Advice and Support for South Africans Immigrating to New Zealand

South Africans Going To New Zealand

Author Topic: Kids in NZ  (Read 2407 times)

Offline Hope2Go2

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 186
Kids in NZ
« on: May 31, 2015, 09:38:27 pm »
To those of you with children, do you mind sharing whether they enjoy life in NZ?

I recently read that New Zealand has a 'very high' youth suicide rate, although this is when compared to developed countries, of course.  http://www.sciencemediacentre.co.nz/2012/04/26/nz-ranks-poorly-in-adolescent-mortality-and-suicide-study/

As for many other ex-pats, our biggest motivation behind our potential (fingers crossed) move to New Zealand is the safety of our little kiddos (two shy, Afrikaans-speaking preschoolers).  I guess if you compare personal safety between NZ and SA, NZ will always win hands down.  I do however often wonder whether our kids will be happy there?

I found this terribly sad comment on the internet and it has been haunting me:

"I moved to New Zealand ten years ago from South Africa as a 10 year old child. I came from a country that is often labelled as racist, (and it is!) although I always stood up for the indigenous African, Indian, Greek etc populations when they were racially attacked, even as a child I would not stand for racism.
Then I moved to New Zealand.
I was so shocked. People often think that racism only happens to people of colour, (and I’m not disputing that the majority of the time it does), but I am a caucasian (and one of the palest you could ever see at that). However, I was mocked, told to “go back to Africa”, I was mercilessly bullied because I was South African. And a lot of that mocking came from Caucasian AND Maori children. So it’s not like whites are the only ones who can be racist, which is often the stereotype, which is in itself racist..
Basically, I had never, NEVER, seen such hatred from children towards a foreigner.
And I’m from the Apartheid country. (Ironically, I was called a dirty racist purely because I was South African. Bit hypocritical if you ask me).
I think it might also be because of a general lack of respect that is inforced in New Zealand (don’t get me wrong, I love my adopted country). But I had never been around children who so openly disrespected each other and even the teachers. There language was atrocious, and they had absolutely no care for others. Eventually I made friends with a group of other immigrants from China and Korea, as we were all mercilessly bullied, and found comfort in our mutual situations."


Did any of you come across something similar?
« Last Edit: May 31, 2015, 09:43:36 pm by Hope2Go2 »
Feb 2015 - Submit EOI, selected
Mar 2015 - ITA received
May 2015 - NZ Medicals done
Jun 2015 - PR application submitted
Jul 2015 - Received NZQA Assessment result
Oct 2015 - Case officer assigned
16 Dec 2015:  Residence approved!

Offline Savayla

  • Certified Addict
  • ******
  • Posts: 1822
Re: Kids in NZ
« Reply #1 on: May 31, 2015, 10:14:09 pm »
Hi, I can totally understand you feeling tone about this letter. What an awful experience for a child to have to go through. My girls were 8 and 9 1/2 when we arrived. Granted, we had left SA and lived in South East Asia 2 years beforehand and they had to get used to playing with white children. They are homeschooled, so there is a difference as I know that bullying is rife in schools everywhere you go. However, my daughters also have friends from different schools and friends they make from their extra mural activities.

I found that my youngest daughter will always be the one who some kids are nasty to, simply because she is very different in everything she does. She is her own person and doesn't follow the crowd. So she is a target. She also doesn't fight back with words. However, she has learnt to ignore those nasty ones and has found her place in the sun. You will get the nasty ones wherever you go. Even in the NZ workplace! I don't think it is a Kiwi thing. And some kids are more susceptible to bullying due to their natures. Usually the timid, sweet, different ones.

When we lived in Borneo, we only found out we had a kid for a neighbour next door 6 weeks later as she was hiding from us. They were Korean and she ended up almost living in our flat afterwards. When we asked why she was hiding from us she said she thought we were American and at her international school, all the American kids told her she was a F@&$ Ing Korean.

Having said that. The youth of NZ don't endear themselves to me. Like a parent who does not parent or lay down the rules in the house, I feel the NZ government has let the youth down by letting them get away with things. They have no respect for the police, which still shocks me. South African families are much stricter and their kids have better manners. Although all my girls friends are always welcome in my house,they are a lovely bunch. Once again, all about choice.

As there is meant to be no class system in NZ, your neighbours can be millionaires or on the benefit. In our area there are a lot of bored youth who are not being parented well, smoke, drink, streak cars to burn them, etc. We don't see it, we just read about it in the papers. My kids don't hang around with them. It is a choice.

As for teen  suicide, yes, it is very high here in NZ. And so is farmer suicide. But if you read the international papers, it seems that teens have forgotten that it is a long term solution to a short term problem. It is happening everywhere, and at very young ages. Good parenting, strong family life, and luck that it will not happen to your child. I have a child that suffers from anxiety ( started in SA because of all the *** going on there) so I don't take suicide lightly. I could brush it off and state that most suicides and child abuse (physical not sexual) in NZ is Maori or Pacifica but it is not. You will read more about it in NZ papers than SA because they literally put everything that happens in the papers. I think you would be shocked if you got the SA stats.

Racism does exist in NZ. I personally have not witnessed it, but I have read enough to know it exists. Not being Afrikaans, I can't comment on it from that perspective either.

