NZ net migration figures rise again

New Zealand net migration figures yet again reached record highs in April, new data shows.

The latest Statistics New Zealand release shows that annual net migration reached 71,885 in the year to 30th April, compared to 68,110 in the same period a year earlier.

Permanent and long-term migrants outnumbered those departing by 129,779 to 57,894 between April 2016 and April 2017. Of those arriving, 57,885 were bound for Auckland while 10,146 were headed to the capital city of Wellington. In the South Island, 12,702 were bound for Canterbury.

China remains the largest source country for New Zealand-bound migrants. Some 16,678 Chinese people arrived on residence visas in the year to the end of April – 11 per cent more than arrive in the preceding year. There was also a significant increase in arrivals from the UK, with 14 per cent more Brits (7,347) entering New Zealand on work visas.

However, while the number of people arriving in NZ of residence visas may be growing, those entering the country of student visas is on the decline. Student visas were down 14 per cent on the year to 23,869. This is largely due to a 39 per cent fall in the number of students arriving from India, although the largest source of student migrants was still from that country.

The rising immigration figures is fast shaping up to be a key issue in NZ’s next election. Critics argue that it strains the country’s infrastructure and has been blamed for inflaming property markets, although supporters claim that immigration has helped to boost the economy, with economic growth consistently outpacing that seen in Australia for the last few years.

Article published 19th May 2017