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Extra points for migrants choosing New Zealand’s country side.

The policy was announced in July last year and boosted visa applicants’ points by between 10 and 30 points for any skilled migrants who were applying for residence and had a job offer outside Auckland.

Extra Points For Migrants Choosing New Zealand’S Country Side

The new policy also doubled the points for entrepreneurs planning to set up businesses in the regions under the Entrepreneur Work Visa from 20 to 40 points.

Immigration New Zealand figures show 15 applications representing 28 people had been approved in Hawke's Bay.

The principal applicant could include direct family members such as a partner and dependent children as secondary applicants in the application.

Many people coming from overseas knew only the country's three major cities and didn't even know where Hawke's Bay was, she said. She thought any national tourism campaign should include Hawke's Bay and other regions.

While housing is not as expensive as in Auckland, the country side offers consistently good weather and the people were friendly.

However, the region couldn't attract professionals if it didn't have jobs for them.

At the beginning of this month, 273 skilled migrant applications representing 553 people had been approved nationwide with 30 points for employment outside Auckland.

Canterbury attracted the most migrants with 72 applications representing 156 people, according to Immigration New Zealand figures.

Next was Waikato attracting 42 applications and 86 people.

Immigration Minister Michael Woodhouse said the policy was always expected to have a slower uptake in the short-term but a material effect over a long period of time on migrants moving to the regions. He remained optimistic it would be successful in time.

Treasury also advised the policy changes were unlikely to have a consequential impact for regional development.

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