New Zealand has been ranked second-worst place in the world to move by immigrants, according to a survey. Mexico and Indonesia came out on the top.
The Shaky Isles as New Zealand is known as do also have one of the most unsustainable housing markets in the world. With interest rates doubling in the last year and wages falling behind it’s getting tougher for most people.
The expatriate networking organisation InterNations surveyed nearly 12,000 respondents of 177 different nationalities, living in 181 countries. Respondents were asked how their new homes performed on factors including quality of life, cost of living, safety, financial outlook, bureuacracy, and ease of fitting in.
In a resulting ranking of 52 countries – those for whom there was a large enough sample size – Aotearoa New Zealand ranked in at 51. It was beaten to the bottom by Kuwait.
New Zealand’s poor ranking may come as something of a surprise. During the pandemic, some of its cities were rated the world’s most livable, and “moving to New Zealand” has become a common catch-cry among Americans dissatisfied with their own country’s political outlook.
The country was the worst-performing country in the survey’s personal finance measure: 49% of respondents said their disposable household income was not enough to lead a comfortable life, compared with 28% globally. For general cost of living, 75% rated the country negatively, compared with 35% globally.
New Zealand also ranked below global averages for respondents feeling fairly paid for their work, seeing a purpose in their work or liking their working hours. “The cost of living is too high here in comparison to the salaries,” one survey respondent from Botswana said. An expat from India was concerned about the “growing divide between the rich and poor”.
New Zealand is in the midst of what opposition politicians have dubbed a “cost of living crisis”, with rising costs for groceries, petrol and housing.
Its strongest suit was the outdoors – environment and climate was the only metric on which New Zealand ranked in the top half of countries. Its natural environment was loved by 95% of those arriving, compare with 83% globally – and on opportunities for recreational sports it ranked 84%, versus 75% elsewhere.