Most people think it would be good to reduce this while infrastructure catches up, but the nature of net migration makes this challenging.
- People leaving NZ have dropped by around 32,000 a year from 88,000 to 56,000
- NZers returning to NZ have increased by around 9,000 from 22,000 to 31,000
- Australians moving here have doubled from 5,000 to 10,000 a year
So around 46,000 of the increase in net migration is beyond government control and is a good thing – more Kiwis wanting to live in NZ, and Aussies moving here.
The other factor is arrivals (non NZ/Aus) have increased by 28,000 from 62,000 to 95,000. This is around 30% of the overall change in net migrations.
The increase in “foreign” arrivals is not in residency visas but almost equally (14,000 each) in student visas and work visas.
International students studying in NZ increase GDP by billions of dollars. Studying here does not grant residency. They do increase the strain on infrastructure, but if you turn down qualified applicants, you’ll impact economic growth. Most students visas are to students from India, China and the Phillipines.
The work visas have also increased by 14,000 since around 2012. There may be more room to tighten up eligibility here. But skill shortages could be a consequence. Also the majority of those on work visas are not from third world countries. The most common countries for those on work visas are:
- UK 17%
- France 9%
- Germany 8%
- Australia 8%
- US 5%
- Philippines 5%
- China 4%
- South Africa 4%
- Canada 4%
- Japan 3%