After all, these neighbours are both great countries – breathtaking natural scenery, enviable outdoor lifestyles, friendly people… And let’s not forget that both countries are sports mad.
When two countries appear so similar, how do you choose? How do you know which country is the best for your family?
Here’s the good news – Intergate is going to give you the information you need to make your choice. The areas we’ll delve into are:
- How far your money will go.
- The standard of education and healthcare.
- The lifestyle.
- Happiness, safety and general satisfaction.
Let’s get straight to it.
How far will my money go?
The living costs in New Zealand vary between the two islands, with the South Island being much cheaper than the North Island. Furthermore, living costs also vary per region on each island.
When compared to Australia, you’ll find that on average your living costs in New Zealand will be more or less on par with its bigger neighbour.
New Zealand does however have fewer and less expensive taxes than Australia. Australia is known as a high-tax country.
Let’s take buying and owning a car in Australia as an example:
In Australia all vehicle purchases, including second-hand, carry stamp duty tax and the cost of registrations are considerably more than in New Zealand. Insurance is also more expensive and there are a number of tolls across Australia.
Australian salaries are higher than New Zealand salaries though. This is in part thanks to the immense economic growth the country experienced in the 2000s.
Here’s our suggestion to get a good estimate of the living costs in your preferred region, city or town – find out what the average salary is for your occupation and then investigate the living costs of the area.
What is the standard of education and healthcare?
You’ll be happy to hear that you and your family will benefit from superb education and healthcare systems:
The New Zealand education system puts the student at the center of everything it does. The mission is to teach children to:
- Problem solve;
- Process information;
- Work with others; and
- Create and innovate;
- All while keeping an open mind about learning and teaching techniques.
This is most likely why 15-year old students in New Zealand consistently performed above average for reading, mathematical and scientific literacy in the OECD’s Programme for International Student Assessment.
Over in Australia, the world-renowned Qualifications Framework guarantees that schools, as well as tertiary education institutions, are government authorised and accredited.
Further to this, Australian schools have:
- Small classes;
- University-trained and qualified teachers;
- Specialist teachers in subject areas; and
- Additional learning support for children who need it.
New Zealand has an excellent public healthcare system. So much so that most residents choose not to join private health insurers. Those who do, join a private healthcare insurer for the added benefits.
Australia also have both a public and private healthcare system. The public healthcare system is funded through Medicare and gives people access to free or subsidised medical services and care.
Once you become a permanent resident, you’ll also start contributing towards Medicare.
What is the lifestyle like?
We already mentioned that both countries are sports mad and love outdoor activities.
Scratching beneath the surface reveals that New Zealanders have a ‘life is for living’ ethos. They believe that a good day’s work should be balanced with time for family and friends as well as the many opportunities the great outdoors offers.
In fact, New Zealand ranked number 6 out of 45 countries world-wide in the 2017 Expat Explorer Survey for work-life balance.
It helps that New Zealand has smaller, less crowded cities and towns. This makes commuting to and from work a breeze. You can leave for work at a decent hour in the morning and get home in the evening with ample time left for spending with your family or friends.
Australians, on the other hand, work a lot harder. Despite working conditions being regulated to be fair, with maximum working hours and minimum leave entitlements, many Australian employees put in much more than the set standard of 48 hours a week.
This is not uncommon however for a country with big cities and big corporates. The upside to this is that more job and business opportunities are up for grabs.
What’s the happiness, safety and general satisfaction like?
We gathered some stats from people who know:
In the latest World Happiness Report both New Zealand and Australia were in the top 10 happiest countries in the world. New Zealand beat Australia by coming in at number 8 but Australia wasn’t far behind in the number 9 spot.
The 2018 Global Peace Index compared 163 countries, by looking at the risk of personal violence, to find the safest country in the world.
Australia came in at number 13 on the Index. New Zealand? It’s the second safest country in the world.
(In case you were wondering, Iceland was number 1.)
For their Better Life Index, the OECD asks people to rate how satisfied they are with their lives on a scale from 0 to 10.
So now you have the answers to that burning ‘should I move to New Zealand or Australia’ question
From the information above it’s clear that it’s a tight race though:
…Both New Zealand and Australia offer your family excellent healthcare and education systems.
…Residents from both countries are satisfied with their lives.
…New Zealand is considered safer but Australia offers more opportunities.
There is no ‘good’ or ‘bad’ place here.
Let us not forget however…
Your journey will ultimately depend on your family’s eligibility for New Zealand or Australian visas.
If you qualify for both countries, as some people do, lucky you! Then you’ll be able to pick and choose the country that’s the best fit for you and your family.
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