21 May 2009

Increasing number of Brits emigrating to New Zealand: Statistics NZ

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While increasing numbers of people are emigrating to New Zealand this year, more Kiwis are also deciding to stay at home, according to statistics released by Statistics NZ.

The figures for April 2009 show that emigrating to New Zealand outweighed long-term departures by 2,200 people, which is a stark contrast to last year's April figures that showed 1,300 more people were leaving rather than emigrating to New Zealand.

Experts are suggesting that the large numbers of people emigrating to New Zealand and Kiwis remaining behind will be beneficial for the economy, as it would create demand in the housing sector and pump money into the general cash flow.

Goldman Sachs JBWere's New Zealand strategist Bernard Doyle said that not only was emigrating to New Zealand important for the construction sector, but the economy as a whole benefits at all sorts of levels.

"We are conscious that net migration was one of the key drivers behind the 2003-2007 economic upswing, and was particularly important for the construction sector," Business Day reported him as saying.

"Accordingly the longer net migration persists around these levels, the more optimistic we become on prospects for the domestic economy."

The lack of long-term departures for Kiwis has been attributed to the state of the global economy – the age-old tradition of relocating to the UK to earn some pounds and travel Europe has been put on hold until the economy begins to recover.  Even jumping the ditch to Australia has become less popular as New Zealanders recognise the value of holding on to their jobs while they have them.

The statistics show that the UK is still the largest source of people emigrating to New Zealand, followed by various Asian countries, whose numbers are increasing at an exponential rate.  For example, Indians emigrating to New Zealand increased by 38.5 per cent during the month of April.

UBS senior economist Robin Clements said that New Zealand should be happy with the results, even with the short-term arrivals statistics.

"In respect of net inward migration, the increased gains have come more quickly than we envisaged," he said.

"...This couldn't be more timely, providing additional demand for the struggling housing sector. This should reinforce the already evident turning point for house sales and what ought to be a similar turn in building consents.

"Overall, the data is positive for the real economy in the sense that the tourist sector doesn't seem to be suffering unduly thus far while the uptick in migration supports the cessation of housing as a drag on growth and some form of stabilisation for the economy in the second half of the year - IE the first step towards recovery," Clements said.


The New Zealand Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in helping people with emigrating to New Zealand.


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