Guest Post: Kiwis in Australia

April 16th, 2012 at 7:00 am by David Farrar

A guest post by :

When last counted, more than 500,000 Kiwis were living in . Why do so many of us fly across the Tasman to live in the camp of our bitterest sporting rival?

I can’t answer for the other 499,998, but here is why Mr and Mrs Freedman, Sacha, the huntaway and Sunny the Golden Labrador became Australian residents.

BTW it is bloody expensive flying a dog across the ditch, far more expensive than flying yourself. The two dogs travelled in the same plane as we did and it was uncanny to listen to Sunny barking her head off as we taxied down the runway.

A main reason we chose Brisbane was because of the weather. We were sick to death of grey Wellington days and rainy southerly blows.

Not that it doesn’t rain here, but at least it is warm rain. To date we have escaped the floods – at one stage we thought about living in Ipswich, but changed our minds, thank goodness.

Brisbane has hot, rainy summers and warm, dry winters. So far the temperatures we have experienced have ranged from around 22 degrees (when true Queenslanders complain about the cold and reach for their long johns) through to 38 degrees, which is bloody hot. When it is that warm Queenslanders grab for a beer and head for the beach.

The lifestyle is great in Queensland. It is so laid back you sometimes have to give a Queenslander a kick to ensure he is still breathing.

The populace is generally welcoming. Get ready to be continually calling “darling” “sweetie” and “love” by the women behind the counter.

We had been here less than a day when a supermarket staffer kept calling me “darling”. Carolyn looked at me sideways with a quizzical “I know he can be a fast worker, but surely not THAT fast”.

They are also very generous. The first Easter we were here, the Commonwealth Bank stuffed up our payments and left us with no money. Cheekily, I went next door and asked a guy I had never met whether he could tide us over for the long weekend.

“No trouble.” He grinned , taking out his wallet. “A hundred be enough?”

I offered Carolyn’s engagement ring as security.

“What would I do with that?” my new mate laughed. “Just pay me back when you can.” We did.

Also Queensland is wonderfully egalitarian. I haven’t seen a Ferrari or a Rolls Royce in two years. A few Porsches and BMWs, but most Bananalanders drive good ordinary cars.

The cost of living is cheaper than NZ in many areas. You can buy a loaf of bread for $1 and two litres of milk for $2. Bananas are cheap except during the floods when the price rocketed to $13.99 a kilo. You can now buy a kilo for 99c in some fruit shops.

Not that Queensland doesn’t have its faults. There are some right wierdos here. When we arrived we bought a car from a great guy in Kingston, between Br isbane and Beenleigh, where we live. Later we decided to trade down to something smaller and naturally went back to the same place.

But our guy had gone and been replaced by Abbott and Costello. They made an offer for the car, then toddled off for a few minutes. When they came back they pretended never to have met us.

“What car? Who are you people? Why do you think we have seen you before?”

Police can be a problem, as I think I have mentioned.

But the fauna is wonderful. To wake up at around 4am to the sound of kookaburras, to see cockatoos and even the occasional koala in the trees is a magical experience.

And sport is everywhere. As a kiwi who has adopted Australia and has no intention of returning, I support Australian teams so long as they are not playing Kiwis. With one exception.

I will never, ever, support the Australian cricket team.

Everything has its limits.

I have a t-shirt that says “I support two teams – New Zealand and anyone playing Australia”. I now make an exception for when Australia plays against the English rugby team.

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32 Responses to “Guest Post: Kiwis in Australia”

  1. krazykiwi (9,188 comments) says:

    Also Queensland is wonderfully egalitarian. I haven’t seen a Ferrari or a Rolls Royce in two years.

    What is it with socialists? It’s either, envy or world-view inspired blindness.

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  2. Mobile Michael (367 comments) says:

    And now they don’t have a Labor party. Queensland sounds better all the time. :-)

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  3. Longknives (4,051 comments) says:

    Another inspirational post from Peter Freedom…

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  4. ArranH (14 comments) says:

    This NZ view of the Australian sports team, where kiwis want them to lose, is actually very sad. When I spent a few months in Melbourne in 2010, I remember watching the Commonwealth games, where the Australian commentators would get behind any NZ athlete when there wasn’t an Australian in the event, adopting a sibling mentality (where you want your brother or sister to win, except when you’re competing against them). It would be nice for kiwis to have a “I support Australia, except when they’re playing NZ” mentality. As long as NZ or Scotland aren’t playing, I’d happily wear the green and gold and get behind Australia, the same way I know most Australians would get being us.

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  5. anonymouse (652 comments) says:

    To wake up at around 4am to the sound of kookaburras,

    Any State or Territory that has a time standard that is so out of whack that sunset is before 7pm on the Summer Solstice is just a bit too weird for me……

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  6. EverlastingFire (290 comments) says:

    “As a kiwi who has adopted Australia and has no intention of returning”

    Didn’t this guy mention in another thread that he was getting a form of welfare from NZ even though he’s living in OZ? Hoping that’s not correct.

