In 2023, data from Statistics New Zealand showed a net migration loss of 13,400 people to Australia – the largest annual deficit since 2013. Moving to Australia from NZ is a trend that shows no signs of declining, with an increasing number of kiwi households making the move across the ditch as rising costs associated with living start to bite and better employment opportunities emerge.

In this article we will dive into the reasons more and more New Zealanders are deciding to pack up the house and move to Australia.

How many New Zealanders are moving to Australia

Net migration from New Zealand to Australia peaked at over 30,000 people per year in the year 2013. Over the past decade the numbers began to stabilise, with annual net migration figures ranging from 15,000 to 20,000.

According to Statistics New Zealand, in the year ending March 2021, the net migration of New Zealand citizens to Australia was significantly lower due to the covid pandemic. As of the year ending June 2022, the net migration from New Zealand to Australia was around 12,000 people, reflecting a recovery as travel restrictions eased and economic conditions began to improve. Last year, data from Statistics New Zealand showed a net migration loss of 13,400 people to Australia – the largest annual deficit since 2013.

Why are Kiwis choosing to move to Australia?

Kiwis are choosing to move to Australia for a number of reasons, which can be broadly categorised into economic, social, and lifestyle factors. This reflects the desire to enjoy better opportunities and a higher quality of life in Australia.

Economic Opportunities
Australia offers higher wages compared to New Zealand, making it attractive for Kiwis seeking better financial prospects. Australia is also a much larger economy providing more job opportunities across various sectors, including mining, healthcare, and construction.

Ease of Migration
The Trans-Tasman Travel Arrangement arrangement allows New Zealand citizens to live and work in Australia without the need for a visa, simplifying the migration process. This combined with the close geographic proximity between New Zealand and Australia makes it convenient for Kiwis to move and maintain ties with family and friends back home.

Lifestyle and Climate
Many parts of Australia offer a warmer climate compared to New Zealand, which can be appealing for those seeking a change in weather. Australia’s diverse natural landscapes and outdoor recreational opportunities, such as beaches and national parks, attract many Kiwis who are looking to enjoy an outdoor Lifestyle.

Cost of Living
While certain areas of Australia can be more expensive than New Zealand, somewhere like Sydney for example, overall the cost of living, particularly housing, is more affordable in Australia compared to major New Zealand cities like Auckland.

What are the most popular places to move to in Australia?

New Zealanders moving to Australia are favoring several destinations. These cities are favorites among New Zealanders for their economic opportunities, lifestyle advantages, and the presence of established Kiwi communities, which help new migrants settle in more easily. These are some of the most popular destinations for New Zealanders moving to Australia.

Sydney, New South Wales
As Australia’s largest city, Sydney offers numerous job opportunities, particularly in finance, tech, healthcare, and education. Sydney is known for its vibrant cultural scene, beautiful beaches, and iconic landmarks like the Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge.

Melbourne, Victoria
Melbourne is famous for its arts, music, and food scenes, as well as its sporting events. The city has a strong economy with opportunities in various sectors, including education, healthcare, and creative industries.

Brisbane, Queensland
Brisbane’s warm climate and outdoor lifestyle appeal to many Kiwis. The city is experiencing significant growth, offering opportunities in construction, hospitality, and services.

Perth, Western Australia
Perth’s economy benefits from mining and resources industries, providing jobs in these sectors. The city is known for its relaxed lifestyle, beautiful beaches, and parks.

Gold Coast, Queensland
The Gold Coast is a major tourist destination, offering jobs in tourism, hospitality, and retail. The area is famous for its beaches, surfing spots, and theme parks.

Adelaide, South Australia
Adelaide is known for its lower cost of living compared to other major cities. The city has a vibrant cultural life and is known for its festivals, food, and wine regions.

Canberra, Australian Capital Territory
As the capital city of Australia, Canberra offers many opportunities in government and public administration. The city is known for its high standard of living, excellent education system, and green spaces.

Hobart, Tasmania
Hobart attracts those who appreciate nature, with its proximity to wilderness areas and a cooler climate. The city is seeing growth in sectors like tourism, arts, and food production.

