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We’re in a happy place, say expats in New Zealand

Eight out of 10 expats who move to New Zealand are satisfied with their new lives, according to the latest research.

A survey by the government’s Immigration Settlement Monitoring Programme shows expats are enjoying their new lifestyle – but more than a fifth (22%) have no friends or do not socialise with New Zealanders.

Although 80% of recent migrants were more than happy with their lifestyle choice of moving to New Zealand, 45% said they were ‘very satisfied’ – a figure five points up on a similar survey a year ago.

Most expats move to join family and friends

Main reasons for moving to New Zealand include joining family, a partner or friends, while many were looking for a more relaxed lifestyle. Others move for the landscape and environment, while landing a good job is also a popular choice.

Most received a warmer welcome than expected on arrival in New Zealand (50%) and a low crime rate also made many expats feel safe(38%), although they were often unhappy with poor housing standards, low salaries and a high cost of living.

Around six out of 10 expressed New Zealand exceeded their expectations, especially the clean and green countryside.

Most expats had moved to New Zealand  from north Asia, Britain, Ireland and Europe, while 31% of migrants were aged in their 30s, a quarter (24%) were between 25 and 29.

Expats happy with their work

Around 70% of expressed the desire to stay permanently in New Zealand, while 89% would recommend New Zealand to friends and family, reported the survey.

The Labour and Immigration Research Centre in the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment continuously surveys expats, employers and New Zealanders to measure settlement attitudes towards immigration.

“Labour market participation for recent migrants is generally positive. Not only were seven out of 10 recent migrants in paid employment in 2011, over three quarters of employed migrants said they were satisfied or very satisfied with their main job and 72% stated that their occupation matched or partly matched their skills and qualifications,” said head of Labour and Immigration Research Vasantha Krishnan.

New Zealanders go home as jobs dry up

“This is an encouraging sign that migrants are integrating well into the labour force.”

Latest official immigration figures showed 5,600 Brits emigrated to New Zealand in June, followed by Chinese (5,200) and Indians (5,200).

They also show more New Zealanders are returning home to work as well-paying jobs dry up in the UK and Europe due to the continuing economic turmoil.

According to Home Office statistics, the number of New Zealanders coming to the UK for a job fell by 40% during the past three years.

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