Russell Norman says we are abandoning our babies

Russell Norman:

“A generation of New Zealanders are going to watch their children grow up via Skype unless real action is taken to reduce speculation and increase the supply of affordable houses”, says Norman.
Yes, the child abuse epidemic that started and escalated under the Helen Clark-Labour era is now so bad; according to Norman, we are now going to pop ’em out and frig off to greener pastures.¬†
Or maybe we will put the kids on an airplane with a Skype-ready camera while parents and grandparents stay in New Zealand and fiddle with with the retirement age.
When my husband and I left for o’seas, we took our children with us. Currently they are behaving so badly in San Francisco, they are making me wish I had left them at the other end of a Skype session.
Just kidding. They are our raison d’√™tre. They are why we left New Zealand. My husband sought to leave New Zealand ¬†so he could maximize his returns and have some time to play with our five children while we and they were still young. He has effectively provided for our retirement without being at the point of burnout or old age. As a software developer, Silicon Valley was always going to return more, and more quickly, than Silicon Welly.¬†
Me, I was dragged kicking and screaming to a place not of my birth. Family and community have always been firm points of anchorage for me. But I am now past the point of all consuming homesickness and I am philosophical about our future here in San Francisco. Ever since the dawn of time, people have left their community to forge out a future in a far off land. We are now more conscious of this due to technology but we also have technology to thank for the ability to maintain ties with extended family. 
I suspect that Norman is sucking up to Baby boomers and that what he meant by his press release is that grandparents would grow up seeing grandchildren by Skype.
This is not a fate to be rued. It is great that in these days grandparents can still be included due to the marvels of modern technology. In the old days, grandparents were largely isolated from adult children and their children, even when the move was from one part of New Zealand to another. Today’s society is far more inclusive.¬†
I’ll enjoy our contact with friends and family when returning for holidays. It will be all the more precious for being sporadic. And being expats doesn’t mean we are no longer Kiwis.¬†
With a net economic benefit to NZ. When I return, I’ll be patronizing those stores I am fond of on our return: Wildpair, Overland, Zeira (Kumfs), and Kirkcaldies to name a few. Despite our access to the neighboring shopping meccas of Walnut Creek, Pleasanton, Vacaville and San Jose, I remain fond of the aforesaid businesses. They have great stock and most importantly they understand me. Americans might speak English but it’s not the King’s English. I am universally misunderstood. I am forever spelling things out as follows:
“M for Mary, O for Oscar, No, November, I for India, Q, Quebec, Uniform, Echo”. “No, E for Echo”. ¬†
I have been known to get annoyed and after having my patience sorely tested, snap:¬†“Whiskey Tango Foxtrot”,¬†to the bewildered recipient.¬†
As a rule, Yankees think our accent is cute and fun. One lady repeated back to me with great gusto, ” Siven, Ate, /Niign. ¬†But the language barrier does get wearing.¬†
When I get the hence to speak to kiwis even if it is the maligned agencies of IRD or ACC, I appreciate the dialect of my homeland. I don’t have to deliberately slow my speech or reduce my contact. If I speak normally to Americans they look at me like I am a garrulous speed freak. Only a chat with a Scottish mate of mine keeps me grounded.¬†
We may have left for financial reasons and for the chance of being part of something bigger, but we’ll always be back. For the the shoes, coffee, the lingo and the luurve of the land, if nothing else, Hobbitses.

Annual picnic, July 2012, Menlo College. Atherton, Silicon Valley. 

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