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While Kiwi expats continue to command big dollars overseas, the pull of ‘brand New Zealand’ and a desire to connect with home is stronger than ever, according to Kea’s 2013 Every Kiwi Counts survey.
The survey of over 12,000 expats, released today by Kea – New Zealand’s global network -and research partners Colmar Brunton, shows the average salary of skilled Kiwi expats is rising – with a 3% rise in those earning $100,000 and over since the last Every Kiwi Counts survey in 2011.
More than half of all respondents earn in excess of NZ$100,000 per year.
While the survey showed respondents estimate their earning power would be less in New Zealand, strong interest in the domestic housing and employment markets was revealed.
40 percent of respondents are currently considering purchasing property in New Zealand, while a further 13 percent already own residential property here. Over half of respondents actively look or are thinking about looking for jobs in New Zealand.
Every Kiwi Countsshows enormous potential for New Zealand in connecting its diaspora, says Kea Global CEO Dr Sue Watson.
“New Zealand has the highest proportion of highly skilled workers based offshore in the OECD, a community of a million people – a population much larger than New Zealand’s second biggest city – so connecting this community and enabling them to contribute whilst offshore holds significant value to the nation,” says Dr Watson.
One of the biggest contributions expats make is in promoting brand New Zealand. Every Kiwi Counts shows a staggering 98 per cent are actively promoting the country and recommend New Zealand as a destinationto their overseas networks.
Kea has seen this interest demonstrated in the rapid growth of its online community –which has more than quadrupled to over 150,000 in the past 14 months.
“At Kea we seethe intrinsic value of connecting this borderless nation and the benefits that flow to New Zealand from harnessing it. Every Kiwi Counts certainly underlines our thinking, and highlights the overwhelming positivity of our expat community, their drive to achieve great things and, ultimately, their desire to connect to and advocate for New Zealand through Kea,” says Dr Watson. 
In fact, over 60 percent of respondents say that, with all factors taken into account, they believe New Zealand is one of the best places in the world to live.
“Every Kiwi Counts also tells us that around a quarter of respondents are looking to or are currently investing in opportunities in New Zealand, and as their earning potential increases so too does their ability to inject capital back into the country.”
Colmar Brunton CEO Jacqueline Ireland says the survey has real value for New Zealand in that it provides up to date data and information which will help leverage the full value of Kea’s global network.
“Kea has built an impressive network of Kiwis around the world. This survey confirms they are highly educated people with stature and influence in their respective markets and have a real passion for promoting Brand New Zealand. 
“By drilling down into the survey results Kea will be extremely well placed to leverage their global network, which may be increasingly important in light of recent events.”
Ms Ireland says Colmar Brunton’s partnership with Kea is in line with the market research company’s vision to ensure the voice of the consumer has an influence on the decisions that New Zealand businesses and government make.
“Through our unique and exclusive partnership with Kea we are helping to ensure this is a voice which represents all Kiwis, both in New Zealand and around the world.
“Our work has shown the pride that Kiwis have in our beautiful country and our influence on the world stage that far outweighs our size, is consistent across generations. Now, through this survey, we see that it is consistent across borders.”
The 2013 Kea Every Kiwi Counts survey can be downloaded at
Photo by Jan-Michael David, Mediaweb
Glenn Baker

Glenn is a professional writer/editor with 50-plus years’ experience across radio, television and magazine publishing.


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