Letters from Southern Man

IMMagine New Zealand Immigration Blog

To subscribe to our weekly blog, click here to be added to our database.

Note: If you have previously registered for the Southern Man newsletters but are no longer receiving our email notifications you may have been unsubscribed by your spam filter. Simply register your details here and we will add you back to the database right away.

Comments: We welcome debate and discussion in our blogs, whether you agree with what we say or don't. We encourage intelligent and informed discussion and invite anyone to comment. However anyone posting comments with abusive or foul language or people 'simply having a rant' we will delete them immediately.

Letters from the Southern Man

Migrating is more than just filling in forms and submitting paperwork, its a complex process that will test even the most resilient of people. 

Understanding New Zealand is paramount to your immigration survival and to give you a realistic view of the country, its people and how we see the world, read our weekly Southern Man blogs. Often humorous, sometimes challenging, but always food for thought.


Posted by Iain on Feb. 17, 2017, 4:25 p.m. in New Zealand Weather

Sun. Rain. Wind. It is interesting how much of a role climate - perceived or real - plays in terms of where migrants might choose to live. If you are Singaporean or Malaysian you love the fact that New Zealand is, for the most part, both drier and for most of the year, cooler, than they are used to. Comfortable is the word I hear a lot. Migrants from these countries tell me how much they love the climate of ‘New Zealand’ (they are usually referring to Auckland or Christchurch). If you are a South African you tended historically to perceive the climate in New Zealand as being both cold and wet. I should say as thousands more South Africans settle here this perception is changing as expectation hits reality.

Read the full post


When will the Skilled Migrant pass mark drop (and why)?

Posted by Iain on Feb. 10, 2017, 3:18 p.m. in Immigration

A few people have asked me recently why I believe the skilled migrant pass mark will fall from 160. The short answer is because it needs to. My analysis can be found in the maths of the passmark calculations and a little bit of faith that the New Zealand Government is both serious and committed to issuing 27,000 resident visas under this category, which it continues to publicly state is its target. Historically, for New Zealand to issue 27,000 resident visas in any 12 month period, they have had to select around 700 Expressions of interest each fortnight from the ‘pool’. Each EOI accounts for a little over 2 people. So, they select 700 EOIs covering say 1450 people every two weeks, and they do it 25 times a year (they skip one pool draw around Christmas/New Year). If all those selected were approved and granted Resident Visas that would mean around 35,250 resident visas issued in any 12 month period.

Read the full post


Close Encounters of the Cetacean Kind

Posted by Iain on Feb. 3, 2017, 1:06 p.m. in New Zealand Lifestyle

Earlier this week on a cloudless, sweltering summer's day we decided to take our boat out to Taranga Island; a nature reserve of several thousand hectares that sits 15 km out to sea in Bream Bay. This island and five that lie another 5km to its north east are human free and no human is permitted to step foot on them. They have been cleared of all introduced predators (rats, mice, possums, ferrets, stoats and weasels) and like so many of NZ offshore islands are the only places our native birds can live safely alongside the ancient tuatara and many species of native lizard. Taranga is an extinct volcano rising 500m to its ancient peak, where several ‘plugs’ stand sentinel, slowly weathering. It is scarred from the occasional release of massive house-sized boulders that crash their way through the forest to the seashore below.

Read the full post


Sane Americans Wanted

Posted by Iain on Jan. 27, 2017, 2:33 p.m. in USA

What have you done America? Earlier this week, President Trump (still rings weirdly in my head) announced he’s building his wall. The Foreign Ministry in China have made their strongest statement yet regarding their territorial claims over the South China Sea - and warned the US in no uncertain terms to be very careful what they now say and do. Trump announced overnight he wants a 35% import duty on all goods (except it seems from Mexico). While that would be illegal under current international agreements and would obviously harm US workers, he is still tweeting about it and seems quite serious.

Read the full post


When is Outside Something Actually Inside It?

Posted by Iain on Jan. 20, 2017, 3:06 p.m. in Auckland

In this business, certainty for clients can only come about when, as Advisers, we fully understand definitions and eligibility criteria. Our greatest challenge is that the rules are often poorly written, vague and open to multiple interpretations. The meaning is in the mind of the reader. When you have two immigration officers reading the same rule differently, you get inconsistent decision making and this - when you are talking about resident visas - has enormous implications for clients financially, emotionally and, it is not "OTT" to suggest, truly life changing.

Read the full post