More Aussies ditching Australia for NZ


It wasn't long ago New Zealand was seen as undesirable by our trans-Tasman friends, but now Australians are turning up in droves.

Figures from Statistics NZ show there are now 25,700 Australians settling in New Zealand every year, a number which has jumped by 1800 between May 2015 and May 2016.

However it is not only born-and-bred Australians making the move - 16,794 of the 25,700 are returning Kiwis.

Not only that, the trend of New Zealanders moving to Australia has also slowed.

"Migrant departures to Australia fell by 1400 between the two May years, as fewer New Zealand citizens chose to migrate to Australia. This led to a net gain of 1700 migrants from Australia in the May 2016 year. May was the eighth consecutive month to show an annual net gain," says a Statistics NZ report.

In general, migrant arrivals are at a record level with 124,000 arriving in the year to May 2016.

This is an increase of 8 percent on the previous year with New Zealand citizens returning to New Zealand accounting for one quarter (30,700) of all migrant arrivals.

Migrant departures fell slightly by 2 percent to 56,400 from the May 2015 year.

ASB senior economist Chris Tennant-Brown says there are several factors changing trans-Tasman migration numbers, including exceptionally strong employment data.

"The New Zealand side of the equation has become increasingly attractive. Our job indicators are strong, in the construction sector in particular."

He also says government policies, or a lack of, make Aotearoa look good.

"A lot of Australians are envious of our simple tax system. It is very easy to do business over here because we don't have the same policies. The red tape in New Zealand is far less than it is in Oz.

"New Zealand has a relatively lower income tax burden. Australia has a lot of tax that households have to pay that is very regional including state taxes and state levies."

Mr Tennant-Brown says the cost of living also contributes.

"As high as those prices are in New Zealand, particularly in Auckland, they are that much higher in Sydney and in Melbourne.

"Australia has relatively higher gross wages but if you factor in tax brackets and the cost of living, the difference isn't so great."


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