New Zealand is one of the youngest nations on earth, both in terms of human activity, and geology. The first people to arrive on our shores were Polynesian explorers who arrived on wooden canoes called waka. These people are now known as Māori, their language being one of three officially recognised by the New Zealand government, which also includes English and New Zealand sign language.
Centuries after Māori first arrived ashore came Europeans, Chinese, Americans and other people who wanted a better life in the most temperate region of the South Pacific. The ability to grow a wide variety of fruit and vegetables enabled many settlers to thrive, and many of their descendants still live here to this day.
New Zealand encompasses the semi-tropical Far North, where it's current experiments in commercial pineapple growing are underway, all the way down to the sub-Antarctic Auckland Islands, with a wide variety of flora and fauna in between - reflective of those diverse landscapes.
We have perhaps the most unique ecosystem on earth. What evolutionary biologists term "Island Dwarfism" and "Island Gigantism" can be observed in our flora and fauna. Before they became extinct, the giant Moa, which could grow up to 3.6 meters tall, ranged over the North and South Islands. We have the world's largest buttercup, the Ranunculus Lyallii, or Mount Cook Lilly, and the giant carnivorous snail, the Powelliphanta superba prouseorum.
Fortunately, we have few dangerous animals. There are a few poisonous spiders, but their bites are rarely cause for concern. We're one of the few countries on earth to be snake-free, which suits me well.
We also have a unique climate, with skiable mountains only a few hours drive from beaches drenched in sunlight (to paraphrase John Muir) and most towns and cities are only a few hours flight or drive away.
According to the Mercer Quality of Living Survey, which ranks quality of life according to a number of variables like economics, health care and education, New Zealand comes in a strong third place. Our universities consistently rank among the best in the world, not only for their academic quality, but also for student experience.
While like every country, New Zealand has crime, we've been ranked in at number two in the Global Peace Index safety rankings. We also have pretty good weather, with a high proportion of sunlight hours throughout the year.
There are plenty of jobs available for skilled migrants. The Ministry of Business, Immigration and Employment maintain a list of occupations that are in dire need of skilled workers. These include IT and construction related jobs, as well as agriculture, economics, medicine and engineering fields.
There are numerous visa options available. Government fees vary depending on what country the applicant is from. For example, applications from several countries can apply for a Working Holiday visa that does not require a job offer, and allows those applicants to work in virtually any field.
For people intending to stay permanently, the Skilled Migrant Category is usually the best pathway. This can be applied for at any time. However, applicants who have worked in New Zealand for at least one year are better placed to gain residency, so an Essential Skills work or a Talent (Accredited Employer) Work visa might be the most logical pathway to residency.
Get in touch with me if you would like to explore your options for moving to New Zealand.