New Zealanders are now having second thoughts of jumping over to Australia to find work as dreams of an improved life could very well be nipped in the bud by the resource-rich nation's slowing mining activities.
This week alone, Australia dislodged 1,900 workers from its mining industry, bringing the total number of displaced workers to 3,500 within the last six months. And who knows what figure could come up in the next few months, or weeks even.
For many Kiwis, Australia still holds up as a workers' haven where salaries are high and could augment lives.
"It's going to take time. People have to be patient, it's not false hope," Kaitaia local Doug Foster told TVNZ, New Zealand's state broadcaster.
Opportunities to work in Australia's mining industry could earn anywhere between $70,000 and $150,000 a year.
But "certainly the days of easy money on the back of high commodity prices is behind us. The hard work is ahead of us," Queensland Resource Council (QRC) Chief Executive Michael Roche said. QRC is an industry body representing Australian mining firms which include BHP Billiton, Anglo American, Rio Tinto and Xstrata, among others.
Australia's mining slump is partly blamed on China's withering appetite in purchasing materials.
"The infrastructure spend in China has got way ahead of its economic development, and that's where we are going to see a significant slowdown," investment analyst Steve Johnson told TVNZ.
Although Lisa Williams, another Kaitaia resident, still believes in the Australian dream, she hoped work will be already immediately available very soon.
"There's no work here in Kaitaia available, so for me, it's a bit of peer pressure waiting for something to come up," she said. "People are getting desperate."
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