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Immigration Blog


What's that stink?

My apologies for no Southern Man Letter last week. Call it a technical hitch while in Johannesburg. I hope you missed me. What a week it has been here in South Africa which has once again made international headlines for all the wrong reasons. In the past few days striking ...


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What's that stink?

My apologies for no Southern Man Letter last week. Call it a technical hitch while in Johannesburg. I hope you missed me. What a week it has been here in South Africa which has once again made international headlines for all the wrong reasons. In the past few days striking ...


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What's that stink?

Posted by Iain on Aug. 23, 2012, 10:16 a.m. in Immigration


My apologies for no Southern Man Letter last week. Call it a technical hitch while in Johannesburg. I hope you missed me.

What a week it has been here in South Africa which has once again made international headlines for all the wrong reasons.

In the past few days striking platinum miners have managed to butcher a policeman who they hacked to death. They went on to kill a second policeman, killed 8 fellow miners in intra-union clashes and of course then came the slaughter of 34 strikers by police, cut down in a hail of automatic weapon fire. 

Watching the horror unfold on TV the world it seems has been totally shocked by scenes that looked like the D-Day landings with miners being cut down as they appeared to charge toward police lines.

Not something one might have expected in a ‘democratic’ South Africa. 

Or is it?

South Africa is a one party state. One party because that is what the people have voted for.

The place is sinking into a cesspit of Government lead corruption. Of Union leaders agitating for more. Of mines that are marginally profitable. Of desperate people with little left to lose.

It is an incredibly violent country at the best of times. And these are not the best of times.

For 18 years those that voted in the ANC have been promised jobs, running water, shelter and electricity and the truth is this Government appears unable to provide close to any of it for the majority of its constituents.

Over the years the newest politicians have become more radical in their speech and promises.

The ruling elite have managed to sideline the young pretender to the ANC throne, Julius Malema, but it is worth noting he was on the blood soaked ground last weekend rallying the miners and people against their Government.

All the while my potential clients sit behind their electric fences and high walls and I can but assume pretend it isn’t all going on around them.

It beggars belief that they are not all queuing up to leave.

What has genuinely shocked and horrified me is the way most South Africans have simply shrugged their shoulders (as they are want to do) and said ’Oh well, this is Africa’ and got on with their day.

I don’t think I shall ever forget last Friday morning when the country’s TV breakfast shows were broadcasting pretty graphic images of the massacre.  I sat in a café watching people and the TV. No one else was watching and if they were interested, concerned, shocked or horrified they hid it pretty well.

Jam with your croissant and latte sir?

Last weekend I had the opportunity to discuss the events of the massacre with many families while I consulted and, yet again, I was stunned – no one seemed terribly upset or concerned.

Precious little thought appears to have gone into what this unrest might signify for the future of this country.

People – this is NOT normal.

This is not how societies that aspire to civility behave and this sort of thing does not happen in New Zealand or Australia. Call us dull and boring but in New Zealand our police don’t carry guns. Our miners do not strike because they want to earn a living wage, 20,000 people are not murdered every year (I was told by a police employee who should know last weekend you can actually add half as many again – the Government here actively supresses crime statistics), a woman is not reporting a rape every few minutes and our politicians do not have their faces in the public trough awarding contracts and positions to their friends and family.

These are all signs of a thoroughly rotten and dysfunctional society.

So why have the inboxes of the teams at Immagine New Zealand and Immagine Australia not been full to overflowing with ‘get me out of here’ emails this past week?

I’ve given it a lot of thought and I confess this last week here in South Africa has  made me realise that although we have so much in common the differences are stark.

People here have shut down. They don’t want to see what is going on around them even less think through what it might all mean. If the lights are on and the hot water is running they are understandably desperate to believe that the events of last week may as well have happened on Mars. 

Why? Human nature I guess. Until the barbarians are climbing over the walls people hope the noise outside is just a passing herd of animals.

I read a report a few days ago that said that Eskom, the state electricity provider, can only guarantee a somewhat regular supply of electricity to homes and businesses by buying back excess electricity off the mines. If the mines were using all the electricity they get, the lights would be off in suburban South Africa. Already power cuts have become part of the landscape.

Again everyone kind of shrugs and says “it doesn’t really matter, they aren’t that bad”.


I think though I get it – people see what they want to see. No one really wants to contemplate leaving their country, their friends, their family, their history. Uprooting for a life that only promises to be better. A potential new life that comes with no guarantees. It’s easier to bury your head in the sand and say that each of these events are isolated and there will be a happy ending.

