More than 10,500 Brits have registered their interest to consider moving to New Zealand, following the UK’s unprecedented decision to exit the EU
New Zealand has seen a ten-fold increase in Brits seeking to move, in the 49 days since the referendum result.
The New Zealand Herald ran a front-page story on Monday (August 22), warning Kiwi citizens to brace themselves for a “British Invasion.”
Sociology professor Paul Spoonley, from Massey University in New Zealand, told the New Zealand Herald that the surge in numbers could help fill skill shortages in the country.
“You could up the numbers coming if there’s some… economic and political uncertainty in the countries themselves. That is the sort of strategic decision that we would need to make as a country.”
He suggested that Kiwis could get even more interest from disgruntled immigrants, following the November US Presidential election.
But for those still determined to make the move, it’ll be a long way to go: nearly 12,000 miles! So, what exactly is drawing these Brits to New Zealand specifically?
Well, there’s the reassurance of the familiar. There are already plenty of British expats in New Zealand, a country which speaks the same language and shares some of the same cultural heritage. In the past year almost 5,000 Brits were granted residency in the country, which has a population of just under five million.
New Zealand also ranks highly on world “liveabilty” rankings. In February this year, Auckland was rated the third best city in the world to live, with the capital, Wellington, making it to no. 12.
Though, it’s not just New Zealand bracing itself for a peak in new British arrivals.
Just days after the Brexit vote, the EU Ireland’s foreign minister Charlie Flanaganappealed to members of the British public eligible for an Irish passport to stop rushing to apply for one. He claimed that the spike in interest was placing “significant pressure” on the system. Many have since become dual Irish and UK citizens.
But for those nearly 11,000 Brits who’ve expressed interest to start the next antipodean chapter of their lives, it’s unclear how many will be allowed to. New Zealand, like Australia, has a skills-based immigration points system.