Editorial: NZ is haven from trouble

By Mark Story

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United States Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has said she'll move to New Zealand if Trump becomes president. Photo/File
United States Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has said she'll move to New Zealand if Trump becomes president. Photo/File

United States Supreme Court Justice Ruth Ginsburg recently told the New York Times that if Donald Trump became President she would move to New Zealand.

She's since, unnecessarily perhaps, apologised.

In any case her statement was part of a bigger story, whereby "everyone", apparently, wanted to move to New Zealand, or at least were looking into the possibility. Comedian Billy Crystal also mentioned his interest in the move if Trump is victorious.

Fears of a future Trump-led US sparked a spike in interest with Americans Googling "move to New Zealand" this month. And, apparently in the United Kingdom, Brexit, not Trump, had piqued people's interest in moving to the Antipodes. On June 24, the UK's own "move to New Zealand" search peaked 24 hours after the EU referendum.

Trump's potential success and the shock of Brexit could prove an immigration windfall for this country.

It could also be a boon for the Bay's seasonal labour shortage, though it's hard to imagine Crystal or Ginsburg scaling a Hydralada.

Assisting this country's image was a piece in the Huffington Post that cited our "out of control" gorgeous beaches and mountains, how Wellington is (relatively) cheap for expats, our friendly locals, our hobbits, our great national parks, our "many, many sheep", our exceptional coffee, rugby in general and all our ancient natural wonders.

While the stories and theorised exodus from Europe and the US have seen a temporary groundswell, it's always great to hear such glowing compliments from other parts of the globe. Who'd have thought we'd be the destination of choice for a Supreme Court justice? It's a great chance to recalibrate our views and realise, once again, what a paradise we have in New Zealand.

Even more so after the terror attack in Nice. Who knows whether that will prompt French nationals to Google "move to New Zealand".

While it'd be a pleasure to welcome them, the motivation in that context seems one of desperation, and not one we can gloat about. New Zealand, sadly, becomes more a sanctuary than a prized destination.

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