Why Wellington? Chance and choice in migrants’ decisions to come to and then remain in or leave Wellington
An exploratory study into why and how migrants decided to settle in Wellington showed that choice and chance were both at play in migrants’ decisions to come to Wellington, and then to remain in or, in three cases, leave the city.
Participants had taken part in the Longitudinal Immigration Survey: New Zealand (LisNZ) and agreed to a further in-depth interview. At the time of interview, all had been in New Zealand at least five years since gaining permanent residence. All 22 migrants (13 women and 9 men) who were interviewed for this study were Skilled Migrant Category principal applicants.
Those migrants who deliberately chose Wellington had found the city uniquely appealing. For a few this was because of a family connection but for many, the choice was based on what they perceived as the city’s beauty and compactness, convenience, diversity, and sociability. However, most of the people in this study had come by chance as the upshot of a job search and without knowing anything about Wellington, but, like the others, remained in Wellington because of its beauty and compactness, convenience, diversity, and sociability. Those migrants who were planning to leave Wellington were intent on migrating from New Zealand, either due to pending job loss or a desire for something other than what they perceived ‘New Zealand lifestyle’ of a suburban house and garden.
Author: Elizabeth Plumridge