Richard Dawkins wants to move to New Zealand to get away from Brexit 'madness'

Scientist says half the population of Britain and US would prefer a country ‘where intellect might be appreciated’

The British scientist Richard Dawkins has said he would like to move to New Zealand as a refuge from the “madness” of a post-Trump, post-Brexit northern hemisphere.

“America had just gone mad, and Britain had gone mad in a slightly less dramatic way with Brexit,” he told The Project, a New Zealand current affairs program.

“I thought about half the population of America and half the population of Britain would love to go to a country where intellect might be appreciated. So I thought New Zealand might be an ideal country – low population. I would love to be invited to New Zealand and to live here, and for others to live here too.”

Seriously, are there really people who think it’s funny (or “ironic” as they call it) that I’m speaking in Christchurch? Yes, I’m afraid there are. On Twitter, of course. Never mind, I’m looking forward to it. I love Christchurch.

— Richard Dawkins (@RichardDawkins) May 8, 2018

In the three days after Brexit, Immigration New Zealand’s website had over 5,000 visits a day from the UK, and “move to New Zealand” became a top Google search term.

The actor and comedian Billy Crystal threatened to move to New Zealand if Trump won (he hasn’t), and so too did associate justice of the US supreme court Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

New Zealand has also launched multiple recruitment drives trying to attract post-Brexit Brits to shift south and fill jobs in the construction, infrastructure and health sectors.

On Monday the former US secretary of state Hillary Clinton said she was invited to move to New Zealand after losing to Donald Trump in 2016, and she briefly considered it.

“I must say I really did appreciate the offers. Gave them some thought,” Clinton said, addressing a packed arena of 3,000 in Auckland.

“But I’m going to stay put because we have work to do in my country as well.”


Eleanor Ainge Roy in Dunedin

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Richard Dawkins and ultracrepidarianism | Letters
Letters: Not all the problems facing humanity are caused by science, but the idea that ‘comprehension is moving across the face of the Earth, like the sunrise’ is more of a contender for Pseuds Corner than the Nobel prize for literature


05, Jun, 2016 @6:39 PM

John Harris: Richard Dawkins, look away now

John Harris: John D Barrow, professor of mathematical sciences at Cambridge University, must be a very happy man. On Wednesday, it was announced that he was being awarded the Templeton prize, an award totalling a cool £795,000.

John Harris

17, Mar, 2006 @4:24 PM

Article image
Christchurch massacre: defence lawyers drop request to move trial away from city
Trial of man accused of killing 51 people at two mosques set to begin in June next year

Eleanor Ainge Roy in Dunedin

03, Oct, 2019 @1:19 AM

Article image
New Zealand 'marine heatwave' brings tropical fish from 3,000km away
Out-of-place Queensland groper seen off New Zealand coast after water temperatures soared

Eleanor Ainge Roy in Dunedin

29, May, 2018 @12:53 AM

Article image
Sleep Radio: New Zealand station that wants listeners to switch off
Insomniacs across the world give the nod to John Watson, who has ambient music producers queueing up to feature on his channel

Charles Anderson in Nelson

06, Jun, 2018 @4:41 AM

Article image
New Zealand doctors move clinics outside to stop measles' spread
Vaccinations taking place in car parks to reduce risk of infectious disease being transmitted in crowded rooms

Eleanor Ainge Roy in Dunedin

12, Mar, 2019 @3:49 AM

Article image
New Zealand library uses 'mosquito' noise device to keep youths away
Controversial high-pitched sound usually only audible to younger people is meant to stop them congregating outside library in Christchurch

Eleanor Ainge Roy in Dunedin

08, Sep, 2016 @5:38 AM

Article image
New Zealand pro-choice campaigners hail move towards abortion law reform
Newly released review sets out way to make abortion a health rather than criminal matter

Eleanor Ainge Roy

26, Oct, 2018 @3:23 AM

My week: Richard Dawkins
Travelling via the US is a bit of a trial for the evolutionary biologist, thanks to security gone mad. But later, he goes on to encounter another, lovely, kind of booby - and a terrific eco-friendly sports car.

26, May, 2007 @11:14 PM

Richard Dawkins, TV evangelist

Gordon Lynch: Atheism has never held much interest for sociologists of religion - until now.

Gordon Lynch

11, Aug, 2007 @12:00 PM