Australian charities are urging prospective NZ travellers to find work before arriving.
04 January 2012
Kiwis emigrating to Australia face tough new challenges
While the number of Kiwis being tempted across the Tasman Sea to Australia reaches new highs, charities in Australia have warned that New Zealanders may not be aware of the risks.
The high salaries and lucrative positions available in the mining and agriculture industries have meant that more and more Kiwis are making the move to Australia, yet many have fallen on tough times.
Recent research has shown that for the first time in history, over 50,000 New Zealanders made the move to Australia in the year ending November 2011, with less than 15,000 NZ citizens making the journey the other way.
The Trans-Tasman Travel Agreement of 1973 meant that both Australians and New Zealanders could travel between and reside in both countries without visa approval but, since February 2001 Australia hasn't offered NZ immigrants access to welfare or other government services such as Centrelink.
This lack of state assistance has meant that the number of New Zealanders residing in Australia in need of assistance was on the rise, Logan Youth and Family Services Centre chief executive Cath Bartolow said that New Zealanders "aren't aware of the difficulties they face when they don't have access to support and assistance. When they find themselves out of work, it is just so difficult to stay on their feet when the bills keep coming in."
The problems are more severe than simply struggling to keep up with the bills too, with Ms Bartolow explaining that "homelessness is not a rarity, numbers are continually increasing, people are frequently having to rely on the generosity of family and friends".
Recruiters have pointed out that the sizeable salaries on offer in the mining and agricultural industries are proving too enticing for many NZ migrants who aren't taking the proper measures before emigrating to Australia. Russo Recruitment general manager Denise Love said "A recent trend we have seen is migrants sending their resumes before leaving New Zealand in attempts to secure work in the mines on their arrival".
The Australian Visa Bureau is an independent migration consultancy specialising in helping people apply for their Australian visa with the Australian Embassy.