International students deterred from coming to New Zealand because it's no longer safe - Immigration advisor

  • 01/08/2022

Two-and-a-half years of border restrictions have finally ended but international students are wary of coming to New Zealand because it is no longer seen as being safe.

The last of five COVID-19 border reopening phases happened at 11.59pm on Sunday - opening the maritime border, as well as applications for tourist, visitor and student visas from anywhere in the world. 

However, an immigration expert says parents are concerned about sending their children to New Zealand due to the recent spate of crime.

Immigration consultant and former NZ Police Asian Liaison Officer Howie Yin told Melissa Chan-Green on AM New Zealand's reputation has changed.

Yin said while he is still seeing some interest from international students, particularly from China and India, their parents are worried about their child's safety in New Zealand.

"Five years ago I would have said yes it is a safe country, don't worry about your child, but now I just can't say that," Yin said. "We watch the news, it's not that safe anymore."

He said news of robberies and assaults, in particular racially motivated attacks, are circulating around ethnic communities and deterring potential migrants.

In Auckland last week, a Chinese man was beaten outside a supermarket and an off-duty Indian police officer was racially abused and threatened.

"I do have concern and the problem is not getting better," Yin said.

He said one of the problems is retaining quality staff who can educate people and help with crime prevention.

"I've been talking to a few people that left the police as well and said do you regret [leaving]?" Yin said. "We don't regret." 

Watch the full interview above.