For the first time in two decades annual migration with Australia is positive

Stats NZ reports:

New Zealand had a record annual net gain (more arrivals than departures) of migrants in the October 2015 year (62,500). It resulted from a record 120,100 migrant arrivals and 57,600 migrant departures. The annual net gain in migrants has been setting new records for the last 15 months. In October, net passed another milestone with the first annual gain in migrants from Australia in over 20 years (since the November 1991 year). Fewer New Zealand citizens departing for Australia and increased arrivals of both New Zealand and non-New Zealand citizens drove the change.

Here’s the graph:


Here’s the net migration figures for October years in the last decade:

  • Oct 15:+260
  • Oct 14: -5,090
  • Oct 13: -22,600
  • Oct 12: -39,270
  • Oct 11: -35,510
  • Oct 10: -19,460
  • Oct 09: -20.310
  • Oct 08: -34,960
  • Oct 07: -26,510
  • Oct 06: -20.920

Departures to Australia were only 24,800 in the year to October 2015.  For the year to October 2008 it was 48,130 – so the numbers leaving to Australia have halved.

Arrivals from Australia were 25,060 in the year to October 2015.  For the year to October 2008 it was 13,170 – so the numbers arriving Australia have almost doubled.

This is very unusual. People tend to migrate from smaller places to larger places.

In terms of net migration, in October 2015 we had an average of seven people a day migrate from Australia. In October 2008 we had an average of 106 people a day leave NZ for Australia.

It is a hugely significant turnaround.

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