23 November 2016

New Zealand is safe and open for business

New Zealand’s international education industry is open for business as usual, says John Goulter, ENZ General Manager Stakeholders and Communications.

“New Zealand remains a safe and welcoming place for international students to live, study and travel around,” he emphasised.

“While last Monday’s 7.8 magnitude earthquake gained global media attention, within a day of the quake, daily life in almost all parts of New Zealand had returned to normal.

“All of New Zealand’s gateway cities of Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Queenstown were open and all regional airports were operating – meaning people could continue to fly between destinations.

“New Zealand is remarkably resilient to these kinds of events.”

He emphasised that the earthquake was not centred near areas of high population density and its damage was not widespread.

“Two-thirds of international students are in Auckland which was unaffected.

“Similarly, Christchurch has been largely unaffected and the city is functioning as normal.”

ENZ had received no reports of any injuries to staff or students at schools, private providers or universities.

The earthquake had a big impact on Kaikoura, a small settlement several hours’ drive north of Christchurch in the South Island, and recovery work there would be ongoing for some time.

There had also been aftershocks, which were expected.

In Wellington, a small number of buildings in the central business district had sustained some structural damage, and these were being managed with minimal impact to normal business and daily life in the city.

Mr Goulter said that Education New Zealand had been working closely with its international offices to share updates on the earthquake to keep our key markets informed, and to monitor media coverage and perceptions of the quakes.

“We would like to reassure international agents, media, parents and potential students that New Zealand continues to be a safe, high-quality educational destination.”

He suggested that international students due to travel to New Zealand to make direct contact with their education provider for further information, or to monitor the Ministry of Education's website for updates.

Mr Goulter said he was confident that the recent earthquake activity would have minimal if any long term impact on New Zealand’s international student market.

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