READER REPORT:

Where to live, Oz or NZ?

MICHAEL HANCOCK
Last updated 10:00 20/03/2014

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Home sweet expat home

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Is life in New Zealand better or worse than overseas? We asked expats to share their experiences.

We lived in New Zealand for 50 years, having our three children born and educated there.

I worked in the building industry and related corporate employment for a number of years before starting a very successful business and employing up to 15 people, which we sold , bought back, then sold again.

Since moving to Queensland in 1998, both of us have gained Australian citizenship, been involved in hospitality, the building industry and commercial property.

Our assessment in comparing the two countries is that there are similar cost of living structures, but Australia is a minefield in bureaucratic red tape and in business terms.

It is far easier and less expensive to set up a small to medium operation in New Zealand.

The age pensioners are better off in Australia, considering all benefits, but means testing disqualifies those who have worked and saved. New Zealand allows all to receive the age benefit, but taxing it where other income is applicable.

Our daughter and her family receive more in social benefits than they would in New Zealand.

We are able to enjoy a more varied lifestyle due to our location and generally better weather conditions.

Overall, I feel that New Zealand will always be home, and that I could quite comfortably return to live there, but family ties here mean we will stay.

Militant unionism is the nemesis of Australia, contributing massively to large manufacturing closures and ongoing business cost structures.

The Federal government is attempting to reign them in to a reasonable level, but will have a huge battle on their hands.

Time will tell.


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