INDEPENDENT NEWS

Australia Braces Itself for Kiwi Exodus

Published: Tue 30 Nov 1999 08:46 AM
Not. Australia's 400,000 Kiwis are unlikely to heed the new Government's call to return to rebuild NZ's shattered economy. Based on the 1996 result, only 2% of us voted in the General Election, even though the majority would still be eligible to vote. Scoop's Simon Orme writes.
The election result was given lots of coverage in Australia. The major focus, apart from the result itself, has been the call for expatriates to return.
The headline on the front page of Monday's Sydney Morning Herald was "calling all (skilled) kiwis: your new PM needs you."
My work colleagues were asking if the NZ Government had sent me an airline ticket already.
Australians are bemused by the idea the tide of Kiwi immigrants could turn in the opposite direction. That the "Kiwi diaspora" is reversible.
One in five immigrants are from NZ.
Inside, however, there's an article entitled "New Zealander's-made-good ignore the home coming appeal".
Four Kiwis famous in Australia - Shane Dye, Jane Campion, Richard Wilkins and John Clarke are reported as saying they're here to stay.
The paper also reports that "under-employed media presence Derryn Hinch reckons New Zealanders are people who can't get jobs in Australia".
TV presenter and man about town, Richard Wilkins, said "if you're a kiwi with any ambition,… it seems like a natural step to have a crack at Australia".
Shane Dye said it's all about money. "There's more money here and overseas, it's as simple as that".
Purveyor of fine foods, Simon Johnson is already apprehensive of Ms Clarke's plan to raise income taxes for high-income earners. "I couldn't do what I do over there: there's not enough people."
Here's the telling comment, however: "But I'd like to [return] - it's a great place", Johnson said. "But he added after a moment's consideration: "would I like to? No, I don't really think I would. I'm out."
The article captures the mood of most of us over here. Ambivalent, with strong emotional ties to our homeland, seduced by the better beaches, bigger bucks and Bondi beach babes (BBB) of our adopted country.
On the other hand, the Australian media's self satisfied complacency and paternalism gets right up your nose, eh.
ends
Simon Orme made narrow escapes from both the New Zealand Treasury and Ministry of Foreign Affairs and now lives in Sydney, working as a strategic consultant.
Email: simonorme@hotmail.com
Copyright: ScoopMedia 1999

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