Record number of Kiwis head to Aust

01:43, Jan 31 2009

The number of Kiwis emigrating to Australia hit a 19-year high in the past 12 months, new figures out today show.

Statistics New Zealand said there was a net outflow of 33,300 people to Australia in the year to August. That's the highest figure since the February 1989 year. Some 2900 people packed their bags in August itself, up from 1900 a year ago.

Kiwis are anecdotally being attracted across the ditch by higher wage rates in Australia. The latest figures show that 86 per cent of those leaving are under the age of 45, with the majority under the age of 30.

Statistics NZ said the migrants were spread across occupation groups, with the most numbers in service and sales workers, professionals and trades workers.

Including movements between New Zealand and all countries, we had a net gain in migrants of 4900 in the year to August, which is below the annual average of 11,800 recorded between the 1990 and 2007 calendar years.

There was a net inflow of 7600 migrants from Britain, down from 8800 a year ago, while the next highest number of inbound migrants was a net 4800 from India - up from 3100 a year ago.

In short-term travel, there was a 1 per cent drop in people visiting the country for the month of August. The reduction in overall numbers to 162,500 was most influenced by a 29 per cent fall (2600 people less) in the number of visitors from China.

For the year to August there were 2.48 million visitors to New Zealand, a rise of under a per cent from the figure the previous year.

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