Exodus to Fresh Zealand: Kiwis fleeing back home, joined by Australians

Exodus to New Zealand: Kiwis fleeing back home, joined by Australians

Fergus Hunter

National political researcher

For the very first time since 1991, more Australians have moved to Fresh Zealand than vice-versa.

More people are moving to Fresh Zealand from Australia instead of the other way around for the very first time in decades as Kiwis comeback to a buoyant economy and are joined by foreigners in search of work.

According to fresh figures released by Statistics Fresh Zealand, 25,273 people migrated east across the Tasman Sea in 2015, compared to 24,504 who went the other way.

This net flow of 769 to Fresh Zealand is the thickest since 1991 and the number of people coming to Australia is the lowest since the same year.

It comes as the country of Four.6 million is experiencing consistent political stability and strong economic spectacle while other countries falter.

The trend began in the middle of last year and these fresh figures confirm the anti-New Zealand migration is over, having peaked in 2012 when a total of more than 53,000 fled to Australia.

In 2013, the net migration flow to Australia was Nineteen,600. By 2014, this was down to 3800.

Halting the ",brain drain", was a major campaign commitment of Prime Minister John Key who, after more than seven years in power, is a popular leader running a sustained, successful government.

The continued economic growth, low unemployment numbers, strong Fresh Zealand dollar, budget surplus and migration success story of the country are all feathers in the cap of the Prime Minister, who last year joked that you ",wouldn’t know who’s going to display up", when you’re expecting an Australian prime minister.

One victim of this revolving door of political leadership, former treasurer Joe Hockey, last year insisted that the lower tax rates of Fresh Zealand were ",unquestionably", part of the exodus.

Professor Paul Spoonley of Fresh Zealand’s Massey University says the trans-Tasman migration is very dependent on economic factors.

",The switch began in mid-2015 when the economic indicators of each country sort of flipped around.

",Indicators like unemployment and jobs growth improved in Fresh Zealand and declined in Australia,", Professor Spoonley told Fairfax Media.

Previously, the high wages and mining boom of Australia were drawcards but then economic fortunes switched and tensions enlargened over entitlements suggested to Fresh Zealanders.

Most Fresh Zealanders moving to Australia must apply for a Special Category Visa, which denies them the benefits of permanent residency.

Professor Spoonley says the smaller country is attracting three types of people: Fresh Zealand citizens or their children returning, Australians packing jobs in Australian-owned companies, and professionals seeking employment in flourishing industries like film production and winemaking.

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