UPFRONT Kea out to hunt lost Kiwis

They’re everywhere – from Tajikistan to Tanzania, Canberra to the Caribbean – and an organisation set up to create links with the great global talent pool of migrating Kiwis is putting them on the map via web-based census.
As at March 23, Kea’s “Everyone Counts” website had totted up to 21,354 and at peak times expats are apparently completing its online survey at rate of more than 100 an hour. world map keeping the tally shows the bulk of respondents are in the United Kingdom but they’re also spread through North and South Asia, the Americas, Europe and Africa – 148 countries in all.
There’s evidently few who don’t want to be found across the ditch – the map shows just under 3500 out of Kiwi-born population estimated at around 442,000 which roughly represents the entire city of Wellington.
Kea puts positive spin on the “brain drain”. Its chief executive Ross McConnell says of the Kiwis who’ve so far filled in its survey, more than half intend to eventually come home.
“Equally, Kea is taking on the challenge of building vibrant, global pro-New Zealand community among the half of expats who may never come home to live.”
The ex-pat census at www.everyonecounts.co.nz will be running till the end of this month.
Latest migration stats from the Department of Labour show the number of Kiwis coming home has stabilised at around 24,000-25,000 year after dropping 9.5 percent in 2004 and 3.6 percent in 2005.
The country is currently gaining 7000 more people than it’s losing with reduction in arrivals from Asia balanced by people coming from other parts of the world.
Latest skilled migrant figures show we’re still popular destination for UK migrants who make up nearly third of those whose expressions of interest (EOI) in migration have been selected. The next biggest national group is China (13.5 percent) followed by India (9.3 percent).
Since the skilled migrant category opened in December 2003, total of 39,112 EOIs, representing 93,763 people have been selected.
A recruitment expo, Opportunities New Zealand, held in London late last month attracted pre-registrations from more than 3000 skilled British citizens.

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