- These comments were part of a larger discussion in which some of us were discussing why we’d immigrated from the US to New Zealand. Some felt ‘pulled’ by New Zealand’s attractions while other felt more that events in the U.S. were ‘pushing’ them to find another place to live.
- Chanah’s comments here clearly show that she and her family felt they were in the ‘pushed’ camp.
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“We came back in 2004. We did NOT come because we fell in love with New Zealand-we came because we wanted to get the Hell out of the United States while we still could (before we hit the age of 40). We came because they were charging us over $500 per month for Blue Cross health insurance that only covered 80% of the doctor THEY chose after we paid $500 deductable. Pretty crappy health care for a Registered Nurse. We came because a root canal ran me nearly $2000 and there was no dental coverage available. We came because we had to pay nearly $300 for a bottle of eye drops for my husbands glaucoma (that now costs us $3 BTW)-we came because we needed a credit card just to afford basic medications and co-pays. We came because I was tired of having to pay “malpractice cover” in order to keep my job. We came because after 911 my Civil Engineer of a husband had nearly $300 per month deducated from his pay for insurance in the event that a terrorist blew up a bridge that he happened to have signed off on. We came because the families of those killed on 911 are now suing those who happen to still be alive that built the World Trade Centers and while personal people have donated money the US governement has done little to nothing to support the families of those lost. We came because my nephew was forced to join the US Army in order to afford College/University and now that his term is up the Army is making him stay on additonal tours of duty against his will. We came because young people in high schools feel forced to go to college whether they want to or not in order to “get a job”. There is little to no respect for the hardworking plumbers, carpenters, labours who find it very difficult to make a decent living to raise a family on. We came because we felt the only way to be safe from the “Mad Cow Disease” that was being covered up was for us to becme vegetarian. Most important, we came because New Zealand offered us Permanent Residency and Australia only offered work visas. The first few years I was miserable. We had to live on savings and minimum wage jobs (we did not have jobs when we came). Am I happy? Actually I think I have come around to the point that I am a lot happier here then I would be in Australia. We’ve had a child (FREE-BTW) and I KNOW I’m happier raising Rachel here then in America. About the government-the earthquake and its aftermath has given me a whole new respect for the New Zealand government. They are not “unreachable” or “untouchable” like in the USA. If the Kiwis don’t like something that is going on they WILL hold their officials accountable. And, if that does not work they WILL vote them out of office-and the officials here know it. There are time AND financial limits on elections…all of this primary and sub-primary crap simply does not go on here. When I went to vote I was given an orange marker to check the box of who I wanted. I forgot my ID so I simply gave my address and phone number and was permitted to vote. I then placed my ballot into a cardboard box….no hanging chads or “rigged” machines here in New Zealand. What would make my life perfect? For my family to financially reach a point that we can travel to the States yearly-see family & experience the toursit sites. Each trip to the USA is “fun” but it leaves me happier then ever to return to New Zealand…I view the USA a bit like an amusement park-love to go eat, shop and see friends but when the day is over I’m happy to return “home” to some normality and stability.”
- Chanah Luppens – Christchurch, New Zealand