    These guest posts are lame, imo.

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  7. gazzmaniac (2,270 comments) says:

    Also Queensland is wonderfully egalitarian. I haven’t seen a Ferrari or a Rolls Royce in two years.

    I’ve seen several Ferraris. I think there’s more in QLD than in NZ.
    You obviously haven’t driven any further south than Beenleigh.

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  8. nasska (9,558 comments) says:

    We who follow Kiwiblog should be grateful that DPF was able to obtain Peter Freedman’s services as a guest poster ahead of serious competition. I understand that our good fortune has caused despair amongst the editorial staff at New Idea & NZ Woman’s Weekly.

    Revealing exposes on pokie machines, domestic banana prices & international canine airfares would have had their readers riveted to their seats.

    I predict with confidence that in future postings Peter will offer recipes, knitting patterns & if we are lucky enough a chance to win an an apron embroidered with quotes from Kylie Minogue.

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  9. Put it away (2,888 comments) says:

    But our guy had gone and been replaced by Abbott and Costello. They made an offer for the car, then toddled off for a few minutes. When they came back they pretended never to have met us.
    “What car? Who are you people? Why do you think we have seen you before?”

    Credit check didn’t go well then?

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  10. EverlastingFire (290 comments) says:

    Btw, why would someone ask their neighbor for money? Even as a joke I wouldn’t do it… and to actually accept it? C’mon dude, it’s a complete stranger, ffs.

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  11. dime (8,789 comments) says:

    Why DPF? WHY?

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  12. La Grand Fromage (145 comments) says:

    Who the fuck is this weirdo?

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  13. Put it away (2,888 comments) says:

    Get better work stories.

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  14. mavxp (490 comments) says:

    Peter seems to be justifying a huge decision to emigrate with fiance and dogs in tow on the basis of the weather in Wellington. It begs the question, why not just move to Nelson?

    However we all know this is primarily for the following reasons:

    1) Wages are higher cf. the cost of living
    2) More job opportunities
    3) Australia’s open door policy to NZ Citizens.

    somewhere further down the list is:

    4) familiar culture/ language
    5) friendly laid back people
    6) apparently more egalitarian
    7) weather

    Do I detect guilt at moving for financial reasons rather than anything else? I have absolutely nothing against people moving for whatever reason, but let’s be honest with ourselves, the weather is not the prime motivator here. Not having $100 to tide you over the weekend is a fairly sure sign to me this was economically motivated. Wellington weather is not so much a problem if you can drive your SUV to work, live in a modern warm house and not have to worry about the cost of heating.

    And all power to Mr Freeman & fiance for having the get up and go to make the move. It is nothing to be ashamed of!

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  15. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    queensland is an utterly weird place..

    ..full of gargoyles pretending to be humans..

    ..and if anyone can ‘enjoy’ the stinking/sweaty horror-show that is a queensland/brisbane summer…

    ..they are obviously in the right place..

    ..i can understand wellington driving people crazy..

    ..but queensland is a step far too far..

    phillip ure@whoar.co.nz

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  16. BeaB (1,959 comments) says:

    Does he think that tee shirt is funny? i bet his nice Aussie neighbours think it is hilarious.

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  17. tom hunter (4,012 comments) says:

    Good to see capitalism working its magic – by which I mean that Mr Freedman’s continued posts have created a market for some enterprising programmer to modify RIP so that it can wipe entire threads that start with A guest post by Peter Freedman:

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  18. nasska (9,558 comments) says:

    maxvp

    Although your comments would be spot on in the majority of cases of Kiwis jumping the ditch they are not so appropriate in this instance.

    Mr Freedman took an early retirement many years ago & it is rumoured that the mere mention of ‘job opportunities’ is sufficient cause for him to break out in a rash of hives & take to his bed for a fortnight. It is doubtful that he would work in an iron lung so wage levels will not have been a significant factor in selecting his new home.

    It is more likely that the willingness of WINZ to keep him in the manner to which he is accustomed even although he is no longer resident influenced his decision.

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  19. OTGO (457 comments) says:

    Waking to the sound of kookaburra’s? How could you not? All of the Australian birdlife has a screech. Compare this with the beautiful native NZ birds that we hear in the morning these days. Our birds have song. Aussie birds don’t.

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  20. Ryan Sproull (6,661 comments) says:

    I have a t-shirt that says “I support two teams – New Zealand and anyone playing Australia”.

    Oh, God. Do you really?

    [DPF: yes, but I only wear it overseas]

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  21. gazzmaniac (2,270 comments) says:

    2) More job opportunities

    Except that he has no intention of working, and still gets a benefit from NZ.

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  22. ArranH (14 comments) says:

    Ryan,

    Exactly, the tshirt alone says enough about this guy.

