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New Zealand News and Crime

When we first started looking into moving to New Zealand we had never been to the country and didn’t know anything about it other than which big American movies were filmed here. So we started reading books and articles about New Zealand. It was a damn cumbersome way to learn about a foreign country/culture, and we really didn’t get much out of it beyond a skeletal understanding of what life in New Zealand was like.

After living in New Zealand for about a year we finally realized what we should have done back in America to get a feel for what life is like in a foreign country without going there. We should have looked up the top local news stations and reality cop shows on the internet and watched streaming video of them.  Not that it would have changed our final decision. If anything, watching local, nightly New Zealand news and reality cop shows would have made us want to move here even quicker. What we lost by not watching it was that we weren’t as prepared for the culture shock as we could have been. Don’t get me wrong, we did pretty good, but when doing something as inherently stressful as moving to a foreign country you want to minimize your anxiety as much as possible.

I stopped watching the news and reality cop shows back in America long before I expatriated because they depressed the hell out of me. Now, I take the same joy out of watching New Zealand nightly news and reality cop shows that I’d take from eating a bowl of farm fresh strawberries. Don’t get me wrong. There’s some terrible stuff that happens in New Zealand. New Zealand has its share of violent crimes and dangerous criminals, but for every segment you see that shocks you, there are three stories about people with first world problems so mundane and un-noteworthy as to be surreal. It’s like watching the Twilight Zone, expect instead of people having to face the dark side of their inner selves after experiencing it projected onto their external reality, they’re just mildly inconvenienced and/or intoxicated.


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