NZ government could award extra points to regional immigrants

The New Zealand government in considering awarding extra points to newcomers who settle away from Auckland, in a bid to encourage more immigrants to look at settle outside of the country’s largest city.

During an interview with On The Nation, the country’s Immigration Minister Michael Woodhouse stated that plans to give skilled migrants, investors and those planning to bring businesses to New Zealand extra points if they settle outside of Auckland could happen within months.

Skilled migrants and those applying to live in New Zealand under entrepreneur visas already gain 10 points under the immigration points system if they can demonstrate an intention to settle outside of Auckland, but this amount could soon be increased.

“Those entrepreneurs, those innovators who could make a contribution to regional development, it is possible for us to bump up the points settings to incentivise that,” the Minister said.

However, Minister Woodhouse also pointed out that the proportion of immigrants who currently choose to settle in Auckland is not necessarily overly high.

“About 40 per cent of the people who gain residence do so in Auckland, and that should be about right, I think,” he explained. “We’ve got a third of the population living in the greater Auckland area, and 40 per cent of those people were not born in New Zealand. So it’s no surprise to me that a similar or slightly larger proportion of our people who are gaining residence actually go to Auckland.”