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The number of investor visa applications has soared since the coronavirus outbreak, and the government agency working to attract overseas money says New Zealand’s strong coronavirus strategy is behind a tenfold surge in interest.

New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE) – the government’s business development agency – said some people wanted to invest in a New Zealand company that is operating or selling in their home market, while others wanted to relocate their own business here.

“Where before we might field one to two approaches a month we’re currently receiving about five a week. But there is a difference between having interest and then having engagement and outcomes,”said NZTE general manger of investment Dylan Lawrence.

Coronavirus was working against investors getting on the ground in New Zealand to do their work and NZTE had to do its due diligence.

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“We’re only after certain types of investment – we say the investment’s got to be good for New Zealand not just good for the investor, and by that I mean how real is it, does it create jobs for New Zealanders, does it bring capability networks, technology, or does it provide access to new markets?