Go (Really, Really Far) West, Young Man

As Americans head to New Zealand for cheap land and beautiful scenery, locals debate the impact of growth.
October 31, 2003, 10am PST | David Gest
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New Zealand's climate mirrors that of the American west coast. But the mostly virgin countryside and public beaches are something special. In addition, the country's isolated location appeals to many seeking security from terrorism. Add a burgeoning movie industry, and you've got a hot spot for American immigration - "a wave being heralded as a godsend by the tiny country's government and business leaders." However, long-time natives are not nearly as excited, worrying that increased growth could lead to the destruction, or at least the privatization, of much of the land they hold sacred. In the meantime, American millionaires have bought many huge estates, and envision a real estate developer's paradise. What will the future hold for New Zealand?

Thanks to David Gest

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Published on Friday, October 14, 2005 in The Los Angeles Times
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