Net migration gain sets new record for sixteenth month in a row

Surging migration flows continue to break all previous records with net migration increasing more than threefold over the last two years.

The latest figures from Statistics NZ show there was a record net migration gain of 63,659 people in the year to November compared with a net gain of just 48,836 in the year to November 2014 and just 19,478 in the year to November 2013.

That was due to 120,891 people coming to this country on a permanent and long term basis in the year to November, and 57,232 people leaving New Zealand on a permanent and long term basis in the same period.

Of the 120,891 people who arrived on a long term basis, 35,604 were NZ or Australian citizens, 37,186 arrived on work visas, 27,798 were on student visas and 13,898 were on residency visas.

The biggest source country for migrants was India with a net gain of 13,268 people from that country in the year to November, followed by China 8759, the Philippines 5039 and the UK 3680.

There was a net gain of 371 people from Australia, compared to a net loss of 4542 people to Australia in the year to November 2014.

There was a net loss of 4998 New Zealand citizens from this country in the year to November and a net gain of 68,657 citizens of other countries.

Statistics NZ said November was the sixteenth consecutive month that there had been a  record net gain of migrants into this country.

In a First Impressions newsletter on the migration numbers, Westpac senior economist Michael Gordon said the low numbers of people leaving the country and the strength in arrival numbers would cause the country’s population growth rate to hit its highest level since 1974.

“High population growth is helping to maintain a semblance of strong GDP growth, but at the same time the preponderance of people in the labour market is keeping wage growth lower than it would otherwise be,” he said.

However Australia had started reporting strong jobs growth and lower unemployment than New Zealand.

“If this trend continues, New Zealand will eventually become a less attractive destination,” he said.