Relaxed lifestyle draws immigrants to New Zealand

19 May 2008


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In a recent survey released by Statistics New Zealand, the "relaxed pace and lifestyle" of the country was given as the most common reason for emigrating to New Zealand.

New Zealand has a liberal immigration program; permanent residence is granted fairly quickly to people with the right skills and qualifications. The program, called the Skilled Migrant Category, is a points based system similar to Australia's and the UK's immigration programs.

After the relaxed pace of life in New Zealand (44.1 percent), the second and third reasons people gave for emigrating to New Zealand were the climate and green environment (39.6 percent) and a desire to provide a better life for their children (39 percent).

The survey asked immigrants who had lived in New Zealand for six months if they were satisfied with life in the country since their arrival. 92.5 percent said that they were very happy with life in New Zealand, and 92.2 percent said they plan to stay in New Zealand for at least three years. 5.4 percent said they were not sure at the time.

Immigrants in New Zealand are also very successful in finding employment. 94.9 percent of skilled principal immigrants (those who were the main applicant when applying under New Zealand's skilled migration program) were active in New Zealand's labor force. Only 1.9 percent were seeking work.

While lack of New Zealand work experience was cited as the number one reason for difficulty in finding employment (17.5 percent), 69.2 percent of immigrants said they did not find any difficulties in finding work.

Permanent migrants generally had a high level of English language ability (86.5 percent), either reporting English as the language they speak best (59.3 percent) or having good or very good English language skills (27.2 percent).

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