NZ's census of expats launches

kea-cities-expat - CopyA ‘global census’ of New Zealand expats has been expanded to include New Zealanders who have returned home from overseas.

The 2015 Every Kiwi Counts survey opened last week and is being conducted by Kea in partnership with research firm Colmar Brunton.

While previous surveys held in 2011 and 2013 focussed solely on expats, the 2015 iteration of the Every Kiwi Counts survey seeks a stronger understanding of the views and thought processes of New Zealand’s returned expats and the increasing number of ‘friends of New Zealand’.

The three distinct groups that make up Kea’s membership vary from expats, returned Kiwis (‘repats’) and ‘friends of New Zealand’, who are not New Zealanders but have a strong connection to Aotearoa, including foreign students, tourists and returning visitors, people who are married to a Kiwi spouse and others born outside of NZ but consider themselves a Kiwi.

Kea CEO Craig Donaldson says the new survey reflects the diversity of the Kea membership, which has grown to more than half a million people worldwide.

“Since the previous survey, friends of New Zealand have become an increasingly significant part of our network, while a growing number of New Zealanders are returning home from overseas,” he says.

The survey comes at a time when many New Zealanders are returning from overseas, particularly Australia, helping push net migration to a record high of more than 58,000 people in the year to June according to Statistics New Zealand.

Donaldson says Kea wants to learn more about these returned Kiwis and is also interested in gathering more data on international students studying in New Zealand.

“The education sector is a major focus for Kea and we have recently announced partnerships with Education New Zealand and AUT that significantly expanded our reach in this area,” he says.

“International education is a major export for New Zealand and the connections with these students could be a significant asset to our economy and society if properly leveraged.”

Colmar Brunton CEO Jacqueline Farman says expanding the survey to include repats and friends of New Zealand will be a great opportunity to learn more about these groups and to be able to compare them for the first time.

“Looking at three distinct groups within the Kea community will allow us to compare attitudes, experiences and opinions. This will give us a range of perspectives and has the potential to provide valuable insights into how New Zealand is perceived by the different groups and what is driving their perceptions.”

In 2013 over 12,000 people completed the Every Kiwi Counts survey, and this year Kea and Colmar Brunton are aiming to boost that number. The survey covers everything from respondents’ salaries to views on prominent issues such as whether to change the flag.

The 2015 Every Kiwi Counts survey is open until Sunday 6 September 2015 and can be accessed at everykiwicounts.com.

Results from the survey will be released later this year.