The Migrant Connection - What makes NZ better than Australia?

Learn about the benefits of choosing New Zealand over Australia for a better quality of life as a migrant.

Since the early days of European exploration and settlement, New Zealand and Australia have been linked through powerful threads of shared identity. This ongoing relationship between the two nations has had a profound impact on how each country develops economically, culturally, socially and politically.

Over the years immigration from both countries has broadened this connection in a multitude of ways – making for an ever-evolving comparison that often leads to conversations about which nation is better than the other.

So what really makes New Zealand stand out against its bigger neighbour? Let's explore!

Overview of migration trends between New Zealand and Australia

Over the past decade, the movement of people between New Zealand and Australia has grown significantly. Migration trends continue to hold steady, with many Kiwis making the move across the Tasman Sea for employment and educational opportunities in Australia, as well as visa-holders travelling for both business and pleasure. Additionally, the number of Australians travelling in residence to New Zealand each year remains high. Recent data from Statistics New Zealand shows that from July 2018 to June 2019, a total of 78,237 New Zealand citizens moved long term to Australia; while 65,405 Australians resettled in NZ during the same period. Amidst changes to immigration legislation on both sides of the Tasman Sea, these historical migration patterns between these two countries remain strongly intact.

Cost of living comparison - why is NZ cheaper than Australia to live in

New Zealand is generally known to be cheaper than Australia to live in, with some reports citing that the cost of living in Australia is up to 40 percent more expensive. A big contributor to this difference between countries is the availability of wages and taxation levels. In New Zealand, wages typically fall below those of its Australian counterpart while taxes are much lower. This means goods and services are more affordable, despite higher overall unemployment rates among NZers. Housing factors into this considerable pricing gap too; whilst rents in Sydney and Melbourne can be exorbitant, similarly sized cities like Auckland or Wellington offer cheaper accommodation alternatives for those who may not be able to afford a home loan in Australia. Ultimately, these cost considerations put New Zealand ahead as a more competitive place to live relative to Australia, especially for those on budget.

Employment opportunities - what jobs are available in each country

New Zealand and Australia both offer a wealth of employment opportunities, but the types of jobs available in each country stands out for its diversity. New Zealand offers roles in many fields, from finance to engineering to education and tourism. On the other hand, Australia has an estimated six million job openings in different fields from mining and healthcare professions to technology and retail sales. There is also strong competition among businesses looking for skilled workers across both countries, creating plenty of opportunities for people from all walks of life. Whatever your desired career path may be, New Zealand and Australia have something for everyone.

Education system differences between the two countries

New Zealand and Australia, two countries which share many similarities in culture, cuisine and popular pastimes, are vastly different when it comes to their respective education systems. New Zealand prides itself on its polytechnic institutes and universities that specialise in vocational-style education, coupled with the New Zealand Qualifications Framework (NZQF) allowing students to freely move between study levels. In contrast, Australia favours a more traditional academic approach based on higher-education qualifications with increased competition for university admittance. Both countries offer a high standard of education but have favoured different approaches; New Zealand is focused on providing tailored career paths while Australia is more concerned with preparing its citizens for higher learning.

Quality of life comparison - social, environmental, and cultural factors

New Zealand and Australia offer a high standard of living, both with diverse cultures, strong economies, and beautiful natural environments. In New Zealand, social welfare is in abundance as the government takes responsibility for providing free healthcare and education system. Despite New Zealand’s reputation for a great outdoor experience offered by its impressive landscape and rich wildlife, consumption of energy resources remains relatively low due to the countries sustainable efforts. Due to New Zealand’s abundant tourism sector, cultural activities are widespread; comprising music, theater and films that propel a growing creative industry. Australia also has an array of health benefits allocating time and money to centers that provide public health care. Environmental conservation is important in Australia as well as education provided in public schools. With environmental issues such as global warming continuously alarming Australians they often prioritize nature over development when making decisions. Overall New Zealand and Australia have done their utmost best-occupying reputable positions on different indexes that measure life quality reflecting the importance they place on social, environmental and cultural factors.

Immigration policies of each country and how they affect potential migrants

New Zealand and Australia are known for their diversity, yet potential migrants must take the immigration policies of each country into careful consideration. New Zealand offers a range of visas to suit varying needs, from students and skilled workers to family reunification. New Zealand also has policies recognising refugees from certain countries and granting them asylum. Meanwhile, Australia recently strengthened its skilled migration programme and has been steadily incentivizing investment in businesses as well as agricultural development. Though strict application processes, lengthy background checks and specific requirements may pose difficulties for potential migrants, the rewards for succeeding can be plentiful for both countries.

Our research has found that despite the close proximity of New Zealand and Australia, there are distinct differences between the two countries. From cost of living and quality of life to employment opportunities and immigration policies, it’s clear that both countries have their own pros and cons for potential migrants. If a person is looking for an affordable place to live with lots of job variety, Australia may be the best option. But if they want access to education systems that strongly promote creativity and innovation, then New Zealand could be the ideal choice. Ultimately, potential migrants should consider all factors when deciding which country might best suit their needs. When you finally find the right country for you, the long process of applying for visas, gathering financial documents and taking other necessary steps can often feel daunting. However, harnessing all available resources during this massive transition – such as information sessions hosted by migration services – can also make it an exciting time filled with possibilities in your new home.

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