By August 2020, more than 33,000 had returned - and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
According to the Welcome Home survey carried out by expat Kiwi network Kea in the last quarter of 2020, around 250,000 Kiwis plan on returning home within the next two years, while a further 250,000 could follow in the years after.
This can legitimately be described as a once-in-a-life opportunity, that brings international talent at the top of their game, global insights and a desire to build a future here.
For regional New Zealand, this has the potential to be a game changer. Following its global survey, Kea released the Unleashing the Potential of our Returning Kiwis report, which identified that
- Around 20% plan to invest in a business and 11% intend to start their own business, with 8% intending to employ between 2-5 staff.
- Nearly a third are returning with a spouse, some bringing children and pets
- While 32% intend to reside in Auckland, the remainder are looking to return to regional New Zealand, with 22% leaning towards a region they haven’t lived in before.
However, a shorter commute and bang-for-buck housing isn’t going to be enough. As an employer of a 2,000-strong workforce with 40 offices around the country, we know the “sell” required to attract talent to our regions.
While the lifestyle is compelling, professionals want exposure to legacy projects and, until recently, we haven’t had a lot of offer. However, this is changing.
The talent we secured for internationally-renowned projects such as the City Rail Link in Auckland, combined with further investment in rail – such as the Northland rail rejuvenation, Inter-island Resilience Connection project and Te Huia service – means there is a pipeline of work for this talent.
Government investment in large-scale infrastructure projects, particularly outside of the metro centres, means talent can work on truly innovative legacy projects. Te Ahu a Turanga: Manawatū Tararua Highway is an excellent example, combining world-leading approaches to sustainability, safety and design with strong community outcomes – particularly around local employment, housing and businesses.