New Zealand

Swede’s experience of life in New Zealand: ‘I felt turned down since I wasn’t a Kiwi’


When she initially showed up, Asa states she”was in love so nothing was hard”


WhenAsa Duffy very first transferred to New Zealand from her native Sweden 6 years back, she seemed like she ‘d landed in a friendlier, more easy-going variation of her homeland.

She’d succumbed to a Kiwi while on vacation in New Zealand and, much to her own awe, discovered herself happy to leave whatever behind for him, consisting of a well-paid task as a press secretary in the Swedish federal government and her 2 children.

“I moved for love, but I also moved very far away from my most beloved of all, my daughters now 25 and 28 years old.”

That brand-new love sensation and the enjoyment of remaining in a nation “reminiscent of Sweden or even better” kept her in a pleased location for a while. But it wasn’t long prior to she started to see the fractures in New Zealanders’ generally affable, happy-go-lucky exterior.

Before she met her Kiwi husband, Asa says would never have imagined she'd move to the other side of the world and leave ...


Before she fulfilled her Kiwi partner, Asa states would never ever have actually pictured she ‘d transfer to the opposite of the world and leave her “fantastic job” and cherished children behind.

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Despite having years of worldwide experience in interactions, she could not land a task in her field.

“I felt that I was rejected because I wasn’t a Kiwi and did not have the so-called Kiwi experience,” she states. “I felt like an outsider and began to dislike the Kiwi attitude towards people from overseas.”

Asa Duffy says she's now happy and positive about her life here, but it hasn't been easy.


AsaDuffy states she’s now delighted and favorable about her life here, however it hasn’t been simple.

Talking to other brand-new arrivals to New Zealand, she understood her circumstance was far from special.

“This was and is the reality for many who come here from overseas and feel that our competence and experience doesn’t matter – as you are from overseas.”

Her imagine leading a pleased brand-new life in New Zealand started to fade and she discovered herself believing a growing number of frequently of Scandinavia and wider Europe, which she was now encouraged were much better than New Zealand in nearly every method.

“I have understood now that that is a normal phase and happens to all of us who go abroad … This is the time when you only remember your home country as a wonderful place in which nothing ever went wrong for you. Of course this is not true, but an illusion created by your culture shock crisis.”

Living in Auckland, she has actually handled to discover work however, aside from one brief agreement function, never ever in her field.

“I had to have jobs wherever I found them: hotel, receptionist, caregiver, jobs that Kiwis don’t want.”

She has actually accepted her work circumstance now and, as a natural optimist, chooses to concentrate on the advantages of life here. Of which she thinks there are numerous.

In social scenarios, she has actually discovered Kiwis to be unwinded and simple to speak to – even more so than Swedes.

Kiwis are "so open and friendly, but when applying for jobs, no", Asa says.


Kiwis are “so open and friendly, but when applying for jobs, no”, Asa states.

She was at first bemused when her partner struck up discussions anywhere he went, questioning how he understood a lot of individuals.

“He then told me he didn’t know them, that’s just the way it works, talking to each other. As a Scandinavian, you normally never talk to strangers at all. They will think you are a bit funny or drunk if you do that.”

She likewise discovered it rather odd, and certainly invasive, when grocery store cashiers asked her about her day. “I felt like I just wanted to be quiet, I didn’t like to be asked private things.”

Now, she enjoys the Kiwi tendency to talk with anybody and everybody – although she still discovers our disposition to call our pals “darling” and “sweetie”, inform them we enjoy them and sign off texts with “xxxoo” somewhat humiliating.

Asa believes New Zealand could benefit from Swedish policies on gender equality.


Asa thinks New Zealand might gain from Swedish policies on gender equality.

“We are very restricted with words like that – especially to friends. The words ” I enjoy you” are for us very serious … But I love to have those text messages from my dear Kiwi friends. I still struggle to answer back in the same tone.”

Many of the Kiwis living in Scandinavia Stuff talked to for a current post on life there stated they had actually discovered the residents to be more reserved than New Zealanders – a belief Asa would concur with.

However, she thinks, that as soon as you learn more about Swedes, they are in fact “far more open”.

That stated, she concurs with the basic agreement amongst the Kiwis we talked to that it can be more difficult to penetrate relationship groups there.

Asa is amazed by how polite Kiwis are - until they get behind the wheel.


Asa is astonished by how courteous Kiwis are – till they support the wheel.

No one would ever visit to somebody’s home unannounced in Sweden so Asa was amazed when individuals here showed up to her home on a Friday night”uninvited” Her partner would ask what was incorrect.

“And I would think ‘but I haven’t tidied up and we don’t have enough food and wine.’ No problem here at all. That makes you socialise so much more.”

The remoteness some Kiwis in Scandinavia credited to residents can in part be credited to the truth they invest a lot more time inside your home throughout winter season, Asa states.

People are more formal and less spontaneous in Sweden, Asa says. No one would just drop by unannounced.


People are more official and less spontaneous in Sweden, Asa states. No one would simply visit unannounced.

“We love to renovate our house and most people make a new kitchen every fifth year. What else can you do during the long, cold and dark winter?”

She believes Swedes are much better able to make fun of themselves than Kiwis, indicating Kiwi comic Al Pitcher, who’s ended up being extremely popular in Sweden by (passionately) “taking the p… out of Swedes”.

“I would love to do the reverse here in New Zealand … but I do think no one would laugh about themselves here. Kiwis are very protective and if you say something negative they take it personal and would probably say ‘if you don’t like it go back to where you came from’.”

Asa loves the comparatively mild climate in New Zealand, calling our "so-called winters" "cosy".


Asa enjoys the relatively moderate environment in New Zealand, calling our “so-called winters””cosy”


Asa states she is now extremely delighted and favorable about her life in New Zealand, explaining her task as a part-time caretaker as”wonderfully rewarding” She values having the time to commit to the important things she takes pleasure in: composing, blogging and reporting to Swedish National Radio about Kiwi peculiarities (she still can’t overcome the number of individuals walk barefoot here).

However, she does believe New Zealand is “a bit old-fashioned” in some methods, especially when it concerns gender equality.

She keep in mind strolling into a post workplace in Auckland and being struck by indications designating “books for girls” – mainly stories about princesses – and “books for boys” about dragons and experience.

Asa's hoping she and her husband will be able to spend more time in Sweden during the New Zealand winter.


Asa’s hoping she and her partner will have the ability to invest more time in Sweden throughout the New Zealand winter season.

“If that was in Sweden it would be on the news the next day as a thing like that is opposite of what Sweden does – breaking down gender roles.”

Like the Kiwis we talked to in Scandinavia, she likewise indicated the generous adult leave policy in Sweden (480 days for both moms and dads integrated).

“Parents say it’s transformed national attitudes to childcare and gender.”

Asa loves the way people greet each other on the streets in New Zealand, which is not the norm in Sweden.


Asa enjoys the method individuals welcome each other on the streets in New Zealand, which is not the standard inSweden


She likewise believes it is inappropriate that numerous females in New Zealand can not go back to work after having kids since child care is so pricey.

“Politicians should look into this. I am happy to pay tax when it goes to this.”

On the other hand, she thinks health care and education here are much better than in Sweden.

She likewise likes that it’s much easier to discover rental lodging, especially if you want to flat with others – which numerous Swedes are not. However, own a home is a lot more budget-friendly in Sweden she states due to lower home mortgages and rates of interest.

All in all, Asa feels lucky to be able to call 2 nations house.

“I have two cultures now… I have a very positive feeling about the future and understand that everything is possible.”

Are you brand-new to New Zealand? Share your stories of adjusting to life here. Email us at

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