Unfairness and injustice you don't expect

Don't move to New Zealand 
Don't return to New Zealand
Don't get into a relationship with a New Zealander
Don't start a relationship with a foreigner or returning Kiwi

The title of this website is meant to be a provocation.

The intention is to wake you up before you go, go, as you might only get aware of New Zealand's best hidden secrets when it is too late and you fall into a poverty trap no immigration agency has ever told you about, and surely not Immigration NZ.

It can happen that you will be forced to stay in New Zealand at old age because you cannot afford to leave, and you become a prisoner in this country that promotes itself as paradise.

These dreaded truths don't apply to everyone. 

Of course, you can move to New Zealand at an advanced age if you are rich and don't depend on your retirement income from employer/employee-funded superannuation schemes you have paid into during your entire working life overseas.

Of course, you can move to New Zealand if you are young, have no or only a minimal overseas pension entitlement - and don't intend to ever leave New Zealand again.

Money is always welcome

Come with money and you will be very welcome, just like tourists who spend big.

Come with skills and work hard, pay taxes for years and years, and fund New Zealanders' tax-funded state pension, NZ Super.

Invest huge money in New Zealand, help to make the country's economy thrive, create jobs, be a good citizen. All this is expected of you.

But once you retire, you are treated like a greedy parasite.

Work and Income (WINZ) will ask you if you receive an overseas pension. If you say yes, they will deduct your overseas pension you have paid for with huge compulsory contributions before you ever set foot in New Zealand, dollar-for-dollar from NZ Super. 

If you have worked overseas for ten or twenty years, this will leave you with a few dollars or no NZ Super at all, and you fully depend on the payments from overseas. This rip-off is called Direct Deduction Policy.

Until 9 November 2020 it was even worse: if you were in a relationship with a New Zealander who had never left the country and your overseas pension was higher than the rate of NZ Super, they deducted your "excess" overseas pension from your partner's NZ Super. This procedure which was in breach of Human Rights was called Spousal Provision. At least this shameful legislation is now a thing of the past.

Changing the words but not the facts

You find all this nastiness in Sections 187-191 of the New Social Security Act 2018. This was formerly Section 70 of the Social Security Act 1964 which was re-written in 2016 and came into force in November 2018. They have changed a few words but not the facts. Don't be fooled.

While the Government legally confiscates your money and submits your pension payments to means-testing, it pays full NZ Super to each and every millionaire who has never left the country. This is unique in the world.

Immigrants and more and more Kiwis returning from living and working overseas who might have no other retirement income or savings but their overseas pensions are fleeced off their hard-earned money while Kiwi millionaires receive a social welfare benefit. 

And still the Government calls this abysmal treatment of migrants and an ever-increasing number of its own citizens fair, claiming no-one must be better off than lifelong New Zealanders who have never paid into any superannuation scheme.

More and more Kiwis are affected, tomorrow it can be you

More and more New Zealanders who have believed the Government's spin about the greedy and double-dipping migrants are learning the truth behind the spin because more and more New Zealanders are in various ways affected by the all-encompassing pension grab. 

They are affected themselves or know someone who is affected: their children, their grandchildren, friends. Anyone but the most racist Kiwis who wouldn't marry a foreigner can be a victim tomorrow.

Even Kiwi pensioners who had received NZ Super for many years were punished until 9 November 2020 if, late in life, they got into a relationship with someone who received an overseas pension. The NZ Super payments stopped from one day to the next if the new partner's overseas pension was higher than the married rate of NZ Super.

You did not have to be married to be treated like this. It was good enough to be in a loving relationship of any kind.

Another nastiness called Portability

The other part of New Zealand's pension shambles hits people who want to move back to their home countries or most other countries of the world. It is called Portability.

You might have lived and worked for many years in New Zealand but you will not receive a cent of NZ Super if you leave the country before you turn 65. Your contribution to the tax base and your hard work remains unrewarded if you are not "ordinarily resident" in New Zealand when applying for NZ Super. 

"Ordinarily resident" means that you have to have a permanent residence in New Zealand, be present and have the intention to remain here.

