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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2003

    Default Rats leaving a sinking ship or tall poppies seeking the sun?

    I can't help noticing one thing that many of the NZers famous for various achievements from Russell Crowe to (my hero) Dolf de Roos have in common - none of them live there.

    Speaking to a group largely comprising ex-pat New Zealanders I wonder if we can discuss why that is? Do people start becoming successful then outgrow New Zealand? Do successful people get out of there as soon as they can?

    Personally I think that NZ doesn't really have in the infrastructure in place to support the degree of success that we might like. Obviously a country of our size is unlikely to fund movies on a scale like Gladiator, but I am more talking about training and preparation. Every time I hear about a New Zealander achieving in any arena it turns out they were born in NZ but lived in Aus/US/UK since they were children, so not really something we can claim credit for.

    So I wonder - would I be as successful if I had stayed in NZ? Not at all, but that's the effect of travelling and seeing new things, not anything wrong with NZ per se. If I went back to NZ now I would probably do better than I am doing in the UK, but the relative strength of the dollar means that I can leverage my time better by earning pounds than dollars.

    Thank you Peter Jackson for receiving international acclaim and staying firmly put in Karaka Bay.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Kapiti in New Zealand


    Hello !

    I would not even dream of comparing myself to successful people but maybe you would like to here why my wife and I left NZ for Melbourne?

    We both come from Wellington and love the city to death - but a few years back we were finding it too small in both career opportunities and social outings. We thought to ourselves where could we go in this world that was like Wellington but bigger and close to home in case of family emergencies. Melbourne was our only choice but a few years on we are looking forward to going back to Wellington to live and enjoying its wonderful culture and landscape.

    We hope to not have to worry about money when we get back so of course that reduces the stress levels down!

    So we used Aussie to get our way in life and give us what we need to go back home and live without too much worry.

    Best regards


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2003

    Default my thoughts

    We are lucky in the fact that we were born in NZ and have the opportunity to roam and return at our whim.

    We have no visa restrictions and are free to see the world and make our mark wherever we please.

    There is not really 1 single reason that I can attribute to people moving overseas other than that with a limited population base the opportunities are also limited.

    12 out of 20 of my J1 class are here (or have been here (UK) at some time) - so that is saying something (and I came from a hick-town out the back of beyond !!)

    There is definitely a tall-poppy syndrome as not-so-successful people are always trying to knock those who succeed.

    In London you are a 'number' and it takes a lot more effort / achievement to be seen as the tallest poppy so anonymimity is a huge factor for people leaving NZ behind and starting fresh.
    This also gives us more motivation and we are better people because of it.

    Coupled with a better exchange rate we can leverage ourselves a lot more, whilst travelling around the world picking up ideas for what we can do when we come back home (knowing we can always come back home at any time)

    my 2c worth (about .7 of a p based on todays rate..........)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2005


    I think that successful NZers who leave and make a success of themselves are great. What hacks me off is people who go abroad and dis NZ, Crowe-ing about what a small minded place it is.

    At the end of the day, with a few notable exceptions, the biggest anything in NZ is pretty small on the world stage, so if you really want all the success, fame and money you can eat, then its America or Europe for you - please sell me your house at a healthy discount before you go.

    Cube (expat pom)

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    hole in the wall


    I think I will choose to be a big fish in a small pond. I love NZ and it is the best place to raise our children.

    Sure we will travel the world once we are financially free but hey I don't know about you but I live in Paradise. I love native bush and outdoor stuff like kayaking on our rivers.

    I enjoy shopping and dining in cities like Melbourne but cities aren't my cup of tea.
    Wellington however has a place in my heart since we lived there before the kids for a number of years. It doesn't even feel like a city to me.


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2004

    Default Re: Rats leaving a sinking ship or tall poppies seeking the

    Must agree on the Wellington region being a great place to bring up kids and live. I've done my years of OE in the UK and US, but as soon as the nesting instinct took over, it was straight back to this little paradise, away from the maddening world.

    From the figures I've seen on ex-pats returning, and the amount of imigrating UK families I get through my short-term accommodation I'd say theres a quite a trend at the moment.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2003


    NZ is a fab place but like a few of you I have been more successful as a result of spending most my business life overseas. It is only now after 16 years that I contemplate a return to NZ.

    Thankfully the Internet and forums like this one bridge the gap so small town syndrone hopefully doesn't have the same impact on damping one's spirit as it once did.

    Or at least I hope this will be the case when I make the move south this year.....if not I'll be straight back on the plane!




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