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November 25, 2008

Kiwis Flee The Nest

Last month, a record number of New Zealanders left the country to move to Australia in the hope of finding a new and better life. On average around 700 people leave New Zealand each week.

We had elections this month. My husband and I haven’t been happy with the way our government was running things, and thankfully, many NZers agreed. A new prime minister was signed in at the end of last week, and he’s currently at the APEC meeting in Peru.

I love my home country. We have a lot going for us. Of course, things are tough at the moment, as they are in other parts of the world. If the government hadn’t changed hubby and I would have looked at our options very carefully.

So, my question to you is: If you had the option and didn’t have ties, would you consider moving to another country? And if you would move, which country would you choose?


  1. Ms Menozzi

    Even though I had family in the US, I moved to Italy nearly five years ago to be with the man I fell in love with.

    Before I met him, however, I had never thought of the ramifications of living in a country that wasn’t my own; I’d wanted to live in the UK, and was making plans in that direction, but he arrived and all that went out the window.

    Occasionally, he grows frustrated with the way things are going in Italy and we consider the option of moving to the US. Without fail, we realize we are better off in Italy, at least for the time being.

    Emotionally it can be very difficult for me, being an ex-pat isn’t easy, sometimes. There is much to consider when moving to another country – do you speak the language, what laws are different, what will you need in order to stay there, will you be able to go home in case of emergency, etc, etc.

    It can be rewarding as well, though. I’ve discovered much about myself and my own strengths and weaknesses that I’d never known, before. Living here has enriched my writing and given me a phenomenal new perspective with which to live my life.

    I have to be grateful for all that.


  2. Christina Phillips

    We did that 10 years ago come December. I still can’t believe it’s been that long since we moved from the UK to our new life in Oz!!

  3. Maria

    What an intresting question, Shelly.

    I can see myself living abroad for years at a time, but in the end I’ll always come back to the US–specifically Texas.

    I like the people here.

  4. Amy Ruttan

    I think I would move to England, see I love Canada too much. It would have to be a huge lure to move me overseas.

    If we didn’t have so many ties in Ontario I would definitely move to one of the less populated provinces where my husband’s job is in demand, since I can work from anywhere.

    So I would definitely think about moving to Manitoba, Saskatchewan or Alberta. Hell, I would even move up North to Yukon, North West Territories or Nunavut, but I’m weird. LOL.

  5. Jory Strong

    If it were easy to pick up and move, I’d try out different parts of the United States and get a feel for them. There’d have to be a compelling reason to move to another country, there’s so much here in the US to explore.

  6. Kaye Manro

    This is a great question, Shelley. One that isn’t easy for me to answer. There are times I’d love to live in Scotland. And then Italy comes in close too. I think I’d just like to explore many places and countries. It would be exciting to have the means to do that. Maybe I just need a good vacation!

  7. Wylie Kinson

    Very interesting question Shelley, and since I’ve ‘been there, done that” I can offer a personal-experience point of view.

    One of the main reasons we moved from Bermuda to Canada was our children.
    Yes – there were things happening politically that we were very unhappy about, but gov’ts change – often! – so unless we were facing a dictatorship or something equally heinous, that wouldn’t be enough. What it boiled down to was opportunity, not just for us, but for our sons. We wanted to go to a bigger country (Bermuda, pop. 65,000), one with education options, future jobs, a solid economy (Bermuda is pretty much dependant on foreign/exempt companies) and one with a diverse population.
    Hello Canada!
    We’ve been here for four years and have NO regrets. Hubby’s family visits often and thanks to email, texting, etc, we probably communicate with loved ones more now than when we lived a few parishes away.

  8. Wylie Kinson

    Meant to ad –
    An exodus of 34,000 is HUGE! What’s the population of NZ and has the gov’t encouraged immigration from other locales to resupply the workforce?

  9. Shelley Munro

    Ms Menozzi – I imagine living in another country and not being able to speak the language must be very difficult. It’s not so bad if you’re merely visiting.

