Kiwis continue fickle affair with Australia

Wednesday May 01, 2013 Kel Sanderson

Kiwis migrating to Australia have doubled in the last 10 years from 25,000 in 2003, to over 51,000 in the year to March 2013. The love affair with Australia is fickle, and the slightest cloud on the Australian economic horizon causes the number trekking over to thin out. The flow to Oceania region (mainly Australia) dropped to about 32,000 in 2008-09 but was swelling again long before the Canterbury earthquakes gave people the reason to leave, whatever the prospects in Australia.


The numbers jumped to over 55,000 by the end of 2011, but the shine came off the Australian economy about then. The number seeing Australia as the way to go then stalled at about 55,000 a year. However we now don’t expect the sentiment to reverse, and the outflow to plummet the way it did in 2009.



The overall migration prospect


An easing in the flow of people to Australia, and some increase in the number of (disillusioned?) Kiwis coming back from Australia have been the two main drivers in bringing our net migration flows back into positive territory this year. This improved outcome is supported by the other fairly stable net arrivals of 15,000 to 20,000 a year from Europe, Americas and Africa regions. The prospect is that net migration should begin to become a small positive influence on commercial and economic activity in New Zealand again.