'Carping Kiwis' unhappiest migrants in Australia

New Zealanders living across the Tasman have been labelled "South Sea Poms" and "carping Kiwis" after a survey showed they are Australia's unhappiest migrants.

Kiwis were the migrants most likely to be dissatisfied with their financial situation, were often discriminated against, didn't feel safe and were extremely unlikely to view Australians as nice people, a study by Melbourne's Monash University found.

About 40 per cent of Kiwi migrants described themselves as "dissatisfied" or "very dissatisfied" with their financial situation. Forty-six per cent said they were poor, struggling or just getting by.

Kiwis were also the group least likely to see Australians as "caring, friendly, hospitable people", only 1 per cent suggesting this was one of things they liked about their new country.

New Zealander Tim Baker with his children (from left) Aramiha, Yolanda (rear), Penelope and Albert at their Gold Coast home.

Kiwis were among the most suspicious of others, and just over a quarter said they had been discriminated against - more than twice the level among Brits.

The findings prompted Queensland's Sunday Mail newspaper yesterday to coin the phrase "carping Kiwis", suggesting they had overtaken "whingeing Poms" as Australia's hardest-to-please people.

It presented the figures in a graphic headlined, "If you don't like it, leave".

Tim Baker, a 40-year-old Kiwi living on the Gold Coast, wasn't surprised by the survey results.

While Kiwi-Aussies might seem a "miserable lot", many had good reason to grumble, he said.

"We are basically second-class citizens over here.

"I've moved here with my Australian wife, had three kids here who are Australians, I have worked here pretty much the whole time and I have bought property. But when I got laid off, what could I get? Nothing."

Study author Professor Andrew Markus said the results reflected the fact that New Zealanders were a "unique group".

A visa introduced in 2001 allowed them to live in Australia indefinitely, but they were excluded from many welfare entitlements despite paying taxes, he said.

Mr Baker, who has lived in Australia for nearly eight years, lost his job in the construction industry during the global financial crisis.

Now in the third year of a social work degree at Gold Coast's Griffith University, he is not eligible for a student loan so he stacks shelves in a supermarket at night to earn the money to pay his fees up front.

The study also found Kiwis were the least likely migrants to take up Australian citizenship. Ninety-two per cent of Chinese migrants who arrived between 1990 and 2005 became Aussie citizens, against 41 per cent of New Zealanders.

That was because it was much harder and more expensive for Kiwis to do so, said Mr Baker, who is to become an Australian citizen this year.

The process had cost him nearly A$3500 ($3800) but for most other groups the cost was A$800.

"I wouldn't have bothered if I could have accessed a student loan."

He didn't believe most Australians viewed Kiwis as whingers.

"I would have thought quite a few Australians are fully aware of our predicament and sympathise.

"The one thing that bugs me about Aussies is this idea that when you come here you've got to fully embrace it and be Australian. You don't have to do that anywhere else in the world. It's acceptable to go and live in another country and be proud of where you come from.

"Most Kiwis come over here hoping for a better life and they find it, I reckon. But, sorry, we are not going to stop supporting the All Blacks."

Carping Kiwis

• 40 per cent of Kiwis living in Australia are dissatisfied or very dissatisfied with their financial position.
• 46 per cent describe themselves as poor, struggling or just getting by.
• More than a quarter have encountered discrimination because of their nationality.
• Only 1 per cent see Aussies as "caring, friendly, hospitable people''.

- NZ Herald

Look again

Jonha - you didn't read that thoroughly. It says earlier in the article that the 1% refers to people who consider Australians' kind, caring nature as one of the things they like about their new country

Bjelke Petersen!

Name's Gough and Im off. Big worry. Insults from one State paper that comes out once a week, mailed on Sunday.

Strange statistics

I was born in NZ and live in Australia. The only 1%  'polled" as finding Aussies caring, friendly hospitable to me is ludicrous and throws doubt on the whole article. It seems like only complainers were 'interviewed"

That said, NZers living in Australia before and after 2001 were dudded by the  agreement.

It is shocking that those who pay taxes cannot get the benefits!

And the NZ government blocks its wallet as well. A eligible retired NZer here is means tested to get the aged pension but if he/she returned to NZ and had filed enough tax returns in NZ would get the NZ pension without an assets test. But here those who have the stated assets get nothing. Of course to be in this situation cannot be that bad. The point of saying it is to show the inequities are not just one way.These people who would have worked 20 years in NZ have been left high and dry by the NZ government....  again it has been pay your tax and get nothing.

Thus if employment in NZ is hard to find and one goes to Australia to try and improve one's lot one is hardly encouraged to do so. 

My only advice to NZers who intend to stay permanently in Australia is to seriously consider taking up Australian citizenship. 

Can't be that bad for Kiwis in Australia

It can't be that bad for Kiwis in Australia. Otherwise how do you explain 560,000 Kiwis living in Australia and only 70,000 Australians living in New Zealand. If it was so bad Kiwis would move back to New Zealand.

Treated differently

The problem, hkdigger, is that Kiwis are treated worse than other nationalities. Sure they are allowed into Australia without question but then they are unable to access benefits despite living and paying taxes for many years. Once an immigrant from UK or China is allowed in the benefits flow automatically. I, on the other hand, received the age superannuation, backdated to the date of my arrival,  and the gold card and health benefits arrived soon after. My Aussie pension is paid direct to Work & Income but, as it is means tested, it is less than what I receive. At the end of this year I will be voting in my 2nd National election. I find it embarrassing but as I have lost the right to vote in Australia, their politicians ignore my complaints.


I'm sorry. Are you seriously expecting your readers to believe that only one in a hundred New Zealanders living in Australia consider the locals to be welcolming or considerate? This story just caters to the 'good Kiwi, bad Aussie' stereotype which serves to try to drive a wedge between two nationalities who are probably closest to each other in history and customs than any others in the world. I wonder if the Canadians have the same obsession with the USA?

No to Oz

Have seriously thought about crossing the ditch in the past.  After looking into it I figured out unless I got lucky and scored one of the few mining jobs on offer I would not be any  better off.  The bad news about how Kiwis are 2nd rate citizens even when they ve worked hard and contributed to the australian economy for several years, has confirmed the grass is not any greener on the other side.  A shame John Key does not have the bottle to challege this issue more when he s busy wineing and dining with his Aussie counterpart.

NZ bludgers

For decades Kiwis have bludged off the system in Australia. Finally, Australia, quite rightly, said 'enough is enough'. I'm a Kiwi and I'm embarrassed by compatriots earning more in Australia, enjoying the Aussie lifestyle and thens bitching about Australians or the system. There's a reason that Kiwis are in Australia: it's a better place if you're looking for work and that means there's more opportunities for a young family. We shouldn't enjoy any special rights over there compared to other nationalities. 

I do not blame them

I am an Aussie who moved to live in Dunedin at age 65. I have now been here over 4 years and would never go back to Australia except to see family and friends. I have been so well treated by the NZ Government and people. I am ashamed at what those who go the other way have to put up with. I realise I did not have to seek for work here but am disgusted that Australia treats our NZ cousins worse than immigrants from other countries of completely different cultures.

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