JUST as the UK press fell into a fit of hysteria over feared Romanian and Bulgarian immigration when the two countries joined the EU, media in New Zealand is beginning to question the impact of a possible exodus of Brits hoping to escape post-Brexit Britain by forging a new life down under.
The Immigration New Zealand website has clocked up more than 10,000 registrations of interest from UK nationals in the 50 days since the referendum, more than double the typical volume.
On August 22 the country’s main broadsheet, the New Zealand Herald, ran a leading story that dramatically spoke of a “British invasion”, underscored with the message “They voted for brexit. Now many Brits are hoping to exit to NZ…”
The country is a popular destination for British expats looking for a country similar in size, culture and climate, perhaps more socially liberal than the UK and without the trappings of globalisation, including immigration, a throwback to a more innocent age.
In the past year almost 5,000 Brits were granted residency in the country, which has a population of just under five million and frequently ranks highly on world ‘liveabilty’ rankings, while more than 22,000 were granted temporary work visas.