With one adult child on an extended OE in the UK and a second living in Australia, one Herald Homes reader says neither of her children may be able to return to live in Auckland ever again.
She writes that, across the Ditch, her daughter is working for the same international company she worked for in New Zealand and doing the same work, but is earning 30 per cent more than her Auckland-based colleagues and has far more training and perks than she ever got working for the firm here. Housing is half the price of Auckland.
"She's put a deposit on a brand new detached home that will cost AU$450,000 ($484,033) and will be built by the end of the year," says the mum.
"My daughter can't return to Auckland because she would take a substantial pay cut and couldn't afford a home anything like the one she will have over there."
In the UK, the mum says her son has a good job and a modern home to live in.
"He wants to return to Auckland but looking online at house prices, including rentals, and the job market, he can't see how he can afford to live here.
"He started to talk about not returning apart from occasional holidays, although he is now looking at the South Island, where housing is cheaper. He just may not be able to do the job he trained for."
This story is not new, but clearly illustrates the impact New Zealand's low-wage economy and high house prices is having on the young and their families.
It also reveals how poorly some firms in New Zealand treat staff - paying the lowest wage they can get away with, and offering the least professional development possible.
Not only is the New Zealand economy preventing young people from returning home with their skills, it is keeping families apart.
"One day soon there will be grandchildren," says the mum.
"Do we move to the UK or over to Australia to be with at least one of our children and their family? Because of the housing situation in Auckland we face an impossible choice."
As a city, we are paying the price of poor forward planning, short-term thinking, and gutless decision-making by those in charge. And to give one more example of the poor management of our city, Nasa will actually land people on Mars before we have a rail link to the airport.
Property Institute of New Zealand CEO Ashley Church says there has been a big slump in price expectations in Auckland.
The institute's polls of public perceptions show that in November 58 per cent of Aucklanders were expecting house prices to rise - but last month that figure was down to 46 per cent.
Church says Aucklanders, while less bullish about house price increases, are still not buying into talk of a "correction" in house prices.
"While fewer Aucklanders are expecting house prices to increase - significantly more of them are expecting them to stay the same over the next six months.
"That figure has increased from 29 per cent in November to 46 per cent in our April poll. Only 6 per cent of Aucklanders are expecting house prices to drop."