    [DPF: Umm, the t-shirt is mine, not Peter's]

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  23. grumpyoldhori (2,410 comments) says:

    The Australian healthcare for Kiwis if one does not have Permanent residence is interesting, any kids born in Australia are not Aussie citizens for ten years.
    Any kid born to Aussie parents without permament residence do not get help with Autism, nope they come back here to bludge off us, maybe it is time that free health care is for resident Kiwis only.

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  24. lurker (4 comments) says:

    I support those saying kiwis should support aussies in sport (except when they’re playing us obviously). I adopted this mindset years ago, and it’s actually very liberating. Apart from anything else you get to support a winning team more often than not. Just watch something like “Offspring” on TV1 Sundays, and it becomes pretty obvious there’s not much difference between NZ and Oz. Oz is just a bigger (arguably better) version of NZ. Embrace and extend I say.

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  25. redeye (626 comments) says:

    A more readable blog on living in OZ.

    http://breakingviewsnz.blogspot.co.nz/2012/04/oliver-marc-hartwich-losing-sight-of.html#more

    Sorry if I’ve linked another blog.

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  26. ArranH (14 comments) says:

    DPF – haha ok, your tshirt, not his. Why would you own such a horrible tshirt?

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  27. Punter Pete (10 comments) says:

    I do not work because I have been declared medically unfit. Before than I worked for 48 years – as a journo, then union advocate, then budget adviser. In my spare time I ran a foodbank and citizens’ advice service.

    My wife of 42 years is delighted to become my “fiance”. Could do wonders for our sex life!

    Part of my benefit comes from Centrelink in Australia, part from WINZ in NZ. This occurs under a trans Tasman agreement.

    I don’t mind people criticising my work, but unfortunately some like nasska seem unable to resist becoming nasty and personal.
    Says much more about nasska than it does about me.

    Anonymouse: There are many strange things about Queensland. The time is just one of them. It takes a lot of getting used to.

    Put It Away, your comprehension skills need honing. You don’t need a credit check to SELL a car!

    Get it now? Good dog. Sit, Ubu, sit.

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  28. Paul Williams (868 comments) says:

    Peter’s post is challenging for me ’cause I’m also an expat Kiwi that really likes living in Australia. My wife and I popped over for a couple of years but that was 2002 and we’re still here. We came for a change of scene, not because of any particular frustration or concern. We were possibly a bit lucky as we both got interesting work pretty quickly and then started a family. All of a sudden, the fact that we’ve got friends with kids the same age, like a few local parks and cafes and have a super balances, it’s hard to leave.

    This is what challenges NZ. It’s simple moving to Australia. It’s prosperous here and pretty welcoming. Sure you cop it for having flat vowels but the locals are more like us than not. So factor in higher living standards, better weather and the pleasure of being surrounded by Aussies when we win the Bledisloe… how can nice Mr Key ever make good on his promise to stop the brain drain?

    One last thing, I’d come home happily tomorrow. Happily.

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  29. Paul Williams (868 comments) says:

    When I spent a few months in Melbourne in 2010, I remember watching the Commonwealth games, where the Australian commentators would get behind any NZ athlete when there wasn’t an Australian in the event, adopting a sibling mentality (where you want your brother or sister to win, except when you’re competing against them). It would be nice for kiwis to have a “I support Australia, except when they’re playing NZ” mentality.

    ArranH, I completely agree.

    Some Kiwis I know living in Australia took offence when Aussies starting calling the All Whites an Australiasian team. I thought it was bloody hilarious.

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  30. Dazzaman (1,114 comments) says:

    ArranH,…..why?

    Seriously, I do tend to support Aussie against most sports if we aren’t in the running except in the case of rugby. I am old school and favour the traditional rivals over the upstart, and for most of history (up until the late 70′s anyway) easy beat, Australians.

    And like you, Scotland as well,…being a Dixon on my mothers side!

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  31. elscorcho (144 comments) says:

    Short translation: I don’t give a sh1t about my country but will go where I gain the greatest benefits.

    Whatever happened to national pride? I would rather do roadworks in New Zealand than be a CEO in the USA because I actually believe in something greater than my own bank balance.

    Seriously, people selfish enough to abandon NZ because of good weather and cheaper food are no great loss.

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  32. TimG_Oz (883 comments) says:

    I always said I would start supporting Australia when they picked Klinger. Hasn’t happened yet, but since India rooted NZC with their ICL bans, I’ve switched to hating India. I’ve played enough cricket in Aus now to respect how they work.

    Was very glad that Ronchi is moving back to NZ. Seriously, NZ should try to poach Klinger. Or just keep your current schmucks. Who cares!

    Still support ABs, but now jumping ship to the Melbourne Rebels, who know how to organise a professional sports team. Unlike anyone in NZ.

    Oh – and DPF, I would keep quiet about that T-Shirt. Its very lame and not even original. I’m sure everyone in the world has a “I support two teams..{insert team you love} and anyone playing {insert team you hate}” saying

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