Australian migration to NZ hits new high

New Zealand's highest mountain Mount Cook Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption New Zealanders have traditionally gone to Australia in search of work, but for the first time in almost a quarter of a century, more people are heading east from Australia to New Zealand

More people are moving from Australia to New Zealand than vice versa for the first time in 24 years, officials say.

Statistics NZ said 25,273 people migrated to New Zealand from Australia in 2015, almost two thirds of them were New Zealanders returning home.

A total of 24,504 people moved from New Zealand to Australia, making a net flow of 769 people to New Zealand.

This marks the highest net flow of Australians heading to New Zealand since 1991.

In 2012 a record 53,000 New Zealand residents had departed for Australia, while just 13,900 people moved the other way.

New Zealand and Australia have an agreement which allows most citizens to live and work in either country.

New Zealand's economic and political stability, along with the end of Australia's mining boom, have been credited for the shift.

The country's Reserve Bank governor Graeme Wheeler said last week that tourism, construction activity and a lift in business and consumer confidence would power growth in 2016.

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