New Zealand Culture

New Zealanders in Australia

There has been an ongoing exchange of migration between New Zealand and Australia since both countries’ colonial beginnings. This relationship is influenced by close geographic proximity, shared history as colonies of the British Commonwealth, and the ANZAC tradition. Movement has tended to vary depending on the economic situation of each country. This has been visible with an influx of migration from New Zealand during recessions in the 1960s and ‘70s. However, there has generally always been a steady flow of New Zealanders into Australia regardless of economic surroundings.


Migration from New Zealand has been traditionally openly facilitated. Until 1982, travel documents were not required to move between the two countries. Prior to 2001, New Zealanders were seen as permanent Australian residents upon arrival. Today, the avenues towards residency and citizenship for New Zealanders have tightened. However, under the Trans-Tasman Travel Arrangement, Australian and New Zealand citizens are able to enter each other’s country to visit, live and work indefinitely, without the need to apply for prior authority. There are still no caps on the numbers of New Zealanders who may enter Australia.


New Zealanders continue to comprise the second biggest overseas-born population in Australia. Due to the large size of this population (over half a million people), New Zealanders arriving in Australia generally span many different social demographics. One cannot fairly identify the typical type of New Zealander Australia attracts. Many New Zealand citizens see Australia’s employment opportunities, lifestyle and climate more favourably. Due to the colonial history between the two countries, many also find the culture to be very compatible with their own. In general, these cultural similarities afford New Zealander migrants relative ease acculturating to Australia. They do not encounter the same language barriers, cross-cultural difficulties and social isolation that some other migrant groups face.


The majority of New Zealanders in Australia have been living in the country for a decade or longer, and are therefore relatively well settled and acculturated to the country. According to the 2011 census, almost 40% of New Zealanders live in Queensland. Roughly 12% of the New Zealand-born population reports having Maori ancestry, and a smaller proportion are Samoan. However, 1.7% speaks Maori at home whilst 2.5% speak Samoan.

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New Zealand
  • Population
    [July 2016 est.]
  • Language
    English (89.8%)
    Te reo Māori (3.5%)
    Samoan (2%)
    Other (5%)
    Sign language (official)
    Note: Total surpasses 100% due to the ability to select multiple responses on census.
    [Census, 2013]
  • Religion
    No Religion (41.9%)
    Catholic Christianity (12.6%)
    Anglican Christianity (11.8%)
    Presbyterian Christianity (8.5%)
    Other Christianity (7.3%)
    Other (6.32%)
    Note: Total surpasses 100% due to the ability to select multiple responses on census.
    [Census, 2013]
  • Ethnicity
    European (71.2%)
    Māori (14.1%)
    Asian (11.3%)
    Islander Peoples (7.6%)
    Other (2.7%)
    Note: Total surpasses 100% due to the ability to select multiple responses on census.
    [Census, 2013]
  • Cultural Dimensions
  • Australians with New Zealand/Māori Ancestry
    349,877 [Census, 2016]
New Zealanders in Australia
  • Population
    [Census, 2016]
    This figure refers to the number of Australian residents that were born in New Zealand.
  • Median Age
    42 [Census, 2016]
  • Gender
    Male (50.4%)
    Female (49.6%)
    [Census, 2016]
  • Religion
    No Religion (43.8%)
    Catholic Christianity (13.3%)
    Anglican Christianity (11.9%)
    Presbyterian & Reformed Christianity (5.7%)
    Christianity [not defined] (4.6%)
    Other Religion (15.0%)
    [Census, 2016]
  • Ancestry
    English (32.5%)
    Scottish (12.8%)
    Māori (11.8%)
    New Zealander (11.6%)
    Other Ancestry (31.2%)
    [Census, 2016]
  • Language Spoken at Home
    English (89.7%)
    Samoan (2.8%)
    Te reo Māori (1.8%)
    Tongan (0.6%)
    Other Language (4.1%)
    Of those who speak a language other than English at home, 95.3% speak English fluently.
    [Census, 2016]
  • Diaspora
    Queensland (38.8%)
    New South Wales (22.6%)
    Victoria (18.0%)
    Western Australia (15.3%)
    Other (5.3%)
    [Census, 2016]
  • Arrival to Australia
    Prior to 2007 (64.3%)
    2007 - 2011 (17.4%)
    2012 - 2016 (14.4%)
    [Census, 2016]
Country Flag Country New Zealand