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Old August 22, 2008, 04:13 PM
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Default Would the last person leaving New Zealand turn off the lights...


Thanks for asking.

Short answer?

Money, Bro.

Even though NZ is a different country, the Kiwis are allowed to fly on over and get work, buy land, etc., without any kind of special visas. Almost like NZ is just another State of Aust. Aussies can do likewise with NZ.

A Lot of scaffolders are Maori - native NZers (pronounced mow-ree, and that's mow as in cow). Probably because of the physical strength needed. There is a joke... why hasn't NZ landed anyone on the moon? Because there's not enough scaffold in the world to go that high.

Anyway. Speaking with a Scaffolder he said... back in NZ he was getting like $9 an hour (which doesn't mean much if you don't know their cost of living, right). But when he came over to Aust, he walked straight into a $20 an hour scaffold job. Now he gets even more.

In essence, the NZ economy is borderline socialist. A welfare mentality by its leaders. Wages are low, taxes and living costs are high.

Quick example... Petrol (gasoline) is around $2 a liter while in Aust it's dropped down from around $1.60 to around $1.45 a liter. NZ prices found here

So they earn $9 an hour while gas costs $2 a liter, while in Oz they earn $20 an hour with gas at $1.45 a liter.

Here's a website with other NZ costs - higher than in Oz

You can compare car prices in NZ here and in Oz here - prices in some areas are higher in NZ or pretty close to Oz prices. But considering people in Oz earn more money, it's effectively cheaper to live in Oz.

Understand also, that NZ really only has around 4 million people. Much of their wool industry - I've been told - has fallen by the way side. And even their meat business closes down plants. While Oz's population is around 20.6 million. And even though the NZ unemployment rate is supposedly low at 3.8%, I've been told they have problems with Cheap Labor coming in from outer lying islands - think USA and Mexico.

In essence, the old Oz saying... Aust, the land of opportunity (which the article Phil linked to uses as its headline)... is how NZers see it.

And, depending on where in Oz they moved to... the weather is warmer. From cold and windy Wellington on the southern tip of NZs north island, to sunny and warm Brisbane or Gold Cost on Oz.

Most of the Kiwis I speak to will Never go back. Some will go back to visit family. Some plan to go back to retire in 40 years - homes are cheaper to buy. But most are here to stay - even the Maoris.

Michael Ross
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