New Zealand records slight drop in net-migration levels

New figures show that more immigrants left New Zealand during 2017 than did so in 2016.

The latest Statistics New Zealand net migration data shows almost 2 per cent more foreigners left New Zealand in 2017 than did so the previous year.

This drop helped fuel a slight decrease in net migration to NZ last year, although the overall figure was still described by Bank of New Zealand senior economist Craig Ebert as “exceptionally high”.

Net migration for the year dropped by 600, to 70,000 the figures show, with a total of 99,300 non-New Zealanders arriving to live in the country last year.

The data shows that the majority of foreigners migrating to NZ were from Australia, the United Kingdom and China.

The figures also reveal that more and more British citizens are moving to New Zealand for work purposes.

The number of migrants entering NZ on work visas rose 11 per cent. The growth was fuelled by migrants from the UK and the Philippines.

Net migration by UK residents was 6,371 in 2017, compared with 3,614 in 2015 — the year before the referendum on leaving the EU in June 2016.

While NZ has been actively encouraging immigration in recent years, this is set to change. The country’s new government, headed by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, has pledged to cut net migration by as much as 20,000-30,000 per year.

Article published 6th February 2018