This is a living list, I will keep adding as I think of more great things about New Zealand...
1. No pennies, all prices for goods are rounded off.
2. No snakes.
3. No poison ivy, oak, or sumac.
4. No sharks - well, they are extremely rare.
5. No deadly jellyfish.
6. Universal health care. (Private healthcare is also available at low rates.)
7. Kiwi’s are quite possible the friendliest people on earth.
8. Most gas stations will pump gas for you still, no tip expected.
9. The gas pumps very fast.
10. The possums look like cute monkeys, not like rats.
11. Hardly any wild deer, only farmed.
12. No air pollution.
13. Crystal clear streams.
14. Clean lakes.
15. Brilliant blue and green oceans.
16. You can easily collect your own food from the sea.
17. Rugby is awesome.
18. 10 sheep to every one person makes this country extremely cute.
21. Glow worms.
22. You can always find beautiful shells on the beach.
23. Lack of commercialization.
24. Resort-worthy beaches have no resorts (you might have to pay $6 to camp there, or it might just be free).
25. The entire country’s population is about 2x that of Chicago.
27. Less social class distinctions.
28. No Wal-Marts.
29. Lifestyle block living is common here.
30. Organic and sustainable gardening and farming are well practiced.
31. Temperate rainforests.
32. The Sounds (Marlborough Sounds, Milford Sounds, etc.)
33. Hundreds of other amazing rock formations.
34. Picturesque mountains and rolling brilliant green foothills everywhere.
35. No ticks. No Lyme disease.
36. Only one known poison spider (no one seems to have ever seen it and it is not deadly).
37. Swimming with dolphins.
38. Whale watching.
39. Relatively inexpensive and amazing properties available.
40. The Working Holiday Visa Program makes it easy to check things out before you make the big move.
41. Kiwi’s seem to be generally quite fond of Americans.
42. Proximity to other cool countries.
43. If something really does happen in 2012 as the Mayans predict, you probably will be safe in New Zealand.
44. No animal feedlots, free-range only.
45. Espresso-based drinks found everywhere, as opposed to warmed-over coffee.
46. The weather is amazing year-round.
47. Getting caught in a sheep herd might make you late to work, but it will make you smile all morning.
48. Fur seals.
49. Keas (the mischievous birds with a sense of humor).
50. Sea lions.
51. Manuka Trees and all the wonderful goodness they provide.
52. Racial tensions are light to non-existent.
53. Kiwis say, “No worries,” and they mean it.
54. Everyone is entitled to 1 full month paid vacation a year.
55. You are also entitled to take off work for 11 nationally recognized holidays.
56. It is tradition in many companies for the boss to supply libations for the employees on Fridays.
57. Sea kayaking.
59. Yes, Lord of the Rings was filmed here. Where? It could have been anywhere honestly! That’s how scenic the country is.
60. Heady local brews served on tap at every bar.
61. No tipping at restaurants.
62. Marlborough, Hawke’s Bay, Central Otago, Nelson, Canterbury - some of the greatest and most beautiful winemaking regions in the world.
63. Rock climbing.
67. All of the little islands.
68. Heaps of super-cool travelers from all over the world keep your days interesting.
69. The Green-Shelled Mussel Capital of the World.
70. Good public transportation systems.
71. Hitchhiking is still a safe and valid form of travel and a great way to meet new people.
72. Limited government interference.
73. Low, low crime rates.
74. How low? Police don’t even carry guns on their person!
75. Driving on the left seems a bit weird, but it is kind of fun once you get the hang of it.
76. Many specific skills are needed in the country, thus the department of immigration makes it easy for skilled workers to establish permanent residency.
77. While the country does have a standing army, I don’t believe they ever use it.
78. Eels in the streams are fun to feed.
79. Most of the South island is protected forestland.
81. Trout fishing/deep sea fishing.
82. Extremely casual work environments.
83. Cool accent and slang.
84. A lack of severe poverty, no bums - just broke travelers and street musicians.
85. Horseback riding on the beach.
86. Scuba diving/snorkeling.
87. Everything is crammed together, you could be climbing a glacier one minute, then tramping in the jungle the next, and 10 minutes later be on the beach. Makes vacationing very easy!
