Wednesday, June 3, 2009

A Peaceful Nation of Kiwis

New Zealand has been named the "Worlds most peaceful nation" in a survey carried out by the Australia based Institute for Economics and Peace. In contrast the UK was back in 35th place out of the 144 countries ranked. This survey places NZ alongside countries like Denmark, Norway and Austria.

I have noticed that NZ feels a lot safer than the UK. Kids are out walking to and from school on their own and out playing in parks. The kindergarten and schools have none of the security measures and checks that you have to get past just to get collect your own child back in England. I have never felt the need to switch on the central locking on my car when driving in Wellington. I used to automatically back home ever since my laptop was taken from the back seat as I slowed at a junction.

As I walk back from kindergarten with the girls its often feels to me like I have stepped back in time. The area in which we live reminds me of England 15 or 20 years ago when I was growing up. The kids out playing and people stopping to say hello and have a quick natter about the weather. Its a nice friendly, peaceful place. Long may it stay this way!


  1. The Kiwis are going to be over the moon at being ranked first. You know how they love to be number one! Seriously, though, you can put me solidly in the camp of people who feels privileged to live in this very safe country. It IS exactly like stepping back 30 years in time, and I am so happy to be able to give my son the sort of idyllic growing up that I remember. However, burglaries ARE a bit of a problem sometimes in NZ, so be sure to get contents cover for those precious toys and irreplaceable Ikea bits and pieces, just in case!

  2. Thanks for the tip re. insurance - I have been looking into that today.

  3. I utterly agree that NZ feels safer. We don't lock doors, the kids roam about, we never feel threatened on nights out.

    But I believe this is an illusion. According to stats from the OECD, NZ has a higher crime rate against the person, vehicles and for theft, than the UK. It's second only to Ireland.

    It also has the highest child mortality rate in the Western world, largly through trauma. This was in The Herald today.

  4. Interesting perspectives - the reputation of New Zealand is safe and the reputation of the UK is it's full of thieves and thugs. I wonder what shapes those perceptions because the facts don't always stack up to the image.

    On balance I feel safer in New Zealand - but I still lock up, am insured and worry about whether the car will be there when I get back. But that's in fear of the tow truck rather than thieves.

  5. yes, you're right, Domestic E. We've had our car towed when we forgot to put a ticket on it at the pay and display.

    Interestingly we genuinely forgot. Normally I just don't bother but this time we were with friends!

  6. It probably is a bit of an illusion that NZ is a safer place - but it seems to be an illusion everyone buys into. I am amazed at the number of people who hop out of their cars leaving the engine running - and the keys in the ignition - and then pop into our local shops to pick up a few bits. Seemingly abandoning their cars. You could never do this in most of England.