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  1. New Zealand is not as “free” as it sometimes appears to be in freedom rankings, etc. We’d have a fit if someone from the gov’t came into our houses before we could have permission to own a firearm! It does sound appealingly “old-fashioned” though judging by the writer’s comments that charm may be waning as the next generation of New Zealanders become tech addicts.

    1. This article paints a much different picture of NZ. If someone comes to the US to buy clothes and shoes and electronics, what does that say about what they have there and what it costs. I heard that the taxes were pretty high there and along with having to import most things makes life pricey.

  2. comment for part 3

    Thanks for the many comments. I will post this in all four parts of the article. It was the editors option to split the article up the way he did.

    1. I moved to NZ for my children’s primary education years. I did not plan to stay as long as I have. My son started in school year 1 (age 5), now in year 8 (age 11/12).

    2. We never gave up our U.S. citizenship as we always planned to return to the states for high school and university years. We picked up NZ citizenship and a passport as a bonus. We can use it or forget it, but we have it and that may mean something someday. Believe it or not, there are some places in the world you don’t want to have a U.S. passport on you.

    3. I agree the costs are high here and I tried to give you an idea of what some costs are. If you want to relocate, you better have some cash reserves or a highly sought after skill. All in all, you can have a good life here. Everyone will be different.

    4. The medical is a two level system. One side is all public and you wait your turn. The other is private. You pay for the ability to be seen quicker and by private doctors/surgeons. That’s why the taxes are high.

    5. It is not the U.S. and can never have the infrastructure that we have in the states. You are moving down the ladder to a more rural and simpler system. Yes, they do things different here in the way the government tackles problems. It is far less stressful living here and can be much slower. Time to enjoy life instead of buying that next big screen TV or another new car. It’s what you make of it.

    6. Yes, China is having great influence in NZ and Australia. If China wanted to take over, it probably would not be too difficult, aside from a few arguments, then World War X would start. If that were to happen? Well that’s what all of the ‘doom and gloom’ books are about.

    7. One person questioned the idea that the schools have a program where the kids go away from home on increasingly difficult outdoor trips. Yes, it’s a risk to let your children leave home, but they have to learn. It’s something I probably wouldn’t do in the states, but they do learn responsibility and how to get through a hard hike. I am very impressed with the strength and determination the children learn by the age of 12.

    8. Another person made a comment about kids in school with ADD and how they handle them. Well, in the U.S. I think that is mostly a result of kids sitting in front of the TV/video game all day and eating bags of snacks. The playgrounds in NZ would be an ambulance chasers dream come true. You see quite a few kids each year with broken arms and legs. Guess what, they learned that sometimes you fall down and get a boo-boo’. But these same kids are usually running right along side their friends playing, cast and all.
    The kids in class are monitored at the start of the school year as to their abilities in math, spelling, reading… and placed in groups that ‘push’ them to do better. The slowest kid does not slow down the rest of the class. They realize some kids are dumb and will most likely learn how to operate a shovel someday.

    I know I didn’t reply to everyone’s comments. I would be happy to answer if you want to email me through my web site.
    In closing, I tried to give you a sense of what it is like here. I am sure the same problems would be found for where ever you want to go. Again, my primary purpose was education for my children and a chance to run through a park barefoot.
    My next challenge will be to try and teach them to live in America with all of the problems in the states, but also all of the benefits which make the U.S. great.

  3. “Weather in New Zealand is widely varied with the north island getting much more rain than the south island. ”

    ???!!! Actually they are about the same on average. Parts of the South Island have extremely high rainfall – particularly the West Coast – and parts of the North Island are as dry as the dry parts of the South Island (e.g. Hawkes Bay).

  4. ACC is the accident compensation corporation – essentially compulsory accident insurance and the reason people don’t sue over personal injury from accidents (because they can’t by law). Levies are deducted from wages with your taxes (about 1%?) and from employers and petrol (to cover motor accident injuries). It covers medical costs of injuries from accidents (including at home or playing amateur sport) and pays 80% of salary for time off work due to the injuries.

    1. Thanks for clearing that up. I never used it.
      I didn’t have much exposure to life in the larger cities so I am sure that some of my comments in the article would be different if I lived in Auckland, Wellington or Christchurch.

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