    Hubby and I lived in the UK off and on for six years. We came to love it but we didn’t have the language problem. As you say, it can be very rewarding and you learn about strengths and weaknesses. Living in a different country brought us much closer.

    Christina – the time passes quickly! I know our six years did. :grin:

    Maria – I haven’t had a chance to visit Texas. There are parts of the US where I could see myself living. I enjoy our climate though. I found the US very dry in parts and ended up craving green!

  10. Shelley Munro

    Amy – the Yukon? Wow, that is isolated. Interesting to visit though.

    Jory – the US is such a diverse country. There are times when I get envious of the writing advantages – conferences, less postage, cheaper books etc.

    There are several parts of the US I could live but I’m not sure I’d want to live there forever. There’s so much to consider with a decision like this.

  11. Maria

    Ref: Maria – I haven’t had a chance to visit Texas.

    Woman!! The next trip you make to the US, you call me. You have a place to stay here.

    I mean it.

  12. Shelley Munro

    Kaye – I could live in Scotland. Ireland, too. When we visited they had a very progressive economy and were really going ahead. Scenery wise it reminded me of NZ.

    Wylie – We have 4 million people in NZ. There is a constant brain drain. The new incoming government have some great ideas to help slow the exodus. We do have a lot of immigration from South Africa, Zimbabwe and Asia to name a couple of areas.

    When I reread the article quite a few times I decided it was a year to date figure but last month was extra busy. It was a bit ambigious. In the number of departing there are quite a few retired people who move to the Gold Coast for sunshine and warm weather.

  13. Shelley Munro

    Maria – thanks! I’ll keep that in mind. We’re gradually working our way through the country!

  14. J.K. Coi

    I can’t see myself moving to another country. I could maybe live in another Province, but canada is my home and I’m here for good. That being said, I’ve always wanted to do a lot of traveling.

  15. Leah Braemel

    About twenty years ago, Gizmo Guy and I very seriously considered emigrating to the States, California to be exact. (GG had an uncle and lots of cousins who would sponsor us and be able to find us jobs.) But we decided to stay here in Canada due to healthcare, crime and the fact that we wanted our kids to know their grandparents. (Did that last excuse ever backfire on us!)

    But now the kids are grown, I wouldn’t mind moving. I’d love to be able to afford to split residences. Six months in England and six months in Banff, Alberta. Or Six months in the British Virgin Islands and six months in Banff … sensing a theme here?

  16. Shelley Munro

    JK – Hubby and I both love Canada, although we haven’t visited much – mainly the west coast. It’s beautiful, although I’m not sure about the cold.

    Leah – Banff is just gorgeous. I can understand your theme. :grin:

  17. N.J. Walters

    Hubby and I moved around the country when we were younger. I’ve lived on the east and west coasts of Canada and a few places in-between. But I keep coming home to the east coast. I don’t think I’d want to live anywhere else at this point. But I never say never.

  18. Shelley Munro

    LOL – NJ – True. It’s wise never to say never!

  19. Nicola O.

    Oh hmmm. I live in the US and while I believe the political situation has been dire for the last few years, short of an actual coup that overturns the four-year election cycle (and frankly, I wouldn’t have put it past the Bush admin) I would probably choose to wait it out.

    I’ve always been a Francophile and while I know France isn’t an easy place to emigrate to, I had hopes in my younger days of spending a year or two there. And DH and I looked hard at moving to the UK a couple of years ago for a job.

    But honestly, I’ve never considered giving up my US citizenship.

    ps, Ms. Monroe, if you want a green place in the US, come visit me in Seattle, The Emerald City!

  20. Shelley Munro

    Nicola – Hubby and I were in the US earlier in the year. We fell in love with Vancouver Island and really loved the West Coast states. Our favorite is Oregon but Washington State is very close. It sure made a change after the vast dryness of Nevada and New Mexico!!

    France is one place I’d like to visit again. We were there a long time ago.

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