Date
8 December 2016
Hillary Clinton supporters at her election night rally in Manhattan, New York. Photo: Reuters
Hillary Clinton supporters at her election night rally in Manhattan, New York. Photo: Reuters

Americans look to Canada, NZ as Trump lead grows

Canada’s main immigration website appeared to crash and New Zealand reported increased traffic from US nationals as Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump inched closer to the White House on Wednesday.

Canada’s main immigration website appeared to suffer repeated outages on Tuesday night as Trump took the lead in several major states and his prospects for winning the US presidency turned markedly higher, Reuters reports.

In New Zealand, immigration officials told Reuters on the eve of the vote that New Zealand Now website, which deals with residency and student visas, had received 1,593 registrations from US citizens since Nov. 1 – more than 50 percent of a typical month’s registrations in just seven days.

Visits to New Zealand Now from the United States were up almost 80 percent to 41,000 from Oct. 7 to Nov. 7, compared to the same period last year.

Rod Drury, the chief executive of NZ-based global accounting software firm Xero, said the statistics matched up with interest his company has been seeing from prospective US national employees concerned about a Trump win.

Drury said what started as a joke was becoming a reality.

“I’ve got lots of messages coming through at the moment asking for a job in New Zealand, and we’re saying ‘yes you can’,” Drury told Reuters by telephone on Wednesday.

“It will be interesting to see whether it translates into real action, it’s an active conversation that moved to getting more serious and we’ll see what will happen in the next month.”

After some Americans, often jokingly, said they would move to Canada if Trump was elected, the idea was taken up by some Canadian communities.

In February, the island of Cape Breton on Canada’s Atlantic coast marketed itself as a tranquil refuge for Americans seeking to escape should Trump capture the White House.

Drury said New Zealand and other non-American tech companies would benefit from a Trump win.

“A lot of the tech world has been driven out of the US and I think this does change the landscape quite a lot,” he said.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg told the New York Times in July that her late husband Martin D. Ginsburg would have been advocating a move to New Zealand if Trump became president.

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