New Zealand net migration at three-year low

Immigration to New Zealand has fallen to a three-year low, as the government’s pledge to reduce immigration numbers take hold.

According to figures from Stats NZ, net migration to NZ was 61,800 in the year to the end of October; the lowest annual increase recorded since the year ending September 2015.

“Although migrant departures continue to be the driving force behind falling annual net migration, October also had a noticeable fall in the number of migrant arrivals,” explained Stats NZ senior manager Brooke Theyers.

“Both trends helped bring annual net migration to its lowest level since the year ended September 2015,” she added.

Migrant arrivals were 128,100 during the latest 12 month-period, a fall of 3,500, while departures rose by more than 5,000 to 66,400.

The number of both New Zealand citizens and non-citizens leaving New Zealand is increasing, while the number of citizens and non-citizens arriving in New Zealand is falling.

The level of immigration had peaked in the middle of 2017, when there was a record annual gain of 72,400.

ASB senior economist Mark Smith said while migration was falling, it appeared that the pace of deceleration was easing, with the gain from migration in October similar to September.

“The figures are volatile, but they do not suggest net immigration is rapidly slowing,” Smith said.

“We expect annual net [permanent, long term] inflows to continue to gradually recede from record highs, reaching around 40,000-45,000 persons by the end of next year.”

Article published 4th December 2018