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By PHILIP CHANDLER

A long-time columnist for Britain’s prestigious Financial Times suggests northern hemisphere tech firms, and the like, relocate to New Zealand, and particularly Queenstown, assuming this country becomes a Covid-19 “safe haven”.

“The country should use the pandemic to lure not just the world’s highest-value individual migrants but entire businesses,” Simon Kuper wrote last week.

“Foreign tech firms, research departments and marketing agencies could airlift their locked-down staff to a gorgeous tourist resort with good coffee such as Queenstown, now devoid of tourists.”

That’s music to the ears of new Startup Queenstown CEO Olivia Wensley.

She says this is the quickest way to diversify the resort’s previously tourist-dependent economy.

“Instead of just trying to build something from the ground up here, I think it’s a much better idea to actually transplant and get existing businesses here.

“It’s what I’m campaigning hard to do.”

Wensley says the resort’s already attracted people who work or have worked remotely for Silicon Valley tech companies in California.

“They live here because the lifestyle’s amazing”.

scoop@scene.co.nz