Less leaving and more staying

The turnabout in New Zealanders leaving New Zealand has been remarkable.

The Herald has reported that “number of people arriving permanently or long term in this country exceeded the number of departures by 2500 in January, the highest net gain for a January month since 2004.”

Now I don’t tend to place too much emphasis on the overall PLT flow, as arrivals for non New Zealanders is a function of policy.

A key stat for me is what is happening with New Zealand nationals as they have the right to come and go without immigration barriers.

In 2007 and 2008, the net departures exceeded 35,000 and was heading to 40,000. In just 15 months it has plummeted to under 15,000.

The global recession is probably part of the change, but what is pleasing is that not only are fewer Kiwis leaving, significantly more of them are returning home.

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