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With its Future Aspirations Survey underway Kea is set to deliver an updated view of offshore Kiwis and their potential return to New Zealand.

When Kea revealed the potential number and calibre of returning Kiwi expats last year, it caused a sensation among commentators and journalists, who asked; “If that many talented Kiwis return, what could that mean for our nation?”

With the global landscape continuing to evolve, Kea is looking to build on this initial report with the Kea Future Aspirations Survey, intending to flesh out more important detail on our Kiwi explorers, and establish what may be changing for this valuable offshore network.

The Kea Future Aspirations Survey seeks to:

  • Understand how world events, including the vaccine roll out, are impacting exploring Kiwi. Are external influences altering their decision to return home, their timeline, and how they feel living away from New Zealand at this critical time.
  • Provide an updated view on Kiwi talent around the world, including those looking to return home, what barriers they face and what they might need to thrive.
  • Gather the ideas and aspirations exploring Kiwis have to help leverage the current positive global awareness of New Zealand, and how they feel they can best contribute to our nation’s recovery, wherever they choose to reside.

“Last September we were delighted that 15,000 Kiwi from around the globe took the time to complete our ‘Welcome Home’ survey, giving New Zealand an essential dataset during a unique moment in time,” says Kea chief executive officer, Toni Truslove (pictured).

“This survey showed that a significant number of talented Kiwi were planning to come home in the next two years. Six months on, we want to understand what might be changing for them. Will they still return and bring their talent, their families and their investment, or will they choose to stay offshore, and what factors could influence that decision. If they do choose to stay offshore how can we still enable them to effectively contribute to New Zealand’s success as a united population?” Truslove asks.

“The number of Kiwi expats residing offshore is roughly the same size as the population of the South Island. As border restrictions ease over the next 12 months, the decisions these New Zealanders make could have a huge impact on our workforce, our regional communities and our aspirations for the nation,” she says.

Founded in 2001, Kea nurtures a diverse and vibrant community of  Kiwis and friends of New Zealand, with members all across the globe and operations in Auckland, London, New York and Beijing. Kea’s mission is to enable better understanding of our exploring Kiwis through goodwill and connection for the benefit of New Zealand.

“Kea is uniquely able to reach and connect with a very large and broad group of expats, including those planning to return to New Zealand,” says Truslove. “All Kiwi, no matter where they are in the world, are important to New Zealand’s success. We are asking New Zealanders to forward the survey to Kiwi family and friends abroad and invite them to take a few minutes to complete the survey, and to get involved!” she said.

The Kea Future Aspirations Survey has been commissioned by Kea, with research and analysis by leading research agency TRA. The initial report is expected before the end of June. 


Key findings from the Welcome Home Survey released 9th November, 2020

  • Over 15,000 people completed the survey, from regions including the UK, Australia, US and Canada.
  • 49% are planning to return, with half of those planning to arrive within the next two years.
  • 75% of those intending to return plan to stay permanently.
  • 75% of respondents have been away for 5+ years, and are primarily aged between 35 and 54.

See the ‘Unleashing the Potential of our Returning Kiwis’ report here

Glenn Baker

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


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