Australia election: Why more Kiwis are likely to head across the ditch with Anthony Albanese at the helm

Anthony Albanese will be sworn in as Australia's 31st Prime Minister on Monday - and his election is expected to affect New Zealand's workforce.

Labor's Albanese emerged victorious over incumbent Scott Morrison on Saturday night after a six-week campaign. It ended conservative rule in Australia that lasted nearly a decade.

Albanese has stated he will raise the minimum wage and make living in Australia better for those who head there to work.

University of Auckland Public Policy Institute director Jennifer Curtin said New Zealand should expect to see more Kiwi professionals head across the ditch under Australia's new regime.

"We know that Albanese promised a real injection of funds into the health sector and into the aged care sector, and we also know that he's interested in seeing the minimum wage rise by at least 5 percent," Prof Curtin told AM.

"The challenge for New Zealand will be to try [to] make sure we look as lucrative as Australia."

In Australia, the current minimum wage is AU$20.33 (NZ$22.43).  New Zealand's minimum wage is $21.20, although it has increased annually under Labour. 

"We've seen our people - our professionals - move across the Tasman before," Prof Curtin said. "We'll probably start seeing it again."

But Prof Curtin noted Australia also has a cost of living crisis.

Anthony Albanese and Jacinda Ardern.
Anthony Albanese and Jacinda Ardern. Photo credit: Getty Images

Speaking to AM earlier, Australian broadcaster Jason Morrison said despite the crisis, the country still had "enormous" opportunities.

"That will always be our way," he added.

"I find it amazing that people will always say, 'There are no jobs here.' There are plenty of jobs in Australia - there are plenty of opportunities."

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has so far spoken twice with Albanese.

"Yesterday, we talked very much about the range of things going on internationally," she told AM.

"We talked about the ability to meet sometime soon so we can talk face to face about those issues."