Moving you to Australia from New Zealand

Moving to Australia from New Zealand? It’s important to plan ahead and seek assistance where needed. Ausmove are experts in relocation services from New Zealand to Australia, moving Kiwis to OZ for over 31 years.

For detailed information on Ausmove’s services and expertise visit the following page: or call (09) 360-4777.

The Sunshine Coast is best known for white sandy beaches and pristine waterways that sit alongside lush rainforests and national parks but outside of this there are many reasons Kiwi’s are choosing a move to the Sunshine Coast. In this article we will help you learn a little more about why New Zealanders are choosing a move to the Sunshine Coast over other parts of Australia.

Where is the Sunshine Coast?

The Sunshine Coast is a region located in the state of Queensland, Australia. It stretches along the coast of the Pacific Ocean, approximately 100 kilometers north of the state capital, Brisbane. The region is known for its beautiful beaches, subtropical climate, lush hinterland, and relaxed lifestyle. Major towns and cities in the Sunshine Coast include Noosa Heads, Maroochydore and Mooloolaba. It’s a popular destination for tourists, residents and retirees alike, offering a mix of outdoor activities, cultural events, and natural attractions.

Why are Kiwi’s moving to the Sunshine Coast

Regional Queensland has recently seen the highest levels of migration, far exceeding the pre-COVID norm. The Sunshine Coast’s combination of natural beauty, a relaxed lifestyle, job opportunities, quality education, and recreational activities make it a compelling choice for Kiwi’s looking to relocate to Australia. People are moving to the Sunshine Coast from New Zealand for various reasons, including:

Climate: The Sunshine Coast lives up to its name with its warm subtropical climate and an abundance of sunshine throughout the year. Many people are attracted to the idea of living in a place with mild winters and hot summers, which allows for an outdoor lifestyle year-round.

Lifestyle: The Sunshine Coast offers a laid-back and relaxed lifestyle that appeals to those seeking to escape the hustle and bustle of city life. The pace is slower, and there is a strong emphasis on outdoor activities, health, and wellbeing.

Job Opportunities: The Sunshine Coast has been experiencing economic growth, leading to an increase in job opportunities across various sectors such as tourism, healthcare, education, and technology. This attracts people from New Zealand looking for employment opportunities in a thriving economy.

There are many more favorable reasons to move to the Sunshine Coast. To learn more check out the Guide to the Sunshine Coast.

What are the most popular place to lives in the Sunshine Coast?

For New Zealanders moving the Sunshine Coast it offers a variety of attractive places to live, each with its own unique charm and amenities. The region expects housing demand to continue to exceed housing supply, with Maroochydore, Queensland’s third-largest city expected to see continued economic and employment growth supported by the additional investment and infrastructure for the forthcoming Olympics in 2032.

Some of the most popular areas to live in the Sunshine Coast include:

Noosa Heads: Known for its stunning beaches, national park, and cosmopolitan atmosphere, Noosa Heads is a highly sought-after location. It offers a blend of luxury living, upscale dining, boutique shopping, and outdoor recreational activities.

Mooloolaba: This coastal suburb is famous for its beautiful beach, vibrant esplanade, and bustling café and restaurant scene. It’s a popular choice for families and young professionals due to its relaxed lifestyle and proximity to amenities.

Maroochydore: As the commercial hub of the Sunshine Coast, Maroochydore offers a mix of urban convenience and coastal living. It’s undergoing significant redevelopment, with modern apartments, shopping centers, and entertainment facilities.

These are just a few examples of popular places to live on the Sunshine Coast. Each suburb and town has its own unique character and appeal, catering to a diverse range of lifestyles and preferences.

Can you retire in the Sunshine Coast?

Many Kiwi’s are choosing the Sunshine Coast as a place to retire. It is a popular retirement destination for many reasons, some of these include;

Climate: The Sunshine Coast enjoys a mild, subtropical climate with warm summers and mild winters. This makes it an ideal place for retirees who want to enjoy outdoor activities year-round without extreme temperature fluctuations.

Healthcare: The Sunshine Coast has excellent healthcare facilities, including hospitals, medical centers, and specialists, ensuring that retirees have access to quality healthcare services when needed.

Community: The Sunshine Coast has a strong sense of community, with numerous social clubs, community groups, and events catering to retirees. This provides opportunities for socialising, making friends, and staying active and engaged in retirement.

For Kiwi’s looking to make the move to The Sunshine Coast it offers a high quality of life, a range of amenities and services, making it an attractive destination if you are looking to enjoy your retirement years in comfort and relaxation.

Moving you to the Sunshine Coast from NZ

Moving to the Sunshine Coast can be a complex process, so it’s important to plan ahead and seek assistance where needed. Ausmove are experts in relocation services from New Zealand to Australia.

For detailed information on Ausmove’s services and expertise visit or call (09) 360-4777.

Moving to Australia from NZ can be an exciting prospect for many Kiwi’s. The stats show that every year up to 45,000 New Zealanders move to Australia seeking better lifestyle, employment or housing opportunities. But there are several things you’ll need to consider when moving to Australia from NZ.

In this article we will help you prepare for a move to Australia from NZ.

1. Preparing to move

Moving to Australia from NZ is a big life change, so it’s important to plan ahead and seek assistance with your move. Ausmove are NZ’s leading personalised mover to Australia. Ausmove are well versed in every aspect of the moving process. Whether you have a few furniture items, some cartons, or a six-bedroom household with artwork, antiques, vehicles and pets, they can get you there safely, on time and on budget.

Once you have your household items sorted you need to ensure your passport is valid for the duration of your stay in Australia. New Zealand citizens do not need a visa to enter Australia but will need a valid passport.

While New Zealand citizens do not require a visa to enter Australia under the Trans-Tasman Travel Arrangement, if you plan to stay longer than 3 months or wish to work or study in Australia, you may need to apply for the appropriate visa. This could include a Work Visa, Student Visa, or other types depending on your circumstances.

2. Finding a place to live

Once you have decided which of Australia’s many great cities you would like to live in you will need to research the area where you plan to move. Consider factors such as cost of living, housing market, employment opportunities, schools, healthcare facilities, and climate. Australia has a diverse range of housing options to suit various lifestyles, preferences, and budgets.

Detached houses, also known as single-family homes. These are standalone dwellings typically located on their own land. Apartments are also very popular, and are mostly located in urban centers. Apartments offer a more compact and low-maintenance housing option compared to detached houses. Lastly, Townhouses are multi-level dwellings that share walls with adjacent units. They offer a balance between the space of a detached house and the convenience of an apartment. Townhouses are common in both urban and suburban areas, often forming part of residential developments or complexes.

To start looking for accommodation in your chosen city or region you can search online through real estate websites like or work with a local real estate agent.

moving to australia from nz

3. Employment in Australia

For New Zealanders seeking employment in Australia, there are several key things to know. The first is that there is an agreement between New Zealand and Australia called the Trans-Tasman Travel Arrangement. This agreement allows New Zealand citizens to live and work in Australia indefinitely. This means you generally do not need to apply for a visa before entering Australia.

Australia offers a wide range of employment opportunities across various industries. Research job markets and employment trends in your field to identify potential opportunities. Online job boards like allow you to see what type of jobs are available or you might choose to work with a recruitment agency.

New Zealand citizens working in Australia under the Trans-Tasman Travel Arrangement are considered non-residents for tax purposes. This means you will not be eligible for certain tax benefits or concessions available to Australian residents.

Don’t forget to register with local authorities, open a bank account, obtain a tax file number, so you can start exploring your new job opportunities.

4. Education

New Zealand citizens have certain privileges when it comes to studying or attending school in Australia, thanks to the Trans-Tasman Travel Arrangement we mentioned earlier. Here’s what New Zealanders need to know about studying in Australia.

Australia offers a diverse range of educational institutions, including universities, schools, and English language colleges. You will need to research different institutions and courses to find the best fit for your educational goals.

Tuition fees for international students in Australia can vary depending on the institution, course, and level of study. New Zealand citizens may be eligible for domestic fee status or Commonwealth-supported places for higher education courses, but this depends on specific residency criteria.

Once you’ve decided on what suits you best, you can apply directly to the institution you’re interested in attending. Make sure to check application deadlines and requirements, which may include submitting academic transcripts, English language test scores, a statement of purpose, and letters of recommendation.

moving to australia from nz

5. Transportation

Public transportation is available in most major cities and will play an important part in your new life in Australia. Most major cities have extensive train networks that connect suburbs to the city center and other key destinations. Cities like Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, and Adelaide have well-developed train systems. Some cities, such as Sydney and Canberra, also have light rail systems.

Bus services complement train networks and provide coverage to areas not serviced by trains. Bus routes cover suburban areas, and many cities also have dedicated bus lanes to improve efficiency.
Melbourne is known for its extensive tram network, which covers the central city and many inner suburbs. Trams provide a convenient and environmentally friendly way to travel within the city.

Cities situated along the coast or rivers, such as Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, and Perth, often have ferry services. Ferries offer scenic transportation options and can be an efficient way to travel between different parts of the city, particularly areas near the water.

You may also consider owning a car, especially if you’re living in a more rural area.

Moving to Australia from NZ

Moving to Australia can be a complex process, so it’s important to plan ahead and seek assistance where needed. Ausmove are experts in relocation services from New Zealand to Australia. For detailed information on Ausmove’s services and expertise visit Moving to Australia from NZ or call (09) 360-4777.

For most people owning their own home is a goal they hope to achieve. But with the average price of housing in New Zealand skyrocketing over the past 5 years is now the best time to look to our close neighbors – Australia, for a better deal? You can earn more and enjoy better work-life balance in Australia but how does housing affordability rank in a decision to make the move. In this article we take a look to see if it is more affordable to buy a house in Australia.

1. Affordability – New Zealand Vs Australia

The affordability of housing in Australia and New Zealand can vary depending on factors such as location, market conditions, and property types. Both countries have experienced fluctuations in housing prices, and certain cities or regions may be more affordable than others. There are several factors contribute to housing affordability;

Supply and Demand: High demand for housing in popular cities, coupled with limited supply, can drive up prices and affect affordability.

Interest Rates: The prevailing interest rates impact the cost of borrowing for mortgages, influencing the overall affordability of housing.

Economic Conditions: Economic factors, such as employment rates and income levels, play a role in individuals’ ability to afford housing.

Government Policies: Government policies and initiatives related to housing, such as first-home buyer grants and housing affordability schemes, can influence the market.

Location: Housing affordability can vary significantly between urban and regional areas. Major cities like Melbourne, Sydney, Perth and Brisbane tend to have higher property prices compared to some regional areas.

The current average house price in New Zealand is $924,489 vs $925,400 in Australia.

2. The Major Cities, How Do they Stack Up

In Australia, major cities like Melbourne, Sydney, Perth and Brisbane have often been associated with higher housing prices, while regional areas may offer more affordable options. The trade off being that living in one of these cities may bring better lifestyle and pay opportunities. Sydney leads the way with an average house price of $1,122,430 while Perth is the cheapest place to buy out of these four main centers.

Average House Prices – New Zealand Vs Australia

Sydney: $1,122,430
Perth: $646,520
Brisbane: $779,270
Melbourne: $777,250

Auckland: $975,000
Wellington: 760,000
Christchurch $678,000

This comparison is close but once you factor in interest rates, moving to Australia starts to look even more attractive.

3. Interest rates

Interest rates of between 6% and 7% are now the most common in New Zealand, which is about 2-3% higher than home loan rates in Australia.

In New Zealand, the official cash rate is 5.5%. While in Australia the benchmark interest rate is 1% lower, at 4.35%. This difference is reflected in the higher mortgage rates on offer from banks at home in New Zealand. Lower interest rates means your principal and interest payments are significantly reduced. This makes Australia an even more attractive place to buy your new home.

Ready to buy a house and move to Australia?

Ausmove offers specialised house moving services making the move to your new home in Australia smooth and stress-free. For more information about Ausmove’s services, please visit or call (09) 360-4777.

Get a quote for Moving to Australia from NZ

In the pursuit of better job opportunities and often better pay, more and more Kiwi’s are making the move to Australia. But before you drop everything, it’s important to understand each country’s job market and the other potential benefits of moving to Australia. In this article we explore employment opportunities with a move to Australia vs staying put in New Zealand.

1. Key Industries:

Australia and New Zealand, both have diverse economies and thriving industries. Australia, with its robust mining and resources sector, offers substantial opportunities in engineering and natural resource management. On the other hand, New Zealand boasts a strong agricultural base and is emerging as a hub for technology and innovation. The choice to move to Australia may hinge on your profession or industry of interest and the corresponding growth prospects.

3. Work-Life Balance:

Work-life balance remains a significant factor influencing Kiwi’s to hop across the ditch. Australia, with its cosmopolitan cities and diverse cultural offerings, tends to have a faster-paced lifestyle. This combination makes Australia an environment where individuals can enjoy a healthier balance between their professional and personal lives. The final choice to leave New Zealand and move to Australia may extend beyond professional considerations, touching upon individual preferences for lifestyle and leisure.

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4. Better Pay:

As a general trend, employees in Australia tend to earn higher average wages compared to the same job in New Zealand. This difference is influenced by factors such as the larger and more diversified Australian economy, industry-specific demand for skilled professionals, the cost of living, and government policies. However, individual wage levels can vary based on factors such as region, industry, and specific job roles. On top of better pay in Australia the government facilitates a favorable work-life balance through various policies and initiatives.

In summary skilled migration policies, a robust education system, and government initiatives have created a job market that is more dynamic than in New Zealand, making a move to Australia the right choice for many.

Moving to Australia for a job?

If you have made the decision to pursue employment opportunities with a move to Australia, Ausmove offers specialised moving services making your transition to Australia smooth and stress-free.

For detailed information on Ausmove’s services and expertise visit or call (09) 360-4777.

Get a quote for the cost of Moving to Australia from NZ

More and more Kiwis move to Australia every year for various reasons, including better economic opportunities, access to world-class education and training, an enhanced quality of life, the proximity to international markets, and family connections.

Australia’s robust economy, diverse job market, and appealing lifestyle factors contribute to the ongoing trend of Kiwi’s moving to Australia. Amidst this migration, Ausmove stands out as Auckland’s only dedicated specialist mover to Australia, facilitating a seamless transition for those embarking on this journey.

In this article we look at the top 5 reasons New Zealanders are moving to Australia.

1. Economic Opportunities:

Australia’s larger and more diverse economy attracts Kiwis in search of better job opportunities, higher salaries, and career advancement. The robust job market across various industries is a significant draw for those seeking financial stability and growth, making a move to Australia very attractive.

2. Education and Training:

Australia is home to some of the best universities and educational institutions in the world. Many New Zealanders move to Australia for educational purposes, seeking access to a wide range of courses and degrees that can enhance their skills and career prospects.

3. Quality of Life:

Australia’s high standard of living, diverse landscapes, and vibrant cities are appealing to Kiwis looking for a change in lifestyle. The outdoor activities, cultural experiences, and recreational opportunities contribute to an enhanced quality of life meaning more and more New Zealanders are choosing to move to Australia.

4. Closer to the World:

Australia’s strategic location in the Asia-Pacific region makes it a hub for international business and travel. Kiwis with global aspirations are making the move to Australia to be closer proximity to major markets, facilitating easier access to international opportunities.

5. Family Ties and Connections:

Family reunification is a significant factor driving migration. Many Kiwis have family members already living in Australia, and the desire to be closer to loved ones motivates individuals and families to make the move to Australia.

Moving you to Australia

As Kiwis continue to seek new horizons in Australia, Ausmove offers specialised moving services making your transition to Australia smooth and stress-free. For detailed information on Ausmove’s services and expertise visit or call (09) 360-4777.

Get a quote for Moving to Australia from NZ

Thinking of moving to Australia? With beautiful beaches, great weather, vibrant cities, fantastic job opportunities, and friendly locals all at your doorstep it’s no wonder over 600,000 kiwis now call Australia home.

Ranked as one of the most liveable countries in the world there is something for everyone. Whether you’re wanting to further your studies or career, start a family, or retire Australia is waiting for you.

If you’re planning a move across the ditch, here are our top 5 places to live in Australia!

1. Gold Coast

The Gold Coast, aka Australia’s playground is one of the best places to live in Aussie. With world-famous beaches, breath-taking ranges, international shopping centres, fantastic restaurants, and a booming nightlife all at your fingertips – you will never be bored!

Better yet, the Gold Coast has over 300 days of sunshine per year with temperatures barely dropping below 21 degrees.

The Gold Coast also has plenty of job opportunities. There is huge demand for workers in hospitality and tourism due to the large number of tourists who visit the Gold Coast every year as well as jobs in education, business, construction, and other trades too.

With good job opportunities and affordable living costs it’s no wonder the Gold Coast is a popular choice.

2. Brisbane

Only an hour’s drive from the Gold Coast is Brisbane another popular destination for Kiwi expats.

The capital city of Queensland is home to 2.28 million people making it Australia’s third-largest city behind Sydney and Melbourne. With a vibrant economy, beautiful beaches, and great coffee living in Brisbane you get the big city experience without the fuss.

What’s more, Brisbane provides plenty of study and career opportunities. With the University of Queensland and Griffith University campuses situated in the heart of Brisbane you are spoilt for choice.

Popular suburbs with families include Kelvin Grove and Victoria Point while South Brisbane and West End are common choices for university students and young professionals.

3. Melbourne

Melbourne – the cultural capital of Australia often referred to as Wellington’s cooler sister is a city full of life. It’s home to a vibrant art scene, fantastic shopping, and award-winning cafes and restaurants.

With a population of 5.1 million, Melbourne is an incredibly diverse place with over 140 cultures, making Melbourne an inclusive and welcoming city with extremely friendly locals.

Due to its diverse culture and vibrant art scene, there are plenty of job opportunities for creative types like musicians, artist, and writers. What’s more, there are also an abundance of job opportunities in technology, education, agriculture, hospitality, and trades.

Part of the beauty of Melbourne is that it’s suitable for everyone, regardless of age and circumstance. Young people are attracted to inner northern and southern suburbs, families thrive in leafy, green suburbs like Greensborough and Dandenong, and retirees are attracted to the laid-back atmosphere and scenic beauty of the Mornington Peninsula.

4. Perth

Want the best of both worlds? Then look no further than Perth with perfect weather, beautiful beaches, plenty of job opportunities, a strong community feel, and a laid-back lifestyle you get the best of city and seaside living in Perth.

Perth is one of the most geographically isolated cities in the world, but it doesn’t feel like it when you’re there. Home to over 2 million people it is one of Australia’s fastest-growing cities and is connected to the rest of the world through its international airport.

If you’re thinking of hanging your hat in Perth, Dalkeith and Mullaloo and Melville are great choices for families, while Northbridge is popular with millennials and Murdoch with retirees.

5. Sydney

If you love a fast-paced city with lots to see and do, then Sydney is the place to be. As Australia’s largest city home to over 5 million people there is never a dull moment.

What’s more, it’s home to the famous Sydney Opera House, Royal Botanical Gardens, and Bondi and Manly beach, providing picture-perfect backdrops wherever you turn.

Sydney has a range of neighbourhoods to suit all lifestyles. Whether you want to be in the hustle and bustle of the city or prefer to wake up to views of the northern beaches there is a suburb for everyone.

