I also really liked their official government immigration website which is very well done. They have also brought a new site on-line called New Zealand Now which is just as good. They have a map of the country here which invites you to click on a city and find out things like population, median house price and major industries. Christchurch, for example, has 378,000 people and you can buy a house there for $313,000.
They are honest about the economic climate and its impact on job availability. Things could be better. Nevertheless they are still interested in attracting people for certain industries. They say:
Like many other countries around the world, New Zealand is facing a tightening economic climate. However, certain sectors are still in shortage and need to be recruited overseas. If you have the right skills, we may still need you. Click here to see the list of Essential Skills in Demand.I will admit that I was so intrigued by what I saw and read that I signed up for their mailing list and have been receiving regular emails from them. The very first mail I received was a pleasure to read:
On behalf of the government and our Prime Minister, the Honourable John Key, we welcome and thank you for your interest in New Zealand. As a small but successful nation we are looking for people -- perhaps like you -- who want to share their skills in a country that's a great place to live, work, play and raise a family.
Since that initial email I have been regularly receiving information about visa options, how to find a job and specific advice about my sector, IT, with a list of employers who are hiring. The very latest one which arrived last week provided me with a toll free phone number that I can call from anywhere in the world to talk to a real human being about visa options.
Impressive and it makes me want to know more. My biggest issue is, of course, age. Neither my spouse or I qualify for the Silver Fern program because we are, well, experienced (meaning that we are older than a lot of migrants.) I still think it is well worth checking out and I will give them a ring next week. I'll let you know what I find out.