Africans, and that doesn’t happen accidentally.

And I have literally no idea how the fuck one could manage that (unless one came before the late 80s, in which case one’s opinion on what South Africa is like is worse than useless).

Even if one just came through an airport, picked up a hire car and drove straight to Orania and remained there, one’d still interact with way more non-White people than White ones. It’s literally impossible not to, unless one practices deliberate avoidance. South Africa is an overwhelmingly Black-majority country, nothing like the other ex-British colonies mentioned - Maoris, Aborigines, First Nations don’t have anywhere like the demographic presence that our Blacks do. That is unavoidable. Unless one has a very curated experience, that is.

The only way I can think of that we’re like (most of) America vs the UK is that our public transport infrastructure is shit, and so most middle-class urban people drive everywhere. It always amused me how many of my White friends had never ridden in a public bus or caught a train until they went to Europe on holiday. But that’s a very specific point of comparison.

I dunno. Maybe it’s because I lived abroad for so long, but I have known many, many people who did just that including myself. Usually it works out for them. In my experience, you have to be someplace first, then look around to see what’s what. It’s next to impossible to arrange something while sitting in Bumfuck, North Dakota.

We went into with a “let’s try it for a year” which then changed to “let’s try it for 5 years”. We sold our house, got rid of much of our furniture and put a lot of our stuff in storage.

We had almost 6 months to think about it, and then another 4 to get the move done, and that’s with corporate support.

Speaking as a very parochial Kiwi, who has lived 16 years in SIngapore…

  1. I live in Christchurch and absolutely wouldn’t trade it for anywhere else. Big enough to have what you need without a “big city feel” (I don’t like big cities)
  2. Education - my kids (aged 10 and 16) both go to good schools. We have a “zone” system here for schooling. Both my go to “out of zone” schools which you have to ballot to get into. We did this because we weren’t satisfied with the local school. I think education is like many places - it’s as much a function of parental attitude and involvement as of the school.
  3. Health care - for “emergency care” - we are registered with a clinic 5 minutes away, and can always “sit and wait” if we need to see a doctor. After hours fee is around $40 - so perfectly affordable for pretty much anyone that’s got a white collar job
  4. Housing - yeah, older houses are crap. You will be wanting to renovate with insulation and double glazing. Some of this can be done yourself (I did ceiling and underfloor bats personally for about $2,500), or a weeks or so wages
  5. My partner doesn’t work. Her deliberately chosen job is taking care of the kids - ferrying them to activities, cooking, making sure homework is done etc etc. Money is not plentiful for us, but we have modest needs and no mortgage. We both drive 15 year old cars, and my daughter has just bought her own car ($1,800) which she will pay for from her holiday job.
  6. Travel - taking the family anywhere overseas gets expensive fast. Our last trip to visit my wife’s family in Singapore was approx $7,500 just for airfares. Putting that into perspective - we’re looking now at a full renovation of our kitchen - budget will be around $10,000.

I went to South Africa for work, so I dealt with work people. It’s very, very much South Africa’s problem that “work people” are majority white management, and black labour. It’s very much South Africa’s problem that when I borrow a bakkie and take a self-guided tour through Kruger and the gate attendants, market personnel, and other employees are mostly white.

As for New Zealand, I spent several days with a work colleague there, and did a solo-tour in a camper van for three weeks. There’s very little European there. Although a lot of Institutions work differently, the people are very much the same.

I only visited Sydney in Australia. It was the most Canadian place I’ve been. Not European by a long shot.

To contrast, I lived in Germany for two years. I know the difference between Europe and the USA.

I’ve lived in Canada for multiple years, and about 20% of my family is on the Canada side of the border. There’s no doubt that Ontarians are much more like Michiganders than they are English, Dutch, French, etc.

The common thread is, when people leave Europe, they stop being European. It takes a certain mindset to leave everything behind, and that’s reflected in the societies that exist in all of these places now.

When I travel, I tend to do the local thing, because tours suck. I make it a point to understand the locals. Overwhelmingly, if you’re white and descended from the English, you’re a lot more like America than you are Germany.

Can you even move there to live without proven employment? Some countries require proof of that.

There are points-based skilled migrant residence visas if you are under 55, but I don’t see how you can have enough points without an offer of employment to show the immigration officers.

? No, it’s the problem of whatever company you chose to deal with.

You clearly went to some other Kruger Park, then. I know for a fact Kruger rangers are majority nonWhite, as are their accommodation staff.

I assume you were working for some large multinational company - and you take that as being representative of the country in general.

That’s like someone from China going to USA, working for a month at a big tech company in San Francisco, visiting the Grand Canyon, and then claiming they understand everything about American society.

Americans have a reputation in every country in the world of being ignorant and arrogant. While there are certainly plenty of Americans who don’t fit that description, in general it’s a well-earned reputation.

There was an interesting post in another thread by an American who emigrated to Europe and then returned to the US for a visit after living in Europe for many years.

That’s what you’re missing with your pompous pronouncements about ‘making it a point to understand the locals’.

Have you ever wondered if ‘the locals’ are laughing at you behind your back?

Born in the UK, went to New Zealand for a holiday in 1995 and liked it so much, I made a proper plan to emigrate there the following year.

Plenty of people told me I was ‘brave’ (doing it in my twenties, alone - i.e. not moving to stay with relatives or getting married to a Kiwi). But my family and job circumstances drove the decision to move to somewhere, rather than move from somewhere, which was definitely the right one. Anyone unhappy with their current situation can easily feel that emigrating may solve things, but runs the risk of just replacing one set of problems with another.

Quite a few UK people who’ve I’ve met when they do the same thing have either returned (“missing family/the pub/city life”) or moved to Australia (for a higher-paying job), but I’ve never had any regrets. Right now, married with a good secure job and a house in a country with no active Covid cases, I feel I’m one of the very lucky ones.

Given all the lockdowns and border closures around the world, I suspect the OP and others aren’t able to progress plans for emigrating any time soon. But give it a year when vaccination programmes are in place, and NZ will once again be able to welcome new residents. Best of luck to all those who choose to move to ‘Godzone’.

This reminds me of something I’ve heard; a lot of movies that were believed to be lost were recovered when a copy was found in New Zealand.

Back in the days when movies were made on actual film, the studios used to ship copies of the movie around from region to region for showings. After a movie had been shown in the various American market regions, the copies would be shipped off to foreign markets and work their way through those.

New Zealand was the last stop. When they had played everywhere else, they would ship the movies to New Zealand for one final run in the local theaters. And then the studios were done with the copies; they wouldn’t pay for transporting the movies back to America or anywhere else. So theater owners were told they could throw the movies out.

Most did just that. But sometimes a movie would get tossed into a back room and be forgotten. Decades later, film preservationists began searching all over New Zealand trying to find these films. Dozens of movies that had been thought lost were rediscovered this way.

That may say more about the English than it does Americans. We are nothing like Germany, or other places in Europe.

In my experience, Australians, New Zealanders, South Africans (and Canadians to a lesser extent) are more aligned culturally with the British than they are Americans. All those places and the UK are like cousins - America is much more foreign. I mean, you don’t even play rugby!

One of the factors might be that quite a lot of immigration from the UK to those places (I don’t know about Canada) happened even in the 20th C. Whereas the major UK->America pulses were longer ago.

What a cool bit of history and link. Thanks for sharing it!