I was born in Malaysia and have been living in New Zealand for 5 years. I have to answer the same question over and over again, “why choose New Zealand?” – which is asked by many people, including my friends, job interviewers and the strangers.
So, I want to gather my thoughts here and list down the honest reasons for living in New Zealand. If someone asks me again, I would reply: “Why wouldn’t I choose New Zealand?” 🙂
1) I haven’t seen a place more beautiful than New Zealand
New Zealand has a reputation for the amazing nature, and I love it so much. To be honest, I haven’t travelled to a place that surprises as much as New Zealand do. I have more photos at this post.
2) Really friendly people
Every time when I need help, someone is willing to help me. For example, a stranger helped me when my car ran out of battery. I wouldn’t pretend that I have never experienced racism in New Zealand (since I am non-white), but the degree of racism is very low at this place.
3) I don’t have many choices for migration
Many people ask me why living in New Zealand as if I have many options out there. Painfully speaking, as a Malaysian I can only choose Australia or New Zealand to apply for the Working Holiday Visa (WHV). At first, I came to NZ with WHV but I received a permanent job offer unexpectedly. It was unplanned but a beautiful coincidence. Also, it is relatively easier to get a work or resident visa in New Zealand as compared to many other countries.
4) Good lifestyle and earning
Although New Zealand is an expensive country to live, it is compensated by good earning. The average salary in New Zealand is NZD$75k / USD$55k per year (source: SEEK). With the money that I saved from my previous job, I was able to travel to many different countries without sacrificing the good lifestyle.
5) Safety is (almost) everything
New Zealand is one of the safest countries in the world (source: Telegraph). I watched an interesting video recently – it says in other countries the news will stress you out, while in New Zealand the news will chill you out, e.g. flock of sheep stops car chase, police find suspicious tower in the Ocean, and perfectly cut lemons wash ashore. I couldn’t stop laughing and agree with it. 😂
6) Clean + fresh air = healthier body
Living in nature has its advantage. I seldom get sick in New Zealand (touch wood!) though sometimes I would catch a cold.
7) Relaxing and laid back culture
The locals are relaxed and laid back. Some people said it is a disadvantage for career wise because the opportunities in New Zealand are limited. But if you want a peaceful life, this is the perfect place. Life is too short to rush, isn’t it?
8) Less harmful animals and insects
Personally, I am very scared of cockroach and gecko – I would scream and jump when I see them. Luckily they do not appear often in New Zealand. By the way, there are no snakes and only very few poisonous spiders in New Zealand. (Source: Te Ara Government)
9) The temperature is just nice
New Zealand is not too warm or cold. Although the weather can change dramatically within a day, it is quite mild as compared to many other places. It is unusual that the temperature will drop to minus °C (except inland alpine areas of the South Island) or rise to more than 25°C. (source: NZ Tourism).
10) There are so many outdoor activities to do
I am not a big fan of extreme sports like sky diving and bungy jump (which are popular in New Zealand). However, there are much more outdoor activities that you can do here, such as horse riding, hiking, camping, picking mussels and so on. No wonder I feel the kids living in New Zealand are happier!