Xero boss welcomes US 'refugees'

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INVITING: Xero CEO Rod Drury says his company is attracting potential US employees in the wake of Donald Trump's victory. PHOTO FILE
INVITING: Xero CEO Rod Drury says his company is attracting potential US employees in the wake of Donald Trump's victory. PHOTO FILE

Software company Xero is looking to bring some American "refugees" to New Zealand in the wake of the US election.

The company's Havelock North-based chief executive, Rod Drury, sent out a note to his staff yesterday expressing his surprise and concern at the Donald Trump victory.

"Most concerning is the divisive rhetoric over the campaign, which may have been a cynical and planned strategy to win," he said.

"We are actively looking to bring some refugees into our Wellington office as an example. At our size it's our responsibility to help here.

"As the world becomes more tribal, our global community and purpose should be an example to all."

He said the company would help people to make the move to New Zealand - "just because we like to hang out with y'all".

Wellington-based business incubator Creative HQ is also encouraging Americans to head down under.

"Disappointed by the election results? Build the future from New Zealand," the company says on its homepage.

Meanwhile, the number of Americans entering the search phrase "move to New Zealand" into Google has increased exponentially in the past week.

According to the Google Trends tool, related queries include "Canada immigration", "how to move to New Zealand from us" and "how to move to Sweden".

According to Twitter trend tracker Trendsmap NZ, "terrifying" is trending in New Zealand, while the phrase "end of the world" spiked as the election results were coming in, according to Google Trends.

New Zealand has reported increased traffic to its website for residency visas from US nationals while Canada's main immigration website remains down in the wake of Donald Trump's unexpected victory.

Americans have often vowed to leave the country if their chosen candidate doesn't win the election, but this time around some are actually preparing to do so after Trump's surprising win.

A spokeswoman for Canada's immigration department said the website crashed "as a result of a significant increase in the volume of traffic" as election results rolled in Tuesday night.

In New Zealand, immigration officials said the New Zealand Now website, which deals with residency and student visas, had received 1,593 registrations from United States citizens since November 1 - more than 50 per cent of a typical month's registrations in just seven days.

Mr Drury said the statistics matched up with interest his company has been seeing from prospective US national employees concerned after Trump's win. He said what started as a joke was becoming a reality.

"I've got lots of messages coming through at the moment asking for a job in New Zealand, and we're saying 'Yes you can'," Mr Drury told Reuters by telephone on Wednesday.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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