Billy Crystal has threatened to move to New Zealand if Trump wins superpower and post-Brexit, move to New Zealand became a top Google search term. Please consider moving now, but do so with your eyes wide open
When the afternoon breeze begins to cool and office was becoming errand, I drive 10 hours north of town hall. Past shetland ponies, fatty sheep and Kereru( timber pigeons) to a hilly forest whose gale trails are usually empty.
The dogs ranged free and I breathe deeply, accompanying without music, discourse or a beeping telephone. Its the best part of my epoch. I typically tell my editors Im in a meeting.
A few weeks ago after Brexit but before Nice I woke to word of blowups at Ataturk International airport in Turkey. After weeks of projectiles and malady in the northern hemisphere this one hit home, and my bowel roiled anxiously. Whats happening in the north, when will it stop?
I wrote to my journalist: Shall we have some good word today, for frivolity?
I filed a short piece on the tiny New Zealand town of Kaitangata with too many professions, too many cheap the house and not enough people to fill them. Tenants were inviting moves to come and live the Kiwi dream.
Overnight, Kaitangata travelled viral. There were 10,000 enquiries from around the world( but overwhelmingly the US and UK ), and the mayor had to unplug his house phone.
Since Trump, since Brexit, since Orlando, Turkey, Dallas, Nice and Germany New Zealand has already become the northern hemispheres escape superhighway. A Scheme B for people reeling from a year that seems more tumultuous and vicious than any inliving memory.
In the three days after Brexit, Immigration New Zealands website had over 5,000 inspects a epoch from the UK, and move to New Zealand became a top Google search term.
But this fetishisation of New Zealand utters me shaky. I detect people have been outwitted by the admirable marketing safarus that was 100% Pure New Zealand, and the lush, intoxicating fantasy world of The Lord of the Rings . em>
What is true is that New Zealand is overtaking beautiful. Its too true that in rural our cities and small cities like Dunedin, where I live, community-minded values have been continued, live prices are economical and in some plazas professions aplenty.
My neighbourhood coffeehouse knows I suck flat white-hots, and my neighbourhood inn pours me Rua pinot noir on entrance. Gun violence is a foreign abstraction, and moderation is widely praised , not derided.
Lives do move more gently now, particularly in the deep south. I dont know anyone who boasts of chronic fatigue as an indication of a meaningful life, or who doesnt have time to cook, practise, or spend time with their own families. Those mainstays arent comforts now, but for many, an recognised normality.
This is the stuff that fuels the escape fictions. That fits with the dream of moving south to bake bread in the morning, manipulate a half epoch, channel-surf as the sunlight goes down, and suck sauvignon blanc while you cook lamb from the neighbours farm.
What many people dont know is what I try to cover in my work for the Guardian . em>
That we have the second highest rate of youth suicide in the OECD. That a third of their own children live below the poverty line and 10% of our working-age person is on social welfare.
Many New Zealand dwellings are cold, mouldy and damp, and our prisons are over-flowing. We have serious problems with booze, methamphetamine and cannabis the Kiwi way is to orgy to the moment of oblivion.
Choosing to live at the bottom of the planet can sometimes feel like you have checked out of life that you cant hack it in the real world. The perennial nervousnes of antipodeans, former imprisons are we good enough? Why do we live on islands that are so far away, and so expensive to flee?
Despite Aucklands current accommodate crisis, and record-levels of immigration, I strongly repute New Zealand is underpopulated. Rural townships like Kaitangata, Murupara and Tokoroa would abound with an infusion of migrants, be they Trump escapees, Syrian refugees or London professionals worn out by the grind and the added stress of Brexit.
I have had emails from refugees asking me to help get their children on a ship to New Zealand. Seen resort settlements like Wanaka and Waiheke Island fill with withdrawn wealthy expats.
The mayor of Kaitangata, Bryan Cadogan, is eagerly waiting for fresh faces in his humble city. So am I, kind of. But please come with your eyes wide open. If youre expecting paradise, youll be sorely disappointed.