88. Eco-friendly building considerations are the norm (solar water heating, log-burners, low-flow toilets)
89. Kiwis like to keep it simple.
90. Sometimes internet availability is limited, but it really is a blessing as it just encourages you to get out and explore more.
91. Kiwi’s are not as big of germa-phobes as Americans are. They are sanitary, but their world is not polluted with bleach and other harsh chemicals.
92. Talking to strangers in public is customary, not weird.
93. Teaching others useful skills is often seen as a form of currency.
94. Having a good sense of humor is the top Kiwi job requirement.
95. Most vehicles are small, no Hummers or other ridiculously large SUVs here.
96. Hot springs.
97. Isn’t hard to find a nice place to skinny dip.
98. If you are tired of your in-laws popping in unexpectedly, moving to New Zealand might put a slight damper on that.
99. Kiwi’s make the most fabulous eggs benedict.
100. Good music scene.
101. The Kiwis seem to be ever so slightly behind in technology, this will make you seem super smart if you have good computer skills.
102. Very few chain restaurants.
103. Hardly any bugs, makes for great indoor/outdoor living spaces. No window screens needed.
104. Very little offshore oil drilling.
105. Waterfalls everywhere.
106. Kiwis have an affinity for good art - sculptures and installations abound.
107. Yellow-eyed Penguins.
108. Tax is included in the price of goods on the shelf, while taxes may be slightly higher than in the U.S., at least there are no surprises at the register.
109. Strict regulations on cruise ships.
110. Fresh New Zealand lamb chops.
111. You can get a tan in a matter of minutes.
112. Lack of religious fanatics.
113. In the 2001 census, over 53,000 people listed their religion as “Jedi” (ref. to Star Wars). If the Jedi response had been accepted as valid, it would have been the second largest religious population in New Zealand.
114. New Zealand is a campers’ and trampers’ (hikers’) paradise.
115. Many towns shutdown on Sundays, some take Mondays off too.
116. You can get fresh milk delivered to your home here.
117. Handguns are outlawed.
118. Lying on the beach at Christmas time might seem weird at first, but I’m sure you will get used to it.
119. Truly secular government.
120. No rabies.
121. No government farm subsidies to interfere with local farm production and spray programs.
122. The metric system. It just makes sense.
123. No nuclear weapons.
124. In 2009, The Institute for Economics and Peace, in conjunction with the Economist Intelligence Unit, designated New Zealand to be the most peaceful nation in the world in their latest assessment of 144 nations around the globe.
125. All New Zealanders are immigrants, which makes it a very welcoming place for all other immigrants.
126. The standard of living in New Zealand is on a par with any Western nation.
127. Centre for Future Studies Quality of Life Index surveys expatriates from around the world every year and asks them to rate the nation in which they live in multiple categories, New Zealand came out on top for 2009.
128. Religion is not taught in public schools (it can be taken as a university elective or course of study though)
129. Not many stop lights, just a lot of roundabouts. This really keeps the traffic moving.
130. Merino wool and possum fur.
131. Olive trees.
132. Mountain goats.
133. The Southern Lights (Aurora Australis)
134. In a recent worldwide quality-of-life survey, New Zealand citizens checked in as the champions of "moment-to moment happiness" in everyday life.
135. In the 2010 Mercer Quality of Life Survey, the City of Auckland placed 4th in the world and retains its position as the highest-ranking city for quality of living in the NZ. Wellington led the world at #12.
136. The 2010 Human Development Report listed NZ as being the 3rd "Best Country to Live In in the World" (based on health, education, and income).
137. New Zealand was the first country in the world to allow women to vote.
138. No need to labor over filing for tax returns each year. Its just not part of the NZ program.
139. Talking on cellphones while driving is illegal in New Zealand.
140. Beach flowers and succulents are everywhere, natural, diverse, and beautiful!
141. Proximity to Austrailia -most Kiwi's might not readily admit, but Oz is a pretty cool place to escape to once in awhile - cheap to get to as well.
142. Stingrays and dolphins in the Marlborough Sounds.
143. New Zealand is always ranks top in "The World's Friendliest Countries' survey.
144. The Sawcut Gorge - a unique, challenging, and rewarding tramping experience.
145. The drive to work. A destination in itself. Love it everyday.
146. Beach rubbish finds. They can make an uneventful day turn in to a miraculous one. Just have a wander...
147. The inside scoop. Just when you think you've seen it all - you will surely stumble into something even more magical. I promise.