But at some point surely all thinking South Africans must wake up to the reality that if the Government’s own constituency is going to start opposing them and the Government in turn is going to crush their own voters at the barrel of a gun then surely only trouble lies ahead.

But, hey, a few months ago over 50 people were killed in a strike in this country. 

So last week as shocking as it was to us ‘outsiders’ was arguably not an isolated incident.

And therein lies the rub.

I have come to realise this week that if you live on a rubbish dump that grows and grows around you, you assume the whole world is covered in stinking refuse.

Till next week - The Southern Man

Iain MacLeod

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17 comments on this post
Aug. 23, 2012, 7:29 p.m. by Vanessa

We left SA just over a year ago, happily, for the UK. It took me at least a month to begin to breathe and sleep easier again. Just last month when news of that terrible family murder (including a 12 year old boy) hit the news and I was poleaxed. The thing that upset me (aside from the obvious), was the knowledge that had I seen that particular news report a year previously, it would have meant *NOTHING* to me. It would have been, "Oh, yes another family murdered," and "why, yes, I *will* have another latte thanks." It hit me, that I had been (in South Africa) a person hardened against brutality and hate to the point of numbness. The realization of just how far I had healed - hit me - in that moment. I had not realised I'd even needed that kind of healing. How many South Africans don't even know that they are going through that?

If there were a way I could assist fellow South Africans with finding new lives abroad, I would jump at the chance, because staying, with their heads in the sand, the view obscured by the sunshine and sparkling swimming pools is NOTHING compared to having a real life.

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Aug. 23, 2012, 7:39 p.m. by Iain MacLeod
Hi. Thanks for the comment. In my experience you can lead a horse to water but you cannot make him imbibe. And Muhammad (above) also speaks the truth - many South Africans have simply left it too late and they have become, as I predicted a decade ago many would, prisoners of their currency. Moving is expensive when you take everything into account and unfortunately many will never leave. So I guess for them all they can do is bury their heads and pretend either that what goes on here passes for normal or that it is not happening. I have very close friends here that would fall into that category. In their hearts and during a reflective few minutes over a glass of SA red (it ain't all bad here) they'll admit much trouble lies ahead but they are now 'too old' to get in anywhere else.
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Aug. 23, 2012, 7:32 p.m. by Muhammed

Most of us know how bad SA is but prefer to ignore it and move on or we will be frustrated and perpetually depressed. Being in the business of immigration, you will know that it is very expensive. The average South African does not have that kind of money lying around. We therefore need to make a life here.

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Aug. 23, 2012, 7:46 p.m. by Bianca

I could'nt agree with you more Iain, unfortuinately South African's do turn the other cheek and as long as its not happening to them they happy. We unfortunately live in a very violent and aggressive country and the truth is, it has grown on many South Africans and has become a normal way of life for many. The sound of a gunshot is part of our lives it does not scare many anymore, so last weeks events was 'shame it happened but life goes on!' I must say though that I am not that South African, I am gravely concerned for the future of this country and this is just the beginning. I am one of the South Africans screaming 'Please get me and family out of here' We are unfortunately battling to prove my husband's employment in the 80's but we have not given up and as soon as we have it, God Willing we will be out of here.

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Aug. 23, 2012, 8:02 p.m. by Tuan Kriel


Thank you for SHAKING the tree.

When we spoke to family and friends about our intent to immigrate from SA to NZ I was surprised at their reaction. They all nodded sadly and indicated that we are doing the right thing, when asked if they don't want to do the same, they to would like to, but most do not qualify or are not in a position to do so. It is short of impossible for "Joe soap" to qualify to be allowed in to privileged states. I know for a fact that the white minority in SA are very aware of the unrighteousness that is happening in their home country and has the first hand experience. Because they are demonized and marginalized by the very likes of a "Julius Malema" they are to afraid and are effectively neutralized. Like all the people in SA they live in a state of survival. People living in constant fear have no way of bringing political pressure about.

I really hope that our fellow humans in the rest of the world will "fall out of the tree" and start to put due pressure on a corrupt ruling elite so that SA will once more be able to flourish.

