NZ migrant numbers hit new record high

The number of people moving to New Zealand reached a record level yet again in January, new figures show.

Official figures show more than 71,300 people settled in NZ in the year to January, beating the previous annual record set a month earlier by 700.

The latest data shows that 6,460 people entered NZ as a resident during January – the fifth successive month that the number of people moving to NZ reached more than 6,000.

Migrant arrivals hit an all-time high of 128,300 in the January 2017 year, with about a third of the total being on work visas, while returning New Zealanders also figured prominently.

“About a fifth of all migrant arrivals were from Australia,” Statistics New Zealand population statistics senior manager Peter Dolan said.

“Almost two-thirds of the migrant arrivals from Australia were New Zealand citizens.”

Late last year, the government moved to reduce the number of new migrants, including raising the number of points needed in the skilled migrant category to 160 from 140, and more than halving the number of people allowed entry under the family category to 2,000.

Changes made to the student visa criteria last year has led to a drop in international student arrivals.

A tightening of the English language criteria has led to the number of applications from overseas students falling by 13 per cent in the year to January 2017.

Article published 27th February 2017