Western Union: Two-thirds of migrants living in New Zealand state that being able to send money to their family back home gives their life a sense of purpose

DENVER, July 11, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — New research released today by Western Union has revealed that 61% of migrants living in New Zealand believe that being able to send money to their friends or family back home, gives their life a sense of purpose.

The report – The Value of Remittance – looks to shed a light on the real-world impact of remittance payments, finding that just over a quarter (26%) of migrants believe their friends or family would be in poverty if it wasn’t for them sending regular payments back home. Forty-one percent went on to say that without being able to send money, their family or friends would not be able to afford medical treatment.

The study, which surveyed migrants living in New Zealand, demonstrates the positive affect that remittance payments have on families around the world. The report found that 56% of migrants believe that their friends or family have more opportunities in life due to the money that they send and 55% believe that their family’s education has improved vastly as a result of their remittance payments.

How is remittance being used by families of migrants living in New Zealand?

On average migrants were found to send 11% of their annual income as remittance. With the primary reasons being to contribute towards their family’s food bill (54%), healthcare costs (51%) and education fees (33%). Eighty-seven percent of migrants were found to have sent money to family back home in the past 12 months and 41% of migrants state that being able to send money to family back home was a key factor in their decision to move to New Zealand.

The most common uses of remittance amongst families of migrants:

Groceries (54%) Healthcare (51%) Education (33%) Accommodation (25%) Paying off family debt (22%) Transport costs (15%) Paying towards family childcare (15%) Supporting a family members business (14%) Paying towards family wedding costs (10%)

The pressure of providing back home

The study found that amongst rising inflation, many migrants are struggling with the pressure of providing for their families and friends back home. A third (33%) of migrant’s state that they have had to work extra hours or have started another job to continue sending remittance payments and 56% say that they have had to reduce the amount of remittance that they send due to rising living costs. A third (33%) reported that they were concerned about the possibility of losing their job in the next 12 months and the impact this will have on their families back home.

Top 10 countries migrants living in New Zealand are sending money to:

China India Philippines United Kingdom France Germany Fiji Australia Korea, Rep. Samoa

(Source: KNOMAD/World Bank Bilateral Remittance Matrix)

This pressure is having a profound strain on the mental wellbeing of migrants living in New Zealand. Thirty-nine percent state that the responsibility of having to support their family or friends can sometimes be too much to bear and 43% of migrants say that they regularly make sacrifices in their own life to ensure that they are able to continue sending money to their friends or family. Thirty-eight percent also reported that they often feel lonely, suggesting many are prioritising work over building their own personal relationships.   

Many (48%) migrants surveyed reported that without moving to New Zealand they may not have been able to support their friends or family financially, with 41% stating that it was a key factor in their decision to move to the country.

For more information and to read the full report please visit: https://www.westernunion.com/blog/en/nz/value-of-remittance-new-zealand/

If you choose to run this story, please provide a link back to the Western Union page: https://www.westernunion.com/blog/en/nz/value-of-remittance-new-zealand/


Research was conducted by 3Gem on behalf of Western Union in March 2023. The research surveyed 1,500 migrants who regularly send remittance across the following countries:













New Zealand




The top 10 countries for outward remittances was sourced from: KNOMAD/World Bank Bilateral Remittance Matrix 2021, December 2022: https://www.knomad.org/data/remittances

About Western Union

The Western Union Company (NYSE: WU) is a global leader in cross-border, cross-currency money movement and payments. Western Union’s platform provides seamless cross-border flows and its leading global financial network bridges more than 200 countries and territories and approximately 130 currencies. We connect consumers, businesses, financial institutions, and governments through one of the world’s widest reaching networks, accessing billions of bank accounts, millions of digital wallets and cards, and a substantial global network of retail locations. Western Union connects the world to bring boundless possibilities within reach. For more information, visit www.westernunion.com .