Love the lifestyle: $50K a year for 25-hour weeks – Meet the Kiwis loving life in Aussie
A recent report reveals that more than 28,000 Kiwis have moved to Australia in a year, making it the biggest exodus since 2014. While it has resulted in a net migration loss of 10,200, it has not deterred many New Zealanders from crossing the Tasman in search of higher wages, better job incentives, and a more generous superannuation scheme. The new direct pathway to citizenship has made the move even more enticing. In this article, we talk to some Kiwis who have made the move to Australia over the years, about how their lives have changed for the better.
Meet the Kiwis
Johnelle Parkinson, a Tauranga-born single mother-of-two, found her perfect work-life balance in Brisbane. She works as a city parking operations supervisor for the Brisbane City Council, earning $90,000, not including overtime, working a nine-day fortnight with 7.25-hour days. The perks of her job include paid meal breaks, an employer superannuation contribution equivalent to 14 per cent of her weekly wage, a free health and wellness gym package, generous leave provisions, flexible working arrangements, and a parking spot worth $560 a month. Johnelle is also eligible for family tax benefits, which means that before and after-school care for a week only costs her $46.22. She plans to become an Australian citizen to vote in elections and for her children’s benefit with regard to accessing university and student loan assistance.
Kim Hudson, a former Rotorua resident, arrived in Brisbane in 2012 and worked in management for a national non-profit organization. She has more than doubled her salary in Australia and plans to become a citizen. She loves the lifestyle in Brisbane, with so much to do and beautiful and warm weather for the majority of the year. Kim has seen the impact on Kiwi families who did not have Australian citizenship in terms of social housing, subsidized health, and financial support. She is looking forward to being able to vote and says moving home is not an option.
Alysa Milner grew up in Mount Maunganui and now considers Darwin home. She moved in 2009 and worked for the Northern Territory government championing small businesses. Milner was earning just over $100,000 with six weeks of annual leave, three weeks of sick leave, 9.5 per cent of her salary in superannuation, 20 weeks of paid maternity leave, and funded study days. She loves the lifestyle in Australia, the freedom to earn good money, and the ability to grow and develop her career. The cost of living in Darwin is higher than other states, but it pales in comparison to the cost of living in New Zealand.
Lucy Brewerton moved to Sydney in July last year and was making about $50,000 a year for 25-hour weeks, or $30 an hour and $60 an hour at the weekend. She loves her job as a disability support worker, working part-time while finishing off her Master’s in Public Policy, specializing in social policy at Sydney University. While she misses Tauranga and the quiet lifestyle, the difference in pay and the tax system in Australia make it worth it.
– The number of Kiwis moving to Australia has increased since the Australian Government introduced a direct pathway to citizenship in 2017, allowing Kiwis faster and cheaper access to citizenship.
– The median income for Kiwis in Australia is $48,000, which is higher than the median income for Kiwis in New Zealand, but lower than the median income for Australians.
– Kiwis moving to Australia receive a Special Category Visa (SCV) that gives them access to most government services, but it is not a permanent visa or a pathway to citizenship.
– While the cost of living may be higher in Australia, the wages are also higher, and the job incentives and superannuation schemes are more generous than in New Zealand.
– The ability to vote in elections and the access to university and student loan assistance are some of the benefits of becoming an Australian citizen.
– Many Kiwis who have moved to Australia consider it a permanent home, and some are more than happy to forfeit their Kiwi citizenship in favor of Australian citizenship.
The lure of a better lifestyle, higher wages, and more job incentives has proved to be too powerful for many Kiwis who have made the move to Australia. The new direct pathway to citizenship has made the transition even easier and more desirable. While the cost of living may be higher in Australia, the benefits, such as access to government services, superannuation, and family tax benefits, more than make up for it. For many Kiwis, Australia is now their permanent home, and a good life awaits them across the ditch.