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Aug. 23, 2012, 8:11 p.m. by Iain MacLeod
I hear you. I tell everyone I present seminars to the poor cannot go anywhere and the very rich fear they won't able to replicate their lifestyle anywhere else so just build bigger walls or move into golf estates. Equally I know how hard the process has been for you (and everyone who has the courage to take this step) so far but you'll get there with our ongoing help. The fact is however there are still thousands of South Africans who can go, who can afford it but because of those intangibles - leaving friends, family, job 'security', the Bokke, generations of history etc just won't do it. I cannot and will not condemn them for it. I understand having helped so many to do it just how difficult the process is logistically, financially and emotionally. Easier to just hope it all goes away. Unfortunately it isn't and it won't. Going is hard. Staying I think is harder.
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Aug. 23, 2012, 8:15 p.m. by Anthea

Shocking isnt it? I agree! I returned to SA in Feb. this year after living and studying in Sweden for almost 4 years. A society I would best describe as calm, ordered, beaurocratic, and more importantly SAFE!!!!I dreaded my return for years.The majority of SA's could never in there wildest dreams imagine the freedom of using public transport 24hours a day, walk the streets, play with their children in the park without the fear of fear.

I am one of those SA's who was ready to leave on the same flight wit you after attending your Cape Town seminar.Months later I am more determined than ever that New Zealand be my new home country, to work, to live and to contribute to a "fairly just" society. BUT... I came back without money and countless attempts later still unemployed.

In our miserable defence of "us passive South Africans" i must add Ian, we are aware, very aware of the very unfortunate, embarrassing, bleek situation of our country... many of us still love being SA's at heart, but deeply troubled by the world around us.
For some of us we still here because we cant afford high costs and lengthy waiting processes of immigration. We all hope of a better future, but its not in all of our scope to buy it. And attempt after attempt of going against the odds, the result leds to sometimes becoming bogged down, tired, head to the ground surviving the stresses of living and surviving another day in South Africa! Go easy on us ;)))

I keep reading your blog, to keep my dream alive of a future in a country that I dont have to feel a prisoner of.

Thank you!

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Aug. 23, 2012, 8:28 p.m. by Mynard

I've been living in South Africa for all my life, with only brief visits abroad, and can definitely confirm that you see things in a completely different light once you've been out the country for a while.

It's the age old "frog in hot water" analogy, that goes something like this. If you take a frog and drop it in a pot of boiling water, it will jump out immediately. But take a frog and put it in a pot of cold water on a stove, slowly heating it to boiling point and the frog would be dead without doing a thing to try and survive.

Cruel as this may sound, it is the situation that I am in as well. Coming from the "old regime" and military conscription I was exposed to this basically since I turned 18. So you do learn to live with it and be on the lookout all the time, and I agree it is not a relaxing life.

I have been looking for employment abroad, in the IT industry, for the past 5 years. During which I've been really serious about it for all of about 6 to 8 months in that entire times. Mainly because you have small awakenings at times, and realise where you are. But then time passes and no positive results come back, so you fall right back into your nice warm pot of boiling water and think to yourself. Hey maybe it's not that bad, at least it happened to my neighbour and not me.

The sad thing is that it seems as if the international market is flooded with Ex-Pats, and it's becoming increasingly more difficult to find opportunities anywhere else if you're 40 years old with a family.

At least the "old regime" gave me some decent military training, so I can actually stand my ground and fight back. But it's the future of my children that worry me the most.

anyway. before rambling on any further about bad situations, let me sign off and make the best of a bad situation.

Thanks for the insight from the other side though.

