New Zealanders coming home from over the ditch say family ties and a lack of social benefits are pulling them back.

Expatriates are being lured home in bigger droves than before, and New Zealand is a magnet for people looking to move from their own home.

About 500,000 Kiwis live and work in Australia, typically drawn to the strength of Australia's economy.

But statistics show more of us are coming back - and permanent and long-term arrivals from elsewhere were up too.


According to figures from Statistics New Zealand, 700 more people came into the country under this classification in July 2017 compared to the year before. The biggest overall increase in arrivals was from Australia.

Seasonally adjusted figures showed a net gain of 5800 migrants.

A number of New Zealanders who had returned home, or planned to in the near future got in touch with the Herald to talk about the pros and cons.

Chris Hayden said a lack of job security, social security and a means-tested pension all contributed to a list of factors that drove him and his family back home two years ago.

Hayden also said he was happy to escape Australia's "critters", which lurked in "every corner".

"Yes, we had plenty of snakes in our 'snake-free' neighbourhood, some of them deadly," he said.

Shelley Pasche said she headed home to reunite with family, but was appreciating a raft of other benefits too.

"Since our return, we love the friendliness of people, hearing the 'Kiwi' accent again, your amazing foods which have a taste, and the variety in the supermarkets."


Although many expats were drawn home, others were content in Australia.

One reader said he and his family plan to become Australian residents after several years living overseas.

Paul Marshall said the pay disparity between Australia and New Zealand was a big drawcard for staying, as was fast-rising costs of living.

"There is also still much more opportunity here by weight of more people," he said.

Others cited Auckland's housing market and our widening socio-economic gap as reasons to leave the country.