In the third of a five-part series on what it is to be a
New Zealander, reporter Natalie Akoorie, of The New
Zealand Herald discovers travel is a big part of our
Kiwis are an outward-looking, globe-trotting bunch who want
to explore the world, with many planning to move overseas for
work, new research shows.
The survey by Colmar Brunton shows travel is a big part of
the New Zealand psyche, in part because of our country's
Of the 1009 survey respondents, 85% said they wanted to
travel internationally for leisure, with 49% planning to
visit Europe, 35% North America, 33% Australia, 18% the
Pacific Islands and 15% the United Kingdom.
University of Auckland historian Associate Prof Caroline
Daley said the fact so many Kiwis were interested in travel
indicated New Zealanders were open-minded and
''It's positive the number of people who want to go and eat
different food, see different things, learn about the history
of other places, have a new cultural experience.''
The survey showed more than a third of people were prepared
to go to countries where the main language was not English.
''I think New Zealanders have always been outward-looking. We
know that we're a long way from other places ... and we've
always made efforts to be connected.''
That ethos was long-standing, she said. New Zealand had at
least a 150-year history of reflecting news, culture,
entertainment, fashion and other trends from overseas
The survey also found 17% of respondents intended to move to
another country for employment, with 58% of those nominating
Australia, followed by the UK (23%), the US (17%) and Canada
Dr Tahu Kukutai, of the National Institute of Demographic and
Economic Analysis at the University of Waikato, said 650,000
Kiwis lived and worked overseas.
''We're a really high mobility country - we have a lot of
population churn. ... we have an increasing inward flow of
immigrants so now we have one of the highest proportions in
the OECD in terms of our foreign-born population.''
Almost a quarter are born outside New Zealand, but at the
same time a large number of Kiwis lived in other countries.
Maori were highly mobile, with one in five living overseas.
This differs from other countries, where movement abroad was
not commonly seen among indigenous populations, such as
Australian Aborigines, American Indians or Canada's First
Dr Kukutai said that made New Zealand unique but she added
there were reasons behind emigration, with economic factors
at the forefront.
''The growing income gap between New Zealand and Australia
just means it operates as a vacuum - it pulls people over.''
Despite New Zealand's higher cost of living, Kiwis still had
money to travel and that - combined with our geographic
isolation and easy entry to Australia - meant that leaving
New Zealand was an attractive option for many, she said.
The survey also found that if employment opportunities and
cost of living were equal across New Zealand, 22% of
respondents would choose to live in Auckland, compared with
Wellington (11%), followed by Christchurch (8%).
Among those Aucklanders who answered the question, 55% would
stay in New Zealand's biggest city, while only 5% of those
not living in Auckland would choose to live there.