Huge spike in Americans looking to move to New Zealand fearing Donald Trump's victory

'The country is becoming so divisive, I want to raise my son somewhere he can be respected'

                            Huge spike in Americans looking to move to New Zealand fearing Donald Trump's victory
(Getty Images)

Tens of thousands of US citizens have inundated New Zealand's immigration website this week, with more than 45,000 Americans visiting the government website since November 1. According to Stuff, that is more than 50 times the traffic they usually get each day.

While the final election results are yet to be declared, mental health nurse Valentino Johnson has already moved to New Zealand. The 44-year-old was previously living in Texas — which has recorded at least 18,000 fatalities due to Covid-19 — and reportedly has great concerns about public health. "The country is becoming so divisive, I want to raise my son somewhere he can be respected," he told Stuff.

Meanwhile, Prudence Thomson, the managing director of Accent Health Recruitment, told the Daily Mail she was confident there were enough job opportunities in New Zealand to satisfy the incoming demand. "These aren’t new graduates, these are really experienced people who have established practices in the U.S. who are looking to make the move," she said.

Chairs sit inside circles marked for social distancing as a COVID-19 precaution in the press area at a drive-in election night event for Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden (Getty Images)

According to the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists, there is an estimated 24% shortage of medical professionals in New Zealand — especially because the country has an aging workforce and population. Emergency room doctor Rob Brandt is waiting for a job offer so he can move with his wife and daughter to New Zealand. Speaking to Stuff, Brandt revealed that he had admitted two patients shortly before the interview and that he had been isolating away from his family in a pool house for their safety. According to him, he has come across several people who believed the pandemic was a hoax. He revealed that the hospital he works at had not been overwhelmed with coronavirus patients, but said the numbers were beginning to "skyrocket" and predicted that winter would add more pressure to medical facilities.

33-year-old nurse Ana Carino, who is set to arrive in New Zealand in six weeks to work in Invercargill, told Stuff she sometimes fears for her safety at work in a hospital in Midland, Texas. “You guys don’t have many cases. The US president has not been proactive in handling it [the pandemic],” she said. “I work in a hospital where people are dying from Covid-19 and it is not a joke.”

In her first major address since winning re-election, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said her governing priorities for 2020 were supporting small businesses and ensuring that citizens get a "safe summer holiday." And although she was skeptical of changing ‘existing border settings’ in the short term, she is reportedly looking forward to a "trans-Tasman bubble" — a travel corridor between New Zealand and Australia.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern (Getty Images)

Ardern said in her speech to Business NZ that she deemed the result of a poll about coronavirus as "both endorsement of what we have done and plan to do." "In New Zealand’s case, we made our choices," she said. "By forgoing some freedoms, namely the free movement at our borders, we retain the long term health of our population and the open economy we now enjoy. It was a choice but one that I strongly believe has served us well, and that New Zealanders have for the most part supported."

That said, New Zealand's borders continue to remain closed to foreigners — except for those who have received a government-approved exemption.

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