Each year I take part in a global survey into expat life sponsored by the HSBC bank, and then I eagerly wait until October for the results of the HSBC Expat Explorer Survey to come out. I’m like a show mum desperate to see her daughter’s performance on the world stage.
Why so fretful?
Because I want to see how well New Zealand did. Whether other expats report what I and 4 million odd (very odd) New Zealanders know – that NZ is the coolest little country on the earth.
The funny thing is, that I wasn’t always so nationalistic. When I actually lived in New Zealand I used to moan about the rain (there’s a lot of it, why else is the grass so green?) and the small town attitudes about things, and the tall poppy syndrome that’s prevalent there.
And frankly, I used to moan about other Kiwis. (The people, not the fruit).
Now that I’ve been living away for over four years I have a keener appreciation for the Kiwi way of life and a fondness for the odd stray Kiwi I come across over here, that borders on alarming enthusiasm. Now that I am living here and am desperately trying to get my British husband all enthusiastic about a life Down Under, I try to find as much positive PR about NZ as possible.
I send him links demonstrating how beautiful the country is. Like this one demonstrating that NZ is not just a happy home for hobbits!
I try not to harp on, but I do tend to hammer home the point that if there was a nuclear war the safest place in the world to be would be (not down the road from a bomb factory) but clean, green, NZ.
And when the the HSBC Expat Explorer Survey comes out I scan it quickly to see how well NZ is doing against the UK. Not that I’m competitive or anything!
This year I was piqued to see that NZ was 24th over all as places expats enjoy living, whereas the UK was 27th. Surely NZ should be higher in the comparison? What about all that clean green air? And grass?
My ire was calmed by noticing that my economic assessment was vindicated however. The survey reports that:
“Economic confidence in the UK is very low among the expat population. Over a third (36%) of expats believe the UK economy is heading in the wrong direction, while 68% of expats are dissatisfied with the UK economy. The most common reasons for wanting to leave the UK are increasing living costs (48%) and the negative economic outlook (44%).”
No surprises there then.
NZers have more disposable income than in the UK (again, no surprises there!) with NZ rating 20th on the disposable income scale and GB rating 27th.
Conversely expats report that there’s not as much to do to entertain themselves in NZ as there is in GB which comes out on top of the entire survey for entertainment, whereas NZ returns a position of 16th and it’s easier to travel from GB than it is from NZ – GB rates 14th for ‘travelling more’ and NZ comes in at a stay-at-home 30th.
But when it comes to work life balance, food, health and the important things in life…
Well who do you think came out on top?
Head on over to the Expat Explorer Survey and have a play around for yourself if a global move looks likely in your future. Even if you’re not moving anytime soon, it’s kind of fun celebrating your home country’s good points and arguing it’s negative ones.