After terror attacks, interest in New Zealand rises, even from Muslim nations
Auckland, March 26: The devastating shootings in twin mosques in Christchurch on March 15 have rocked New Zealand but its prime minister's empathetic handling of the situation after the tragedy has won hearts all over. Jacinda Ardern has been so impressive that interest shown in moving to New Zealand has gone up sharply in the aftermath of the attacks that left 50 dead and many injured.
According to a report in New Zealand's 'Stuff' website, Immigration New Zealand (INZ) has come up with figures showing a significant surge in the amount of registrations from people who are interested in living and working in the island-nation since the shootings carried out by a white extremist.
Stuff cited INZ assistant general manager Peter Elms as saying that his agency had received 6,457 registrations of interest between March 15 and 24, compared to 4,844 in the preceding 10 days, marking a 133 per cent rise.
The largest numerical increase had come from the United States - 1165 compared to 674, a 173 per cent increase. Britain and South Africa had the second and third highest number of registrations.
Pakistan and other Muslim nations see a surge in interest in NZ
Among the Muslim countries, Pakistan saw 333 registrations coming in after the attacks, marking an increase of 512 per cent, despite the fact that Islam was targeted.
Other Muslim countries that showed an increased interest in New Zealand are Malaysia (165 registrations, 246 per cent rise), Bangladesh (82, 342 per cent rise), Morocco (66, 127 per cent rise), Indonesia (50, 150 per cent rise), Egypt and Turkey (both 59, 393 per cent rise), the Stuff report added.
Elms said these were only registration for interests in coming to New Zealand and not visa applications, the report added.