This is a list of things that are great about New Zealand and why it is a wonderful place to live.
1. Gratuity and GST Included
It is really nice to go somewhere and the price that is on the item is the actual price that you pay. Growing up in the states, I am accustomed to paying additional tax and possibly gratuity. Since GST and gratuity is included in restaurant prices it is important to keep it in mind when you are trying to figure out the true cost of eating out in New Zealand.
2. Sense of Personal Responsibility
People take responsibility for their actions. You are allowed more leeway with rules and people seem to demonstrate more responsible decision making than in the states. A good example is signage in outdoor areas. Signs typically warn of dangers and to not due things, but you are still allowed to them (like ski outside of the ropes).
3. Not a Litigious Society
New Zealand is not a country that has a lot of limits/rules designed around not getting a lawsuit. This allows more private landowners to let the public recreate on their land. It also reduces insurance costs.
This may seem like an odd thing to list as one of my favorite things. I like the fact that a large portion of road funding comes directly from petrol taxes instead of the general budget. Paying ~$0.70 of excise tax per liter of petrol does make petrol expensive, but it also shows the true cost of driving and the more you drive, the more you pay.
5. Reasonable law enforcement
It seems that the mindset of law enforcement in New Zealand is very different than in the states. I They tend to be very level headed and reasonable in their decision making. The average age of a New Zealand police officer is also older than in the states.
6. Airport security
It is great that if you are flying a regional flight on a propeller plane that you do not have to go through airport security at all and if you are flying a regional jet, you have a quick security check. I am used to arriving at the airport 90 minutes or more before my domestic flights and only having to be there 20-40 minutes before is great.
7. Easy access to the South Pacific
Coming from the states, the South Pacific was an expensive and mysterious place filled with beaches and warm weather. Living in New Zealand, the South Pacific is a short flight away and great to explore.
The healthcare system is not perfect in New Zealand and it can be frustrating to navigate if you are use to a private healthcare system due to resource restrictions, but it is great to have a universal healthcare system. The system is not fancy and glamorous, but it works and provides good care.
This is related to #3 and #8, but having all accidents automatically be covered by the government insurance, even if you are just a visitor is great. It reduces insurance costs and increases access to private land. There are many hiking trails and access points that cross private land, which is indirectly related to ACC.
This is a not brainer. New Zealand is a beautiful country with incredibly varied scenery. It is great to be able to appreciate what 3 million+ tourists come to visit every year on a daily basis.
What are you favorite things about New Zealand? Checkout the 10 of our New Zealand frustrations.