New Zealand expatriates contribute, but what happens when they return home?

Kiwi researchers have found that New Zealanders living in London contribute to New Zealand by promoting a strong sense of national identity amongst expatriates.

“This is achieved through their volunteer work within New Zealand-focused organisations and through promoting New Zealand food, culture and businesses”, says Associate Professor Louise Humpage at the University of Auckland.  Some individuals and organisations were also heavily involved in raising funds after the Canterbury earthquakes and other New Zealand-focused causes.

“But the real sense of connection to New Zealand experienced while overseas is often lost when they return home”.  To investigate why, Associate Professor Humpage has turned her research focus to New Zealanders who have come back to live in New Zealand.  “I want to know whether people vote, volunteer and contribute to the New Zealand economy while living overseas and whether this is valued and useful for their reintegration when they return home”.

The study will help policy makers and academics better understand the costs and benefits of the ‘overseas experience’ – and challenge the idea that only those living in New Zealand contribute to its economy and society.

“To make the research worthwhile, I need a range of New Zealanders to take part, no matter what their ethnicity, age, occupation or gender”.

Participants will receive a small gift voucher in return for their time.

If you are a New Zealand citizen that lived overseas for 3+ years and have been back for 2+ years who is willing to participate in a 1-2 hour interview in Christchurch in February, please contact Louise Humpage at

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