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Changes to immigration

The government wants to encourage migrants to live outside Auckland. This is partly because of the housing problems in Auckland but also because the smaller regions of this country need more economic development.

The population of Auckland is close to 1.5 million and about one third of those were born overseas. Each year, we have about 100,000 people who gain PR (Permanent Residence) under the skilled migrant category. About half of those people go to Auckland to live. It’s not surprising that many migrants prefer to live in Auckland because it is a busy city, more like their home country. There are probably more business opportunities in Auckland also.

From November 1st, anyone wanting to immigrate to New Zealand who has an offer of a job outside Auckland, will get an extra 30 points. A skilled migrant needs 100 points to gain residence in NZ. These points are made up of things like qualifications, work experience, age, and English language proficiency. Many skilled workers in Christchurch for the rebuild after the earthquake will be pleased about this change.

Another change to immigration will make it easier for entrepreneurs to gain a residence visa if they choose to live outside Auckland. An entrepreneur brings money, business experience and skills in an area like technology. An entrepreneur who can set up a business outside Auckland, will get 40 points instead of 20 towards the necessary 120 points.

Like the skilled migrant, the entrepreneur must live outside Auckland for at least one year.


• regions – areas, provinces
• residence – the place you live, a resident is a person who lives in that place
• made up of – (idiom) parts which make the whole
• proficiency – skill, ability
• entrepreneur – (French) a business person who takes risks to make a profit


1. Can you think of other reasons that migrants want to live in Auckland?
2. Why do some migrants prefer smaller cities or rural areas?
3. What are some of the difficulties for entrepreneurs in smaller regions?