Thousands of Americans flooded New Zealand’s immigration website fearing Donald Trump would win another four years in power.
More than 45,000 U.S. citizens visited the government website New Zealand Now since Sunday, which details information for people looking to make the jump.
Thousands of them could not bear the idea of another four years under a Trump presidency or feared his leadership would worsen the coronavirus pandemic.
Since lunchtime on Wednesday, Accent Health Recruitment has received up to 200 inquiries from medical staff looking to move to New Zealand, Stuff reported.
The response was 50 times more than the company usually got each day.
Managing director of Accent Health Recruitment Prudence Thomson said she was confident there were enough jobs to satisfy demand.
‘These aren’t new graduates, these are really experienced people who have established practices in the U.S. who are looking to make the move,’ she said.
There is a shortage of medical professionals in New Zealand as the country has an ageing health workforce and population.
The Association of Salaried Medical Specialists estimates there is a shortage of 24 percent around the country.
Mental health nurse Valentino Johnson has already moved to New Zealand even though election results are yet to come out.
Living in Texas, which has had 18,000 deaths, the 44-year-old has witnessed firsthand the effects Trump’s handling on the coronavirus pandemic has had.
He is one of hundreds of health care workers in the U.S. looking to set themselves up in New Zealand because of the vastly different public health rules.
‘The country is becoming so divisive, I want to raise my son somewhere he can be respected,’ Mr Johnson said.
In her first major address since re-election, Jacinda Ardern said her governing priorities for 2020 are small business support and ensuring New Zealanders get a ‘safe summer holiday’.
In bad news for the creation of a trans-Tasman bubble this year, Ms Ardern said she wasn’t likely to alter ‘existing border settings’ in the short-term.
In her speech to Business NZ on Thursday in Auckland, Ms Ardern said she interpreted the result in the Covid-dominated poll as ‘both endorsement of what we have done and plan to do’.
‘In New Zealand’s case, we made our choices,’ she said.
‘By forgoing some freedoms, namely the free movement at our borders, we retain the long term health of our population and the open economy we now enjoy.
‘It was a choice but one that I strongly believe has served us well, and that New Zealanders have for the most part supported.’
New Zealand’s borders remain closed to foreigners, except for those with a government-approved exemption.