More Australians are moving here than New Zealanders are going there and we're luring their families to happiness in the Canterbury town of Methven.

The Weekend Australian carried an article on Saturday headlined 'Quest for happiness lures Australian families across the ditch', interviewing the Dirk family, who expressing deep satisfaction about the move here.

They're not alone.

In its latest data, Statistics NZ recorded that New Zealand was now enjoying a net gain of 1700 migrants from Australia: the difference between the number of them coming here versus us going there.


In the year to May, 25,700 Australians moved here and only 23,951 Kiwis left New Zealand for Australia, Statistics NZ said.

The Weekend Australian glowed about New Zealand and our Government.

"Fresh from the success of recreating Middle Earth, Kiwis have done it again by making real the twin modern fantasies of stable government and economic reform, an alluring combination attracting Australian businesses and workers across the ditch.

"While the zeal for reform has been lost amid political instability in Australia, New Zealand Prime Minister John Key has been in charge since 2008, delivering income tax cuts and boosting the GST to 15 per cent," the newspaper reported, speaking to the Dirks of the Golf Coast who shifted to Methven south of Christchurch where Sean Dirks is a truck driver.

His wife Rebecca Dirks said there was "never going to be a reason for us to go back".

New Zealanders are not as keen to migrate to Australia as they have been in previous decades.

Statistics NZ said migrant departures to Australia fell by 1400 between the two May years, "as fewer New Zealand citizens chose to migrate to Australia. This led to a net gain of 1700 migrants from Australia in the May 2016 year. May was the eighth consecutive month to show an annual net gain."

"The increase in migrant arrivals between the May 2015 year and May 2016 year was led by Australia (up 1800 to 25,700), China (up 1700 to 11,800), South Africa (up 1,300 to 3,100) and the Philippines (up 1,000 to 5,500)," Stats NZ said.

"The new record annual net gain in migrants in the May 2016 year, compared with the May 2015 year, was driven primarily by more arrivals. Migrant arrivals were a record 124,800 in the May 2016 year, up 9700 (8 per cent) from the May 2015 year.

"New Zealand citizens returning to live in New Zealand accounted for one-quarter (30,700) of all migrant arrivals. Migrant departures (56,400) fell slightly (down 900 or 2 percent) from the May 2015 year," Stats NZ reported.