Kind Regards,


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Aug. 23, 2012, 8:35 p.m. by Iain MacLeod
Hi Why not email me privately ( so we can see if we can help? I move plenty of IT guys to NZ who are over 40 and so far all (bar one in the past two years - he is still looking after 9 weeks but I think it is him, not his skill set) have found good jobs. No promises of eternal happiness but there is in theory no reason why someone working in IT can't get into NZ.
Aug. 23, 2012, 10:20 p.m. by Micheal
Please mail me privately on and I will show you how to not spend lots of money on flights for interviews potentially for nothing. IT and Dev companies can and will hire you from SA and interview via cell phone or skype if necessary to get you there.
Aug. 23, 2012, 11:09 p.m. by Bianca
Hi Michael is that only for IT jobs?
Aug. 24, 2012, 3:32 a.m. by Iain MacLeod
Michael, I give my clients a whole lot more credit for having a brain than you appear to. People aren't stupid, you can't make them emigrate and you very quickly get caught out if their expectations are dashed when they arrive. There ar plenty of consultants no longer working in this field because they operated far differently to us. While overwhelmingly our clients make it and lead fulfilling lives with decent jobs it is true some probably don't. We have had about 6 clients in the past 3 years that have not got work or left the jobs and returned to SA. Out of perhaps 300 families. So the facts are clear - if they get good advice, have realistic expectations, plan, perservere and are positive about it and approach things with their eyes wide open - it can be better. Of course there can be no guarantees but I learned about 23 years ago you can't talk people into migrating. It just doesn't work. They make the decision and these days virtually all my clients have friends and family in NZ so only a fool would set out to deceive. They'll just call their networks in NZ and find out the truth. So give me a break. It might not have worked for you but the 100,000 or so South Africans living in NZ can't all be miserable!
Aug. 24, 2012, 6:56 a.m. by Micheal Goldstone
Bianca PLEASE READ THE ENTIRE PAGE OF THIS LINK TO GET A REAL UNDERSTANDING OF WHAT NZ IS: I do not trust everything I read or hear, but have experienced NZ and find the article to ring 100% true of what I found to be NZ. I couldn't have said it better than all those migrants put on the above forum. Better to go trust a bank robber than take advice on how great NZ can be for you and your loved ones. BUYER BEWARE best describes emigration to NZ.
Aug. 24, 2012, 9:02 a.m. by Iain MacLeod
Michael you indicated in one of your several vitriolic comments today that you were a client of mine and that somehow I had misled you. Although your name didn't ring a bell as a client I had looked after, I have asked my Auckland office to check if perhaps one of my colleagues was working with you. Usually I remember all the clients we are looking after even I don't know the details. None have ever herd of you and we appear never to have even consulted with you. I respect your right to disagree with my observations about your country - I haven't taken down your comments despite the fact that much of what you have said is simply untrue but I would caution you about suggesting that we directly or indirectly represented you or failed to deliver for you what you wanted.
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Aug. 23, 2012, 10:30 p.m. by Kathleen

The most frustrating thing to me is to keep hearing people say "Oh we'll at least nobody got hurt", "Hey it could've been a lot worse", on and on. We've become so desensitised and are so comfortable living in this stench. Next thing, as the water in the pot gets hotter and hotter, we'll be saying "Oh we'll at least they died quickly and have gone off to a better place now". We too are trying to get into NZ and God willing, Air New Zealand decide to come recruit some South African pilots ;-) We know that's not going to be happening so we're looking at all other possible ways. Just pray my babies, my husband or I don't become statistics before then. Thanks Ian.

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Aug. 24, 2012, 1:46 a.m. by mohamud

hi iain macleod

we was shocking it was to insaid country becous 48 people death wthat about as ower history is bad,all we are think south africa is week to going crush voter at the barrel a gun only trouble lies a head we need protacting help ower people soon we are requesting refuges ressttlment to new zealand our australia
we shall pay consultetion fee
i want to say thanks lot
we appraciating

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Aug. 24, 2012, 2:11 a.m. by Louis Horton

I have a friend who moved to NZ 18 months ago as a chartered accountant. He could not find any work and had to accept a job as a construction worker digging holes in the pavement. I know of doctors having to accept jobs as personal assistant and many other cases where South Africans and other nationalities going to NZ simply cannot get work in their field with or without degree's and 10 plus years’ experience. Why don't you mention all these cases Iain? I am well aware of Iain and his talks in SA as I have been to them yet he fails to inform clients correctly. Always painting the "I know this person who found a great job" picture with "I cannot guarantee anything" quoted briefly before or after the claim! Clever con artist Iain. Another friend of mine, his dad went to NZ with a masters degree in engineering, guess what job he was able to get? His first job for the first 12 months was sanding the hull of ships. If you want to throw away your life, be my guest and go to NZ. Every country has their fair share of issues, if you want your house burgled go to NZ. Mike was right look at this site:

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Aug. 24, 2012, 3:21 a.m. by Iain MacLeod
Hi Louise Have a read of the week before last's blog about barriers to the labour market. I pointed out everything your friend has experienced. I talk about it at every seminar. Only this week at a seminar in SA I told of a client of mine who has been six months without work in NZ. So I tell it how it is. Not all my clients get dream jobs. I never say they do. In fact I couldn't be more up front and honest if I tried. I am sure plenty of people from SA have not gone to NZ because of my advice about what awaits them in securing their new life. Plenty. The fact remains you simply cannot compare what is happening here with what goes on in NZ. You guys need to wake up and stop being so defensive over this stuff.
Aug. 24, 2012, 5:04 a.m. by Louis Horton
Is that a joke? You tell about the labour market and of a supposed client who never got work for 6 months. Why not tell of actual NZ citizens who leave NZ since there is simply no work in NZ unless you are prepared to work for nothing. Seems as though the truth on these negative experiences is hard to find on the internet unless you know where to look. A simple nz jobs lacking Google search will come up with how fantastic the job market is. I read that NZ is a 2 billion $ a year visitor/tourist industry driven by fake jobs and hopeful immigrants going over to look for these imaginary jobs. People you can just as well get the job by getting hold of the companies from your home country and organising the visa details from there.
Aug. 24, 2012, 8:57 a.m. by Iain MacLeod
Louise, it is true that there are New Zealanders who leave to work overseas, especially in Australia. This has more to do with the fact that we have a common border and enjoy a shared labour market with Australia. If their economy is 'up' then the flows of NZers heading there for work increases. When theirs slows the flows reverse. It has always been so and I imagine always will be. It is the beauty of a common labour market. Interestingly NZ Economists only this week pointed to their expectation many of these NZers will be heading home son as the mining sector (which has employed most of them) is coming off it's peaks. There are very very few skilled New Zealanders out of work and skilled migrants therefore are not competing with the unskilled for work. I am the first to admit that some migrants may not find work but I go back to what I always say - good advice from people like us, solid research into employability, having enough funds to survive while looking, being linguistically and culturally compatible with NZers are all factors that mean our clients get work. On sitting in SA and applying for jobs I am afraid youhave no clue what you are talking about. In my 23 years of doing this work I would say 1 out of 20 of my clients can secure work without being in NZ. As I said to those that came to my seminar tonight - if you think emailing CVs into cyberspace is a strategy that works - then do it - just don't hold your breath.
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Aug. 24, 2012, 2:55 a.m. by Andrew Manning

Do you really think the NZ Government report their crime statistics accurately? As for minimum wage there are so many cases in the local NZ news of employers paying their immigrant employees well below minimum wage. It's not legal yet they do it or do you Iain forget to mention this to everyone at the conference? Do you remember to mention the high house break in rates or the bodies found randomly in and around the country as this is only in the local news and not international news. What about the immigrants being forced into the sex trafficking business by the gangs in Auckland. You mentioned at your conference that the first 50 000 is tax free, but my friends tell me that is only the first 10 000 NZD which is tax free. Interesting that you fail to mention the fact that it is a rand figure you presented although you discussing NZ immigration relying on the audience to make the incorrect assumption thereby fooling themselves. With 10 000 NZD you can buy almost 10 leather jackets in NZ - that is honestly nothing to write home about. In SA you don’t pay tax on a salary of R48 000 pa which can buy you far more than the measly 10 000 NZ salary which you punt as a bonus. As for free medical, that is absolute rubbish - in SA your medical is free or incredibly cheap if you earn next to nothing salary wise, same case in NZ so do not think medical is any cheaper or better. Look at Mikes posted website to find the truth about NZ:

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Aug. 24, 2012, 3:17 a.m. by Iain MacLeod
Andrew - please get your facts right before you have a go at me. Yes I do believe our crime stats are accurate. Most crime where I come from is reported. The smaller stuff may not be but the serious stuff virtually always is. Fact. What I said at my seminar (and say it at all seminars) is the marginal tax rate of personal income of $50,000 is 17%. However a family of four on the average income of $55,000 when they take advantage of tax credits and various other 'allowances' pays no income tax. This can be checked and verified at or any good accountant. Fact. In terms of bodies lying around the countryside, not quite sure where that comes from - the murder rate remains 1 a week (assuming these bodies of yours were murdered rather than just dropping dead like flies in the green pastures of NZ. Fact. I could go on. I never call NZ paradise but we sure as hell don't mow down 34 striking workers no matter who started it. And I get my facts straight before I open my mouth. Employment law is strictly enforced and yes there are sex workers and I have no doubt some get exploited. but it is a small place and those that exploit don't stay beyond the attention of the Labour Dept and police for long. I am sure some people get paid below the minimum wage but my understanding is that tends to be migrant on migrant. All stats I provide at seminars are verifiable. To do otherwise would be plain dumb.
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Aug. 24, 2012, 10:05 a.m. by Earnest

