Living in peace

June 13, 2010 at 10:54 pm 4 comments

Dear reader. I continue to settle into my new country, New Zealand. I’ve been battling it out on a couple of fronts since arriving a few weeks ago, mainly with the removalist company that managed to damage or destroy quite a few of our items, including my grandmother’s 1920s dining room table. You can expect a long, ranting (and possibly incoherent) blog post soon on what happened. I am still incensed by the whole situation. I’ll be back to regular posts soon.

I’ve also been battling it out with THE bureaucracy here. All countries have bureaucracy but I must say New Zealand is pretty good at it. If it’s not something that can be ticked off from some checklist, then authorities here don’t want to know about it.

Having said all this, I can tell you that Christchurch is a lovely place and New Zealanders are a very friendly bunch. Some people seem to be having trouble with my accent. Mind you, I would not say that my accent is broad Aussie, since both my parents were from New Zealand. But I do get blank looks occasionally and a request to repeat what I just said. Note to self: work harder at cultivating the Kiwi accent.

Things here are far more laid back than Oz. The odd cultural thing I’ve noticed is – hardly anyone seems to reply to emails. With the odd exception, you either get no reply at all or a reply weeks later. Obviously, I pick up the phone too but the lack of email exchange is curious. And then there’s customer service: it’s either exceptionally good or exceptionally lousy.

But I’m glad to be living in the most peaceful country in the world. Yep, that’s right folks: New Zealand has been named the most peaceful country in the world for the second consecutive year, according to the 2010 Global Peace Index (produced by the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP). Iceland, Japan and Austria also rank highly (mmm…Australia isn’t in the Top 10). The 2010 map above shows countries ranked from most peaceful (in green) to least peaceful (in red). New Zealand was one of only three countries in the top ten to improve in peacefulness in the 2010 Index.

 

Globally, however, the world has been less peaceful in 2010, with violence impacting the global economy by US $7 trillion annually. Following the GFC and the faltering economies of many countries, there has been an intensification of conflicts on many levels from homicides to violent demonstrations and civil unrest. Interestingly, a 25% reduction in global violence would free up US $1.8 trillion annually. The good news for my American readers is that the United States has improved its 2010 score by showing the biggest improvement since 2007.

The top five countries have a number of things in common: stables governments and business environments, respect for human rights, low levels of corruption, high rates of participation in education and freedom of information.

So good news for me living here in peaceful New Zealand. And just to show you how peaceful and beautiful this country is, here’s a photo I took yesterday of our property covered in snow and another I took the day before (a sunny day) showing the beautiful Southern Alps and the gorgeous landscape that you encounter so often here. Woot!

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Entry filed under: New Zealand, Photography. Tags: .

Back soon! Taking a break

4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. formerYank_in_NZ  |  June 14, 2010 at 4:37 am

    Remarkable ….an Aussie relocating to New Zealand.

    Hopefully you are a former resident of Melbourne rather than Brisbane.

    N Zed might just be the place to be in the future. Plenty of rain water, locally grown produce, competent & (mostly) cheerful folk.

    You could of choose far worst. But you didn’t.
    Please keep us updated.

    Reply
  • 2. thinkingshift  |  June 14, 2010 at 4:49 am

    I know – I’m starting a new trend…Aussies shifting to NZ, instead of the other way around! I am actually from Sydney (although most recently living in Newcastle).

    You can follow my exploits in NZ on my other blog:
    http://www.dailyoxford.wordpress.com

    I take it from your “name” that you’re an American now living in NZ??
    Kim

    Reply
  • 3. eMPee584  |  August 9, 2010 at 1:41 am

    Yup, that’s a pretty nice landscape, and peaceful new zeeland sure is.. but the rest of the world not looking good nuf yet!
    however, i hope that the progress of that HFOPI idea i’ve been pursuing will pick up speed sometime this year, has been to long without measurable outcome. And well Kim, of course you’re invited to have a peek although the website is in serious need of an update.. best regards ;)

    Reply
  • 4. connetta  |  December 27, 2010 at 5:53 pm

    Enjoyed reading this post….

    Reply

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