Filling in for NZ’s Lost Generation

Posted by: James on: Wednesday, 15th June, 2011

It seems there’s no-one our age (mid-twenties) in Auckland. It’s very peculiar – so deprived are we of social contemporaries that if a shop assistant talks to us nicely, our first reaction is to invite them round for a bottle of home brew.

Why are we so rare? Where are all the Kiwi twenty-somethings? Well, most of them are off on their grand OE (Overseas Experience). If you’ve never noticed a Kiwi or an Aussie abroad, you must have had your eyes taped closed and ears sealed with filler: it’s an essential part of the cultre to leave.  The 2006 census looks like this:

Notice the bit between the ages of 20 & 35 where a sizeable chunk of the population seems to have buggered off? Well that’s the bit we’re filling in – and it feels like there’s quite a lot of empty space around us.

Now I’m starting to see things in context though – when we flew over I remember thinking that the flight attendants were old enough to be my parents – it’s the first time I’ve ever thought that on an aeroplane. It seems that Air New Zealand actually recruits people who are actually representative of the population – not just the young ‘uns who are naturally attracted by a job that lands you up all over the world. And I remember thinking that that was a pleasant thought – apart from anything else, they were rather lovely people.

Ash sees the positive side of it too: when we walk around the University district, we could easily be mistaken for students rather than the slightly-older-and-supposedly-slightly-wiser generation that we are. I don’t know how I feel about it – I suppose it’s partly because if you know a few people your age, you can get an idea for where you’re supposed to be: what youre prospects are; what kind of salary you can expect; is it time to be thinking about buying a house? Or buying island units for kitchens? Is it still okay to play video games and read comics? Should we be doing more or less DIY? It’s not as if Ash & I ever paid much heed to our peer group, but it was nice to know what everyone else was doing so you can either be a part of the crowd or apart from it. Here, we just don’t know.

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A fairly loose blog about the places I go and the things I think. May also include left-leaning social commentary derived in part from video games.

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