Hi Ian
I think the article and the comments make an interesting read. I have been in New Zealand for 3 months now. I have lived in Zimbabwe and South Africa before I came to New Zealand. I started working on the immigration process about 2 years ago, applying for jobs, reading about the process from the internet, attending seminars and expos. I finally went through the process on my own without using a licensed advisor.
After applying for residency under the SMC I got a job before even leaving South Africa and I am in the IT field. I would like to put a few comments to the issues raised.
I think democracy is a process that a nation has to go through and it matures in its own way. When the situation in Zimbabwe started to bite me, I moved to South Africa and then realised that I preferred to be in a more peaceful country.
Now having been in New Zealand for a few months with what I consider to be a fair job I think South Africa has a more comfortable life. Maybe I am still in the process of settling but my feeling at the moment is that South Africa gives a better life style.
I think the New Zealand democracy has gone through an evolutionary process and has matured to what it is now. South Africa and Zimbabwe are still going through that evolution and will eventually find a balance like the Americas, New Zealands, Britains of this world. While armed struggles where for democracy and independence, the people that fought for it will still have the fighting and “we are entitled to” mentality. This will take generations to erase.
On the issue of statistics I agree with the writer who say says it would be good to quote crime statistics per population. You have one person in NZ for every 12 in South Africa and if the South African statistics are not 12 times New Zealand ones then New Zealand is worse.
The event that happened in South Africa is regrettable and someone has to be accountable for it but someone could liken that to sending soldiers to Afghanstan

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Aug. 24, 2012, 5:44 p.m. by Iain MacLeod
Thanks for your comments Earnest. What I advise my clients from South Africa who are thinking of moving is that some who have moved to NZ before them think they have moved to heaven, some think they have moved to hell but there is very large majority in between. It's your classic bell shaped curve. The ones at either extreme bother me because they are missing something as NZ is neither heaven, nor hell and I certainly 'promise' them neither. I think part of the problem here is that because of the 'push' factors that so heavily influence the decision many go unprepared - it's the 'get me out of here' syndrome. Increasingly this is changing as virtually everyone we move has friends or family waiting and most of those living in NZ will paint a realistic picture for their family thinking of joining them. Therefore, but speaking on behalf of my clients only, there is little excuse for anyone moving to NZ to expect paradise and that they will give up some things by leaving but gain others when they arrive in NZ. Migration has always been a compromise. The feedback we get is overwhelmingly positive however and it is clear most SA migrants are very happy with their decision once they have settled in 9and this process in my experience takes a good few years). I also hear myself warn at every seminar I give here that all a South African's problems do not evaporate when they get on that plane to leave here. To think otherwise is simply naive. Overwhelmingly I find my clients realise that and if they don't we are very quick to point out that reality. On crime stats - do the math - taking into account the murder rate of SA and NZ on a per capita basis - if we killed each other at the same rate as SA with it's 50 + million we would kill about 1,000 people per year. In a bad year we kill about 50. I rest my case on that score anyway. I wish you all the best as you settle into your new life.
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Aug. 24, 2012, 10:06 a.m. by Carmen

Good to read Iain's take on the shootings, only saw the police shootings in NZ papers
For Iain; you desensitize or go insane, so do the best you can, & yes, Africa can be wildly aggressive & violent, as are other parts of the world
It crushes me that my closest family doesn't have a snowball's chance in hell of being able to join me. Can barely afford to live comfortably (ie. a roof over their heads, few posessions, can't afford insurance, a car or medical, but earn just enough to not qualify for free medical. That said, I never want to see someone else I love die the way my mom did in a public hosptal. And on that note - who can leave their ailing/aging parents behind with a clear conscience?
I've been in NZ for about 4 years (over 40) and thank God for my skills. I made a leap of faith and joined the IT department during the last year of job in SA, and that's what meant the difference - perusing the skills in demand list and not seeing anything you could qualify on is terrifying. The majority of my family & friends are excluded, not being nurses, doctors, tradespeople or what's on the seemingly ever dwindling list
Is everything perfect - don't be ridiculous - here too there is a crime rate & inequalities, the SA migrant population tends to find it easier I think than some of the Asian migrants. Unfortunately have found some SAs here to be arrogant and negative, so attitude is important
On the fighting, striking, shooting and bloodshed - I am so sorry for the families of those who died, whether their loved ones' deaths were at the hands of other workers or police. I feel for those policemen and workers that killed someone, they will never be the same again
And finally - sorry Iain - but what else is new? I've done my bit of having freinds murdered for no appreciable reason, personally being tear gassed, shot at, hijacked, stabbed whipped - at some point, the drama is enough

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Aug. 24, 2012, 9:13 p.m. by Linda

Hi Iain,

I'm glad you brought this up in your latest post. The reaction from back home was very puzzling to me - not a mention from family, and my facebook page was curiously quiet about it.

