Key Points:

New Zealand is not looking too far afield in its latest push to attract skilled migrants, with a campaign launched yesterday to lure expats and Australians across the Tasman.

The campaign, dubbed New Zealand Now, is taking a dollar each way. A joint Department of Labour/Tourism New Zealand promotion, it is targeting potential migrants and holidaymakers.

"With over 900,000 visitors a year, Australians are our largest source of tourism," Tourism Minister Damien O'Connor said.

"We hope that some of this attention and recognition will assist to get expat New Zealanders and Australians to think about New Zealand as a place to live and work as well."

An estimated 455,000 New Zealanders live in Australia.

The $520,000 campaign started in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane yesterday. An advertising campaign is backed up by extensive on-line promotions.

The Government has recently attempted to recruit IT specialists from China and India. The latest campaign highlights builders, plumbers, managers, manufacturing experts, designers, teachers, engineers, programmers and nurses as occupations in particular demand in New Zealand.

"New Zealand cannot afford to ignore the large numbers of New Zealanders living overseas, especially as the international competition for skilled people remains strong," Immigration Minister David Cunliffe said.

"We need these people to ensure the growth we need for the economic transformation of this country ... With a common labour market, New Zealand employers have access to 24 million people and Australians can move freely to this country."