Kiwis Ditching New Zealand for Australia

Michael Yoon
Principal Immigration Lawyer

Stats NZ reports a significant net migration loss of 52,500 New Zealand citizens in a year, with many relocating to Australia for better financial prospects and lifestyle advantages. Contact Immigration Lawyer NZ for any questions.

So, here's the latest sobering dose of immigration news for New Zealand. We're haemorrhaging people at an unprecedented rate. The land of the long white cloud is rapidly becoming the land of the long goodbye.

Stats NZ data just out shows a net migration loss of 56,500 Kiwis in the year to April 2024. That’s right, we’ve smashed through our previous record loss of 52,000 from the year to March. In raw numbers, more than 81,000 of us packed up and left for good in that same period. This isn’t just a drip, it’s a flood.

What's driving this exodus? Well, let's look at Australia for starters. We lost 24,200 people net to Australia alone in the year ending September 2023. And it’s not just Aussies luring Kiwis across the ditch; New Zealanders are actively seeking better opportunities overseas, fed up with what’s on offer here. It's a damning indictment of our current situation.

Despite the gloom, New Zealand still managed a net migration gain of 98,500 in the year to April. But don’t be fooled by that figure. It’s a significant drop from the 106,000 gain the year before. The influx is propped up by 154,900 non-NZ citizens, masking the alarming departure of Kiwis.

India leads the pack for migrant arrivals with 48,000, followed by the Philippines and China. These are the numbers keeping our population buoyant. But how long can this last? Total migrant inflows are running below the peak seen in early 2023. The return of international students and work visa approvals inflated those figures, and now we’re seeing the hangover.

Why are people leaving? It's a mixture of better opportunities abroad, and perhaps a sense that New Zealand isn't delivering on its promises. Remember, we’ve had a net migration loss to Australia averaging 30,000 a year from 2004 to 2013. We’ve seen this movie before, and it didn’t end well.

Here’s the reality: we’re not just losing people; we’re losing talent, skills, and potential. This is the price we pay for not getting our house in order. For too long, we've coasted on the illusion that New Zealand is the ultimate destination. But the numbers tell a different story, one that’s getting harder to ignore.

And that's the immigration news in New Zealand today. Do follow and subscribe for more fresh immigration content like this. Ka Kite Ano.

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Last modified on 28 June 2024 by
Michael Yoon
Principal Immigration Lawyer
Michael has been working as a lawyer in New Zealand since 2006. Over the years, he has successfully helped thousands of clients to get their desired outcome. Clients find Michael knowledgeable, approachable and professional — a trusted expert.

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