I on the other hand, was shocked and seriously upset when I saw the news that evening. To the point where my week was pretty much ruined, and I was actually grieving for all the life lost.

I'm thinking, that had I still been in South Africa, I would have shrugged and gone on my way. A "what can you do" attitude tends to sink in, or people bury their heads in the sand because in their protected suburbs, far away from the strikers, it does seem like it's happening in another country. It comes down to - life is cheap in South Africa.

I hope that the international outrage will be enough to stir South Africa into action, since internally it seems pressure is non-existent.

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Aug. 25, 2012, 3:10 a.m. by Desmond

Hi Ian,

I for one am definately on your (or should I say Paul's) inbox list and I am sitting here counting the days to hear that everything is ready and I can leave to your beautiful country. It is a shame that such a beautiful country such as SA is being ravaged the way it is.

My father has a wonderful saying and it goes something like this: Let's immagine that SA is a huge grocery cupboard and we all keep taking out and we never fill it again. That is exactly the case here now, that cupboard is just about empty and nobody is bothering to refill it.

It has got a ring of truth to it don't you think? Regards...

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Aug. 27, 2012, 9:18 p.m. by Michele


I would like to compliment you on your recent article.

The truth you spoke is what my partner & I talk about every day. As well as wanting to get out of SA as a matter of extreme urgency!

Unfortunately, with my partner’s career as an airline pilot, we are limited to finding work for him as there is not much else he can do but fly aeroplanes. We both have British Passports, but flying in the UK would mean him re-doing his entire pilot’s license!

My family in NZ has put us on to contacts at Air New Zealand, but they are not employing pilots from outside NZ.

My skills are not required greatly (PA & Bookkeeping skills), so we feel the panic & fear every day of our lives & we see the reality of where this country is going (downhill very fast!) We feel the desperation of wanting to escape & the disappointment of not having anywhere to escape to.

As you said in your article, everyone just shrugs their shoulders & is blasé about it which is typical of ignorant South Africans – sorry to say. But I just thought I’d let you know there are two of us at least, that see the reality & the bleak future of SA. And mostly I really wanted to tell you how awesome, honest & hard-hitting I thought your article was. I wish some of our reporters would write something as good as that & publish it ….. freedom of the press though …. Another issue coming our way in SA ?

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Sept. 15, 2012, 1:51 p.m. by andy
Hi, as a former SAA pilot, I for several reasons ended up not flying - but all pilots have transferable skills. I have secured a very stable job, and career. Salary does not match what I used to earn but my daughters walk to and from school, and my wife can walk on the beach in the parks on her own re not afraid of being attacked. If your partner really wants to continue flying in NZ, it is possible to convert the SA ATPL to a NZ ATLP, and once here there are opportunities.
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Aug. 29, 2012, 3:22 p.m. by Greg

Hi Iain,

"Until the barbarians are climbing over the walls people hope the noise outside is just a passing herd of animals." belongs in a book of quotable quotes !

Well done on being courageous enough to say it like it is.

I believe that the doors of immigration to both NZ and OZ, will remain open - for a while .. but not indefinitely; so, make a call to action to those of you who have come to understand & acknowledge that being able to purchase material goodies does not = 'quality of life'.

A reminder that the leaders of the future are waiting in the wings: inter-alia Julius Malema & are not simply going to conveniently disappear because they are supported by the disillusioned masses – who will not simply disappear either.

I thank my lucky stars that I bit the financial bullet & paid your consultation fees, as, each morning I can start my day knowing I can just get on and live life - in the way it is meant to be lived - without the stress of becoming a crime statistic or a victim of underlying and now, more often in-your-face) racial hatred - that will remain intact in SA for many many generations to come.

It has taken me over 4 years of hard work in NZ to earn what I expected to when I first arrived here. The point I am making with this statement is for those considering immigrating to NZ to not expect being handed their dream job on arrival. It takes time to gain the confidence of employers.

On another matter, it irks me no-end when I meet fellow SA-born folk here who still support the ‘bokke’ or talk about the old life in terms such as “when we were in SA” or ‘in South Africa ..”. My advice is to embrace the local culture. My philosophy is to support ‘the local team’ – no matter where in the world you might live – it’s the right thing to do and gains so many more friends than having a ‘when we’ attitude.

