A recent article in the New Zealand Herald has highlighted the two key major factors of why so many Australians are relocating to the land of the long white cloud. The two issues that are resounding like a trumpet call - the family and work mix which seems to be a siren call and the second - is a strong economy.
One of these Australian migrants shouted from the roof top (as it were): Hamilton-based Australian Megan Neal said: "I feel like screaming to Tony Abbott ... 'Can't you see that the [work-family] culture in Australia is broken!' They could really learn some lessons from this place."
So what does this work-family culture look like? Perhaps it's best summed up by Australian winemaker Anna Flowerday who moved to Marlborough in 2003 with her husband, Jason, because of the more "vibrant" viticulture industry.
"It's definitely home now," the mother of four told the Herald. "I love the culture of the place, I love that it's a safe little place at the end of the world ... where your kids can still walk to school and you can go down the street and you don't have to lock your house.
"It's all that kind of stuff. The ship's on a pretty good course whether you're family-oriented or business-oriented, and both of those are a consideration for us."
The article sites expat Australians saying of New Zealand that it had a more balanced work-life culture and it was a better place to raise children.
Again, citing the article which in turn quotes from the Weekend Australian: " .... Australia is now home to dysfunctional politics, yawning budget deficits, rising unemployment and an electorate unwilling to accept tough reforms."
The stats and the politics
All this leads us to explore the stats of Australians moving to New Zealand and they are revealing: a net losses of 17,100 in the January 2014 year and 37,900 in the January 2013 year.
The articles presents the following: New Zealand's John Key was running the most successful and stable centre-right Government in the world. Key presides over a country that is no longer a dead-end backwater but one that enjoys plentiful jobs, strong economic growth and is on the cusp of a budget surplus. New Zealand is leading Australia in GDP growth and unemployment figures and the Kiwi dollar is nearing parity with the Australian dollar - a record 99.42c at present. Forget rugby. New Zealand is winning a bigger game" – extract from The Weekend Australian magazine.
It continued - the increase in Australians shifting to New Zealand permanently, as well as a rise in expat Kiwis returning home, is reversing the one-way tide of migration of the past 20 years. And again, citing thje report in the Weekend Australian Magazine, New Zealand's growing economy and superior work-life culture are attracting thousands of Australians put off by their own unstable Government and falling economic fortunes.
Moreover a recent article in News.com reveals why New Zealand is doing so well and why Australia is at such a disadvantage. And again Prime Minister John Key lists why New Zealanders are better off. Both articles worth a read as you start packing your bags.
Church life effects
There is a strong church life in New Zealand as opposed to Australia and if the young writer ministry is anything to go bye, the New Zealand young writers generally send to us a more glossed presentation in syntax, gramma and composition.
This is not just an observation. The Panellists in our young writer program consistently mark the New Zealanders higher than their Australian counterparts.
The nature of their Christian expression is more traditionally evangelical with an emphasis on saving of souls to Jesus Christ without corruption or dilution of any kind towards what this means in Christian teaching.
Many of these young writers are prophets to their own such as Sam Burrows and Jared Diprose, whereas the clarity of what it means to be challenged can be seen in the articles of Casey Murray and Tim Newman while traditional values of evangelism and social justice are highlighted by Sophia Sinclair and Bex Silver, to name just six.
My impression is that many young Australians would dearly love to be part of such a broad balance within their Christian and church lives.
A telling blog by a Canadian
This is one example of this when Canadian young writer Lisa Goetze after last year's annual young writer conference wrote the following in her blog:
".... We get to write commentary/opinion articles which are then published online on a monthly basis. It's pretty remarkable. We can write about anything we want. The topics vary in our writing, just as much as our varied personalities and personal stories.
... "There's me, a full-time, volunteer missionary. There's a marketing strategist for a hair-colour company, a philanthropic creative artists, a PhD in neuroscience, a radio news reader, a stay at home mum who has dealt with the deaths two of her children, a web designer who is launching a food-truck to hire young people with criminal records. The list goes on."
Most referenced are New Zealanders.
Dr Mark Tronson is a Baptist minister (retired) who served as the Australian cricket team chaplain for 17 years (2000 ret) and established Life After Cricket in 2001. He was recognised by the Olympic Ministry Medal in 2009 presented by Carl Lewis Olympian of the Century. He mentors young writers and has written 24 books, and enjoys writing. He is married to Delma, with four adult children and grand-children.
Mark Tronson's archive of articles can be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/mark-tronson.html