The number dwarfs the 9,607 asylum seekers who arrived in Australian waters by boat.
The record emigration of 53,900 is a dramatic increase from the same period a year before when 46,450 New Zealanders moved to Australia - itself a record at the time.
“These are economic refugees,” New Zealand Council of Trade Unions secretary Peter Conway told The Age.
New Zealand’s unemployment rate is 6.8 per cent, little changed since the economic crisis. Australia’s is 5.2 per cent, well down on the peak of 5.9 per cent reached during the crisis.
“New Zealand was hit much harder than Australia,” Mr Conway said. “We didn’t have the big boost in government spending you had that pushed unemployment back down. Before the crisis our unemployment rate was briefly the best in the OECD. It is now mid-range, much worse than yours.”
New Zealand wages are around 20 per cent lower than Australia's when measured in terms of purchasing power."