New Zealanders are moving to Australia in record numbers, but they arrive already educated and end up working on average harder and longer than Australians, a government study says.
Far from being a drain on the country's education system and social services, the wave of migrants from across the Tasman is proving to be older, professional and focused on work, says an Australian Bureau of Statistics report released on Wednesday.
Last year, the more than 500,000 New Zealanders living here had higher rates of employment and were more likely to be working full-time than fellow Australians, aged 15 to 64.
About 90 percent of Kiwi men have jobs compared to 83 percent of Australian men, the report says, while the percentage of Kiwis working full-time far surpasses the rate of Australians by 10 percent.
Many men end up working in construction and manufacturing while women take up jobs in health care or retail.
Of those working in the health field, 37 percent of Kiwi women are working professional-level jobs.
Over the past two decades, the Kiwi population here has exploded by 89 percent with 529,200 living in Australia by 2009, according to September 2010 Australian Social Trends report.
New Zealand is the second-largest contributor to Australia's overseas-born population, behind only the United Kingdom, with more than 13,000 people moving here every year.
While some come here for only a few years and return home, the majority have been living here for moe than a decade and are now part of a rapidly aging population.
Queensland has become the state of choice for New Zealanders -- they are twice as likely as the overall population to live in Brisbane. Some suburbs around Surfers Paradise are bursting, with one in 10 residents being New Zealand-born.
But those who now stay long-term are focused on work, not school.
Since both Kiwis and Australians have the same rate of attaining post-secondary qualifications and far fewer Kiwis living here attend school, the report concludes that Kiwis "have a tendency to complete their studies prior to migrating to Australia".
Kiwis tend to have different skill sets as well with a higher rate of advanced diplomas (39 percent) over Australians (34 percent).
Recent years of migration have seen a seven percent increase in the number of New Zealanders arriving here having already completed a bachelor degree or higher.