Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Lifestyle No 1 reason for investor migrants Lifestyle No 1 reason for investor migrants

New Zealand's lifestyle is more important than business and tax issues to migrants moving here, a study has found.

A dozen investor migrants and one investor's wife were interviewed for an Immigration New Zealand and Investment New Zealand-commissioned study aimed at finding messages to lure potential investor migrants.

"It is clear that this decision to migrate is a heart decision ... emotive topics were far more resonant for these migrants than facts and rationality," the report said.

"Business and tax issues came a distant second to lifestyle and community."

Thirty 30 potential messages were developed for the research, and the migrants were asked to select the message that appeal most strongly to them.

The top two messages were "New Zealand is a great place to bring up a family" and "New Zealand is a small country with a strong sense of community".

A message that strongly did not find favour at all was "Investing in New Zealand isn't about just relocating - it's about regenerating your business."

Any references made to "government" - such as one that said "The New Zealand Government understands it takes time to get your offshore tax affairs in order" - also didn't go down well.

Some said it was difficult to establish business networks.

"I've been here for one and a half years and am just finding my way in. It's a much smaller market and difficult to get established," one said.

"Children are a critical element in the migration decision," the report said.

"When young they are clearly an important motivating factor but by the time they hit the teen years they can become a barrier."

A senior marketing lecturer at Massey University, Dr Henry Chung, said the study confirmed what many already knew.

"The wealthy see the investor migrant category as a pathway to come to New Zealand, usually for the lifestyle or for their children, and not necessarily to do business or make money.

"New Zealand is such a small economy, and usually, a would-be business migrant would be better off staying put in their country of origin."

By Lincoln Tan

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