Australian federal election result caused surge on NZ immigration website

New Zealand has reported a huge spike in the number of Australians considering a move across the ditch since the federal election was called.

Immigration New Zealand said the number of visits to the New Zealand Now site surged tenfold on Sunday as Aussies woke to the news of a Coalition victory.

The website received more than 8500 visits from Australia on Sunday — about ten times the usual number — and 512 of those visitors registered interest in a Kiwi visa. That’s compared to just 20 people a week earlier on May 12.

Australian citizens don’t actually need a visa to move to New Zealand, however, and the statistics include anyone currently in Australia — not just citizens.

“It is important to note these are purely registrations of interest in coming to New Zealand and does not necessarily translate to the number of people actually moving to New Zealand,” Immigration New Zealand general manager Greg Forsythe added.

Still, since Labor lost the “unlosable” election that returned Scott Morrison as prime minister, plenty of disillusioned voters considered their options.

And while escape plans from Australia frequently involve our neighbour across the Tasman, the universally adored Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern — who is Australia’s most trusted politician — seems to have made New Zealand an even more attractive prospect.

The apparent rush to migrate to New Zealand is not dissimilar to the massive spike in Google searches of “Move to Canada” by Americans following the 2016 election victory of US President Donald Trump.

Whatever the reason for it, New Zealand’s immigration minister Iain Lees-Galloway said he wasn’t surprised by the interest from Aussies.

“New Zealand is a wonderful destination full of possibilities,” he said.

“I’m not at all surprised. If Australians are looking at us, that’s great.”

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