The People of NZ

For a long time, my feelings for New Zealand were of the love-hate kind due to what happened when I was “down under”. That being said, I decided to take part in #blog4NZ because the more I thought about it, the more I realized I could really only think about positive things when it comes to NZ. Unfortunate circumstances will sometimes happen, no matter where you are, but New Zealanders made me realize one thing; they are the reason New Zealand is such a popular destination.

Kiwis’ reputation as the nicest and friendliest people on earth hardly comes as a surprise if you’ve ever been to New Zealand but the level of kindness and genuine good nature is absolutely impressive for anyone who has traveled before.

I spent roughly 48 hours in New Zealand after the unfortunately little kink in my travel plans and my time revolved mostly around the embassy, airports, planes and various stores. Hardly the common stops of a regular trip but it certainly helped solidify my respect for New Zealanders.

The thing that impressed me the most is the amount of people who apologized to me once I told them what had happened to me in Auckland. I’m talking about people who didn’t know me, people who didn’t have anything to do with the situation and generally people who I wouldn’t expect to care.

The head of customer service at the Wellington airport helped me with my visa issue and while the replacement process took maybe 20 minutes altogether, he took it upon himself to make sure I left New Zealand with a positive opinion. While my visa was getting processed, he asked me about what happened and seemed genuinely sad about my experience, going as far as to make a “promise” to me that if I came back to New Zealand, he was sure my experience would be much better. Going through customs at the Wellington airport, I was of course selected for a “random search”, which really wasn’t that surprising for a Canadian traveling solo in Australia and New Zealand without any luggage. Through the process, the gentleman used about 6 different forms of apology while he explained to me that “not all the people in New Zealand were like that” and that he was “so sorry my experience in New Zealand hadn’t been positive”. My temporary passport triggered some more questions at the Christchurch airport but the reaction was the same; airport staff seemed to take it quite personally and seemed to make every effort to make sure I knew that Kiwis in general were very nice people.

In all honesty, my feelings for New Zealand weren’t the best at the time, considering the situation, but looking back, I genuinely feel lucky that what happened to me happened in New Zealand. It’s no secret that Kiwis are known to be nice but what is surprising is how nice they actually are.

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