What Do I Love About New Zealand?

Wednesday, August 4, 2010
I was thinking about this the other day - sometimes I ask myself random questions. Like, if I could choose anywhere in the world to live, where would that be? Usually, the grand old USA is the top of my list. Sometimes I'm in the mood for France. If it could be in a sweet, thatched roof cottage in a pretty garden by a river I'd say England. I even thought I'd like Finland once, because I know some nice people there and they get lots of snow. (I like snow).
Funny how it's never North Korea or Zimbabwe or Iran (though I know someone nice there too).

But I always come back to New Zealand. Really. Do we know how lucky we are? I once lived in Hawaii. Some think Hawaii is paradise. And it is if you're on holiday. But when I lived there the paradise lost some of it's bloom when I had to fight, kill and avoid ants, mosquitos, centipedes the size of large sausages and flying cockroaches; and keep the rubbish away from the Mongoose. But I still love Hawaii.

They say that Kiwis are among the best travelled in the world. Probably because to get anywhere we have to traverse some of the biggest oceans in the world. But I also like to think that we have a restlessness in our blood. That pioneering spirit. That can-do attitude that we're always reminded about on tv ads.
Think about our ancestors, both Maori and European. It took great courage and fortitude to leave their homelands to make a new life here.

So I was thinking how lucky we are in New Zealand. And then I was thinking why? What is it about New Zealand that makes us luck? Here's what I think: bear in mind that I tend to be idealistic, so please smile over my moments of idealism.

* It's small. There's a lot to be said for size. It might not be the cheapest place on earth because of that, but we're not crowded out. There are still large empty spaces, and crime is relatively low.

* It's temperate. As Goldilocks said, not too hot, not too cold.

* It's free. Hoorah for democracy! I hope, as one who has seen oppresion in foreign parts, that I will never take it for granted.

* We're just the teensiest bit old-fashioned still. I love that. I love that we still hang our clothes out on the line, and that our state highway is a dangerous two-way, single lane road, and that we still sell our coffee in china cups. (that's for you Ginny). :o)

* I love that we still get mail delivered on Saturday.

* We are isolated. Great big oceans cut us off from the rest of the world. It's expensive to come and it's expensive to go. That makes us unpopular, and in this big, scary, nasty modern world, I see that as a good thing.

* Medical care is still reasonably free. I know it's not perfect, but as one who has needed it over the last year or so, I'm glad of it, and I'm grateful.

* I like that most of our beautiful coastline still looks just as it must have looked to Captain Cook.

* I like that you can write a letter to our Prime Minister and hope and expect to get one back.

* I like it that we have a Queen. God bless her.

* People still matter. Of course there are big organizations that treat you as a number, and there are lots of corporate executives out there who want to appear sophisticated and hard-nosed and tough and look down their noses at you, but when it comes down to the towns and communities and treating strangers well, the majority of kiwis still have an inbred concern for their fellow man - and generally people still smile at you in the street, and are happy to pass the time of day with you.

Yes, I like New Zealand. I think we're lucky. I really don't want to live anywhere else. It's a beautiful place.
If you could name one thing that you like about where you live, what would it be, I wonder?


Little Kiwi Chick said...

Hi Rachel!
I enjoyed this post... *sigh* - I miss NZ sooo much! I would agree with everything you listed as being great about our country.

There is only one thing that I wish I could change about New Zealand, and that would be the cost of home ownership. That is really the main reason that keeps us from living there :o( It is just so crazily expensive now compared to what it was and it makes it so hard for young Kiwi families starting out.

Hmm... 'Dear Mr. Key...'

WendyJW said...

Hi - I'm Australian, but have spent about 3yrs of my life, plus 3 or 4 holidays in NZ. Mainly the south island which I love. Many of the things on your list resounded with me - I would love to go back to live there again - family constraints limit this at the moment. I love the freshness, the quaintness, the open-ness, the lack of crowds (in most places!) the mountains, the wine etc. etc. !!

Cate said...

As an expat living here by choice, I agree with most of your list, but do hate the cost of living which is getting worse....

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