New Zealand may not lure as many Irish as its Aussie neighbour, but its more temperate climate, lush green scenery and lower cost of living make it an attractive option for young people and families who are looking to find a new home down under, especially for workers in construction trades.
The New Zealand economy took a tumble around the same time as the recession hit Ireland in 2008, but it didn’t fall as far and recovered much more quickly. The unemployment rate was just 4.4 per cent in May 2018, the lowest since the last quarter of 2008.
Ireland is one of the countries targeted by the New Zealand government to fill acute skills shortages, which have emerged in industries ranging from construction to hospitality, healthcare and information technology in recent years.
Although the number of Irish people moving there has been declining since it peaked in 2013, when more than 5,000 Irish got visas to work there, it remains a popular destination, with more than 3,300 Irish granted work visas in 2017.
Still need convincing? All three major cities get more than 2,000 hours of sunshine a year (compared with 1,600 in Ireland’s sunny southeast). There are many sandy beaches with top surf spots, ski resorts in the mountains, and beautiful lakes, rivers and fjords to explore.
But no matter how attractive the change of scenery or the promise of a suitable job in New Zealand may be, it is important to do thorough research in advance of such a big move, whether you are travelling alone or with a family.