According to some liberals at the 'Vision of Humanity', NZ is the most peaceful nation in the world. Sorry, I don't agree. These surveys are not entirely useful because 'peace' is a frightfully bad measure of health. Why?
Peace is not an indicate of well-being. Look at the runner-up 'Japan'. Japan is a highly collectivist nation. Japanese people are often very unhappy people; and they have a propensity to jump in front of trains to remind you. They feel constrained by their culture. It is fun for foreigners to come to Japan because we think their 'entrenched values' are cute, but for Japanese people, they want to stay abroad. This escapism of course is not restricted to Japan. Westerners want to go to Japan, or the Philippines, because foreign nations seem to treat one better than the servitude one sinks into when you are a 'local'. In NZ, one gets a 4-year tax holiday on offshore passive income. This is a great deal. NZ is a friendly place...but living there for the last 2 years, I have come to see it as quite a threatening place. There are anti-social elements which mean you stand a modest chance of befalling some violent death. I think one far safer in Australia; but then you stand a higher risk of being persecuted by your government in Australia.
There are however signs of improvement in Australia. Belatedly, after 2 decades of persecuting motorists, a NSW liberal MP has asked the Attorney General to investigate the use of speed cameras. A little reflection is encouraging, but actually, I don't expect much change.
Back to the issue of peace. Not a good measure. It can equate with repression just as much as well-being. i.e. Saddam Hussein, a vile dictator, famously kept Iraq a peaceful place until the Americans invaded. But I suspect Iraqis would prefer American occupation to Hussein back in power. That is because in this context, peace correlated with political oppression. There is no overt opppression in the West; its more subtle. We have taxation. And because we are enslaved by arbitrary law, we are more repressed than oppressed. But the distinction is more one of rationalisation, whether by you or government, and the extent to which you challenge the system of the authorities.
I joke about the use of drugs. Drugs are very popular in NZ. More so than Australia I suggest. This escapism highlights the extent that people need to resort to various forms of 'coping' in a society which disempowers.