NZ immigration site visits up 2500% after US election

6:37 pm on 10 November 2016

An American and her co-workers are thinking of fleeing the US, with New Zealand high on their list of potential destinations.

And she is not the only one.

no caption

Photo: 123rf

What seemed like a joke during the race - that hundreds of Americans would plan an escape to New Zealand should Donald Trump win - now does not seem so funny.

Immigration New Zealand said its website had 56,300 visits in the past day - almost 2500 percent more than normal.

"In the same 24-hour period the New Zealand Now website - which contains information about living, working, studying and investing in New Zealand - received 70,500 visits from the United States compared to a usual daily average of 1500 visits," a spokesperson said.

"INZ typically receives about 3000 registrations each month via the New Zealand Now website from US nationals interested in studying, working or investing. In the past 24 hours, 7287 registrations have been received from American citizens."

Trade Me said it has had 90,000 searches from the US in the last nine days, while's US traffic was up 141 percent yesterday compared to the same time a year ago.

An American living in New Zealand, Jess Ducey, said many would not be as lucky as her.

"There's a realisation amongst a lot of them that, if you can get out, if you can move to New Zealand if you can get a New Zealand work visa, you're better off than most.

"So the people who most desperately would need asylum, people whose lives are in active danger, are the ones that are already struggling to get to other countries."

In Chicago, Sarah Kroth said last night she was gung-ho to move to somewhere like New Zealand.

"But I feel almost like it doesn't matter because he'll still be president if I leave," she said.

"Some of my co-workers are already looking at contacts they have in Canada, my friends in New Zealand have said that they would take me in.

"I just hope that Barack Obama barricades the door and doesn't come out."

Google search results in the US for phrases such as 'move to New Zealand' and 'New Zealand jobs' also skyrocketed over the past 24 hours, particularly in left-leaning states like Colorado, Nevada and Washington.

Meanwhile, Canada's immigration website crashed last night, while Australian media are also reporting a potential influx of Americans.

Get the RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs