The hordes of New Zealanders moving to Australia are “fleeing … an anaemic economy”, writes Bernard Lagan in the first of two pieces devoted to the subject at the independent news website the Global Mail – Illustrated, naturally enough, with a still from The GC.
(Along the way, the owner of the “Maori in Oz” website tries to understand the outcry at The GC emanating from New Zealand: “I can only put it down to one thing, really, and I call it jealousy.)
To get a picture of the effect upon New Zealand of such a vast and sustained exodus of its people, imagine an apple eaten down to its core. The middle disappears — in much the same way as the middle of New Zealand’s population is being eaten away by migration — while the young at the bottom of the apple and the elderly at the top continue to swell the apple at either end.
The strength of the human tide is such that some are calling for a review of the migratory freedoms enjoyed by New Zealanders.
Professor Bob Birrell of Monash University’s Centre for Population and Urban Research tells the Global Mail that New Zealanders increasingly regard the Gold Coast and southeast Queensland as a province of New Zealand.
This is open-ended and out of control. There is no control over the numbers coming, what the occupations are of those coming and where they locate. That’s a problem …
I think that the time has come to establish whether New Zealand should continue to have this open-ended access arrangement given its scale and the fact that we’ve not got control over it.
Or more bluntly, in the words of a commenter beneath the piece:
no more kiwis here, Australia for Aussies only.
In the second of his pieces, Lagan alights on a flow in the other direction.
In the small Victorian town of Gingarre, writes Lagan, locals avoid anything New Zealand made – a small protest at the relocation of a Heinz factory to lower-wage New Zealand.
The appeal of lower wages and looser industrial rules has seen everything from tomato sauce and cigarette production to newspaper subediting shift across the Tasman.
It’s not one-way traffic, then, but better described perhaps as a highway travelling one way and a dirt road the other.
It’s little wonder observers are suggesting “the situation can’t go on without causing antagonism in both camps”.
Lagan recalls Labour finance spokesman David Parker’s warning that New Zealand could “become Australia’s Mexico”.
While his comparison to Mexico prompted a rebuke from the New Zealand government and a stiff letter of complaint from the Mexican Embassy in Wellington, Parker’s central observation has gone unremarked upon: Australia is exporting low-wage jobs across the Tasman, as New Zealanders are leaving in record numbers in search of higher-wage jobs in Australia.