Immigrants flocking to NZ

New Zealand’s immigration boom is showing no signs of slowing down, new figures show.

The latest Statistics New Zealand data reveals that in the 12 months to the end of August, a record 125,000 people arrived to live in the country. Returning New Zealanders accounted for a quarter of this intake, with people on work visas accounting for about a third.

However, the number of those arriving on student visas declined by 2.2 per cent.

According to Phil Borkin, a senior economist at the ANZ Bank, migrant intake is likely to remain high for the foreseeable future.

“The performance of the New Zealand economy – GDP growing around 3.5 to 4 per cent, the unemployment rate trending lower – while New Zealand’s not exposed to some of these issues that the globe is facing around political angst, Brexit and what not,” Borkin told Radio New Zealand.

“So we still believe that New Zealand will continue to remain an attractive destination for migrants and also an attractive place for New Zealanders, so we’ll see less people wanting to leave as well,” he added.

Yet despite the growing intake of immigrants, recent data shows that the country is still facing a worker shortage in key industries. Both the technology and constructions sectors are currently facing a severe shortage of workers.

This has led to increased questions regarding whether NZ’s current immigration policy is doing enough to attract the right w immigrants to the country.

“The key issue around migration is what is the – for want of a better word – the quality of the people that we bring in,” Graeme Wheeler, the governor of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand, told a news conference last month. “What are the skills they’re bringing in and can they add value to the economy?” he added.

Immigration Minister, Michael Woodhouse, responded to the criticism by stating that foreigners with work experience and qualification in areas on the country’s skill shortage list had a better chance of gaining a work visa and, ultimately, residency.

Article published 21st September 2016