Why New Zealand is paradise for British expats: Hotter, cheaper and no traffic jams

June 18, 2009

New Zealand is a long way to go to start a new life, but workers who make the 11,500-mile journey are said to be Britain's happiest expats. Of the thousands who emigrate each year, those moving there have the most to crow about, a report has revealed. Dave Isley, head of NatWest International personal banking, which conducted the survey of more than 2,000 Britons living in 12 countries, said: 'Expats say they are living healthier lifestyles abroad, whilst also benefiting financially. 'This is particularly true for expats in New Zealand who not only say they benefit from low property prices, a favourable taxation system and a healthy lifestyle but also the beauty of New Zealand's natural environment.' Britons living in New Zealand rated the country highly in all areas. It has one of the lowest average property prices in the developed world. Many cited lower taxes and said they had a better quality of life and were less stressed than before they moved. A favourable tax regime also means that although average wages are lower, earnings go further.
Of all the expatriates surveyed, 86 per cent believed their lives were better than before they emigrated and 92 per cent said they were happier. Despite the global recession, eighty seven per cent were better off. The emigres included engineers, teachers, economists, accountants, IT professionals and those working in financial services and marketing. Six out of ten left Britain with less than £5,000 in savings. But almost half now claim to be worth between £250,000 and £500,000. A quarter said they were worth between £500,000 and £1million. Mr Isley added: 'Our latest expatriate study has revealed that despite the global slowdown affecting everyone, the potential to earn more money abroad is clearly one of the main benefits expats are experiencing. 'The fact that this study has indicated that most adults leave the country with less than £5,000 in cash, but that their net worth abroad is largely between £250,000 and £1million is impressive and should not be understated.' A feeling of dissatisfaction in Britain was the main reason given for moving abroad. Almost all said emigrating was the right decision. In the quality of life index, New Zealand came ahead of Canada, which topped the poll last year, followed by Australia.