25 March 2014

New Zealand immigration hits ten year high

New statistics have shown net migration to New Zealand to be at a 10 year high, with China becoming the largest source of new migrants for the first time in a decade.

In February alone, Statistics New Zealand recorded NZ as receiving 3,500 net new migrants - the most since April 2003, and up from 3,100 the previous month. On an annual basis, NZ net migration rose 13 per cent to 96,900 for the year ending February, while departures fell 20 per cent to 67,800.

The biggest source of net migration was China, with a net gain of 6,100 people. This is the first time China has been the number one source of migration to New Zealand for ten years. India was in second place with 5,800, pipping the UK which had previously been the country to provide the largest net migration gain.

Speaking on the figures, ASB economist Dan Smith said: "This monthly result suggests migration flows may be starting to run a little ahead of our forecasts, although it is difficult to judge whether that will be sustained.

"Strong inwards migration will continue to add to domestic demand and housing market pressures, and is one of the reasons why interest rates will rise over the next couple of years."

The country's capital, Auckland, was the city that attracted most of the nation's new migrants, with a net gain of 13,700 in the past year. Cantebury was the second most popular destination, with a net gain of 5,100 migrants.

The New Zealand Visa Bureau is an independent migration consultancy that specialises in helping people apply to emigrate to New Zealand.

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