Thinking of immigrating, but do not know which country to choose?
“Hi, my husband and I want to immigrate, and have been thinking of Australia, but someone said that we should be thinking of New Zealand as well. Which one would you choose and why?”
This is a popular question among would-be immigrants and even second-time immigrants, thinking of moving from the UK or Dubai.
Facebook ‘research’ should be only a small influence on one of the biggest decisions of your life.
Many would-be immigrants go to Facebook Groups to get information from people who have already made a move. However, if they have not lived in both countries, they cannot give objective advice. Even if they have lived in both countries, people still tend to be biased towards one or the other, and they tend to want to validate their decisions and convince you that their decision was the right one and should now also be the right one for you.
Moving countries is a very stressful time, whether you decide to do so emotionally or rationally. Getting the opinions of others is good and well, but in the end, the choice is yours, and yours alone. Please read my article about 10 Ways to be a Happy Immigrant, for more about the choices you make in life.
So, which should I choose? Australia or New Zealand?
I spoke to Audrey De Beer, seasoned accountant, financial planner and tax agent from STP in Joondalup. Audrey lived and worked in New Zealand for 4 years and has already been in Australia for 20 years. Audrey helped me compile a shortlist of each country’s key positive and negative elements as they experienced it. Some positives may be negative for you and vice versa, and this is not a comprehensive list. When you make your decision to immigrate, please take the time and do your own research by looking at the different statistics that are important to you.
Australia – The Lucky Country?
- According to the Economist Intelligence Unit’s Global Liveability Report, Australia has many of the world’s most liveable cities, with Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth (Sydney has dropped out of the top ten list) under the top ten.
- Australia has 8 temperature zones, ranging from hot, humid summers and warm winters in the northern parts of the country, warm, humid summers and mild winters in the east of the country (at the coast), hot, dry summers and warm winters in northern central Australia, hot, dry summers and cool winters in southern central Australia, warm temperate in most of the coastal strips, mild temperate, cool temperate and alpine in some areas.
- The mix of cultures and climate zones allows you to experience the whole world in one country.
- There are a good variety of job opportunities available.
- The Australian Universities are of high quality, and students have many to choose from.
- Salaries are generally higher.
- Australia is closer to South Africa and some countries for overseas travel.
- Australia’s natural beauty is breathtaking, and we have some of the best beaches in the world.
Australia – The UNlucky Country?
- Could it be, that there are any negative points after reading that glowing report? Yes, there are negatives to moving to Australia as well.
- Housing in Australia, especially in the cities, tend to be very expensive.
- Medical services that are not covered by Medicare can be costly, with dental care being one of those services.
- The cost of a family’s grocery bill is increasing continually.
- Though we are known for our cute and cuddly marsupials, there are reptiles, spiders and other animals that will make your skin crawl and kill you with a bite.
- Fatalities as a result of shark attacks have increased and is a topic of many heated discussions.
- Often there is an inordinate focus on qualifications only, and not on the skills of the applicant.
New Zealand – Sweet as?
- Housing is generally more affordable in New Zealand.
- New Zealand has a reputation as a white wine producer of world-class, and quality wines are cheaper than their cousins’ across the ditch (Australia).
- Their reptiles and insects are less poisonous than Australia’s.
- The average food basket is still more affordable than elsewhere.
- Medical services are cheaper, and medicines are heavily subsidised.
- Aged care and pensioner concessions are better in New Zealand.
- The labour market tends to be more focused on skills and work experience.
- Auckland is number 8 on the list of the world’s most liveable cities.
New Zealand – Not even, bro?
- You will have to enjoy walking where you want to go as fuel is very expensive.
- The far north is subtropical during summer, while inland alpine areas of the South Island often go sub-zero in winter. Most of the country is close to the coast, which means mild temperatures. Spring has median temperatures of 16-19 degrees; summer comes in at a median of 20-25 degrees, autumn falls to 16-19 degrees and winter experiences 12-16 degrees. Weather can change quite fast, and it rains a lot as well. It is good to do your research on the typical weather that you can expect. Winter days are notoriously short.
- New Zealand is considered a land of earthquakes.
- Housing in Auckland is costly.
- The roads are winding, and travelling takes up a good part of the day.
- It is further from South Africa and other countries.
- There are fewer career opportunities.
Immigration is a difficult and BIG decision, and this decision should be made after you have done a fair bit of research. You may even want to do a look-see-and-decide visit, though you may fall into the trap of having a holiday more than a look and see trip.
Whatever you do, make your list of what you are looking for, what is non-negotiable on your list, and work on making your decision from this list on.
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