Sunday, September 9, 2012

Still happy in New Zealand?

The letter below is from today's Sunday Star Times.

The impression I get, living in the Palmerston North suburb of Highbury/Takaro, is that many New Zealanders have simply given up — that, as economic conditions have worsened, they have become increasingly demoralized.

When we arrived, in 1972, the middle-income area was neat and tidy. Most of the houses were occupied by their owners, who seemed to spend much of the weekend tending their gardens. On Saturday mornings, weather permitting, lawn mowers started up en masse, and a woman across the road would put on a record of martial music as she got stuck into the housework.

How the times have changed! Today, many of the houses are rental properties, gardens are overgrown with weeds and rank grass, and graffiti defaces almost all public structures, including lamp posts.

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