17 July 2006

New Zealand takes in 51,000 migrants and looks for more

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New Zealand welcomed 51,000 new residents and their valuable skills in the last year, Immigration Minister David Cunliffe has revealed.

Mr Cunliffe said the New Zealand labour market and economy has benefited from over 130,000 temporary workers and over 51,000 new residents in the year ending 30 June.

"It is pleasing that so many high quality people from around the world are attracted to New Zealand - and increasing numbers are bringing their skills here.

"This is a reflection on the excellent opportunities in New Zealand and the Labour-led government's commitment to attracting talented people to this country as we move to transform the economy."

The number of applications approved to work temporarily in New Zealand has increased from 71,484 in 2001-02 to 132,360 in the 2005-06 year.

"Temporary migrants are an important source of labour for those employers still citing skill shortages as a constraint to the growth of their businesses."

Mr Cunliffe said permanent migrants are also making an important contribution to New Zealand's labour market and communities.

Overall, 51,236 people were approved under the Department of Labour-administered New Zealand Residence Programme in 2005-06, near the government's target of 51,500.

This was the highest number of people approved for residence since 2001-02.

Skilled and business migrants account for over 60 per cent of new residents, with nearly 32,000 migrants approved. Over 3,500 more skilled people were approved under the Skilled Migrant Category than the previous year.

In addition, more than two million visitors arrived in New Zealand during the 2005-06 year.

Last week the Minister announced the New Zealand Residence Programme for the 2006/07 year. The maximum number of new residents that can be approved for residence has been set at 52,000, the highest level since 2001/02.

If you are interested in making the move to New Zealand, the New Zealand Visa Bureau can help you achieve that dream.


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