Skilled migrants enjoy life in New Zealand

24 April 2007

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Recent government research found that almost all skilled migrants in New Zealand are happy with life in the country after one year.

The recently released report, based upon a survey of 1,759 skilled migrants conducted in 2005, found that 90% of them were "satisfied" or "very satisfied" and that 89% would recommend New Zealand to family and friends looking to relocate overseas.

The Department of Labour titled the report "Life in New Zealand: Settlement experiences of skilled migrants." The report asked skilled migrants from over 60 nationalities about their experiences in New Zealand after one year of residency.

Asking what skilled migrants liked the most about New Zealand, 97% found the natural beauty and climate of New Zealand to their liking and 78% enjoyed the relaxed lifestyle. 55% liked the relatively low amounts of crime and violence.

"What is really pleasing is the report's suggestion that the longer skilled migrants are living in New Zealand, the longer they plan to stay here," said Immigration Minister David Cunliffe.

"At the time of gaining residence, 60% of migrants planned to stay in New Zealand five years or longer. After a year here, that figure rose to 71%. That says a lot about what New Zealand has to offer - and shows the country is meeting their expectations. It suggests they are settling successfully into jobs, communities and Kiwi life in general."

However, all is not rosy. According to Cunliffe, the report found that getting a drivers license and dealing with the tax system were big problems for migrants. Immigrants were also concerned about the cost of health care.

The plan is to use these findings as a basis for developing settlement resources and support for residents in the future. By addressing these concerns quickly, New Zealand hopes to make itself more able to compete with other western nations for the best of the skilled and educated immigrants from around the world.

In particular, Canada and Australia are offering some of the most immigrant-friendly policies and services in the world right now.


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