17 February 2009
NZ waiting with open doors for immigration boom
New Zealand is getting itself prepared for a fattening of the population count while the northern hemisphere rides out the recession.
Statistics are not only showing that more Kiwis are staying at home rather than moving abroad, but that more Kiwis are returning home, and their northern friends are following them.
Statistics show that emigration from New Zealand has dropped by 6 per cent (12,400 people) during December 2008 when compared with December 2007, and emigration figures have not been this low for eight years.
The numbers of New Zealanders returning to the sanctity of their homeland has also increased considerably, after many losing their jobs in the UK.
"People are actually losing their jobs including Kiwis abroad. It may just be an alternative to come home – not so much that they are choosing but they have to," says BNZ Senior Economist Craig Ebert.
And while the December 2008 year net outflow to Australia is the highest recorded, there stands a high chance that they may return to New Zealand if Australia's economy follows in the footsteps of the UK, US and European economies.
New Zealanders will not be the only ones to emigrate to New Zealand for shelter during the economic storm; figures show thousands of British and Irish nationals continue to move in droves to New Zealand and Australia in search of a better lifestyle and more stable economy.
Between April 2007 and April 2008, Irish Central Statistics show that over 45,000 people emigrated from Ireland, with Australia and New Zealand absorbing nearly a quarter of this emigration.
There are conflicting views as to whether New Zealand would benefit from the immigration boom – some say the increased population would inject much-needed cash into the economy while others fear it would add to unemployment rates.
The New Zealand Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in helping people with their New Zealand visa application.