12 Jun 2015

Over 22,000 Pacific applications for NZ residency

9:25 am on 12 June 2015

The results of a ballot which gives people from five Pacific countries an opportunity to gain residency in New Zealand are being announced today.

Ballot box

Ballot box Photo: Supplied

More than 22,000 applications were received this year under the Samoan Quota and Pacific Access Category.

This year more than 9,000 Samoans applied under the Samoan Quota, where 1,100 places are available.

Nearly 2,500 applications were received from Tonga, for which just 250 places are allowed.

In Kiribati 1,185 registrations were received for 75 places, while demand was lower in Tuvalu with 334 applying for the same allocation.

8,995 have applied for only 250 ballot places to give them a shot at gaining residence in New Zealand.

It is the first time Fijians have been allowed to apply for a spot in the Pacific Access Category ballot since the military coup of 2006.

Successful applicants face the difficult hurdle of finding employment before they gain New Zealand residence.