NZ immigration numbers still soaring

New Zealand’s soaring immigration levels show no signs of slowing as new figures reveal net migration has once again hit record levels.

According to the latest Statistics New Zealand release, net migration surpassed the 60,000 mark in the year to August 2015 – the first time this figure has been exceeded. The data shows that there were 117,000 migrant arrivals in the year with 57,600 migrant departures.

Approximately 24,500 of these new migrant arrivals were from Australia with two thirds being New Zealand citizens returning.

What’s more, according to ASB Bank senior economist Chris Tennent-Brown, it is unlikely this trend unlikely to stop anytime soon. “With the New Zealand economy, although we’re anxious about it cooling off somewhat, it’s still looking pretty good compared to a lot of other economies – particularly Australia – and so it’s hard to see these patterns turning around in the near term at least,” he said.

Auckland continues to be the region of choice for new immigrants, with 42 per cent of all arrivals going there – a trend the government hopes will cease when new rules to award extra incentives to those who settle in regional areas comes into being.

NZ Prime Minister John Key stated that Auckland was a desirable international city, and he expected its population to continue to grow for the next 20 years.

He said he saw the strong migration as a significant vote of confidence in New Zealand.

Figures also show that the number of visitor arrivals to New Zealand is also a record, up by 8 per cent to just over 3 million for the year.