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People are leaving Australia for New Zealand in numbers not seen since the 1990s recession

Photo: Chris Ratcliffe/ Getty Images.

Australians, whether citizens or permanent visa holders, are ditching Australia for New Zealand in numbers not seen in decades.

The chart below, created using data from Statistics New Zealand, shows net permanent and long-term migration between Australia and New Zealand.

On balance, clearly more Kiwis have settled in Australia than Australians moving to New Zealand over the past 34 years.

However, of late there’s been a stark reversal of that pattern, with more people heading to New Zealand than Kiwis heading in the other direction.

In each of the past 10 months more Australians have settled in New Zealand than the other way around, the first time that’s happened in 25 years.

The change in net migration has seen net permanent and long-term settlement to New Zealand increase to 1,560 persons over the past 12 months, the highest level seen since Australia’s last recession in 1991.

Whether due to the state of the two economies, or other factors such as being perennial bridesmaids to the All Blacks, it’s an unusual development nonetheless.

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