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Is New Zealand Backdoor Entry Into Australia?

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It has spawned many coffee table conversations but the question whether New Zealand is becoming a backdoor to those wanting to settle down in Australia has sparked a heated debate on blogging platform Reddit.

“From anecdotal evidence I’ve seen this to be true, with half a dozen people I know who’ve come to NZ moving to Australia as soon as they get citizenship,” Reddit user ‘deidrechawner’ wrote a few days back. 


“I’ve also talked to people who said they applied to Australia and couldn’t get in but were allowed to migrate to NZ. As soon as they were granted a NZ passport they left for Australia.”

It is no secret many natural-born New Zealanders, not just migrants, are weighing the allure of a stronger economy–and ostensibly cheaper living costs–across the ditch. 

In fact, Australia has lately made no bones of its intention to lure police officers, doctors and other medical professionals from New Zealand to its shores–a fact even many exasperated Kiwi politicians have acknowledged.

At the time of writing this article, more than 300 Reddit users had weighed in on the post. The response has been mixed but sharp.

One user wrote, “This might sound controversial but I get it. I think NZ used to attract a lot of people with a more relax lifestyle, beaches, tramping, good work life balance, etc, and that used to work for a lot of people. But now when housing and food costs are through the roof, that’s no longer enough and there needs to be more economic solutions to keep people around.” 

Another user, ‘hangrygodzila’, accepted the backdoor premise as a fact. “Everyone knows it. NZ is a stepping stone,” he wrote.

“As soon as they get NZ citizenship, first flight off to Sydney mate. NZ don’t have a choice, gotta take anyone we can. Need to pump up the economy aka housing. The best and brightest go straight to oz, no need to come here. NZ takes bottom of barrel.”

According to data from Stats NZ released last week, New Zealand recorded a net migration loss of 52,500 citizens in the year to March–a new record–with many saying better wages and more opportunities motivated them to move to Australia

"Based on the latest estimates available, just over half of these migrant departures went to Australia," Stats NZ population indicators manager Tehseen Islam said.

Responding to the Reddit thread, another user–‘kiwinow’- took a more philosophical approach. “Hear me out without getting triggered, I find the statement that people who become citizens by birth naturally deserve more than people who become citizens by grants is illogical and unreasonable. 

“I will tell you why, people who were born here DID NOT choose to be born in NZ, it wasn't their choice or life dream to be born in NZ. 

“They were here only because of the choices and the dreams their parents and grandparents made, who by the way are immigrants.  Sure you may hear some immigrants say that NZ is not their first choice. It's likely because most people don't know how awesome the country is until they come here and fall in love with it.”

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