Migration at 10 year high

The Herald reports:

New Zealand’s inbound net rose to a 10-year high in January as fewer people quit the country to cross the Tasman and the number of new migrants continued to gain.

This is generally good news. Important to note there are four aspects to net migration. They are:

  • New migrants to NZ
  • NZers returning home
  • NZers leaving NZ
  • Migrants (not citizens) leaving NZ

Let’s look at what is happening to each of these.

New migrants to NZ

In the last year this reached 68,920. A year ago it was 62,300 and this level is the highest since mid 2003. The level of new migrants is determined by both demand and government policy (aspiring migrants need to meet criteria such as qualifications, wealth etc).

NZers returning home

This is at 26,660. A year ago it was 23,320. It was list this high in 2004. This is purely driven by a desire to return home, as it is a right to return.

Migrants leaving NZ

This is at 23,120. They are permanent or long-term residents (but not citizens) who have moved to another country.  A year ago at 24,070. The lowest level since mid 2006.

NZers leaving NZ

This is at 46,000. A year ago it was 61,550 so a huge drop of almost 25%. It was lower in 2009-10 during the global recession and financial crisis (people don’t leave home during a crisis). In 2008 it was at almost 61,000.


Also of interest is the flow of to and from Australia. 7,040 Australians came to NZ in the last year – an all time high. An increase of around 35% from a year ago.  Also 12,990 Kiwis have returned from Australia – also an all time high.

The number of Kiwis going to Australia is at 33,030. A year ago 48,450. Also a drop by around a third.

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