You asked if they were happy? Very very VERY happy here. They are free and safe. They love the fact that they can walk out our front door,,down the street and hop onto a bus to go into town. They feel safe with us leaving them at home alone ( are 13 and 14 1/2 now).  They love the beauty, their friends, the Kiwis who we find so friendly. Honestly, in my almost 5 years here, I have had one run in with an unfriendly Kiwi and this is because our dogs fought. They usually love South Africans.

I hope this has put your mind and heart at ease a bit. Remember, this is not utopia, it is New Zealand. But for me, it is as close to Utopia as I can find.





SA Going to NZ Advice Forum

Re: Kids in NZ
« Reply #1 on: May 31, 2015, 10:14:09 pm »

Offline Hope2Go2

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 186
Re: Kids in NZ
« Reply #2 on: June 01, 2015, 07:31:34 am »
Thank you so much for responding with much detail, Savayla.  I am so glad to hear that your little 'Kiwi kiddies' are enjoying life in NZ.  What could make the move more worthwhile than seeing your kids have a happy childhood! 

During our last December holiday, my children and their two nephews were discussing the placement of the beds in our holiday room.  Their 7-year old nephew told them that my boy (aged 2) had the best bed, as his were furthest from the door.  He explained that if bad guys were to come into the room at night, my boy would be the last one in their path..  It was so horrible to hear such tiny kids having such a awful conversation!  Especially since I try to never mention crime in front of my own children - but it is just so ubiquitous, especially once kids can read the news headlines on the lampposts.

My kiddies will have to overcome the hurdle of learning to speak English, but I'm doing my best to prepare them for that at the moment.  I try to imagine how wonderful it would be if they could do things like go for a jog on their own in the neighbourhood as teenagers, which is something I don't even want to do at the moment as an adult.
Feb 2015 - Submit EOI, selected
Mar 2015 - ITA received
May 2015 - NZ Medicals done
Jun 2015 - PR application submitted
Jul 2015 - Received NZQA Assessment result
Oct 2015 - Case officer assigned
16 Dec 2015:  Residence approved!

Offline TheJo

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 432
Re: Kids in NZ
« Reply #3 on: June 01, 2015, 09:30:46 am »
Well this is second-hand as I don't have kids, but one of my friends here came to NZ from SA at the age of 10 and she told me she loved it here from the start. She described it as going on an adventure. Her brother was in his late teens at the time of the move and he had huge trouble adjusting. They were also home-schooled though. Their mom is English and dad is Afrikaans so I'm not sure what their home language was in SA. It seems that the younger the child the easier it is for them to adapt.

11 Feb 15: Residence visa approved

Offline Hope2Go2

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 186
Re: Kids in NZ
« Reply #4 on: June 08, 2015, 01:51:57 pm »
Thanks, TheJo!  Fingers crossed my two little ones will end up viewing it all as one big adventure. 
Feb 2015 - Submit EOI, selected
Mar 2015 - ITA received
May 2015 - NZ Medicals done
Jun 2015 - PR application submitted
Jul 2015 - Received NZQA Assessment result
Oct 2015 - Case officer assigned
16 Dec 2015:  Residence approved!

Offline Goto

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 113
Re: Kids in NZ
« Reply #5 on: July 24, 2015, 10:27:23 am »
It has been years since I posted here as life is so busy and I have so little free time. Since arriving I have taught in about 5 different schools and the kids (teens) love to shout out the racist word, but they have no idea what it means, at my last school I had 14 different languages spoken in one class....if you are going to single out a child based on language or colour you will have one hell of a decision on your hands. Someone also told me about the suicide rate, a soothsayer of the highest order....I was so concerned I remember googling it....I think it was Lithuania that was red flagged. My son is in year 3 and loves school. He would be the first kid to be picked on due to a number of medical issues but the kids mostly don't. At every school I have taught at bullying is taken very seriously. I would not put great weight to that teen letter you read. Good luck, this country is so stress free I feel like I have been on holiday for years....and I am a single full time working mother on a low income!  Growing up in Southern Africa I lost  6 friends to suicide from the age of 18 to 32, those stats to me are really high.  This place is great! Good luck!

Offline Hope2Go2

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 186
Re: Kids in NZ
« Reply #6 on: July 28, 2015, 02:53:40 pm »
Thanks so much for your thoughtful and insightful response, Goto.  I'm so sorry about the losses you suffered in SA, but it's wonderful to hear that you are so happy in NZ.

Since I posted the original post, I read this article on the agony Elon Musk suffered at the hand of bullies in South Africa:  http://www.biznews.com/undictated/2015/07/21/why-elon-musk-has-little-affection-for-the-brutal-land-where-he-grew-up/   Absolutely harrowing.  Sadly, it paints a grim picture of things in SA. 
Feb 2015 - Submit EOI, selected
Mar 2015 - ITA received
May 2015 - NZ Medicals done
Jun 2015 - PR application submitted
Jul 2015 - Received NZQA Assessment result
Oct 2015 - Case officer assigned
16 Dec 2015:  Residence approved!

SA Going to NZ Advice Forum

Re: Kids in NZ
« Reply #6 on: July 28, 2015, 02:53:40 pm »

Offline Davis Patch

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 1
  • do, did, done
    • casinority.com
Re: Kids in NZ
« Reply #7 on: October 06, 2015, 03:32:45 pm »
Thanks, i got enough information
The younger generation is surrounded by the Internet, apps, and play video games. But somehow, make them read.

Chetan Bhagat