Huge spike in number of people looking to move to New Zealand from the US
Thousands of Americans have flooded New Zealand’s immigration website this week.
More than 45,000 US citizens have visited the country’s government website since Sunday – which is 50 times more than they usually get each day.
Mental health nurse Valentino Johnson has already moved to New Zealand even though election results are yet to come out.
Previously living in Texas, which has seen 18,000 deaths due to coronavirus, the 44-year-old has great concerns about public health.
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‘The country is becoming so divisive, I want to raise my son somewhere he can be respected,’ he said.
Managing director of Accent Health Recruitment Prudence Thomson said she was confident there were enough jobs to satisfy demand.
‘These aren’t new graduates, these are really experienced people who have established practices in the U.S. who are looking to make the move,’ she told MailOnline.
It is estimated there is a 24% shortage of medical professionals in New Zealand, according to the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists, as the country has an ageing health workforce and population.
Prime minister Jacinda Ardern, in her first major address since re-election, said her governing priorities for 2020 are small business support and ensuring citizens get a ‘safe summer holiday’.
She added though changing ‘existing border settings’ is unlikely in the short-term, dashing hopes of a ‘trans-Tasman bubble’ – a travel corridor between New Zealand and Australia.
In her speech to Business NZ today in Auckland, Ms Ardern said she interpreted the result of a poll about coronavirus as ‘both endorsement of what we have done and plan to do’.
‘In New Zealand’s case, we made our choices,’ she said.
‘By forgoing some freedoms, namely the free movement at our borders, we retain the long term health of our population and the open economy we now enjoy.
‘It was a choice but one that I strongly believe has served us well, and that New Zealanders have for the most part supported.’
New Zealand’s borders remain closed to foreigners, except to those with a government-approved exemption.
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