An online community for New Zealanders planning to relocate to Australia has received a constant number of requests since the lockdown, with its coordinator expecting a surge now that the Trans-Tasman bubble is fully operational.
Last week Thing received an overwhelming response to an article questioning whether the country was on the verge of a ‘brain drain’ to Australia, with New South Wales economics professor Richard Holden claiming that future increases Wages and higher wages for Australians could have flow effects for New Zealand Labor Market.
Johanna Smith, a New Zealander who previously lived in Australia, led the web forum movetoaustralia.co.nz since 2008. The forum advises people wishing to move. Smith said it was no surprise the Kiwis were looking for a better life across the divide.
“I expected Covid-19’s interest to wane, but I had inquiries all the time during the lockdown. People always want to go further … it’s been consistent, ”said Smith, who is now based in Auckland. “Kiwis have always considered it ‘the grass is greener’.”
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Smith and her husband moved to Australia from New Zealand for business opportunities when Smith was pregnant with their first child around 2008.
Although she returned to New Zealand for family reasons, Smith continued to operate the website as she enjoys helping Kiwi families relocate to Australia. Forum resources include advice on real estate, finance, health, and employment.
She said the Kiwis were especially curious about the Australian job and housing market, along with wages.
“I guess a lot of people’s lives in New Zealand have broken down. People who lost everything and always considered moving, is that what you got to lose now? “
The cost of living was “definitely” cheaper in Australia, Smith said, while the warmer climate was also a bonus. “The lifestyle is amazing, you can afford a house and you won’t pay it off the rest of your life.”
People could also pay off their student loans faster with higher salaries.
“Now it’s not just young singles, it’s families who are also in this situation where they have nothing to lose. The affordability of life in Australia is so attractive, ”she said.
Smith felt that interest would only increase. “It’s going to accelerate … there has always been this interest and always will be.” This is definitely increasing at the moment.