The number one question I get asked after making our intent to emigrate known, is why New Zealand?
There are so many reasons, too many to cover in a tweet or Whatsapp message, so I thought I’d document some of the most relevant ones here:
I’ve always wanted to live in a small town, or at least a place that has a small town vibe. New Zealand population is below 4.5 million people. The biggest city is Auckland, where we will most likely land up, has a population below 1.4 million people. That’s less than half of Jozi… with a population in excess of 3.2 million people.
They have a VERY low violent crime rate. On data we’ve viewed, indicated as Homicide rate per year per 100,000 inhabitants, South Africa has a murder rate of 34, New Zealand has a murder rate of 0.9. More or less the same trend applied for all violent crimes, rape, etc.
This is a biggie for us. Ava is in private school, Hannah is in play school, government schools are not an option in our area, currently, childcare (school fees for both girls, aftercare & a full time nanny) costs us in excess of R13 000 per month and Hannah is only in play school, this will increase further when she starts formal education, while we won’t require a full time nanny in more, it will still cost us in the region of R16 000 per month.
Free Medical Care
We’ve had to cancel our medical aid, it simply got too expensive and had to switch to a hospital plan. We couldn’t justify the nearly R7 000 per month medical aid was costing us for a family of four. I’m thankful that we can at least afford a good hostpital plan because, God knows, the level of medical care at government facilities here is scary. I know, I’ve seen it, first hand and was shocked out of my mind the few times I went into Edenvale Hospital and Joburg Gen. Seriously…
As a mixed race family this is a biggie for us. While we know that there is prejudice, racism and imperfection wherever you go, it’s important to us that our daughters grow up in a multicultural society.
Other reasons include:
Climate – while much colder that South Africa, it still has similar climate to here and isn’t as cold as some of the other countries we’ve considered.
Culture & Lifestyle- very similar culture to South Africa, very family centered and a great place for kids to grow up. Friendly people, lots of sport and sporting activities.
Laid back lifestyle
Honesty boxes! Yes really! Can you EVER imagine this working here?
Friends – we have a ton of friends there already and a few friends who are in the process of making the move with us & I encourage all of them who are reading this to comment below with your list of reasons as to why you chose New Zealand in case I missed some of the more important ones, because there are just so so so many!
Rugby! Although I will always be a Bok at heart…
My biggest reason for wanting to go is because I want to feel free. I’m sick of waking up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat because I can’t remember if we activated the burglar alarm. Of keeping all the security gates locked, even when we’re at home, of having to explain to my 5 year old that if Daddy shouts at her in the middle of the night to stay in her room, she must know that that means not to come out her room and hide under her bed from intruders. Yelling at my kids to close the windows in the car, checking out activity at robots in case we get smashed and grabbed or highjacked. I don’t feel free here, I feel weighed down with constant worry, fear and uncertainty. I just want to feel free, I just want to feel peace.
While I know there is no perfect country, and every country has it’s problems and we’ll simply be swopping one set of problems for another, I feel that the problems I’m forced to deal with on a daily basis in South Africa are problems I don’t want to have to deal with anymore.
Images courtesy of Buzzfeed.