Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Escape to New Zealand

Air New Zealand wants Americans to escape to New Zealand (video above) following the US election last week. It’s an interesting pitch, and one that takes place against a backdrop of a big jump in the number of Americans exploring the possibility of moving here. That’s no surprise.

Every election since at least 2004, Americans who voted for the losing candidate for president have vowed they’d move away from the USA. This is something we’ve become increasingly aware of in the social media age, but it no doubt happened before then.

While most Americans declaring they’re leaving the country don’t actually do so, there’ll be a slight rise in the number of arrivals from the USA, if history is any indicator. Back in 2004, after Bush the Second won a second term, the number of Americans settling in New Zealand rose by about a third (which still wasn’t a huge number: From around 2,000 to 3,000).

Thousands more Americans than usual checked out government sites dealing with immigration, and three months' worth of people registering their interest on government site New Zealand Now in only the first two days after the election, according to TVNZ’s One News. It’s a safe bet that despite all that, most of them will not move to New Zealand, but if things are only half as bad as they’re expected to be under Don, the numbers actually migrating here could be larger than usual.

Last month, website Thrillest published an article aptly titled, “The 12 Best Countries for Americans Who Want to, Y'Know… Live Abroad All of a Sudden”. I have no idea about the other countries, but what they said about New Zealand is fair. New Zealand almost always makes such lists—around almost all US presidential elections.

I don’t have any opinion on whether this was a good move by Air New Zealand—recently designated the best airline in the world. It’s in keeping with the airline’s often irreverent promotions, and their YouTube description was typically cheeky:
Well, that was a journey. Here’s an invitation that might be a bit more relaxing. #EscapeToNZ #ElectionHangoverCure
Election Hangover? Yeah, pretty much. But, then, New Zealand is always a good destination to visit, and I think it’s a great place to live, too. But, then, that’s no surprise.

Escape to New Zealand, indeed.

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