New Zealand aims to bring New Zealanders home

23 August 2005

The New Zealand Government is trying to encourage its own expatriate New Zealanders to come home. More than 460,000 New Zealand-born citizens - or 14 per cent of the NZ-born population - live overseas. About 600 New Zealanders leave each week for Australia.

A new website, to be launched in November, will provide up-to-date information about the country. It will focus on employment and lifestyle opportunities and will connect expats to potential employers and recruiters, thus smoothing their path to return home.

The Labour Party's initiative to encourage expatriates back, announced by Prime Minister Helen Clark and Immigration Minister Paul Swain, will also include video conference facilities in London for New Zealand employers interviewing expats; ways family and friends can connect expats to information about returning; and the promotion of overseas job expos to expats.

The idea is to provide expats with information about New Zealand and why it is an attractive place to live and to give them the connections they need to return easily.

The initiative had been scheduled to be unveiled last month, but the London bombings delayed its release. The initial focus will be aimed at the 58,000 expats living in the UK, with a subsequent focus on the 355,000 New Zealanders living in Australia.