25 November 2008
Diwali celebrations prove NZ Indian community growing in numbers
According to Press.co.nz, the number of Indians living in New Zealand is getting much bigger, and this year's Diwali celebrations was proof the country is becoming a more popular option for migrants from the south Asian nation.
Christchurch particularly has experienced a surge in the number of Indian immigrants since 2001, reports the Asia New Zealand Foundation.
On Saturday night at the Diwali Festival of Lights, over 1,000 Indians are reported to have celebrated in the Cathedral Square.
Amrit Singh, president of the Indian Social and Cultural Club in Christchurch, said while many Indians living in Christchurch have moved from domestic cities such as Wellington and Auckland, more Indians who move to New Zealand are going directly to Christchurch.
"When they come here for a holiday and see Christchurch and see the South Island they think this is the best place to live in because of the ambience," he said.
According to the news source, the high demand for IT workers and electrical engineers has been a major draw card to Christchurch for Indians, while the growing number of Indians studying in the South Island city on a New Zealand student visa has also proven an attractive force.
"I can say three years ago the Indian population (of Christchurch) was just 2000, but now it's between 5000 and 6000," Singh said.
"(When Indians move to Christchurch) they have to work very hard for a start and then they can be successful everywhere. You should think that being a migrant you can do anything in this country you want."
The Asia New Zealand Foundation report predicts that by 2026 the population of Asians could reach 55,000.
The New Zealand Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in helping people with their New Zealand visa application.
Article by Jessica Bird, New Zealand Visa Bureau.