Kiwi emigration to Australia up by 40 per cent

Kiwi emigration to Australia up by 40 per cent

Kiwi emigration to Australia up by 40 per cent

Economic migration from New Zealand to Australia has increased by at least 40 per cent since the global financial meltdown, with jobless Kiwis flocking to Australia to find work.

New Zealand is estimated to have lost 12 per cent of its population to its northern neighbour, as those with a clean police record are allowed to enter Australia and stay indefinitely. However, the special 444 visa locks Kiwis out of any welfare benefits, forcing them to survive on the meagre family tax benefit payments until they can find employment.

According to Salome Swan from Anglicare Southern Queensland, up to 24 jobless Kiwis including families with children are sharing a single house in order to get by on the payments. Older children are taking jobs in burger restaurants to help support their families.

Welfare cuts in Australia are taking their toll in other ways, with migrants from New Zealand who arrived after 2001 having to wait 10 years before they can apply for unemployment benefit. Even after they’ve successfully applied, the ‘dole’ only runs for six months, and their children are forbidden to apply for HECS university support loans.

Ms Swan states it’s totally unfair that Kiwi migrants who work and pay tax cannot draw benefits when they lose a job or become sick. Work, she adds, is difficult to find, and those who do manage to get a job are the fortunate ones.

New-Zealand-born high school students are unable to afford university fees, she continues, and most aren’t happy to return to New Zealand as their lives are with their parents in Australia. Many, she says, are now either homeless or hanging around doing nothing.

Demographers disagree that a fairer solution should be found for Kiwi migrants, saying that the answer is tighter immigration controls and citing unemployment amongst young Australians as a justification. Immigration data reveals some 650,000 Kiwis are living in Oz, with 85,000 already migrants to New Zealand before crossing the Tasman Sea.

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