More New Zealanders, like Brits, choosing Australia

22 February 2006

It seems the lure of Australia's hot weather, golden beaches, higher standard of living and better opportunities is irresistible to New Zealanders, in addition to Brits.

The growing gap in incomes between New Zealanders and their Australian counterparts is prompting more and more New Zealanders to immigrate to Australia for good, says New Zealand National's Immigration Spokesman, Lockwood Smith.

New Zealand figures show the number of people leaving permanently, compared with those returning home permanently, has increased from 11,200 to 18,100 to 25,000 in the past three years.

It is the highest net loss to Australia since a net 24,600 left in 2001.

"Most of them were New Zealanders crossing the ditch to Australia - 22,500 out of the 25,000 in fact," says Dr Smith.

"Though attracting new skilled immigrants is important, it is even more important to retain our own skilled people, our own New Zealanders.