On 11 May the government announced that the New Zealand border would be fully reopening from 4 July. Craccum asked students their thoughts on leaving New Zealand, and the influx of people the border-opening might create.
Jarod, Bachelor of Science
I’m not that keen to leave New Zealand regardless, so it doesn’t affect me that much in terms of leaving. It would be cool to see all the new people coming in again though. I work in hospitality, and we’re super understaffed because we have no one coming in to do some quick part-time work. It would be cool to have that environment back again, meet some new people, feel like we’re rejoining the world again. Even at uni it would be good. I feel like I’m meeting people from the same parts of Auckland the whole time because there’s virtually no international students in my classes.
Hannah, Bachelor of Arts
I know I’m going to sound like a panic merchant, but I’m honestly terrified for borders reopening. COVID-19 hit everyone in this country hard when we felt the outbreak properly, and it was terribly managed even when we could keep it relatively confined even just within Auckland. There are still new variants all the time, and if we get a worse one it’s not going to be good for immunocompromised people. I definitely see the benefits of opening up again, and to survive economically we have to; it just kind of sucks to think we did the right thing for so long and sacrificed a lot just to go back to being rock-bottom again. I just hope people who come in respect that we want to stay safe, and that it’s still a bit new to us being open again after so long.
Sophie, Bachelor of Commerce
I can’t wait to leave! They keep talking in the news about the stream of people moving out of the country to find work, and that’s going to be me too. You can get paid a lot more in so many other countries, and they’re closer to other places too. I can earn more and spend less on travel, so I really see no downside. On a serious note, I don’t blame a lot of graduates for leaving though. My reasons are more selfish, but you look at how bad some of the qualities of work are here, like for nursing where they’re overworked and underpaid, it seems like more of the sensible option to leave. I’m not sure if that will mean there will be a shortage of people here to pick up the slack, if it does I’m sure it will just cause more problems, but if you’re just going to stay and be stressed out graduates may as well leave.
Sam, Bachelor of Global Studies
An exchange on the cards, finally! Do you know how stupid it feels to be doing a Bachelors in the study of things that are global and have not yet left the country once? My goal when I enrolled in the degree was to go overseas on exchange, learn things from a different perspective, and I had it all planned out where I would go and everything. The pandemic really threw a spanner in the works, and it feels with the border reopening I’m finally going to be able to fulfill the goals of my degree.