This has created the craziest situations because different rules apply to countries New Zealand has Social Security Agreements with (not very many), those without (very many) and Pacific island nations. 

People who have moved to Australia in retirement and after some years want to move to Germany, the USA or Thailand, just to name a few, have to move back to New Zealand and demonstrate that they have the intention of staying here in order to not have their NZ Super payments suspended.

Dutch people who return to the Netherlands (Social Security Agreement, shared pension responsibility) and move across the border to Germany or Belgium have the NZ Super share of their state pensions cancelled because they are not ordinarily resident in New Zealand before they move to a non-agreement country. They become prisoners in their own country courtesy of the New Zealand government.

Don't get carried away when starting a relationship

Finally something that doesn't have to do with pension and retirement but can also impoverish unsuspecting immigrants:

If you get into a relationship in New Zealand, negotiate and sign a pre-nuptial agreement before the third anniversary even of a de-facto relationship, or you might lose half of everything you have brought into the relationship.

The Property (Relationships) Act rules that both individuals in a relationship are equal, that both financial and non-financial contributions to the relationship should be treated equally, and that the division of property should take into account any economic advantages or disadvantages that one party may have as a result of the relationship. 

This means that if a couple cannot agree on the division of joint property after separation, the Family Court will generally determine that the relationship property be divided evenly between both parties.

This is surely fair when people have lived together for a long time, but surely not if a man who has his own full income has lived in a wealthy woman's house for more than three years, has not contributed much to the household expenses, received generous gifts including a car, submits her to mental abuse and then demands fifty per cent of her assets and cash after the separation.

The rules were created to protect women who raised children and lost their earning power during a longterm marriage, which was right, but surely not for guys who abuse their partners and then take off and ruin their partners' lives by ripping them off financially.

The rules are different in other countries where everything you bring into a relationship remains your personal property and only the wealth accumulated during the relationship has to be split up after a separation. So make sure to get a pre-nup even if you do not intend to marry.

The link to NZ Pension Protest

This website has been created in order to warn you of the financial stress you can get into if you move to New Zealand. Most people who play with the thought of immigrating to Kiwiland do not think of their retirement but of the adventure and excitement they might find there.

They might research if their home country pays their superannuation if they move to New Zealand, and at least every civilised country does. But no-one can imagine that New Zealand legally confiscates the money these people and their employers have paid into overseas superannuation funds.

This page is the link to the www.nzpensionprotest.com website where you find all information about this shameful legislation which allows the New Zealand government to fund its own state pension by rorting the retirement schemes of other countries. This government (Ministry of Social Development and Crown Law) has even lied to the Human Rights Council of the United Nations (UN), so don't believe their spin.

On the NZ Pension Protest website you also find information on the fight against Sections 187-191 (formerly Section 70), portability, tips and tricks to avoid the worst.

We have seen that the website has given affected pensioners the feeling of not being alone in their plight, and it has given them the hope that some day not too far away this injustice will stop.

NZ Pension Protest

You find detailed information about New Zealand's pension rip-off on this website:

There you also find a big report on the Spousal Provision hearing in front of the Human Rights Review Tribunal in Wellington in March 2018. 

Good news! 
The Spousal Provision has been  discontinued on 
9 November 2020. 
The bad news: The Direct Deduction Policy, however, remains.

NZ Pension Protest on YouTube 
On this new YouTube channel you can watch videos of victims of the Direct Deduction policy, speaking out about the legalised theft of overseas pensions:

The dangers of relationships

Also included on this page is information on another problem that hits migrants living in New Zealand - but it is one that can be solved: it is about relationships and the need to sign a pre-nuptial agreement if you do not want to lose everything you have worked for before coming to New Zealand. The law - the Property (Relationships) Act - is very different to other countries. Be prepared!

Another big risk is to start a relationship with a New Zealander who has never left the country. This problem is linked to the pension issue. See main text (Spousal Provision) and website NZ Pension Protest

Links to relevant relationship pages further down in this column. 

Relationship links

Information on the Property (Relationships) Act and what is considered relationship property:

A cautionary tale and dramatic example of someone moving to New Zealand and not knowing about the relationship property law, losing nearly everything after a relationship breakdown: