New Zealand is a place that’s attracted thousands of expats from across the world. With its unique climate and landscape, and its cultural similarity to most of the western world, it’s an attractive lure for many would-be immigrants from the UK. Since everyone here speaks (or, almost everyone) speaks fluent English, you needn’t worry about overcoming a language barrier – you’ll be able to simply settle in and get on with life. Consequently, New Zealand and Australian Skilled Visas are in high demand.
But what is it, exactly, that has made New Zealand so prosperous? Undoubtedly, a mixture of many different factors is responsible. Let’s take a look at some of them.
A strong economy
As veterans of British elections will doubtless have heard ad naseum, the secret to a good place to live and strong social services is a strong economy that’s able to deliver them. New Zealand punches well above its weight when it comes to its economy, and this is at least partially a function of the language. So-called ‘anglosphere’ countries, which share the English language, tend to enjoy greater economic well-being, as well as several other assets like superior education. Of course, it’s difficult to assert this causation with absolute certainty.
New Zealand takes a rather liberal approach to trade with other nations, placing minimal trade barriers and regulations. They’re also willing to allow would-be migrants to settle on the grounds that they’ll start up a business and contribute to the economy.
With that said, it’s worth noting the weakness in the New Zealand economy – and that’s inequality. With the indigenous Maori tribespeople still lagging behind their neighbours on the island, and child poverty widespread within their ranks, the country undoubtedly still has challenges ahead. With that said, it’s well placed to conquer them.
Depending on your precise circumstances, you might need to take a pay cut in order to make the switch to life in New Zealand. But, with that said, your money is likely to travel much further. To make a success of it, then, you’ll need to establish where your priorities lie.
New Zealand takes a very liberal approach to society – especially when compared with other would-be expat destinations like the United Arab Emirates. These social freedoms are extended to incoming migrants, too – for whom the country is among the most tolerant in the world. The education system is more egalitarian than it is in other countries, too – those at the bottom of the economic spectrum are able to compete much more closely with their counterparts from wealthy families.
It’s worth noting that New Zealand scores highly in objective studies when it comes to altruism. New Zealanders are more likely to help a stranger in need, or give to charity. This is partially down to the fact that the country is more sparsely populated – and thus the bystander syndrome that we find in bigger cities is largely absent. The rural communities which represented New Zealand’s distant past required strong cohesive bonds in order to endure – and these bonds remain to this day.
99% of those living in New Zealand report that they have a close family member or friend that would help them out if their situation ever became desperate. Contrast this with the notoriously fractured society you find in Britain, and it’s easy to see why so many are persuaded to trade their life in Blighty for one in a Land Down Under.
Social capital tends to correlate very well with GDP-per-capita. The richer a country is, the better able everyone is to co-operate with one another. While New Zealand is doubtless a very prosperous nation (as we’ve already noted), it isn’t quite at the top of the pile. There are relatively few billionaires living in this part of the world. Under most measures of social capital, however, they emerge at the head of the pack. This, doubtless, can also be explained by the country’s history; when it existed as a network of remote farms, being able to rely on other people would have been very valuable. Those willing to welcome in and provide support for their fellow islanders would have prospered, while those seeking to be totally isolated and remote (even more so than the conditions would doubtless have demanded) would have floundered.
Moving to New Zealand requires navigating the country’s notorious points-based system. But if you’re able to contribute the right skills, and you’re of the right age, then you’ll be able to get in without trouble.