If you’re ready to move to Brisbane, the Gold Coast, Melbourne, Perth, Sydney, or any other city in Australia get in touch with Ausmove for a free no-obligation quote and start your Australian adventure today.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says she looks forward to building a strong relationship with new Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

Ardern told reporters this afternoon she had already phoned Morrison to congratulate him on the win.

They had discussed opportunities to meet and it was likely it could be at one of several upcoming events including the Pacific Islands Forum, UN General Assembly, APEC and East Asia Summit.

“He’s been involved proactively in promoting New Zealand to the world. He acknowledged his warmth for this country. I look forward to building a really strong relationship with him,” Ardern said.

Asked whether the change in leadership could result in some better outcomes for New Zealanders in Australia, Ardern said regardless who was in charge, the Government would continue to advocate for New Zealanders in Australia.

Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters said Morrison was hitting the ground running where New Zealand was concerned because of his previous familiarity.

“He’s known to New Zealanders, he’s worked in New Zealand, he’ll be more familiar with New Zealand’s political mores, so to speak, so in that sense it’s a very positive outcome.”

Peters said the prospect of a dialogue over the rights of New Zealanders in Australia and the issue of deportations was more likely today than it was yesterday as a result.

The issue of deportations has been a sticky one for transtasman relations of late, with Justice Minister Andrew Little and Peters both weighing in on Australia’s policy, led by former immigration minister Peter Dutton to remove New Zealanders from Australia, sometimes without charge or trial.

National leader Simon Bridges also congratulated Morrison.

“When I met Scott I was struck by what a warm friend of New Zealand he is, he knows our country very well, Bridges said in a statement.

“Australia is New Zealand’s closest bilateral partner. The relationship between our two countries is strong, and enhanced by shared values on issues like trade, defence, and security matters. I look forward to further strengthening this relationship as Leader of the Opposition with Mr Morrison.

Bridges also acknowledged outgoing prime minister Malcolm Turnbull for his commitment to the transtasman relationship.

Morrison helped set up the New Zealand Office of Tourism and Sport in the 1990s, which substantially reformed tourism marketing, research and forecasting.

The office helped create the 100 Per Cent Pure New Zealand campaign.

He was criticised by Labour when the office got into trouble as then tourism minister Murray McCully’s “hard man”.

“My experience with Australian politicians is that rules and ethics are not as important to them as they are to New Zealanders,” Labour’s sports spokesman Trevor Mallard said at the time

Morrison would not comment, saying he had “no interest in New Zealand politics”.

He left with a year to go on his contract in March 2000 and went on to become state director of the Liberal Party before being appointed as Tourism Australia managing director in 2004.


Vale Malcolm Turnbull. Hail Scott Morrison — Australia’s latest Prime Minister and their business sector’s clear choice to occupy The Lodge.

Morrison — known by the moniker “ScoMo” — is the Australian Treasurer.

He is a known figure on this side of the Tasman, where he led the New Zealand Office of Tourism and Sport in Wellington in the late 1990s.

He is at home with New Zealanders, as was obvious at the Australia New Zealand Leadership Forum in Sydney this year, where he mixed easily with politicians and businesspeople alike, knowing many of them by their first names.

He was also part of a circle of Australian Liberal Cabinet Ministers (which previously included the former Prime Minister Tony Abbott) who enjoyed a good working relationship with Sir John Key and Bill English, who discussed strategies for right of centre political parties to sell their policies and stay in power.

The new Prime Minister has a strong business background. Before entering politics he held positions at the Property Council of Australia, the Australian Tourism Task Force and Tourism Australia.

But New Zealand should not expect Morrison to do us any favours.

He will have to mollify the Liberal Party’s conservative wing, which is solidly behind policies such as deporting “Kiwis” who have served prison sentences and refusing New Zealanders adequate social benefits in Australia even when they have contributed to the tax base.

New Zealand has, however, escaped a hospital pass with the failure of Peter Dutton to win the prime ministership.

Dutton is a hardliner who has clashed with New Zealand Cabinet Ministers on immigration matters.

He has been castigated as Australia’s Donald Trump.

He is also a hardliner on the Paris climate change accord, and arguably it was his positioning on this issue that forced Turnbull to make the fatal error which led to his downfall.

