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'10 times better': Why some Kiwis are ditching NZ for Australia

NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Sun, 19 May 2024, 9:58am

'10 times better': Why some Kiwis are ditching NZ for Australia

NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Sun, 19 May 2024, 9:58am

As the ongoing cost of living crisis continues, more and more New Zealanders are choosing to leave for what has been described as better opportunities, more money and a greater quality of life in Australia.

And experts believe the influx of migration across the Ditch will continue, as job losses and expensive costs will only push more Kiwis to make the big move.

Provisional figures released by Statistics NZ last week show a record net migration loss of 52,500 New Zealand citizens in the year ending March 2024 - with more than half of those migrations going to Australia.

More than half the migrants who left New Zealand in the year to March 2024 headed to Australia. Photo / Supplied
More than half the migrants who left New Zealand in the year to March 2024 headed to Australia. Photo / Supplied

Over half of migrant departures went to Australia

Population indicators manager Tehseem Island said: “That equates to a thousand more New Zealand citizens departing long-term than arriving long-term each week.

“The number of migrant departures of New Zealand citizens in the March 2024 year is also a provisional record. Based on the latest estimates available, just over half of these migrant departures went to Australia.”

Stats NZ said changes in migration typically happened because of a combination of factors including relative economic and labour market conditions between New Zealand and the rest of the world and immigration policy in Aotearoa and other countries.

“While the current annual net migrations gain of non-New Zealand citizens is below the peak in late 2023, it is still high by historical standards,” Islam said.

In his column Why so many Kiwis are leaving for Australia and why its economy is stronger, the Herald’s Liam Dann said structurally Australia is a much stronger and wealthier economy.

“Yes, they have access to enormous mineral wealth. But to blame the difference on that alone is a cop-out. New Zealand is also blessed with outsize natural resources relative to its population.

“But per person, we have lower productivity and lower rates of savings and investment.”

Dann said superannuation and CGT are some of the key factors in why New Zealand is “languishing” compared to our transtasman neighbours.

“For me, there are two key things Australia has that we don’t. Compulsory superannuation savings and a capital gains tax have made a huge difference across decades of economic growth.

“These policies have turbocharged Australia’s financial sector while ours has languished.”

‘So hard to survive’ in New Zealand

Many Kiwis who have made the big move either on their own or with their families are regularly posting about their new-found success and happiness in Australia on social media sites such as TikTok and Facebook.

Among those is 26-year-old Jesse Campbell, who took to TikTok earlier this year to share what he feels is a better quality of life Down Under and even encouraged other fellow Kiwis to move across the Ditch.

While on holiday back home in NZ, he made a video and acknowledged that he could not wait to get back to Australia.

“The quality of life there is 10 times better than it will ever be in New Zealand,” he said.

He talked about the cost of living being cheaper, better wages and more opportunities available. Even the weather was better, he said.

“Now, that is not a knock on New Zealand, that is just the facts. Honestly, I just reckon the quality of life it produces over there is just so much better than New Zealand at the moment, and that’s why we are losing so many people moving over there.

“Especially when things are so tough here for people in New Zealand, you know? The wages and the crazy cost of living and that. It is just so hard for people to survive and have a good life here.”

Another Kiwi, Kiyah Ariana, said moving to Melbourne was the “hardest” decision of her life but that it had been “worth it”.

“I have been able to be a stay-at-home mum to both of our kids because my partner makes good money and enough for us to live off one income, which is something that we would not have been able to do back home,” she said in a TikTok video.

Another Kiwi, Paige Ratcliffe, posted about finally being able to buy fresh produce every day because she could now afford it.

“POV [point of view]: You move to Australia and can now afford fresh produce every day,” she wrote in a recent video.

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