The absence of Covid-19 in Rotorua is drawing people from overseas - but only in small numbers.
Stats NZ data based on intention forms filled out at the border shows 132 people - intending to stay for at least a year - moved to Rotorua in the five months from April to August.
An additional 192 people said they were moving to Rotorua after being away from New Zealand for fewer than 12 months, and another 260 moved to the district, with intentions to stay in New Zealand for fewer than 12 months.
National figures suggest two-thirds to three-quarters of these arrivals were New Zealand citizens.
Video meeting app Zoom has allowed prospective employees to land jobs while in isolation, Angelique Scott, the Rotorua manager of recruiters Personnel Resources and Temp Resources, told the Rotorua Daily Post.
She and her team had heard from Kiwis returning to Rotorua "because of Covid-19, to be with family, [and] to return to the safety of New Zealand".
Scott said "quite a few" had visas expiring in the United Kingdom, while others were making the shorter jump from Australia.
"We had one applicant the other day who was in isolation and was interviewed. All of the interviews were done via Zoom with the company and they've just been placed into the role. They were coming out of isolation on the Sunday and starting on the Monday in the new role."
The returnees had a wide range of skill levels and work backgrounds and were all ages, she said.
"We've had all sorts of people living fabulous lives in London and all over the world - moving home."
Her team mostly fills office-based roles in human resources, health and safety and accounting in Rotorua.
Scion employed the equivalent of 285 fulltime staff in Rotorua and a spokeswoman told the Rotorua Daily Post job applicant numbers had stayed relatively consistent this year.
Covid-19 had meant that "hiring teams are waiting longer for staff to arrive, which can be difficult".
"We still need to deliver our work and have lost people who chose to return to their home countries. While we've benefited from the returning Kiwis, the added delay due to internationals being granted visas has slowed us down."
Applicants had "mentioned New Zealand's response to Covid-19 and said they viewed New Zealand as a very desirable place to live", she said.
Some were in Germany, France, South Africa, China and Sweden.
The Lakes District Health Board employed the equivalent of nearly 1300 fulltime staff across Rotorua and Taupō.
This year the health board had noticed more overseas applicants for nursing jobs, a spokeswoman said, "especially from June onwards as we were recruiting to roles at managed isolation facilities".
People in the United Kingdom, Australia and South Africa had applied this year but "some from overseas were not eligible for registration in New Zealand".
"There has not been a change to the volume of senior medical staff applications, but getting those who have been employed from overseas on flights from their home countries has been very problematic, delaying their start significantly in some cases."
Overall there had been "minimal" effect on the health board's ability to fill niche roles.
After lockdown began in late March, New Zealand's net migration plummeted, with a net gain of just 1700 between April and August.
That was down from 21,500 in the same period in 2019, when tens-of-thousands of non-New Zealand citizens were arriving, pre-pandemic.
Pauline Evans, co-owner of Rotorua Rentals, had not noticed any effect on the Rotorua rental market, from returnees from overseas this year.
"It is more the people coming from places like Auckland and possibly even Tauranga - not a great demand from overseas."
However, she had spoken with landlords considering moving back to Rotorua from overseas this year.
"The borders and controls have kept them at bay at the moment."
She said the prospect of their return was a concern if they decided to occupy their rental properties, "because of course, that's going to deplete the rental supply more".
Other overseas landlords had considered selling their Rotorua properties, due to the pandemic.
This month, New Zealand opened its doors to overseas students again - but only for 250 postgraduate students who are paying for their managed isolation.
Kiwis returning to New Zealand are eligible for government support including superannuation, KiwiSaver, ACC, student loans and allowances and Working for Families.