New Zealand Expo, No It Wasn’t

Continuing in our series of Migrant Tales, first had account of the migrant experience of New Zealand taken from places around the net.

Today’s tale is taken from a great blog called and the author tells of his experience of an emigration fair held in Britain on 27 March 2011. We wish the author every success with his move to New Zealand.

His account of the event is very different to the PR releases issued to the media (see below for an example of this) which perhaps is representative of the way New Zealand is talked-up in marketing promotions.

If you’re still at the start of your emigration journey you may wish to read this before paying for a ticket to attend one of these Expos. Emphasis ours.

New Zealand Expo – umm no it wasn’t
Posted on March 28, 2011 by Moving to NZ

We went to a ‘movingto’ expo in London yesterday. It was advertised and presented as a moving to New Zealand expo with plenty of health and IT recruiters and lots of useful information. Their advertising said that as well as the NZ expo there was also a separate health jobs around the world one.

Fortunately thanks to a post on ENZ I had got complimentary tickets as if I had paid £15 per ticket I would have been asking for my money back. This was not a NZ expo, it was mostly about Australia with a couple of exhibitors from NZ and Canada thrown in and there was no separate health expo just a few health stalls. More worryingly the one company doing healthcare recruitment for NZ didn’t know what they were talking about and gave my wife factually incorrect information while failing to adequately answer any of her questions.

My advice – unless you are in the very early stages of planning a move and you are mostly interested in Australia, save your money and spend your time doing some internet research instead. Still at least it was a beautiful day and we got to go for a nice Sunday morning drive!

This comment was left on another moving to New Zealand blog tokiwiornottokiwi

Down Under Live
We went to the Down Under live expo in London on saturday and I must say I was very disappointed. As expected it was very Australia focused, there were a few stands which covered New Zealand as well but it was mostly people trying to sell you their services – visa services, shipping, money transfer etc. We did talk to someone about recruitment in New Zealand but as we want to get the visa before looking for a job it is too soon to be doing anything other than general research.

Contrast those experiences with the press release which was issued after the event, emphasis ours.

Interest in Emigration to New Zealand Still Strong
Tuesday, 29 March 2011, 11:52 am
Press Release: Working In Ltd

Interest in Emigration to New Zealand Still Strong Despite Canterbury Quake
The Opportunities New Zealand Expo that was held in Manchester and London last weekend attracted record crowds, showing that British interest in emigration to New Zealand is still strong, despite the recent Canterbury earthquake.

The expos attracted upwards of 5,000 people eager to meet with the employers, recruiters, shipping companies, migration agents, banks and other emigration service providers that attended.

“This has been our biggest expo in recent years. We have more employers and more jobs than seen in the last two years, which tells us a few things about how the market’s picking up in New Zealand,” said Hayley Roberts, CEO of Working In Ltd and organiser of the Opportunities New Zealand Expo.

“After the Canterbury earthquake we did consider the possibility of a plateau in ticket sales, but what we actually saw was quite the opposite. Builders, engineers, tradespeople – they all see it as an opportunity to transfer their skills,” said Roberts.

Employers at the expo were looking to hire in the engineering, manufacturing, IT, trades, transport and health industries.

Grant Harsent, Human Resources Manager from Christchurch-based company Hamilton Jet, said “Our objectives were to recruit specialist skills that we could not find in New Zealand. We were looking for senior mechanical engineers, high-level technicians and senior production management. We collected about 100 CVs and are expecting 10-15 hires from our UK trip.”

He also said that most people he met at the expo were still positive about moving to New Zealand and were keen to help with the rebuild in Christchurch.

Other New Zealand employers at the expo included The New Zealand Transport Authority, Ballance Agriculture and Accent Health Recruitment.

The Opportunities New Zealand Expo is backed by Immigration New Zealand, who distributed a letter on the door reassuring people that New Zealand is still open for business and presented seminars on the skills currently needed and the visa requirements to enter New Zealand.

The Opportunities New Zealand Expo will be held again in London and Leeds in July.

This post will also appear in our Migrants Tales series. See links above.