New Zealanders Flock Home to the Edge
More than 50,000 New Zealanders who have returned home during the pandemic, offering the country a rare opportunity to win back some of its best and brightest, Charlotte Graham-McClay writes in a feature published by The New York Times.
The unexpected influx of international experience and connections has led to local news reports heralding a societal and industrial renaissance. Policymakers are exhorting businesses to capitalise on the “fundamental competitive advantage” offered by the country’s success against the coronavirus.
The question is how long the edge will last. While New Zealand may look from the outside like a liberal Eden, those returning to the country face some of the same pressures that provoked their departure, like sky-high housing costs, lagging wages and constricted job prospects, Graham-McClay writes.
“From an economic perspective, nothing has really changed,” said Shamubeel Eaqub, an economist with Sense Partners in Auckland. “All the underlying issues of poverty, smallness, affordable housing, high cost of living and congestion in big cities are still there.”
Original article by Charlotte Graham-McLay, The New York Times, June 11, 2021.
Photo by Cornell Tukiri.