Surge In Aussies Wanting To Move To New Zealand After Shock Election Result
NZ's immigration office reported a surge in the number of Australians looking to move following the Coalition's win on Saturday.
According to Immigration New Zealand, the number of visits to its site from people in Australia surged more than tenfold on Sunday, as the country woke to news Scott Morrison had been returned as Prime Minister.
More than 8500 people went to the New Zealand Now website that day and 512 registered interest -- the first step in the visa process -- compared to just 20 registrations on May 12, the government department said.
However, as Australians don't need visas to move to New Zealand, the actual implications of the figures aren't yet clear.
"It is important to note these are purely registrations of interest in coming to New Zealand and does not necessarily translate to the number of people actually moving to New Zealand," INZ general manager Greg Forsythe said.
The department also noted the statistics included anyone currently in Australia, not just Australian citizens.
Since the Coalition victory that surprised a lot of Labor voters, social media has been abuzz with Aussies claiming they were looking to move across the ditch.
"Australia is cancelled", became a popular response, with beloved Kiwi PM Jacinda Ardern emerging as a more attractive leader.
The election result also prompted a surge of anger in Queensland where the ALP experienced a stunning wipe-out, with calls for the state to secede.
Labor needed a decent result in Queensland to nab victory, but even marginal seats where the party was expected to at least have a crack were retained by the Coalition.
That led to hundreds of people demanding 'Quexit' on social media, with some suggesting Queensland be "swapped for New Zealand".
Such reactions are not unusual after elections, with many Americans talking about moving overseas after Donald Trump's presidential victory.
But as University of Auckland politics professor Jennifer Curtin pointed out on local radio, this one was likely to fade as the realities of a move became more clear.
Nevertheless, New Zealand's immigration minister Iain Lees-Galloway was grinning and "not at all surprised" when asked about the spike.
"New Zealand is a wonderful destination full of possibilities. I'm not at all surprised," he told reporters.
"If Australians are looking at us, that's great."
Featured image: Getty