Moving to New Zealand
by Byron Bales
Now, you're talking about a great place to retire. New Zealanders are organized, efficient, competitive, yet cordial almost to a fault. If the world needed a model society, this is as close as you'll get.
In my 25-30 trips to and through New Zealand, I only met one Kiwi who was less than friendly - and she was a German transplant! In smaller towns, perhaps once a month, a local newspaper might print this shocking, frightening headline in three-inch-high letters: "Another bicycle stolen!" Yes, decadence is fast swooping down on this nation of less than 4,000,000 in the size of California and Oregon combined, for no doubt bicycle thieves might graduate to larger bicycles without training wheels in the next few generations.
It's a country that is fabulously beautiful with an interesting topography and great weather. But the winters (everyone else's summer; remember, this is Down-Under) can be cold on South Island. New Zealand's only drawback - if you can call it that - is its remoteness. It's difficult to reach, which might explain its departure from the rest of world when it comes to all-important lifestyles. It's quiet, clean, and well - structured. Television programming is tame compared to America and Europe, so reading and natural living are recommended.
Infrastructure and medical services are excellent, and the economy is friendly if you come from Europe or North America. You'll get a whopping 50% more for your (US) dollar.
Suffering fatally from yellow fever as I have all my life, I've never considered living in New Zealand, and can't speak on immigration questions. But I'd imagine there might be stiff regulations, perhaps even quotas. And rightfully so; no one wants the world's problems to infect this garden country anytime soon.
If I assigned stars to a retirement venue, I'd have to give this country 5 Gold ones.