Living the Kiwi Dream

Stuff.co.nz

You will many politicians saying that we have lost the ability to have the Kiwi dream. They manufacture misery, they pimp out poverty and then we get some news that proves that the Kiwi Dream is still available to those who want it…you just have to work for it.

This is a story of two suitcases, six years, one dream, and a family that could teach Kiwis a thing or two about saving for a house.

Ni Vung Bawi and his family arrived at Auckland airport on March 16, 2006, with only two suitcases to their name.

They arrived as refugees and, now, they have a place to call home.

Mr Bawi and his wife, Sung Hniang Sang, have worked six days a week since they arrived.

They put $75,000 away for a deposit and moved into their $345,000 weatherboard Motueka St home on March 16.

It was exactly six years to the day they arrived, after being persecuted for their Christian beliefs as part of the Chin community in Burma.

They are joined on the housing ladder by the Lian family, who arrived in 2007 and also bought their own home this year.

Nelson Refugee Services manager Gabrielle Humphreys said the Bawi and Lian families were among some of the agency’s first families to buy in Nelson.

“We are not sure how many have bought, but it is certainly not many. There are some families who have been here for 15 years that are off our radar,” she said.

Ms Humphreys said saving enough money for a down payment in such a short amount of time was a fantastic achievement.

“It is not something that happens much nationally. These families have taken advantage of [work opportunities], and are not afraid of working long shifts and often six days a week. Their work ethic and ability to save is awe- inspiring,” she said.

Now we just have to work out how to get the shiftless, lazy bludgers we are paying billions too each week to emulate these great new Kiwis. I’ll bet you a dollar to knob of goat poo that Ni Vung Bawi and his family don’t vote Labour….though Labour will expect them to.


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.

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