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Will New Zealand see influx of people fleeing Australia's fires?

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Tue, 21 Jan 2020, 6:12PM
The ongoing bushfires could make climate refugees of our neighbours (Photo / AP)

Will New Zealand see influx of people fleeing Australia's fires?

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Tue, 21 Jan 2020, 6:12PM

As the fires rage on in Australia, most people will look at ways to rebuild their lives, but some might call it quits on the smoke and the fire and come across the ditch.

That’s as Australian citizens have the automatic right to be New Zealand residents, with all the rights to live and work here.

That's on top of all the New Zealanders who live and work in Australia, and may want to return home. 

ANZ’s chief economist Sharon Zollner has been thinking about the effects this could have on New Zealand, and told Andrew Dickens that something as small as a few wealthy Australians living here during the summer to escape the fires could affect our economy. 

She says that the migration across the Tasman is a drain towards Australia, and the reverse could have drastic changes. 

"We do tend to import a lot of people from the rest of the world - we have one of the highest voluntary rates of net migration of the developed nations already. 

"If we started to see a different flow across the Tasman, you'd probably want to look at how many people we invite from the rest of the world."

Zollner says that our housing market is already facing strains due to the population boom. 

 

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