The brute reality is that Turnbull sold his soul and his personal beliefs — not just once, but twice — to stay in power.

And yet again he has failed.

Just days ago he jettisoned Australia’s plan for targets to reduce carbon emissions, in order to appease Liberal Party conservatives.

That was something he had done earlier in his career, once the heat came on from the industrial sector in a nation whose wealth has been built on minerals and fossil fuels.

The campaign against him would never have succeeded if he had displayed the ability to stand his ground, and importantly, build a groundswell of support among the Australian public for his prime ministership.

Turnbull was never New Zealand’s strongest friend, but among the coterie of Australian politicians who have been part of Australia’s revolving door prime ministership, he was one with at least some touchpoints in this country.

He visited here as a lad when his mother, the late actress Coral Lansbury, left his father to take up with a New Zealander.

Later — as a journalist on the Bulletin, the barrister who mounted the Spycatcher defence, and then as an investment banker promoting Allied Domeq’s successful takeover of the Montana wine company — he was an intermittent visitor to New Zealand.

Turnbull is well plugged in to senior business and political circles on this side of the Tasman.

But the multimillionaire lacked the common touch that his friend Sir John Key was able to ply in New Zealand when he cashed up his commercial career to build his Rolodex as an aspirant Prime Minister.

It is important that New Zealand again rebuilds strong links with Australia, which is beginning to look like the weak link in the Pacific when it comes to political instability.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern must lead this.

It is an opportunity for her — not to indulge in virtue signalling about Manus Island, but to face the realities of leading democracies which are under pressure in a fast changing world, with big power conflict dominating our region.


Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has been one of the first world leaders to congratulate Australia’s incoming Prime Minister Scott Morrison and says he has been involved proactively in promoting New Zealand to the world in the past.

The Treasurer will be Australia’s 30th prime minister after defeating Peter Dutton in a ballot to replace Malcolm Turnbull, who called a spill of the Liberal Party’s leadership positions in a meeting in Canberra this afternoon.

Mr Morrison is being sworn in by Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove this afternoon, having first knocked out Foreign Minister Julie Bishop in a three-way contest and then defeated ex-Immigration minister Peter Dutton 45-40.

Before entering the House of Representatives in 2007, Mr Morrison spent the majority of his career in tourism, working as Director of the New Zealand Office of Tourism and Sport from 1998 to 2000. He later became Managing Director of Tourism Australia from 2004 to 2006.

Ms Ardern told reporters in Auckland this afternoon that she had just got off the phone to the new prime minister of Australia and had congratulated him on his new role.

She said Mr Morrison obviously doesn’t need help to familiarise himself with New Zealand.

“He’s been involved proactively in promoting New Zealand to the world. And he acknowledged his warmth for this country. I look forward to building a really strong relationship with him,” Ms Ardern said.

New Zealand has recently hit sticking points in the trans-Tasman relationship, including the impact on New Zealanders of Australia’s policy of deporting foreigners who’ve served 12 months or more in prison or are deemed a threat to Australia. Other issues are a lack of access to welfare benefits and citizenship for New Zealanders living in Australia.

Asked does she think dealing with sticking points might be easier with Mr Morrison in office, Ms Ardern said: “Oh look, you know regardless of who’s in charge we’ll keep advocating in the same way on behalf of New Zealand. Certainly, I’ll make an assumption here based on the role he’s had in the past that he’ll know New Zealand and its fine attributes really well.”

Asked is Mr Morrison better for New Zealand than Mr Dutton would be as PM, she said: “Oh, we constantly make sure that we are the best representatives and advocates that we can be regardless of who we’re advocating to.”

Ms Ardern said she had a conversation with Mr Morrison about the opportunities they might have to meet in the future.

“There’s several important fixtures coming up – the UN General Assembly, the East Asia Summit, APEC. And I look forward to potentially meeting him at any one of those,” she said.

She said she imagines Mr Morrison will be going to the upcoming Pacific Island Forum in Nauru as well.