148. Knitting your own creation out of the wool that was sheared from the local alpaca or sheep. Awesome and local.
149. Witnessing the brilliant pink of the salt flats in the fading light of the sunset.
150. Hitchhiking just because. Sometimes it is nice just to leave the car behind and see where the road takes you.
151. New Zealand Customs. May seem like a pain at the airport, but you will soon be grateful that they are so dilligent about protecting Aotearoa.
152. Kiwis have a refreshing lack of ego.
153. The Koru. A national symbol based on the new, unfurling Silver Fern symbolizes growth, new life, strength and peace. Helps to relate the idea of perpetual movement. Good stuff.
154. The All Blacks!!! Rugby World Champions!!!
155. There is an importer of Clamato Juice.
Disclaimer: This blog is written wholly from my own perspective (which tends towards a positive, manifest-destiny-type of lifestyle. Your opinions and observances may be different. You should make your own decisions in life - always. Also, clearly I am an American, so this blog is surely biased in that sense. I check in every once in a while and don't mind addressing vaild questions and topics as they arise.
����everything with a grain of salt...���
Recently I received an message on Travel Blog regarding this post. I feel that it was a good and valid inquiry that would be helpful to others, so the following is a transcript of our communication:
Eduardo wrote: Hello Enophile, First of all, I would you like to congratulates for the blog. It's really nice and helpful for people who are looking information about NZ. Well, I just came across your blog after doing some researches on google about NZ. I've seen your post "139 Reasons to Move to New Zealand" and of course it's more than clear that you love the country. I don't have any doubt that NZ is an amazing place, with one of the best quality of living in the world. However, a part from all good things that NZ as a fantastic country provides, there's some drawbacks that I have heard constantly by foreigners who are living in NZ. The major of them complains about low salaries, bad public transportation, expensive food and expensive accommodations. Being an American expatriate living in NZ and coming from a totally different culture and reality, I would like to hear your opinion and thoughts about this sort of things. Thanks !
Here is my reply: Thank you for your thoughtful inquiry. I admit I have not included in the list any of the things that could be considered “negatives” about New Zealand. Honestly, it would only be fair to present both sides of the issue. But I guess I felt there were so few, and so much comes down to a matter of perspective, that maybe they didn’t out weigh the list. But you are correct; it is more expensive to live here, and the food is more expensive, as well as various other random goods.
However, as far as the cost of living, I believe that you will find that it is much more expensive to live on many other islands that don’t display half as much beauty and are swamped with tourists. Furthermore, a friend of mine rents a single bedroom with 4 other flat-mates in a desolate apartment complex in Bethel Green (London) for 700 pounds a month. In sharp contrast, I rent a single bedroom with 2 sweet flat-mates on the beach in Marlborough for 480 nzd a month. In the morning I wake up to the sunrise over the ocean, the White Bluffs to my left and Whites Bay to my right. In the morning she wakes up to a fenced in basketball court, utility issues, and a superb view of a rubbish receptacle. So I guess it comes down to what you want and what you think it is worth.
The food is more expensive. NZ is an export heavy country and they tend to sell what they produce rather than keep the good stuff for themselves. Unfortunate really, because the goods are top-notch but if you settle in, I think you will find that the best stuff is still accessible. You might not source it at the grocery store, but a trip to the farmers’ markets on the weekend will prove to be easy on your wallet and pleasy on your belly. Making some friends also helps - if something is being harvested - you will know, and be invited, and it will be phenomenal. If all else fails, grab a pair of goggles and a bag and dive for some fresh mussels, paua, or uni. Don’t know where to dive? No worries. The Kiwi's will be happy to lead the way. Additionally, one time I was in line at the grocery store buying heaps of noodles-in-a-cup and soup-in-a–bag and an elderly woman behind me invited me over for a meal. So, I promise, you won’t go hungry in New Zealand.
As far as transportation, well, it varies. If you are in the city it is good. If you are in the country-side, well, its what you would expect. Hitchhiking is still a great way to get around. Even though I have a car, sometimes I leave it behind and hitchhike anyway – its just more fun.
I hope that this answers some of your questions. Feel free to contact me anytime though if you want more info. I am happy to help. Safe travels.
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