Monday, July 31, 2023

Kate Hawkesby: A big loss to us

So I’ve just been to Sydney last week and I’ve got to go again this week – these are not holiday trips, these are events I’m attending so I’m in and out, but here’s what I can tell you about Australia, it’s going off.

And by that I mean it’s energized, it feels ambitious, it’s got everything going for it that we used to have but have sadly lost. Even in Melbourne when we were there a few weeks back, the vibe was more upbeat, and that’s a city that’s mimicked Auckland’s a lot in terms of post Covid decline... more homeless, more edgy peeps around at night, more for lease signs. Yet the city still hums.

Yes, population helps. But it’s attitude I’m talking about. The attitude of hospo staff, the attitude of workers, the attitude of people in general. The malaise we have that’s so oppressive here, is not there. They’re still aiming high.

And it’s one of the reasons why I think people are heading across the Tasman.

Yes food is cheaper and salaries are better in many cases, but real estate’s still expensive, there are still drawbacks, it's just the vibe is different. And it’s why I can guarantee you the latest high profile high flier from Auckland is leaving, and why so many young people are leaving and why our most productive are going.

Richlist property developer Ben Cook, it was reported at the weekend, is outta here too. “One of the country’s biggest private retail real estate investors is quitting New Zealand for Australia - sparking a $100 million dollar sell-off..” it was reported, “Ben Cook boasts a portfolio stretching from Auckland to Central Otago including a string of Countdown supermarkets, and Bunnings… He also owns iconic Auckland buildings.

But he is now using his Sydney home as a base and says he doesn’t plan on returning to New Zealand… “I just prefer Aussie now that kids have finished school,” he said.

“I just prefer Aussie,” says exactly what we know it says. This country is not aspirational anymore, it’s not desirable, it’s not a place for go-getters.

He’s not the only high net worth person leaving. “Some properties {he owns} are co-owned with people who have already left New Zealand to live in other countries..” Others who’ve already gone. Other high net worth individuals taking their investments, developments, money and productivity, out of this country.

A designer was also quoted at the weekend moving with her husband and 4 children to Australia - again for better opportunities and a better way of life. We also got reports of the ex-pat who came back with his family only to discover how backward the NZ school system is, and in disgust, moved back to Europe for better education.

There will be people who say ‘good riddance’ to this, and you know what, that’s everything that’s wrong with where we’re at right now. Because what is happening when all these people take their business and their brains out of NZ? They take it elsewhere. Our loss.

Ben Cook’s “looking to expand in Australia” it was reported, the designer's taking her business to Australia, brains and investments are leaving this country.

So a big loss to us, a loss of productivity, jobs, development, drive, intelligence, and money. How many people like that are we prepared to lose, and what does that leave us with? And is that the sort of future you want for your kids here?

Kate Hawkesby is a political broadcaster on Newstalk ZB - her articles can be seen HERE.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

With respect. Zig zag movement between Aus & NZ has been going on since the whaling and gold mining days. Not all of us follow the mighty dollar.