Expressions of interest in migrating to NZ spike following Christchurch mosques attack

In the wake of the Christchurch terrorist attack, there has been a "significant increase" in expressions of interest for New Zealand as a place to move to.

Immigration New Zealand assistant general manager Peter Elms believes the heightened media attention following the attack may have led to the spike.

"There's probably never been an event that has generated so much consistent international publicity about New Zealand than the unfortunate events of the terrorist attack," he said.

The expressions of interest came from throughout the world, but most were from the United States and Europe.

"What it's telling us is that New Zealand is first, top of mind for a lot of people around the world, that they are making inquiries about New Zealand and that they are registering their interest."

However, the interest does not necessarily mean it will lead to applications.

Auckland Skyline Generic
Auckland Skyline Source: Getty

Expressions tend to go up and down, but there is a correlation with what publicity New Zealand is getting at any given time, Mr Elms said.

The focus for Immigration New Zealand since the attacks continues to be on supporting victims and families, he said.

As of today, 182 visas have been granted to family members to facilitate that support.

Fifty people, including children, were killed by a lone gunman at two Christchurch mosques on March 15. As of today, 21 people remain in hospital following the attacks.

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Immigration New Zealand’s Peter Elms believes heightened media attention is the reason for the significant increase. Source: 1 NEWS