01 December 2008

Compare the View from NZ to UK

Could the Australians in Britain please stay where they are? in The Times UK
25 November 2008
It is no longer true, if it ever were, that the Australian migrant to Britain is a West London barworker whose only cultural contribution is a strange habit of posing statements as questions. In fact, in recent years, thousands of educated Australians have come to the UK. Migration has been the start of a career, not a gap year. And the cultural contribution of the expatriates - Clive James, Germaine Greer, Barry Humphries, Nick Cave, Peter Porter - means that it is silly and patronising to say the Australians had to come here to sample the culture they lacked at home. .

So it is with some alarm that we should greet the news that the Australians are heading home: 2,700 a month, up from 1,750 a month in 2005. This is largely a vote of no confidence in the old country. As the recession bites, the lure of home, with unemployment at a 33-year low and the dollar at an 11-year high against sterling, is very tempting. Sitting on the sort of budget surplus that this country can only envy, the Prime Minister Kevin Rudd is even forecasting that he can avoid recession. With the roof fixed in the good times, it is not surprising that many bright young Australians have remembered that, back at home, the sun is always shining.

There was always a case that anyone leaving Circular Quay in Sydney for Southampton dock was going the wrong way. But they came anyway, and 400,000 Australians live in Britain. Would they please not go back where they came from?

Kiwis Fleeing to Australia hit record high
NZHerald Nov 25, 2008 By Eloise Gibson
The number of New Zealanders moving to Australia last month set a record, and the flow of people moving here from other countries continued to slow. Statistics New Zealand figures issued yesterday show 47,800 people left to live in Australia in the year to October. About 13,200 came to New Zealand from Australia - the same number as last month. About two-thirds of them were New Zealanders returning home. That created a net outflow of 34,600 permanent and long-term migrants to Australia for the year, breaking September's record of 33,900.

Immigration from all countries fell last month to its lowest level in seven years. New Zealand gained 4300 migrants net in the year to October, 3200 fewer than in the previous 12 months.

Luring people to stay in New Zealand was a policy promise by the National Party. Before the election, National leader John Key described accelerating losses to Australia as a "vote of no confidence" in the Labour-led Government. . . .

Statistics New Zealand said the population was about a third bigger last year than it was in 1979. But most of the population growth since then had occurred above the age of 40, while most migration occurred below that age.

- Reckon the grass is always greener? What do people gain and give up when they make such drastic moves?

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