Brexit sparks increased Brit interest in New Zealand

New figures show that British interest in moving to New Zealand has soared since the Brexit vote.

Immigration New Zealand (INZ) figures show that in the 49 days after the decision to leave the UK was announced there were 10,647 expression of interest registrations lodged from the UK compared with 4,599 over the same period last year.

In fact, on the day of the vote itself, INZ received 998 British registrations, compared with 109 the day before the vote.

Immigration “typically receives about 3,000 registrations a month from people interested in studying, working or investing from British nationals via the NZ Now website,” an agency spokesman said.

Massey University sociologist Professor Paul Spoonley told the New Zealand Herald that he was not surprised by the spike. “I anticipate that post Brexit and if [presidential candidate Donald] Trump wins in America, then you’re going to see a spike in interest from people there about coming to New Zealand. We saw it during the Bush years from Americans, and I think over the next three to five years, you’re going to see a significant increase in the numbers of migrants coming from both Britain and the USA.”

The professor continued: “Brexit is the push factor and it confirmed the exclusive or narrow nationalism of the UK, of some at least. We’d be getting people from the UK who are tired of a narrow-minded Britain and who want to experience something quite different.

“New Zealand is very different, it is multicultural, very tolerant and it’s got a good lifestyle and a more temperate climate,” he added.

Until 2014, Britain had traditionally been New Zealand’s main source country for permanent migrants. However, in recent times it has been surpassed by China and India.

In the 12 months to June, 4549 British nationals gained NZ residence, 21,999 were granted work visas and 1,388 student visas.

Article published 22nd August 2016