North gets migrants' big tick

By Imran Ali, Kim Fulton

2 comments
Tinto Thomas says Northland is the best place to live and work in the country. Photo / Michael Cunningham
Tinto Thomas says Northland is the best place to live and work in the country. Photo / Michael Cunningham

An Indian nurse is calling on foreigners settling in New Zealand to seriously consider living in Northland as it boasts the best lifestyle in the country.

Tinto Thomas, originally from the southern Indian state of Kerala and now working at Whangarei Hospital, said a number of factors such as climate, low cost of living, friendly people, and a top-class education provider in NorthTec should be considered by migrants.

His comments follow latest figures from Immigration New Zealand that show 21 migrants took advantage of a new government policy to entice new arrivals to Northland.

The policy came into effect on November 1 and boosted the bonus points for skilled migrants applying for residence with a job offer outside Auckland, from 10 to 30 points.

It doubled the points for entrepreneurs planning to set up businesses in the regions under the Entrepreneur Work Visa, from 20 to 40 points.

Immigration New Zealand figures show eight applications, representing 21 people, have been approved in the Northland region.

Mr Thomas and his wife Dissmol Devassy work as nurses in Whangarei and applied for their permanent residency in December.

He first came to Whangarei in February 2012 and spent two years studying nursing at NorthTec before applying for a job as a nurse at Whangarei Hospital.

The couple got married in September last year and Mrs Thomas works as a nurse at a rest home in Whangarei.

They have no plans of moving elsewhere even after getting their permanent residency.

"There are many reasons people should come and live in Northland ... climate, it's a quiet place, less expensive but probably the main attraction is NorthTec where the support for international students is excellent," Mr Thomas said.

Women's International Newcomers Group Social (Wings) coordinator Liane Blair hoped the new policy would help attract more migrants to Northland.

"I know that some people have had to go to Auckland. They'd prefer to be up here but they go where the work is."

- Northern Advocate

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