Christchurch migration levels rise significantly

Increasing employment demand in Christchurch and its surrounding areas has seen migration levels to the New Zealand region of Canterbury soar in the past year.

Christchurch, NZ

Christchurch, NZ (Image Source:

According to ASB Bank’s ‘Cantometer’, permanent and long-term arrivals into Canterbury were up by a staggering 77 per cent on year-ago levels in April, while departures had fallen to low levels and were down by 36 per cent from a year earlier.

In the past couple of years, the Canterbury region has been specifically targeting overseas immigrants with various skills – particularly in construction trades – in an effort to rebuild the region following a series of serious earthquakes.

Last year, the Canterbury Skill Shortage List was introduced, featuring in demand occupations for which a suitably skilled foreign worker with a job offer can receive a work permit without the need for a labour market check. There are currently over 30 (mainly construction-based) occupations included on the list.

“The number of full-time-equivalent employees has increased steadily over the March quarter and figures are now sitting above pre-earthquake levels,” said Nick Tuffley, Chief Economist at ASB Bank.