What we can learn from the Expat Kiwis who are investing in New Zealand
European financial turmoil is creating headlines all around the world. For months, Greece and Italy have dominated the financial news of the world and the situation is still unsettling.
Many Europeans are under economic, social and financial stress. The stories of the skyrocketing number of unemployment, lack of funds to educate and feed the children in Greece, Italy and the list goes on…are really not a good morale for many. Who would have thought the once stable Euro is facing challenges as well.
What has this got to do with New Zealand?
Some reports wrote that 14% of the New Zealand population is living overseas right now. Are they being affected by the current turmoil and what are they doing about it? How about the many people who are looking for a better place to emigrate?
New Zealanders or Kiwis are known to travel and settle in Europe for a number of years before returning to New Zealand. For the record, New Zealand’s Population and Sustainable website reported that, The Australian Bureau of Statistics estimates 477,000 New Zealand-born people were living in Australia at 30 June 2006 reporting. About 58,000 in United Kingdom, 23,000 in the United States and 9,500 in Canada. There is an addition of 40,500 spreading all over the world.
Eventually most will return to their homeland. The economic downturn in Europe and the United States are causing many Kiwis to look for ways to invest and move their money to their homeland.
A non-profit organization called Kea New Zealand is on a mission to reach and motivate expatriate Kiwis and ‘friends of New Zealand’ to increase their contribution to New Zealand. The intention is to turn them into a strategic national asset.
Kea New Zealand aims to contribute:
To the economic growth of New Zealand
Helping New Zealand become the most globally connected nation in the world
They have surveyed expat Kiwis and found that 15% are strongly motivated to invest in New Zealand companies and 72.5% would be willing to help mentor or manage a New Zealand small to medium enterprise.
That is good news to most small to medium businesses because the lack of capital and knowledge are some of the core issues that businesses failed in the beginning.
A new immigrant who makes a living in New Zealand as an entrepreneur can seek out help from organizations like Kea who are able to connect potential entrepreneurs and businesses with opportunities of meeting with talented and highly skilled individuals.
A great example of an expat coming back to New Zealand is Stephen Dee. Mr. Dee has been appointed recently by Kea as their New Zealand Director. He has been living in the UK for over 24 years and will bring with him knowledge and expertise in the live entertainment industry, production of operas and concerts and music festivals.
Other then capital input to New Zealand, the expats are bringing back their expertise to their homeland.
In our global economy, it is important to pay attention to the need of global networks. Kea is building a network of global citizens who will take an interest in the future of New Zealand.
According to their own words, Kea’s ultimate goal is for the home of the world’s greatest travellers to become the world’s leading nation without borders – for New Zealand to think, act, and engage more globally by utilising our offshore population of expatriates and honorary citizens.
So what can we learn as new immigrants to New Zealand from the expats investment of money and talent into New Zealand?
As a new immigrant, you already have a global worldview and you probably already possess the ability to speak more than one language.
You bring with you to New Zealand your unique talents that are globally applicable.
If you made it in New Zealand as an immigrant, you are the ‘cream of the crop’ of the land you were born.
You possess courage and you are willing to make changes for yourself and your family to have a better future in a new country like New Zealand.
You have made time and money investments looking into countries and places to emigrate. You probably have already travelled extensively to scout for the best place to live.
You are an investor of your talent and money to a new country, that is New Zealand, just like the expat.
Because of the travel experiences of most New Zealanders and the new immigrants that come from other parts of the world, almost all Kiwis possess global worldview and tolerance for one another. There is no difference in colour, race or creed. We are all Kiwis.
Savvy Kiwi expat will not invest anywhere with their hard earned money or talent unless they see a potential. There is potential in New Zealand for tremendous economic and social growth. After all, there are only 4 million people living in this part of the world. The world has 7 billion.
There is plenty of room to move around in New Zealand. New immigrants can take their education and work experience to position themselves well into the New Zealand economic stability, growth and investment from Kiwi expats.