My name is Nadia Zvonareva; I identify myself as a Russian, New Zealander, who is now a New Zealand Resident. I was born in Russia, where my family, relatives and ancestry originate from. Before I became a New Zealander, I experienced a challenging resettlement journey that took all of two years. It started in 2017 when I was forced to flee as a family person from Russia to New Zealand, because of the ongoing oppression from the government toward our community.
My family and I became New Zealanders in April 2019, when we received a permanent resident. When we arrived in New Zealand and became asylum seekers we faced a lot of challenges like Language, Kiwi food, culture, whether it was very hard for us to live here but we never had any problem with the government. Once we became New Zealanders in 2019. My family and I felt the joy. We were relieved and We were happy that We made the right choice. We received more opportunities also we got more privileges which are only for New Zealanders. We started receiving work and income benefits. We applied for Kainga ora Housing New Zealand home but We received Housing New Zealand house after we became New Zealander.
I like New Zealand because of the freedom we have here, the opportunity I have received socially and economically, which has allowed me to develop my career and practice Producer and my husband is a creator and video director. I have invested time in volunteer work, serving diverse ethnic communities, and educating myself to gain the appropriate knowledge. I have produced and released more than 50 videos with the help of my husband. Currently, our all family including my two daughters and my husband we are working voluntarily with Aotearoa Resettled Community Coalition (ARCC).
What I do not like about New Zealand is before I say something is Because of the country you are from or what you believe in and you might end up in prison only for your believes in life but once you have been elaborated and became a free person in another country where you have freedom of speech you do not see anything that you do not like about this country. So I can give you an example If I was in Russia and I did not celebrate the traditional celebration so people will start to talk about why you guys have not celebrated. The government might take the children away because they say parents are manipulating the children but here we are free we do not have fear from Government.
The challenges I faced in my settlement and integration process were establishing a network, finding suitable employment, and feeling that I belonged in New Zealand society. My name, plus the English language barrier. I still feel like I am not part of New Zealand society because of the language barrier. I have missed a lot about my country of origin, reflecting on my, before forced displacement, where my sister and my extended family and friends there.