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  1. #1
    Senior Investor itu's Avatar
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    Default The problems of New Zealand

    What is the darkest side of New Zealand that people never talk about?

    New Zealand is a beautiful country made up of lots of honest, genuine, down to earth people that punch above their weight on the world stage, but like every country, it has its dark sides.

    Perhaps precisely because itís a highly developed country thatís also an island paradise - a unique combination - life can be relatively boring and Ďlow stakes.í (The TV news is frequently hilariously trivial and parochial.) This is probably a significant factor behind New Zealandís high rates of youth suicide, teen pregnancy, and alcoholism. I will not presume to speculate as to what fuels New Zealandís rates of domestic violence.

    Thereís a raging methamphetamine epidemic, fuelled by the Asian gangs who import it, the local gangs who distribute it, and the economic hopelessness of increasing numbers of people who have been left behind thanks to the neoliberal reforms of the last 30 years (and the insane property market of the last 10 years). Needless to say, where thereís meth, thereís violence.

    While New Zealand is less violently racist, and less legislatively racist than most countries with relatively high proportions of minorities (over one third of the country is Maori, Asian, and Polynesian), Maori and Pacific Islanders feature at the bottom of most statistics. Maori in particular have yet to be treated equally by the government to overcome the historic wrongs committed by the British crown.

    New Zealand also suffers from whatís known locally as ďtall poppy syndrome,Ē a.k.a. the politics of envy and resentment. This syndrome is so-called because the tallest poppies in a field are the ones that get cut down. Itís an extension of how New Zealanders value humility - arguably a good thing - but itís taken to an extreme, wherein anyone who succeeds at something, or is perceived to be succeeding, is invariably assumed to be arrogant and big headed, and therefore worthy of mockery, and/or condescension, spite, and negativity. Itís often naked jealousy, and the polar opposite of how Americans like to celebrate success.

    New Zealand is a small, young, isolated country of 4.5 million people. (Itís so far away from everywhere that it was the last country in the world to be discovered by humans.) Which is probably what drives a national insecurity that has yet to be fully overcome. This insecurity manifests itself in the pettiness and parochialism you find in many locations that are small and/or isolated.

    These are probably the worst aspects of life in New Zealand. While these dark sides are certainly not ignored within New Zealand, they are not commonly known in the rest of the world.


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    I will not hold the Asians for the problems in New Zealand. The problem is that we are so used to hate that we can't see the reality of life. You will find that there is always progress in diversity. We should build bridges instead of walls. There shouldn't be hatred promoted in the world.

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