I would not hesitate to recommend Iain, Myer & their team to any doubting Thomas'. My experience is that their integrity is without reproach.

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Sept. 6, 2012, 8:40 p.m. by Lynn

Hi there Iain
I came to your seminar in Cape Town recently.
There were about 200 people plus in the room waiting like sponges to be filled with "hope".Although your candid openness about "climbing Everest" etal was valued, what made that sponge clam up, was you standing there, arrogant and condescending, telling your prospective clients that "you lot are aggressive and arrogant" and "you lot need to tone that down when you lot get to New Zealand". Iain, be that as it may, I don't think it is your place as a service provider or your right to assume what we lot as a nation are like nor to preach to propective clients how to conduct ourselves as a whole, without stepping in our shoes. We lot made the effort to come to see you speak and you could at least give us the courtesy respect that we deserved. Yes, we have our problems in our country like the rest of the world - everything that humanity brings and the normal degridation of evil in society. But what we have beauty here in abundance - a world in one country. While you sit and mull over your cafe latte and croissant, you are probably too busy strategising how to milk peoples weakness which you play on very well during your presentation and make us feel even more desperate and inadequate that we already are.

So Mr Southern Man, perhaps when you come back to the land of milk and honey,take time out and see us for who we are, understand our multi-facetted cultures and heritate. We lot are people just like any other people all over the world and possibly by treating us with a tad more respect and empathy, I might well have been seeking your services. With your approach no wonder you feel we are arrogant and aggressive! Thankfully, you have made me see the light. I am an African,South Africa is my home and WILL always be home, come good and bad, which are the fundamentals of life. I am damn proud to be a South African and of our teams that kick serious butt in Swimming,Cricket and Rugby!

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Sept. 16, 2012, 8:37 a.m. by Greg
Hi Lynn, Having teams that " kick serious butt in Swimming, Cricket and Rugby!" and the cabapility to purchase a German car and all the trappings of a material lifestyle is all great, but absolutely meaningless and ridiculous, when you are confined to lead a life of fear behind high walls and exposed daily to the effects of overt racial tension and hatred. Which begs the very question: if you're so blissfully happy, then why bother investigating emmigrating ?
Sept. 20, 2012, 11:29 a.m. by Iain MacLeod
Hi Lynn. Presenting a seminar is always a balancing act. I cannot make anyone emigrate so I do not try. I give people far more credit for intelligence. I think my directness is a strength. I certainly don’t believe I have a monopoly on the truth. I don’t get up there and promise you eternal happiness if you move to NZ. I go out of my way to talk about crime and the things about NZ that I don’t like (as well as the things I do like). I don’t spend the time running down South Africa. It does intrigue me how sensitive some of you are to those observations especially given it is seminar about migrating. I unashamedly give you my ‘take’ on SA as an outsider but an outsider who has been coming to your country every few months for over 20 years. That does give me a perspective and one most audiences appreciate. What passes for normal for you isn’t necessarily normal in New Zealand. For the record when I talked about the perception by some New Zealanders that some South Africans are ‘arrogant and aggressive’ you might also recall me saying in the next breath that I don’t find South Africans any more arrogant than anyone else (and usually drop in a throw away line about ‘Have you met many Australians lately?” in order to defuse the potential backlash). I did also say that I do find some South Africans aggressive but certainly not all – not by a long way. I went on to explain why through the eyes of a New Zealander you can be perceived thus. You are products of a very different environment to that which exists here. I usually, if this discussion arises, offer you the flip side of the same coin and that is that South Africans often find New Zealanders so laid back that we are the world’s greatest procrastinators. It doesn’t mean we are of course, it just means we too are products of our environment and you will ‘judge’ us from your own cultural perspective. If by coming to my seminar you have made the decision to stay in South Africa then it was an evening not wasted.
Sept. 20, 2012, 11:39 a.m. by Iain MacLeod
Hi Greg I think what Lynn was saying was that she, like many South Africans, was thinking of emigrating but spending 90 minutes with me at my seminar convinced her to stay put. Which is interesting on many levels but makes me realise that I do a damn fine job of not milking, as she puts it, the insecurities of the audience. I appear to have painted such a dismal picture of NZ that she has decided to stay put. And that is fine - it means the balance I try to bring to my presentation was spot on. In a strange but reassuring way she is actually complementing my objectivity. I think.....
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