Kiwis living in Australia are coming home and those planning to jump the Ditch have put their plans on hold because New Zealand's job opportunities and lifestyle hold more appeal.
The number of Kiwis returning to New Zealand reached a record high for the year ended September 2014, with 15,000 coming home.
And while New Zealand was still losing more Kiwis to Australia than it was gaining, the net loss of 10,000 Kiwis across the Ditch was the lowest in the past 20 years, according to Statistics New Zealand.
Neil Munro, national manager for Experis recruitment firm, said there had been a definite rise in the number of Kiwis returning home. An abundance of job vacancies in the construction and engineering sectors - particularly in Christchurch and Auckland - had been a huge drawcard particularly as mining roles across the Ditch dropped off, he said.
"The economy in Australia is not going as well as in New Zealand is the general theme and behind that I guess they have less security than they would like in Australia. There's some in the construction area that aren't working and when you've been out of work for four to six months you reach a tipping point," Mr Munro said.
Drake Recruitment Service HR solutions manager Rebecca Clarke said along with more Kiwis coming home, workers were also delaying transferring their careers to Australia because New Zealand held more appeal for lifestyle and opportunities.
In a move to reclaim some of New Zealand's skilled and experienced workers, the Government is hosting job fairs in Perth and Sydney at the end of November targeting expats and Australians in the ICT, construction and engineering industries, which was where the biggest skills shortages were.
Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment Minister Steven Joyce did not think the number of Kiwis returning home would impact on the average Kiwi. "I just don't think it's going to have a massive effect on its own [to the housing and job market] and in fact it's all about growing the economy and we know the housing market is responding - but the number of people will not make a difference on their own."
New Zealand Institute of Economic Research principal economist Shamubeel Eaqub said the flow-on effect of more Kiwis migrating was small with only the labour market likely to feel the impact.
Kacia Kissick has recently returned from Melbourne, Australia.
"That's been one of the reasons we haven't seen wages growing strongly in the economy in the last few years. Part of it is the recession and the recovery, but also part of it is there are more people around looking for jobs and competing for the vacancies."
Family's ties drive NZ move
Being close to family was the key driver for Kiwi Kacia Kissick to move back to New Zealand after living in Melbourne for seven years.
The 38-year-old moved away for a change and because there were more work opportunities. While she was away she met her husband and had a child. The young family had planned to move to New Plymouth to be near Mrs Kissick's family, but when jobs proved scarce after her husband was made redundant from his job as a fabricator, they decided to move.
The finance lender starts her new job at a bank next week, but admitted finding a job had not been easy.
"New Plymouth is pretty small. I start work next week and my husband is working, but it has been a bit harder than what we thought."
The family had been renting in Melbourne, but Mrs Kissick said house prices in Taranaki made it more affordable to buy.