The Lucky Country, over the ditch…

Not only are they pretty handy at Rugby (and cricket on the basis of last week’s ODI also) but NZ has just achieved a once in a generation event, namely, that more people are moving from Australia to New Zealand than vice versa for the first time in 24 years.

25,273 people migrated to New Zealand from Australia in 2015 *, almost two thirds of them were New Zealanders returning home.

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A total of 24,504 people moved from New Zealand to Australia, making a net flow of 769 people to New Zealand. This marks the highest net flow of Australians heading to New Zealand since 1991.

This is quite a significant shift in a short period of time given that as recently as 2012 a record 53,000 New Zealand residents had departed for Australia, while just 13,900 people moved the other way.

New Zealand and Australia have long had an agreement which allows most citizens to live and work in either country, but it’s certainly not one way traffic any longer.

Under John Key (Malcolm Turnbull’s bromance partner and also ex-investment banker), New Zealand’s economic and political stability – good majority and into his 3rd term, along with the end of Australia’s mining boom, take a fair amount of  credit for the shift.  The top tax rate of 30% certainly doesn’t hurt either.

The NZ Reserve Bank governor Graeme Wheeler said last week that tourism, construction activity and a general lift in business and consumer confidence would power growth in 2016.

House price increases in Auckland have seen the same sorts of growth as Sydney and Melbourne – not surprising as last August, the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) released its report on 140 cities, and for the fifth year in a row Auckland has made it into the top 10.

Many seemingly more popular destinations did not feature higher in the ranking . Why? Well apparently “The ‘big city buzz’ that they enjoy can overstretch infrastructure and cause higher crime rates. New York, London, Paris and Tokyo are all prestigious hubs with a wealth of recreational activity, but all suffer from higher levels of crime, congestion and public transport problems than would be deemed comfortable.” **

I think with the pressure on the economy continuing in Australia, it will be very interesting to see in a few months time whether the trend is repeated…or just another once in a generation blip.

Either way, we are somewhat spoilt by choice given that with the exception of 3 Canadian cities, Australia and NZ account for 5 out of the Top 10 most liveable cities in the world (with Melbourne coming top of the pile). So even if it does we’re still a very lucky country indeed.

 

* Statistics NZ

** Economist Intelligence Unit, August 2015 “Most Liveable Cities”

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