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Kiwis return from Oz for job and health security

Mar 18th, 2013 | By | Category: Front Page Layout, Latest News


Green dots show where story subjects have returned from

JOBS AND HEALTH are two common reasons Kiwis cite for returning home from Australia.

Kiwis who have not become Australian citizens do not have the same health and employment rights.

Those who have been working part-time have found that they are not eligible for holiday pay or sick pay.

Healthcare has also proven expensive for these Kiwis, who are not eligible for health subsidies.

The numbers of permanently returning Kiwis  have gone from 10,318 for the year ending January 2011 to  8766 in 2012, and back up to 9897 by the end of  January 2013.

This represents a 15 percentage point decrease in the year to January 2012 and a 13 percentage point increase for the year ending January 2013.

According to Statistics New Zealand, the 2012 decrease could be for reasons related to New Zealand’s hosting of the Rugby World Cup.

Jane lived on Australia’s Gold Coast from 1998 to 2005 after leaving New Zealand with her two young children.

She found the Australian lifestyle at the time cheaper, especially for food and housing, but the people were unfriendly.

“I lived in the same street all the time I was there, and nobody even said, ‘Hi’”, she says.

Also as most part-time jobs are casual, there is no allowance for holiday pay or sick pay.

Jane returned to New Zealand when her younger son reached college age, as she did not want him to attend school on the Gold Coast where she says there is a drug problem.

“But the main thing was that [my son] was Māori, and I wanted him to learn about his culture.  He thought he was Aborigine,” she said.

She says the only reason she would go back to Australia now would be to care for her Melbourne-based Mum who is ill.

Vic says he would “go back in a heartbeat”, having lived in most of the Australian states, although he prefers the lifestyle in Adelaide.

“It’s not as fast or freaky, and the public transport is fabulous.”

Vic is a diesel mechanic who was injured at work when a truck fell on him after it was nudged by a forklift.

He says the dye he was injected with to investigate his injuries is likely to have caused his two heart attacks, which brought him back to New Zealand.

According to Vic, the healthcare in Australia is very expensive, but “I want to go back, maybe when I’m better.”

Helen and her partner Tim (below) left Perth last year after they were made redundant from their jobs.

They returned to the Bay of Plenty, but had difficulty finding work there, so went to Invercargill.

The work situation was better in Invercargill, but they found that they missed family and friends so they decided to go back to Perth.

Work was scarce there as well, and they now live in the West Australian mining town of Kalgoorlie, where they have both found employment.

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is a Whitireia journalism student.
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