Friday, 10 May 2013

New Zealand as a real country, in a nutshell

Say "New Zealand" and people will think Lord Of The Rings, beautiful scenery, sheep or bungee jumping, or maybe all of them at once. Elves bungee jumping with sheep off Mount Cook? Yes, happens all the time.

So I wanted to show how NZ is actually a real country with real things going on. But I know you don't have a lot of time, so here's a very simplistic table summing up things NZ does well, and things it doesn't do so well / problems it faces.

Awesome Problems/concern
  • Race relations
  • Lifestyle
  • Crime & safety
  • Progressive & liberal
  • Clean government
  • Good welfare state
  • Fair electoral system
  • Great coffee, wine, beer
  • Internationally-reknowned
  • Sustainable energy
  • Environment
  • Native flora & fauna
  • Music & culture
  • Child abuse & deaths
  • Domestic violence
  • Racism
  • Alcohol & drink-driving
  • Road deaths & injuries
  • Inequality (both money & health)
  • Bad housing
  • High cost of living
  • Poor transport
  • Health & safety
  • Environment
  • Native flora & fauna
  • Kiwicentric music & culture

To put it another way:
  • It's Western country but with huge Maori and Pacific ingredients
  • It's developed but is definitely not rich
  • It's a progressive country with a well-established welfare state, but still has huge inequalities and big gaps in health of poor and rich
  • It has an excellent lifestyle but terrible health & safety and housing, which both hit poor people harder
  • It's a green country with lots of native bush (forest), with rivers poisoned by agricultural run-off and native plants and animals under threat
  • It has a rich wealth of exciting culture and music, both modern and traditional, Western and Maori (and Pasifika), but most of it is Kiwi-centric and fails to translate outside of the country.

That's the nutshell! Hopefully I'll find some time to do another blog post going over these in some more detail.

Kiwis, what have I missed?

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