OPINION: This time around, it's immigration, into not emigration out of New Zealand, that is an election issue.
Admittedly, photos of our mayor with a group of new citizens holding their native shrubs do seem to occur more frequently.
In reality, new residents flock to the "Queen City" not Queens"town".
A recent visit to the North Shore suburbs of Auckland where I was raised by my ex-pat British father and Kiwi mother bears witness to this. Grocery stores and signage are decidedly Asian.
Dear Dad would have been gobsmacked to see the size and content of the Sunday food market we found in the car park of the local shopping centre, had he not gone back to England frequently in the latter part of his life to find similar changes there.
So it was with much interest to learn first-hand about immigration from a young relative, back from ten years living overseas, and her Scottish friend, who stayed with us over Queen's Birthday.
The Scotsman was scooped up by a Christchurch company at a London emigration show, while Kate returned to be closer to family and currently works in Tauranga.
An avid bike rider and with work experience in European cycle touring, she came south to check out prospects and is absolutely smitten with the area and its energy.
That our district is attractive to people moving to New Zealand wouldn't surprise those of us already residing here, but on thinking back to those smiling faces in the photo, it is pleasing to see the diversity of nationalities we attract.
I can't help but think this makes for a much more productive and harmonious place to live in.
Ann Mann was a Queenstown publican and now owns a wedding and event catering business. She is heavily involved in the Wakatipu community.
- The Southland Times
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